Monday, October 24, 2011

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week? This is a weekly event to list the books completed last week, the books currently being reading, and the books to be finish this week. It is hosted by Sheila from One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books.

Books Finished Last Week:
Nothing, because I was obsessing over TV shows. I’m all caught up now!!

Currently Reading:
Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
Goliath – Scott Westerfeld
Son of Neptune – Rick Riordan
Tiger’s Quest – Colleen Houck
Dark Mirror – M. J. Putney
Glow – Amy Kathleen Ryan

Books I Hope to Start Reading This Week:
Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins
Cascade – Lisa T. Bergren

Well, I am officially addicted to Castle. Today I picked up the second season from the library, and I will eagerly devour that at night when I am supposed to be sleeping. Probably.

I’ve been in a real reading funk lately…I just can’t get myself to read. This is the result of school and TV shows starting back up again at the same time.

However, Gone With The Wind is so much better than I thought it would be! I love it! I’m reading it for English Honors this year.

Alright. How’s your week looking??

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Review: A Need So Beautiful

A Need So Beautiful
Author: Suzanne Young
Published: 2011 by HarperCollins
Obtained: Library

We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be Forgotten... 
Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger. 
But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely. 
Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences.

First Sentence:
"I sit on the front steps of St. Vincent’s Cathedral and pick at the moss nestled in the cracks of the concrete."

It took me forever to finish this book mostly because while it looked interesting, I had other stuff to read. However, it is a quite good book.

This is the story of Charlotte who has started having these “needs” which compel her to find strangers, see their life story, and help them. Obviously it’s a little strange that she keeps leaving at random times, and her friends are a bit suspicious. Suddenly she sees a patch of gold on her shoulder, and freaks out. With the help of a doctor friend, she finds out that she is a kind of angel, sent to help people, turn completely gold, and then leave in a burst of light, making everybody feel happy for a little bit. However, this also means her friends and family are going to forget everything about her, pictures will fade, memories will change, everything will be gone. So why in the world would she want to accept her fate?

I give major creative credit to Suzanne Young because this concept is incredibly different. Also, her writing is stunning, I was right there with Charlotte, cringing and mourning her fate. Young’s skill at expressing emotion is spectacular especially near the end when Charlotte’s  friends and family lose memory of her slowly. I was quite depressed by this, and really felt Charlotte’s pain.

One problem I had was the relationship between Harlin and Charlotte. They were portrayed as being totally perfect for each other, and just completely in love, no doubts. However, it seemed to me that their relationship was more lust than love. Every time they were together it was physical. Charlotte mostly just thought about how hot he was, and he just checked her out constantly. Yes, a lot of times he was worried for her health, he went with her to special events, and at the end it was really apparent he loved her, but I couldn’t help feeling that their relationship was more based on how hot they both were, than on their actual LOVE for each other.

Anywho, this is a nice, short, book with fantastic writing and a creative concept.

Content Warnings: Kissing/Making-out/Sex (fade-out), and language.


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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Review: There You’ll Find Me

There You’ll Find Me
Author: Jenny B. Jones
Published: 2011 by Thomas Nelson
Obtained: Free from

Finley Sinclair is not your typical eighteen-year-old. She's witty, tough, and driven. With an upcoming interview at the Manhattan music conservatory, Finley needs to compose her audition piece. But her creativity disappeared with the death of her older brother, Will.

She decides to study abroad in Ireland so she can follow Will's travel journal. It's the place he felt closest to God, and she's hopeful being there will help her make peace over losing him. So she agrees to an exchange program and boards the plane.

Beckett Rush, teen heartthrob and Hollywood bad boy, is flying to Ireland to finish filming his latest vampire movie. On the flight, he meets Finley. She's the one girl who seems immune to his charm. Undeterred, Beckett convinces her to be his assistant in exchange for his help as a tour guide.

Once in Ireland, Finley starts to break down. The loss of her brother and the pressure of school, her audition, and whatever it is that is happening between her and Beckett, leads her to a new and dangerous vice. When is God going to show up for her in this emerald paradise?

Then she experiences something that radically changes her perspective on life. Could it be God convincing her that everything she's been looking for has been with her all along?

First Sentences:
I pulled out an earbud as the flight attendant leaned over me. ‘Yes?’
'We have a few seats available in first class. Would you like to have one of them?’”

So, the lovely people at sent me this, and I absolutely adored it. I’ll read most Christian fiction, because not only are there great messages, but it’s usually a great (albeit, super cheesy) romance. But not many that I read, or that I have heard are good, are for the YA crowd. Usually they’re stories about adults going through life, and none about the trials teens face.

And that is what I loved about this book: it’s realism.

So many Christian fiction novels are all either historical or just unbelievably happy, and so I just fell in love with this story about teens going through extremely typical life issues.

Finley is struggling to get over her brother Will’s death. It’s been two years since he was killed in a bombing, but she’s still completely torn up over it. When she found his travel journal from his trip to Ireland, she decides that going there will inspire her creativity and help her be closer to the memory of her brother. On the plane trip over, she ends up sitting next to Beckett Rush, the most famous young movie star, known for his vampire movies. She really doesn’t care, and he’s used to every girl falling all over him, so he’s intrigued. Throughout her time in Ireland, Finley tries to control so many aspects of her life and other’s lives, just to escape actually thinking about what she REALLY needs.

Things I loved about this book:
1. Finley is from South Carolina (LIKE ME)
2. It takes place in Ireland.
3. It’s realistic Christian fiction for teens with a real teenage voice.
4. For Christian fiction, it doesn’t scream a message in your face, it’s more subtle.
5. Beckett is totally amazing.
6. The romance is a love-hate relationship, which I adore.
7. Finley’s sarcasm + Beckett’s complimenting humor = witty banter.

Any book set in Ireland, I will read. I’ve never been there, but from what I’ve seen/heard/read it’s a completely gorgeous place. Jones really captures the small-town world of Abbeyglen. All the places Finley went to to try and see what Will saw, are painted vividly. My interest in going to Ireland is now doubled.

Finley had some issues. This is a girl who tried to make it look like she had it all together when she was really falling apart. Since we’re inside her head, we know what she’s thinking and how she’s making everybody else thing she’s okay. It’s truly frightening to think that someone could be hiding that much from everybody. Her various problems were so real, I was getting sick when she felt sick, and I was mad at her for being too obsessed with things that didn’t matter. Her devotion to Mrs. Sweeney, the old lady who Finley is assigned to as a school project, was admirable due to the circumstances.

Beckett’s life was also equally insane. While we were concentrated on Finley’s problems, she was more concentrated on Beckett’s issues with his dad. But through all of it, us readers can tell that Beckett is a good example for Finley, with his quiet, new-found faith, and his understanding of her life. He just has some work-related problems to clear first.

As a Christian, I love reading Christian fiction for several reasons. First, I know it’s going to be clean (unless it’s Francine Rivers, in which case it’s too REAL to be truly “clean”). Second, it provides an inspiring message. Third, I love that those blessed with the spiritual gift of creativity can honor God through writing.
What I loved about THIS Christian fiction piece, was that while, yes it was a bit cheesy (most books are at some level), it dealt with such real issues and had such a legit teen voice and teen characters, that it was so much better than half the other stuff out there. Also the message wasn’t preached to you. It was more added in slowly and subtly, something that would appeal to non-Christian readers as well.

I urge you to give this book a chance, if anything to experience Beckett and Finley’s awesome relationship, and watch their lives get transformed from horrible messes to beautiful existences.

Content Warnings: Kissing


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Friday, October 14, 2011

Review: The Magnolia League

The Magnolia League
Author: Katie Crouch
Published: 2011 by Poppy, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company
Obtained: Library

After the death of her free-spirited mother, sixteen-year-old Alex Lee must leave her home in northern California to live with her wealthy grandmother in Savannah, Georgia. By birth, Alex is a rightful, if unwilling, member of the Magnolia League, Savannah's long-standing debutante society. She quickly discovers that the Magnolias have made a pact with a legendary hoodoo family, the Buzzards. The Magnolias enjoy youth, beauty and power. But at what price?

First Sentence:
"You know what I hate? Sweet tea."

You know what I hate? Lame books.

Well. I didn’t hate this book. But it was pretty bad.

It took me like five years (exaggeration) to get through this book because I kept hating it, then being slightly interesting in what would happen so I picked it back up. Then hated it again for being stupid, then picked it back up because I hate not finishing books.

In a nutshell, this was the story: Alex gets kicked off the good ole California pot farm to go live with her grandmother after her mother dies. She desperately wants to go back to being a hippie and having a disgusting boyfriend, but alas! It can not be so. The hippies do not want her back (she finds out later), and her Grandmother is quite insistent that she stay in Savannah, GA. But why? Well, turns out Grammy is in a secret society of wealthy women and their daughters and granddaughters. These women constantly look perfect, even the old people look like they’re 30. Well, with her dreadlocks, dislike of showers, and desperate love for nasty clothes, Alex DOES NOT WANT this life. But she gets it anyways. They basically kidnap her. Turns out, they’re using hoodoo magic to keep themselves young and wealthy, but is there something else going on, a secret Alex doesn’t know? (OBVIOUSLY.)

That was my sarcastic rendition of The Magnolia League. And it was pretty accurate.

First on my dislike list, I have… ALEX. Because let’s face it, this character is not consistent. She makes the weirdest decisions, and does the strangest, seemingly out-of-character things, that I was never sure exactly what she thought/who she was/what she wanted. So confusing.

This whole “league” thingy. It was so clichéd. I’m sorry, but a group of wealthy white Southern women using hoodoo magic from their black neighbors to keep themselves young and rich? PREDICTABLE. Maybe not used too many times, but very predictable.

Hayes and Madison are two granddaughters of some Magnolia Leaguers and it’s their job to get Alex “ready” by shopping with her and generally trying to get her not to be a hippie. They are also insanely two-faced (everyone in this book is) and always seemed to have another agenda.

The Buzzard family confused me. Why didn’t they just make up their mind about life? Which of them actually were nice? Who wasn’t? I honestly don’t know.

The hoodoo performed by the Buzzard family was strange. I think it was difficult for the author to write out the initiation scene, because that was a blur of randomness. Also, they made Alex all pretty by using magic on her. Isn’t that a little cheap? I mean, no effort whatsoever. Even for her to lose weight she just had some spell connecting her to a bird. It worked by making her ravenous and then the bird consumed the calories or something. Ugh. Talk about a character transformation requiring zero effort on the part of the character.

Hayes’ brother Thaddeus was the worst character, and all the plot revolving around him was the worst as well. He’s this super “movie-star hot” guy who’s also a snob, but he does talk to Alex a little. However, let me point out that he NEVER seemed like he’d be her romantic other. And I mean NEVER. I might have guessed because there was no one else possible and it seemed like it might go that way, but character-wise, there was seriously nothing that seemed to make them a good couple. But, obviously, as soon as she’s not dreadlocked and fat, he kisses her and they have a few make-out sessions and become “a couple”. He claimed to like her before she was transformed, and I think he might have, but it’s a little shallow of him to only approach her afterward. Now here is where we find drama. It looks as though Madison put a love spell on Thaddeus a while ago for about a week and he went crazy in love with her. Once it was off and he figured out what happened, he swore never to date a Magnolia again. Until, lo and behold, he falls for Alex (who knows why, she’s so … lame.). So randomly, completely out-of-the-blue, Alex gets really jealous of Madison, who has said many times that it’s over and that Thaddeus likes Alex now, and Alex tries to remedy the situation. (can’t say more without spoiling)

The pacing is super slow, until the end when it’s all “BAMBAMBAM – end” and you’re left wondering what just happened. Alex is basically stupid the whole book until one of the last scenes, in which I actually respected her personality, and then again at the VERY end, I disliked her again.

Let’s see if I can say anything good. . .
The setting was really lovely. I’ve never been to Savannah, but I’ve heard that it’s gorgeous, and this really showed that.

I also liked Alex’s friend Dexter. Alex’s mom seems like she was really cool too, but she died before the book started.

I got nothing else.

My last word: I would not recommend this book to anyone, but if it seems like you would like it, go read it! Maybe from your perspective it would be a glorious novel.

Content Warnings: LOTS OF LANGUAGE. Like. Seriously. Lots of it and strong, too. Descriptive making-out.


1 Pig


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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: Wither

Title: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Published: 2011 by Simon & Schuster
Obtained: Bought

Thanks to modern science, every newborn has become a ticking genetic time bomb – males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden’s genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape – to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden’s eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

First Sentence: “I wait. They keep us in the dark for so long that we lose sense of our eyelids.”

I am still beating myself up over not reading this earlier. I bought this very soon after it came out in March, and I hadn’t read it at all until this September. I WAS INSANE. I cannot believe I didn’t read it sooner. THIS BOOK IS FANTABULOUS! I think I kept hearing about how creepy it was and how mature the themes were and so that scared me off or something. DO NOT LET YOURSELF BE SCARED OFF. While it is indeed creepy (but not in the way I thought it was going to be) and the themes are mature (but not explicit, it’s handled well), it is in no way a bad read.

Modern science created the perfect generation, immune to disease and with long life spans, and everyone thought the world was permanently changed for the better. Then problems arose with the children of this “first generation.” All males die at 25 and all women at 20. This has created millions of orphans and also business opportunities for the unscrupulous types. In order to have offspring, rich men get many wives from Gatherers who’ve taken these girls from their homes under false pretenses. Wither is the story of Rhine, who is kidnapped and “sold” with two other girls to be brides for a man named Linden. Even though Linden genuinely likes her, Rhine just wants to get back to her brother in New York. She starts planning her escape with a servant, Gabriel.

Rhine is a pretty awesome heroine. She starts out hating everyone, then begins to relax around her sister wives, Jenna and Cecily. This girl goes through heck. Being separated from her only family, trapped in a van, picked out of all the others because of her exquisite eyes (two different colors), hearing the other girls get shot, waking up in a strange place, being forced to marry someone she doesn’t know, living with a super creepy father-in-law and two sister wives (which is awkward), and all the while trying to fend off her new husband’s advances. Oh, also trying to have a secret relationship with Gabriel. Geez. Yet she manages and still tries to escape through all of it. And even as she becomes fonder of Linden, she’s smart enough to know that she doesn’t love him at all, she just feels pity for him.

Linden’s father is a total creep. He acts all “fatherly” with the girls, while he’s really scaring the bejeebers out of them. Also, he’s so dead set on saving his son from dying that he’ll do anything to find a cure. He is definitely the antagonist in this story. He is so horribly in control of everything, that it just kills you! I just wanted to toss him out to sea, he was so creepy. And Rhine’s descriptions of him don’t help. She thinks the first generation older people are kind of gross, even though her parents were first generation, and so she describes him in unpleasant terms.

Linden himself however was one complicated character! In the beginning I didn’t like him at all, but the as Rhine let herself not hate him, I didn’t hate him as much and saw how he could have been a nice guy if he’d been willing to be strong and insistent instead of so quiet and passive. His frailty was honestly really irritating as well. I just wanted him to man up!

Jenna was the best character ever. I loved her. From her obsession with the library, to her cavalier attitude about everything, I just kind of loved how she realized that this was a fantastic place to die, seeing as she only had a little over a year left, and nothing to get back to.

Cecily was annoying!! She was a little brat most of the time, but she thought of Rhine as an older sister/mother figure and always wanted to talk to her. This aspect made me like her more, and also as the novel progresses, a more vulnerable side of her is apparent, which made me like her a little more.

Gabriel was pretty cool. He was a bit flat as characters go, but maybe that was because we didn’t have much time to get to know him. I still liked him though, and thought that he and Rhine were good together, as she inspires him to be more than he is, and not settle with anything.

Little character love thrown in here! I ADORED the little helper’s the girls got. Deirdre, Adair, and Elle were so cute and lovable, and they just cared so much about their work, making the girls look amazing.

Let’s talk about what everyone is wondering. Just how explicit/mature is this book? Looking at the entire point behind the plot, forcing young girls in polygamous marriages to provide children for their husband, you know it’s going to be a little…awkward, shall I say? Well, it was much classier than I anticipated. Jenna just accepts that Linden is going to sleep with her, she was a prostitute before getting kidnapped, so to her it’s no big deal. She loves tacky paperback romance novels and lame soap operas, probably because they romanticize physical love, while she’s never experienced that. Linden’s relationship with Cecily is more gross because she’s  about 13. However, all she wants is to be in this life of being Linden’s devoted wife and mother of his children. Hence, her getting pregnant. With Rhine, Linden makes advances but since she reminds him so much of his last wife who just died, he respects her more, and doesn’t push her.

To get back on the subject of Linden, he is very unaware of his wives’ feelings. When they are feeling sad, he acts like he doesn’t know what sadness is like, and almost doesn’t get why they’re sad at all. Which is strange considering he just lost his first wife, Rose, who he truly loved. I think sometimes he just doesn’t see his wives as people, he sees them as something lower. He is so naïve that he thinks that they all wanted to be wives, and were trained to be wives.

One little aspect I noticed was interesting was that if you think about the ages at which they die, 25 and 20, those are considered by most people to be the prime ages, the times you look and feel your best. The irony here is that in this story, those are the ages of death.

This is my longest review ever, but I loved everything about Wither. Some stuff was a bit far-fetched, like the rest of the world being little uninhabitable islands except for America. But overall I enjoyed the story DeStefano set up, and I CANNOT WAIT for the sequel, Fever, to come out (go check out Fever’s cover, if you haven’t!).

Sidenote: The cover is so completely gorgeous, this picture does not do it justice. In person it’s so stunning. Also, all throughout the book the beautiful borders and lines pattern like on the cover continues. The title page, chapter numbers, etc. SO PRETTY!!!

Content Warnings: I pretty much discussed everything, but sex is kind of a main theme in this book, it’s not explicit at all, but it’s discussed and implied.


5 Pigs

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: Always a Witch

Always a Witch
Author: Carolyn MacCullough
Series: Once A Witch #2
Published: 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing
Obtained: Library

Since the gripping conclusion of Once A Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother's prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision—one so terrible that it could harm her family forever. When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian-era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the nineteenth century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady's maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight. As time runs out, both families square off in a thrilling display of magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice.

First Sentence: “‘I look awful,’ I say, staring at myself in front of the dressing room mirror.”

This is sequel to Once A Witch, my review of which is here. THEREFORE, SPOILERS MIGHT BE AHEAD. HERE BE SPOILERS. You’ve been warned. Mmk?

Alright, so I liked Once A Witch. I thought it was an interesting and unique story of magic. The sequel wasn’t as good, I thought, but was still needed to wind up the series (I’m assuming no more are coming…).

… I feel really lame, but I can’t remember some of the plot (note to self: review books QUICKLY after reading them..). So this review will be a quick skim of the surface, because obviously the little I remember made some kind of impact on me, so that’s the important stuff.

In this one Tamsin goes back in time to try and stop Alistair from ruining the Greene family’s future. She gets a job as a maid in the household of the Knights and it’s there that she does her snooping and waits for Alistair. What she finds out is that Liam Knight (a real creeper) is performing dark magic and the maid before Tamsin was a victim of this magic. Eventually she has to figure out how to stop Alistair and get the Greene family from the past to listen to her warnings about him.

I really enjoyed seeing the past Greene family and how they were contrasted to the current Greene family. Also, Gabriel and Tamsin’s relationship bloomed further. . .although mostly that meant they had “power” struggles and made out. BUT STILL.

Liam was a total CREEPER FACE. First he shows up from the past at the Greene’s house and KISSES Tamsin like only a CREEPER could. Then when Tamsin was back in time at his house, he flirted nonstop with this other maid, who was assisting him with his “experiments.”

However, his sister was a completely different story, she was really struggling with the whole “no, we’re not GOOD witches, we’re EVIL” part. Being forced to break up with the guy you love because your mother forced you to is pretty rough. I still feel like she could have rebelled a bit more if she was truly uncomfortable. However, her mother was pretty intimidating “La Spider” (I keep saying it the MegaMind way….haha).

I probably mentioned this is my review of Once A Witch, but I love how their magic is a “talent” thing. Different people have different “talents” AKA magic skills. It’s a pretty cool concept.

This series is really good if you enjoy stories regarding magic and witches. I enjoyed reading it and distinctly remember getting distracted from my schoolwork because I had to finish reading!

Content Warnings: Making-out (kissing.), creeper-ness, and mind language.


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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Review: Steel

Author: Carrie Vaughn
Published: 2011 by HarperCollins
Obtained: Library

It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her.

This was the tip of a rapier.

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.

The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.

First Sentence: “Jill shook her legs out one at a time.”

I picked this up at the library for a couple reasons. Books in which time travel is involved, is something I love, and it also involves pirates. Two awesome ingredients. The result? Not so fantastic.

Jill just lost a fencing tournament and is still beating herself up about it, even on vacation. Then she finds this fragment of a blade which she keeps as a souvenir. However, this blade piece is “enchanted” and takes her back in time. Rescued by a pirate ship, she is forced to sign the code and become a member of the crew (women crewmates weren’t all that rare apparently, and the captain of this particular ship is a woman). While trying to figure out how to get home, she learns of the captain’s on-going battle with another pirate captain, learns better sword-fighting techniques, and figures out more about the magic blade that brought her there. Also, she likes this one dude.

Okay, so picking this book up I was excited, but I knew it was going to be more “meh” then anything else, and I was right. It’s too short to have a major, highly interesting plotline or very well-developed characters, so it’s a good short read, but nothing majorly amazing.

The whole “what does this magic piece of blade do and how can it get me home?” plot aspect got highly confusing to me. That entire aspect, the main point, was so complicated and entangled that by the end, I barely knew what was going on.

Also, as much as I love romance (it’s hard for me to read a book that doesn’t have romance in it), I wish she’d left it out of the story. While the dude (I forget his name, he’s THAT memorable) is hot and a fun sidekick kind of guy, you just know they're romance is going to be for only about 2 days because she’s got to go back to her time.

I DID enjoy the way the author showed the pirate culture. While pirates should never be looked upon as heroes, the author explains the miserable conditions on the merchant/soldier ships and then contrasts that with the fair, lawful, and democratic ways of the pirate ships. The pirates also voted on all decisions and their punishments were fair. Overall it was a much better deal for a sea-loving man to be a pirate (of course, there’s the whole “it’s illegal” part of piracy) then a sailor on a merchant ship where whipping and brutal treatment were commonplace. When they found castaways, they made them either sign a code, joining the crew, or they were kept in the brig until the next port where they were released.

I don’t know. This book is a quick, interesting read, but it isn’t ground-breaking or a new recommendation of mine. If you don’t mind the whole “underdeveloped everything” aspect, go for it.

Content Warnings: Honestly, I can’t remember. I know there is one kissing scene.

3 Pigs

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Review: Delirium

Author: Lauren Oliver
Published: 2011 by HarperCollins
Obtained: Library

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. 
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

First Sentence: “It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.”

Delirium is one of those books I heard was incredible but put off actually reading it just because there wasn’t like a “HOLYCRAP THIS SOUNDS AMAZING LET ME READ IT NOW” moment when I read the synopsis.
However. I was mistaken. This book is SO amazing.

Lena is excited about being able to get the cure. She doesn’t want to have the disease of love, she’s seen how that’s messed up her mom and her sister, so she’s ready to move on and be told her place in society. But then she meets this, INCREDIBLE guy named Alex. Now. Alex is cured so it’s not illegal for Lena and her friend Hana to hang out with him. But is he really cured? Hmm!!(I’m not really spoiling anything, this plot twist was anticipated, at least by me) Suddenly Lena begins to see how beautiful love is and also how glazed-over, emotionless, and just BLANK life is once you’ve been cured.

Lena and Alex are the most perfect couple, ever.

I have no clue how Ms. Oliver came up with the idea of this society where love is a disease (except maybe by seeing how blind people sometimes become when they are “in love”), but she creates a completely believable world. All the little snippets from the city’s propaganda at the beginning of each chapter add so much to the understanding of this place.

Due to the FANTASTIC writing, the first-person perspective was completely convincing and drew me straight into Lena’s thoughts and emotions. In the beginning I understood why she wanted the cure, and then in the middle, I realized along with her how messed up all the cured people were.

The ending was…!!!!!!!!!!…. I’m so mad! Still!

But at the same time I’m mad, I’m thrilled with her writing and the risks she takes as an author and how amazing her stories are, so realistically drawn.

I’ve also read Before I Fall by Ms. Oliver which completely drew me in (my review of Before I Fall) and I think has actually changed my way of thinking by making me painfully aware of how fragile human life is.

Delirium isn’t exactly mind-changing, but it’s definitely a top book in the dystopian genre.

Content Warnings: Language, Lots of kissing and suggested, possible,“off-camera” sex (vague reference).


 5 Pigs 

Blog Sig.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Books and Book Signings

Pretty much every time I go to Wal-Mart I buy a book.

The price.

At Wal-Mart the selection stinks, but if it’s a new or highly popular book it’ll be there and it’ll be much cheaper than at a bookstore.

Anywho, this time I bought the new paperback of Matched by Ally Condie.

I’ve heard mostly positive things about this book, so I’m pretty excited!


Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

I got the privilege to go to a Rick Riordan signing at my local-ish Books-a-Million here in the good old capitol of South Carolina.

I have plenty of state pride, but seriously.
Columbia, SC as the FIRST STOP of only SEVEN STOPS all around the US?? Who decided on that schedule?? But I’m not really complaining because it’s totally amazingly wonderful.

It was the first stop so it was on Tuesday, the very day Son of Neptune came out!!
So that’s awesome.

We (my brother and I) got to get two books signed each. I don’t currently own The Lost Hero, so I took The Last Olympian to be signed along with The Son of Neptune. We were pretty much last in line because we got there at 8:30 and the store closed at 9:00. So we didn’t even have to wait that long.

Picture Time!!!

Son of Neptune Signed Photos
The Last Olympian Signed Photos
P.S. This was my very first book signing ever. Totally doing that again.
I’ve started Son of Neptune and so far it’s fantastic!


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