Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Beat the Heat Readathon #3



Wednesday 7/31
Currently reading: The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
Pages read today: 142
Time spent reading today: 2 and 1/2 hours
Books completed today: n/a


~Rem




Cress Cover Reveal

As you all know, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer are some of my favorite books ever!!!  Today the cover of the third book, Cress was revealed!!!!


Oh my God isn't is pretty!?!  I'm so excited it's not even funny!

Here's the blurb

Blurb:

Rapunzel's tower is a satellite. She can't let down her hair - or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker – unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

~Rem


Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine! It's a feature to share upcoming/unreleased books that we're waiting for!

1.  First and foremost, I'm waiting for 

Allegiant by Veronica Roth


The Divergent series is just so good!  I'm dying waiting for it!  On the sidebar you can see a countdown until the release!

2. But just barely, I'm waiting for

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater 


The first book in The Raven Cycle, (The Raven Boys) was absolutely wonderful and I'm racking my brain to entertain myself until this comes out.

3.  But of many, I'm waiting for 

Panic by Lauren Oliver


Lauren Oliver is just a writing goddess; anything that she writes ends up on my favorites list.  Let's just say I've got high hopes! ;D

~Rem

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge Part 8

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge


Quick: 15 Bullet Points about Things that Appeal to Me on Blogs

  • Updated frequently, no once-a-monthers 
  • A slight mix of YA and Middle Grade
  • Interesting, yet not distracting graphics
  • No ads 
  • Professional, organized reviews
  • A "star" or something similar rating system
  • Giveaways are nice! :)
  • Involvement with other blogs
  • Involvement with authors
  • A mix of current and upcoming books
  • Cover Releases and Release Date Updates
  • Reviews of Short Stories/In betweens (Commonly e-books).
  • A nice, non boring yet not distracting font
  • Not too much white
  • Countdowns for popular upcoming books!
Obviously, this is what appeals to me on book blogs!  I try and use a lot of these things myself! :)

Review for 
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs


Blurb:

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. 

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here - one of whom was his own grandfather - were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason.

And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive.

Explanation:

This book was published in 2011, I'm very much behind the crowd!  But I saw this on the Lucky Day Shelf at my library and felt that it was about time that I picked it up to read!

Writing/Pictures*:

Riggs' writing corresponded with the pictures in the book quite well.  The story came alive in a way that illustrations limit.  I thought that his dialog was strategically placed and moved the story along while allowing our protagonist time to explain things.  The entire book was incredibly whimsical, and at times creepy, but it was all part of the fun and overall amazing feel of the book.

Plot:

Riggs' plot begins in a way that allows him to explain the history that leads to the rising action.  The entire thing was fast paced yet plenty slow enough for the simple moments.  The ending was wonderful, finishing up the story while allowing for the reader's mind to wonder.

Setting:

Riggs described his setting in enticing ways, perfectly grasping the feel for the island, making it realisitc and yet so much like a fairytale.  The entire hidden worlds that he invented fitted with common folklore and was able to still be it's own.  

Characters:

Jacob:

Jacob starts off very awkward, tossing aside his Grandfather's stories as rubbish, and yet not being able to let them go.  He continues to evolve into someone brave, as well as a person who won't look behind.    Jacob always seemed very real to me, and in the end,   

Emma:

Emma is a girl so literally stuck in time.  She is confident, stubborn, and yet very compassionate.  She allows herself to forgive and move on, opening new doors that had never been there before.

Abe/Jacob's Grandfather:

Abe isn't actually in the book in person very much, and yet his an object brought up so frequently it feels like he is.  We come to know that Abe was very restless, and while he surely cared for Emma, he was never satisfied when not off fighting with monsters.

The Peculiar Children:

Riggs allowed all the Peculiar Children their own personalties, making them bounce up through the story and pictures.  It's a sensation so literally like watching a movie in my head is astonishing.

Final Findings:

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a mixture of history and fantasy, pictures and words.  This is one of the most professionally pleasing books that I've read in a long time.

✎✎✎✎✎

~Rem








Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Beat the Heat Readathon Update #2


Tuesday 7/30
Currently reading: The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
Pages read today: 211
Time spent reading today: 2 hours
Books completed today: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs* Review to Come!

So as you can tell, I'm already way off my goals, so I've decided to just them to half a book a day, (what was I thinking with one and a half?) and so then here is my new list:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Camp by Elaine Wolf
Trash Can Days: A Middle School Saga by Teddy Steinkellner
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd (Edited) by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
Through the Skylight by Ian Baucom
Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
Divergent by Veronica Roth (Re-Read)
Jaws by Peter Benchley
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

If I finish this, I'll just keep going with the original list!  Lets see how I do now! :)





Monday, July 29, 2013

Beat the Heat Readathon Update #1

Hey all!  Let's see how I did!

Monday 7/29
Currently reading: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Pages read today: 179
Time spent reading today: 2 hours
Books completed today: none


Eeeeeek!!! I didn't really stick to my goals very well today, but that's okay.  I got back from vacation yesterday and had unpacking and cleaning to do.  Tomorrow will be better! :)

Since I'm late on practically everything, except school assignments, I figure that I should continue with 15 Book Blogger Challenge that I have yet to finish?

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge


Talk About My Blogging Quirks:

Okay, well, 
  • I tend to be some what late, although I try and post almost everyday. 
  • If I do miss some days, I'll post multiple times in one day in a feeble attempt to make up.
  • I love share quotes from books.
  • I try out lots of different review styles, stick with one for a bit, and then get bored and change it.
  • Sometimes I'll be reading a lot and get really behind on reviews, and end up feeling super guilty even though I'm still posting one a day.  I end up slowing my reading down but then can't catch up.
  • I love reading other blogs to get ideas on how to improve my own blog, while keeping it the original it always has been.
That's all that I can think of off the top of my head, I'll post again tomorrow!

~Rem


Beat the Heat Readathon

So sorry for not posting!  I was on vacation!  I did get to read a bunch so today I'll be posting several times to make up! :)



I just signed up for this short summer readathon!  I'm hoping that it will drive me to read at a bit of a faster pace, considering the amount of books already stacked on my nightstand has managed to spill beyond! :)

The Readathon starts today, but first I'd like to share my goals!

Goals:

  • Read Roughly 1 and 1/2 books a day.  That's really a stretch for me, but some of my summer activities are winding down so I might have a bit more time on my hands.  The List consists of:
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Camp by Elaine Wolf
Trash Can Days: A Middle School Saga by Teddy Steinkellner
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd (Edited) by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
Through the Skylight by Ian Baucom
Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
Divergent by Veronica Roth (Re-Read)
Jaws by Peter Benchley
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser
Messenger by Lois Lowry
Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
The Book Theif by Markus Zusak
Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan
Starters by Lissa Price
Bewitching by Alex Flinn
Insurgent by Veronica Roth

This list is mighty long!  Don't count on my getting all the way through, but I bet I'll get pretty darn close!

Progress:

Here's how I'll track my progress this first week!

Monday 7/29
Currently reading: 
Pages read today: 
Time spent reading today: 
Books completed today:

Tuesday 7/30
Currently reading: 
Pages read today: 
Time spent reading today: 
Books completed today:

Wednesday 7/31
Currently reading: 
Pages read today: 
Time spent reading today: 
Books completed today:

Thursday 8/1
Currently reading: 
Pages read today: 
Time spent reading today: 
Books completed today:

Friday 8/2
Currently reading: 
Pages read today: 
Time spent reading today: 
Books completed today:

Saturday 8/3
Currently reading: 
Pages read today: 
Time spent reading today: 
Books completed today:

Sunday 8/4
Currently reading: 
Pages read today: 
Time spent reading today: 
Books completed today:

WEEK 1 SUMMARY
Total # pages read this week: 
Total time spent reading this week: 
Books I completed this week:  


I hope you all give this a try, or at least laugh at me scrambling to finish these books!  

~Remedyleaf









Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The 5th Wave and 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge Part 6

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge


Describe How You Shop For Books:

Well, it's hard to describe how I shop for books because I shop several different ways.

  • If I want to pre-order a book, get a book as a gift, or need something urgent, I order from Amazon.com
  • If I'm at the mall and by some miracle have some money, I'll browse at Barnes and Noble.
  • If I have random money, by some miracle, I'll go browse at some of the locally owned bookstores in my neighborhood.
  • If I get money has a gift, I'll shop all of these places, but burning through it quickly.
  • And lastly, if I'm shopping on vacation or visiting a town for the day I'll shop at the book stores that they have available.
That's how I shop for Books! :)




Review for The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey




Blurb:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. ****

Explanation:

I've seen this book all over the YA book world lately.  So when I saw this book on the "Lucky Day"* shelf at my local library I picked it up, not really sure even what it was about, much less what to expect.

*At my local library, they do this thing where they take popular books with huge waiting lists and have them on display for regular people to check out.  You can't renew them, so you have to read them quicker than other library books, but you still get them for a bit.  I think it's neat because I'm really bad about getting on waiting lists! :)

Writing:

Yancey started off with an amazing, needs to be explored more, premise; a dystopian world destroyed by aliens.  Yancey's world is realistically terrifying.  It preys on the flaws in human nature and points out that it's doing so.  The plot of this story melded together as the characters goals gradually became the same things.  This book was written in four different points of view, although 95%* (*Not a real statistic, my guess) was really only from two of the characters points of view.  I found that the switch between POV's was pretty seamless.  I didn't go more than a couple sentences before realizing who was talking.  The end of this book wrapped up the story just enough to not kill me, but still left the tiniest bit of mystery that I hope to see in following books.

Characters:

**** I wanted to link down from the blurb, because I want to criticize it.  The blurb talks only of Cassie and Evan, where as the book is about so much more than just them.  In my opinion Cassie and Ben are  joint protagonists, and I think that it was unwise and a mistake to not include him in the blurb.

Cassie:  

In the beginning, Cassie does a lot of set up for the story, going back in her memories to give a first hand account of certain events, before returning to the present.  I found that Yancey brought a strong voice to Cassie and it was a clever way to tell the past while telling the story.

At the end of the book there is obvious tension between the Ben/Cassie/Evan situation, although it never interfered with the story going on, it just was a little red herring for future books.**

Cassie is often critical of herself and of her mistakes, certainly with her trusting Evan, and yet she never gives up on her promises, making her a surviver.  She was lovely to read about.

Ben/Zombie:*

Ben acts like a typical boy would in an apocalyptic situation, although at a certain point he changes his mind and decides to go with what is obviously the truth.

Ben refuses to forgive himself for the mistakes he's made, and yet he doesn't let himself make them again.  In such dark times he manages to keep his humanity.

**Besides the whole Ben/Cassie/Evan problem, there is also the whole Ben/Ringer situation, which will affect the Ben/Cassie/Evan thing.  All of this will likely be expanded in later books.

While I found Cassie to be ruthless with her own life for the sake of a loved one, Ben did the same for some one he didn't know as well.  Learning from what he'd done, he certainly didn't make the same mistake again, making him wiser and braver than Cassie or the old Ben Parish.

*SPOILER*

 When I found out that the second POV was Ben Parish, I almost died, after hearing Cassie go on and on about him! :D

*END SPOILER* 

Evan:

*When we first hear from Evan we don't quite know it's him.*  The entire book his suspicious, a liar, and such a bad boy.  Except you wouldn't think of him as a bad boy, you'd think of him as an adorable farm boy.  

Evan's secrets eventually catch up with him, although he never loses what he makes the decision to protect, no matter what the cost to himself.

Sammy/Nugget:

Sammy only talks to us once, giving us a taste of a terrified little boy who becomes courageous. He also is certainly the object that connects all our characters together, making him vital to the story.

His development isn't really in himself, as much as how he changes the people he meets.


Final Findings:

This alien dystopian novel has moved it's way to the top of my favorites list.  With it's completely original characters and plot, I was caught up in every bit of this story, making it something that everyone should read.

✎✎✎✎✎

~Remedyleaf








Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Maze Runner and 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge Part 5

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge

Recommend a Tear Jerker.

A tear jerker, eh?  I'd have to say The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is one of my favorite tear jerkers of all time.






Review for The Maze Runner by
James Dashner


Blurb:

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 thirty 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.



Explanation:

Just like Reason to Breathe, this was another book that I had checked out from school at the end of the year, but lacked the time to read it at that time.  So I got an extension and was able to read it at this time.

The Maze Runner has been on my internal list of books to read for a long time, only now have I finally gotten to read it!

Writing:

I found Dashner's plot and development completely fantastic.  I also firmly enjoyed the rare male POV in this dystopian novel.  

Dashner also created an amazing world that the Glader's lived in; the thought and time that went into that creation was apparent.

The final kudos that I'll give to Dashner was the fact that he kept the secrets of the Glade hidden so well, and yet the clues became obvious in the end.

Characters:

Thomas:
 I found Thomas a brave and pleasing protagonist.  He struggled with the story but had a determination that made his charisma delightful to read.  In a book about not knowing who you are, the characters struggled with identity.  I think that Thomas wanting to be a Runner is definitely an identity for him.

Chuck:
Chuck was sort of the little side-kick of the story.  He pointed out obvious things, and was scared at times when others were brave, but in the end I found him to be the most noble of them all.  Thomas saw Chuck as a symbol of innocence and hope and that was a huge part of Thomas's character.

Theresa:
For much of the book, Theresa is a mystery.  It is not until towards the very end that we get to see much of her character, and the first thing I've got to say is that that girl's got spunk!  She was brave and clever and I can't wait to read more from her in following books.

Newt and Minho: 
I found Newt and Minho both Gladers that Thomas looked up to.  They were important characters within the plot and a duo that Thomas could always depend on never doubting him.

Final Findings:
My final findings were that the book was written with a great plot and exciting characters who obviously have a story to finish in the following books!  I'm excited to read them!

✎✎✎✎✎

~Remedyleaf













Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Reason to Breath and 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge Part 4

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge


What Was the Last Book That I Flung Across the Room?

Funny that you should ask that, because the last book that I flung across the room was, 


Review for Reason to Breath by
Rebecca Donovan


Blurb:

"No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?" 

He knows there’s something more to the girl sitting in the back of the class the moment he sees her. She’s beautiful, intelligent, and athletic – but she slips quietly through the crowded halls, trying not to exist. Determined to get to know the elusive girl, Evan soon discovers… Emma Thomas is hiding a terrible a secret.Reason to Breathe is an electrifying page turner from start to finish, a unique tale of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and one girl’s fragile grasp of hope.


Explanation:

I had this book recommended to me by someone at my school.  She stated that she couldn't put it down!  I checked it out from the school library and got permission took keep it over the summer after not having enough time to even start it in the mess of the last couple weeks of school.  Then this summer I picked it up, not having really even read the blurb.  This book was an amazing surprise.

Writing:

 I found Donovan's writing absolutely breathtaking.  It had the perfect mix of maturity and description, and yet still had it's young points and qualities that made it feel like a "regular" YA book.  The plot was rather exciting, because at first the reader does not know Emma's secret, because she is so reserved.  I often found that as the reader I was dumbfound or blindsided as much as the characters were, Donovan really brought me into the story!

Characters:

Emma:

Emma was a protagonist that I often yelled at.  You totally understand where she's coming from, but you look at the situation and think "No!  Do this!"  While sometimes this was often frustrating, she was absolutely lovely; determined, kind, soft-spoken.  Although had closed herself off to most people, the year portrayed in the book is definitely  a time of change for Emma, the way people saw her, and even the way she saw herself.

Sara:

Sara starts off as the one person in Emma's life that actually cares about her, and Emma is grateful.  Yet despite the fact that Sara is Emma's only friend, Sara is in the dark.  Not completely, but enough.  That secret puts a toll on their relationship.  Sara is brave to be so popular and yet still hang out with Emma, but you can tell that there is no pity in their friendship.  

Carol:

*SPOILER* 
I don't  know how to describe Carol's character with out spoiling some things, so spoil I shall!  
It's obvious that Carol wanted a perfect life, two kids, a house, ect.  When Emma is dropped in on her family by her drunk mother and dead father, Carol's perfect world collapses.  In addition to the trigger of the outbursts, Carol obviously has some anger/brain issues to cause the rage that she has.

*END SPOILER*

Evan:

Evan comes into the story completely new to Emma, so he is oblivious to the walls that she's built around herself.  As their relationship progresses, he eventually gets hurt and frustrated by Emma's secret, although he never doubts that she can take care of herself.  While Evan is known as hot and cute, he makes his own decisions of who do date and be friends with, making him an all around cool guy.

Final Findings/ Why I Flung It Across the Room:

 My final findings were that THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!  I loved every aspect and little detail!  Ahhhhh!!  It was just so good!!!!!

Oh, and why I flung it across the room?  THE CLIFFHANGER EPILOGUE!!!  

Except that I can't really say that, because while the ending was a cliffhanger, it left me with some satisfaction too!!

✎✎✎✎

~Remedyleaf

P.S.  Here is my favorite quote from the book, but beware of 

*SPOILERS*

"In the balance of love and loss, it was love that me me struggle to.... Breathe."
-Emma Thomas, Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan
Pg. 377



Monday, July 15, 2013

Delirium and 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge Day Three

Hey!  Sorry, I'm taking this 15 day Book Blogger Challenge at my own pace, I'll be posting more this week!

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge


Who Are My Blogging BFF's?

Well, even though I know a lot of blogs, most bloggers don't know me. However,  I'd say some of my favorites are Katie from Katie's Book Blog and Aneeqah from My Not So Real Life.





Review for Delirium 
by Lauren Oliver


Blurb:

Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.

Explanation:

Towards the end of May I read my first book by Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall.  This book went on to become one of my favorite books ever.  The Delirium trilogy has been on my list to read long before that, but after my first Lauren Oliver book it moved up the list.  

I got this book off of Amazon when I was making an order for Divergent, Insurgent, and a preorder of Allegiant.

Writing:

I found Oliver's writing to be just slightly less impressive as her first book, although that might have had to do with the genre jump and less seriousness of this book.  Well, her first book was quite Realisitic, where as this was a new kind of dystopian romance.  To be honest it's quite hard to compare this book to her second.  Although, she did have just the right amount of description, and was able to keep an interesting plot going through out the book.  The premise is absolutely gorgeous too, it draws you in!

Setting:

I find the settings of dystopian novels absolutely fascinating.  This one was set in a futuristic version of Portland, Maine.  The more interesting of the setting is the society that she is part of.  Which, in a way is part of the setting.  The United States has closed it's boarders to keep out a disease known as amor deliria nervosa, which is essentially, love.  When you are 18 you get "cured" and assigned a mate by the government.  Eeek!!!!!!  Another part of the book that involved the setting was that at the beginning of every chapter there was an excerpt from some sort of propaganda about the deliria, such as something from The Book of Shhh, which is their book of rules.  All in all, I discovered that Oliver created an eerily believable world.  

Characters:

Delirium had three main characters.  
Lena (The Protagonist).  
Alex (The Love Interest)
&
Hana (The Best Friend)

Lena was a model protagonist.  She and others doubted her, but she managed to prove them and herself wrong.  In the beginning she is obviously brainwashed by the traditions and propaganda, despite her mother.  However, as the story progresses, and as her relationships with the other characters change, you realize as the reader how restless Lena really was.  

Alex comes across as a typical teenage boy, except then you realize that he's supposed to be cured, and anything that a typical teenaged boy would do is the opposite of what he's supposed to be doing.  When his true identity is revealed, it is obvious that he want's nothing more than Lena to be happy.

Hana starts off as the more dominat friend in her relationship with Lena.  As we later learn, in spite of that, Hana wants nothing more than to dip her toe into rebellion, and when a close call happens, she is ready to end it all.  Lena on the other hand, gets buzzed and wants to continue.  Hana is a good friend throughout the story, and has Lena's back when worse comes to worse.

Final Findings:

An exciting ending left me breathless and craving more.  I will be getting the sequels ASAP and look forward to more Lena/Alex in the future.


✎✎✎✎


~Remedyleaf










Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Audition and 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge

Review for Audition by 
Stasia Ward Kehoe


Blurb:

When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she's deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem's muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she's chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more? 

Explanation:

I was at my local library when I picked up this book.  I suppose that the cover is what first attracted me.  After I read the blurb, I was hooked, because I have always been fascinated by the world of ballet.  It was not until later, when I started the book however, did I realize that it was written in Verse, or Free Verse, a type of poetry that has no rhyming.  I have read good and bad examples of Verse books, I didn't know that to expect. 

Writing:

I found Kehoe's writing to be very pretty, but it was hard to pay attention because it came across as boring as the plot would stutter around these little unhelpful metaphors.  The plot itself was confusing as well, and the ending was unsatisfying and abruptly ended the story.  

Setting:

I found the setting to be rather irrelevant the story the majority of the time.  Besides the fact that Sara moves to a new place, and that a New Jersey Ballet school is nothing compared to ones in big cities, it didn't matter if she was at ballet, school, or in Rem's apartment, because it all ran together.

Characters:

Sara is a hard protagonist to read about, because she never knows what she wants.  She risks everything for a semi-passion.  She makes herself vulnerable to an older man, who uses her.  As the reader, it broke your heart to see her so hurt all the time, but then she would do something stupid and become whiny again.  She was topsy turvy and not someone that was fun to read about, especially by her wimping out at the end of the book.

Rem was a seductive, convincing, jerk and Sara was stupid and a goody two-shoes enough to play into that.  Nothing about him was swoon worthy, making him just uncomfortable to read about.

The other characters where somewhat under developed, popped into the story at odd times, and had little significance in the barely there plot.

Final Findings:

While this book brought the reader into the story emotionally, the writing and plot were not all there and the characters were frustrating and uninteresting.  I was completely unimpressed with this debut.

✎✎


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge


What's Your Bedtime Reading Ritual?

When I get into bed first I finish taking notes on my Summer Reading book for school, then I proceed to reading from my current book, (for example, I'm currently reading The Book Theif by Markus Zusak) .  It is just at that time that my cat Lucy decides to come lie on me, right in front of my book.  After I convince her to lie next to me I read until I am sleepy.

If I can't sleep I'll read my current book until I finish it, and then proceed to reading The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn Keene.  That usually helps me sleep.  

If I'm scared by some spooky movie or something I'll read Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling.

I never read until I totally fall asleep, because then I miss parts of the book that I'm reading, so to prevent that, I read until I want to stop, and then turn out my light and go to sleep!

That's my Bedtime Reading Ritual!

~Rem










Monday, July 8, 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge

Hey!  So Good Books and Good Wine is hosting a 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge!  I decided to participate!


Today is 

15 Book Related Confessions

  1. I re-read books.  A lot.  Many of my books are falling apart for so much use!  :)
  2. YOU MUST NOT DOG EAR BOOKS! NEVER!!!
  3. If I read a book from the library I can't just buy the sequel, I have to buy the first book too.
  4. I frequently find missing books amongst my blankets and pillows in my bed.
  5. On my phone, both my lock screen and home screen pictures are book related.
  6. 75% of the Instagram accounts I follow are about books.
  7. My nightstand is so overflowing with books that it scares me.  I'm worried they might fall on me and I'll suffocate.  I'm kidding.  But the amount of books is scary.  Scary good!  :)
  8. I waited to read all the Harry Potter books before I saw the movies.  I read/watch them last July.  
  9. I'm a hipster when it comes to The Hunger Games.  I read it back in 2009 before it was cool!
  10. When I realized that I'd read 52 books since January 2013 I panicked and asked myself what I was doing with my life, but then I realized that it's July and half the year is already over and I really need to be reading more so that I read 100 by December 31st, before midnight.  Or, if you want to be like that, New Years Eve.
  11. I often get bored if a book has no romance.  You need at least a little something something.
  12. My mom once found my stash.  Of books that is.  She made me return half of them back to the library.  I was confused because none of the were overdue. 
  13. When I can't sleep or feel sick I read The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn Keene.  Or Harry Potter.  That helps too.
  14. My camera roll is full of pictures of book references.
  15. I love being called bookish and a nerd.  It is my identity.
So!  That's all you get!  Tune in tomorrow for my bedtime reading ritual and another book review!

~Remedy


Looking for Alaska *JOHN GREEN HAPPY DANCE*

Before I get into my review for Looking for Alaska I might as well explain John Green.

Credit: Goodreads.com


This is John Green.  He is the New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines, and The Fault in our Stars.  He also co-wrote Will Grayson, Will Grayson with David Levithan. 

John Green is amazing.  In my opinion.

He and his brother Hank
Credit: http://andyvance.com

This is Hank Green

So anyway, John and Hank have a Youtube channel called "Vlogbrothers".  It spawned a group of fans called "Nerdfighters" who walk around keeping the world for sucking and yelling DFTBA (don't forget to be awesome).  Yes, I consider myself a nerdfighter. 

I recommend that you try watching some of their videos.  If you click here you will go to a playlist known as "20 Essential Vlogbrother's Videos" or something like that.  I found it helpful when I started regularly watching.  

To get to the Vlogbrother's homepage click here.

Now that you know about John Green I feel ready to review. 

Review for Looking for Alaska by
John Green


Blurb:

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

Explanation:

 When I was on my wonderful trip to Powell's, I got many books.  This is one of them.  Obviously I am a crazy fan of John Green and need to read all his work over and over, so this is my review for Looking for Alaska.  

Review:

I suppose because this book is written in two parts, I shall review it in two parts.  

Before:

"Before" in this novel consists of a lot of "befores".  The before in the blurb mostly refers to before Pudge goes to boarding school.  The before in the book however, refers to before something terrible happens.

I found Pudge to be a lovely protagonist.  He was an honest teenage boy who loves a girl with a boyfriend and doesn't mind having a non "Weekday Warrior*" friend.  (*Weekday Warrior refers to the rich students who only stay at the school during the week and go home on the weekends).

Pudge's growth as a person is fascinating in the Before as well as the After.

Maybe it was unsatisfying to see Pudge with a different love interest, but I loved the complications it caused.

Alaska, being the original love interest, is perfect for the job. She's gorgeous, friendly, but unavailable, and thus, irresistible.  While her constant toying with Pudge pleased him, it was hard to read assuming that that's all she was doing, toying. 

The Colonel is the perfect best friend.  He's rough.  He's tough.  He pushes Pudge to do crazy things.  He also has is own problems too, ahem, GIRLFRIEND.  

Takumi is the just right side friend.  Pudge may be good friends with him and all, but he still just stays a side character.  A necessary side character. 

Anyway, the Before in Looking for Alaska is full of unreturned love, pranks, firsts, and a lot of smoking.  

After:

It is hard to analyze this with out giving much away, but I will say that After is full of broken love, fights, a whole lot of smoking, and the biggest prank of all.  

The Colonel and Pudge's struggle with acceptance and guilt they'd forced on themselves made this heartbreaking to read, except that the do manage to get closure, and that is the part that leaves Looking for Alaska with a happy ending.  

Thoughts:

Of course John Green's writing and characters were as amazing as ever.  I found that it was a sign of true writing skill to have the devastation happen almost directly in the center of the book, leaving the reader dumbfound for what the next hundredish pages were going to be about.  

Yes it was sad, but yes it was happy, and now, as Fran├žois Rabelais said, 

"I go to seek a Great Perhaps."

✎✎✎✎✎

~Remedyleaf