Sunday, October 28, 2012

Book Haul (75) & Stacking the Shelves (5): I AM BACK!

I AM BACK!
Hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

Book Haul:
I am crazy. I decided that I wanted to make a video for my book haul and decided to not show my face or use my voice. So. This took a while actually and I had to find the books I got for the past few days (weeks?).

Fan Girl by Helen Keeble
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
The Turning by Francine Prose
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Dark Eden by Patrick Carmen
Dark Eden 2: Even of Destruction by Patrick Carmen
Feedback by Robison Wells
Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gahnon
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
Easy by Tammara Webber
Ask The Passengers by A.S. King
Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Secrets of My Hollywood Life: Paparazzi Princess by Jen Calonita
Graceling by Kristin Cashore 
In My World:
  • I watched all of Sex and the City as of tonight (Saturday night). I love this show. That is all.
  • I am now obsessed with Awkward, a show on MTV that I can actually stand. It's funny and real and well written and I can't decide between Matty and Jake. Therefore, it's probably the first love triangle I actually, totally love. Thanks to i eat words and Katie for convincing me! If you're wondering, I am 4 episodes away from finishing season 2 and I began watching them...on Thursday, the 25! 
  • ACTs are over! Yahoo! How did I do? I have NO IDEA. I'm scared and worried and sorta free. I say "srota" because I take the SATs in December (I JUST SIGNED UP!) so I will be studying during November. Like my teacher said "The SATs and ACTs are an assurance for willingly spending time at school on a Saturday to guarantee another 4 years of school." 
  • November is NaNoWriMo! I am SO stocked for this year! I have a plot and characters and I'm super excited! 
In My Book World:
Read
I don't even remember! 
Currently Reading: 
Easy: Not bad but not amazing. I think I might actually enjoy this book even though I have some issues with it. 
Where it Began: Oh, Gabby. She's the MC of this book and she's one of those characters that I want to continuously slap until she snaps out of her day dreams. 

What books did you get this week?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Gilt by Katherine Longshore
Release Date: May 15, 2012 
Publisher: Viking Juvenile 
Source: Library 
In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free-- and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty's now caught between two men--the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.
Review: 
I LOVE the Tudors. I mean, seriously, I LOVE them! I'm sure it was in the fourth grade when I first heard about Catherine Howard and Henry VIII of England and that was when I began hating Catherine. For those of you who know nothing of the Tudors, look them up because there is a lot to know about them! So along those lines, Gilt by Katharine Longshore was a perfect read into the life of Catherine Howard that went into all the scandals. It's long, yes, but it flies by really fast because you get seeped into the scandal and constant change and the lives of Catherine and Kitty.

I don't like characters who seem to have no backbone whatsoever and our Kitty seemed to be that girl. Did I like her? Yes, I did! Did I want her to stand up for herself? YES TIMES A MILLION. But you know, Kitty reminded me if my friend: fiercely loyal, determined and a very nice person that people used and treated horribly. Often times, I wanted to hug her because back then, if you were someone in the social classes, you didn't get rid of it. Kitty was someone because of Catherine and Kitty would literally have nothing if Catherine left her so Kitty had to get used to Catherine. A lot of the plot focuses on how Catherine's life and marriage to Henry VIIl impacted the monarchy and Kitty as well. A lot of Catherine's scandals were mentioned and you get a great feel for the type of person she was.

You all should know how much I love a romance. While I felt the the romance was rushed in Gilt, taking in the historical context, it fit the period. Many people didn't live beyond 30 (some obviously lived longer) so things happened quickly. Most women didn't have a love marriage either; the marriages were arranged between the girl's father and a man so it was refreshing (and well, OBVIOUS) that there was a romance.

I loved Katherine Longshore's writing. I mean, really, I loved it. I flew through the book because her writing kept me so engaged. Yes, I liked the plot and the characters too but the writing is the glue that puts everything together and makes the book THE BOOK. Her way of weaving words together was really well done and I loved it!

All of that said, I did feel that Gilt didn't have a lot of substance. While I liked the characters and the plot, it didn't go very deep into the characters actions or motivation or emotions. It was all on the surface which really made for a quick read.

Overall, I liked Gilt a lot. Did it have issues, yes it did but what book doesn't? Gilt was an enjoyable read with lots of scandal and lost loves and even some hilarious events. The majority of the time you want to slap Catherine and give Kitty a hug. While on the longer side of books, Gilt is surprisingly a quick read.
Rating:
3.5/5
Cover Comments: 
Er. No. Just no. I love the font but the rest of the cover? Just, what were they thinking?! 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hiatus

For those of you who are seniors right now in America (and maybe in other parts of the world?) or you are now in college, you know how busy October and November can get for a senior. So. I've decided to go on a hiatus until after October 27. I have to take ACT on the 27th and I need to just cram in any last minute studying. I also have college apps to get done so I need to focus.

I am going to try and schedule some posts for the next few weeks but I'm not going to be doing much else by studying, apps and school work. I know. I'm a nerd. But I gotta focus on my school work right now!

I will be back with books read and posts written and ready to go!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Princess Like Message

In a society where being uber skinny is in, where you can be called a slut or be shamed for being a virgin, where you are treated as a lesser being to a man, where you are made to feel worthless, sometimes, it's nice to see a positive message:  
I was surfing through my TV channels and I came across Disney Channel. They were playing Wizards of Wavery Place and since I actually liked that show, I decided to watch it. When this commercial came on, I watched it and by the end of it, I was teary eyed.

There is so much going on in politics and the world and society surrounding women. I wonder if these people ever stopped to think how this affected young girls? Well, in the midst of all of this negativity, I loved this little ray of positivity. 

Review: Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman

Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
Release Date: February 17, 2011 
Publisher: Dial  
Source: Author 
When high school junior Natalie-or Dr. Aphrodite, as she calls herself when writing the relationship column for her school paper-is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, she decides to investigate what guys really think and want. But the guys in her class won't give her straight or serious answers. The only solution? Disguising herself as a guy and spending a week at Underwood Academy, the private all-boy boarding school in town. There she learns a lot about guys and girls in ways she never expected-especially when she falls for her dreamy roommate, Emilio. How can she show him she likes him without blowing her cover?
Review: 
I have wanted to read Babe in Boyland since I heard about it last year. I knew it was going to be a light, fun times read yet it was more enjoyable than I thought. It's not the most unique plot (you've seen it all before) but it's a book that will make you laugh and it's a good read!

Babe in Boyland reminded me of She's the Man because they had the same plot idea but it was more like Never Been Kissed. Babe in Boyland is about Natalie, an advice columnist at her school's newspaper and after giving bad advice, she decides to figure out how guys really thing. Going undercover seems like the best option but the week at an all boys boarding school is harder than it seems. I'm going to admit that I knew pretty much everything that was going to happen but that didn't take away from the amusement. Babe in Boyland turned out to be a book where you knew everything that was going to happen but it was still fun to read!

Natalie was a great character to read about. She's funny and quirky and is able to laugh at herself, which was surprising and refreshing. She's willing to do whatever it takes to get. Good report for her reader and her adventures were fun to read about! Her two best friends Darcy and Chloe were fantastic too. Always there for Natalie, the girls helped her get though an entire week as a boy! Also, I liked how they would get into an argument, fight, and even ignore each other but they ended up as friends again. It was a really strong friendship that I loved to read about!

Emilio was a pretty great guy but I wasn't completely in love with him. At times, he seemed really defensive and while I understood that it was his sisters, I didn't think he needed to get so strung up. For example, when "Nate" is hesitant to go out with Emilio's sister, Emilio automatically assumes it's because "Nate" doesn't like Mexican girls. At this point, I just wanted to shake my head. BUT that said, I did like Emilio. He was sweet and sensitive and well, a thither guy!

So, overall, Babe in Boyland was a fun, cute book. I read it when I was bored and it was just what I needed!
Rating:
3.5/5
Cover Comments: 
Ah, well, this cover is simply meh. I like the mustache and how it matches the book but it seems all so...stereotypical. It's nothing new and nothing special really. 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Release Date: February 14, 2012 
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers 
Source: Library  
"Let me make it in time. Let me meet Shadow. The guy who paints in the dark. Paints birds trapped on brick walls and people lost in ghost forests. Paints guys with grass growing from their hearts and girls with buzzing lawn mowers."

It’s the end of Year 12. Lucy’s looking for Shadow, the graffiti artist everyone talks about.

His work is all over the city, but he is nowhere.

Ed, the last guy she wants to see at the moment, says he knows where to find him. He takes Lucy on an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls.

But the one thing Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.
Review: 
Australian authors, what is in your waters that makes all of you such amazing writers? I have yet to read a book by an Australian author that has not become one of my favorite books ever. Graffiti Moon is a short book packed with emotions, laughs, good writing, excellent characters, and art. It will leave you with a feeling of hollowness because you will miss Lucy and Ed and their night time adventures so much.

Let's talk about Lucy and Ed. We spend 24 hours in 260 pages with them and I have never fallen so hard for characters in such short pages. Lucy and Ed feel like your friends. You feel their emotions and their turmoils and pretty much everything and you get invested in their adventures. Their slow friendship and eventual romance is one of the best I've read in a while. And no, it's not insta love. They have a history which you will find out more as you read. It's slow and burning and you can feel the tension but it never feels rushed or wrong. There isn't much more I can say about Lucy and Ex except for the fact that I loved them both.

I have to mention Cath Crawley's writing. Oh my word, I LOVED IT. It was lyrical and beautiful but simple (not hard to leave) and her diction (word choice) made this book fly by! She had this great ability to write her characters with their own personalities in 260 pages which is hard to do. Really, guys, Australian authors are brilliant. She also managed to make a plot that goes over 24 hours very entertaining and interesting. A lot can happen in 24 hours, guys and Cath Crawley makes a most of it.

I will stop rambling but overall, I loved Graffiti Moon. It's just as brilliant and fantastic as people have been saying. You will fall in love with Lucy and Ed and the night life. Readers will also realize that a lot can truly happen in 24 hours.
Rating:
5/5
Cover Comments: 
I actually love this cover a whole lot! There is just something about it that fits this book perfectly. It might be the font and the splattered paint or the two people in the image. Maybe it's the lights in the center but I love it all! 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Top Ten Unread Books on My Shelf

 is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish
This weeks theme is: 

THROW BACK! Choose an old topic that you missed or want to do again! 
I chose: 

Top Ten Unread Books On My Shelf 

The Demon King: I love fantasy but I am scared that I might not like these books as much!
Mostly Good Girls: I've heard wonderful things about Leila Sales but I just haven't picked up this book!
Nightshade: So many mixed reviews have really put me off. Maybe one day I will read it!
Cracked Up To Be: Being the big contemporary lover that I am, I should have read Courtney Summer's work much earlier but maybe this fall I can read them?
Please Ignore Vera Dietz: Oh, this book. I was so happy when I found it at my library's sale but I have been so afraid to read it. There is a sense of mystery behind a book you've heard is good and one you know you will love but have not yet read. 
The Probability of Miracles: It's been on my self for a while now but I just don't know if I can handle it right now, you know? 
Sisters Red: I really need to get on the bandwagon with Jackson Pearce's books but I have yet to read this one! 
Shiver: I have Shiver and Linger but I've never actually read either. I'm not sure why. 

So, yeah, I only found eight! I can't really think of any at the top of my head right now!

What is your Top Ten Tuesday? 
Leave a link in the comments and I'll be sure to visit! 

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Book Haul (74) & Stacking the Shelves (4)

Hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

Book Haul:
The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech (for review: THANK YOU HARPER): YOU GUYS. IT IS THE LATEST SHARON CREECH! I jumped up and down and screamed a little when I got this book!
Winter White by Jen Calonita (for review: Thanks Little, Brown)
What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton (for review: Thanks Little, Brown) 

Week In Review: 
Review: Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook 
Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Older Books to Not Forget 
Traveling In YA: Italy 
Discussion: No More Love Triangles PLEASE! 

In My World:
  • Watched Sex and the City, the movie, on Friday and I remembered how much I loved that show. Now I'm in the mood for more!
  • I've realized that I like movies and shows that have a woman who wants to be a writer. For instance, Beauty and the Briefcase, Confessions of a Shopoholic, Never Been Kissed. What other shows or movies do you guys know? 
In My Book World:
Read
Currently Reading: 
Um, dunno. 

What books did you get this week?

Saturday, October 06, 2012

No More Love Triangles PLEASE!

I’m pretty sure everyone who reads (or watches TV or movies) knows what a love triangle is so I’m not going to take time to explain it. In YA, there is ALWAYS a love triangle present. The majority surrounds a girl who is torn between two guys. But I’m not the biggest fan of most of these love triangles. Besides the fact that it is technically considered cheating (in my opinion), they are overdone and not realistic at all. More so, they’re not really good love triangles. I have three simple reasons as to why I can’t stand most of them:

1) Not realistic:

I don’t think I have ever really seen a YA type love triangle in real life. In YA, the majority of the time both of the guys who are involved with the same girl know of the other. It’s the whole “alpha” guy thing. For example, Jace knows about Simon (even if it’s not really a love triangle), Ren *I think* knows about Shane, and so on. But my question is: do they ever fight the other? In real life, the closest thing to a love triangle I’ve seen is when a girl (or guy) dates two guys at the same time. Lets take a guy who is dating two girls at a time, though, since it’s less common.

  • From what I’ve seen, if one of the girls finds out about the “other girl,” they will attack in some sort of way. Whether it be through words or looks or even fists, most girls will not be okay with her boyfriend dating another girl. Love triangles in real life aren’t as wonderful as they are in book.

But you say: that’s the thing about books. Unrealistic things can be a part of book. I agree. But does it have to be in seemingly every single book? It goes really well with my second point:

2) A love triangle is added to second book to move plot but nothing else

You know this is true. It happens all the time and I’m so tired of it. Really, honestly tired. Unless the new guy actually has a chance, I know that he or she is there just to move the plot forward. Maybe add a climax or something. Yet I’m not to sure how much this actually helps. Sure it creates tension but most of the time, it takes away from the real plot. The girl will become too focused on which guy to choose to worry about saving the world.

Also, I think it is ridiculous to say that it’s okay for a girl in a book to kiss one guy in one scene and another some other time. And no, most girls don’t do this all the time in high school. I understand the need to date people in high school but I personally don’t see why one person needs to date two people at the same time. I my opinion, this is wrong. Someone will honestly get hurt and to say that it’s the character’s way of getting to know him or herself better is almost selfish.

3) It’s not really a love triangle

Yes, there are two love interests and the protagonist is seemingly stick between them. But this doesn’t make it a triangle. In my opinion, it’s a love triangle when both love interests have a chance with the protagonist. That is what makes a good love triangle and it seems to be very rare. As a reader, do you have a hard time trying to figure which love interest is the best one for the protagonist? Is one guy there for more than just a plot twist? Or is he simple there to highlight the traits of the other love interest? Those are the questions I ask when I see a love triangle to determine how I feel about it. I don’t want to be able to decide who I want the protagonist to be with within pages.

I’ve noticed that the new guy (or girl) is introduced in the worst way possible. Sometimes during the “climax” of the book or one of the guys is a complete jerk. Here are some examples:

Mortal Instruments: 

When Simon is introduced, he is Clary’s best friend and pretty much a nerd. Clary doesn’t think of him as anything but a best friend. Jace on the other hand is introduced as a badass fighter who is gorgeous and a bad boy, completely irresistible. Clary is infatuated with him on sight. Simon never had a chance now did he?

Nightshade: 

We don’t even meet Ren to know that Calla doesn’t care for him. He’s a jerk and a total not-hot bad boy and he apparently doesn’t care for Calla. On top of that, it’s an arranged relationship with no one would want. Shane automatically becomes the perfect choice. I haven’t read the books but this is what I’ve heard.

The Hunger Games: 

Ah, yes. The infamous love triangle. In the beginning, there isn’t much love between Katniss and Gale or Katniss and Peeta. Katniss and Gale are strictly best friends and Katniss only pretends to be in love with Peeta. As the story progressed, one of them fell of the face of the earth and well, we knew who she would end up with.

Firelight trilogy:

 I have yet to read Vanish or Hidden but I did read Firelight. For the beginning, Cassian is the bad guy. Jacinda is supposed to be with him but her sister is in love with Cassian. Cassian is the jerk and the reader will begin to dislike him. Jacinda ends up falling in love with a human boy, who compared to Cassian is the better choice. I have no idea what happens or whom Jacinda is going to be with but we can guess can’t we?

So, there they are. Three simple reasons as to why I don’t like most love traingles. Some I know and I’ve heard are good:

Summer Trilogy: 

Jeremiah or Conrad? I honestly didn’t know.

Unearthly: 

I haven’t read this but everyone is saying that the MC could be with either boy!

I’m sure there are more but these two are the only two that pop out to me. Now, it’s your turn.


What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Traveling in YA: Italy!

Today, we are traveling to:

The Eternal City aka Rome and Italy in general 

Italy is such a great county that has so much rich history! From fights to the Pope to Rome and the Roman Gods to the canals of Venice, Italy would be such an amazing place to visit! You not only get amazing food form there (pizza, spaghetti) but you also get THE OLYMPICS! And who can forget THE Leonardo da Vinci?! But that's not all! Italy is also a great place to study and they are quiet on top of the fashion world so you can always go shopping there! 

The Books:

And if all of that wasn't enough, here are some amazing sites to see around Italy that might get you even more excited to visit! 

Sites to See

Fontana di Trevi, Rome  
Colosseum, Rome 
Palazzo Pitti, Florence 
Ponte Vecchio at night, Venice  
Heart of Italy, canals, Venice 
Venice 
Verona 

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Top Ten "Older" Books To Not Forget

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

Top Ten "Older" Books to Not Forget 
*I listed books I've read and loved and I wish more people will continue to read!
These are books I continue to read and recommend to people, no matter what they do or don't like.*
 
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