Saturday, May 31, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (35)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

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For Review:
Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday
Amity by Micol Ostow
Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin

What books did you get this week?

My Momentous Month (18-22)

Goodness, I haven't done one of these in forever since I have been so slow with reading because of how busy school has been! I decided I'd do one now to kind of go over everything that I've read since the year began, including all the reviews and everything. Hopefully after this month I'll be able to get back into the swing of doing these monthly!

Books Read:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Feed by M.T. Anderson
Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Tease by Amanda Maciel
Paper Towns by John Green
The Taking by Kimberly Derting
Variant by Robison Wells
A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan
A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
The Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan
Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
When the World Was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach
Cracked by Eliza Crewe

Reviews Posted:
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
Feed by M.T. Anderson
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Variant by Robison Wells
Paper Towns by John Green
A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan 
Tease by Amanda Maciel
A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Taking by Kimberly Derting
The Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan 
Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

To be read for June:
Whatever I feel like reading at the time!

Favorite book of the months:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Favorites in each genre:
Dystopian Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Paranormal Cracked by Eliza Crewe
Fantasy A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan
Contemporary Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Science Fiction Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Favorite cover of the months:
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Favorite characters of the months:
Male
Ender from Ender's Game 
Female Meda from Cracked

Favorite setting of the months:
The world from Ender's Game, most definitely.

Feature & Follow (14)

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Question of the Week: How important is good writing to you? In an ideal world, a book would be beautifully written AND have great character development, plot, etc. But in the real world, which do you prefer: (1) Great characters and plot with lousy writing or (2) Middling character development and plot but gorgeous writing?


I really do appreciate good writing, but I'd have to go with the first option here because I love having an interesting story and amazing characters. As long as the grammar is  top notch, I'll continue reading if the writing is not that excellent. Which would you choose?

I prefer GFC and Bloglovin', though Twitter, Linky, and Feedburner are okay too. Thanks for stopping by!

If you follow me, be sure to tell me in the comments and I will follow back!
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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review: Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

17332270Title: Tumble & Fall
Author: Alexandra Coutts
Publisher: Farrar, Straus ad Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Source: gifted
Edition: Hardcover (384 pages)
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Contemporary

A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings 
The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week's time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn't how to save the world-the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family-all with the ultimate stakes at hand.

Tumble & Fall was one of the books that I was most looking forward to in 2013, so I was super stoked when I received it as a Christmas present. I started reading it a few months ago, though I just couldn't seem to get into it. This was maybe around Februaryish. I saw it sitting on my bookshelf a few months later and decided that it was about time I finally finished the book since I had been looking forward to it so much.

The one thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the switching point of views. I've always been a fan of multiple point of views because it allows you to see what the world is like through different eyes, so you get all the contrasting thoughts in your head. In Tumble & Fall, the three point of views are Caden, Sienna, and Zan. Each of these characters is just so unlike the other, yet they are all trying to cope with what's to come: the end of the world.

Caden was my favorite character out of all of them. He gets kidnapped by his own father, though he lives with his alcoholic mother. When he gets to their house, he meets Sophie, who is his father's girlfriend. Caden really likes Sophie and he finds it extremely odd that she's with his father, because his father doesn't seem like the type to be with her. Come to find out later on that there is, of course, more to the story than what meets the eye.

Sienna gets taken to the island with her father after she gets out of the medical center for drinking. Her father really wants her to be there and spend tons of family time together before the end of the world, though he is really controlling about this. I mean, Sienna wants to live the last of her days doing things she enjoys as well, and she doesn't want to be forced to spend family time, especially when her dad is going to get married to another women.

Zan's boyfriend Leo died in a car accident a while ago, though she still misses him a lot. When Leo's sister gives Zan a book and she finds something about a girl named Vanessa, she goes on an adventure to find out who this mysterious girl is along with Nick, Leo's best friend.

I really liked how all of the stories were really different yet they intertwined at the same time in ways. I think I was just a bit disappointed because I had been so excited for this book and I was expecting it to be so amazing. I mean, don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, but the hype I made up in my head definitely disappointed me a bit.

Rating:

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting on Those Who Wish Me Dead!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.
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When 13-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder, he's plunged into a new life, issued a false identity and hidden in a wilderness skills program for troubled teens. The plan is to get Jace off the grid while police find the two killers. The result is the start of a nightmare.
The killers, known as the Blackwell Brothers, are slaughtering anyone who gets in their way in a methodical quest to reach him. Now all that remains between them and the boy are Ethan and Allison Serbin, who runt he wilderness survival program; Hanna Faber, who occupies a lonely fire lookout tower; and endless miles of desolate Montana mountains.
The clock is ticking, the mountains are burning, and those who wish Jace Wilson dead are no longer far behind. 

This will release June 3, 2014 by Little Brown!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Book Review: The Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan

1065971Title: The Vampire's Assistant
Author: Darren Shan
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Release Date: October 1, 2002
Source: Purchased
Edition: Paperback (256 pages)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Cirque Du Freak #2

Darren Shan was just an ordinary schoolboy-until his visit to the Cirque Du Freak. Now, as he struggles with his new life as a Vampire's Assistant, he tries desperately to resist the one temptation that sickens him, the one thing that can keep him alive. But destiny is calling... the Wolf Man is waiting. 

After finishing A Living Nightmare, I instantly starting reading the sequel because I just needed to know what happened. These books are just so short and fast paced and I adore every second of them!

In the sequel to A Living Nightmare, Darren must try to cope with how is life is now. He's a half-vampire, which is pretty cool besides the fact that he doesn't want to drink human blood. He knows that he has to because he keeps getting told that he must by Mr. Crepsley. If he doesn't drink human blood and he continues drinking animal blood instead, he will soon die. Darren is slowly becoming paler, and that is not just a side effect of becoming a half-vampire.

Since Darren is unhappy moving around a lot and by the fact that he doesn't really have any friends anymore because he can't have them, Mr. Crepsley suggests that they go back to the Cirque Du Freak because Darren could make some friends there. Once they return to the Cirque, Darren meets Evra, who is a boy who is half-snake, which is pretty wicked. Evra and Darren must share a tent, so they become pretty close.

This book was definitely better than the first, and I have a feeling that this will be a series that I will definitely stick with the whole way through because it's just so enjoyable. They're really easy reads too, as I read a lot of Goosebumps as a kid. I'll be reading the third book really soon!

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

Friday, May 23, 2014

Book Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

17838475Title: The Taking
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: HarperTeen
 Release Date: April 29, 2014
Edition: ARC
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: The Taking #1

A flash of white light... and then... nothing. 
When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas'n'Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of deja vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed... yet she hasn't aged a day.
Everything else about Kyra's old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.
Confused and lost, Kyra isn't sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin's annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no on can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra's father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken... and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own. 

One night after Kyra's softball game, she gets in a fight with her father. She ends up getting out of the car and running into the woods, though she sees a bright white light and the next thing she knows she's at a Gas'n'Sip near a dumpster. She doesn't know how in the world she got where she was and the last thing that she remembers is the bright white light that she saw that night that she ran away, which just happens to feel like last night because she still has her softball uniform on.

Kyra goes to her house only to find that it has been five years since that night. Everyone had been looking for her and she had been deemed lost, as nobody knew where in the world she was. She was just completely gone. Kyra finds that her parents aren't together anymore, so she decides to go over to her boyfriend Austin's house, only to run into his little brother, Tyler. The thing is, Tyler suddenly seems much more attractive than he was and he's not as annoying either. Throughout the novel, Tyler helps Kyra find out what happened to her in the first place, especially because it's obvious that she hasn't aged a day since she still looks 16 though she's supposed to be 21.

I absolutely loved this book! I had read The Body Finder a few years ago, though I don't remember much besides the fact that I really enjoyed it. The Taking sounded really intriguing though, so I was glad that I finally got the chance to pick it up. I really enjoyed learning all about Kyra and what happened to her because we knew just as much as she did, which was really interesting. I also loved how Kyra's father had conspiracies that people deemed crazy even though he seemed to know more than anybody else.

Tyler was absolutely wonderful. He was such a good friend to Kyra, and the fact that he was always doing drawings on the sidewalk for her was just so sweet and amazing, even if Kyra felt odd about it at first. Some may not like the fact that in a way, the relationship between Kyra and Tyler could be considered insta-love, because you could tell that something was going to happen between them right from the get-go. But isn't that what paranormal/sci-fi romance books are all about? I'm definitely excited for the next book in this series, that's for sure!

Recommended for fans of:
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating:

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

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Re-Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

11870085Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books
 Release Date: January 10, 2012
Source: Purchased
Edition: Hardcover (318 pages)
Genre: Contemporary
Cover Review: I love the colors of this cover... beautiful.


Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named August Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

 I read this book two years ago when it first came out, and since I am super pumped for the movie, I decided it was time to reread it in preparation. I'm so glad that I did because the second time around was just a whole lot better!

The Fault in Our Stars follows Hazel Grace Lancaster, a 16-year-old cancer patient who believes that she is just a side effect of life. When Hazel Grace goes to a Cancer Kid Support Group that her mother makes her go to every week, she meets Augustus Waters, a boy who she believes would've never payed any attention to a girl such as herself, yet Gus does.

The relationship that Augustus and Hazel Grace have is just so sweet and amazing. They're really good together and they both have an excellent sense of humor that I never got bored of. I really loved their friend Isaac, who was also a member of the Cancer Kid Support Group. He was just so funny, and the egg-throwing scene was my favorite scene from the entire book, hands down.

I loved all the little things that Gus did for Hazel Grace; it was just so cute. He cares about Hazel Grace so deeply. I also really loved how the both of them just lived in the moment, not letting a second pass by where they aren't doing something that they enjoy. I definitely learned quite a few life lessons from Hazel Grace and Gus.

I absolutely love John Green's writing style, and I know that I'll definitely need to read the rest of his books now. I've also read Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska, with Looking for Alaska being my favorite John Green book thus far. John Green has this way of writing that just immerses the reader into the character's world so vividly, and he has this way of grasping onto the reader's heart and making them feel so deeply for each and every one of the characters. I definitely can't wait for this movie to come out!

Recommended for fans of:
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Paper Towns by John Green

Notable Quotes:

"I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once."

"My thoughts are stars that I cannot fathom into constellations."

"Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all the living humans read the book."

"I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple please of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you."

"You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world... but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices."

"Some infinities are bigger than other infinities."

"I'm on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend."

"The marks humans leave are too often scars."

"The world is not a wish-granting factory."

"Some people don't understand the promises they're making when they make them."

Rating:





Saturday, May 10, 2014

Book Review: A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

12813860Title: A Midsummer's Nightmare
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy
 Release Date: June 5, 2012
Source: Gifted
Edition: ARC
Genre: Contemporary

Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorce dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancee and her kids. The fiancee's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.
Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her stepbrother... at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.
Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger's most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about.

After hearing such wonderful things about all of Kody Keplinger's books, I decided it was about time to finally pick this one up since it had been sitting on my shelf for a while. I was instantly drawn into Whitley's life and everything that she was going through from page one and on.

Whitley spends all of her time partying and drinking, though after graduation, she sleeps with a guy who just so happens to end up being the son of the woman of whom her father is engaged to. This is of course awkward for everyone involved, so she and Nathan (who is the guy she slept with) decide to keep it a secret from their parents.

Whitley looks forward to spending every summer with her father, so I felt really bad for her when the bomb got dropped that she and he wouldn't be the only two spending the summer together. It would also be his new fiancee and her two kids, Bailey and Nathan. She was pretty much resented by her father throughout the whole book, which was really frustrating. Whitley did, however, make a new friend, which was really cool.

Whitley's new friend Harrison is extremely funny. She met him at the local party place where all the teens go and she went up to him because she thought that he was really good looking, so she decided to try and see if he felt the same way about her. Whitley was at once turned down when Harrison explained that he's actually gay, which made her feel stupid, but they instantly became friends. Harrison was just hilarious and I've actually heard that he is in Kody Keplinger's other book, The Duff, so I will probably pick that one up soon because I'd love to have more Harrison!

A Midsummer's Nightmare was quite a spectacular read; I actually read it in three hours. Once I started, I just couldn't stop, which really surprised me because it's a contemporary! Maybe it was the marvelous characters or maybe it was just the awesomeness of Kody Keplinger's humorous writing. I'd definitely suggest picking this one up if you're looking for a quick summer read for the beach!

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

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Book Review: Tease by Amanda Maciel

18599901Title: Tease
Author: Amanda Maciel
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Edition: ARC
Genre: Contemporary

From debut author Amanda Maciel comes a provocative and unforgettable novel, inspired by real-life incidents, about a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide.
Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault. At least, that's what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma's shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who's ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media. In the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment-and ultimately consider her own role in an undeniable tragedy. And she'll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.
With its powerful narrative, unconventional point of view, and strong anti-bullying theme, this coming-of-age story offers smart, insightful, and nuanced views on high school society, toxic friendships, and family relationships.
I picked this book up just because I had never read a book on this topic before. It's a very touchy topic to talk about, so I was really interested in this one.

Tease is about a girl named Sara who was involved with a suicide that happened at her school. Sara was best friends with this girl named Brielle, and together they were the most popular girls in their grade. Since Sara and Brielle had so much power in their grade from popularity, they could pretty much do anything that they wanted... including bullying.

When a new girl named Emma arrives at the school, she begins to get a reputation for hanging out with lots of guys, so everyone just assumes that she must date them all and do things with them, though there is no proof or evidence for this statement. It starts going around school that Sara's boyfriend, Dylan, and Emma are interested in each other, and Sara just absolutely can't believe this. Since she can't believe it, she and Brielle go out of their ways to call her "skank" and "slut" with every single chance that they've got. They bully her to the point where she ends up committing suicide, and the book is about what happens after that.

Tease was told in two different time frames: what's happening now in the present day and what's happening in the past, before the suicide of Emma. In the before, Emma is bullied by Brielle and Sara, while in the now, Sara is going to summer school while going to see therapists for bullying as well as preparing for her court date.

The one thing that really bothered me about Sara was that she found it okay to call Emma all of these names just because she thought that since everyone thought these things about Emma it was okay for her to actually say them to her face. Sara also was really hooked onto popularity and didn't want to disappoint Brielle, even when everything that Brielle does is not really okay. Sara would've been such a nice and genuine person had it not been for Brielle pushing her past her limits. Sara also never really saw why what she did was wrong, saying that if Emma hadn't killed herself then none of this mess would have been created. She was constantly blaming Emma for what happened even though she made Emma feel this way which caused her to kill herself in the first place. It is not Emma's fault for feeling the way that she did, it was Brielle's and Sara's and the rest of their friends'. It may bother me, though at the same time we are seeing the story through the villain's eyes, so we are not supposed to like Sara.

If you're looking for a deep, interesting read through the eyes of the bully rather than the victim, I'd definitely pick this one up.

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