Sunday, March 27, 2011

Review: Impossible

Title: Impossible
Author: Nancy Werlin
Published: 2008 by Speak (and imprint of Penguin Group)
Obtained: Bought
Lucy Scarborough is only 17, but she carries the burden of a curse that has already struck down several women in her family. Each of her afflicted ancestors failed at completing three seemingly impossible tasks, and each succumbed to madness at the birth of her first child. Facing this tragic fate, Lucy braces herself for a losing battle. Mercifully, she has allies in her struggle: intensely sympathetic foster parents and her loyal childhood friend Zach.

I loved this book.

I really couldn’t put it down because I was dying to know what happens. It might seem kind of simplistically written, but I honestly love books that I don’t have to pull out a dictionary for.

This story was beautiful, with it’s blend of magic and modern issues. It didn’t really address the issues it presented, but I don’t think that was the point. This is Lucy’s story of beating a family curse.

I absolutely loved the characters. Zach was sweet and amazing, I want one. Lucy wasn’t the strongest heroine, but she was still a character you ended up caring about.

What I really loved about this book was it’s presentation of marriage and love. Werlin really wanted to show that marriage is about working together and being a team. It’s not only about sex and whatever, it also about being there for the other person and really caring enough about them to think of them before yourself.

Rating: 9/10

Content Warnings: A bit of implied sex, and kissing. And a implied rape scene, kind of one of those fade-to-black moments, so you know it happened but you didn’t actually read it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Review: Artemis Fowl

Title: Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, Book 1)
Author: Eoin Colfer
Published: 2001 by Hyperion Books
  • Obtained: Library
Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius, and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren’t the fairies of bedtime stories; these fairies are armed and dangerous.
            Artemis thinks he has them right where he wants them…but then they stop playing by the rules.

I took me awhile to read this book because I had so many other books clamoring for my attention. I had to keep renewing this from the library…haha.

BUT, it was really good when I decided to really read it. I really enjoyed Artemis, Butler, and Holly. They were really well developed characters. You got a sense of their past and their current situations and they changed throughout the book a bit.

I love fantasy adventure books, and while I felt this book lacked romance (really, it wouldn’t have hurt to throw in a bit!) I will continue to read this series because it’s really fun.

So yeah, it was good! (:

Rating: 8/10

Content Warnings: Maybe a tad bit of language from the fairy captain, I can’t really remember.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Content Warnings

I have decided to add content warnings (I might come up with a catchy name later) to my blog. Here is why:

Many times I have come across books which sound great, the plot is interesting, the characters sound nice, but how do I know that I'm not going to feel awkward at certain moments? Because the problem with the book industry is that the publishers think they can slap an age range on books, and that that will instantly tell the potential reader whether or not they can "handle" the content of the book.

I wish they would think about having a rating system like movies/video games have. Because I am sure there are plenty of other girls/guys out there who are trying to be careful about what they put in their minds like I am. Just because something is labeled as a Young Adult or Teen book doesn't mean that the content is going to be appropriate. I'm 16, considered an "older teen", and I still don't want to read really...awkward scenes in books.

I guess my main point is, I want to provide a way for teens who maybe want to read a popular book, but aren't sure what the content is like to have knowledge of it beforehand.
So from hence forth, I am adding a "content warnings" section at the end of each book review, detailing the possible content problems, from drugs to sex to bad language. While most books I read won't end up having much of that, I'll just have an option to tell you if there is any that I didn't foresee.

Also, I'm not going to make judgments or create the "rule" for who I think should read this book. I'm sick of those people who review stuff for bad content and then tell you whether or not you should read/watch it. Therefore, I am just going to list the stuff and let you come to your own conclusions.

Thank you for letting me rant and then explain myself.
Thank you for reading my blog, and I hope that I can be helpful to someone who thinks like I do.


(You'll notice I already added a "Content Warnings" section to my most current review of Outside In)

Review: Outside IN

Title: Outside In
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Published: 2011 by Harlequin Teen
Obtained: Bought
Me?? A Leader?? Okay, I did prove that there's more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion-between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we're free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again-while still touching base with Riley, of course. He's the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there's outside and then there is Outside.
And something from Outside wants In.
Okay, this is the second book in a series by Maria V. Snyder, of whose books I have now read three (I read Poison Study but never got to the other books in that series). I’m not going to do a review of Inside Out (the first book in this series); because I just don’t feel like it. This review might make you want to read the first book and then this one.
Alright. So, basically I love this series. Not only is the plot completely original, but the characters are rather fantastic too.
I thought this book really carried the series well, it developed the characters even further so you got to know them better. There are also additions to the “cast” of the story, but not too many to make it seem like another story entirely.
The plotline conflict of this book was a bit different then the last one, in that it was more involved and crazy. But just as amazing and ingenious. I would tell you what the basic premise of this novel reminds me of…but it would probably spoil it.
Trella is a fantastic character with flaws and gifts and Riley is just plain amazing. But, my favorite character is probably Logan, the computer whiz. He’s just that cool.
Rating: 9/10

Content Warnings: Two uncomfortable scenes, one of which was skim-quickly-worthy and a bit of language scattered throughout.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Review: The Maze Runner

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Published: 2009 from Random House
Obtained: Library
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

I really liked this book. I was excited to read it because it’s a dystopian futuristic novel, and I’m kind of addicted to those… :)

So, the plot line was fantastic, lots of twists and “WOAH!” moments. It wasn’t completely addicting though, I would get bored of it and then have to come back later, but it was still entertaining. I think the story was a bit too stretched out…..although no moments of the book felt wasted. So I don’t really know what it was that didn’t completely draw me in.

The characters were hard to get used to…it took me awhile to actually LIKE any of the people in the story, but eventually you see their merits, their faults, and you end up liking most of them. The problem I think is that in the beginning, no one will Thomas ANYTHING and it’s the most ANNOYING thing to me (and Thomas). And the community has their own slang words which all have negative meanings and take awhile to understand.

What I really liked about this book was the premise and the way the suspense of “when. are. they. getting. out. of. this. maze?” was taken through the whole thing. While some moments were predictable, other’s weren’t in any which way..

The “bad guy” creatures thoroughly grossed me out, so props to the author for that invention.

I’m really excited about reading the sequel, The Scorch Trails!! :)

Rating: 8/10

Content Warnings: Nothing really objectionable.
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