Friday, July 31, 2015

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the pic.

I just love this image for some reason.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

The Jewel
(The Lone City #1)
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Hardcover, 358 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Dystopian

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

My Review

I must say that I was expecting this book to be absolutely terrible after all of the bad things I had heard about it, but honestly, it was good. Not fantastic, not downright awful, just good.

Violet is a special girl with special powers, so she is forced to be a surrogate for a royal Jewel household. As soon as she is sold to the Duchess of the Lake, she knows her life is not going to be easy. The Duchess is one mean old bat. (Actually, I don’t think she’s that old, I just pictured her as old in my head.)

Violet isn’t the greatest character ever. For one, her eyes are violet. I am not a huge fan of specially-colored eyeballs. Why can’t book characters have normal colored eyes, hmm? Anywho… She was a little whiny, and I didn’t understand why she was so special in regards to Lucien (you’ll see what I mean if you read the book), but she isn’t that bad of a character. She’s a little clueless, but what girl wouldn’t be if she was put into a situation as horrifying as human trafficking? And her romantic relationship with a certain someone makes complete sense when you put it into context with her predicament. While Ash and Violet seem to have an insta-love kind of connection, her attachment to him makes sense because she has no one else who really looks at her.

While the plot of this book didn’t have me jumping out of the edge of my seat, I was still intrigued. Some events were completely unexpected. I don’t think I ever really knew or guessed at what was going to happen in this book. However, I did notice a lot of parties and frou-frou stuff going on. I’m just not a huge fan of all of the parties. (**cough** The Selection series **uncough**)

There is one aspect of this book that I really, really enjoyed, though. But before I tell you, I just want to warn you that it may sound odd… I really loved how both sexes in this book are treated abysmally. Yes, the surrogates are treated like crap, but so are certain boys in this dystopian world. I was glad to see that this wasn’t just a hate-on-females kind of society. These royal scumbags are just equally sexist all around.

All in all, this book had a good plot with characters who could have been better. However, I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Kiera Cass’s works.

**Note: I purchased a copy of this book for myself.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

The Sword of Summer
(Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1)
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Hardcover, 528 pages, Disney-Hyperion
Genres: YA/Middle Grade, Paranormal

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

My Thoughts

I still haven’t read The Blood of Olympus yet. Or The Kane Chronicles, but this book just looks so cool. I’m excited.

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

DC 2016 Movie Trailers and My Thoughts

As most of you all probably already know, the trailers for DC’s Suicide Squad and Batman vs. Superman came out at San Diego’s Comic-Con. And I thought I’d share the two trailers on the blog so we can all share our thoughts.

I like the trailer for this one, but I’m still very skeptical about Ben Affleck as Batman. He just doesn’t fit the role now that I’ve seen Christian Bale as the Dark Knight (I’m just pretending the older movies and TV shows don’t exist because they don’t really compare). I do really enjoy Wonder Woman’s appearance, however. I wasn’t sure about the actress who plays her, but now that I’m seeing her, I’m digging it. What say you?

So Batman vs. Superman was the DC movie that was on my radar. I hadn’t really heard much about Suicide Squad, nor did I really care to. BUT when the trailer was released I was like “YES. So creepy. YES.” Harley Quinn kind of freaks me out and Will Smith is a little iffy for me, but all in all, I think I’m more excited for this movie than I am for Batman vs. Superman. OH! And the Joker looks awesome! Again, what say you?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Retribution of Mara Dyer
(Mara Dyer #3)
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Hardcover, 470 pages, Simon & Schuster
Genres: YA, Paranormal/Sci-Fi

Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.

Retribution has arrived.

My Review

Mara Dyer has not been having a good past couple of months. She’s been haunted by a supposedly dead ex-boyfriend, committed to a psych ward, and even been forced to start a new high school. But now, Mara might face her greatest challenge yet, escaping from a place that no one knows about and, more importantly, finding answers about who she is.

This last book in the Mara Dyer trilogy leaves no room for quiet thought. There’s one event after another, after another, and they keep piling on and building until… Actually, the events never really come to a reasonable and thought-out conclusion. Things just happen, and the reasons for them seem a little shoddy, especially since hardly any tangible answers are given.

Mara herself is similar to the plot. She doesn’t know what’s happening to her and she’s just not sure how to go about finding this out, so she does what every teenager who has developed bizarre powers does: she goes on a quest of sorts with some new and old friends to find out who she is.

The writing of the book is the typical haunting and peculiar type of writing Michelle Hodkin has always used in this trilogy to keep readers on the edge of their seats and it most definitely works. Despite the terrifying-ness and haunting-ness of Michelle’s words, this book was too easy. What does this mean? It means that Mara had no real trouble she had to encounter to get answers. Throughout the book it was apparent that if Mara and her crew wanted to figure something out, all they had to do was wait for me to turn two or three pages. They didn’t have to dig very deep. Additionally, things are just confusing at times. Yes, there’s a lot of action in this book, but that action is somewhat overshadowed by the fact that there is no apparent logic in the decisions and revelations that were sometimes made. There needs to be more drawn-out answers.

All in all, this series-ender is an action-packed, creepy story that, while it may have some holes in it,—much like Mara’s own mind—will provide a satisfying ending to the series.

**Note: I borrowed a copy of this book to review from the Book Review Board of Missouri.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Which Team Are You? : The White Rabbit Chronicles Edition

I basically just post a book series every week and have people vote on what team they are. I know the YA Sisterhood does the YA Crush Tournament, but I just want to find out how much you guys like one love interest over another, in one series.

Last week's poll was over A.G. Howard’s Splintered series. Team Morpheus won!

So for this edition of “Which Team Are You?” I’m going to ask you who your pick of hunky man-flesh is from Gena Showalter’s White Rabbit Chronicles. Now choosing your team this time is a little bit different, just because Cole is the main guy from the original series and Frosty is the guy from the upcoming spin-off which means I may end up doing this one again after Frosty’s book, A Mad Zombie Party, comes out.

You can choose from:

1) Cole

or 2) Frosty

I’m Team Cole! He’s so sexy! He has a nipple wring! And I just loves him lots! Although, I haven’t read Frosty’s book, so who knows? He might wow me.

If you had to choose one, who would it be, and why? If you haven’t read the books (And why not!?), who do you think sounds more appealing from the Alice in Zombieland summary (which favors Cole, oops) below:

She won't rest until she's sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. But that's all it takes. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real.

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn't careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.
Which Team Are You?

Which Team Are You?

Team Cole
Team Frosty

Poll Maker
***Please note that I stop checking the poll the Friday before the new poll comes out (on Sunday). Also, please only vote once so everyone’s vote counts, unless you need to vote for both guys. I give you permission to do that because sometimes choosing is tough.***

**Also note that these are not my images. I found them online.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Stacking the Shelves: The Large BRB Haul Edition

"Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme that is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

I borrowed some books from the Book Review Board of Missouri again. Two of them I’ve already read and reviewed, but I’m going to submit my reviews into their system, so they let me take the books.

The Tale of Gwyn by Cynthia Voight
Last Year’s Mistake by Gina Ciocca
In a World Just Right by Jen Brooks
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

I don’t know what I was thinking trying to borrow so many books. I still have three that I borrowed and haven’t reviewed yet. *sigh* The life of a book reviewer…

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the pic.

If a priest like that came to my house, I’d convert ASAP.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Never Fade
(The Darkest Minds #2)
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Hardcover, 512 pages, Disney-Hyperion
Genres: YA, Sci-Fi/Dystopian

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

My Review

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby. What have you gotten yourself into now, hmm?

Ruby has found a place where she thinks she can be relatively safe. She’s cut the most important person from her life and she’s ready to forget about him, for his own safety. Then his older brother shows up and ruins everything, now she has to go find the boy who can’t even remember who she is.

Basically, this book was alright. There was a lot of action and a lot of power usage, which is cool, but there wasn’t a lot of actual plot development. Things happened, but not enough to have me thinking that the story can be concluded reasonably in the last book. I feel like with how much information wasn’t really explained, the third book will just be something thrown together to resemble an okay ending. Does that make sense? It will kind of be like Mockingjay or Allegiant.

Now, the characters of the story are good. Ruby is the same Ruby she was in the first book and some new characters are introduced in the beginning that I enjoyed reading about, especially because they’re funny. And Ruby is most definitely not funny. And I’m still not sure if I really like her character or not. I’m thinking it’s more of a not. I must say that Cole is a great character to read about, though. *wiggles eyebrows suggestively*

One thing that does kind of annoy me about Ruby specifically is her aptitude for getting hurt. I normally don’t care if someone gets hurt in a post-apocalyptic young adult story, but Ruby is constantly getting injured. This wouldn’t have bothered me so much if she hadn’t gotten up and fought/ran/whatever right after she got injured. All of the other characters who were hurt were immediately incapacitated, but not Ruby. She could get up and fight off the bad guys while she was bleeding her last bleed. I just thought this wasn’t fair to the other characters. Bracken makes them seem like wimps when they most definitely aren’t.

Additionally, the plot of the story is confusing at first. The first chapter is from an “in the future” perspective of Ruby’s, yet the second chapter is back in the past, but the third chapter goes back to explaining the “in the future” stuff and bringing the first and second chapters together. There are no time stamps at the beginning of chapters for me to recognize that this was going to happen. It was, and is, terribly confusing. I almost had to stop reading because I was completely messed up.

The actual plot of the book is, as I mentioned, action-y. There aren’t any slow spots in the story. There’s just too much action and not a whole lot of explanation. I couldn’t understand the significance of certain events, so I felt like I was just barely grasping what was happening as it was playing out.

All in all, Never Fade is a good sequel that could have been better. It will take you on a road trip with butt-kicking and bada$$ery, but it might leave you scratching your head every once in a while.

**Note: I purchased a copy of this book for myself.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

Black Widow: Forever Red
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Hardcover, 304 pages, Marvel Press
Genres: YA, Paranormal, Romance

This novel features all the thrilling adventure readers will expect from the Marvel brand, backed up by the young-adult cred of #1 New York Times bestselling author Margaret Stohl. Uncover a new side of the Marvel Universe, accessible to old fans and new readers alike, as Stohl weaves an unforgettable story through the world of the Black Widow.

My Thoughts

I’m actually not sure about this one. I liked The Caster Chronicles, but I’m just not sure about how Stohl will transfer the lyrical writing style of that series over to a comic book-esque novel storyline. What do you think?

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bookshelf Pics 2015

I miss my books sometimes, guys. Why? Because they’re at my parents’ house while I’m in college and living in an apartment the size of my bedroom back home. That’s why. So in order for me to remember what I have and how my shelves look, I took some pictures. You’re welcome.

Shelf #1:

Shelf #2:

Shelf #3:

Shelf #4: