Howl's Moving Castle
The Cat in the Hat
Green Eggs and Ham
The Magician's Nephew
The Lord of the Rings
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Complete Little House Nine-Book Set
The Once and Future King
Flame Of Recca, Volume 1 (Flame of Recca
The Return of the King
The Two Towers
Signet Classics The Inferno
Picture of Dorian Gray
The Book Thief
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Hangman's Daughter
Alice I Have Been

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Review: Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage
Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

HOLY. WOW. This book. I can't even. SO GOOD!

Okay, I got that out of my system! So let me first explain why I picked up this book in the first place. If you were a 90's kid like me, you probably remember the Disney Channel original movie Cadet Kelly. When I heard about this book on Epic Reads Tea Time, I was super excited because I loved that movie. Little did I know that I would love this more!

Sam McKenna is a straight up a$$-kicking girl. She's in military school with almost entirely boys and combating a whole lot of boys who don't want here there. I expected these things, but what I didn't expect at all was the intrigue that came with The Society. Parts of the book turn into a real action movie with a bit of a thriller thrown in.

My only complaint? It stops in a terrible spot! I mean, the main things get taken care of, but there were so many story threads left to complete!

I will now make it my personal mission to get Joy N. Hensley to write a sequel so I can continue on Sam's journey!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review: Grim edited by Christine Johnson

I love fairy tales, even dark ones, so I was pretty excited to see a YA author collection of Grimm's tales retold. The contributing authors are Ellen Hopkins, Julie Kagawa, Amanda Hocking, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Kimberly Derting, Myra McEntire, Malinda Lo, Sarah Rees-Brennan, Jackson Pearce, Christine Johnson, Jeri Smith Ready, Shaun David Hutchinson, Saundra Mitchell, Sonia Gensler, Tessa Gratton, and Jon Skrovron. Whew, what a list!

Some of the stories, as can be expected in any anthology, were more memorable than others. I thought I would share a little about a few of my favorites and let you investigate the rest if you're interested.

The first story that caught my attention and made me smile was "Figment" by Jeri Smith-Ready. It revolves around a small stuffed cat that brings luck to whomever owns it and believes in it. It's written from the cat Figment's point of view. It gave me feels. Figment is passed onto a boy after his father dies. His father, incidentally, was a washed up rock star who never even knew his son. At first the son feels slighted, but he gradually grows to love Figment. I won't spoil it from there, but it was definitely a favorite!

"A Real Boy" by Claudia Gray was another story that I adored. A scientist in the future creates a robot with AI so good that he could almost pass for human, which is also, incidentally, forbidden. She places her apprentice in charge of him, and her apprentice is startled to find that she likes him. LIKES him, likes him. The robot (I've forgotten his name, sorry!) is also bound by certain rules that are reminiscent of Asimov's. Their affection is unusual, but the robot's seeming innocence is so endearing! You'll have to read to hear the rest!

The last one that really spoke to me was "Beauty and the Chad" by Sarah Rees Brennan. It's a play on "Beauty and the Beast," of course, but it was a very original tongue-in-cheek interpretation that cracked me up in places. The "beast" resents being called that and tells Beauty that it's rude and to call him Chad instead. Chad is also just the current of many beasts who have lived in this castle with this curse, and he was a frat boy in college before he was cursed. His style and mannerisms contrast so well with the fairy tale manners of the rest of the characters that I couldn't help but smile. This was my favorite story of the bunch, and truthfully, I'd have been more than happy to read an entire book told this way. It was great!

Though I'd give the three stories above a 10 out of 10, overall, I'd give the book a 7 out of 10. Some stories left me cringing, and some were just not interesting enough for me to remember well. As a whole, though, it's a really fun read, especially if you're familiar with the original tales. If you're not, you may find yourself hunting down what each story was based upon as you read. I recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Happy New Year!

My first book of the year is A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. Now, I'll be honest. I totally picked the book up because of  hardcore cover lust. I mean, look at it! It's totally swoon worthy!

Of course, I couldn't go on cover alone. I'm a little title judgy, too. Is that a thing? I think it should be. Some titles just scream "I'm a whiny teen romance!" and I was really afraid that this would be one of them. That's so not my thing.

Thankfully, the cover flap description had me at hello. This book revolves around Marguerite, an artistic teen girl living with a wildly scientific genius family. Her parents have just completed creating a device called a Firebird, which is a necklace that transports the wearer into versions of themselves in other dimensions. We also know from the beginning that the device was stolen by Paul, a grad student who worked closely with her parents on the device, and who may have also had a hand in killing Marguerite's father.

Together with another of her parents' assistants, Theo, Marguerite begins hopping dimensions in search of Paul and the answers he holds about her father's death. From London, to Russia, back to the United States, and the middle of the sea, we follow Marguerite, Theo, and Paul through their interdimensional journeys.

I would so love to tell you more, but I just won't ruin it for you. For those of you who need a quick start to stay interested -- this book definitely has it. The pace remains quick throughout most of the book, and I really had trouble finding a place where I thought, "Yeah, this is a good spot to stop," because it seemed like I was always in the middle of something.

The characters are beautifully subtle, and the writing is exquisite. I found myself backtracking to reread certain parts just because I loved the way Gray wrote them. And seriously, I can't stop staring at the cover. If you want a little more insight into the cover and want to see some other versions that were considered (and in my opinion, equally beautiful), hop over to this post on EpicReads. 

Overall, I give this book a 10 out of 10, and I can't wait for the next book!

I will be back within the next couple of days with my next review. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Surprise! I'm BAAACK! (But not from outer space!)

Hey there, everyone! Long time, no see!

I've been on winter break for the last week and a half, and in that time, I've become obsessed with a new YA book site: EpicReads. It's an amazing site run by HarperCollins that features all their YA new releases and some AWESOME videos and recommendations. Specifically, I've become obssessed with the blog runners' weekly video chat on YouTube, Tea Time. They have over 85 episodes that originally aired live. They talk about what they're reading, live chat with their viewers through Twitter and YouTube, talk about upcoming books, and relate topics of the books they talk about to real life. Most episodes run around half an hour and air live on Wednesdays at 4:30 ET on YouTube. Since I came late to the game, I'm just watching the huge backlog of episodes and waiting to watch my first live episode next week when they come back for the new year.

Now, that was a lot of explanation to lead to this: I'm coming back to blog! I went into it without enough purpose the first time -- it was just for me. This time, I'm going to specifically be reviewing YA books and (hopefully) making a YouTube channel of my own to accompany it. So watch out for new stuff coming your way!

Just to brag a little more about the awesomeness that is Epic Reads Tea Time with Margot and Aubrey: THEY ARE THE BEST! They basically give book talks of YA books every week. If you want to pick and choose what to watch rather than binge watch them all like me, I say go for any video labeled ARC Party or Book Shimmy Awards. They talk about the most books in those, where in some others they get into more conversations about related things. You will LOVE it!

So, I hope to be back with my first blog post tomorrow for the new year reviewing the book A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray, and possibly a video! See you soon!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Review of 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

This is the best novel I've read in years. It is an intricately woven story with mystery, romance, and science fiction elements. The characters are incredible and likable, particularly the women, Aomame and Fuka-Eri. Once you've read the first few chapters, there is no putting this book down.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Book #27: Style by Lauren Conrad

Confession time: I love Lauren Conrad and The Hills. I have watched them all (again) on Netflix recently, and I always love Lauren's look. Imagine my surprise when I was walking through Target and stumbled upon this book -- awesome! I'm a sucker for style/decorating books anyway, but this one was a bonus since it was also written by someone whose style I like and admire.

The book has sections for collecting basics, t-shirts and jeans, shoes, accessories, putting it all together, and hair and makeup. There are a couple of things I missed, but these are the ones I enjoyed the most. She gives a lot of tips on washing and caring for clothes throughout the book, such as "if you don't have the time or energy to take care of 'dry clean only' or 'hand wash only' clothes, don't buy them."

I thought this book was written in a very down-to-earth way for someone who has money coming out her ears. She could have spent the book encouraging you to buy designer, but she really just tells you to look for things you like of a quality that will last but that you can afford. She also tells you when it's worth it (or not) to lay down more money for something, like a classic basic, and when it's okay to buy something cheap, like tanks and tees to layer.

I was also a big fan of the makeup and hair sections because they taught me to do somethings with my makeup that I was always afraid to try, like fake lashes and liquid eyeliner. Liquid eyeliner may be my new best friend because it turns out I'm kind of awesome at using it! I still have yet to try the fake lashes, but I'm intrigued by the idea.

Anyway, you can tell I had a ton of fun reading this, and it was a nice break from all the fiction I've been reading lately. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Book #26: Beastly by Alex Flinn

I was told I just "had" to read this book. So I did! I have always loved Beauty and the Beast (the Disney one, of course!). It didn't take much convincing to get me to read this once I realized it existed.

This book, uniquely narrated by the male lead, Adrian, is incredibly well written. I enjoyed seeing the beginning of the story and the transformation in more detail than you do in the Disney movie, which just brushes over it. It was also nice to get the inner thoughts of the beast as he deals with his transformation and trying to win over Linda, the book's version of Belle.

Perhaps my favorite part of it all, however, was how Flinn transformed the story into modern terms and changed the way a lot of the magical elements operated. She also changes the circumstances under which Linda/Belle is brought to and forced to stay with Adrian/Beast. That took a lot of thought and creativity, and ultimately lead to me not being able to put down this book!