Monday, June 30, 2014

July TBR

Okay. I dont understand. Summer just started. It is NOT allowed to only have half left! This is some bull shit.
I digress. I am hoping to get through a good amount of reading this month. I am going to participate in the BookTubeAThon, but I will have a separate TBR post for that. I want to get through a pretty good amount of book this month, and I hope that I can do it.

Finishing Books:
I started both of these last month, and I am hoping to finish A Thousand Splendid Suns, and make some good progress in A Clash of Kings.

Finishing Series:

I read the first book last month, and LOVED it. I want to finish the series (probably in the BookTubeAThon), and it shouldn't take me very long to read.

School Books:

Screw these books. Neither one sounds even remotely interesting, but I just had to be born smart, so that I just had to take honors literature. I hate reading books for school. Especially in the summer, but that is a whole different post.

ReReads:
I started to reread this series in May, continued in June, and I want to finish in July. 

Wishful Thinking:

I would be shocked if I got to this series, but a girl can dream.


Okaaayyyy. I have decided that I am awful at TBRs, and I would be shocked if I stuck to this at all. I want to go into the month pretending that I have a plan!

XOXO,
Belle

June 2014 Wrap-Up

This month I did a pretty bad job of reading, but whatever. I read a total of five books. For the most part I really liked what I read. Let us begin!!

First, I read Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo.
2/5 Stars
This is the second book in The Grisha Trilogy. The trilogy is about a country that is split in half by the "Shadow Ford" which is a big cut on the country that is completely pitch black, and hosts flesh-eating monsters. The main character, Alina, is an orphan and a map maker. When she has to cross the Fold, her ship is attacked by the monsters, and she summons the sun. Because she is the sun summoner, she is about to destroy the fold. dun Dun DUUUUUNNNNN!
I really enjoyed the first book in the series, but this one just felt dull. It lacked the magic of the first book, and came across boring to me. I disliked how most of the characters acted, and didn't like how the story progressed. Even though the book was not very well done, I am going to complete the trilogy.


Next, I decided to carry on rereading The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series with The Titan's Curse
5/5 Stars
This is the third book in PJO. I have read this book before, but it was three years ago, and with The Blood of Olympus coming out, I thought it was important to reread the series. 
PJO follows a young boy who finds out he is half-god and half-human, or a halfblood. He has to escape from monsters, fulfill prophecies, and mainly just stay alive. 
I love this retelling of the Greek Gods. This is probably the weakest of the series, but still utterly fantastic. I love the characters, plot, and world. I don't think I could ever have too much Percy Jackson. 

After PJO, I read Saga, volume one by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. 
5/5 Stars
Comic Books!! This is a sci-fi/ fantasy comic book series about a young family that is escaping their world, in order to raise their baby. Their two races are at war, so their love is illegal. When they have a kid, they have to keep the baby safe at all costs.
If you saw my review, you would know that I LOVED this. The characters were beautiful -both physically and personality-wise. I loved the plot of this book, it was fast paced enough to where I was never bored, but not too fast, so that I felt that I paid $10 for five minutes of reading. All the characters were very distinct, so there was no confusion. LOVE!
WARNING- CONTAINS TONS OF ADULT CONTENT

Next, I read Crank by Ellen Hopkin, the first book in the Crank trilogy. 
4/5 Stars
This is about a young, beautiful, perfect girl who gets into the drug scene, and screws her life up. 
I liked this book, but didn't love it. I was never especially attached to any of the characters, and Kristina was just so stupid. The drugs were described in a way that made it sound appealing, and that was the reason it got 4 stars. I did adore the writing, and the descriptions of things. The writing was the whole reason that I read this book, and it did not disappoint. 

The last book I read was The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. It is the first book in the Summer trilogy. 
4/5 Stars
This is about a girl who every year goes to her family friend's beach house with her brother, mom, mom's best friend, and the friend's two sons. The girl has always been in love with one of the boys, but the other has always been her best friend. They never really paid her much attention, but she got pretty over the school year, and they seem to be noticing her. It is going to be an unforgettable summer!
I adored everything about this book. It was fun, and summery, and giggly, and happy. It was just what I needed to break me out of my reading slump. I can't wait to read the next two books, and I hope they get even better than this one. 

That month could have been better, but I am loving it. Are you loving summer (winter for the southern hemisphere)? I will talk to you soon with my July TBR/ June Book Haul. Whichever one I decide to do first!

XOXO,
Belle

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Review of The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han




The Summer I Turned Pretty
By Jenny Han
Series: Book 1 in the Summer Trilogy
Age Range: 14+ 
Grade Level: 8th grade
Pages: 276 (in British paperback)
Publisher: Razor Bill/ Penguin


This book is about a girl who goes to a summer house every year with her brother and her mom's best friend's two sons. She has bee in love with one of the sons for forever, and the other is just a really good friend of hers. This summer is different because she has "turned pretty" over the school year. The boys finally start to notice her. Anything could happen, but one this is for sure: it is going to be a summer she will never forget.


I have been in a reading slump lately, and I was just not reading like I usually do. I was reading MASSIVE books, or school books, and it was just not very enjoyable. I had absolutely no motivation to read, and I was starting to miss it. To combat the reading slump, I decided to pick up the fluffiest contemporary that I knew I would like, so I picked up The Summer I Turned Pretty. Just from the title  you knew this was going to be really cheesy, but that was exactly what I wanted, so no complaints.


 I really enjoyed Belly's character, and she was never overly annoying. Yes, she did think she was going to cry a lot, but I got over that. She did seem somewhat logical with her romances with the boys, and that is always a good thing. I never really had to groan to things she said, and she was pretty witty and snarky when it came down to it. I could really identify myself with her character, and I could [somewhat] understand the decisions she would make.

The story was not what I was expecting, and I really thought that the romance would be completely with the two brothers, but instead Belly met a boy, and had a fling with him.  I adored how the two brothers were so protective over her, and they acted like overprotective big brothers (even if they were more than that to Belly).  I thought the interactions between Jeremiah and Belly were fantastic.

On the romance, I thought it was very well done, and natural (no I love you on the first date). You could really see it develop as you would hope any high school romance would. Jenny Han really has a way with making romances feel real.

Lets be honest here, I want belly to end up with Jeremiah because he was never an ass-clown to her, and Jeremiah was always there for her. A good romance starts with a better friendship.

RATING:

XOXO,
Belle

_________________________________________________________________________________

Content:

Drugs: Some drinking. Mostly socially at dinner, and very few times to get drunk
Sex: Kissing
Violence: Fighting between brothers- once
Language: Very minimal

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Top Seven Saturday: Top 7 Book Covers

There are a lot of book covers out there, and a lot of them seem to be the same. A lot of covers are just kinda meh, but when you see a cover that is just outstanding, you are just happy with the publishers. I may not love all of these stories, but all of the covers are exactly what I like to see.

7. To start off the list, I am going to choose Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
I love the color scheme for the book, and since all of the other colors are cool, the red really catches your eye.

6. Next, I have Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier.
This book is about time travel, and the cover really looks like a Victorian era cover. It captures the spirit of the book perfectly.

5. I am going to choose Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.
The original cover for this book was atrocious, but after the change, this series has a wonderfully beautiful cover. I don't really get why  it is an eye, but it looks pretty cool.

4. Let's go with More Thank This by Partick Ness.
I feel like I talk a TON about this book, but it is too good not to. The cover really captures the mystery of the book, and looks fantastic while doing it. 

3. For number three, I am choosing, 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad.
You would have to be blind to not be able to tell how creepy this book is. It is a very well done cover, and it is terrifying. After seeing this cover, you could guess that it is a horror book. I love this cover too much.


2.  I know that this one had a cover change :,( but it is so pretty. The book I am talking about it The Diviners by Libba Bray.
Lets take a moment to bask in the beauty of the cover. 
The background is beautiful. The symbol looks ominous, and the colors are superb. The cover change is very average, and I cannot believe they would ever take away this beauty.


1. Last, but definitely not least, I have Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken.
I think at this point we know that I think this series is magnificent. The covers don't disappoint either. I love the color schemes of the books because they are important to the story (book one was orange, two is blue, and three is red.) The author really likes the idea that colors mean something to the story, so she makes the cover's color important too. I love the symbol (also important to the story), and the barbed wire on the edges. This cover should appeal to both guys and girls, so it is PERFECT!


Fun! Fun! I love book covers, and remember you can judge a book by its cover.


XOXO,
Belle

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review of Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Crank
By Ellen Hopkins
Series: Book 1 in Crank Trilogy
Age Range: 15+ (in my opinion)
Grade Level: At least high school
Pages: 537 (in first edition paperback)
Publisher: McElderry Books

Crank is about a girl who has been perfect all of her life, but then she gets into the drug scene. Her life spirals out of control as the monster starts to control her actions.








Going into Crank, I knew two things.

  1. It was written in verse (!!!!), and that would be very interesting to get into.
  2. It was about meth.
I expected a groundbreaking book about the danger of drugs. It was not that. I loved the writing style, and the way Hopkins described everything.
 I was not very fond of the way Ellen Hopkins made the drug seem. When I go into something having to do with drugs, I want to know that after reading/ watching it, I will NEVER want to get anywhere near the drugs. When Watching Breaking Bad I knew that meth was the worst thing ever, and that I would NEVER even be tempted into trying it. With this book, Kristina made meth seem like some super-drug that made you feel fantastic. It made crank seem like it was worth trying. 
I did enjoy reading this book, but I wanted it to make meth seem like it is as bad as it actually is. 

I know that I shouldn't have been, but I was always rooting for Bree to win over her parents, friends, and family. It was very bad, but I always do that. If they are the main character, chances are that I will be hoping that they win even if the character is a horrible person. I did not like Bree/Kristina, but I always wanted her to be able to do what she wanted. 

The overall story arc was not very great, and Kristina didn't really change after here first encounter with crank. Don't get me wrong, I liked reading this book, but the plot was not everything I wanted it to be. 

I adored the writing. The book was very long, but it went by really quick because none of the pages are completely filled like most books. Since it is written in verse, it took between 5-30 seconds for me to read each page. Also, the story never dragged on and became dull; I had fun reading this all the way through.

I am definitely planning on finishing this series, and look forward to see where this story goes in the future books. I can't wait to get more of Hopkin's writing!

Rating:



XOXO,
Belle

___________________________________________________

Content:
Drugs: 10/10- the whole book centered around drugs, and almost every page mentioned the use of             drugs
Sex: 8/10- there was a lot of talk of sex, and the actual act of sex. There is one instance of rape, and the after effects of rape.
Violence: 5/10- I think rape is considered violence enough to where it can count for this category.
Language: 3/10- vulgarities were never really a problem in this story. Infrequent use of mild language.


Top 5 Wednesday- Top 5 Last Sentences

Okaaaaayyyyyy. I may have a problem with this one because spoilers. I will put the book cover VERY big, so if you haven't read the book, you will know not to look at what the sentence is.

5. More Than This by Patrick Ness
"He thinks, Go in swinging. And he says, 'I'm ready.'"
I love the tone of the ending, and the ambiguity of what happens next.

4. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
"In a place far away from anyone or anything, I drifted off for a moment."
This is just a perfect end to a very well done book. I love the fact that it seems to close off nothing, but it really closes off everything.

3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
"But they would be looking of a ghost."
This ending just makes you want the next book. It means a changing point for Cinder, and I love it!

2. Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
"'You mean this research?'"
This is just a fuck you moment. Ruby wanted to just shove her success in Clancy's face. And she did; in the most sassy way possible. And GIVE ME ITA!

1. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin       but really spoilers
"The other two pulled away from her breasts and added their voices to the call, translucent wings unfolding and stirring the air, and for the first time in hundreds of years, the night came alive with the music of dragons."
This one is too good. It was the light in the beginning of the tunnel. It was happiness in the madness. It was perfect!!

These endings were too good. I love these books, and their last sentences. The authors hopefully were 100% satisfied with their last sentence. 

XOXO,
Belle

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Superlatives- 2014

I just had a grand idea! It is to pick a book/ book character for every superlative that they gave out in my yearbook this year. I will do this every summer (as long as I am still able.) I think this will be a fun way to get my feelings out about books that I have read.

RULES:

  1.  I have to pick books that I have read between the time I did my last superlative post, and the time I am writing my first one, so as of right now I can pick every book I have every read.
  2. I have to give a brief reason why I chose the book that I did.
  3. I cannot be too serious about this, and neither can you! ;)
Most Athletic:

This character is the most athletic character that I can think of.


I am going to give a cop-out answer to this superlative, and give it to.....
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer!
More specifically this goes to Edward Cullen because he is ridiculously fast, and nimble. 

For the girl, I am also being lazy of this one, and giving it to Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games Trilogy.
I think this makes sense because Katniss you know *spoiler alert* won The Hunger Games.


Best Looking: 

Best book cover.

My opinion may be skewed because this is the best book ever, but I am choosing The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, and I don't care what you say!
I don't know. I just love the cover.

Most Spirited:

Book with best fandom.

Again, I am choosing another cop-out answer. HARRY POTTER by J.K. Rowling!!!!!
I am a fan of the fan base of this series, and they are all pretty cool! 

Are you ready for one of the most ridiculous superlatives?!

Best Hair:

Female character with the best hair!

I am choosing Cara from Alienated by Melissa Landers.
Cara has vibrant red hair, and it just sounds beautiful.

Most Musically Talented:

I think this is pretty self-explanatory.

This one is going to be Davy from Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
This girl was auditioning to go to Juilliard before some stuff happened. She has been good at every instrument she has ever played.

Best Smile:

Happiest Book

This is a very easy choice. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell!
This was such a adorable story, and it just always puts a smile on my face just thinking about it.

Biggest Flirt:

Character who was very outgoing with their preferred gender.

I think Noah Shaw fits the bill for this one. He is from The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin.
Before he met Mara, he was just a big player, and was happy just having sex, and attracting everyone he comes in contact with.

Best All Around:

Again, very self explanatory.

I loved TDM, but I don't war to pick it for two, so I am going with A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. 
Overall, this book was very solid, and I loved most of the characters (horrible mistake). It was just action after action after action. I love it!

Most Likely to Host SNL:

Yes, this was actually a superlative. It will translate to book that needs a movie adaptation.

I am choosing Breathe by Sarah Crossan.
I think this would be a fantastic adaptation, and the setting would be really interesting to see translated into film. If this was done well, it would be an outstanding adaptation. 

Best Dressed:

Most beautiful descriptions.

I didn't love this book that much, but the descriptions in We Were Liars by E. Lockhart were too good.
The way that E. Lockhart described pain in this book was beautiful, and you could almost feel what Cady was going through when she described her wounds. 

Greenest Book:

Most environmental book.

Breaking my one per book rule to choose Breathe by Sarah Crossan.
This was literally about the environment.

Classiest:

Most well developed romance.

I am going with Jack and Saba from The Dust Lands Trilogy by Moira Young.
I just loved how their relationship progresses, and how perfect they were for each other. No matter what they always had each other. *swoons*

Most Artsy:

Best cover change:

I think the Shatter Me [by Tahereh Mafi] cover change was on point.
If you saw the first cover, you would know.

Best Eyes:

I don't feel like thinking.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Its a fucking eye.

Most Likely to Live in Their Eno:

Most outdoorsy.

I think that Mal from The Grisha Trilogy works very well for this one. 

He literally spent the second half of this book surviving in the wilderness.

Most Likely to Sleep Through Graduation:

Laziest character.

Everyone from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey.
They are a bunch of looneys being loony all day in the loony bin.

Most Likely to Succeed:

Smartest Character.

I really like intelligent characters, so I had to choose an incredibly smart character. I have decided upon Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin.
Since he is a dwarf, he doesn't have looks or drawn, so he has to rely on his wits to keep him alive. It has worked very well thus far.

Biggest Heart:

Sweetest Character.

This is easily Astrid Jones from Ask the Passengers by A.S. King.
Astrid is just a really kind character even when everyone is bullying her.

Best to Take Home to Mom:

Yeah.

I think Lincoln from Attachments by Rainbow Rowell is a great pick for this category.
He is just a very cool character who is pretty attractive, and a overall nice guy.

Most Joined at the Hip:

Most clingy couple.

David and Laurel from The Wings Series by Aprilynne Pike were annoyingly together, and wouldn't leave each other alone. 
They were very overly attached to each other, and I was not even shipping them.

Class Rebel:

Best government takedown/ resistance.

I really liked the takedown in Raging Star by Moira Young (last Dust Lands book).
This takedown was better than most, and it worked out very well in the end. :)

Most Intelligent:

I guess I will do a female character now.

Zylia from Control by Lydia Kang. 
She extracted DNA, and found specific chromosomes, so she is pretty smart.



I have finished.
That took a long time.
At least this is an annual thing.
It was fun though!
If you liked this, tell me!
I hope I recommended some good books, and that you enjoy them if you try them out.

XOXO,
Belle