Thursday, January 31, 2013

BATCH (7)

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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...
Ever heard of Harry Potter? Apparently its this book that become popular... Pshhh, I'm kidding. I'm a HUGE Harry Potter fan and I love reading the books and watching the movies. Now, since this is a cover post I'll show you the reason why I'm talking about Harry Potter.

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In the previous BATCH, you learned about the production of redesigning covers. Well these are the new covers for the Harry Potter series. 

There are a lot of contradicting feelings over the covers. The font for the "Harry Potter" is actually pretty cool and matches the book/theme. What I don't like is how its too ehh. I feel like there should be more something in the background or in the color. But they do look really cool as well. They are simple but match the book and its pretty amazing how they made it so artistic. 

I have mixed feelings about the new covers. Comment below about your opinions!

Are you Being A Thursday Cover Hoard?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blogspiration (2)



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.


Sarah here! And I just got this brilliant idea for a blogspiration quote. Its taken from the book Room by Emma Donoghue. This book is from  a five-year-old perspective. The quote isn't meant to inspire creativity, but instead to think about your time and how you use it.  I hope you enjoy it!

                            pdpa-Abstract-Panache-Textu_zps1d618f64-1_zps34df35b8 photo pdpa-Abstract-Panache-Textu_zps1d618f64-1_zps34df35b8.jpg

Saturday, January 26, 2013

REVIEW: Throne Of Glass / The Selection (COMPARING)

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       Throne of Glass                                                                                      The Selection
                                                 
Book: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas                               Book: The Selection by Kiera Cass
Published: August 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA               Published: April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen
Pages: 404                                                                                 Pages: 327
Source: Library                                                                          Source: Library

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt                        For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the
mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old                         chance  of a lifetime. The opportunity to
assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before                             escape the life laid out for them since
 the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her                                 to be swept up in a world of glittering
 her freedom on one condition: she must act as                         gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a
 his champion in a competition to find a new                               and compete for the heart of gorgeous
 royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves                              Prince Maxon.
 and assassins and warriors from across the                         But for American Singer, being Selected is
empire, each sponsored by a member of the                            a nightmare. It mean turning her back on
king's council. If she beats her opponents in a                       her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste
 series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom                        below her. Leaving her home to enter a
 for three years and then be granted her freedom.                  fierce competition for a crown she doesn't
 Celaena finds her training sessions with the                          want. Living in a palace that is constantly
captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and                        threatened by violet rebel attacks.
exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life.                              Then America meets Prince Maxon.
Things get a little more interesting when the prince         Gradually she starts to question all the plans 
 starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff                 she's made for herself-- and realizes that the
Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.            life she's dreamed of may not compare to a
 Then one of the other contestants turns up dead...                future she never imagined.
quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure 
out who the killer is before she becomes a victim?
 As the young assassin investigates, her search
leads her to discover a greater destiny than she
could possibly have imagined.                                 


Sarah's Review:
Sorry for the messy introduction. In this review I am going to be comparing the two books the Throne of Glass and The Selection. Afterwards I'll do a quick graph comparing the main points that I favored and also the points I disliked. This will look very similar to the I Am Number Four review except this will (I'll try to make it) side by side!


Friday, January 25, 2013

REVIEW: The Angel Experiment

 photo 200px-Maximum_Ride1.jpgBook: Maximum Ride by James Patterson
Release Date:  May 1st 2006 by Warner Vision Books
Pages: 413 Pages
Source: Library
From the bestselling author James Patterson comes the stunning, breathtaking start to the blockbuster series! Six unforgettable kids—with no families, no homes—are running for their lives. Max Ride and her best friends have the ability to fly. And that's just the beginning of their amazing powers. But they don't know where they come from, who's hunting them, why they are different from all other humans... and if they're meant to save mankind—or destroy it.


Sarah's Review:

This is a humorous, action-filled, adventurous, dramatic, super geeky, not-that-lovey book. Its a lot of things, and its definitely the type of book that I love reading. But make no mistake, I was still disappointed by this book. 

I hate to say this but this reminds me a lot of Percy Jackson... maybe I'll do a COMPARE someday. They have a "crew" of kids on a mission. They are both action-filled and have characters who both have humorous voices. They both have special powers. And a little "twist" at the end.

The point of view is from a GIRL named Max. I have to say, I did enjoy the sarcastic remarks but then I soon found them kind of... redundant. They still made me laugh but I soon found myself to guess what the next joke was going to be. Its still a very enjoyable book though!

Somehow, this book got me bored. If I start reading a Percy Jackson book, I will sit down for HOURS and just read until later when I try to stand up and my entire body is asleep with only my hands and eyes moving. This book made me set it down a lot. It just wasn't as action-filled as I had hoped it to be. 

All those romance people out there~, you shall be disappointed. There was I think only one scene where its a tiny hug or so?

This book (in my opinion) has some extra stories that are not needed. This book just kind of jumps around randomly and has too many false ideas.

Overall, I did enjoy this book and was excited about it but soon became a bit "tired" of it. I still like it a lot though!

Rank:
1     2     3   3.5   4     5 
*Side Note:
DO NOT READ THE REST OF THE SERIES. THEY ARE JUST PLAIN WEIRD AND BORING.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

BATCH (6)

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...



So, as you probably know, cover changes are big in the publishing industry company right now. I, personally, haven't been too bothered about them, mainly because I don't own a lot of books that's been through a cover change.

However, recently, I was at Barnes & Noble and I saw a cover change of a book I really liked, but haven't bought.

I was pretty surprised by the new cover because it wasn't as good as the old one.


The first cover didn't match the story (I get that) but the new cover doesn't match it either. In fact, I think between those two, I like the first one better. There's something really nice about the crackly font and the pink/grey color scheme in the background.

If I saw the second (new) cover, I probably wouldn't want to read the book as much.

However, that's just my opinion. What do you think of the Forgotten covers?

Monday, January 21, 2013

REVIEW: I Am Number Four (Book+Movie)



Hello! This review is going to be pretty special because Nicole and I both participated in it. I have already read the book and Nicole has partially read it. We have also watched the movie and we'll be comparing it to the book and also rating it as well. We both hope you enjoy this special review!

Book:


 photo 220px-I_Am_Number_Four_Cover_zps5a4464de.jpg
Book: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Release Date: August 3rd, 2010 by HarperCollins
Pages: 440 Pages
Source: Library

Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books - but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.

I am Number Four.

I am next.
This is Sarah. If you read the previous, you would know that Nicole and I are both participating in this review. I'm going to be the one writing the reviews and they will mostly be my thoughts but keep in mind that Nicole's opinions are being blended with mine. Now for the book review...

Let's start with a simple list of things to compare.

Thoughts before I read the book:
• This book looked interesting
• I'll give it a chance
• Oh! There's also a movie too!
• Cover looks cool
• It's getting pretty good reviews on Goodreads;can't be that bad

Thoughts afterwards:
• I'M SO DISAPPOINTED! (T_T)

There were many, many different reasons why I was disappointed with the book. The characters are wayyyy too overpowered. I mean, having one gift like controlling water or fire is good enough. But Four/John is like NOPE and he gets the power of telekinesis and animal talking and light making and fire resistance. If the all the Gardes (people who have powers) each had powers like Four, I think it would be impossible for the Mogadorians to take over, no matter the quantity.

Considering this is an action/adventure/alien conquest book, it's missing some important pieces. Like, oh I don't know... THE ACTUAL ACTION. Out of the 440 pages in the hardcover book, the real action comes around page 360. Most of the book was basically just Four and Sarah Hart making lovey dovey faces at each other. It gets pretty annoying. The plot (the war between 2 alien races on earth) wasn't included. It made most of the book, really unnecessary. It wasn't bad or anything, just very very unnecessary.

Also, there is some action throughout the book (enough to keep me from giving up on the book), but mostly it was just some annoying problems like (and I say this in the silliest voice possible) "Oh noes~ My girlfriend who I have barely know got kidnapped by a person who will later become my friend~ And now he took her 'away' and she'll have to watch me getting beat up~ But no worries! I shall just kick some guys in the soft spots and everything will be okay~". Yeah, I found one of those scenes really annoying, if you couldn't tell.

That was my rant about the lack of action. But see here, now that the unnecessary part is over and the much anticipated action is starting, there is too much action. Or to put it more specifically, too much of one scene. The battle is almost 70 pages long. And I get that there are a lot of details that are important but couldn't those have been spread out along the book? The battle scene is very overwhelming in my opinion. 

But! Other than those three really important problems that need to be fixed, I have to say it's a good book! I also really like Sam. He's my favorite character even though he's on the weird side. I Am Number Four, in conclusion, is not a bad book. It's good with a lot of major problems in it, which drags the rating down.

And the ending was actually pretty good. It caught me a bit off guard but I was expecting something like that to happen. It's also sad too...

 Final Rank:
1     2   2.5  3     4     5 
   
Movie:

Movie: I Am Number Four
Release Year: 2011
Time: 109 min
Source: Library

Aliens and their Guardians are hiding on Earth from intergalactic bounty hunters. They can only be killed in numerical order, and Number Four is next on the list. This is his story. 



Okay, so I have just finished watching the movie. 

Nicole's reaction: Actually it's not that bad.. I'll excuse the mistakes because Four is so good looking in the movie. 

My reaction: GOSH WHY IS IT SO FRICKEN CHEESY?

I could do a RANT just on the actor/character of Four. And just to get this off of my mind:

Four is an arrogant idiot. 

I have many, many reasons why I dislike him. Here are some reasons why:
  • Four likes to stare at people's houses (and I'm not kidding).
  • Alex Pettyfer is way too old to be playing the role of a fourteen year-old like in the book. This takes place in high school (senior year) but the actor is 21-22 when he filmed this.
  • Four likes to invade other people's privacy.
  • The actor (Alex Pettyfer) FAILS at delivering emotion. Except for that one part where he cries when someone dies, he has a poker face the entire movie.
  • In the movie, John/Four is a VERY BAD FRIEND. He doesn't even care when Sam (his only friend) finds out that his life's goal/dream was coming true.
  • This one is about the character of Four. He's just so selfish. If you watched the movie, you will understand.
  • He takes his crush on Sarah waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too seriously. Seriously, she is just one person!
  • He has some serious anger issues.
  • Four sucks at staying incognito. He's supposed to say "under the radar" but I don't think having videos of him glowing on Youtube is what you call "hiding".

Those are just a few reasons. Also, the effects of the movie wasn't good as I hoped. The one thing that makes my OCD cringe the most is that the hair color changes. Alex's hair first in the movie is brown. And then it turns blond.  Sarah's hair in the movie is blonde but in the DVD cover (above) it looks brown. :(

Things I liked:
  • Sam. He was my favorite character throughout the entire movie. Honestly, I think he would have made a better Four and would actually have some emotions in the movie. Plus, he has the funny lines in the movie.
  • Henri. He is so epically awesome. My opinion is that he fits his role perfectly. I just wish he would have a French accent like he does in the book.
  • Six. I think her acting skills matches perfectly with the character. What I dislike though is how she is way too over-powered. There is this one scene where she blows up a house (I dunno why...) but it was still epic.
This is a comparison of the book and movie.
 Final Rank:
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blogspiration (1)


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.


Okay, so the picture below contains my most favorite quote of all time. I don't know about you, but I found the meaning of this quote to be very deep. In my interpretation, it means to take a chance and not worry about the outcome. Now, this isn't about doing something stupid and not thinking of the results --- this is about doing something that takes a lot of courage regardless how it might end. It means to take a chance.


This was my first Blogspiration post, so I hope I did it right. ^-^ What's your favorite quote?


Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Book Blogging "Theme"

Hello guys!

If you have been with us for a while, you would know that we used to do "ranks", but now we have some reasons to quit using them and start a new idea/theme that we are super excited to introduce to you. Nicole is a big-time Goodreads user and loves to post her reviews to Goodreads as well as our blog. Unfortunately, reviewing on Goodreads is hard to do when they don't let you color-code (OCD issues) and change text size so Nicole was the first to stop that. I however have COMPLETELY different reasons why I can't do ranks.

I have decided to try out a new technique for our blog. There are many different book blogs out there and I have been thinking a lot about how since Nicole and I don't have enough time to make it as fantastic as we wish it would be. SOO, to make our blog more special than all the other ones I have devised a different type of book reviews:

1). The Usual
This is the average book review where we'll give some likes/dislikes. Like the previous reviews, we'll do a quick "Final Rank" and will do a brief summary of why.

2). Book+Movie
Nicole and I both love movies and we often try to watch some interesting movies together. Nicole thought up of having a review about the book as well as a short review of the movie version, comparing it to the book and which one we thought was better.

3). Review+Journal
I was super excited when I thought of this one. I'm going to do a short/brief journal in the beginning of the review to show my reaction. I will only do reactions because I don't want to spoil anything for you guys. I'll do page numbers of where I stopped/got reaction and will record a short bit of information on my reaction.

4). Comparing
Nicole or I will be comparing two books that we find similar and basically just compare them. We'll do a "showdown" and the book that wins will get... better reviews? 

That's all me and Nicole have thought of so far and this is also on our "Book Review" tab where you can get some information about the memes and etc. We'll update it when we get new ideas for different type of book reviews. Feel free to use our ideas and comment if you think of a new type of book review! Remember to Subscribe as well!

REVIEW: Nightshade

Book: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Release Date: October 19th, 2010 by Philomel
Pages: 452 Pages
Source: Library Copy

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
Okay, so as you probably know already, I don't read a lot of werewolf stories. I don't know why, but it's just not my cup of tea. The last time I read an actual wolf story, it was two years ago. I had read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and I really enjoyed it. I think that was what motivated me to read Nightshade. Plus, there were a lot of mixed reviews on Goodreads about this. A lot of book bloggers have either absolutely loved it or hated it to the point where they didn't finish it. As for me, I think Nightshade had a lot of problems, but I didn't hate it. It was a good book overall.

Nicole's Review:

I think the biggest problem I had with Nightshade was because of its lack of background information. The author uses many werewolf terms, such as "searchers," "guardians," and "keepers," yet they were never explained in the book until the 180th page. I spent the first half of the book confused whenever these words were used.

Not only that, but there is also a lack of character explanation. There are many unique names in this book and I keep getting tangled between them all. For example, I remember this specific scene where Efron called Ren "son" and I had thought they were really father and son. Turns out that they were not, and Emile is actually Ren's father. That was pretty awkward, because I had thought Emile was Ren's mother, since Emile sounds like Emily, which is a girl name.

And I don't know if I'm the only clueless one, but Calla's nickname is "Lily," which apparently has some inside joke in it. I had to search up the word "Calla" on Google to find out its meaning. Calla is is a plant that I'm assuming is a lily flower. But I can't be exactly sure because it was never explained in the book.

Anyways, yes, a lot of things are either explained in the end, never explained at all, or you have to figure it out yourself. 

Okay, now that I finished my mini-rant on that, I would like to add that the romance in Nightshade really bothered me. And don't get me wrong, I really liked Ren and Calla together. They're the pair that I'm cheering for, but there's also a love triangle in this book.

Yup, there's a human named Shay who likes Calla. And Calla likes him back.

The romance was another glaring problem I had with Nightshade. Calla is supposedly to marry and mate with Ren (a wolf) yet she likes Shay. This would have been fine if Calla doesn't give mixed signals. One moment, she's with Ren like Shay doesn't exist. The other, she's with Shay like Ren doesn't exist.

And it's pretty obvious the one she likes more is Shay, but she keeps letting Ren kiss her and all that stuff. Until the very end (and I mean the very, very end), she doesn't make up her decision, which I find really annoying. Just please, know what you want in the beginning to prevent trouble. Or at least, make up your mind in the middle of the book. But of course, Calla has to drag it out, kiss Ren and Shay until the climax of the book. And like I mentioned before, whenever she's alone with either of them, she acts like the other doesn't exist. 

Her indecisiveness in picking one them really bothered me.

Plus, speaking of the romance, I don't really know why Shay likes her. So she saved him once, but does it have to get all insta-love? 

Shay was also a really annoying character. For example, the things he say are absolutely rude. When Calla told him that Ren's mother was killed by searchers, he said that "it does explain a lot about him," (Cremer, page 361 of Nightshade). I don't know about you, but I interpreted that in a very cruel, negative way. 

Yet even though Shay is like that, Calla still likes him. Calla also keeps getting into trouble because of Shay. Shay, of course, is naturally curious about wolves, which leads to investigations that Calla is stupid enough to join him in. Basically, they keep going on these adventures where Calla is regretting about later, and lying to not get in trouble. If you don't want to get in trouble, please, please don't do stuff that gets you in trouble. Obviously, Calla needs to learn that, because she blames a lot of stuff on Shay after they investigate on things. She's a bit of a drama queen, in my opinion.

But even so, Calla wasn't necessarily a bad protagonist. She was okay, despite being a drama queen at times. She can be resourceful, strong, and smart.

And even though I know I complained about a lot of things, I enjoyed a lot of parts too. The action/adventure was fantastic, and the speed was pretty quick. Readers who like fast-paced stories will really enjoy Nightshade.

The reason why I thought Nightshade was an overall good story was because of Cremer's great action-telling. It was absolutely perfect, and that was what made me like the book so much.

The Summary: 

The Good Points: Calla (mostly a good protagonist), Ren (an good male love interest), action-telling (absolutely amazing), adventure, fast paced

The Bad Points: Lack of explanation about the characters, words, and background information (some are explained at the very, very, end), the love triangle, Shay (I don't know why, but I didn't like him at all)

 
Final Rank:

 1     2     3     4     5
I know I complained a lot about Nightshade in this review, but the action/adventure really makes up for all the problems in this book. Especially since the speed of this book was very fast paced, I found myself liking a lot about the plot. I only wish there wasn't a love triangle in this book and that there could be more world-building (specifically on characters, werewolf terms, etc..). But overall, Nightshade's awesome adventure/action makes it a 4 star book.
  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

REVIEW: Room

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Book: Room by Emma Donoghue
Release Date: September 13th 2010 by Little, Brown and Company
Pages:  321
Source: Friend

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.
First word that comes to mind when I think about this: innocent.

If you read the description of the book, you'll know its from the point of a five year old. The way he narrated the book was very cutesy and creative but mostly innocent. He used many words that are very creative (meaning cute but not real words). His sentences have very bad grammar in that innocent way when you don't know any better. Not like those annoying people who think they are all that and purposely talk like a kindergartener. I think that the author was pretty good at making it sound like a five year old if you can ignore the spots where it gets frustratingly overboard with the lack of grammar. WARNING: NOT FOR A GRAMMAR NAZI.

This book has some interesting 5-year old wisdom in it.

What I dislike about this book is how it has a lot of unnecessary parts (in my opinion). The last 1/4 of the book made me feel like the author was just dragging the story. It wasn't bad, it was just unnecessary. Sometimes making it boring.

What I like about this book is how it is really sweet. The mom is a bit confusing at times but its obvious that she loves her kid. It gets sad in some parts and happy in others. Since this is from a 5-year-old point of view, it does get frustrating at times when Jack acts bratty towards his mom.

The end, was pretty good. It ends like one of these types of books should. What I was kind of hoping for was *SPOILER ALERT* that when his mom got ill, she would pass away or have to be taken away from him and then 10 or so years later he reflects on those moments. Something like that. But *YOU CAN LOOK AGAIN* it doesn't include that. I think that would have ended better but the original ending fits well with the character.

Final Rank:

1     2     3   3.5  4     5

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Upcoming Book Reviews #2

A Word from Nicole: So I know Sarah and I haven't done this meme in a really long time. In fact, this is only our second time doing the "Upcoming Book Review" thing. But nonetheless, I have gotten a lot of books over the month to read and I want to share them all with you. These books will all be for reviewing.


 Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?





Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack and the man she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
 Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.


Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.



Ten by Gretchen McNeil

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?
Slide by Jill Hathaway
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.
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay
When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Lena joins the resistance effort against the oppressive government and fights for freedom.
After escaping from Portland, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community. Weak and grieving for Alex, Lena fights to survive. And then she fights her oppressors.
As the viewpoint shifts between Lena's time in the Wilds and the present day, which is set in Brooklyn, Lena transforms into a warrior for the resistance. In New York City, the grass-roots movement for a Deliria-Free America (the DFA) is gathering strength, and its leader, Thomas Fineman, recruits more supporters by the day. His son Julian--as-yet uncured--heads up the DFA's youth organization. Lena is tasked with blending into the DFA's rallies; she seems to be a supporter yet she is really a spy.
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

Notes: Yup, so I warned you! There's a lot of books to be reviewed this month and this is just my half. To learn more about what Sarah will review, tune in for the "upcoming reviews" section of our Monthly Meme. 

 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

BATCH (5)

A Word from Nicole: Hi! So as promised, January 2013 started off with a lot of book reviews. I know Sarah and I haven't been posting much memes/discussion posts as we should have been, but we're still working on it. For now, we will be posting as much as we can; sometimes, the schedule will be a bit off. Just check back frequently, and there shall be a post at least 3 times a week!

However, today, there's a real treat! A BATCH post in what feels like forever. To recap, BATCH is about covers in all form, shape, or type. Today, I'll be introducing you to a set of covers and telling you which one is my favorite. And technically, I know it isn't Thursday, the day BATCH is intentionally for, but I'm excited to share this post with you guys. So, let's begin!


As you're probably aware of, the above covers are of the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. I have personally read the first book of the series, and I can't help but love the cover of it. By such coincidence, I like all of the covers in the series. Not to mention, Melissa Marr has some really great titles for her books!

However, after a lot of thoughts, I've decided that Wicked Lovely remains my favorite cover. I just absolutely love the green color scheme and the glitter on the girl's hands. There is this dark mysterious feel to the cover that really draws the reader in.

Wicked Lovely's cover is probably one of my most favorite covers of all-time.

What about you? Which cover of the Wicked Lovely series is your favorite?