Friday, November 30, 2012

Mini Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Publisher: MTV Books
Release Date: February 1, 1999
Source: Purchased
Edition: Paperback (213 pages)
Genre: Contemporary
Cover Review: I love the simplicity.
Tagline: N/A
Series: N/A
Main Character: Charlie Scorsoni

Standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.
After reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I'm definitely interested in seeing what the movie will be like compared to the novel. The book was written in journal entires, which I found really interesting. Charlie is a wallflower, hence the title. He is pretty much like an outsider always looking in. When he is finally welcomed in, his eyes are opened to a whole new world. He meets some new friends, including Sam and Patrick, who are seniors. I don't know how is going to survive a few more years now that his friends have graduated.

Sam and Patrick are brother and sister. Charlie has the biggest crush on Sam as soon as he meets her, and throughout the whole novel he tries to get her to like him back. The only problem is that Sam is dating another guy, who Charlie thinks is treating her badly. He believes that he could treat her much better. In the end, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a pretty good explanation of what highschool could be, and is in some places.

Rating:




Recommended for fans of:
Unique Writing
Contemporaries
Book-To-Movie Adaptations

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Great Expectations (3)

If you've seen my post about what's in store for everyone on the blog, then you most definitely know about this. If you haven't seen the post, here's what Great Expectations is. Great Expectations is going to be a new meme hosted here at Downright Dystopian. I think I'll host it on Thursdays, every other week.

If you'd like to join in on this meme, just please link back to me and leave a link to your post in the comments! I'd love to see what you have to say about it.

Great Expectations will be a weekly meme where you talk about a book that has had a lot of hype. You then proceed to talk about whether you believe it should've had all that hype. After that, you can talk about a recent read that you loved to try to give it some hype.

The Hype
A book I recently read that had a lot of hype was Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. I'd heard nothing but amazing things about it and I couldn't help but read it. Well, I read it, and it was amazing! I couldn't stop reading it after I started it. The characters were really enjoyable to read about and it almost had a Graceling-esque touch to it, which I loved.

Does it deserve all the hype? Of course it does! If you have read Under the Never Sky then you definitely understand. For those of you who haven't read it yet, go read it! I highly recommend it.

Recent Read
I recently read The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse and I absolutely loved it! The characters were so great, especially Liam and Gadya. I really liked how we learned about some of their past as well, because they were only acquaintences to the protagonist, Alenna. Stasse has created an unbelievable world that will really intrigue fans of The Hunger Games, Beauty Queens, and The Maze Runner alike.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (21)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. This meme spotlights upcoming releases that bloggers are eagerly waiting for.

This week I'm waiting on The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress.

An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns--and the heroines who use them all

Set in Edwardian London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The three young women's lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It's up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder--and the crimes they believe may be connected to it--without calling too much attention to themselves.

Told with Adrienne Kress's sharp wit and a great deal of irreverence, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike--well, relatively ladylike--heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.

The Friday Society will be released on December 6, 2012 by Dial.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Beautiful Creatures

I saw the trailer for Beautiful Creatures a while ago and I've been meaning to write a post on it. I haven't read the book yet, but I have had it on my shelf for a while now. After watching the trailer, I'm definitely going to pick it up soon. I'm hoping to get to it before the movie comes out. Have you guys read the book before? What do you think of the casting? I can't really have any opinions yet because I haven't read it yet!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Graphia/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: September 7, 2009
Source: Library
Edition: Paperback (471 pages)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Cover Review: This cover really signifies the story, therefore I love it!
Tag Line: N/A
Series: Graceling Realm #1
Main Character: Katsa

His eyes, Katsa had never seen such eyes. One was silver, and the other, gold. They glowed in his sun-darkened face, uneven, and strange. She was surprised that they hadn't shone in the darkness of their first meeting. They didn't seem human....

Then he raised his eyebrows a hair, and his mouth shifted into the hint of a smirk. He nodded at her, just barely, and it released her from her spell.

Cocky, she thought. Cocky and arrogant, this one, and that was all there was to make of him. Whatever game he was playing, if he expected her to join him he would be disappointed.
In a world where people born with an extreme skill - called a Grace - are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.

When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po's friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
Graceling is about a young girl named Katsa who has one of the best Graces in the seven kingdoms. She can kill people easily. In the past, she has even killed people by accident. How else do you think she found out what her grace was? In the process of bringing someone back by the order of Uncle Randa, Katsa ends up finding another fighter. At least, she thinks that this guy is like her.

We later meet Po again and we find that he followed her home because the guy that they saved was actually his grandfather. He was going on a mission to save him as well. Po and Katsa go on the adventure of a lifetime.

Katsa was pretty funny. She almost reminded me of Katniss because she was an awesome fighter and she was sort of spunky. I really liked how after a while, Katsa decided that she didn't want anyone telling her what to do anymore.

Po was really awesome. I instantly fell in love with him after I met him. I think that he and Katsa were alike in so many ways. I could write an essay about it! After the ending of Graceling, I'm definitely going to pick up Fire, even if it is just a companion. I can't wait to read more books set in this amazing setting. This book really got me back into reading fantasy again as well. I hadn't read fantasy in the longest time and I really wanted to read more afterwards.

Rating:


 Recommended to fans of:
High Fantasy
Non-insta-love
Great Character Development

Have you read this novel? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Downright Discussion: Love Triangles

So, I decided to start doing discussions. This is my first one, so I decided I might as well just get the love triangle thing out of the way. I decided I'd post discussions every Sunday.

So, onto the love triangle thing.

Here's my deal with love triangles: they don't bother me. I'm fine with books that have either love triangles or one love interest. Here's the other thing: I actually LOVE love triangles. Does that make any sense? Most people hate love triangles, because they don't like it when their favorite boy or girl doesn't get the main character. I feel like I need someone to root for. It's just part of the whole reading experience for me. I also like getting to know all of the love triangle characters and really deciding which one I'm going to root for. I don't mind who the character ends up with, as long as they have a legitimate reason as to why they chose who they did.

My example for this: The Hunger Games. I was originally rooting for Gale and I felt that he shouldn't have just up and run away like he did. After I thought about it for a while, I decided that Peeta was the right choice, and I now root for Peeta instead of Gale.

My other example is the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie. I'm rooting for Ky, but I'm not entirely sure who Cassia is going to end up with because I feel as if Ms. Condie has given each character really good reasons to end up with Cassia.

Anyway, love triangles don't bother me because as I said before, they make the reading experience even better for me. What are your thoughts on love triangles? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

New Releases for the Week of November 25-December 1, 2012

Here are some of the new releases for the upcoming week!
November 27: Elixir by Jennifer L. Armentrout
A Covenant Novella

November 27: Lullaby by Amanda Hocking
Sequel to Wake

November 27: The Lucky Ones by Anna Godbersen
Book 3 in the Bright Young Things series

Photos and info found on Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (8)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
 
From the author of the acclaimed Archangel Academy vampire trilogy comes a stunning new series about a girl determined to defy her fate—and reclaim her future…

Something strange is going on with Dominy Robineau. All her friends in Weeping Water, Nebraska, have noticed—and it’s way beyond teenage blues. As weeks pass, Dom grows consumed by anger, aggression, and violence, and she seems powerless to stop it. Then she turns sixteen, and things get really dangerous.

When her best friend is murdered, Dominy’s father is compelled to reveal the truth behind the darkness that threatens to both overtake and empower her. Her boyfriend, Caleb, swears they’ll find a way to change her destiny. But others are hiding secrets too, and gifts that are far more terrifying than hers. And even as she struggles to control her new abilities, Dom must contend with an enemy who wants her to use the beast within to destroy all those she loves, before she destroys herself…

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.

Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident...
...but their souls don't exactly get where they're supposed to get either. Instead, they're caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no onger exist. It's a magical, yet dangerous place where bands of lost children run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the center of the Earth.



When they find Mary, the self-proclaimed queen of lost kids, Nick feels like he he's found a home, but allie isn't satisfied spending eternity between worlds. Against all warnings, Allie begins learning the "Criminal Art" of haunting, and ventures into dangerous territory, where a monster called the McGill threatens all the souls of Everlost.



In this imaginative novel, Neal Shusterman explores questions of life, death, and what just might lie in between.

On the run . . .

Elena Gilbert's love, the vampire Stefan Salvatore, has been captured and imprisoned by demonic spirits who are wreaking havoc in Fell's Church. While her friends Bonnie and Meredith explore the evil that has taken over their town, Elena goes in search of Stefan.

In order to find him, she entrusts her life to Stefan's brother, Damon Salvatore, the handsome but deadly vampire who wants Elena, body and soul. Along with her childhood friend Matt, they set out for the slums of the Dark Dimension, where Stefan is being held captive. It is rumored to be a world where vampires and demons roam free, but humans must live enslaved to their supernatural masters. . . .

Elena will stop at nothing to free Stefan. Yet with each passing day the tension between Elena and Damon grows, and she is faced with a terrible decision: Which brother does she really want?

Back in Fell's Church, Bonnie and Meredith have made some dire discoveries. They hastily try to follow Elena and warn her--only to be caught up in Elena's most dangerous adventure yet.

The Circle's power has lured her home. . . .

Forced to move from sunny California to gloomy New England, Cassie longs for her old life. Even so, she feels a strange kinship to a terrifying group of teens who seem to rule her school. Initiated into the coven of witches that's controlled New Salem for hundreds of years, she's drawn into the Secret Circle, a thrill that's both intoxicating and deadly. But when she falls for the mysterious and intriguing Adam, Cassie must choose whether to resist temptation or risk dark forces to get what she wants--even if it means that one wrong move could ultimately destroy her.


What books did you buy/receive this week? Tell me in the comments!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (5)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read & Parajunkee's View. It's a nice way to meet to new friends and gain new followers. I'd prefer if you'd follow via GFC. If you can't, you may follow via e-mail. Feedburner is okay as well.

Q: Are you thankful for a fellow blogger? Tell us about him or her.
I honestly can't answer this question with one specific answer. I'm thankful for so many other bloggers. Book bloggers in general are just something to be thankful for. They help spread the joy of reading. I guess I'll just list a few of my favorite bloggers who I thoroughly trust with their reviews.
Harmony over at Harmony's Radiant Reads - Harmony's reviews are super fun to read. She always uses quotes which I absolutely LOVE. Her blog is also the reason why I started blogging in the first place.
Giselle over at Booknerd - Giselle does many other features besides just book reviews. I absolutely love her Newbie's Guide to Book Blogging. It's really helpful!
Anna over at Literary Exploration - Anna does great reviews and I absolutely love reading her discussion posts.

What fellow blogger are you thankful for?

Book Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Source: Bought
Edition: Hardcover (376 pages)
Genre: YA Dystopian
Cover Review: I love the cover! It's so much prettier in real life.
Tagline: A million ways to die. One way to live.
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Main Character(s): Perry and Aria

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.
Under the Never Sky is about a girl named Aria who is exiled from Reverie, which is her home. Reverie is a sheltered dome where life is perfect. Humans spend hours with their SmartEyes in virtual worlds. These virtual worlds were made so that nobody had to know about how bad it is outside the dome. Outside the dome, Aether storms rule. They are these bad storms that can kill people easily and destroy anything in its path.

After finding that her mom can't seem to contact her anymore, Aria decides to start flirting with the only guy she knows that can possibly tell her about what's going on. Aria's mom left to go to Bliss, another dome, to do some research. Nothing goes according to plan, and quite a few lives are taken. Nobody is supposed to leave the dome, and when Aria leaves with the guy and his friends, the blame gets pinned on her. During the time that she's in the dome, the guy starts a huge fire and an outsider ends up coming in and saves her.

Now exiled from her home, Aria must try and survive outside. While walking around, she ends up finding the guy who just so happens to be the same one who saved her during the fire. His name is Perry. Since Perry's nephew was taken by the people that work in the dome, he decides to help Aria. He hopes that she'll be able to lead him to where he needs to go. Perry and Aria are in for a journey of a lifetime.

I absolutely loved the characters in this book. Aria started out as an insider, acting wimpy and not doing much for herself. She definitely grew a lot throughout the novel, which I absolutely loved. She began to not depend on anyone except for herself, and she even fell for someone after thinking that he was a "Mole". She was definitely very different on the last page of the book rather than the first page of the book.

Perry was an outsider to begin with. He happens to have these abilities where he can know what other people are thinking. He can smell what other people's emotions are. You can't keep anything secret from him. He also has amazing taste buds. Perry can taste every little morsel of food. I really liked how throughout the novel Perry started to really open up. He puts on this tough guy act, when in reality he's just another normal guy.

I think this book was absolutely thrilling. I couldn't stop thinking about it. The characters were amazing and I loved the romance. I liked how it didn't happen right off the bat and it took a while for them to actually fall for each other. I can't wait to read Through the Ever Night.

Rating:

Recommended for fans of:
Dystopia!!
Unputdownable novels
Relatable characters

Have you read this book? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2013 Dystopians


After looking at many Waiting on Wednesday posts and looking through my Goodreads to-read shelf, I found that there are so many dystopians coming out next year. Plus, they all have really intriguing taglines! I decided I'd make a post for them because there are quite a few. I'm also thinking of making a page on all dystopians that I've read and I could even make a master dystopians list if you guys would like that.

Starting with January:
Beat the game. Save the world.








We built them to save us. Now they want to destroy us.



February:

Everyone has a heartbeat. Few have the pulse.











Two of you exist. Only one will survive.
March:

Who would you choose?










No one suspects what she's made of.


April:




Once you're over the Wall, there's no going back.








No one is safe when the lights go out.







The only cure for the suicide epidemic is... The Program.

 




May:

In a world of monsters, there is no Game Over.










5 years ago, I died. 178 minutes later, I woke up.
 

June:
The end of the world is only the beginning.
 








Your time is almost up.

Will you be a survivor or a statistic?
 


They destroyed before. Now we live.







July:


Paradise? Or prison? The game has begun.












What book do you think has the most interesting tagline?

Waiting on Wednesday (20)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. This meme spotlights upcoming releases that bloggers are eagerly waiting for.

This week I'm excited for Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes.

"In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword...

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?"

Falling Kingdoms will be released on December 11, 2012 by Razorbill.

Photo and summary were found on Goodreads.com.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book Recommendation (2): Green Covers

As I've mentioned before, I've decided to start doing book recommendations. These will be done at random times. I'll group my recommendations by cover color, genre, or even base them off an author!

Today, I'm giving you recommendations on green covers!
Matched by Ally Condie
Matched was actually only the second dystopian book I read! I instantly fell in love with the characters. This was a lighter dystopian, but as the series goes on it gets a little darker as a rebellion ignites. Matched is set in a world where the Society pretty much controls you. It tells you who you're to marry, your job, and it tells you what to eat and when. When the main character, Cassia, receives her tablet that talks about her husband-to-be, another guy pops up before Xander. Cassia goes on a mission and finds that maybe the Society isn't always right.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
I read this book right after Matched. In The Maze Runner, Thomas wakes up in a cliff only knowing his name. He has no idea where he is or how he got there. He ends up finding that he is in this little village filled with only guys that is surrounded by a huge maze. Every night, the gate to the maze locks up and tons of these man-eating robots roam around. After Thomas arrives, a girl arrives as well. This is unusual, as the new person usually comes monthly and there has never been a girl before. She brings a special gift that could lead them into survival or doom.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I'm going to say that this book is green because there is grass. There, I said it. There is grass on this cover, therefore it is green. I just had to list this book on here because of it's awesomesauce. In Anna and the French Kiss, we follow Anna as she moves to a new school in Paris. She ends up falling for this guy named St. Clair. The best part of this book: St. Clair is British! I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a fun contemporary that is set in a different culture than your own.




What's your favorite book with a green cover? I'd love to know!