Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday 3

You may (or may not) have noticed I missed last weeks Top Ten Tuesday. I spent the day studying for my last final and getting ready to fly to Arizona to spend the rest of the week and weekend with my grandparents. But I promised myself that I wouldn't miss this week.

Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book

1. Magic
I love books that have elements of magic. A magic system, a magic world, etc. 
2. Travel
I want to see the world! Books that include travel (even road trips) are ones that I always try to check out.
3. Royalty
I have a thing for monarchies, royalty, and castles. I love books that feature a monarchy.
4. Mythology
I love all kinds of myths and legends  Modern retelling or books that incorporate the ancient gods or goddesses are always interesting to me.
5. Academy
I don't know why, but I always loved the idea of attending a boarding school. So when a book has an academy or boarding school I take a look.
6. Dystopia
I don't know why they are so appealing, but there is something about a someone making the best of a horrible world that I find both cautionary and fascinating
7. Gifted
I love super intelligent people and otherworldly gifts. When someone has something extra about them in powers or smarts, but it isn't magic.
8. Strong, Sassy Female Lead
So this is more of a topic then a word, but I really identify with strong, sassy female leads and love to find books with a independent, strong heroine
9. Clean Romance
I love romance, but with New Adult novels I find myself returning books that give too much graphic detail. I want a romance that isn't explicit.
10. Redemption
I love stories of redemption! It reminds me that we can change and become our best selves.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Escape with Ender's Game

Ender's Game
By: Orson Scott Card

The Goodreads Blurb: In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives. Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

The blurb gives more away then I think it should, but there is still a lot to learn. This book was amazing! I am so looking forward to seeing the film now and how they adapt it to the big screen.

This book was very, very emotional. I got so invested in the characters and the experience. I could not read the book straight through. I got so involved I had to step away. I was cheering for Ender and horrified by Peter. I laughed and cried. It was a moving experience. I wish more novels were this complex and moving. I can understand why it won awards because I would nominate it myself.

I think my favorite part was how this book made me look at myself. I compared myself to my siblings and really examined our personalities  I examined my relationships with other people and how I see myself versus how other see me. I don't think you can read Ender's Game without looking at your relationships with people and looking at yourself. 

I will say despite knowing it was a war novel I was surprised at some of the descriptions of violence. I don't tend to enjoy that sort of thing so it was a little bit off-putting. But the complexity of the novel really helped me get paste my own distaste for it. 

I absolutely recommend getting this book and reading it before the movie comes out! 

Check out Ender's Game at Goodreads or Amazon

Thursday, April 18, 2013

BTT #3

This week the question surprised me. Its about reading in other languages.

"I saw a Latin edition of “The Hobbit” last time I was at the bookstore… Do you read any foreign languages? Do you ENJOY reading in other languages?"

I wish I could read in other languages. I did two years of German in high school and learned to read Hiragana, but I have not gotten far enough into a language to be able to read a novel in it. I really want to learn another language though, but currently don't have the time or the money to invest in learning a language. So for know its a future goal. Though picking just one language is going to be the tougher part.

Though I am going to London for the Summer and I'm considering getting the British editions of some of my favorite series. They may be the same stories, but they would be fun to have in my bookshelf!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday 2

April 16: Top Ten Tuesday REWIND -- pick a past topic you missed or one you want to revisit!

So since I have missed a lot of Top Ten Tuesday's the list to pick through was long! But this one popped out to me immediately. Top Ten Fictional Crushes. I don't know how I can pick just ten! Also note this are in a random order and a person's place in said order has no bearing on how much more or less I crushed (or am crushing) on them!

1. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. He is a classic literary figure and is the behind the scenes hero. My favorite quote of his "you have bewitched me, body and soul"

2. Harry Potter from Harry Potter. When I read this series I was so in love with Harry! All the things he went through and overcame. He had a pull to him and I fell for it.

3. Gabriel from Clarity. Even in the blurb it describes him as the "the smoldering son of the new detective". He starts out unlovable in some ways, but you fall for him in the end.

4. Numair Salmalín from Wild Magic. A powerful mage who is attractive and acts childish. He definitely grew on me. Swoon!

5. Derek Souza from The Summoning. He is unbelievable rude and unlikable in the beginning but as you see his protectiveness and compassion throughout the series it he becomes more lovable and attractive. I always fall for the misunderstood.

6. Edward Cullen from Twilight. You all know you crushed on him at one point. His gentlemen nature, his protectiveness, his fierce love are all things I appreciated about him.

7. Chase from Raised By Wolves. I just loved him! He is so sweet. I don't know how to put it into words, but the way he treats Bryn made me want him.

8. Levi from Flight. He had this attractive arrogance which is hard to do. And despite some flaws I really loved his devotion and protectiveness.
9. Prince Charmont from Ella Enchanted. I liked seeing him grow and change and come out of the shadows. And he is a prince. Whats not to love?

10. John Hayden from Abandon. A modern Hades with all the smoke and sizzle! He is also very protective, attractive, and loving. I want one!

Totally realizing I have a thing for protective guys! I don't like when they get too overboard, but still a factor that came up a lot.

Hope you enjoyed reading of the many fictional crushes I have had.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Escape with the Accidental Hero

Accidental Hero
By: Matt Myklusch

Because I love Harry Potter and Percy Jackson I was recommended the Jack Blank Adventure series. This Middle Grade series of books had an interesting premise so I gave it a chance. 

The Goodreads blurb: All Jack Blank knows is his bleak, dreary life at St. Barnaby’s Home for the Hopeless, Abandoned, Forgotten, and Lost—an orphanage in the swampland of New Jersey. Covertly reading old comic books is Jack’s only solace. But his life changes forever when he meets an emissary from a secret country called the Imagine Nation, an astonishing place where all the fantastic and unbelievable things in the world originate. Including Jack. Jack soon discovers that he has an amazing ability—one that could make him the savior of Imagine Nation and the world beyond…or the biggest threat they’ve ever faced.

This book kept be guessing and had many twists and turns that you don't see coming. I loved the originality of Imagine Nation and all the things that went along with it. I also really felt for Jack Blank and rooted for him throughout the book. I think that while the originality made it appealing, it could have been more detailed. It leaves a lot to your imagination, but some readers may enjoy this. The reason it lost a star was because while it is a start to a series, it asked more questions then it answered. While this is one way to insure that people continue the series, for this book it made it feel more like a placeholder. So while I recommend it to others, be aware that your going to want to finish the series because it leaves you wanting to know a lot. Still its worth reading if you want an original tale of triumph and courage.

Check it Accidental Hero on Goodreads or Amazon 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

BTT #2

Welcome to another Booking through Thursday question! This week it is:

What’s the last book that made you spring to your feet, eager to spread the word and tell everyone how much you enjoyed it?

My first thought was Evren by Marian Tee. It was free on Kindle one day so I downloaded it, but didn't read it for several months afterword. But when I started reading it I devoured it!

Goodreads blurb: Sixteen-year-old Deli Winters wakes up, dying. A voice asks her if she wants help, no matter the cost, and she agrees. The next thing she knows, a monster is bathing her in fire. She has become Evren: immortals with dragons for souls. Deli is pretty, bubbly, and stubbornly optimistic. She’s not what anyone would think the ideal girlfriend would be for someone like Lucian Chevalier, her gorgeous, aloof, and perpetually busy savior. But Deli is in love with him and in between dodging the traps of Sanger High’s Queen Bee and working hard at becoming an ass-kicking Evren warrior chick to avenge her parents’ murders, Deli is determined to win Lucian’s heart…whether he likes it or not.

It is an amazing young adult book with magic and dragons! It has mystery/intrigue as well as romance. I feel in love with Lucian and while Deli got annoying, she is so innocent it makes her appealing. I think that it was an exciting read because it was so original. It had so many ideas I had not experienced in other books so that made it even more appealing. And it could have gone graphic, but it didn't which is my preference.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday 1

For future topics or more info click here

Top Ten Favorite Books I Read Before I Was A Blogger

I have only been a blogger for maybe two weeks so this topic was easy because I had a million books to choose from and hard because I had too many books  to choose from! With only four books reviewed, or in the process of being reviewed, I was torn about which of my many favorites would be my top ten. So while these are what I ended up picking I had to eliminate some other stellar novels.

1. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett is the first part of Tiffany Aching segment of his Discworld series. I loved Tiffany Aching and this was the first I ever read of Terry Prachett who is an amazing fantasy author. The book is full of humour and adventure and well worth reading.

2. Heist Society by Ally Carter is a realistic crime young adult series. While her first series Gallagher Girls did not appeal to me I was so glad that I gave Heist Society a chance. It has compelling characters that pull you in and a mysterious plot that keeps you guessing.

3. Slathbog's Gold by M.L. Forman is another fantasy adventure (I really love those!). I started this series when I transferred schools and devoured the books at a time when I was having trouble making friends. This series got me through a tough transition so it holds a special place in my heart. Furthermore I connect with Alex Taylor and find him to be a person who you want to emulate for his selfless and caring nature and his desire for a little adventure.

4. A Modern Witch by Debora Geary is an amazing series with a smaller following. Its considered Chick Lit by goodreads and its the first on this list that isn't a young adult series. But I like that is a series with characters that you grow with (each book is told by a different character but the main cast all tend to come in and out of each book). Its a paranormal romance but its also says a lot about relationships, trust, loyalty, and magic. I think that it appeals to me because it builds this modern world full of witches that you wish you could befriend and it teaches you life lessons without preaching.

5. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen is my favorite of the many books I have read by her. This one contains the usual young adult romance with hard issues, but it stood out to me because even not experiencing what McLean has I felt drawn to her and related to many of her feelings. I think also being a very family-oriented person I like what this said about families. Great read.

6. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale is a fantastic novel. I never read the other Books of Bayern but I reread this one several times. I appreciated the kick-butt female lead in this novel  and felt it was a well-done fairytale retelling. Of the several different versions of goose girl that I have enjoyed this one is the best of them.

7. Fairest by Gail Carson Levine is another fairytale retelling. This seems to be a hit or miss with most people. I loved Ella Enchanted so I got this book when it first came out and eventually got it signed when she visited my school. I think that while the main character really annoyed me at times the plot makes up for it.

8. Graceling by Kristin Cashore was a book I picked up in the library one day and then eventually bought my own copy. Its a unique story that I really appreciated with characters that are very human despite their extreme skills. It has several companions in the same world now that bring back the magic you experience when reading this one.

9. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I'm a Potterhead. What more can I say?

10. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I re-read the whole series after the last movie came out. I still love most of the story (does anyone really like New Moon?) and find the writing simplistic. Its a good read despite the fact that people seem to hate it just to hate it. It has flaws, but it was a unique story.

Thats my top ten favorite books I read before I was a blogger. That took me longer then I thought! But it was nice to revisit some of my favorite series and authors.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

BTT #1

Don't know what Booking through Thursday is? Its a blog that posts a question for book bloggers to respond to every Thursday. Feel free to go check it out.

This Thursdays Question: 
What’s the silliest (most foolish?) book you’ve ever read? Did you enjoy it?

I spent awhile looking through my bookshelf and kindle cloud before coming up with the answer to this one. I can think of many books that are silly, but the most silly or foolish? I think I'm going to have to say that the Spy Goddess series by Michael P. Spradlin. I enjoyed reading it, but they are very silly.

Goodreads blurb: Not really. I'm just misunderstood. Of course, that's not how the judge saw it. That's how I wound up at freaky Blackthorn Academy. Talk about boring. There isn't even a mall nearby. I mean, what did they expect a girl from Beverly Hills to do? Also, from the start I could tell there was something really weird about Blackthorn: The headmaster, Mr. Kim, knew way too much about me. The class schedule features Intro to Code Theory and Microelectronics. A whole section of the school is off-limits. Then the FBI showed up ... and Mr. Kim disappeared. Well, here's something Mr. Kim didn't know about me: Rachel Buchanan never gives up when there are secrets to uncover. Watch out, Blackthorn Academy

Even the blurb makes it sound a bit silly to me. Its a semi-original idea and I got into the book for the most part, but book seems a bit too childish as you read it. I enjoy spy novels, but this one went about it in a way that just seemed a bit contrived. And the main character is endearing, but hopelessly foolish. It probably was about a 3.5/5 because I enjoyed the read but I also felt it was a bit ridicules overall.

Enjoy the Escape!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

2013 Debut Author Challenge

I have decided that its not to late for me to join the 2013 Debut Author Challenge! I have to read and review at least 12 author's Young Adult debut novels before January 31, 2014. You can find more details/rules on the official challenge page.

My goal is to read the following 13 books because they are ones in which I have already been anticipating or found most interesting.


Escape with Wild Magic

Wild Magic
By: Tamora Pierce

I wanted to post a review about a book that isn't new to me. This is a book that I read for the first time about six years ago when I was fourteen. I then went on to finish this series (and every other one) by Tamora Pierce. This is a very big repeat read for me because I loved Daine and her story. I have read this book probably five times now. While I recommend you start with Alanna: The First Adventure because it is the first book in the world of Tortall. Reading that one first will prevent you from getting spoilers that Wild Magic has as being a set in the same world with many overlapping characters.

The Goodreads blurb: Young Daine's knack with horses gets her a job helping the royal horsemistress drive a herd of ponies to Tortall. Soon it becomes clear that Daine's talent, as much as she struggles to hide it, is downright magical. Horses and other animals not only obey, but listen to her words. Daine, though, will have to learn to trust humans before she can come to terms with her powers, her past, and herself.

Tamora Pierce is amazing a several things. She creates series kick-butt characters, an immersive world, and amazing magic. Wild Magic is probably tied for my favorite series of hers (with Trickster's Choice which should be read after this and the Alanna Song of the Lioness series). The immersive world of Tortall is irresistible and compelling. If you read all her series in order you get beyond well-developed characters that grow and change. 

But speaking strictly about Wild Magic I enjoy the book because we get to see Daine grow and develop. We see relationships between characters progress and strengthen. I love the animals that we meet and the way we get to watch Daine's confidence with animals grow. And most of all I love the magic that brings the world and the book alive. If you want a great fantasy series with magic, adventure, and romance then stick with this book series and you won't be disappointed.

Check out Wild Magic on Goodreads or Amazon.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Escape with Michael Vey

Michael Vey: Prisoner of Cell 25
By: Richard Paul Evans

One of the few books I have gotten recently that was not on my Kindle. I went to the bookstore and asked for staff recommendations for a young adult fantasy adventure and this is what she gave me. 

The Goodreads blurb: My name is Michael Vey, and the story I’m about to tell you is strange. Very strange. It’s my story. To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is an ordinary fourteen-year-old. In fact, the only thing that seems to set him apart is the fact that he has Tourette’s syndrome. But Michael is anything but ordinary. Michael has special powers. Electric powers. Michael thinks he's unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor also has special powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up this way, but their investigation brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric children – and through them the world. Michael will have to rely on his wits, powers, and friends if he’s to survive.

It was the exact genre I was looking for and the characters were realistic and (despite being 6 years younger then me) I was able to connect with them. I loved Michael for many reasons, but most importantly  his conviction. Taylor Ridley was fierce and didn't compromise her values for anyone. And Ostin was the most loyal friend you could ask for. Beyond the compelling characters the plot was easy to follow and sucked you right in from the first chapter. It had suspense and intrigue. While I stick to my gut 5/5 rating and recommendation I will warn that the writing is very simplistic and may turn some readers off. But for me the plot and characters overcompensated for this.

Check out Michael Vey on Goodreads or Amazon.