Book Review: Power Is A Dangerous Game…

RedQueenI’ve heard several views of Red Queen, so I wanted to read the book for myself. The reviews I read before I got into the book told me that people either really loved the book or really hated the book. It sparked my interest immediately, so I picked it up! (From my local library, of course). The characters of the story and what they deal with definitely remind me of Red Rising and Falling KingdomsThe story reminds me of Red Rising because the characters have to go through a rough life because of who they are. Instead of it being the color of their skin, it’s the color of their blood that makes them different and cause strife. I am reminded of Falling Kingdoms too because the last person who would become royalty does become royalty and that person is hidden from others.

The story begins with a girl named Mare Barrow who lives with her family in the land of Reds and Silvers where the color of your blood determines your status in life. If that isn’t hard enough to fathom, when a person turns a certain age they have to be conscripted, meaning drafted, to the army and it’s usually when they turn 17 (If I remember correctly). Barrow isn’t the best upstanding citizen. She does many things that aren’t lawful, which she sees as a way to get buy and survive because she’s treated unequally as a Red and she feels she lives in the shadow of her perfect younger sister. One day while out on the run from her actions in a recent event she couldn’t stand to face, she stumbles upon a young man named Cal who will eventually change her life forever.

I think there’s realism in the story. I think the characters act and think in ways that we would in our every day lives if we were in their situation. Was the story predictable? A little, not much. Like I said before, it did remind me of two other books, but other than that I found the story to be a pleasant read. This book is labeled as young adult, but it’s a very mature read that older adults would enjoy as well. The mysterious nature of the story is what kept me reading until the end. I was trying to figure out who was betraying who! I had questions like, “How can anyone not notice this is happening? This is too easy to get by with!” And behold, in the end all of my questions were answered. It’s really well written as far as having the reader second guess what they thought before. I loved that expect of it.

I recommend this book. There is a second book in the works and a third. I’m excited to see how events will unfold in the next installment.

Just Finished: Angelfall by Susan Ee

angelfallI want to first start by saying how saddened I am by recently finding Angelfall. *inserts sad face* Even though I got my hands on it a few years late, I’m glad I did eventually. I LOVE this book. I cannot tell you guys how much I love it. I’ve never been a fan of reading books with angel characters. What makes this book so surprisingly different? Susan Ee is an amazing storyteller. This is how books with angel characters should be written! It’s flawless! I can’t explain how much I love this book without jumping up and down from complete and utter….happiness.

The story begins with a teen named Penryn who lives with her mother and sister. Penryn feels as if she has to take on everything because her mother and sister are disabled. Her sister is paralyzed from the waist down and her mother suffers from schizophrenia. The three of them are escaping from their home due to angels taking over the world. They are in a time called the “world after,” referring to life after the apocalypse. There’s barely any food left and danger around every turn. Humans and angels are enemies. The humans see these angels as a threat to their wellbeing.

While escaping, Penryn comes across an angel, Raffe who is having a hard time with other angels. Things happen. As the angels are fighting Raffe, another angel takes her sister, Paige. Penryn sets on an adventure to get her sister back from the enemy angels. Raffe decides to help Penryn and she helps him along the way as well.  Soon, Penryn and Raffe get comfortable with each other and they begin a journey to help each other while disregarding they are on opposing sides. The two deal with this internal conflict  throughout the story.

As I mentioned above, I am in love with this story. The sequel to this book is called World After released in 2013 and the 2015 release, The End Days concludes the trilogy. I will be reading all three! The writing is amazing. The characters are interesting and fun. The story was not too long. It was the perfect length. I didn’t think the details were overdone or underdone. I got just enough background information to understand and really enjoy reading it. I recommend this book to everyone.

 

You Think You Know About Vampires? Think Again!

bookish-fledglingAfter picking this book up at the beginning of the month, I finally finished it. Finally. If you think you know all there is to know about vampires, think again, my dear. I had a bit of cognitive dissonance while reading this book because Ms. Butler took everything I knew about vampires and said it was all wrong! This is a work of fiction, but all of the other fictional books about vampires seem to run into each other. None are significantly different than the other until I read this book.

This the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly unhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted-and still wants-to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself.

The story began really mysteriously and had my attention until I got done with more than half of the book. The story is very interesting. You will learn about things concerning the nature and makeup of vampires that will make you a little uncomfortable; especially if you love reading similar stories. Towards the end, the storytelling started to become repetitive and I lost interest. I think it’s great to keep refreshing the reader’s mind, but it can become annoying.

Also, I love when authors are descriptive in their storytelling. However, Ms. Butler was a VERY descriptive author. Every character in the story is fully developed. Background information is given about every character and family. Sometimes it can make a book longer than it should be.The human-vampire relationships took me off guard. You would never think humans would be welcoming to vampires (and vice versa) and they will actually live together in harmony.

I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style. Race, politics, sexism, and poverty are common ground in this book. I recommend it if you love reading books with vampires and don’t mind getting a different perspective.

Book Reviews: Half Bad, Popular & We Were Liars

Hello! I’ve read 3 books so far and we’re only 4 days into the new year. I am very surprised! I chose to read some really engaging books, so I’m guessing that may be why I’ve read them so fast. Instead of doing one post for each book I decided to knock them all out since I finished them all so quickly. Let’s get to the reviews.

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I really liked this book. It is a memoir written by Maya, who was thirteen during the time about her life being a geek. Her father bought a book a long time ago about popularity, style, and etiquette for teens. Maya found it while rummaging through things. Then she got the idea to follow the popularity guide and document her life throughout her 8th grade school year. I thought this book was very honest. When people review this book they only say it’s about a young girl following a popularity guide from years ago, but it’s a lot more than that. She tells us a lot about her life living near the Texas/Mexico boarder, the dangers that come with her place of residence, the socioeconomic statuses of her family and those around her, race, class, and the community she grew up in. There’s a lot more to this book than a young girl following a popularity guide.

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I absolutely adore it! I couldn’t put it down. I cannot wait for book two, Half Wild. It’s set to release in March. I normally don’t pick up books about witches. I’m really glad I picked this one up. The story is so fresh and nothing like I’ve ever read before. First of all, the story takes place in England. This is interesting. To put it simply, it’s not the typical witch book. This story is about a boy named Nathan who is a half white witch and half black witch. Needless to say he is not liked by many people. When he turns a certain age he has to get his gifts, if not then he will surely die. However, since he’s a half black witch in a society that is ruled by white witches he has a chance of dying anyway. If that wasn’t bad enough, Nathan is the son of the most famous and strongest black witch there is. Yes. Very interesting story. There is a lot of backstory, so it didn’t get interesting to me until the middle of the book, then things started to pick up from there. The ending left me hoping the second book would release earlier than expected.

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Where do I start…. I was expecting so much more from this book because everyone has been raving about it. The concept was interesting, but it was poorly written. I can’t say much about it because (here we go again) everyone says it’s better if you don’t know anything about this book before you read it. I didn’t find not knowing to help me find this book entertaining or mysterious. It didn’t help at all. I think it’s more of a marketing ploy to get people to buy and read it. The metaphors are terrible. There was no defined climax. The ending was mediocre. If you really want to know what I’m talking about give the book a try. I must say the first chapter, well first couple of pages took me off guard. That was it for the shock factor.

Those are the books I’ve read between December 31, 2014 – January 3, 2015! I’ve never had such a good set of books (minus We Were Liars) that I’ve read ever! Really happy about it.

Last Book Haul of 2014!

Around Thanksgiving and Christmas I get super excited because the deals on books are never ending. I bought books during the Black Friday event and the Boxing Day event (the Friday and Saturday after Christmas) that were both hosted through book outlet. The books that you will see in this post were books I ordered during the Boxing Day event, so here’s what I bought!

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: A Graphic Novel

I read my first graphic novel this year and I was immediately hooked. I’m starting to build my graphic novel collection and I’m really excited! If you are a frequent reader of my posts, then you’ll know and understand that I love dark and gory books! So, this pick shouldn’t be a surprise. There isn’t much to explain about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Everyone knows! The same story in graphic novel form. 

hunger

Hunger by Knut Hamsun

A true classic of modern literature that has been described as “one of the most disturbing novels in existence” (Time Out), Hunger is the story of a Norwegian artist who wanders the streets, struggling on the edge of starvation. As hunger overtakes him, he slides inexorably into paranoia and despair. The descent into madness is recounted by the unnamed narrator in increasingly urgent and disjointed prose, as he loses his grip on reality. (Summary from Amazon.com)

I cannot WAIT to read this! What intrigued me about this book is the struggling writer trying and failing to sell his written work to those who publish journals. A story that tells you the dark side of pursuing your passion and knowing where it gets you, but you carry on anyway. Amazing.

fault

Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott

Good to a Fault follows a divorcee who has to come to grips with her husband and family being almost non-existent in her life. One day she gets into a car accident with a family who is homeless and living in a car. She decides to help them, while leaving her family puzzled about her actions towards people she does not know. Through all of this she forms a new relationship and more decisions she has to make about her life and the life of the family she’s taken responsibility for.

blood

The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani

I am a huge fan of stories involving women (as lead characters) that take place in different countries around the world. I’ve been reading about these women and social taboos they were faced with. This story is about a 14 year-old Persian girl who thinks she will be married within a year, but her fate changes when her father dies. Soon after, the girl and her mother are homeless without money and without a dowry for marriage. A rug becomes their salvation and the story unfolds from there.

bone season

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season is incredibly popular in the book community. I’ve read and watched enough reviews of this book to buy it. On the other hand, I’m a bit scared to start reading overhyped books because I may end up not liking them, but I will give this one a try.

This is the first book in a dystopian trilogy and it takes place in 2025. The lead character is a girl who is capable of dream walking. She gets snatched away and taken to a secret prison where she discovers there are creatures who are out to capture and kill individuals like her.

god of war

The God of War by Marisa Silver

The year is 1978. Ares Ramirez, age 12, lives with his mother, Laurel, and his younger brother Malcolm in a trailer at the edge of the Salton Sea, an unintentionally man-made body of water in the middle of the Southern California desert. It is a desolate, forgotten place, whose inhabitants thrive amidst seemingly impossible circumstances.

Ares’ struggle with the burden of responsibility — to himself and to others — draws him into a world of drugs, violence, and sex that he is not prepared for, launching him into a very personal battle for his own identity, one that has a lethal outcome. (Summary from Amazon.com)

marbles

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney

Marbles is another graphic novel I purchased. I thought it was really cool because it’s a memoir by Ellen Forney in an art form, which makes sense since she’s an artist. Ellen tells her story about being a crazy and creative cartoonist as well as stories of other bipolar artists and writers.

This wasn’t included in the boxing event order. I bought this a few days before. There was only one left and I always managed to miss out on buying it before it sold out, so I didn’t miss out this time. I bought the last copy!

Currently Reading: Help For The Haunted by John Searles

haunted

Published July 15, 2014

Mystery/Thriller/Paranormal

Length: 400 pages

Source: Oyster Books

John Searles’s Help for the Haunted is an unforgettable story of a most unusual family, their deep secrets, their harrowing tragedy, and ultimately, a daughter’s discovery of a dark and unexpected mystery.

Sylvie Mason’s parents have an unusual occupation—helping “haunted souls” find peace. After receiving a strange phone call one winter’s night, they leave the house and are later murdered in an old church in a horrifying act of violence.

A year later, Sylvie is living in the care of her older sister, who may be to blame for what happened to their parents. Now, the inquisitive teenager pursues the mystery, moving closer to the knowledge of what occurred that night—and to the truth about her family’s past and the secrets that have haunted them for years.