Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I haven't made a blog post in almost a month!

Hello everybody.

I've haven't been around on my blog for almost a month now. I've started back to school and I guess that's sort of my excuse for not being around.

But, this month has been a great reading month for me! I won't do reviews for them, but I will list them below and put their ratings:

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (5/5)
A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin (5/5)
A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (4.5/5)
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (5/5)
A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (5/5)
Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles (4/5)
The Help by Kathryn Stockett (4/5)
Violet Fury by Richard Denney (5/5)
Burned by Ellen Hopkins (5/5)
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce (5/5)

I will start making more blog posts on my blog. :-)

- Brad

Monday, August 8, 2011

Musing Mondays (3)

Musing Mondays is hosted by Should Be Reading!

This week’s musing asks…
If you were (are) going on vacation, what books would you take with you?
I would take the Harry Potter books. Because I can re-read them over and over and never get bored with them, and they're so long, they would keep me busy! :-)

Leave your link to your Musing Mondays so I can check it out!

Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

Click here to go to this book's Goodreads page.

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them both legions of faithful fans.

My first John Green AND David Levithan novel! Now that I've read this I really want to check out some more of John's work (Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns) along with some of David's work (The Realm of Possibility & Love is the Higher Law).

Will Grayson, Will Grayson was a fantastic novel. It was funny, had amazing characters, and the writing style blew me away.

I think I prefer John's Will Grayson. He was deep but funny. David's Will Grayson was also great, I just liked John's a tiny bit more.

I highly recommend this novel!

Will Grayson, Will Grayson:
Published: April 6, 2011
Format: US Paperback
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile 
Average Rating: 4.07 stars 
Page Count: 336 pages

Rating: 5/5 stars 

Review: The Hidden Coronet by Catherine Fisher

Click here to go to this book's Goodreads page

The third installment in the Relic Master quartet!

The coronet, a potent ancient relic, might be the only way to defeat the power that is destroying Anara. But it has been lost for centuries, and only legend tells of its whereabouts. Will Galen and Raffi be able to find it before the Watch does?

With the third novel in the Relic Master series, The Hidden Coronet didn't meet up to the standards of the first two novels.

I did enjoy The Hidden Coronet, I just found the previous novels to be a slight better writing-wise and storyline-wise. Galen and Raffi are becoming better characters in every book, but I think I expected them to become a little more matured and developed in this novel.

But I do recommend this series!

The Hidden Coronet:
Published: July 12, 2011 (Originally published April 4, 2000)
Format: US Hardcover
Publisher: Dial
Average Rating: 4.29 stars
Page Count: 384 pages

Sequel: The Margrave (August 9, 2011)

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review: The Lost Heiress by Catherine Fisher

Click here to go to this book's Goodreads page

The second installment in the Relic Master quartet!

Even though Tasceron and its Emperor have fallen, there is a rumor that the heiress to the throne still lives. If so, her life is in grave danger, especially from the Watch. Galen and Raffi must race to find and protect her.

I love visiting Anara when I read the Relic Master series! I think I liked The Lost Heiress over The Dark City

With the fallen Emperor in Tasceron, the stakes are high and the throne of the heiress, the Watch are all over everybody.

I don't want to say much about The Lost Heiress, since it is a sequel, but I do recommend this series! It's not amazing, but it's still a great novel!

The Lost Heiress:
Published: June 14, 2011 (originally published February 4, 1999)
Format: US Hardcover
Publisher: Dial
Average Rating: 4.19 stars
Page Count: 384 pages

Sequel: The Hidden Coronet 

Rating: 4/5 stars

Friday, August 5, 2011

Review: The Dark City by Catherine Fisher

Click here to go to this book's Goodreads page.

Welcome to Anara, a world mysteriously crumbling to devastation, where nothing is what it seems: Ancient relics emit technologically advanced powers, members of the old Order are hunted by the governing Watch yet revered by the people, and the great energy that connects all seems to also be destroying all. The only hope for the world lies in Galen, a man of the old Order and a Keeper of relics, and his sixteen-year-old apprentice, Raffi. They know of a secret relic with great power that has been hidden for centuries. As they search for it, they will be tested beyond their limits. For there are monsters-some human, some not-that also want the relic's power and will stop at nothing to get it.

The Dark City, the first book in the Relic Master series, was actually a surprising read! I didn't think I would enjoy as much as I did! 

If you read the Relic Master series, you enter the crumbling world of Anara. I loved the idea of this world that is crumbling down, but you have little artifacts to find to save the world. It would be an amazing movie!

Catherine Fisher also wrote another series, the Incarceron series (Incarceron and Sapphique), which the first book is being made into a movie. I personally think that this is a much better series. You get to follow along into new places of the world and be on the journey with the characters.

Catherine Fisher's writing style always blows me away. She describes the action so perfectly in her stories. She also creates worlds that are always fun to explore. Catherine Fisher is a gifted writer.

This wasn't an amazing read, but still a great read!

Relic Master: The Dark City is perfect for anyone who enjoys action, artifacts, and worlds to travel with the characters.

The Dark City:
Published: May 17, 2011 (originally published August 6, 1998)
Format: US Hardcover
Publisher: Dial
Average Rating: 3.73 stars
Page Count: 384 pages

Sequel: The Lost Heiress 

Rating: 4/5 stars

Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Click here to go to this book's Goodreads page. (The cover below is the original ARC cover. There is a new cover now)

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. 

Elisa is the chosen one. 

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. 

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. 

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake. 

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. 

Most of the chosen do. 

Rae Carson's The Girl of Fire and Thorns was an incredible read! It's fast-paced with a great storyline, and Elisa, one of the only female protagonists that will stand up for her self.

Elisa is now one of my favorite characters. She's brave and innocent, but the way that Carson stylized it was breathtaking to read. 

The idea of a weak princess being chosen, and then you read her mature into this warrior was absolutely astonishing. When I finished this book (no spoilers) I couldn't believe what I had read. I had to re-read some pages sometimes because my mind couldn't cope with all the amazingness that I was reading.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns:
Expected Publication Date: September 20, 2011
Format: Online ARC
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Average Rating: 4.28 stars
Page Count: 299 pages

Rating: 5/5 stars

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Review: The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

Click here to go to this book's Goodreads page

Anyone who’s had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: It’s all about Before and After. What I’m talking about here is the ka-pow, shake-you-to-your-core-and-turn-your-bones-to-plastic kind of crappy.
Sixteen-year-old Laurel’s world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel’s life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss—a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.
Jennifer Castle’s debut novel is a heart-wrenching, surprisingly witty testament to how drastically life can change in the span of a single moment.

One of the most surprising reads 0f 2011 for me! I will admit it, but when I read the synopsis, I thought to myself "This just going to be another If I Stay by Gayle Forman". But it's actually an original story inside itself!

Laurel was a great character. I felt the emotions she felt, and when you read the novel, you honestly feel like you're on the journey with Laurel, it's incredible! I honestly couldn't believe it when I found that this is Jennifer Castle's debut novel!

Jennifer's writing style was amazing. It was descriptive and moving, and that's something rare to find in a debut novel! The Beginning of After really was heart-wrenching and it teaches you to appreciate the things in life that you have, because they can suddenly be taken away from you in a heartbeat.

If you're looking for a tear jerker story, great writing style, and a lesson to learn at the end of the book, I highly recommend The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle. 

The Beginning of After:
Expected Publication Date: September 6, 2011
Format: Online ARC
Publisher: HarperTeen
Average Rating: 3.92 stars
Page Count: 432 pages

Rating: 5/5 stars

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma (click on "Imaginary Girls" to go to its Goodreads Page!)

Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.

But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

With palpable drama and delicious craft, Nova Ren Suma bursts onto the YA scene with the story that everyone will be talking about.

Brilliantly crafted, an amazing story, and an original story, what's not to love about Imaginary Girls? Ruby and Chloe are stunning characters. Their relationship as sisters are just amazing, and Nova Ren Suma's writing style captivated me and I couldn't give enough. After reading this, I'll buy anything that Suma writes. 

I highly recommend Imaginary Girls if you're looking for a great read, a gorgeously written novel, and probably the most original YA novel of 2011!

And how awesome is that cover?!?!

Imaginary Girls:
Published: June 14, 2011
Format: US Hardcover
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile 
Average Rating: 3.68 stars
Page Count: 348 pages

Rating: 5/5 stars

Teaser Tuesday (2)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Ruby said I'd never drown--not in a deep ocean, not by shipwreck, not even by falling drunk into someone's bottomless backyard pool.

She said she'd seen me hold my breath underwater for minutes at a time, but to hear her tell it, you'd think she meant days.

Leave your link to you Teaser Tuesday so I can check it out!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Review: The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy

As World War II draws closer and closer to Guernsey, Vivienne de la Mare knows that there will be sacrifices to be made. Not just for herself, but for her two young daughters and for her mother-in-law, for whom she cares while her husband is away fighting. What she does not expect is that she will fall in love with one of the enigmatic German soldiers who take up residence in the house next door to her home. As their relationship intensifies, so do the pressures on Vivienne. Food and resources grow scant, and the restrictions placed upon the residents of the island grow with each passing week. Though Vivienne knows the perils of her love affair with Gunther, she believes that she can keep their relationship and her family safe. But when she becomes aware of the full brutality of the Occupation, she must decide if she is willing to risk her personal happiness for the life of a stranger.

I won this novel off Goodreads, so thank you so much VOICE for sending this to me!

When I first read the synopsis of this book, I was instantly hooked on this book. I couldn't imagine how hard it could have been on the men in World War II, and how hard it must have been on the women, too! I loved the idea of What would you do for your family?  

Vivienne was such a great lead character. And with the food decreasing every day and what she did for her family, it was almost heartbreaking for me to read.

I absolutely recommend this read. The reason that it didn't get 5 stars is because some parts were a little slow in the beginning as it was shifting over into the middle.

If you love historical novels, a story about family, and a great main character, you should pick up The Soldier's Wife!

The Soldier's Wife:
Published: June 28, 2011
Format: ARC 
Publisher: Hyperion Voice 
Average Rating: 3.95 stars
Page Count: 416 pages

Rating: 4/5 stars

Musing Mondays (2)

Musing Mondays is hosted over at Should Be Reading! This weeks muse is...

As a book blogger, does reading others’ blogs spark ideas for what to write on your own?

Absolutely! I love reading blogs and seeing what people write. Their pros and cons of a book or of anything always influences me to think about other things about maybe why I liked a book, or why I didn't like a book. I'm always open to other things and I always enjoy reading what people say. :-)

Leave your link to your Musing Mondays so I can check it out!