Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Freak Out: Giving You the Creepiest and the Freakiest

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey


Synopsis: Monsters are real. Will Henry is the orphan apprentice of a doctor with an unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. When a midnight visitor brings them the body of a young girl entwined with the corpse of an Anthropophagus, it is the start of the most mysterious case of Will Henry's life. Anthropophagi are headless monsters whose razor-sharp teeth are int heir stomachs--and they are supposed to be extinct in this part of the world. Now Will and the monstrumologist are in a race against time to put a stop to the plague of monsters before they kill again.


~~

It sounds as freaky as it is. The Monstrumologist sounded good when I read it for school, but I didn't think that it would be so in depth. It's told in a diary (I would suggest that you read the prologue). I mean that it's based on a diary of the old Will Henry.

The beginning was mild with nothing but telling you the life of Will Henry and how he got to be with Dr. Warthrop. As the book progresses, you learn more of the doctor and more of Will Henry, but it also becomes more descriptive and had be covering my mouth in imaginative disgust as Will Henry explained the kill of the Anthropophagi and some of the things Dr. Warthrop does.

The book is broken up into three Folios, one for each diary that the old Will Henry has. Folio One is explaining Will Henry's life and the finding of the Anthropophagi and how Dr. Warthrop perceives the threat. Folio Two is more about what's going to happen when killing the Anthropophagi and new characters are brought in to show not only the dangers of the Anthropophagi, but also who will help Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop kill them off. And finally, Folio Three is how they kill the Anthropophagi. And oh my goodness, it was descriptive. Yancey describes everything with clarity and doesn't leave a single detail out. Which is good...and bad. It makes everything better for memory, but harsher on your stomach.
I didn't think the end came as a surprise to me, but I did think that Will Henry becomes a lot more brave at the end of this novel.  You see him more as a growing boy with more to discover rather than a young boy who is afraid. But the last chapter, towards the end, I was shocked and you learn how Will Henry comes to live so long.

Over all, this was a good read if you like horror stories. The plot was so cool and I was amazed at how Yancey could come up with this story. It kept me on edge the entire time and I literally thought that I was living in the world of Will Henry. The details were overwhelming at times, especially during the more gruesome parts of the book, but I never thought I was drowning in details. This is an excellent read and is one of the scariest books I have ever read. Also, it's 454 pages long so I recommend that if you want to read a really long book and have time to read a very long book, this would be great for you.

The Cover: Um, did you notice the skulls in the blue sky? They're more prominent in the picture up there, but on the book, they're not that prominent. I was looking on the back, and I saw the sequel, The Curse of the Wendigo, and I saw a wendigo's face, and I thought, Hmm, I wonder if this book has a picture. And it did. Of skulls! That made the book only slightly more creepy. And as you've noticed, I've added alternative covers and I am so glad I have the cover I have. Scary, right?

If you read The Monstrumologist and can't wait for another gruesome adventure with Will Henry, pick up The Curse of the Wendigo, another chilling read.



Thursday, December 30, 2010

Let's Talk Covers

So as you know, I posted yesterday that I had just gotten Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen, and as I was searching the Internet for Bright Young Things (you know, seeing the reviews, la la la) I found this:


That's right, a cover for the sequel to Bright Young Things, Beautiful Days. I searched Beautiful Days on Amazon.com and nothing came up except for Bright Young Things. So, for all of you readers out there who loved (or love currently) Bright Young Things, I wouldn't get your hopes up considering I don't even know if this is the right cover. But it is a beautiful cover, and so who knows. Plus, it looks similar to the Bright Young Things cover.

And while on The Compulsive Reader, I read that Wish by Alexandra Bullen (which I have yet to read) has a sequel coming out January 1st. And, my goodness, the story sounds amazing and the cover looks beautiful:


It's just a beautiful cover. I actually like it better than the cover of Wish, and the story line sounds better. I can't wait till January, when it's out and I can go and get it! Ah hem, anyway, I love the dark background and the golden butterflies buzzing around. The words really stand out too, and the model is a gorgeous add-on, much like the cover of Wish, although that was more stars than focusing on the girl.

This cover stood out for my on Amazon one day while searching for new releases. I have yet to read the series (I am way behind, aren't I?) but this cover is so darkly pretty that I fell in love with it:


I love how the models hair covers half her face, giving it a mysterious vibe, and how her makeup is so simply pretty. It looks ominous, but pretty, and I love the lettering, how it's simple and doesn't take away from the rest of the cover. It really focuses on her face, letting her hair somewhat blend into the dark background. Over all, just a dark and ominous cover that makes me want to pick it up and read.

Ugh, and finally, this one had been bugging me from the day I saw it. It's a new release, so you can go out and buy it publicly currently, it's the fifth in the Blue Bloods series that I need to finish, and I just loved this cover more than the rest (although the rest were great, too):


My goodness, so bright and angelic. What I've loved of the entire series is the black footer of each book, giving a place from the story. I believe this is Istanbul, Turkey, but I don't know. The wings are gorgeous, and they give you the angel feel. The model looks haunted like she's about to make a large decision. Her black hair really stands out and if you look closely, she has bright blue eyes which I believe make her eyes stand out more against the bright white of her wings. They downplay the lettering so that the full attention is on the model and beauty of the cover. Over all, marvelous.

So, any books you thought looked amazing (or still look amazing)? Tell me about it! And if you disagree, tell me, too. I just loved these covers, and I hope you will, too.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

OK, Yes, I Am Stalling

I am stalling until I finish The Monstumologist. It's long and I've been busy doing break stuff over break. But I do really think you guys would like to see some of the newly added books to my bookshelf at home, as I got them yesterday at Barnes and Noble. And so, here they are (by order of the pictures shown):




Wolves, Boys, & Other Things that might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler--KJ Carson, 16, lives with her father, who runs a business as a guide for hunting and fishing parties. While on a hunting trip with him, the teen watches a wolf get torn to pieces by other wolves. Her father tells her not to forget it. He explains, "The minute that wolf backed down it was all over." KJ and the new kid in school, Virgil Whitman, team up to create a column for the school newspaper entitled, "Wolf Notes." He takes the pictures and she writes the articles. The column causes controversy in this small town where the wolves are hated by local ranching families. The more KJ learns about the animals, the more she is fascinated by their fearlessness. Relations with town members turn ugly when Virgil is shot at in the Christmas parade and soon after someone starts a fire at KJ's father's store. Should KJ back down?

 The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen--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, evening 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?

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen--The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the bright young things: flappers and socialites seeking thills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the roaring twenties. Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star.... Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined--and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for...and someone will. The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Shreiber--Beware of a kiss under the full moon. It will change your life forever. Celeste Parker is used to hearing scary stories about werewolves--Legend's Run is famous for them. She's used to everything int he small town until Brandon Maddox moves to Legend's Run and Celeste finds herself immediately drawn to the handsome new student. But when, after an unnerving visit with a psychic, she encounters a pack of wolves and gorgeous, enigmatic Brandon, she must discover whether his transformation is more than legend of just a trick of the shadows in the moonlight. Her best friends may never forgive her if she gives up her perfect boyfriend, Nash, for Brandon, who's from the wrong side of town. But she can't deny her attraction or the strong pull he has on her. Brandon may be Celeste's hero, or he may be the most dangerous creature she could encounter in the woods of Legend's Run.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick--A sacred oath, a fallen angel, a forbidden love. When Nora and Patch are forced together as lab partners, Nora would rather fall to her death than put up with his elusive answers to her questions, his teasing, and his infuriatingly handsome face and hypnotizing eyes. It seems Patch was put on earth just to drive her crazy. But before long, Nora's defenses start to break down as her curiosity about Patch heats up. Why does he always seem to be wherever she is and know exactly what she's thinking? How does he know what to say to both attract and repulse her? And what is up with those V-shaped scars on his chiseled back? As their connection grows stronger, Nora's own life becomes increasingly fragile. Nora needs to decide: is Patch the once who wants to do her harm or the one who will keep her safe? Has she fallen for one of the fallen?

Sounds good, right? Can't wait to pick them up! (After, you know, I finish The Monstrumologist. *Cough cough*)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So Many Good Books, In Just One Day!

Have you noticed that so many great books are coming out today? I have, and I've compiled a list of all the books I'm awaiting for December 28, 2010. Any books you can't wait for?

First off, there's Sapphique by Catherine Fisher, the sequel to Incarceron:


Finn has escaped from the terrible living Prison of Incarceron, but its memory torments him, because his brother Keiro is still inside. Outside, Claudia insists he must be king, but Finn doubts even his own identity. Is he the lost prince Giles? Or are his memories no more than another construct of his imprisonment? And can you be free if your friends are still captive? Can you be free if your world is frozen in time? Can you be free if you don't even know who you are? Inside Incarceron, has the crazy sorcerer Rix really found the Glove of Sapphique, the only man the Prison ever loved. Sapphique, whose image fires Incarceron with the desire to escape its own nature. If Keiro steals the glove, will he bring destruction to the world? Inside. Outside. All seeking freedom. Like Sapphique.
And then there's The Lost Saint by Bree Despain, the sequel to The Dark Divine:

Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process. When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what she must do. She must become a Hound of Heaven. Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot—a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel is put in danger—in more ways than one. Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her—not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.
Also, Deadly Little Games by Laurie Faria Stolarz, sequel to Deadly Little Secret and Deadly Little Lies:

Camelia and Ben have discovered a powerful bond: They both possess the power of psychometry, the ability to sense things through touch. For Ben, the gift is a frightening liability. When he senses a strong threat or betrayal, he risks losing control and hurting people. Camelia's gift is more mysterious. When she works with clay, her hands sculpt messages her mind doesn't yet comprehend.








Another Blue Bloods book, Bloody Valentine by Melissa De La Cruz, a part of the Blue Bloods series:
Vampires have powers beyond human comprehension: strength that defies logic, speed that cannot be captured on film, the ability to shape shift and more. But in matters of the heart, no one, not even the strikingly beautiful and outrageously wealthy Blue Bloods, has total control. In Bloody Valentine, bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz offers readers a new story about the love lives of their favorite vamps - the passion and heartache, the hope and devastation, the lust and longing. Combined with all the glitz, glamour, and mystery fans have come to expect, this is sure to be another huge hit in the Blue Bloods series.
And a newbie that I am looking forward to: Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber:
Celeste Parker is used to hearing scary stories about werewolves—Legend's Run is famous for them. She's used to everything in the small town until Brandon Maddox moves to Legend's Run and Celeste finds herself immediately drawn to the handsome new student. But when, after an unnerving visit with a psychic, she encounters a pack of wolves and gorgeous, enigmatic Brandon, she must discover whether his transformation is more than legend or just a trick of the shadows in the moonlight. Her best friends may never forgive her if she gives up her perfect boyfriend, Nash, for Brandon, who's from the wrong side of town. But she can't deny her attraction or the strong pull he has on her. Brandon may be Celeste's hero, or he may be the most dangerous creature she could encounter in the woods of Legend's Run.
Can't wait to get out there and read!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Daily Dose (2)


Daily Dose is a meme hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly where we share inspirational photos we've found floating around the Internet. Or maybe you shot some yourself. *shrugs* Who knows?






It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (2)


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey where we share what books we've read, what we're currently reading, and what we're going to read. I haven't read much, but I'm hoping to get back on schedule with The Monstrumologist.

Read:
Specials by Scott Westerfeld

Reading:
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

To Read:
Extras by Scott Westerfeld
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Sunday, December 26, 2010

How I Love the Holidays

As it is after Christmas, I would like to thank all my family and friends for the great gifts! They are amazzing! And to all you lovely readers out there, here's what I got for Christmas (well, the bookish things, that is):

The first three books in The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen:








There's more to come, too, thanks to my $30 Barnes and Noble gift card! Eep!
So what did you get? Anything good?




Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reading in a Winter Wonderland...

I love the Christmas season. Not only for the love that floating around and the wonderful gifts my family gives me, but also because there are such cute reads based on winter and the holiday seasons. They make hot chocolate and holiday tunes so much better. Here are some holiday reads that you may enjoy/like/love. Happy Holidays!


Let it Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle
Pages: 368
Ages: Young Adult
It's Christmas Eve, and one of the biggest storms in memory has hit, isolating tiny Gracetown, Virginia. For Jubilee, Tobin, and Addie the storm will bring them together in the most unconventional of ways. Jubilee, on her way to Florida, is stranded outside of Gracetown when her train gets stuck in the snow. Rather than endure Christmas Eve night on the train with a mass of perky cheerleaders, she ventures out and head to the nearby Waffle House, where she encounters Stuart, who is still nursing a broken hand. Tobin and his friends JP and the Duke are enjoying their Christmas Eve holed up at Tobin's house and watching James Bond movie marathon when they are enticed out into the night to the local Waffle House. What should be a twenty minute drive on a clear night turns into a crazy race to gt there before the intimidating Reston twins...but when hey get there things don't go quite how they planned. For Addie, the holidays have been filled with misery since she and her boyfriend Jeb broke up. But this year she'll gain some perspective (and possibly more) during one very long and very snowy shift at Starbucks the day after Christmas.



Pages: 272
Ages: Young Adult
Dash and Lily, 16, find themselves on their own in Manhattan at Christmas. Dash is alone by choice--he's told each of his divorced parents that he's spending the holiday with the other, leaving them both to take vacations out of town. Lily's parents are taking the honeymoon they couldn't afford when they got married. They think that Lily is in the capable hands of her older brother, but he's less interested in her than in his new boyfriend, and then he gets sick and spends most of the holiday in bed. He does, however, start in motion the activity that is central to the story. It involves a red Moleskin notebook with a list of literary clues that Lily leaves in the stacks at the Strand bookstore. Bookish and erudite, Dash finds it and is intrigued enough to follow Lily's lead and leave some clues of his own. The dares in the book's title refer to innocent things such as going to various crowded places like Macy's and FAO Schwartz to pick up messages. As the dares go on, the teens reveal more and more about themselves in the pages of the notebook, until they finally meet under the worst possible circumstances.


Pages: 96
Ages: Young Adult
Mia would give all the jewels in Genovia for the perfect present. Every year, Princess Mia spends the holidays in Genovia with Grandmére. This year, she's looking forward to the most perfect Christmas ever: her boyfriend, Michael, and her best friend, Lilly, are coming to Genovia, too. But even a princess's plans can go awry. Lilly has a lot to learn about palace protocol, and with all the state holiday functions Mia must attend, there's no time to linger under the mistletoe with Michael. Worst of all, Mia hasn't been able to find him the perfect gift. Can Mia stop her bah-hum bugging long enough to see that the perfect present has nothing to do with international express courier--and everything to do with real love? Though some shiny silver ribbon never hurts...




Pages: 208
Age: Young Adult
Christmas is coming! And an elf outfit and the minty scent of what seem like a gatrillion candy canes arent' the only adjustments for Candace. Her biggest worry what to get her boyfriend for Christmas turns to a much larger project after Candace is reminded that real needs can be hiding right around the corner. Can this elf capture the true meaning of Christmas in time to make a difference?



Pages: 192
Ages: 9-12
Winter Break is approaching, and everyone at Joyce Kilmer Middle School is in the holiday spirit. Everyone except the Pops, that is! Jenny can't wait for the holidays, but her good mood quickly evaporates when she picks Dana as her "Secret Snowflake" in English class and finds out that her friend Sam is heading home to England for the holidays. Things go from bad to worse when Jenny doesn't get invited to her friend Mark's New Year's Eve party. What's going on? Is Mark angry with Jenny about something she did? Or could the Pops have something to do with it?

A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry


Synopsis: When Meg's family moves to a small house in the country, she must get used to many new things. She's annoyed about being stuck sharing a bedroom with her older sister, Molly. They have no common interests, and it's hard for Meg to hide her resentment of Molly's beauty and popularity. Just as Meg begins adjusting to her new surroundings, she feels that Molly is being a real nuisance again. But it's soon evident that Molly's constant grouchiness, changing appearance, and other complaints are not just part of a new mood. The day Molly is rushed to the hospital, Meg has to accept the fact that something is terribly wrong with her sister. On that day, Meg's world changed forever. And although she's hurting and frightened, maybe it's not too late for Meg to show Molly what she truly feels.

~~

Totally inappropriate for winter time, I know, but this was the only book on my shelf that I remembered well enough to blog about and besides, it's a good book.
This is a really quick read (only 154 pages) and I bought it, actually, for about $6.00. This isn't something I would usually read. Generally, I read dark fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal. Not realistic fiction. But this was really good. Meg is a great character, realistic and relatable. Near to the beginning, I thought she was really annoying. She always compared herself to Molly, always telling herself how much she was unlike her sister. Molly seemed really nice before she got sick. But Lowry has her get sick really fast, not giving me, at least, much time to see the relationship between the two sisters when Molly was still healty.

The secondary characters are a big part of Meg's healing. They aren't really focused on; Lowry just shows us them from the surface, in Meg's point of veiw. You don't really see Meg's parents as much. They are very much a part of the book, and in Meg's resentment of her sister, but they're not stong secondary characters. The storngest secondary character, in my opinion, was Will, the old man who lived down the street from them in their country home.

Over all, this book was a relatable realistic fiction. Not usually my favorite genre, A Summer to Die wasn't that bad. I thought that Meg had to deal with a lot, and she dealt with it well, trying to carry on without her sister. Lowry is one of my favorite, more classic authors and I thought this book was one of her best.

The Cover: There are two covers, and of the two, I liked this one better. I love the link of the story and cover, which doesn't usually happen in books. It sets the mood for the book well, giving it a sad-summer feeling, in my perspective.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Boyfriends' Dogs by Dandi Daley Mackall


Synopsis: If only boys were more like dogs. On a stormy night in St. Louis, Bailey Daley finds refuge in an after-hours diner. Bailey, a girl with three dogs in tow, wearing a soaking-wet prom dress, obviously has a story to tell. See, she wants what every girl want from her boyfriend: enthusiasm, loyalty, and unconditional love. And Bailey is always falling love--with boys, and with their dogs. And each of her dogs came from a relationship that didn't quite work out. But don't worry: in this fun, clean romance, true love is never far away--it just waits until you stop looking for it.

~~

Another book that I read awhile ago. My Boyfriends' Dogs was recommended to me by a friend and I picked it up at the library one day, and it has been one of the best books I have ever read in my life (and I'm not joking. Or exaggerating. It has been. Honest.)

Bailey is an adorable character with a lot of problems. She has insecurity issues, which affects her look on the romance part of her life. She's really confident, though, in her own way and she's so funny. Her stories are adorable and had me laughing out loud along with gasping out loud. Her romance vision is clouded with her undying love for her three boyfriends throughout the book. I thought she was a really sweet narrator, and Mackall wrote her so well. I found myself relating to her (even though I have never dating anyone, broke up with them, and taken their dog).

Mackall also writes the side characters in this book well. Bailey's mother is hilarious, and their mother-daughter relationship was obvious. Bailey's best friend Amber was also sweet, but a little more realistic in her own love life. Bailey really used her mom and Amber as her crutches in the entirety of the book when the going got rough.

Over all, I thought My Boyfriends' Dogs was a hilarious, sweet read that had me crying tears of joy and sorrow. Mackall is an excellent author and I loved how she wrote the parts in St. Louis from each persons perspective. Bailey was just a confused and hopeful teenage girl who wished for love, but also had some of the strangest predicaments. I loved this book and would read it again (if I could. Which I can't. Because I have 66 books to read [not including sequels and series]).

The Cover: This cover looks plain, and it is, somewhat, but I like the dog collars (if you didn't notice, the tags state each dogs name on them). But when I got the book, the back was in yellow with the dogs on it so the cover is plain, but the back is better.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Paper Towns by John Green


Synopsis: Who is the real Margo? Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life--dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge--he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues--and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew....

~~

I read this book awhile ago, like, last year awhile ago. And I just pulled it off my shelf and thought, "Huh. This would be fun to blog about" because a) this is an amazing book and b) I'm currently reading a 454 page book that's going to take me awhile to finish, so...I don't have many books to blog about.

John Green is going down as one of my all-time favorite authors. His writing is funny, realistic, and it goes deeper than just the story. For instance, not only does he promote Margo's theory of "paper towns" with Margo herself, but he also ponders the question, "Is your town made of paper? Are you a paper person?" And even though this book was funny and awesome, it did have some more serious undertones.

Quentin is so funny. He's your average, teenage guy with average, teenage guy problems (although, I really wouldn't know, considering I am not a guy). His parents are pretty laid back and I thought that Green really focused on Q's problems with friends and Margo much more than his family problems. Quentin takes us back to when he was younger and growing up with Margo and how it all changed. He tells stories about Margo in childhood and how his admiration of her slowly grew throughout the years. I thought Quentin was a really well-written character because Green did look into his past and made him seem real, but didn't get too heavy on the details of his life. Like his parents; didn't really go there. His friends are oh-so-funny too, and I have to say, Ben and Radar (his friends) had a tie for one of my favorite side characters in this book.

Green doesn't really totally touch down on Margo, but he does have little sweeps. The first part of the book is the only really connection with Margo until the end, when she comes up again. Margo is a really static character throughout the book and I really didn't like the way Green ended this one. I loved her clues, thought, and it was really interesting to see where Margo led Q, Ben, and Radar and meeting all the people she knew along the way. The beginning was interesting, especially the all-nighter with Q. But in the middle, when she disappears, it got less interesting. Then it picked up again towards the end on their road trip (hint hint).

Over all, I thought this was really sweet book. I loved Q's perspective of the whole thing, starting with Margo and ending with his own life. Ben was hilarious and Radar was equally awesome. Margo wasn't all that cool to me. I thought she was somewhat selfish in the way she didn't really care about the people she left behind. I did not like the ending at all. I thought it left too much open for a single novel. I must caution, though, that they do swear a lot in this book, although it wasn't drowning in it. Mostly the swearing came from Ben.

The Cover: Goodness this has to be one of my most favorite covers. I love the push pin and how it stuck to a map, which really is in the book. It's simple but it also give you this "paper towns" feel, using the map and all. Over all, very nice. Simplistic and to the point.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Daily Dose (1)



Daily Dose is a meme hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly where we share inspirational photos we've found lately. I love pictures like this and I really think this will be fun. :)







My message? Be happy with who you are and you want to be, because you can't be anyone else. Be happy, my friends. :) <3





It's Monday! What are you Reading? (1)



It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey where you share what books you've read, what you're currently reading and what you're going to read. I haven't had much time to reading between...well, everything. But here's what I've accomplished:

Read:
Specials by Scott Westerfeld

Reading:
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

To Read:
Extras by Scott Westefeld
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Specials (Uglies Trilogy #3) by Scott Westerfeld


Synopsis: Special Circumstances. Tally thought they were a rumor, but now she's one of them. A Special. A super-amped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down the the pretties stupid. But maybe being perfectly programmed with strength and focus isn't better than anything she's ever known. Tally still has memories of something else. But it's easy for her to tune that out--until she's offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she's programmed to complete. Either way, Tally's world will never be the same.

~~

First, I would like to point out that Tally never thought that Special Circumstances was a rumor. I would just like to make that clear. She had never even heard of Specials before, true, but that does not mean they were a rumor spoken to her. When she met Specials, she didn't even know what they were much less who they were so, no, Tally did not think Specials were rumors. Just to make that known.

This book was action-packed. I mean literally, Tally was at one battle, then another, and then another. The book starts out with her trying to stamp down the New Smoke's influence on New Pretty Town. And then it goes to rescuing Zane, which goes to destroying something, which goes to her and Shay taking off, which goes on and on until the end, which was a bang, might I add.

Tally has changed so much during her journey through the three books. First she was ugly, sentenced to be ugly unless she found Shay. And when she did, she put aside all of her selfish feelings in trying to help the New Smoke thrive. When she was a pretty, she was battling for control over her brain. And now in Specials, she's battling against herself, fighting the instincts that the city placed in her versus her own natural feelings. And all of this happened in under a year. That's right, she's still sixteen in Specials. Freaky, huh?

There wasn't much love interest in these books. Westerfeld focused most of his writing on trying to help Tally get through her predicament(s) and trying to find herself through it all. But there was David and then there was Zane. I thought that Tally had her hands full trying to deal with newly found facts and her own raging thoughts, and I thought it might have been a too overcrowded book if Westerfeld had added more tension in Tally's love life.

Over all, Specials was awesome. I thought Tally grew so much more in this book and she really was different in thinking, too. I loved the pace Westerfeld had throughout the book, letting it crescendo and then slow. It was amazing and the end was perfect, not much of a cliffhanger, but also seeming like it would make way for another book. Which it somewhat did, for Westerfeld has made another book, Extras, but it doesn't focus on Tally so much as the aftermath of her actions. Best (to me) by far.

The Cover: This was my favorite cover. I loved Tally's flash tattoos and her plain makeup. I liked how the photographer made her look superior but also that she looked cautious and expectant, as if she was waiting for something to happen. It's wonderful in its simplistic beauty.

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare


Synopsis: Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still. When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks, and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos. Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, who are the members of a secret organization called the Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform at will into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own. Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all. 

~~

Sorry for not posting yesterday. With Christmas coming up and all, I spent yesterday with family. So here's two posts for your enjoyment! Yay!

I've read the Mortal Instruments series, so I was familiar with Cassandra Clare and her writings before Clockwork Angel came out. Nothing was much of a surprise in Clockwork (and I mean the Shadowhunters, the Downworld, yadda yadda yadda). I actually enjoyed City of Bones and such more than Clockwork. I just thought that the plot was better and the characters were more dynamic.

Tessa is helpless at the beginning when she's with the Dark Sisters. I was a little annoyed with her, and restless for Will and Jem to come in and save her. She really didn't know how to break out, and when she tried to, she got caught. Honestly, I was getting frustrated with her. But I understood her predicament as much as a reader living in a totally different world does. She was strong, in her own way, and that came out more at the end of the book facing all the bad guys.

Will didn't remind me at all like Jace (see Mortal Instruments) like I thought he would be. He was more pompous and less proud of the Shadowhunters, although he was deeply devoted to them. He was funny, though, around the middle when Jem and he were trying to teach Tessa. I found myself laughing at him just as much as I laughed at Jace. He was a deep character, and you hardly learn why he's so closed. It bugged me, a lot. But now I'm excited for Clockwork Prince, which, I hear, is the next book.

Jem is a sweet character. He embraces Tessa into the Institute more than Will and everyone else, and he really related to her problems, making him the only friend Tessa really has in London. You learn about his "disease" toward the end of the book, and I felt really bad for him. He gives so much insight into his life, letting Tessa understand him for who he is before she judges him. And he gets judged many times throughout the book.

Over all, I thought Clockwork Angel is a wonderful introduction for the rest of the series. It had the problem come in slowly, letting Tessa get settled before the action began. I'll admit, it was rather slow for the first chapters of the book but it picked up considerably when the Shadowhunters learn about everything Tessa left behind. Tessa finds out more about herself throughout the book than any other character, but I didn't think any one character was dynamic. They all pretty much stayed the same. I'm hoping that as the books go on, Clare will write them to change more.

The Cover: I like how they kept the same layout, but changed it up a bit. It really set the theme for the book (dark and mysterious). I loved the little angel on the cover, portraying Tessa's angel. I'm pretty sure that Will is the handsome gentleman on the cover, but who knows? The purple swirls mixed with the London landmarks really caught my eye against the other young adult books on the shelves, making me want to pick it up. Lovely.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Can't Wait for 2011!

With only 2 weeks until the New Year, I decided to post my highly anticipated reads for 2011. Most are sequels to some of my favorites, but some are new series or new books in general.

Plague (GONE series #4) by Michael Grant
Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely #5) by Melissa Marr
Illusions (#3 in the series) by Aprilynne Pike
Night School (Blood Coven #5) by Mari Mancusi
Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls #3) by Maggie Stiefvater
Desires of the Dead (#2 in the series) by Kimberly Derting
The Dark and Hollow Places (#3 in the series) by Carrie Ryan
City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments Series #4) by Cassandra Clare
Angel (Maximum Ride #6) by James Patterson
Hades (#2 in the trilogy) by Alexandra Adornetto
Cryptic Cravings (Vampire Kisses #8) by Ellen Shreiber
Fins are Forever (#2 in the series) by Tera Lynn Childs
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Abandon by Meg Cabot
Entwined by Heather Dixon


Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Freak Out: Giving You the Creepiest and the Freakiest

Kissed by an Angel Trilogy by Elizabeth Chandler


A love beyond life...a danger beyond doubt. When her boyfriend, Tristan, died, Ivy thought she'd lost everything, even her faith in angels. But now she's discovered that he's her guardian angel--his presence so strong that she can feel the touch of his hand, the beat of his heart. Ivy needs Tristan now more than ever because he knows she is in terrible danger. Only Ivy's guardian angel can save her, now that his killer is after her. But if Tristan rescues Ivy, his mission earth will be finished, and he must leave her behind forever. Will saving Ivy mean losing her just when he's finally reached her again?


~~

OK, so these books are old. They were published in 1995--15 years ago. But that doesn't mean the story is less creepy. It starts out the night of Tristan's murder. Chandler gives a brief overlay of how it happened, when it happened. Then she dives into before Tristan (right when Ivy meets him) and Ivy's story of why she's there. It confused me for awhile, but I eventually got over it.

It was good in the beginning, when Tristan was still involved. But when he died and Ivy thought it was just an accident, it got slower. And slower. Until I hardly read it at all. But eventually, I picked it up again. And it got better. And creepier. And better. Until I was sticking my nose into it every single chance I got. Once Ivy suspected that someone had purposely killed Tristan, she set out to find out who did. And boy did it get interesting.

Her stepbrother Gregory was the creepiest person in the story. At the beginning he was welcoming and open, and Ivy didn't suspect anything. And then as the story went on, he became slightly crazed. And he started to freak me out. Ivy draws closer to him, though. And she thinks his craziness is because his mother died not long after Tristan. But the craziness gets more intense and the book started to evolve into a murder mystery. Which was creepy. And the murderer was slightly obvious, but still left me breathless.

Chandler made a wonderful tale of true love and moving on. She also made a freaky murder-mystery novel that thoroughly creeped me out.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely Series #4) by Melissa Marr


Synopsis: Hunger for nourishment. Hunger for touch. Hunger to belong. Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers. Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. he was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries' coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani's death. Ani isn't one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin's plants--and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grown closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?

~~

I devoured this book. Of the four currently out, I thought Marr did a wonderful job of making this one stand out the most. It was unique in the sense that she didn't stick with the lighter side of faerie. She went into the darker area, focusing more on Gabriel's Hounds and the High Queen's Bloodied Hands. And both sides are so different, yet the same. And she translated that into Ani (Gabriel's Hounds) and Devlin (the High Queen's Bloodied Hands).

Ani was a remarkable character who loves Irial, the former Dark King, and her court. She's attached to her older sister, Tish, and playful with her brother Rabbit. She's annoyed with her father, because he won't let her fight like she wants to. She wants to make him proud but feels she can't because he won't let her. She is a perfect character for the role that she unknowingly has to play in the coming faerie war. She was witty, funny, smart, and passionate.

Devlin was awesome. No word better could describe him. At first, he was pompous and proud and loved the way faerie's flinched whenever he drew knew. Being the Faerie Queen's Assassin isn't all it's cracked up to be, I suppose. But Ani to him is different. He reminds him of someone he knows, and with the help of his friend-in-Faerie Rae, he recognizes her and feels strangely attracted to her. Once the High Queen grants him permission to go into the human realm, he protects Ani instead of who he was meant to protect, who is Seth. And then the battles rage on, Devlin and Ani come closer together, and then they realize what's missing and return to save all of Faerie. That is until the next book, Darkest Mercy, which I can not wait for!

Over all, I loved this book. It was action-packed, witty, and it gave me a whole new look at Faerie. Albeit, the darker, more murderous side. Marr has created a unique tale that has stuck with me since I picked it up. Ani was a wonderful character, and I was happy where Marr placed her in the end. I loved the growth of Devlin in this story, and how he went from hating his feelings, to relishing them. It didn't focus on what other courts were doing, but instead gave the nitty-gritty on the other courts feelings of the impending war and their side of it. The best...so far!

The Cover: [I realized that I didn't have any comments on the covers, which are amazing! Well, some. But anyway, I will start commenting on the covers from now on.] I thought this cover was OK, but you didn't really get the tattoos lining her arm until the end. My vision of Ani doesn't look like the model, but I thought the lettering was beautiful. I love how they change the vines every cover to make the personality stand out more, and I thought this cover matched the books personality perfectly.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pretties (Uglies Trilogy #2) by Scott Westerfeld



Synopsis: Gorgeous. Popular. Perfect. Perfectly wrong. Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she's completely popular. It's everything she's ever wanted. But beneath all the fun--the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom--is a nagging sense that something's wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally's ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remember what's wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold. Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life--because the authorities don't intend to let anyone with this information.

~~

This book was better than Uglies. But I didn't like how Westerfeld repeated Tally's story throughout the entirety of the book. He kept going back to ugly days and repeating what had happened to Tally, even though she knew what had happened and mostly every character in the book did, too. I understand that Westerfeld might have been doing this for the benefit of readers who haven't read the first book, but I would think that you would read the first book since it is on the back of Pretties.

Tally's point of view on the entire world has been altered thanks to her pretty operation. I loved how Westerfeld didn't pretend like nothing had happened to Tally during the operation and how he changed her mind into a pretties. She sees the world like a pretty and she acts like a pretty, wanting to be bubbly for her friends. She knows that something's wrong but pushes it away while she becomes bubbly. And even when she finally remembers everything from her past, she still tries to push it away. She doesn't want to accept everything. But she has to. And eventually, she does. Which is why I have a love-hate relationship with Tally as the heroine of these books. She's somewhat selfish until she sees the damage she could do with her own selfishness and she turns against her own mind and tries to do something right.

Westerfeld introduces lots of more characters in this book, added onto the others that Tally met in Uglies. But it's not overwhelming, which I found so amazing. He lets you learn each character and then he'll introduce another, leaving you enough time to get used to one character before you meet another. Westerfeld is very good at making each character seem real and alive. I found myself being sucked into the story when I opened the book and it stuck with me long after I closed it.

Overall, Pretties is a wonderful addition to the Uglies trilogy. I love how Westerfeld gives you the insight to each part of Tally's world, starting with Uglies, going to Pretties and ending with Specials. His writing is amazing and i loved entering each world that he's created. The Uglies trilogy are intriguing books and I highly recommend them to anyone, whether you're a boy or girl.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

OH MY GOODNESS--I'M FREAKING OUT!!!!

You know Cassandra Clare, the author of the Mortal Instruments Series and the Infernal Devices? Of course you do! Why wouldn't you? Well, containing my excitement isn't getting any easier, so....


Who will fall in love, and who will find their relationship torn apart? Who will betray everything they ever believed in? Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. In the heart-pounding fourth installment of the Mortal Instruments series, the stakes are higher than ever.
Thank you to http://www.mortalinstruments.com/ who provided this amazing, awesome, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious book cover. AH!! I'M FREAKING OUT HERE!!!

I loved the Mortal Instruments series, I finished Clockwork Angel of the Infernal Devices three months ago, and I've been waiting for this cover FOREVER!!! I'm so happy that the cover still incorporates the same elements as the other three, but has two people on it! It's beautiful and the red is amazing and eye-catching. Love Cassandra Clare. Love Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices. Love IT!!

Fragile Eternity (Wicked Lovely Series #3) by Melissa Marr


Synopsis: Seth never expected he would want to settle down with anyone--but that was before Aislinn. She is everything he'd ever dreamed of, and he wants to be with her forever. Forever takes on new meaning, though, when your girlfriend is an immortal faery queen. Aislinn never expected to rule the very creatures who'd always terrified her--but that was before Keenan. He stole her mortality to make her a monarch, and now she faces challenges and enticements beyond any she'd ever imagined.

~~

Alright, I have to admit, and I'm sorry, but...this had to be the slowest and worst of the four books out. It started out OK, with Seth trying to gain votes to travel into Faerie and ask Sorcha (the High Queen) to turn him into a faerie so he could be with Aislinn forever, but once he got into Faerie, it dragged on. Marr flipped to Sorcha's point of view and Aislinn's, like she has in other books. Sorcha's point of view was dull until she developed emotions towards Seth and started feeling. Aislinn's point of view was bugging me, though. She was wondering whether she should give up on Seth after he disappeared or go with Keenan, who was luring her to him ever so slightly. And her final decision had be glowering at the book and refusing to pick it up until I had to know how it ended.

Seth is an amazing character who looks at everything so differently than others. He loves Aislinn to the utmost extreme and does everything he can to be with her, including traveling to Faerie to become a faerie himself. He doesn't care that she is a Faerie Queen and is immortal, also that she's destined to be with Keenan because he is her immortal king and partner forever. Don't you think that would put a damper on the situation? No! Not to Seth, that is. He travels to Faerie, approaches the Faerie Queen, and asks her to turn him into a faerie. And he waits. For Aislinn. But what does she do?

In this book, Aislinn is indecisive. Of course, she has to deal with her own immortality, Seth's mortality, and Keenan's intrigues, but she could at least have faith in Seth. When he leaves, she spirals into uncertainty and can't think straight without thinking of Seth and where in Faerie he could be. Keenan talks to her, tempting her to turn away from all hope of Seth returning, and to join him fully to restore their kingdom. Okay, Aislinn, you go ahead and do that while Seth is turning in his mortality for you. The least she could do was have faith, but Aislinn wasn't my favorite part of the book. That was Sorcha.

Sorcha is the oldest character besides Bananach (her evil sister). She's the Queen of Reason, the High Queen, Logic, Truth, Light and the Unchanging Queen. That is until Seth comes to her, asking for immortality to be with his Summer Queen girlfriend. Sorcha has heard of Aislinn and ponders his question. Finally, she gives him his immortality, taking part of his mortality in exchange. That changes her. She starts to feel emotions and feelings. Mostly towards Seth. I loved Sorcha's transformation throughout the book and she became on of my favored characters in the books. That is besides Bananach and Donia. Who were, by far, my favorite characters.

The next couple of books in the series are mostly leading up to the big battle between the courts that is sure to happen. You learn from each courts point of view the impact that Keenan's choosing Aislinn has made.  Bananach is the major villain in these books and is insane/crazy/totally creepy. Which is why I like her. Not saying that I am insane/crazy/totally creepy. She's out for blood and war and will do anything to provoke it. But the other courts know Bananach and her cravings and choose to ignore her presence. But what they can't ignore is her promotions. And those are saying that war is coming. This is why I finished the book and moved on to the next one and am highly anticipating the last book, coming out February 2011, as I've said before.

Overall, I thought Fragile Eternity was the slowest one of them all, mostly building suspense between courts for the next two books. Seth was amazing; Aislinn was bothersome; Keenan was unrelenting; Sorcha was one of my favorites and I loved how she changed; and Bananach was by far the greatest character of Faerie. To me. Marr has created another good tale in Faerie, although I have to say that her others were better.