Monday, January 30, 2012

Messenger (The Giver Trilogy) by Lois Lowry

The Messenger is an amazing and thought provoking book. It is basically based upon the idea of a Utopian world gone wrong.

It ties up story lines and characters from, Lowry's previous books, The Giver and Gathering Blue.
You will be left with tons of questions and aching for another book based upon these characters and their world.

This book is easy to read and quite enjoyable.

Please don't think of these three books as a trilogy because they are not. They are companion books.

Grade: A

Overview: [B&N]
Strange changes are taking place in Village. Once a utopian community that prided itself on its welcome to new strangers, Village will soon be closed to all outsiders. As one of the few people able to travel through the dangerous Forest, Matty must deliver the message of Village’s closing and try to convince Seer’s daughter to return with him before it’s too late. But Forest has become hostile to Matty as well, and he must risk everything to fight his way through it, armed only with an emerging power he cannot yet explain or understand.

In this novel that unites characters from "The Giver" and "Gathering Blue," Matty, a young member of a utopian community that values honesty, conceals an emerging healing power that he cannot explain or understand.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Lowry, has created another world in which society has regressed from technologically advanced to nearly, primitive.

Society is governed by strong rules that others must adhere to. There is deceit and little to no tolerance for the weak, who are cast aside like trash or killed. Kira is among the weak, she has a deformed leg and this book is her story.

The strong characters and plot will keep you reading until the very last page. This is a smallish book and you should expect to finish it in one reading.

Grade: A

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Million Suns: An Across the Universe Novel by Beth Revis

A Million Suns is the second book in Revis's, Across the Universe, trilogy. It's an extraordinary sequel, fill of suspense, adventure and mystery.

Elder is now in charge of Godspeed. His way of running things is quite different than Eldest and as a result things are changing. Secrets from before he was born are surfacing. They are startling and life altering for Elder and those aboard the ship.

Chaos is starting to ensue and a few individuals are rebelling, which is causing negativity amongst those aboard. A major secret makes your jaw drop and keeps you on your toes. This book is a page turner and an amazing addition to this trilogy.

The characters change and grown. Revis is phenomenal story teller and her writing will keep you engrossed. Expect the unexpected and be prepared for the ride of a lifetime. You will be left wanting more and the wait for the second book is a long, long time away.

Grade: A+

Spin: A Novel by Catherine Mckenzie

Spin hits the shelves, February 7, 2012.

The characters are fab and the story is fun, fun, fun! It's a guilty pleasure. If you love gossip rags and gossip blogs this book is for you. It is a page turner and will keep you up until you read the last word.

The main character, Kate is given an opportunity to interview for her dream job and she
blows it --- big time! She shows up late and drunk. All hopes of working for a music magazine go down the drain, until she is given a second chance. All she has to do is --- go to rehab as an undercover journalist and report back any and all gossip about celebrity, Amber Shepards.

It sounds easy but things get complicated. Kate forms a friendship with, Amber and she is left to make some difficult choices. There are many twists and turns. What choices will, Kate make? Will she stay sober once she is out or rehab or will she self -sabotage? Pick up to find out. You wont' be disappointed.

Grade: A+

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Giver (illustrated; gift edition) by Lois Lowry

I have one question. Why, the hell has it taken me so long to read this book? It is provocative, thoughtful and intriguing. It is also a Newbery Medal, winner.

The plot is original and has a natural flow. I am excited to read the rest of the series and strongly recommend that others do the same.

Take a chance, you won't regret it. This, is an amazing dystopian novel. One that will stay with you long after you've finished it.

Overview [B&N]
Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community.

Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

Grade: A+

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pure by Julianna Baggott

Pure hits the shelves, February 8, 2012.

I had high hopes for Pure --- How could I not? It is being toted as the next Hunger Games and after a heated two day auction the rights were finally won by GOP. The international language rights sold overnight to over 9 countries. Intriguing right? Sounds phenomenal ...right? Wrong! It just isn't attention grabbing or all that special.

It starts off strong but then takes a fast dive downwards. The concept of life in a dome isn't all that novel so --- I was looking forward to learning about life outside of the dome, instead I was left feeling cheated somehow. I wished Baggott has given more time to life in the dome and scrapped most of what she wrote about the outside because for the most part it is dull.

The premise and ideas behind this book are intriguing so, I'm not exactly sure what went wrong. I loved the idea that the bomb caused people to fuse to objects and other people. Baggott, could be descriptive a times but something just feel short. She created a rather original post apocalyptic world and great characters but the writing just didn't' measure up. It lacks cohesiveness and feels disjointed.

Pure, just doesn't measure up to the hype. I am unsure at this point if I will read the next two books in this trilogy. Rating this book is difficult because there are tons of great ideas and it had the potential to be something wonderful rather than just another book.

Grade: C-

Overview [B&N]
We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.
Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Supervolcano: Eruption by Harry Turtledove

Supervolcano doesn't "heat" up until 100 or so pages. Then after about 80+ pages it takes a deep decline downwards.

I wanted more volcano action and less character and relationship build up. Turtledove made the Yellowstone eruption dull. There would be a lot more chaos and action. This book has the potential to be an amazing but it falls short on all levels.

This book is anti-climatic --- skip it and read something else. I wish, I had.

Grade: F

Overview [B&N]
A supervolcanic eruption in Yellowstone Park sends lava and mud flowing toward populated areas, and clouds of ash drifting across the country. The fallout destroys crops and livestock, clogs machinery, and makes cities uninhabitable. Those who survive find themselves caught in an apocalyptic catastrophe in which humanity has no choice but to rise from the ashes and recreate the world...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Zombie Blondes by Brian James

Zombie Blondes fell flat on all levels. I am surprised, that I took the time to finish it. I just kept hoping it would improve but it never did.

I loved the cover and was hoping the book would measure up to it but it never did. The character's are bland and the storyline isn't satisfying.

I can't recommend this book. Skip it.

Grade: F

Overview [B&N]
From the moment Hannah Sanders arrived in town, she felt there was something wrong.

A lot of houses were for sale, and the town seemed infected by an unearthly quiet. And then, on Hannah’s first day of classes, she ran into a group of cheerleaders—the most popular girls in school.

The odd thing was that they were nearly identical in appearance: blonde, beautiful, and deathly pale.

But Hannah wants desperately to fit in—regardless of what her friend Lukas is telling her: If she doesn’t watch her back, she’s going to be blonde and popular and dead—just like all the other zombies in this town. . . .

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Touch of Power (Healer) by Maria V. Snyder

The Touch of Power is about a young girl name, Avry of Kazan. She has been on the run for over two years and there is a bounty on her head.

She is the last of her kind alive and she is being hunted. She is the last know healer to be alive. All the others have been murdered because it is believed that they are responsible for the plague that has wiped out a large portion of the population.

While on the run she is caught and hours before her execution she is taken by Kerrick, who is taking her to heal the prince so that he can regain control. On the way they are hunted and much blood is shed.

The book is action packed and rather interesting. The character's could use more development but overall they are worth getting to know.

Pick up this action packed adventure now.

Grade: B+

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Always Something There to Remind Me by Beth Harbison

Always Something There to Remind me, is a fantastic novel. The characters are so real, you swear you know them!

The story flips back and forth between the past and present seamlessly. Erin has always loved Nate, even though they broke up over 20+ years ago. There was no closure to the end of their relationship -- It was just over.

Erin has been thinking about Nate and suddenly she sees him --- and more what if questions arise for her and as a reader you easily get wrapped up in it.

If you grew up in the 80s or like me had someone older than you, living in your home who was a teen in the 80s you will get a lot of the cultural references.

There is quite a bit of sex, so if it makes you squeamish avoid this book. This is a perfect, fun, read!

Grade: A

Monday, January 2, 2012

Prized (The Birthmarked Trilogy) by Caragh M. O'Brien

Prized is the second book in the, Birthmark Trilogy. It is imaganative, well written and rather unique.

It is unique in that, the main character, Gaia escapsed from one dystopian society into another. The rules in Gaia's new society are vastly different from those of her previous. She finds adapting to her new society difficult and has to make many sacrifices.

In the Enlcave, Gaia's facial scares made her unattractive but in the Sylum she is considers a beauty and men swoon over her. In the Slyum men outnumber women and there hasn't been a female birth in years. The society is dying out Gaia wants to find a way out that won't result in her death because those who leave the Slyum die within days. Reason unknown.

You will be on the edge of your seat, turning pages faster than you can read. Expect to love this book but please read Birthmaked first so that you can understand the dynamics of the character relationships.

Grade: A+

The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson

Charlotte Gorman is a librarian, a "nerd" and enjoys being casual and comfy. Her twin sister, Ginny is an famous instagram conte...