Thursday, March 31, 2011

Harry Potter 5-7

A continuation of yesterday, click here, here are numbers five through seven of the Harry Potter Series.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:

This one was full of action and surprises (not all of them good). Harry is in a really angry mood throughout this book, and it bugged me a lot because his anger drove tons of wedges between him and others. He didn't focus so much on his adventure, and I missed that. #5 also gives us a better view of what's going on outside of Hogwarts, like the Ministry. It also introduces us to the worst of the Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers, Dolores Umbridge (who, I might add, I wanted to throw off a cliff for the entirety of the book.)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:

My favorite of the seven, #6 was the calm before the storm. I loved the Pensieve and the memories that Dumbledore had. Although this book is rather slow, I did enjoy the mystery behind the Half-Blood Prince. It made you think back to the previous novels for anyone that could have written in it. Hermione bugged me with this one, because she didn't let up on Harry and the Prince. This novel also had a very shocking ending, to which I cried. A lot.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

This novel just kept getting better as we neared the end. I missed Hogwarts and the little adventures Harry had there, but I also thought it was interesting to visit other wizards and witches that Harry met along the way. I didn't like how far away from the action they were, but once you got inside, it was a thrilling roller coaster full of secrets, lies, and bravery. There are so many twists, and I though that chapter thirty-three summed it up nicely. With a twisty but happy ending, J. K. Rowling ends the brilliant Harry Potter Series.

This series is definitely one of my all-time favorites. I'm sure I'll reread them later on, but for now, I have a must read list to attend to. If you haven't read these books, I highly recommend you do. They are so great and they teach you tons of things along the way. The cast of characters are hilarious, but also kind and wise. I loved them all. Brilliant, breathtaking, spectacular, these books will go down in history, hands down.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Harry Potter 1-4

You know those books that don't really need reviews because they're just known as amazing novels? Examples: The Twilight Saga, The Vampire Diaries, and, oh, yeah, The Harry Potter series. But, as the novels were so good and they're so widely known, I'm going to post the books, what I liked about them, and what made them so good to me. Since there are seven, I'm posting the first four today.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone:

As the first book in the series, I think it did a good job of introducing us to Harry and having Ron and Hermione come into the story. Although I think J. K. Rowling could have had more about Hogwarts, she made up with the rest of the books (obviously). I never really got past the first two chapters the first two attempts to read the entire series, probably because the action doesn't come until Hogwarts and I just wasn't interested. Although this book may set you off from the series, I highly encourage you to continue on with it.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:

So now that we've had our first adventure with Harry, and we've experienced Voldemort, the story somewhat picks up and is more centered around characterization and the nooks and crannies of Hogwarts. We experience a little more about the life at Hogwarts, and as we progress into the story, we come to know one of the many myths about Hogwarts. Including the Chamber of Secrets. I thought that when Harry, Ron, and Hermione were in the Chamber, it went by fast. They found everything quicker than I would have liked, and then suddenly they were at their destination. Although I thought Harry and Riddle's diary was very interesting.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:

Now we're introduced to dementors, and the wizarding prison of Azkaban. We also learn more of Harry's family, especially his father and his father's time in Hogwarts. Sirius was an interesting feature and I thought the mystery behind it all was awesome. Did Sirius really kill all those other wizards and Muggles? If not, what's the real story? Also Hagrid becoming the Care of Magical Creatures teacher, and Harry having to defend him from Malfoy. All in all, another great stepladder into greater books.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:

Not one of my favorites, although you could vouch the point that I read two books on top of this one. The Triwizard Tournement was alright but I didn't like the long intervals of time in between. It dragged, as Harry tried to figure out who was trying to kill him, and keep Sirius and Buckbeak safe. The adventure doesn't start until the final task and Harry's sent to Voldemort and all of that, and Mad-Eye reveals himself and whatnot. Not the best out of the series, but it was OK.

Books 5-7 coming tomorrow. Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Release: Entwined by Heather Dixon

Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.

The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.
Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.

But there is a cost.

The Keeper likes to keep things.

Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

As a little girl, I loved the Twelve Dancing Princesses story. The thought of there being a totally different world where the princesses danced all night was brilliant. This sounds so enchanting, having a childhood story come back to life in a more grown up format. I can't wait to read it! Hope it's just as great as it sounds!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Daily Dose (15)

Daily Dose is a meme hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly where we share wonderful, beautiful, and imaginative photos.

Here's to spring and the joy and blessings it brings....

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (15)

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 hoping to read. Another week comes to an end, bringing snow and the end of Harry Potter...yes I've finished the wonderful and breathless Harry Potter series. More to come on that in the week. But for now, let's see what's happened:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Stolen by Lucy Christopher
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling

To Read:
Choker by Elizabeth Woods
Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lauren Henderson

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Wonderful Days of Winter in Minnesota

Ugh. Snow. It's nice when it's all fluffy and it's Christmas time and you're like "La, la, la, let's go play in the snow!" And you make snow angels and snowmen and all that great stuff. But it's not nice when at seven in the morning you're trying to get out of your driveway but the car's stuck and so you have to nearly accept defeat and trek back inside where it's warm and you have hot chocolate, until the snow gives and you can drive on the horrible roads.

Then when you do manage to get home after a long days work, the snow plow's come along, and your house is nearly invisible behind the wall of snow. So you have to push and shove with your car until the snow gives again. Of course, then you have to shovel and blow the snow away, taking hours and lots of strength. And finally, when you manage to get back inside, plop down on the couch, and pull your laptop towards you, you realize there's no Internet. And the land line's dead. What a wonderful world of winter....

(Yes, this is how my day went yesterday. Of course, it had it's pluses, like letting me read for nearly two hours! Don't you just love coincidences like this?)

(Of course, it's still cold, and the snow's still there, and the roads are still bad, but hey, at least we have 10,000 lakes and fish)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Release: Wither by Lauren DeStefano and The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.
When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape—before her time runs out?

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters. 
Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.
But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?


Both of these novels are highly acclaimed. Wither is the new dystopian novel to the block, I've heard very gripping and very realistic. Poses questions such as: what will happen in the future? Will modern science advance so much that our live spans will shorten accordingly? And The Forest of Hands and Teeth series I've heard it bone-chilling, keep-you-up-at-night scary. Both are Must Reads! Can't wait till I can get my hands on them!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Daily Dose (14)

Daily Dose is a meme hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly where we share moving and inspirational photos we've found on the Internet.

Beautiful, aren't they?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (14)

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 hope to read. I'm ALMOST finished with HP! It's been a great series, and I'm so glad that I finally picked it up!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

To Read:
Harry Potter #7
Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Friday, March 18, 2011

Blog Changes (Again)

As you've well noticed, the light, floral pink is gone and was replaced with a chipper, citrus-y orange. The text has also changed...more of a bay-side grille now, I suppose. Anyway, the idea was to get it less girly although I might have upped the girly a little bit more. So. What's your take on these dramatic changes? I think it's going to take awhile to get used to. It looks so plain, too, but there's really nothing I can do about that because I have a Shabby Blogs background.... But really, have I upped the girly?

Hunger Games MOVIE News!

He-llo Everybody! I've just heard word that the role of Katniss Everdeen with be played by Jennifer Lawrence of Winter's Bone:

And here's Jennifer Lawrence:

Katniss? Dunno. If she dyed her hair brown, was drenched in burns, cuts, and bruises, and had a more rugged appearence...yeah, maybe. Let's just hope she can play the part!

No news yet on who's going to play Peeta, but I've heard that they're considering casting Alex Pettyfer of I Am Number Four and Beastly. Also, Josh Hutcherson and Hunter Parrish.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What are the 5 Breathless Reads, You Ask?

As I posted yesterday, Beth Revis, author of Across the Universe, is hosting a contest where you can win five signed books called the 5 Breathless Reads. (Look to the sidebar over on your right where a banner is posted or you can see it here.) Some of you may already know what the Breathless Reads are. You can skip this post and go on your merry way. For those of you who don't, well, hello there!

(First time publishing a video, so bear with me. Anyway, that is the Breathless Reads commercial, featuring the books: The Eternal Ones, The Replacement, Nightshade, Matched, and Sapphique)

Just to be perfectly clear, Sapphique by Catherine Fisher is not a part of this giveaway.

First off, there's The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

416 pages
Published by Razorbill

Haven Moore can't control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother's house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.

In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves, before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

Second, The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

352 pages
Published by Razorbill

Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement—left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

Third, Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

528 pages
Published by Philomel

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?

Fourth, Matched by Ally Condie (you can see my review here)

384 pages
Published by Dutton

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

And finally, Across the Universe by Beth Revis

416 pages
Published by Razorbill

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

*Gush* Don't they all sound amazing!! Don't forget to answer the contest!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Win All 5 of the Breathless Reads!

EEP! So exciting! Beth Revis, author of Across the Universe, is having a contest on her blog for the 5 Breathless Reads--and they're all SIGNED! To enter, head over to the contest here and submit. One thing: you have to spread the word. Somehow, someway. She'll explain it over there! I highly suggest you enter. I've read Matched by Ally Condie (see my review right here), and all the others I've heard are amazing!! Here are the 5 Breathless Reads (they are in no particular order):
  1. The Eternal Ones by Kiersten Miller
  2. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
  3. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
  4. Matched by Ally Condie
  5. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I've already entered and I'm ecstatic! JOIN JOIN JOIN!! I'll have the banner posted on the side bar to the right for the entirety of the contest. You can link to the contest page from there.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Which Cover? You Decide

As most of you already know if you read Andrea Cremer's blog lately, you know that Nightshade and Wolfsbane have new covers. Personally, I don't know which one is better. They are both beautiful... What about you? Which of the two do you like? Or do you like both?

Personally, I like the second one better. I love how they have incorporated the wolf with Calla and the way they set it up so that the wolf's and Calla's eyes match up. But I also like the original because they have the Calla lilies. Both are amazing.

Honestly, I don't know. I think I'd like to purchase the original cover because I have the original Nightshade cover. But the second one is just as pretty. I love how they again incorporated the wolf by her crouching stance and the full moon behind her.

ARGH! Why'd they have to make such beautiful covers??

Daily Dose (13)

Daily Dose is a meme hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly where we share inspirational/moving/cute/romantic/any-adjective-you-can-think-of pictures.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (13)

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 hoping to read. Yay! I'm finally on time, for the first time in two weeks. And I managed to read something this week.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
Fire by Kristen Cashore

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

To Read:
Harry Potter # 6 and 7
Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cover Reveal: Crossed by Ally Condie and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Alright, so I loved, loved, loved Matched by Ally Condie (see my review here) and have been waiting for the sequel Crossed's cover reveal. AND IT'S FINALLY ARRIVED!!

Love it! I love the similarity between this cover and Matched. But I thought it would look something like this. Predictable in a way, but very nice. And here's what it's about:

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky--taken by the Society to his certain death--only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to a question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellions, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander--who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart--change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

I've never actually read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, but I've heard that it is just adorable and amazing and I really want to read it. Then, today, I saw the adorable cover of the companion novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door:

It looks so sweet, and I love how the model has purple hair. And it sounds so cute, too!

For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous the outfit--more sparkly, more fun, more wild--the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins move back into the house next door.

When the family returns and Cricket--a gifted inventor and engineer--steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feeling for the boy next door
Wow! And now for the release dates (because they just can't have these come out tomorrow...)
Crossed is released November 1, 2011
Lola and the Boy Next Door is released September 29, 2011
Happy reading!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Genre: teen fantasy and adventure
Series and book #: no series
Pages: 461
Synopsis: It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she has the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City. The royal family needs her to help uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.


Alright, so this is my first review since I Am Number Four. And I've been reading this book for two weeks, not because it wasn't good but because I was reading it next to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. But this did nothing to stop what I thought was a great book.

Cashore made a beautiful tale of a land beyond the seven kingdoms in Graceling. It's much more war-prone since there are only two kingdoms: the Dells and Pikkia. They also have creatures called monsters and they are more colorful and more deadly versions of the creatures their based after. Fire is the only remaining human monster.

I think Fire is less strong than Katsa. She is strong, and she's more powerful mentally, but she's very pampered and she's very afraid of things unlike Katsa who had this courage and confidence that she could do whatever she thought she could. Although I think Fire had many more loved ones. Towards the end of the book, she became very strong and very determined to protect the family she had built for herself.

Overall, I though Fire was an amazing read. Cashore did a splendid job weaving everything together and binding it in the end. She threw in so many twists and secrets that I didn't see coming, and she had two guys who you couldn't help but like. I thought it was a little slow at parts as Fire wasn't as much a part of the action as Katsa had been, but it was still very interesting to get inside Fire's head and try to feel like her. Her mind was very complicated and interesting, just like this book.

The Cover: I don't like this cover as much as Graceling's, probably because it has less to do with the story. But they kept the tapestry around the edges. It's still pretty to look at, too.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Paige's Must Read List (A Shorter Version)

Alright, since I haven't really been reading (tee hee hee) I thought I'd show you the list that I can't wait to read from because I'm still stuck in Harry Potter (which, I might add, is NOT torture at ALL).

  • Harry Potter Series
  • Stolen by Lucy Christopher
  • Beastly by Alex Flinn
  • The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
  • Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
  • Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Of course, it continues, but I don't want to think that far ahead. As you can see, they are all amazing books that I've yet to read. They're all sitting on my shelf, whispering, "Read me, Paige! Read me!" And I'm like, "OH! But I can't!" (Ah-hem, coming back to reality....) My friends have all read these books too, but they've also read Harry Potter. It's funny watching them trying to decide which books I should read. Anyway, happy reading!

(P.S. My hope is to finish Harry Potter by the end of this coming week. I know it's a bound, but hey, a girl can dream)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Daily Dose (12)

Daily Dose is a meme hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly where we share inspirational/cute/funny pictures that we've found around lately. I'm late. See my apology on It's Monday! What are you Reading? (12).