Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pre-Blog Goodreads Reviews Part II: Dystopian

I know all of you loved my last installment of this series, so I here is my next one. This time it will be completely dystopian books.


A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka

There was a byproduct in meat that caused women to get ovarian cancer. Now with women scarcer than ever, they are being sold off to the highest bidder. The main character doesn't want that for herself. Her only option is to run away, but running away means no going back.

Review: This book was only okay. The characterization was lacking, and the plot was very dull. I was not in any way satisfied by the ending, and I really hope there is a sequel.

3/5 Stars







Matched by Ally Condie

The government controls every aspect of their subordinates' lives: who they marry, what they ear, when they die. Cassia is about to be "matched" to her ideal mate, but two faces come up.

Review: To describe this book in one word, I would choose "meh". Overall, this book wasn't very enthralling, and the characters were't really developed. At many times during the book, Cassia was annoying. Having said that, I did enjoy the plot and the world. I think I will end up reading the next book, and I hope the characters get better developed.

3/5 Stars

Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

Novella between Shatter Me and Unravel Me. Told from Warner's perspective.

Review: This was an enjoyable novella. I am glad I got to see in Warner's head because he seemed like such a sociopath in Shatter Me. My opinion of him had definitely changed, and I am glad I got around to reading this before I started Unravel Me.

3/5 Stars







Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Sequel to Shatter Me. Picking up a little after it left off.

Review: Could Juliette have been any more annoying. Her entire existence seemed to be comprised of crying and blushing and being confused and did I mention how she has a real problem breathing. And don't even get me started on Adam. He was just as annoying as she was. The only highlights in the book were Kenji and Warner. It seems that I am Team Warner now. The plot of the story was fairly interesting, and that is why it got 4 starts. Hopefully Ignite Me doesn't disappoint me.

4/5 Stars





Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi

Novella from Adam's POV. Basically the end of Unravel Me from Adam's POV.

Review:** spoiler alert ** I am really starting to dislike Adam. In the first chapter of this he was awful to James, and making James call him "sir". Like what the hell is that about; yes, I know they were joking around, but Adam was a asshole to him. And the fact that he didn't let Kenji go after Juliette. Dude, I know your brother might be dead, but you have to still let SOMEONE go after Juliette. Adam is just a tall, very-attractive idiot, and Juliette deserves Warner.

3/5 Stars
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Final book in Shatter Me trilogy. Picks up basically where Unravel Me lets off.

Review: Finally, there is an end to a series that didn't suck. Tahereh really brought the action, and romance. I am pleased to announce that Juliette chose the right guy for her. Hopefully Adam and Alia get together, but thats completely up to your imagination. This was a great end to a good trilogy.

4/5 Stars







Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Little Miss Perfect has the kill gene. She loses everything.

Review: This was a pretty good book. I enjoyed Davy's character, and even though she was very dependent on Sean, Davy was a relatively strong character. I knew I was going to really enjoy the plot of the book when I read the synopsis, and it did not disappoint. I took off a star because there wasn't very much characterization going on, and I would have become more attached to the characters if I knew them better.

4/5 Stars






Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Saba's twin brother gets kidnapped. She HAS to go after him, but since her dad just dies, and her mom died in childbirth, she has to bring her little sister along. Along the way Saba and her sister themselves get kidnapped. Saba is forced into cage-fighting.

Review: This book was honestly like no dystopian I have ever read before. The characters were vivid and came to life. The plot started with action from the first 50 pages. My only trouble with this book was the lack of quotation marks, and at first the way everyone spoke. After a few pages the grammar and spelling problems were not a big deal. I really enjoyed reading this story, and i cannot wait to start the second.

5/5 Stars
Rebel Heart by Moira Young

Sequel to Blood Red Road

Review: I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The plot was rich, and you never knew what was going to happen next. Also, the characters were unpredictable; you never knew who to trust. The only annoying characters were Saba and Lugh; they were constantly fighting, and Saba was always upset about something. Saba was also very illogical, and I cannot stand that in a character. All in all the book was great. Too bad i still have to wait until May for the next book.

5/5 Stars
Raging Star by Moira Young

Finale to Dust Lands Trilogy

Review: I have finished!!! This series was so fantastic. I loved every book, and this one did not disappoint. I love all of the characters, and once you get past the writing style, and get to the story, it is utterly terrific.

5/5 Stars









Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

This girl gets exiled from her home. She meets someone. Adventure.

Review: Where to start. This book was a mess. Sorry to everyone who liked it, but it just was NOT for me. All the characters were flat, and none were very developed. The only one I felt anything towards was Roar, but only because he was funny. The story was boring most of the time. I thought this was an extremely corny book, and it was way too cliche in my opinion. There were moments when I would read a line (mostly said by Aria), and I just had to shut the book and have a cringe attack. For example, Aria was asking Perry lots of questions and he would answer never, so she said something along the lines of thats a lot of nevers under the never sky. So bad.

3/5 Stars


Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

In a world without water, Lynn has a pond. She has to protect this pond at ALL costs.

Review: I really enjoyed reading this book once I got into it. After the first 70 pages, the story started picking up and was fantastic. I enjoyed all of the characters. Lynn was a great main character, and was never annoying. She was a very dynamic character, and I think she could have jumped right out of the book and live an actual life. The world was pretty cool, and did not have too many holes. The romance in the book was never overpowering, and was always really sweet. Additionally, it was always very entertaining when Lynn was super awkward with Eli. I am glad that I got to read this book. I am really excited to read other books by the author.
5/5 Stars


The Selection Stories by Kiera Cass

Two Novellas in the Selection world. One from Maxon's POV and one from Aspen's POV.

Review: This is so annoying. I decided that I preferred Maxon, but the Guard had to go and screw that up for me. I guess I just don't care who she ends up with; America should be happy with either option.

3/5 Stars
The Elite by Kiera Cass

Second book in the Selection Trilogy

Review: Although I did really enjoy this book, I had a few problems with it. 
Pros: The cover is gorgeous-10/10 on cover design.some drama (Celeste, Marlee).
Cons: Not much happened plot wise. If I'm being completely honest, the entire book was just fluff, and they seemed to only make this a trilogy for money. America was annoying No i want Maxon, Maxon i love you, maxon how could you, Aspen i love you, etc. This book should have been merged with The Selection, but whatever. Having said that, i am really looking forward to The One!!
3/5 Stars
The One by Kiera Cass

Final Book in the Selection Trilogy

Review: This was a fun series, but I am glad it ended. The ending was everything I hoped for and more. Definitely my favorite in the series. You really got to take a look at the world outside of the palace walls, and get to know the true motives behind the rebel attacks. Also, there was a death of a selection member, and as much as it pains me to say, I was waiting the whole series for that. On a less morbid note, she picked a guy that was good for her, and I was not disappointed at all. The other guy she didn't pick ended up with an equally well suited girl. This was a very satisfying conclusion to the series.

3/5 Stars




So those were ALL the dystopian books that I have reviews for from before I had this blog. I know some of the reviews were less than stellar as expected. There are still more parts to this series, so get excited!!

XOXO,
Belle

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Review of This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your Life
by Leila Sales
Standalone
279 Pages
Age Range: 12+
Grade Level: 7th
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux

This is the story of a high school sophomore who on the first day of her 10th grade year decides to kill herself. Fortunately, her attempt fails, and her life becomes worse than it ever was, until she stumbles upon an underground dance club, and meets people who really accept her for who she is. Soon after, she charts to DJ at said dance club, and everything seems perfect. Until it isn't.






The Short:
To put it bluntly, I LOVED this book. I loved everything about it, and couldn't get enough of it. I really, really liked Elise. She was everything I would ever want in a friends, and that begs the question, WHY DID NO ONE LIKE HER IN THE FIRST PLACE? She was literally SO COOL! Anyways, this book was completely and utterly magnificent and I would recommend it to music lovers everywhere.

The Good:

  • I'm gonna be honest, I adored the music references. I knew from the time I was flipping through this book, and say Blur on the recommended listening that I would love this book. Just throughout the book I would see a reference and I would be like, "Hey, I know them!" I would feel really good about myself and would love the characters even more.
  • That was a perfect segway to my next point, I loved the characters. They would be people that I would love to meet. They just seemed so real, and like the people that I would find cool and interesting to talk to. None of the characters were perfect, and that made me love them even more, their flawed backstories were heartbreakingly real, and I just wish I would meet people like them.
  • The character arc of Elise was magical. You could tell at the beginning that she was breaking and that she would never survive the life that she lived, but by the end when she blossomed into something and someone who loves not only her life, but herself. 
  • The ending killed me. I didn't cry, but that was my fault. I was listening to Falling Away With You by Muse, and if I wanted to cry I should have been listening to United States of Eurasia by Muse because that song aways gets me. Anyway, I digress. The ending was perfect, and lovely, and just exactly what I was hoping for. It was everything that Elise deserved and more. 
The Bad:
  • It ended. 
The Rating:


XOXO,
Belle


______________________________________________________________________________
The Content:
The Language: I don't really remember how bad the language was.
The Sex: Some hooking up. Lots of making out. Some talk of sex. Nothing traumatic.
The Drugs: Social drinking with the intent to get drunk. Talk of drugs.
The Violence: No. Like none at all. 
Other triggers: Bullying. Both in person and on the internet. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pre-Blog Goodreads Reviews Part I: Classics

I posted many reviews on the Goodreads from before I made this blog, and now I am going to post all of them no matter how bad they actually are. This is going to be a six part series, and there will be a LOT of reviews, so get excited!! I am not going to do much explaining on what the book is about, only the cover of the book, a VERY brief synopsis, the review, and my rating, so if my review strikes your fancy, check it out on Goodreads.

Candide by Voltaire

This is a satirical masterpiece by Voltaire. It is about a man, Candide, who is optimistic by nature, a lot of bad stuff happens to him.

Review: I thought it was gonna be better. :/

3/5 Stars








V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

Future, totalitarian London. Awesome superhero coming to change the world. Also, a comic book.

Review: This was really fun.

5/5 Stars












Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien

Set in a Post-Nuclear War. The main character lives in a little valley that was unaffected by the radiation, and she is thought to be the last person alive. That is until a man in a hazmat suit comes waltzing into her haven.

Review:  It was a very cool concept, but I didn't think it delivered.

3/5 Stars






Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

You know the story. Star-crossed lovers. Feuding families. Forbidden love. 

Review: Meh. The characters were voting. The plot was thin. Definitely not the book for me.

Rating: 3/5 Stars











Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

I know all of you had to read this for school, so you know exactly what this book is about, but I'm going to tell you anyway. A kid meets a new girl on the first day of school, and they become very fast friends. They create a magical world on the other side of a creek by the boy's house. 

Review: I didn't like the plot of this book, but as far as I can remember the characters were pretty well made.

2/5 Stars






The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

An average Japanese man's cat disappears, and following its disappearance his whole life gets out of whack.

Review: I have finally finished this book, it took sooooooo long (or at least it felt that way). The first 300 pages of the story were pretty dull because Toru spent almost all of that time sitting alone in his house, and cooking dinner. But after he decided that leaving his house would be okay, the story really started to pick up. A lot of the story was someone reminiscing about their past, or sex, lots of sex. I enjoyed the fantastical elements of the story, they added some fun to break up some of the monotony. All in all, the story was enjoyable, and one of the best books I have had to read for school.

4/5 Stars




The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A man loves the past more than a woman loves him.

I went into this book not knowing much about it; only that it was a classic and Leonardo DiCaprio was on the cover. Having Said that, I really enjoyed reading it. I thought the plot was rich, and I love the 20's, so naturally I enjoyed it. I felt like the transitions were awkward, and they skipped around without any warning. The book was good, but not as great as the title leads you to believe.







I hope you enjoy my awful reviews.

XOXO,
Belle

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Review of The Merciless by Danielle Vega

The Merciless
By Danielle Vega
Standalone
279 Pages
Age Range: 14+
Grade Level: 9th Grade
Publisher: Razorbill

When Sofia moves to her new school, she doesn't think she is going to fit in because she was an outsider at her last school. Super popular girl, Riley, befriends Sofia. Riley and her friends seem to be the perfect girls, until Riley says she needs to preform an exorcism on Sofia's friend and Riley's enemy, Brooklyn. This is not how Sofia thought her year would go.






The Short:
This was a very different read for me. I don't read or watch horror (if you're following me on the Twitters, you would know that I am trying to change that), so picking up this book was very weird. I knew I was going to like it because the concept of the book interested me, but I had no idea to what extent. This was a very good book. It was well written, and absolutely disgusting in the most wonderful way possible.
The Good:

  • The descriptions in this book were utterly amazing. It did not matter whether blood or curtains were being described, you always knew exactly what Sofia was seeing. 
  • I'm just gonna put it out there that the violence was amazing. Danielle Vega did an absolutely fantastic job not only describing what was happening but also making the horrible things that were happening so creative. I have to give her major props for being so creative that she could come up with so many vile acts.
  • WTF WAS THAT ENDING.
  • The screwed up form of Christianity that all of them practiced was so entertaining. I laughed so hard when they were spouting their exorcism prayers. 
  • Brooklyn was so dumb, yet so entertaining. Whenever she was just screwing with Riley and the rest of the gand I was like, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YA SPOON?!" But at the same time I was like, "HAHAHAHA YES"

The Bad:

  • This is a horror book, but I was never scared. It was really disturbing and I was grossed out, but never truly scared. I want to read a book and be scared, and not about to go to sleep with the light out, but this book just didn't give me that. 
  • There was very minimal character development, but I do not actually care that much because I wanted to be scared not to understand the characters. I just wanted to know which character was which, but I always got confused as to which one had blonde hair and which one dressed weird.

The Rating:


XOXO,
Belle

___________________________________________________________________________
The Content:
Language: Frequent and strong language.
Violence: Torture, murder,  and blood. Lots of vividly described blood.
Sex: Some kissing, some talk of sex. Not at all the focus of this book.
Drugs: Underaged drinking. One character is a drug addict.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review of 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

5 to 1
By Holly Bodger
Standalone
256 Pages
Publishing Date: May 12, 2015
Age Range: 12+
Grade Level: 6th Grade
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

In a not so distant India, there are 5 males for every 1 female making marriage very difficult. When women are fed up of being sold to the highest bidder, they set out to create a new country where women rule. Many years after the formation of this country, a girl is going through the process of finding a husband, but she doesn't want to find a husband this way.





The Short:
I had a very good time reading this book. It was a very quick read that really just sped by. It was written in dual POVs, and as if thats not already cool enough, one POV is in prose while the other is in verse. WHAT!? This concept is revolutionary. And it was very well done too. Props to the author for doing a great job with both ways of storytelling.

The Good:

  • I found the story of this to be very original. I haven't read or heard of anything quite like this book. I really appreciated that. I can tell the Bodger spent a HUGE amount of time writing this novel, and t really paid off.
  • The world was very realistic. Because of some of the current laws in certain Asian countries, this could be a very real future that could happen, while most dystopians have worlds that are just kind like "Really!? Do you actually think I am going to buy this?!" but this book was chilling in a way that it could very easily become reality. 
  • The writing was beautiful. It was easy to get into and even the prose flowed beautifully. And the chapters from verse to prose had such a smooth transition. It was wonderful.
  • The simplicity of the book. I am not talking about the writing style or the plot, but the author really seemed to get into the novel then very quickly and efficiently got out. It was a very clean novel, and I very much appreciated that.
  • Going off on what I said about the world, the government system actually seems like something that could happen and may have at some point happened. The government officials are all on their high horses acting like they are so much better than everyone else since it is a matriarchal society, but they are actually just as bad as everyone else. I LOVE IT!


The Bad:

  • There seemed to be a lack of characterization. I believed the characters, but I couldn't tell you anything about their physicality. I have no idea what hair color they had, and their nationality was never explicitly stated either (you kind of assume they are Indian due to the clothes and the location, but still!).


The Rating:


XOXO,
Belle

_______________________________________________________________________________
The Content:
Language: Not at all a problem
Sex: There is maybe one sexual reference, so unless you ave VERY sensitive. This is no big deal
Violence: Minimal. There are some fights between two boys, but nothing too graphic.

_______________________________________________________________________________
I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it would be more difficult to make a dishonest review than a truthful one. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review of Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy

Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You
By Todd Hasak-Lowy
Standalone
656 Pages
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Age Range: 14+
Grade Level: 9+
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Honestly, I think this book is better when you go in blind, so I will not be giving much about this book. All I am going to say is that this is a novel written in lists.








The Short:
Wow. I am blown away by the writing in this book. I don't even know how the author made a book 100% in lists. Literally, I am just astounded by the quality of this book. I don't even understand. I know I liked it. I am 110% positive that I liked this book. I am 2348734765% positive that I am impressed by this book. I don't even know how to formulate sentences.

The Good:

  • IT IS WRITTEN IN LISTS! What?! How did he even get the idea for this concept. And more importantly how did he execute it so well. At the beginning of the books, I wasn't used to the writing style, so I had a lot of trouble understanding what was going on, but the author eased you into the story, so by the time things were starting to happen, you could understand what was going on in the story.
  • You were IN the head of  a 15 year old boy. All the thoughts he had were ones that I would expect a 15 year old to be thinking. I am impressed by the way that the author really dissected the thoughts of a 15 year old, and very bluntly presented how a boy of that age would think.
  • The main character's decisions were very logical. He never did anything too outrageous, and I always could see why he made the choices that he did even though they may not have been the best for the given situation.
  • THEY MENTIONED WILCO! WILCO, AS IN MY FAVORITE BAND EVER, WAS MENTIONED!
  • The love interest was fantastic. I loved her. Not everyone will be so happy with her character, but I adored her. She was fantastic and weird and just someone I would want to hang out with.
  • The originality of the story. I don't think I have ever heard of or read a book quite like this one. It was refreshing. I loved that about this book.
  • FAMILY DRAMA! Loved it.
  • The main character's brother was like the best character ever. He was so screwed up, and I was SO entertained by him.
  • It may be a 650 page book, but it was so quick. I read it in three days. SO FAST!

The Bad:
  • The story was kind of slow. There was a period towards the middle of the book that it was dragging, but that is to be excepted in a 650 page book. Luckily, the slow period didn't last that long, and it picked up pretty quickly.
  • You were IN the head of a 15 year old boy. You got all of their thoughts, and when I say all of them, I mean ALL of them.
The Rating:

The Closing Thoughts:
I really liked this book, but I just can't give it 5 stars. I don't know. It was just lacking something. I don't know how to describe it, but it just wasn't there. Don't get me wrong, this was a GREAT book, and you should check it out when it gets released, but it was just lacking in something. 
Okay, I swear if this book is not a HUGE deal when it comes out, there is going to be a problem. It was original, and fantastic, and IT IS WRITTEN LISTS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! You really should look into it, and put it on your to-buy list for next year!

XOXO,
Belle

_________________________________________________________________________________
The Content:
Language: I'm not gonna lie, there was a LOT of casual swear words. When I say a lot, I mean about what you would expect from a  normal high school boy.
Violence: Not a thing.
Drug Use: Lots of pot. 
Sex: You're in the head of a 15 year old boy. Lots of sexual thoughts. And there is a good amount of actually sex happening.

This is probably one of the dirtiest YA reads I have read in a  while, and I LOVED that about it!
_________________________________________________________________________________I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it would be more difficult to make a dishonest review than a truthful one. 




Sunday, October 12, 2014

Review of Unleashed by Sophie Jordan

Unleashed
By Sophie Jordan
Book 2 in the Uninvited Duology
368 Pages
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Age Range: 13+
Grade Level: 8th Grade
Publisher: Harper Teen

This is the sequel the Uninvited, so I am not going to give you a summary on this, but instead on Uninvited.
Uninvited is the story of an above-average, teenage girl with a very musical and successful future ahead of her. All that was taken from her when she tested positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS). Her life spirals out of control, and she loses everything, but then she meets a boy.



This review is going to be so vague because SPOILERS for Uninvited.

The Short:
This book was so happy that it hurt. No, like I was smiling so hard at the end that my face ached.

The Good:

  • The love interest was bae. I loved him so much. He was literally the best person ever, and I am so glad that she met him.
  • The mystery aspects. There were times where you knew that there was a traitor in the midst, but you had no idea who it was. I guessed wrong.
  • The Resistance. It was so interesting looking at another side of the HTS problem. 
  • All the snippets at the beginning of each chapter. In this duology, before each chapter starts, there is a news article, or a thread of texts to further your understanding of what is going on in the world -either large scale or very small scale.
  • THE ENDING! IT WAS PERFECT!!!
The Bad:
  • It was boring at times. For the first 100 pages, it was slow. It was very good, don't get me wrong, but it just took a long time for the action to start happening.
  • This was a big problem I had in Uninvited, and it was that Davy is weak. She may have a very strong shell, but she is like a crab, strong outside, but soft and gooey inside. She was never okay until a boy came and saved her, and I get that some people like that in a book, but it just made me sad that she was not able to be whole without a guy there for her.
The Rating:

XOXO,
Belle

__________________________________________________________________________
The Content:
The Language: Did not seem to be a problem. I don't actually remember any offensive language.
The Violence: This is a book about people who have a violent tendency. Of course there is going to be A LOT of violence.
The Sex: There is a LOT of kissing, and I THINK two characters had sex, but NOTHING was described.

___________________________________________________________________________
I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it would be more difficult to make a dishonest review than a truthful one. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Reads: October 10, 2014

Books. Books. Books. BOOKS!
Actually only three books.
I am reading books this weekend because I have a FOUR DAY WEEKEND!! Yippee!
I am going to try to get through 3 books because I think it is plausible.

Right now, I am reading Unleashed by Sophie Jordan, and it is getting good. I can just tell.
Currently, I am 108 pages in, and it is very well done. 
This books comes out in February of next year, so if you read Uninvited and enjoyed it, I would highly recommend looking into this book because resolution.

After I finish that, I will be reading Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You by Todd Hasak- Lowy.
This book is sexy. Just overall, it is sexy. The book is written entirely in LISTS! Like what does that even mean? How is that going to work out? I AM SO EXCITED!!! 
This book comes out in April 2015, so look forward to it when it comes out. 
I should be finishing it pretty quickly, so look forward to a review of it. 

Finally, I will try too get to 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger. 
This is actually a really cool sounding book. It is written in dual POVs one in verse and the other in prose. STEP ASIDE, ELLEN HOPKINS! We have someone coming to rival your spot for the best verse book. I kid of course. 
But this is a dystopian novel where in India there are 5 boys for every girl. Women come together and make a country where they can't be sold like cattle. A girl is upset. Her angst is shown in verse. A boy is upset. His manly feeling are shown in prose.
This comes out May 2015, so if this sounds cool to you, you have a very long time to wait and anticipate it. 


So I hope reading actually happens.

XOXO,
Belle