Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Auld Lang Syne

 




TOP TEN BOOKS I READ IN 2013



Farewell 2013! Life is too short to dwell on the past, therefore, I wish everyone a beautiful 2014 filled with laughter, love, and a ton of good books. 

My favorites this year are:



FanGirl and Bloodlines: My highlight of the year. Although, at first glace, both main characters and I wouldn't get along in real life -- I got to know them and realize that everyone acts according to their personal baggage. Some people just have barriers, and are pretty cool once they let their guard down. 

 

Ketchup Clouds and The Catastrophic History of You and Me: Contemporary will always be a guilty pleasure of mine. 



The Madman's Daughter and The Lover's Dictionary: Love stories I assumed would finished differently -- but absolutely loved what the author did with them. Life isn't a fairy tale. 






Smile and Origin: Two main characters with great will power. Glad they both learned to embrace it. 



What book tops your list?
                                                 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Review: These Broken Stars


When the Icarus spaceship malfunctions and breaks into several pieces in the sky, Lilac Laroux -- the owner's daughter -- and Tarver -- a war hero who's social status is below hers -- manage to escape in a pod. Surviving on an island while waiting to be rescued is hard on both of them, who can't stand each other. But as the island comes to life and rescue seems unlikely, working together becomes their only hope. 

Although, Kaufman & Spooner wrote a great collaboration, each voice different from the other and as interesting to read -- the spaceship is destroyed in the first thirty pages ruining the ''Titanic'' comparison completely. We were, however, spared from the instalove clich├ęs. Both Lilac and Tarver work at their relationship, learning not to step on each other's toes. 

It's great to see a boy need a girl's skills and vice-versa. Women are less and less portrayed as Mary-Sues in literature, and that is some outstanding progress.



Friday, December 20, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday: So this is Christmas


Parajunkee Alison Can Read


FEATURE & FOLLOW FRIDAY



Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back



Q: Recommend a book from a specific genre.

Topic sounds a little familiar. Soooo I picked a Holiday Book over Genre.




Ruining your ex-boyfriend's Christmas might sound like a sensible idea. But Lilia made a mistake and must take responsibility for her actions. Even if it means going on a road-trip with him.  

I rest my case on those three highlighted words. 



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review: Andi Unexpected


Sympathetic Andi Boggs gets her first mystery quest.  

Having never met another Andora, Andi Boggs is curious why anyone would've kept hushed about a relative that wore the same name. But the investigation turns from a puzzle to frighteningly creepy when an author decides to play around with the information for his own gain. Who exactly is this Andora? And why is everyone denying her existence?

Amanda Flower didn't just stick to the mystery plot, but also dedicated time to sort out Andi's and her sister Bethany's relationship. Although the girls just lost their parents and need each other more than ever, there's a lot of tension between them. Mostly repressed feelings over who their parents loved the most.

A great companionship to Nancy Drew collectors. 


Review: Dreams of Significant Girls


Three unlikely girls bond at a summer camp and form a lasting friendship.

All of them are different, and not due to their ethnic or religious background. Instead, we meet conflicting personalities. Ingrid, the loud one, who enjoys having a reputation. Shirin, the introvert despite of the fact she is an actual Iranian Princess who'd never stepped out of the castle. And lastly, Vivien, who lives preoccupied by her father's marital affair. 

Although the characters did show potential --including three different point-of-views -- the story relied solely on narrative. Important plot twists such as  Shirin stealing pastries, or the girls first sexual encounters were briefly mentioned. Even the rape scene was glanced at. Seeing the girls share very little of their emotions or fears made their decade lasting friendship unlikely. 

The ending was historically powerful, but again too narrative. Too bad the story didn't go deeper instead of just scratching the surface.



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Let's hook up again soon

 




TOP TEN NEW AUTHORS TO ME 2013



2013 for me was a year of self-discovery. I even made sure to finish it with a bang (as you will see in an upcoming post.) Here is the list of authors I discovered this year, and intend to keep on reading in 2014.




Carrie Ryan
Oh, the gore! If Stephen King is the king of horror, this woman is queen. The Forest of Hands and Teeth series kept me in angst the entire night causing some atrocious insomnia. 









Anna Carey 
Author of The Eve Trilogy. I thoroughly enjoyed the mixture of action and romance in the series. It was refreshing.







Julie Kawaga
Only discovered her this year. Why did I wait so long? I got hooked with The Immortal Rules as it allowed me to see a complete different side of vampires.



Lissa Price
Author of Starters. It was by pure coincidence that her book fell into my hands, but I don't regret it one bit. It was innovative and had so many plot twists.



Megan Shepherd
Another discovery for me this year. The Madman's Daughter is one of the best retellings I've read so far. 


Who tops your list?
                                                 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Review: The Boy from the Woods


Can a player change into a perfect gentleman over night?

Julia's heart goes on a beating rampage when Michael, her ultimate crush, spends the entire prom dancing with her. One thing leads to another and she loses her virginity to him. But later Michael tells her it was meaningless. So how can Michael become sweet and loving toward her after hitting his head during a motorcycle accident? Is there something inside those woods?

Setting the story in Salzburg provides us with a beautiful background. However, it is sympathetic Julia who steals the show. Not only does she suffer from every girl's nightmare, but is able to learn from it. She doesn't pine over him or beat herself down with remorse. Instead, she distracts herself with her best friend Gaby, and spends quality time with her sister.

All in all, Jen Minkman maintains the balance between reality and supernatural very well, revealing an interesting plot twist.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday: Just Do It


Parajunkee Alison Can Read


FEATURE & FOLLOW FRIDAY



Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back



Q: Bookselling time: Go to your biggest bookcases. Go to the second shelf on top and pick up the sixth book from the left. Now hardsell it to us. 

Tired of reading the same old stories with Mary-Sues who through innumerable obstacles, and yet manage to look sexy and do it all in a dress? Want to prepare for a future apocalypse?  Then I urge you to read:


A realistic heroine who must travel into a quarantined zone to search for her father. A love story about sacrifices. Inhuman has everything to keep you begging for more. I dare you not to read it O_O (reverse psychology + hypnotism always works) 


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Winter Readingland

 




TOP BOOKS FROM MY TO-READ PILE


I like to jazz it up, especially during dull and boring winter. So I picked out a horror, contemporary, classic, graphic, historical and science fiction novels. And some good plain romance. 





    
















What is on your winter to-read pile?
                                                 


Review: Death Sentence



Here comes the rebellion. 

This third installment of the Escape from Furnace series continues right where the previous cliffhanger left us: Alex being abducted by the Wheezers. Worse, this time around, he is forced to join their gang as his body is mutilated with poisonous addictive injections called nectar. Alex now has super strength, and an altered physique. But will he be able to live in the outside world without the nectar?

Alex Gordon Smith did an amazing job creating havoc in Furnace by making alliances between prisoners. Sworn enemies, the 59ers and the Skulls, unite with Alex for the better good. Cast also includes Zee, Simon, and even Donovan is mentioned several times. The non-stop action pushes through page after page, making the book impossible to put down. 

Looking forward to read book four: Fugitives.  


Monday, December 9, 2013

Caught my arrow #26

Caught my Arrow is a meme similar to In my mailbox and  Stalking the Shelves featuring books that were purchased, borrowed or received that week.


Finally, with Nanowrimo out of the way, I'm reading again. Here are the two books that kept me busy this week.


Received from Publisher
(Thank you Booksneeze!!)

Andi Unexpected


Netgalley


Heartbeat





What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review: Ketchup Clouds


"My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted." Frank Kafka

Keeping her identity top secret, Zoe (not her real name), confides in a incarcerated convict because both of them know how it feels to kill the one they love. The story is told through letters and flashbacks. Introducing Max and Aaron, brothers who's destiny becomes entwined with Zoe's.

Aside from the tragic love triangle, Annabel Pitcher tackles family issues such as divorce, families with a disabled child, and butting Grandparents. Zoe is insecure yet bright; just a typical teenage girl trying to come to terms with what love really means.

Although the tension in Ketchup Clouds rises to an unsatisfactory end, put the book aside, and come back to it. You will see just how realistic the story really is. 


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Class of 2014

 




TOP BOOKcupid's List for 2014


2014 is just around the corner. I'm already listing my resolutionsssss (yes, some have been compiled from previous years.) But one thing that is certainly fresh is my reading list: 




Cress by Marissa Meyer: I can't lie to you. Part of me just wants this book for the cover.  


Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd: Personally, I don't think The Madman's Daughter needed a sequel. It had a macabre ending that was self explanatory. So I can't wait to see what Shepherd brought to the table this time. 
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins:  Perkins manipulates dialogue like no one I have ever read. It's realistic! And honest!  


 Panic by Lauren Oliver: Although, Oliver lost me in Requiem. Pandemonium was bold and creative. Giving her a second chance seems like the reasonable thing to do. 








Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater: This book (spin off of The Wolves of Mercy Falls) doesn't even have a cover yet, but I want it. Forever came out a while ago, leaving the series a bit inconclusive. But it was a series finale nonetheless. What is going here?!?


                                                  



Monday, December 2, 2013

Review: Shatter Me


Reminiscent of Rogue from X-Men. 

Juliette isn't your typical girl. Her gifts surpass charm and physical strength. She is dangerous; a girl whose touch will kill you before escape comes to mind. The only person who isn't affected by her power is Adam. But can he cross his boss Warner -- also mesmerized by Juliette -- and help her flee before the Reestablishment turns her into a weapon?

Although, I admit that writing off a girl as a threat might make her appear rough and unsexy, Tahereh Mafi took things a bit too far by turning Juliette into a guy magnet. From Adam, Warner, to Kenji, Juliette attracted everyone from the opposite sex. The Reestablishment even forced her to wear alluring dresses. But all in all, it is the strike text every two pages that posed the real distraction. 

Hopefully, the sequel Unravel Me provides more answers. 


Friday, November 29, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday: Pedro Dies


Parajunkee Alison Can Read


FEATURE & FOLLOW FRIDAY



Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back



Q: What is your favorite Thanksgiving Day food? If you are not American or Canadian what is your favorite holiday food?

Although, Canadians prefer to carve ham during Thanksgiving, I love turkey. Eating turkey on Thanksgiving always reminds me of the movie Giant and the terrible scene that ensued once the children found out they were eating a friend.






Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Review: Uncommon Criminals


A thief that steals from a thief? Sounds like a modern Robin Hood.

In this sequel to Heist Society, Kat gets conned trying to save a woman who claims to have lost the Cleopatra Emerald. But in order to set things right, Kat will have to let go of her pride and accept the help of her cousin Gabriella, and her ex-flame Hale. 

Although the action in Uncommon Criminals doesn't compare to its predecessor, the crime is far more personal for Kat and the entire crew. There is far less travelling. Instead the reader will be transported by Kat's inner growth, as she is forced to wake up and accept that friendship is the best treasure of all. 


Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Inhuman


Packed with action and gripping scenes, Kat Falls develops a new sinister type of mutation. 

Lane never suspected her Dad from lying to her. Especially, about traveling out the virus free zone for work related issues. But when the government catches on, and threatens to execute him unless he cooperates, Lane must risk her life and go after him. Through her mission, she encounters guardian Everson Cruz and Rafe, a rogue cocky bad boy. Together they will travel through the manimal (animal/human hybrid) infected lands that harvest a horrible secret the government doesn't want anyone to know. 

Although, I constantly felt Lane's pull toward one boy over the other, a love triangle was still formed. The good part is that Falls doesn't center the story around romance, but rather focuses on the virus, allowing us to see the different aspects of mutation, including a "manimals" zoo. 

Prepare for a tasteful cliffhanger ending. 


Friday, November 22, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday: The Games Bloggers Play


Parajunkee Alison Can Read


FEATURE & FOLLOW FRIDAY



Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back



Q: You are it! We are playing #FF tag this week. Comment on as many blogs as you can, even if they aren't participating. Just say Happy #FF!

Putting my running shoes, and doing my stretches. Game on!!






Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: The Education of Hailey Kendrick


Are we really able to judge someone?

After Hailey's father -- the only parent she has left -- cancels their summer get-together once more, Hailey loses it. Joel convinces her to go nuts, and together they dismantle the school statue. The rush is so high, that they kiss, regardless of the fact they are on school campus, or that she all ready has a boyfriend who happens to be his best friend. Before she could think, a security guard sees them and Hailey gets caught, taking all the blame. 

Eileen Cook did a great job demonstrating how a crazy impulse can not only make you feel alive, but it can ruin everything. Deep down, Hailey had lots of problems she didn't want to deal with. Having everything thrown at once, like the school calling her father, or her boyfriend learning of her infidelity forces Hailey to take charge of her life once and for all. 

It felt good to savor a charming contemporary/coming-of-age story. I only wish the climax had been more intense.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Oh, the Humanity

 




TOP BOOKS TO GET OVER HUMANS


The topic might sound a bit awkward this week, but as a heartbroken gal, I decided to turn the other cheek and set my eyes (and heart) on aliens. Until I meet my ET, here is a list for every one who needs to get over someone:

                                                  




The Education of Hailey Kendrick: Everyone can make a mistake. Don't let that ruin your image or self-esteem.









The Catastrophic History of You and Me: Moving on isn't easy. It's okay not to rush it.









The Sky is Everywhere: Rebound after a loss isn't always a good idea. 











Burn for Burn: Although revenge might be tempting, the chances you'll end up regretting it are huge. Try to be the best person.  


Over You: Getting over someone is easier when you have help. Don't lock yourself alone in a room for too long, let your best friends in. 













Share your own favorites!!