Archive | May, 2010

What are you reading Monday 5-31

31 May

This week was filled with tests, major projects, and a camping trip. But I managed to squeeze in a little reading.

This weekly meme is hosted by Sheila at one person’s journey through a world of books; join in!

This week, I finished:

Runaway by Meg Cabot-Review here
Fang by James Patterson-Review here
ArchEnemy by Frank Beddor-Review here

My favorite of the three would have to be Runaway.

I’m hoping to finish These Boots are Made for Stalking, Never Let You Go, and Blue Moon.
I’m not really sure what I’ll start at the moment, I have so many that need to be read!

“ArchEnemy” by Frank Beddor

31 May


“ArchEnemy”
Author: Frank Beddor
Pages [hardcover]: 370
The third and final book in ‘The Looking Glass Wars’ trilogy.
Available now.
Opening Lines: Alyss of Wonderland raced up the front walk, using her imagination to unlock the door and turn the latch. Inside the house, nothing had changed. The umbrella stand and hat rack, the family pictures hanging in the hall, even the gouge in the baseboard marking where she’d thrown her ice skates one winter afternoon: Everything was exactly as it had been when she’d lived there . . . so long ago, it seemed.
Memorable Quote: Redd turned to her assassins. “What is it I always say?”
The Cat, Sacrenoir, and the others bandied uncertain glances about.
“Don’t be stupid?” ventured Alistaire.
“I should kill you now?” offered The Cat.
“Do I have to murder everyone myself?” tried Siren.
“No, idiots! When in doubt, go for the head. That’s what I always say. “

Favorite Characters: Alyss & Dodge & Molly
The power of imagination has been lost.
Now it’s all about the artillery as AD52s, crystal shooters, spikejack tumblers, and orb cannons are unleashed in a war of weapons and brute force.
King Arch declares himself King of Wonderland.
What is happening in Wonderland? Deep within the Valley of Mushrooms, the Caterpillar Oracles issue this prophecy: “Action shall be taken to ensure the safety of the Heart Crystal. For Everqueen.”
Who is Everqueen?
In a war that includes jabberwocky, Card soldiers, tribal leaders, mercenaries from Earth, and tutors with very large ears, the fate of imagination itself is at stake.
[Summary half-taken from book jacket.]

‘The Looking Glass Wars’ and ‘Seeing Redd’, the first two books of the series, were wonderfully written and made me view Alice in Wonderland in a whole different light. These fractured fairytales don’t bash the original books-instead, they tell you that the story was written all wrong in the first place. The author even spelled Alyss’s name wrong! I thought that was a cute way to start, but these young-adult books are way more than a few cute little stories. They’re full of action, suspense, and romance.
I would definitely recommend you read the first two books in order to fully understand this version of Wonderland before setting your eyes on this one.
I love the interactions between Molly and Hatter. The awkward, tentative relationship between the two was written magnificently.
The one thing about the book that I absolutely did not like was the ending. It seemed too rushed, too much let’s-please-the-readers-and-get-it-over-with. Though this was supposed to tie up all the loose ends, as it’s the last book, it did so too abruptly and with no warning or build up. The pleasantly annoying cliff-hanger endings of the previous books wouldn’t have worked in this case, but I think if they used the same build up, only skipped the cliff-hanger part, everything would work out fine. Oh, well. I’m not the author.
“ArchEnemy” gets 4/5 stars. Change the ending, and you’ve got a perfect book.
Have you read/want to read “ArchEnemy”? Have you read any of the other Looking Glass Wars books? Want me to review the two previous books? Comment below!

“Fang” by James Patterson

31 May


“Fang”
Author: James Patterson
Pages [hardcover] 309
The lastest book in the Maximum Ride series.
Available now
Opening Lines: I’m a girl of extremes. When I love something, I’m like a puppy dog [without all the licking]. When I’m cranky, I’m a wasp [like, a whole hive of 'em]. And when I’m angry, I’m a mother bear with a predator after her cubs: dangerous.
Memorable Quote: “Jackpot, Max! Jackpot!” It was Fang and he was giggling hysterically.
For those of you just joining us, Fang doesn’t giggle. Especially hysterically.
Favorite Characters: Iggy & Max
Being a kid with wings–constantly on the run–has never been easy, and Max and her flock are getting tenser than ever. First, on a trip to Africa, they meet a mysterious billionaire whose intense scrutiny of the Flock makes her fear the worst. And as if an impending apocalypse weren’t bad enough, birdkid Angel makes a dire prophecy about Max’s soul mate: Fang will be the first to die. Max’s desperate desire to protect Fang brings the two closer than ever. But can the team weather the storm, or will the turmoil rip them apart for the last time?
[Summary taken from Goodreads]

The Flock is back, this time in the spotlight. They are sent on a charity run to Africa, trying to bring attention to the plight of the people living there without the basic things needed to survive. Unfortunately, the trip isn’t as flawless as everyone expected it to be. Throw in a [possibly] mad-scientist and a prophecy about Fang’s impending doom-well, no one can be very cheery after that.
Then, there’s Dylan. The new bird kid on the block. What’s his purpose? Is he really like the Flock? And Max has to deal with the fact that he keeps proclaiming he’s her ‘perfect other half’.
I love the Max Ride books, but I think they’ve been going downhill for a while. I wasn’t super-excited to read this, but I knew that I would eventually. I also know I’m going to read the next book [whatever it is, and whenever it comes out-if anyone knows, please tell me!] but I wasn’t overly impressed with this. When an author flat-out tells you in the summary that one of the major characters that has the love of so many fans is going to die, they’re taking a huge risk. Kill someone off, annoy thousands. Don’t kill them off, contradict yourself.
You definitely have to read the book to see for yourself the fate of Fang. I thought the book was a nice, quick read. Definitely worth checking out, but don’t bend over backwards to get it.
There was nothing that really stood out to me in this book as really impressive or really annoying, but the one thing I didn’t like was how Angel was portrayed in this book. I don’t want to say I dislike her, but, well…There’s nothing else to describe it.
“Fang” gets 3/5 stars. It was pretty good, but nothing special.
Have you read/want to read any Max Ride books? Think I should continue reading the series? Want me to review any of the other books in the series? Comment below!

Runaway by Meg Cabot

24 May


“Runaway”
Author: Meg Cabot
Pages [Hardcover]: 310
Available Now!
Third book in Airhead trilogy. Reviews for Airhead, book 1, and Being Nikki, book 2.
Opening Lines: So according ot the tabloids, I’m on a secret love getaway [not so secret anymore now, thought, is it? Thank you, Us Weekly] with Brandon Stark, the only son and sole heir of billionaire Robert Stark, currently the fourth-richest person in the world, after Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Ingvar Kamprad [who founded IKEA, in case you didn't know].
Memorable Quote: “You know your Lamborghini is on fire, right?”
Favorite Character: Steven & Christopher & Lulu
Em Watts is on the run.
She’s on the run from school, from work, from her family, from her friends, from herself.
With everyone she loves furious with her for something she can’t explain, and nothing but the love Stark Angel fashion show on New Year’s Eve to look forward to, Em’s reached the end of her rope . . . what’s the point of even going on?
But when she discovers the truth about Nikki’s secret, she knows there’s only one person she can turn to.
Will Christopher be able to put aside his personal feelings and help her expose her employer to the world? Is it even fair to get Christopher involved-since if he agrees, there’s every chance that Stark Enterprises will try to have them both killed-this time, permanently.
[Summary taken from book jacket]

“Runaway” was the third and final installment of the Airhead trilogy. This book was good, and I really enjoyed it, but it was just…missing something. I don’t know what. Anyway. I’d recommend it despite that.
This book finally lets the reader know what Stark has been conspiring about. And though it isn’t entirely that surprising, it’s shocking and I think Meg Cabot created a great plot twist by adding this in the mix.
Christopher and Emerson annoyed me at some points. I wanted them to each get other themselves, but they couldn’t see past their own problems to the person that they said they loved standing before them.
That was probably one of the biggest criticisms I have, and as you can tell that isn’t saying much. I love that characters, the orignality of adding science fiction to overdone celebrity teen romance. Meg Cabot has taken this overused idea and added her personal spin on it, which I think ended up with a fantastic result.
“Runaway” gets 4/5 stars from me. I think you should definitely read it, along with the first two books, “Airhead” and “Being Nikki” I would have to say that, out of the three, “Being Nikki” was my favorite.

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

19 May


“The Hunger Games”
Author: Suzanne Collins
Pages [hardcover]: 374
Available now
Opening Lines: When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim’s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course, she did. This is the day of the reaping.
Memorable Quote: “You’ve got about as much charm as a dead slug.”
Favorite Character: Rue  & Peeta
This is the first book in a trilogy, the second of which is “Catching Fire”, available now, and the third, “Mockingjay”, comes out August 24th.
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place.
[Summary taken from Goodreads]

That summary is short and sweet. It explains the book perfectly, but I’ll summarize it in further detail now. Katniss Everdeen [a nice, memorable name, as I'm usually scrambling to remember them even seconds after I finish] has lived all 16 years of her life in the Seam, the poorest section of District 12, the poorest district. Ever since the failed rebellion of the 13 Districts against the Capital, resulting in the complete eradication of Distract 13, the remaining 12 districts have been forced to compete in The Hunger Games. One boy and one girl, between the ages of 12 and 18, from each district is sent to the Capital to battle it to the death. One is victorious and brings prizes-and, most importantly, the reassurance of food, to their district.
District 12 hasn’t had a victor for over 30 years.
Katniss is a hunter, searching the woods with her partner Gale for prey. This offense is punishable by death, but a bullet to the head is nothing compared to the alternative of starving to death.
After years of struggling to keep her younger sister, Prim, alive, Katniss is devastated when her sister’s name is pulled to join The Hunger Games. So she volunteers to take her place.
Sent on a whirlwind journey to the Capital, accompanied by the boy from District 12, Peeta [who happened to save her life once before and now she's being forced to battle to the death with him] and Haymish [her mentor, lifeline in the Games, and who is drunk nearly 24/7].
Let the Games begin.
Okay, I don’t know why, but for some reason I thought of this as a book geared toward children when I picked it up. I know, crazy. Because there is so much violence and action in this, it can’t be for anyone under the teenage years. Once that was established, I was more than happy to begin. I’ve been meaning to read it for a while and have heard nothing [NOTHING] bad about this book. I was not disappointed at all!
To start off, Katniss is a very likeable character, if a little harsh. But that’s to be expected, fending for your family after your father dies. She is very independent, doesn’t take no for an answer, and isn’t afriad to stand up for herself. I loved reading from her point of view.
There were several points of this book that could have turned very, very cliche. Because, I mean, Katniss is the main character. That means she can’t die-right? Well, you have to read to find out, because luckily Suzanne Collins saved the day by crafting interesting plot twists that took the book to new levels and leaving me hungry [haha] for more.
This book was addicting from the start. I started it Saturday night, and finished it today, Wednesday. If it wasn’t for school, this would have been finished much earlier. I’m already itching to read the next one, while “The Hunger Games” only ended for me mere hours ago! I need to get to a book store…
“The Hunger Games” gets 5/5 stars. It is excellent and should be read be anyone and everyone.

What are you reading Monday

17 May

Once again, it’s Monday. This week went by so quickly, but I managed to get in some reading along the way.
 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 These Boots are Made for Stalking, The Hunger Games, and Runaway.

I’m probably going to start Archenemy and A Conspiracy of Kings.

“Being Nikki” by Meg Cabot

14 May


“Being Nikki”
Author: Meg Cabot
Pages [hardcover]: 336
Avaiable now
Opening Lines: I’m cold. I’m freezing, actually. Waves are crashing against the backs of my legs, and the water, which this afternoon had been a warm turquoise, has turned an icy black.The rocks to which I’m clinging are cutting into my fingertips and the bottoms of my feet. They’re slippery as a glacier, but I can’t let go or I’ll fall into that frigid water, in which-no exaggeration-sharks are swimming beneath me.
Memorable Quote: Great. Now I was starting to get jealous of myself.
Favorite Character: Christopher & Em

Things aren’t pretty for Emerson Watts.
Em was sure there couldn’t be anything worse than being a brainiac in the body of a teenaged supermodel.
But it turned out she was wrong. Because that supermodel could turn out to have a mother who’s gone mysteriously missing, a brother who’s shown up on her doorstep demanding answers, a former best friend who’s intent on destroying Stark Enterprises to avenge the death of his lost love, and a British heartthrob who’s written a song about her that’s topping the charts.

How can Em balance all that with school, runway shows, and weekend jaunts to St. Johns — especially when she’s got ex-boyfriends crawling out of the woodwork who want more than just a photo op; a sister who is headed to the high school cheerleading championships; a company she represents that seems to be turning to the dark side…
Not to mention trying to convince the love of her life that models aren’t really airheads after all…especially one model in particular.
But then, nobody said it was going to be easy being Nikki.
[Summary taken from Goodreads]

“Being Nikki”, the second novel in the Airhead trilogy, follows Em Watts, now Nikki Howard, as she struggles to accept the new lifestyle that was given to her by Stark Enterprises. I was excited to read this book, and now I’m even more anxious to read the third [and final] Airhead novel. This sequel gives the reader more information on Nikki Howard’s past. I  loved finding out how Nikki Howard grew to be so famous and how the people she interacted with before the accident previously thought of her [most people agree she's "much nicer now"].
Christopher, Em’s best friend who doesn’t realize she’s alive [literally] sounds way more attractive in this book and is a stronger character than before. He makes a bigger appearance and you’ll learn a few secrets about him along the way.
Brandon, Nikki Howards sometimes ex-boyfriend, really annoys me in this book. I guess he’s supposed to, but I wish he’d just go away! Haha, but I don’t have any control over that, unfortunately.
Lulu, Nikki’s loftmate, sounds like the ideal best friend. I’d love to hang out with her some time.
“Being Nikki” gets 5/5 stars. If I could, I’d give it 6/5. I haven’t been this impressed by a book in a while. Everyone
should definitely check it out!

Look out soon for my review for “Runaway”, the third and final book of the Airhead trilogy.

This counts for one of my current challenges, the “Chick Lit Challenge”! For more information, click on the Challenges tab on the very top right of the site. 1/8 now completed.

“The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger

13 May

 
“The Catcher in the Rye”
Author: J.D. Salinger
Pages [paperback]: 277
Available now
Opening Lines: If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
Memorable Quote: What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.
Favorite Character: Holden or Phoebe
Holden Caulfield is kicked out of Pencey Prep-the fifth school he’s been expelled from. Afraid of facing his parents’ disappointment, he sets out on his own for a few days, visiting old friends and having an eccentric adventure.
—-
No, I did not read this of my own free will. My school forced me to, but it was pretty good. Holden is a bolder, more forceful, and more aggressive character than most classic books feature. Of course, it was easy to see why this book is among those most often banned from schools. Holden is not the ideal rolemodel, filling the novel with underage drinking, cigarette smoking, and fights with other guys, among other things.
So, having a unique protaganist is a definite plus. His interactions with the other characters were interesting. His little sister, Phoebe, seemed so cute and innocent. I loved how Holden was so protective of her, and other children. It was like that was his one vulnerable point, that let’s the reader see through his thick outer shell.
The book was just lacking something for me. It was nothing special.
“The Catcher in the Rye” gets 2/5 stars.

A few new challenges

10 May

I’ve been slacking lately on my challenge, so I decided to start a few more.
One is the Jane Austen challenge, hosted at the Life (and Lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object. Click on the picture below to get to the challenge. I’m planning on trying the “Lover” level. I have to read 4 books by J. Austen, and 4 re-writes, prequels, sequels, or spoofs (by other authors).

I’ve also signed on for the 2010 Chick Lit Challenge. You have to read 8 Chick Lit books throughout the year. This shouldn’t be too hard, as I’m constantly reading that sort of book.

And last but not least, the 2010 EW Summer Books Challenge. It looks like great fun, and I can’t wait to begin it.

Once I’m finished one of the three challenges I’m currently doing, I’ll search for more.

For more information on the books I’m reading for each challenge, click on the Challenge tab at the very top right of the blog. For more info on each seperate challenge, visit the link and contact the host.

“Loath Letters” by Christy Leigh Stewart

10 May


“Loath Letters”
Author: Christy Leigh Stewart
Illustrator: Megan Hansen
Where I got it: Free in ebook edition from the author
Available now
There are no opening lines, as this is a collection of very short stories.
Memorable Quote:
Favorite Short Story:
If you’re looking out for a book of short stories that will amaze, confuse, horrify, and astound the reader while making them uncomfotable yet unable to tear their eyes away, this is the book for you. This stories are not your typical happy endings. Most are not happy. Some are not endings-only snippets of the character’s life. These are unfiltered views of humanity, not for the weak minded or faint of heart.

This book-well, ebook, is unlike any other that I can rememeber reading, in a good way. It startles and frightens the reader, but it’s not your typical happy love filled endings. It’s set apart from all else, can’t be judged by other books.
I thought it was very enjoyable. It was an eye-opener and was unique, above all else.
Though some stories were shocking and gruesome, they’re truthful, and unafraid to hold anything back.
The artwork, added in after every few stories, was fantastic and I loved it.
This collection of stories is something I definitely recommend.
“Loath Letters” gets 4/5 stars from me.
A little warning-some of these stories are too graphic and such for some readers.

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