Saturday, June 1, 2013

House of Hades Cover RELEASED


Sorry. Just had to post this/share this with someone as I was so excited. Unfortunately, Nicole isn't as big of a Percy Jackson fan as I am. This is another AMAZING cover and I can't wait for the book to come out this fall! Just helping spreading the news around. :)

*Also, here is a video of one of my favorite Youtuber who reviews books and her reaction to the cover:


Monday, April 8, 2013

A Book Blogging Confession from Nicole

Hi guys! So, somehow I managed to get through all the tests/homework/assignments I had from school and here I am, working on my abandoned book blog. It's been awhile since my last post, but me and Sarah have been infrequently posting at random times.

To keep a realistic goal, the Umbrella Dreams blog is not on a hiatus, but me and Sarah won't be posting every single day like in November/December 2012. I don't want to get anyone's hopes up high, as there's lots of things going on right now, so I can't promise a perfect scheduling of posts. However, in the summer, it will be a different story...hopefully.

Anyways, to keep you updated on everything bookish, I have some post ideas scheduled up, and I'm re-reading Unraveling because its sequel, Unbreakable is coming out this month! (need to refresh my memory after half a year) The cover of Unbreakble is so perfect!

Unbreakable (Unraveling, #2)
Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

If you haven't read Unraveling, please read it now! You seriously will not regret it!

But anyways, getting back on topic, I've recently seen a lot of these "book blogging confessions" on some people's blogs. I thought it was a really neat idea, so I decided to do one of my own. I know I usually don't share much about my personal life, so you guys probably don't have an accurate idea of what my personality is like. But hey, you'll find out in my book blogging confession.

Nicole's Book Blogging Confesssion: I only buy books that I've read and loved.

Reason: I don't finish a lot of books. I think it's because I'm really picky and every little detail bothers me, but it's pretty rare that I will actually love a book to death. I also don't want to buy books that I will hate so I tend to buy only books I've read and loved.

What about you? What are your preferences to buying a book?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sea Of Monsters! :3

Hello! This is kinda random but has anyone here ever heard the Percy Jackson series? Pshhh, I'm kidding. Everyone has heard of it. At least I hope they do. :\ Well anyway, in case you don't know, I am a huge lover of PJ books but the movies not so much...

I was recently just browsing around on IMDb and guess what popped up? Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Sea of Monsters. Of course I was very interested so *click*. It was quite shocking in fact. There were quite a few reasons why and I tried listing them below. Hope you enjoy!



Its the trailer! Yay! Now I think this movie is going to be a bit better than the first movie because:
A). The plot of the movie actually kind of sounds like the book!
B). The style of the movie kind of sounds like Inception. You know, the part where its like dun... DUN... DUUUUUUNNNNN, you  know that right? Erm.. maybe its just me, hehe.

Look at the hair! They all changed! :(
Annabeth's (Alexandra Daddario) hair turned blond. I don't really mind that because her hair is actually blond in the book but then, why couldn't they have it turn blond in the first movie then?! Percy (Logan Lerman) also changed his look with a haircut. I don't know about you but his hair just turned a lot more uglier than before. Why? Of all the haircuts ;_;

The actors have changed too! Chiron from the Lightning Thief has switched along with Hermes and many characters have also been added. A new Chiron, Hermes and new characters Dionysus, Clarisse, Tyson and Chris Rodriguez have important roles. Unfortunately, Thalia still isn't included making me confused about the plot because Thalia is very important in this movie.

That's pretty much all I have to say about the new upcoming movie. I think I'll do a Movie + Book Review (like I did for I Am Number Four) for this once it comes out in August 16th. Make sure to subscribe, comment and share this with as many PJO fans as you possibly can. Pretty please? :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

REVIEW: Fever Crumb

Book: Fever Crumb by Phillip Reeve
Release Date: May 5th 2009 by Scholastic
Pages: 326 pages
Source: Library Copy

Fever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. In a time and place where women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only female to serve in the order.

Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb - nearly the only person she's ever known - to assist archeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project. As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been singled out by city-dwellers who declare her part Scriven.

The Scriveners, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated.

All Fever knows is what she's been told: that she is an orphan. Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? Is the mystery of Fever, adopted daughter of Dr. Crumb, the key to the secret that lies at the heart of London?

Haunting, arresting, and astonishingly original, Fever Crumb will delight and surprise readers at every fast-paced, breathless turn

I have to mention something about the cover: WHY?
I just hate the cover. I got the paperback version which has a completely different cover. I really don't like it when they try to include a person into the cover (unless it's Percy Jackson).

Now that I got that over with, I found that this book was quite enjoyable. It was quite slow at first and I did get tempted a few times to put the book down when she kept on saying the word "logical" and "rational".  I had to reread the first few chapters a couple of times but once I got into the adventure part of the story, I was hooked.

Fever is a smart character unlike a lot of girls in dystopian novels. I do believe that this is dystopian as it mentions phrases of "from the past". There was this one moment that I found quite funny:

“Fever jumped aside just in time to dodge the shower of urine, and stumbled into the path of a religious procession - celebrants in robes and pointed hats whirling and clapping and chanting the name of some old-world prophet, 'Hari, Hari! Hari Potter!'

When I read this paragraph I got this awesome feeling and just stayed in this expression :O for a very long time. Phillip Reeve is a genius for including Harry Potter.

What I find quite disturbing is Fever's hair. Apparently it is completely bald. I don't have anything against bald people but I just can't imagine her without hair, just like how in Legend, Day has long hair. Both are unthinkable.

Now for the story. There was some killing, some accidental, some purposeful and some just not actual killings. Confusing parts came up that I struggled with but it was still an easy-read book. Now that this topic came up, did anyone who read this book ever read the section about what a "stalker" is? I may have just accidentally skipped it but it seems to me as though the word popped up out of nowhere. Oh well. I later understood what it was but I never got the full definition.

The ending is a weird sort of twist. I mean that in a way where there is a twist but then there is a twist to the twist. It leaves you with several questions that I can't write here because of spoilers.

This story kept me wondering and amazed at Fever Crumb's world and was enjoyable. The story was alive once Fever realized that she shouldn't be so strict on herself. The story just kept on getting better and better from that point on.

Overall, the story was exciting and wonderful. I do have some issues about it like the speed but once you got through that problem it was a good book to read. I would recommend it on days that you just want to sit down, relax, and read a book.

Final Rank 
1     2     3    4     5

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

REVIEW: Slide

Book: Slide by Jill Hathaway  
Release Date:  March 27th, 2012 by Balzer + Bray   
Pages: 250 pages  
Source: Library Copy

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth--her sister's friend Sophie didn't kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn't actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else's mind and experiences the world through that person's eyes. She's slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed "friend" when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie's slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can't bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting distant lately, especially now that she's been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

Slide was actually pretty good. Its narration was easy to follow and it was a quick read. Vee's thoughts were (mostly) reasonable, which I enjoyed.

The few problems I had with Vee were minor. At one scene, I questioned her responsibility because she had bribed her own younger sister with alcohol. I felt like this set a bad example for some readers, but that could just be my opinion. Other readers might not view it as such big mistake.

Also, there was Vee's relationship with Zane. It was too insta-love and I didn't like it at all. The two barely talk throughout the book yet they "love" each other. After about a month or so, the two declare that they are in love, which I think is quite a stretch. I personally think that Vee would have been a better couple with Rollins, her guy best friend.

In addition to that, Slide is a mystery book, but I also felt like the ending (where Sophie's murderer was revealed) was a stretch as well. With the way things played out, this could have been a soap opera. It wasn't realistic and I personally didn't like it.

Overall, Slide was an entertaining read. Vee had her own flaws, but she wasn't an annoying character. The insta-love with Zane was the biggest problem, as he was a really flat character. The mystery could have also played out better with more subtle hints in the story. I really like the type of mystery book that drop hints within the story so subtly that if you look back, you would notice it, but if you read quickly, you wouldn't see it all. Sadly, Slide wasn't one of those books. It was just a quick, fun read with some mystery into it.

Final Rank

1     2     3    3.5    4     5

Slide was good, but it wasn't amazing. It was an enjoyable read but there wasn't anything special to it. I'm keeping my eyes out for the sequel, but it's not one of those books that would be very memorable. I would, however, recommend it if you're looking for a quick easy read.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Recommend the Most

Okay, so this is my first time doing the Top Ten Tuesdays meme, so I apologize if there's a flaw in it. However, I really like this meme and I'd always wanted to give it a try. Hopefully this will be a weekly or bi-weekly meme Umbrella Dreams will participate in.

Top Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. It's a list of ten bookish things. Each week has a new topic.

 

10. Daughter of Smoke and Bone

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone was one of the best fantasy books I've ever read. It definitely surpassed my expectations and you've probably heard of it. If so, read it! Don't let the cover scare you off; it's actually a really good read.

[Goodreads Link]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.  Smart Girls Get What They Want

 

Smart Girls Get What They Want
You've probably never heard of this one, but I remember myself really enjoying it when I read it. Not only is it a fun, easy read but it's also pretty realistic. I often found myself connecting with the main character, who has high ambitions to do good in school.

[Goodreads Link]




 

 

 

8. Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe

 

Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe

This is another chick lit-esque book. But what can I say? It's another fun read with a funny, alive main character. And when I say alive, I mean like, bright and optimistic and just fun to read about in general.

[Goodreads Link]





 

 

7. If I Stay


If I Stay (If I Stay #1)
This is another contemporary novel, but it has great meaning in it. The main character, Mia, also plays a classical instrument so it's a great book for orchestra muscians as well. This book deals with family and grief. It might get sad, but it's one of the most moving, heartbreaking books I've ever read.

[Goodreads Link]




 

 

6. Under the Never Sky

 

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)
I did a review on this awhile ago. You might remember it as a four-star-read but it's still a very fantastic book. It's a sci-fi and dystopian read packed into one, so if you like sci-fi and/or dystopian, read this now! You won't regret it.

[Goodreads Link]





 

 

5. Burn for Burn

 

Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn, #1)
This is a still pretty recent read that I haven't written a book review for, but you should know --- Jenny Han is one of my favorite authors of all time. If you scroll down this Top Ten Tuesday, you'll see another series of hers. I've also read The List byBurn for Burn, wrote by the two of them is an eerie contemporary novel with some supernatural elements into it. (If you need motivation to read it, look at the beautiful cover!)

[Goodreads Link]


 

 

4. The Tragedy Paper

 

The Tragedy Paper
The Tragedy Paper is based off loosely on Shakespeare's Macbeth. When I first read this book, I had not idea it would be so amazing. The ending is absolutely heartbreaking yet it allows for a sense of realistic-ness. No matter what type of genre you like, I think you would really enjoy this one.

[Goodreads Link]




 

 

3. The Summer I Turned Pretty

 

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)
Like I mentioned before, another Jenny Han book would definitely appear in my Top Ten list. The Summer I Turned Pretty is perfect for a beach read! I know I sound like a commericial, but honestly, this book has been on my favorites list for a really long time. It was one of the first contemporary books I've really enjoyed a few years ago. I highly recommend the rest of this series as well! (And yes, it's a chick-lit read, but hey, it's a good book!)

[Goodreads Link]


 

 

 

2. Unraveling

 

Unraveling (Unraveling, #1)
You might remember this as the first review of the Umbrella Dreams blog. It was also the first written I've ever written. Unraveling is a seriously good book and the people I've recommended it to have really enjoyed it. Read it; it won't disappoint!

[Goodreads Link]






 

1. Just One Day

 

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)
To describe this in a few words, Just One Day is heartbreaking, beautiful, and one of the best books I've ever read. It made me cry; that was how good it was. It's a must read! (it's written by the same author as If I Stay)

[Goodreads Link]







That's it! What are some books you recommend?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Lot Can Happen In A Month [Jan + Feb + March 2013]

Welcome to the third monthly recap of Sarah and Nicole's book blog. It's now February 2013! Can you believe how time flies!? We are sorry that we missed out on the January Monthly Recap. To make up for it, this is a special edition of the monthly meme, featuring two months -- both January and February.

Book Reviews

Surviving Antartica Reality TV 2083 (Reviewed by Sarah; for full review, click here)

This book was kind of an ehhhh. This book was entertaining because it provided me with an idea of what the future would/might look like in 2083. What I like a lot is how they actually give a specific year. Most dystopian books are like: Oh, its happening somewhere in the future. But I am just like: BUT WHEN. 

This book was really interesting, but I wish there was more action. And it lasted longer. The people were in Antarctica for quite a while, but they didn't even make it to the first safe zone.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Reviewed by Sarah; for full review, click here)

This book deserves a five. In fact, I think it should go into the Hall of Fame but there was just something about the book that stops me from allowing it into the super awesome page. Maybe it was the darn cliffhanger.

Ten (Reviewed by Nicole; for full review, click here)

To get straight to the point, Meg was a pretty weak character. I didn't feel much sympathy for her even though the author tried to make her this sweet, understanding girl. She seemed more like a Mary Sue to me. Why? Well, she's in love with her best friend's crush but she's so loyal and kind that she's staying away from him. Her best friend also has issues, but Meg is also kind and understanding enough to forgive said best friend. Even though her best friend (Minnie) is absolutely nuts and I cannot stand that girl, Meg is apparently perfect/kind/awesome like that.

Under the Never Sky (Reviewed by Nicole; for full review, click here)

In most books I've read, the girl falls for the guy before they even get to know each other. But thankfully, that wasn't the case in this book. The romance actually turned out to be pretty good. I liked how it wasn't even romance at first, and that it started out as friendship between Aria and Perry. They had no reason to fall for each other at first sight because of their different backgrounds, so it hadn't happened. The romance made sense. They didn't fall head over heels for each other because of their looks either --- there was none of that. Their romance gradually transitioned and I enjoyed reading about it. 

*Because of space limitations, other reviews are linked but without a blurb of the official review.

Firelight
Delirium
Unwind
Hourglass
Room
Nightshade
I am Number Four
The Angel Experiment

A Quick Note from Nicole

Okay, so I know it isn't the end of the month yet, but I felt like this had to be posted ASAP because this monthly meme includes January, which is about 2 months ago. So yes, because of school, Sarah and I haven't been posting, but we are [somewhat] officially back. The past few weeks have been beyond stressful with too many tests at school and they aren't over yet. However, Sarah and I will try our best to keep posting. Also, it's Spring Break! (which explains my sudden appearance on our blog) 

Posts might still be delayed though, but they will at least show up sometime starting tomorrow.

That's it for this quick post!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

In My Mailbox (6)

Real quick IMM! Hope you enjoy and don't forget to comment or/and subscribe.







Harry Potter series FTW! I love the books and the movies and am going to have a Harry Potter marathon. I doubt a description will be needed because these movies are just too awesome.








Fever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. In a time and place where women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only female to serve in the order.

Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb - nearly the only person she's ever known - to assist archeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project. As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been singled out by city-dwellers who declare her part Scriven.

The Scriveners, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated.

All Fever knows is what she's been told: that she is an orphan. Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? Is the mystery of Fever, adopted daughter of Dr. Crumb, the key to the secret that lies at the heart of London?

Haunting, arresting, and astonishingly original, Fever Crumb will delight and surprise readers at every fast-paced, breathless turn.





 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—they're dangerous! Full of unexpected twists and turns, Artemis Fowl is a riveting, magical adventure.









That's pretty much it. It's really quick because I mostly did this post just to brag about my Harry Potter movies. I hope you enjoyed it!



Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hehe...

Have you ever had one of those moments where you pronounce a word wrong and everyone looks at you like, whaaaaat? So you say it again and then after the fifth time they understand what word you are trying to say. Hehe.... so embarrassing. Nicole and I both have experienced this. This is a quick post about it. 

Anatomy: [uh-nat-uh-mee]
1. the science dealing with the structure of animals and plants.
2. the structure of an animal or plant, or of any of its parts.
3. dissection of all or part of an animal or plant in order to study its structure.
4. a plant or animal that has been or will be dissected, or a model of such a dissected organism.
5. a skeleton

Yeah, I pronounced this word wrong. Its a simple word to say, but you know, I just had to pronounce it [an-uh-tom-ee]. The people I was saying it to didn't even understand what I was saying. :[ I cringe whenever I think of that word. Thanks a lot books, thank you.

 Archive: [ahr-kahyv]
1. Usually, archives. documents or records relating to the activities, business dealings, etc., of a person, family, corporation, association, community, or nation.
2. archives, a place where public records or other historical documents are kept.
3. any extensive record or collection of data: The encyclopedia is an archive of world history. The experience was sealed in the archive of her memory.
4. Digital Technology .
   a. a long-term storage device, as a disk or magnetic tape, or a computer directory or folder that   contains copies of files for backup or future reference.
   b. a collection of digital data stored in this way.
   c. a computer file containing one or more compressed files.
   d. a collection of information permanently stored on the Internet: The magazine has its entire archive online, from 1923 to the present.

Nicole said this one wrong. She was talking about the book "The Archive" or something like that when she suddenly pronounced archive wrong. I was wondering what she was talking about, and once I figured it out, I immediately corrected her. She was pronouncing it [ar-cheeve]. But she remembers how to properly say it now!


Meme: [meem]

I think we all know what a meme is. The shame about this one is that Nicole and I used the word frequently but in writing so our pronunciations were all wrong. Nicole pronounced it [mem] and I pronounced it [me-me]. And the thing about this word is that it sounds exactly like it looks so Nicole and I both have no excuses. Hehe...
 
That's it! Hoped you like this really quick post!
 
 

Monday, February 25, 2013

ARC REVIEW: Dualed

Book: Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Release Date: February 26th 2013 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304 pages
Source: ARC from publisher

You or your Alt? Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.

Dualed was one of the books I was most looking forward to reading in 2013. The blurb is just fantastic and I admit -- I have a soft spot for dystopian stories. Not only is the concept of Dualed is thrilling, but the writing, I soon discover as I read Dualed, is absolutely amazing. There's a lot of suspense in the way Elsie Chapman writes.

However, I also discover that as I read Dualed, I found some things I didn't like as much.

Firstly, there was the lack of background information. At certain times, I felt confused about which place was which, and I thought the description of places could be improved. I would also like to learn more about how their government works. As readers, we get learn some details of how Alts' lives work, but I feel like some more details are still needed.

Also, as I was reading Dualed, I found that the world-building isn't as solid as I would like it to be. From Dualed, I learned that the government is making doubles of people from two sets of parents, so they can each eliminate each other when they get older. That is to create a stronger society who will fight when war strikes. For whatever reason, I find that reason to be a really flimsy excuse. I wish that theory was further backed up with evidence or fleshed out more. Because the way I see it, whoever killed their Alt isn't neccesarily the strongest. It could always be luck, or as the story suggests, a striker for hire.

Next, there was the main character, West. I didn't hate her, but I didn't connect much with her either. At times, I couldn't really understand her actions. I was constantly asking myself why she wanted to be a striker (someone who was hired to kill another person's Alt). I think the reason why she started in the beginning was because she wanted to get practice for killing her own Alt. However, even after she got her assignment, she was still dealing with striker assignments rather than hunting down her own Alt. If anything, the plan to get practice actually backfired because she didn't truly work on her assignment until there were only a few days left.

Another reason why I couldn't connect with West was mainly because I was frustrated by how she couldn't kill her Alt. She kept dragging out the assignment, and a lot of unnecessary things have happened. I wish there was more of an actual plot going on, besides West trying to understand herself and getting the courage to kill her Alt.

However, at times, I found her to be really brave and kind. I liked how she helped Dess with training and I liked how she kept thinking about how to protect the person she cares about the most. I admit, I didn't always agree with what she did, but she had a good personality.

Lastly, there was Chord. Though his romance with West seem a bit forced (as they seem more like brother and sister), I did like him a lot. He was caring about West, and it really shows in the story. I also liked how the romance played a small part in Dualed. It was refreshing to see a story with just action and romance on the side.

So overall, Dualed was a good read, despite some things I mentioned in my review. There was a lot of potential in this story and for the most part, I did enjoy reading it. I couldn't completely agree with all the things West did, but she was an okay character most of the time. Chord was a fantastic character and the story was really fast-paced. I'm also looking forward to reading the sequel Divided because I'm curious about how this series will turn out. I would definitely recommend Dualed to readers who are looking for a quick, fun, dystopian book.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

In My Mailbox (5)

IMM is a blog meme that Sarah and Nicole will sometimes do on Mondays. This meme will briefly explain what books they got over the week. There is no constant schedule for IMMs, because Sarah and Nicole don't always get new books. In My Mailbox is a meme created by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Well! I was planning on doing a BATCH but since my head was completely blank about an idea, I ditched that. I just recently went to my library and checked out some sort of random books. These are books that I thought could be interesting, but I know NOTHING about whether or not if they are good, if there is romance, etc. Hope you enjoy!


His life could change the world. His death could save it.

It all started with a book. The most boring book in the world! So boring that nobody would ever read it. The perfect place to hide a terrible secret. But now the book has emerged from its hiding place and the world may never be the same.
An action-packed adventure which will have readers on the edge of their seat
From the best-selling and award-winning author of The Tomorrow Code and Brainjack
Perfect for kids who love Alex Rider




HER WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVER

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one’s death and the other’s glory. But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can't shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea–even if his captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-coloured mole she’s been chasing since it took her arm all those years ago. When they come across a wrecked train, at first it's a welcome distraction. But what Sham finds in the derelict—a series of pictures hinting at something, somewhere, that should be impossible—leads to considerably more than he'd bargained for. Soon he's hunted on all sides, by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters and salvage-scrabblers. And it might not be just Sham's life that's about to change. It could be the whole of the railsea.

From China MiƩville comes a novel for readers of all ages, a gripping and brilliantly imagined take on Herman Melville's Moby-Dick that confirms his status as "the most original and talented voice to appear in several years." (Science Fiction Chronicle)
 Old ways are pitted against new horrors in this compellingly crafted dystopian tale about a girl who is both healer and seer.Two hundred years from now, blood has become the most valuable commodity on the planet—especially the blood of aboriginal peoples, for it contains antibodies that protect them from the Plague ravaging the rest of the world.

     Sixteen-year-old Cassandra Mercredi might be immune to Plague, but that doesn’t mean she’s safe—government forces are searching for those of aboriginal heritage to harvest their blood. When a search threatens Cassandra and her family, they flee to the Island: a mysterious and idyllic territory protected by the Band, a group of guerilla warriors—and by an enigmatic energy barrier that keeps outsiders out and the spirit world in. And though the village healer has taken her under her wing, and the tribal leader’s son into his heart, the creatures of the spirit world are angry, and they have chosen Cassandra to be their voice and instrument....

     Incorporating the traditions of the First Peoples as well as the more familiar stories of Greek mythology and Arthurian legend, Shadows Cast by Stars is a haunting, beautifully written story that breathes new life into ancient customs.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blogspiration (3)



Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers & writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author’s choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING.






This is just a quick fill-in post for Nicole. I had to think of a quote and so my first thought was Percy Jackson. So, guess where this quote came from...



And since my computer hates me, photobucket has a new confusing editing thing. Because life is so hard, the picture is taken from Google Images. The shaaaaame. Oh well. Hope you enjoy this quote and think about it.(:

Also, this is the last week of Blogspiration! Though Nicole and I have only been doing Blogspiration for past month or so, we will miss Blogspiration greatly. It has provided a lot of inspiring quotes to share you you guys! And since Blogspiration is ending, we both want to thank Kristin for coming up with such a great meme! We will miss Blogspiration!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Um...

This post is going to be a bit random and will be a special 1-time thing but I hope you'll enjoy reading this. By the way, most of my uncategorized posts will have some weird mumble-words as the title -in case you haven't noticed-. Here is the really random post:

Random Books With The Same Author Names As Us!


Southpointe High is the last place Lucy wanted to wind up her senior year of school. Right up until she stumbles into Jude Ryder, a guy whose name has become its own verb, and synonymous with trouble. He's got a rap sheet that runs longer than a senior thesis, has had his name sighed, shouted, and cursed by more women than Lucy dares to ask, and lives at the local boys home where disturbed seems to be the status quo for the residents. Lucy had a stable at best, quirky at worst, upbringing. She lives for wearing the satin down on her ballet shoes, has her sights set on Juilliard, and has been careful to keep trouble out of her life. Up until now. 
Jude's everything she needs to stay away from if she wants to separate her past from her future. Staying away, she's about to find out, is the only thing she's incapable of. 
For Lucy Larson and Jude Ryder, love's about to become the thing that tears them apart.



If you didn't guess yet, this is Nicole's same-author-name book (last names are different). Anyway, this book popped up on Goodreads and this was where I got my fabulous idea for a random post. This book looks pretty interesting even though its not Nicole's or my type of book.


a long, hot summer...That's what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy's father. But sometimes unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister's project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl's world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?




I'm sure you have heard of this author at least once. Sarah Dessen is a very famous author and although I will never read one of her books, I'm sure there is a reason why she is famous. 

That's it to the super short post! Hope you enjoyed. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

BATCH (8)

Being A Thursday Cover Hoard   

BATCH (1) photo BATCH1_zps188fadc6.jpg


Being a Thursday Cover Hoard is an original meme hosted by Sarah and Nicole of the Umbrella Dreams book blog. This meme features all things related to covers, including cover changes, our favorite covers, and etc...



Oh hello! This week's BATCH is going to be about the cover of this book:


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is more amazing than you would think. This book has a secret meaning to it that you won't understand until you read the entire book.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It is a way of showing what upcoming releases you're excited for. This week's Waiting on Wednesday books are...

Rush by Eve Silver 

So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.
The End Games by T. Michael Martin

 It happened on Halloween.

The world ended.

And a dangerous Game brought it back to life.


Seventeen-year-old Michael and his five-year-old brother, Patrick, have been battling monsters in The Game for weeks.

In the rural mountains of West Virginia, armed with only their rifle and their love for each other, the brothers follow Instructions from the mysterious Game Master. They spend their days searching for survivors, their nights fighting endless hordes of “Bellows”—creatures that roam the dark, roaring for flesh. And at this Game, Michael and Patrick are very good.

But The Game is changing.

The Bellows are evolving.

The Game Master is leading Michael and Patrick to other survivors—survivors who don’t play by the rules.

And the brothers will never be the same.

T. Michael Martin’s debut novel is a transcendent thriller filled with electrifying action, searing emotional insight, and unexpected romance.



So, yeah, that's our WoW picks this week! Which books are you waiting for?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blog Makeover

So, if you've been with Umbrella Dreams for awhile, you would notice that we have been through a big change! Before, our blog template was completely different. Now, things are located in different places, because Sarah and I have both decided to update some things.

Today, I'll be giving you guys a tour of the new blog.


The above picture is of our old blog template. Since I'm not the best at giving tours, I'll try the best I can to explain our new one.

New Things in Our Blog Templates

  • Updated Header (you can now read our blog title better)
  • Updated "About Us" Page (our "about us" page reflects us better now)
  • Updated Information Page (much easier to read; provides accurate info)
  • New "Contact Us" on sidebar (you can find us in other websites now)
  • Cleaner, easier to read posts
  • Awesome background
  • Get our new blog button!

 

Fun Stuff to Look Out For

  • "Popular Post" tab at the bottom of the page (check out which posts that people like the most)
  • Labels! Hover your mouse over it and see what happens!
  • New better designed posts

Feel free to get our blog button through the link! Our blog posts will now become more organized and convenient for you to read.

I hope you like the blog makeover! (:

Monday, February 11, 2013

REVIEW: Ten

Book: Ten by Gretchen McNeil   
Release Date: September 18th 2012 by Balzer + Bray   
Pages: 294 pages
Source: Library Copy
 
SHHHH!
Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.


It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Frankly, Ten disappointed me. I had expected this big murder mystery complete with suspense but that was not the case with this book. From a story with nearly 300 pages, only the last 80 pages were mildly interesting. I did not enjoy this book.

Nicole's Review

To get straight to the point, Meg was a pretty weak character. I didn't feel much sympathy for her even though the author tried to make her this sweet, understanding girl. She seemed more like a Mary Sue to me. Why? Well, she's in love with her best friend's crush but she's so loyal and kind that she's staying away from him. Her best friend also has issues, but Meg is also kind and understanding enough to forgive said best friend. Even though her best friend (Minnie) is absolutely nuts and I cannot stand that girl, Meg is apparently perfect/kind/awesome like that.

Meg's "amazing" personality made her feel like a 2-D flat character to me.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

REVIEW: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Review+Journal)


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Book: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Released Date: June 7th 2011 by Quirk
Pages: 352
Source: Library
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

  

Sarah's Journal:

Page 51: This is a pretty good book, and the pictures are the type to give you nightmares. Luckily I don't get nightmares. :)

Page 135: Getting kind of freaky in the book... sweaty hands and getting a bit nervous. This is a really good book. The photographs are amazing.

Page _____ (Not going to say): HUUUUUUUUUUH?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, REALLY?! WOW.

 

Sarah's Review:

This wasn't like ANYTHING I expected.

Okay, so in the summary, it says that something might be alive. Let me tell you, DUH, there is something alive. The story doesn't end there though. I thought it would be some dull story about how the guy finds the monsters/people/whatever and then he defeats/saves/kills/hides from them. But it doesn't end there. He discovers the peculiar people, but that's only HALF the story. I was really amazed when I find out what the story is actually about (why the O: HUUUUUUUUH?! part is there). I think I might have been overreacting because I was still a bit spooked out from the pictures.

Friday, February 8, 2013

REVIEW: Surviving Antartica Reality TV 2083

Book: Surviving Antartica: Reality TV 2083
Published: November 7th 2006 by HarperTeen
Pages: 448
Source: Library
The wind and snow blow so hard, you can't see your hand in front of your face. Your heating fuel is nearly gone, and so is your food. How do you survive?

Five fourteen-year-olds face this desperate situation on a deadly journey in Antarctica. It is 2083. They are contes-tants on a reality TV show, Antarctic Survivor, which is set up to re-create Robert F. Scott's 1912 doomed attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole.

But in 2083 reality TV is not just an act. Contestants literally relive - or die during - the simulations of events. Robert Scott and his team were experienced explorers and scientists, but their attempt to reach the Pole proved fatal. What chance does the Antarctic Survivor team have?

This action-packed, riveting adventure - full of fascinating direct quotes from Scott's journals and other accounts of the expedition - is both a heart-wrenching drama from the past and a disquieting glimpse into the future.

Sarah's Review:

 This book was kind of an ehhhh. This book was entertaining because it provided me with an idea of what the future would/might look like in 2083. What I like a lot is how they actually give a specific year. Most dystopian books are like: Oh, its happening somewhere in the future. But I am just like: BUT WHEN. 

This book was really interesting, but I wish there was more action. And it lasted longer. The people were in Antarctica for quite a while, but they didn't even make it to the first safe zone. /:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

WHOA!

I am in a state of excitement and also feeling pretty idiotic. I have JUST realized that the books I have been waiting for months have come out. I'm so excited to get my hands on them! Here are just a few I am super excited for:

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.
It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.
But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?
In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.


I can't believe I forgot about this book coming out! This is the sequel to Legend by Marie Lu. Gosh, that was one of my most favorite books! I recommended it to all of my friends and become obsessed over Prodigy for a short while. What's saddening is that since I forgot about this book coming out, I couldn't put my hold in the library as early as I hoped. :\


Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.
Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.
Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.
In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.
 
 Nicole and I have both been waiting for this book to come out. Let me tell you this: I am not looking forward to the romance. I am hoping that there is going to be more action in this book.  Since sequels are usually not as good as the original, I have high expectations for this book but do no expect it to be as good as the first.

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.
Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.
Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.
Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.
In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.
Nicole and I have been waiting for this one to come out. Since this is the first book in a series, I have no idea how this book will turn out to be. I'm hoping for another awesome book because I haven't read any good books lately.
An exotic treat set in an entirely original, fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and heart-stopping adventure.
Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.
Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.
The City Of Dolls- such a dramatic name. I hope it actually has to do with the story. Honestly, I just found out about this book a few minutes ago. I was just browsing through Goodreads and this book reminded me of something. It looks interesting enough and I hope to read it soon!

 Jess has a secret: a mysterious glass flask she finds in an heirloom desk's hidden compartment. Its surface swirls with iridescent colors, like something's inside, something almost like a song, something with a soul. No one else sees anything under the shifting glass, but Jess is convinced there must be some kind of magic in there. And when her twin brothers are born critically ill, Jess begins to believe that the force within the flask just might hold the key to saving her brothers-and her family. In this emotionally rich novel, award-winning author Nicky Singer crafts a world of possibility that is steeped in hope and the power of love.




This is another book that I have just discovered from Goodreads. It looks interesting enough. The cover is very interesting but gives away a bit too much. I think I already know how its going to end. :\