Thursday, June 5, 2014

[Book Review] The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Summary (from Goodreads): Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Author: John Green

Edition: Hardcover

Pages: 318

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Published: January 10, 2012 by Dutton Books

Reading Level: Teens

If you are from the age of 14-25 or just a reader aware of popular books, you’ve heard of The Fault In Our Stars at least once in the last two and a half years. With the movie coming out soon, the hype has increased in the last year. For the past couple of years with more and more books becoming movies, I’ve learned that I don’t really care for the really famous books. Maybe it has to do with everyone trying to tell me I’m going to love the book. So, rebel in me of course has to disagree. 
With that being said, I did like The Fault In Our Stars. However, I didn’t fall in love with it like everyone told me I would. It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, far from it, in fact, but it wasn’t a personal favorite. 

Plot: The plot is very unique. To start with, the book doesn’t have one character with cancer where the rest of the characters deal with it, but several characters who are living with cancer and their families dealing with it. What I really liked about that was that each of the character dealt with it in their own way. 
Another big part of the plot was Hazel’s love for Peter Van Houten. That’s kind of the part where I lost interest. While it does play a part in the love story later on, I felt like there was a lot of it in the beginning that kind of bored me.   

Characters: I really liked Hazel personality. She thinks outside of what life will be like if she dies and I tend to do that to. In a way, even though I didn’t really care for Augustus, I liked who she became with her relationship with him.   
I didn’t fall in love with Augustus the way I’ve fallen in love with other male fictional characters. Maybe it was because I read (or rather went back and forth between reading and listening to the audiobook on Youtube) the book in only a couple of days. I didn’t grow attached to him. 

Relationships: I really loved Hazel and Augustus’s relationship with their friend. They are silly together. They get each other. It works.
I also really love the relationship between Hazel and her family and Augustus with his family along with the families relationships with each other. 

Romance: If you’re a fan of romance, you’re going to love that aspect of the book. It’s heavily displayed throughout the entire book. Rather, it is the foundation of basically every storyline in the book. 
The romance is where I feel a lot of people love this story. It’s the reason why there is so much hype surrounded around the book (and now the movie). Even though the characters are going through a very rough time, the romance between Augustus and Hazel kept this as a feel good read.  


Movie Trailer:

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

[Book Review] Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Summary (from Goodreads):
They come first.
My vision was growing dimmer, the blackness and ghosts closing in. I swore it was like I could hear Robert whispering in my ear: The world of the dead won't give you up a second time. Just before the light completely vanished, I saw Dimitri's face join Lissa's. I wanted to smile. I decided then that if the two people I loved most were safe, I could leave this world.
The dead could finally have me.
Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir's Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.
Now the law has finally caught up with Rose - for a crime she didn't even commit. She's in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She'll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.
But the clock on Rose's life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back...and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?
Join Rose, Dimitri, Adrian, and Lissa in Last Sacrifice, the epic, unforgettable finale to Richelle Mead's international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series.

Author: Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy #6 

Edition: Hardcover

Pages: 594

Genres: Fantasy/Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance 

Published: December 7, 2010

Reading Level: Teens 

It’s the final book of the Vampire Academy series, so naturally, there’s going to be a lot of stuff happening. More problems are going to arise that will have to find a way to get resolved by the end of the book. Some of those problems won’t find their solution. That’s where I believe the Bloodline series comes to play.   


Looking back, there was so much character growth since book one. All of the characters, or most of them (you’ll understand once you read it), have found a way to be strong not only as a united group, but also as individuals.


I think it’s funny how Lissa and Rose’s friendship is one of my favorite fictional relationships yet they spend a majority of these books being torn apart. Maybe that’s part of the reason I like it so much. Even when they are apart, they have a really strong friendship. 

As far as relationships go, this was the hardest of the books to get by. There are two guys Rose could be with. Only one will end up with her. One of them is going to get their heart broken. That, in my opinion was really hard to watch. 
But at the same time, I felt like Rose ended up with who she was supposed to be. I won’t spoil who it is, but the Richelle Mead picked the right guy.  

I’ve come to really love Richelle Mead’s writing in the last year. Based on the internet following she has, I’m not the only one. That’s a lot of components about her writing that I love, but I think it all goes back to how strong her characters are.   

Hopes for Spin-Off:
I only know a list of things about the spin off. I know who the main girl is. I know who the love interest (or at least one of them) is. Other than that, nothing. I look forward to reading about it cause I feel like it’s gong to be a story of it’s own.   

Check out my reviews for the other book in this series. 

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy *1)

Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2)

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3)

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4)

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5)

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

[Book Review] Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Summary (from Goodreads):
Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong...

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri's birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives beyond the Academy's iron gates to begin. But Rose's heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won't rest until Rose joins him... forever.

Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #5 
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 489
Genres: Fantasy/Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance 
Published: May 18, 2010 
Reading Level: Teens 

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve hated the idea of staying still. So rather than have my sister yell at me because I didn’t do the dishes or fold the laundry, I’ve been doing it on my own as I should be. But I also knew I wanted to get through the Vampire Academy series as soon as possible.

I never really thought about listening to audiobooks until I learned that Molly Quinn who plays Alexis Castle on ABC’s Castle, voiced some of The Mortal Instrument books. With that idea in mind, I looked for the audiobook on Youtube and stumbled across a Youtuber who reads chapter by chapter in each video. It was perfect. When I was done with chores, I would find exactly where I was on my hardcover copy and jump straight in.   

So much happened in the fifth book of the Vampire Academy Series. Looking back at how it started and how it ended, it’s almost weird how much changed just in one book. With one thing that was solved, another problem would rise. 

The reader really gets to know more about Adrian than the previous three books he was in showed. Sure, the readers know his history and what status he has, but in Spirit Bound, the reader gets to know more about Adrian’s character. We get to see a softer side of him.
There’s also a different side of Lissa that is shown. In the other four books, it’s pretty clear that Lissa isn’t really a fighter. In Spirit Bound, she is forced to show that fighter and stronger side of herself. 

I’ve always said I’ve loved the Lissa and Rose friendship. Each book they prove more and more how much they are willing to do for each other. How far they will go just to help the other one out. A lot of that has been Rose doing things for Lissa. In Spirit Bound, Lissa does a lot for Rose.  

I’ve always been Team Dimitri. Even though I liked Adrian, I didn’t care for Rose and Adrian as much as I loved Dimitri and Rose. However, in showing more of Adrian’s softer side, Richelle Mead made me start to like the idea of Dimitri and Adrian.
The triangle was stronger than ever. During Frostbite there was a Dimitri/Rose/Mason triangle, but it was clear Dimitri was the front runner. Here it’s not so clear. Rose has a connection between both boys in two different ways.


Check out my reviews for the other books in the series:
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1)
Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2)
Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3)
Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4)

Here is the audiobook videos I was talking about:

And if you're new to the series, check out the first chapter of the first book:

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Friday, March 7, 2014

[Book Review] Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Summary (from Goodreads):
The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

Author: Sophie Jordan

Series: Uninvited #1

Edition: Hardcover

Pages: 384

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian

Published: January 28, 2014 by HarperTeen

Reading Level: Teens 

So, it a given that anything Sophie Jordan writes, I’m going to read. It’s an even bigger given that if it’s a YA book, I’m going to start reading it after I’ve bought it and in the car on the way home. 

I hate to admit this, but I’m not a fan of dystopian books (and by fan I mean it’s not my favorite genre because I’ve found myself liking a couple of them). So, when I heard Sophie Jordan was going to write one, I didn’t know how to feel about it because I knew it would be an awesome book if her name was attached to it.
Uninvited ended up being one of my favorite “dystopian” books that I’ve read. During her book launch party, Sophie Jordan referred to it as not being dystopian, but more pre-dystopian. That’s the perfect way to describe it. While it is in the future, it’s not too far off. 
I always like books that are set in Texas. Call it my weird way of relating to the book or whatever. I was 100% fine with it until half way into the book. 
“A ____ _______. At a mall and stadium in Houston.” 
Without giving away too much of the book, I’ll say that THAT was the sentence that made me close the book just for a little bit. The situation hit close to home. I got chills reading it. That just goes to say how good Sophie Jordan’s writing is.     

In the beginning, even before the reader find out about Davy’s “kill gene” the reader learns about her plans for her future. It almost felt like Sophie Jordan could have written a book about Davy without the kill gene and just going off to college and that would have been a good book too. She does it so well that when all her dreams start falling apart because of her newly discovered kill gene, I actually sorry for this person that didn’t really exist. 
I starting the book liking Davy’s relationship with Tori. Davy’s best friend seemed to be jealous of her spending so much time with her boyfriend. I liked where that was going. However, that changes very fast. 
I loved Davy’s relationship with her brother, Mitchell. There seemed to be an unconditional love between them that sometimes lighten the mood when things were dark with the rest of her family. 
I also loved Davy and Gil’s relationship. It was genuine from the very start and it’s obvious that they care a lot about each other. 

For a majority of the book, there isn’t really the lovey dovey romance. If you’re looking for a book where the characters are going to spend a lot of the time making out and telling each other how much they love one another, this isn’t it. However, if you’re looking for a book where there is lots of getting to know about one another as schoolmates/friends and dare I say sexual tension, this is perfect for you.
I’ll give you a *little* spoiler and how I reacted when I read it. When the two main characters finally do kiss, my sister just happened to be telling me something. I was so caught up in what was going on in the book, that I told her if she could please tell me once I finished the chapter. Luckily, as an extreme reader herself, she understood.  

Creative Way of Writing: 
It was the writing that really stuck out for me. 
Sophie Jordan has a way of writing that makes me want to continue reading. Usually, I pick up a book and it’ll take me about a month to read it cause well, I’m lazy at reading. The first night after I bought the book, I found myself on page 80 or so. I believe (and if I’m wrong and it was another author that said it, oops) Sophie Jordan once said that she likes when readers take their time to read her books. At the rate I was going, I knew I was going to finish fast. So, I had to put the book down for a couple of days. Then pick it back up. Put it down. That was pretty much how I went about it. 
I can’t really tell you what *exactly* it is about Sophie Jordan’s writing that is very fast paced about it. I guess you’re just going to have to find out for yourself. 


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Thursday, February 27, 2014

[Book Review] Pretty In Pearls by Tera Lynn Childs

Summary (from Goodreads):
Undersea romance with captivating merboys, deep friendship, and spectacular pearls.

Set in Tera Lynn Childs’ fin-flicking world that began with Forgive My Fins, this 100-page digital novella focuses on Periwinkle Wentletrap, Princess Lily’s best friend, and is perfect for fans of mermaids, light romance, and mythology retellings.

As Princess Lily’s emissary, Peri works hard to make sure her best friend knows all the goings on in the underwater kingdom of Thalassinia. The upcoming Sea Harvest Dance means plenty of fun for them, too, including shopping for jewels, trims, and dress making supplies. Peri especially loves the pearls she finds at Thalassinia’s marketplace—and she might be falling head over fins for Riatus, the thoughtful pearl trader who looks like a dashing pirate.

When Lily realizes her friend has a crush, she is determined to help them get together in time for the dance—except her matchmaking efforts backfire, sweeping Peri into dangerous depths and tangled in confusing tides. Should Peri give up on Riatus and find a different date to the Sea Harvest Dance, or will they finally find a way to float along the same current?

Author: Tera Lynn Childs

Series: Fins (Book #3.5)

Edition: ebook

Pages: 100

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mermaids

Published: January 7, 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books 

Reading Level: Teens 

Plot: Considering the novella was only a 100 pages, there was a lot of things that went on. When I heard Tera Lynn Childs was doing an e-book for her Fins series, I was expecting it to be as dark as it was. It was a nice surprise. 

That’s not to say that this is a dark book, because it definitely isn’t, but considering it was a short story, I thought there wasn’t a lot of room to make conflict. But then again this is Tera Lynn Childs and her writing is always amazing. 

Characters: Peri being Lily’s best friend gave readers just a fraction of insight as to who she is. There was more to her. I love how back and forth she was with her feelings for Riatus. Riatus is a character I wish I could read more of. I loved both Peri and Riatus’ characters when they interacted with each other. 

Relationships: I loved Lily and Peri’s friendship. Lily setting Peri up on a date was my favorite moment that the two of them shared in Pretty In Pearls. I’d love to read more stories that focused on their friendship.  

Romance: What I love about Tera Lynn Childs when it comes to her writing romance is the way she keeps her characters apart due to blank problem. A lot (and I mean A ALOT) of the YA books I’ve read put the couple together in the first 1/3 of the book then they must fight together to fix whatever blank problem they need to handle. 

Keeping the couple apart makes the story refreshing. It’s different from other books and so I like it. 

Way of Writing: I’ve always loved Tera Lynn Child’s writing. In Pretty In Pearls, I felt like Childs was able to explore the mermaid world in a way she hadn’t done before. She wrote about the mermaid world in her Fins books, but considering the entire novella was set there this time, she had to focus on it more. 

And since I hate reviews that come close to how long the book/story is, I’ll leave it with this:


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Friday, February 14, 2014

[Book Review] Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

Summary (from Goodreads):
The recent attack on St. Vladimir's Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose's neck, a mark that says she's killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters ... Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life's vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She'll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved? 

Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir's and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?

Author: Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy (Book #4)

Edition: Hardcover

Pages: 503

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Published: April 6, 2010 by Razorbill

Reading Level: Young Adult 

I’ve been reading the Vampire Academy for almost a year now. However, with the Vampire Academy movie now out, I’m making it my goal to read all six of the books as soon as possible.  

With that being said, Blood Promise was the hardest of the four that I’ve read so far to get through. It was a good book, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t like the first three books. 

Plot: One of the reasons I found it difficult to read was because Rose, the main character, was separate from the rest of the main characters. Because of the events of Shadow Kiss (book #3), Rose is left on her own for a majority of the book. 

Although Rose has to take her own journey apart from the people she cares about, I really like where he journey takes her. Here’s a little spoiler alert for those who have not read the book, Rose meets Dimitri’s family. Before this book, I didn’t even consider it something that would happen yet. After reading the book, I realized why Richelle Mead wrote that into the book. It was needed.  

Characters: The thing I love most about the Vampire Academy series is Rose’s sassy girl attitude. While that was another thing that changed in this book, I was still able to enjoy the characters. 

Dimitri’s character stood out for me in this book. Mead wrote his character in a way that it felt like this story was half in his point of view. He doesn’t really censor himself and it allows the reader to see what’s going on in his mind. 

Relationships: Rose and Lissa’s relationship took a strain in Blood Promise, but at the same time, it was because of that strain that I believe in book #5, I believe their relationship will be stronger. 

I love Rose and Adrian’s back and forth banter. I ship Dimitri and Rose so I don’t really see the romance side of it.  

Romance: Two romances are put to the test. I actually like it more like that. When it’s all happy and lovey dovey, it can get pretty boring. While, the two romances that are put to the test are put to the test in two very different ways, the core of their problems is a personality change given because of supernatural reason. It sounds complicated (and I like that), but it made the story come together in the end.

Creative Way of Writing: Since I started reading the first page of Vampire Academy, I’ve loved Richelle Mead’s writing. She is not afraid to go all in. She kills characters off that we love. She breaks our favorite couples up. Yet, she does it in a way that the readers (or at least myself) don’t hate her.

4 out of 5 stars for Blood Promise by Richelle Mead. 

Book Trailer:

Movie Trailer for Vampire Academy:

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Monday, January 13, 2014

[TV Review] 'Bitten' -- "Summons"

I will start off by saying that I have not read the books that this series is based on. However, depending how I like the rest of the season, I might have to reconsider that.


I probably wouldn’t have even heard about the show if it weren’t for Laura Vandervoort, one of my favorite Canadian actresses, being cast as the female lead. That would have been a shame.

Characters: Being that it was the first episode, I feel there is still a lot that has to be learned about the characters. Primarily I would love to find out all of the pack’s backstory. 

Relationships: I was actually just talking to my sister about this, but we both agreed that one of our favorite things that werewolves seem to always be portrayed as is loyalty towards their pack. That was actually one of my favorite things about the pilot episode. Logan and Elena’s relationship was my favorite of the episode.

Romance: I’m pretty sure I’m going to “ship” Elena and Clay. I was looking forward to their reunion the entire episode. Actually, I’m not pretty sure... I DO ship Elena and Clay. And yet they haven’t even made eye contact on screen. I feel like there’s a lot of backstory there that will make the show 10x more interesting. At the same time, I hope it’s a love triangle between Clay/Elena/Philip.

Plot/Twist: I wouldn’t say there was a big “Oh My God! I can’t believe that just happened!” moment during the episode, but more a couple of “Oh wow!” moments. That actually made the episode better than a lot of pilots I’ve watched. I think those moments will come later on in the season and I look forward to seeing them! 

4.5 out of 5 stars for Bitten. That .5 will appear when Clay and Elena make eye contact. 

Just in case you came across my post and have no idea what show I am talking about... here is the trailer: 

I’ve never done this before, but I’m going to make some predictions of what I think the rest of the season will have. I’ll laugh at myself in a couple of months when I read this and find out I was totally wrong. 
  1. One of the pack members will die. (Sadly, I’m going to predict Logan)
  1. Elena and Clay will hook up... but she’s going to go running back to Philip claiming it was a mistake. 
  1. After she realizes she really loves Clay, she’ll try to go to him, but something will happen to get in her way.
  1. Someone who does not know about werewolves will find out... then get killed. 

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