Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top Ten {36} Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With For 24 Hours

 is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Bookish Characters I'd Like to Be For 24 Hours 
I personally LOVE this topic except for I'd love to be these people forever you know! 

1) Hermione from Harry Potter Series: She's smart and feisty and if it wasn't for her, who knows what would have happened to Ron and Harry? I think this one is self explanatory!  

2) Lizzie Bennet from Pride and Prejudice: She's so ahead of her time and she funny and charming all at once. Her personality matches mine a lot, though I could never be as fearless as she is! And you know, Darcy? 

3) Katsa from Graceling: Can we call kick ass character? Katsa is so loyal to her friends and people she loves and she's not afraid to fight for what she believes in! Po anyone? 

4) Taylor from Jellicoe Road: A recent read of mine but I loved Taylor the first time I read about her. I want to go to her school and have all the land wars and be as strong as she is. Sure, she's gone through a lot but to be her for one day? She's a force to be reckoned with!  

5) Anna and the French Kiss: She's charming and funny and so down to earth! Plus, I'd LOVE to be in Paris for 24 hours (though I'd like it to be more!) 

6) Anne from Anne of Green Gables: Another recent read and man do I love this girl! She's so imaginative and funny and smart too. Plus, she gets Gilbert Blythe! 

7) Cameron from The Gallagher Girls Series: A long time favorite, I'd love to be a spy! I mean, since I first discovered these book way back when (2007 I think?), I wanted to have these adventures and meet cute spy boys. 

8) Mia from The Princess Diaries: I'll admit it: I have only read book 1 of this series but I LOVE the movies! So, I'd love to be this awkward, funny, and wonderful girl for one day. And, I mean, she's a PRINCESS. 

9) Kat from Heist Society: I was surfing through my reviews to see if I could find a book that stood out and this one did. Not only is Kat totally badass, she can be funny and weird and awkward and of course, Hale!

10) Jack or Annie from The Magic Tree House Series: YES! This is middle grade but holy cow, these two kids? THEY TRAVEL THE WORLD FROM A MAGICAL TREE HOUSE! What's not to love about that? This series is one of my all time favorites and I used to get the latest on I could when I was younger! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: Awkward by Marni Bates

Awkward by Marni Bates
Release Date: January 1, 2012 
Publisher: Kensington Teen 
Source: Library 
Mackenzie Wellesley has spent her life avoiding the spotlight. At Smith High, she's the awkward junior people only notice when they need help with homework. Until she sends a burly football player flying with her massive backpack and makes a disastrous - not to mention unwelcome - attempt at CPR. Before the day is out, the whole fiasco explodes on YouTube. And then the strangest thing happens. Suddenly, Mackenzie is an Internet sensation, with four million hits and counting. Sucked into a whirlwind of rock stars, paparazzi, and free designer clothes, she even catches the eye of the most popular guy at school. And that's when life gets really interesting...
I’ve been on a contemporary kick as of late and I’ve liked most of the ones I’ve read and Awkward was no exception! I’d heard only positive comments about this novel so I was eager to get my hands on it. Awkward was just as funny, quirky, and awkward as everyone said it would be. It’s worth your time to give this story of an awkward girl a chance. She’ll make you cringe, shake your head, and laugh throughout her funny tale of how she became famous!

Mackenzie, is without a doubt, AWKWARD. She can be insecure at times, especially when it comes to her crush (but than again, who ISN’T self-conscious around their crush in high school?) and the dreaded popular girl. Believe it or not, while the characters of this novel would seem clich├ęd, they’re not. Marni Bates has a way of making Mackenzie equally smart, equally funny, and well, equally awkward! As I read this story, I felt back for Mackenzie but then I rooted for her too. Some times I wanted to shake her and tell her what’s good is RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER and other times, I wanted to hurt her! As the story continues though, Mackenzie become stronger and more self aware than she was in the beginning. She’s gone through a lot and it’s shone her who her friends really are.

I just HAVE to mention the romance and the best friend. First of all, I called the guy that Mackenzie was going to end up with. He liked her throughout the novel; they had their share of banter and sexual tension but her love interest was a really nice guy. He cared about Mackenzie and they did have normal conversations and best of all: he wasn’t into her for her money. Corey and Jane, Mackenzie’s two best friends are the type of friends you want in your life: loving you no matter what and are always there for you. They had their own personalities and while they could have something going on with them, they never left Mackenzie all by herself. They always had her back. No backstabbing bffs in this book!

Marni Bates debut was a great book about a girl who’s awkward but she’s herself. I’m not sure how she did it but Marni Bates wrote Mackenzie to perfection; her voice and her personality shined through with Ms. Bates writing and I loved every minute of it. She got what being a real teenager was about and she didn’t hold back on anything.

Overall, I think everyone should read Awkward. It’ll remind you of your time in high school, the good and the bad. It’s a coming of age story in a very interesting situation that really tests how well someone knows their friends, their family and most of all, themselves. All the praise for this book and author was very well deserved!
Cover Comments: 
I actually like this cover. It's got a nice, teenagers feel to it and while there could have been much more done to it and all, I like it. 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Book Haul & Recap (67): Pierce, Graceling, and Unraveling

Book Haul:
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (Bought; not pictured)  
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (from sister) 
Alana: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (Bought) 
In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce (Bought) 
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce (Bought) 
Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce (Bought) 
Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce (Bought) 
Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce (Bought) 
The Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce (Bought) 
The Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce (Bought) 
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman (Review via Author) 
Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook (Library) 

Week In Review: 
Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund 
Random/Rant: Classic Re-Done with Sex 
Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Vivid Words/Settings 
"Waiting On" Wednesday 
Traveling in YA: Paris!
MG Review: Cold Cereal by Adam Rex 
Discussion: Personal Beliefs and Reading 
TGIF: Christmas in July 

In My World:
School is approaching really fast and I feel SO COMPLETELY UNPREPARED. It's senior year and while the school work isn't scary, I have to do loads of stuff for college which is SO NERVE WRACKING! I'm not sure of where I want to go and now I'm second guessing what I want to do because this effing economy is dictating all of this (if that made no sense to you, watch the news!) Ugh.

In My Book World:
A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont
Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Currently Reading: 

What books did you get this week?

Friday, July 27, 2012

TGIF(6): Christmas in July

TGIF is hosted by Ginger at GReads! and every Friday, she posts a question that we answer and link up with others!
This week's question: 
Christmas in July: If Santa were to come down your chimney in the middle of summer, which books would you want him to leave for you under the tree?
So, here are a few:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

MG Review: Cold Cereal by Adam Rex

Cold Cereal by Adam Rex
Release Date: February 7, 2012 
Publisher: Balzar+Bray 
Source: Publisher 
Cold Cereal Facts Serving size: 1 chapter
Number of servings: 40
Primary human characters: 3 (Scottish Play Doe, aka Scott possible changeling, Erno Utz genius, Emily Utz supergenius)
Magical creatures: at least 3 {Mick Leprechaun (or Clurichaun); Harvey Pooka (rabbit-man); Biggs indeterminate origin (hairy, large)}
Evil organizations: 1
Goodco Cereal Company, Purveyor of breakfast foods aspiring to world domination
Adventure: 75%
Diabolical Schemes: 40%
Danger: 57%
Legend: 20%
Magic: 68%
Humor: 93%
Puzzles: 35%
Mystery: 49%
Not a significant source of vampires.
May contain nuts.
Daily values based on individual interest. Reader's estimation of value may be higher or lower, depending on your tolerance for this sort of thing.
Cold Cereal is a funny, interesting, and normal book if you consider meeting a unicorn, a unicat, a 2-foot leprechaun in a red tracksuit, and a rabbit headed man normal! This book is simple and humorous but it has a sense of maturity to it. In this book the main characters include Scottish Play Doe aka Scott, his friends Erno and Emily Utz, and their suspiciously hairy housekeeper, Biggs. Scott, as the main character, is very interesting and I like him because though he may get scared easily he always has an adventure.

Erno and Emily are sister and brother and there characters are mostly relying on brain and smartness because their foster father Augustus Wilson (Mr. Wilson) always challenges them with puzzles and word games. Both the characters are very fond of each other except Erno is sometimes jealous of Emily because she always solves the puzzles first but tries hard not to show it and that’s what I like about Erno. That he always shows a good attitude. Emily is the smartest out of all of them and is very nice and I like that she is smart but she’s very different because see has ‘magic powers’ when she shows emotion which is, no offense, kind of weird. Now Biggs is extremely different because of his size, his amount of hair, and his apparent resemblance to Bigfoot. I especially like how Mr. Rex has a separate world and a human world and how they collide to pull this book together. This is a book worth reading and has a good sense of adventure and fantasy and normal in every word except the word “ clurichaun”.

I really liked this book and I read it in 2 days! It was different and I wasn’t expecting everything that I got from it but it was a nice surprise. I liked the characters because they were different and weird but awesome too.

This review was written by my 11 year old brother who will now occasionally be reviewing on this site!  

Traveling in YA: Paris!

One of the things I love most about reading is the fact that I can visit all sorts of places from my room by just reading a book. Not only real places, but fictional ones too! So, I was inspired by Top Ten Tuesdays: Most Vivid Worlds/Settings to share my favorite places I've wanted to visit because of books! So, Traveling in YA was born!**

So, where to first?

How about the magical, City of Light:
Now, as a member of the FFA (Future French Leaders of America; without the L of course!), a name coined by my ever so smart French 3 Honors classmates a few years back, I've always wanted to visit Paris! I did get a chance last summer but I couldn't go due to some family reasons. I have gone to the Paris Airport when I was on a connecting flight but that doesn't count of course! I'd love to see all the beautiful places in Paris: 
Notre Dame!
Arc de Triomphe
Luxembourg Garden
Le Louvre
Of course, there are lots of great places to go for good food and you can watch all types of movies! Be prepared to walk though since a lot of people walk in France in general. And yes, many do smoke! OH and French people do like to wear dark clothing!

Plus, Paris is a very fashionable city, no? Every time I think of Paris, I think of all the latest fashions that are in. Not only that but I also think of vintage clothing and pretty much all types of fashion!

After reading both of these awesome books, who didn't want to go to Paris? I mean, really, y'all? 
While both ladies give us: HOT FRENCH BOYS (even though one is American with a British accent), they also make Paris into a character itself! Paris is so charming and wonderful! 

So, DO YOU WANT TO GO TO PARIS? Have you read both of these books? 
*Better button to come!
**Yeah, worst title, I KNOW! Will see if I can come up with something better!
All royalty free images!

"Waiting On" Wednesday (72)

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

The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab 
January 22, 2013
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous—it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.
I loved The Near Witch, Victoria's debut novel and I've been easterly anticipating this book's release! Does it not look and sound SO EFFING GOOD?!
Mind Games by Kiersten White 
February 19, 2013
Harper Teen 
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.
That cover! This sounds like something different from Kiersten's Paranormalcy trilogy, which I loved. I can't wait to see how this one turns out!
Burning Blue by Paul Griffin 
October 25, 2012

How far would you go for love, beauty, and jealousy?

When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that--he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in--and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.

Award-winning author Paul Griffin has written a high-stakes, soulful mystery about the meaning--and dangers--of love and beauty.
I love how the "blue" of the title actually fits into the cover; it kind of blends in, don't you think?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday {35}:

 is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Most Vivid Book Worlds/Settings:
1) The World of Harry Potter: I mean REALLY?! Hogwarts, Hogsmead, Diagon Alley and every other place in this world is AMAZING! Reading these books, I felt like I was there with Harry, Ron and Hermione. No one can deny that J.K. Rowling is the Queen of world building. After reading this series, you will never forget this world. 

2) Middle Earth: Another one that I just couldn't NOT put on the list! I mean, really? If you haven't read the books, isn't the scenery in the movies amazing and breathtaking and unforgettable?  

3) Narnia: I think we all wanted to go through a closet and go to such a beautiful world, right?
4) Panem: So much variety! From District 12 to the Capitol, this world seemed to be its own character!

4) The Seven Kingdoms: I haven't read the books for A Game of Thrones but holy smokes, the world in the show! I LOVE IT! 

6) Space in Across the Universe: Who said space has to be boring with just stars and planets? And the space station was pretty awesome too, wasn't it?
7) The Seven Kingdoms from Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue: I LOVE THIS WORLD (and Po and Brigan....)There is so much going on in this world (and the Dells of course!) 

8) Paris in Anna and the French Kiss: I mean, COME ON guys! I needed some non-fantasy worlds in this list so this was my choice! 

9)The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making: When I think of superb world building, this book has to be on the list. If you've read the book, you know EXACTLY why Fairyland made it on my list! It's vivid and magical and so beautiful!  
10) Daughter of Smoke and Bone: I think the book started off really slowly and boring. I'm not currently reading it anymore but I will return to it. The world the Laini Taylor created in the real Prague is so....just, beautiful. It's mysterious and a little scary but beautiful none the less! 

Honorable mention: Goredd in Rachel Hartman's Seraphina: Not only is this one going to be one of my favorites of the year I LOVE THE WORLD that Rachel Hartman created! I mean, really y'all it's AMAZING! Very vivid and beautiful and there is so much too it! It's just bloody brilliant!