Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Book: Article 5
By: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: January 31, 2012

Description: New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.
There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.
Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren't always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it's hard for her to forget that people weren't always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It's hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.
Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.
That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.
My Thoughts: Article 5 was the first book in the Kristen Simmons Article 5 series. It was an interesting book about a post apocalyptic society governed by rules and enforced by soldiers. It follows the main character Ember as she searches for her mother after she is arrested.

I'm going to start this review with some of the ogod things I liked about it. I enjoyed learning about the world Ember lived in. It was interesting how it was run and how everyone lived in fear of the FBR (Federal Bureau of Reformation). Some began to go crazy, neighbor turned on neighbor and all hell basically broke loose to create what we read in this book. I could see exactly how the world became how it was. It made sense to me and I liked that.

I also liked Ember's drive. She has a one track mind and would do anything to achieve her goal. Once she had a plan, she stuck to it and it was hard to get her to think otherwise. Even while being punished, she still knew how to hold her own. he was strong and did what she thoughht was right no matter what. I love characters like this.

The relationship between Ember and Chase is something I also liked. They switch back and forth between the old relationship they had before Chase became a soldier, and the relationship they have now and I liked how it changed, and I liked how they grew. It made sense to me.

Nonetheless, there were quite a few things I didnt like. First, the dialogue in some sections of the book seemed to dramatic for me. Thing soap opera mixed with the Twilight movies mixed with 13 year old hormonal girls. Everything was just soo emotional that sometimes it made it hard to believe. I grew annoyed at some points.. I also didnt like how some of the settings and people were described. Although I could kind of picture some things in my head, I usually couldnt focus on who looked like what, or what color this person's hair was or where whis was taking place? Was this shed a nice shed or was it run down? What color was the house? How many people cornered you. I often reread sections of the book hoping to picture everything in my head and just couldnt. It caused me to generalize what things looked like. This is a basic farm house, this is a blue pickup truck, this is a manequin speaking to you, no real anything. It made me a bit frustrated. and it took out the feeling I search for of being sucked into a book.

I also didnt always like the romance aspect of the book. I always felt like Ember and Chase were stupid. "Why are you not paying attention? It's obvious he's still in love with you!" or "Why would you do that you idiot? Do you honestly think that because he was thinking a little violently to someone who tried to harm you that he would turn around and harm you too?" or even "Really? You really thought that you could take off running on foot and make it somewhere before someone in a truk can. Nevermind the fact that you have NO IDEA where you're going!!!" I always wanted them to speak their minds and talk about stuff instead of holding it in. I also didnt like some of her decisions. It made me begin to imagine her as a small girl with arms outstretched flailing aimlessly about in search of something she can do, screaming and crying about how her life is awful and everyone ruins it and she cant trust people and blah blah blah, when its obvious there's nothing to do but follow instructions. Shut up and stop crying.

I liked Article 5. It was an interesting book set in an interesting world, but it wasnt the best read for me. I think the hype was too overrated. I was planning to fall madly in love with this book and what I got was an average book. I'll probably read the next book whenever it comes out, but I will most likely not preorder it or go out on opening day in search of the book. My Rating? 2.5 stars.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Random Rant Thursday - The Problem with Plans

Making plans sucks!It never works out the right way. Take a few things for example.

Last semester, I planned to continue to review books on my blog and post and all that great stuff during class. None of that worked out. I ended up taking at least a week to read one book, and even more time to review it. Now, I'm in another class. I decided to quit planning to keep up with my blog and what happens? I end up writing reviews at least once a week and looking at other's blogs the rest of the week. I finish books and write the reviews the following day. I stay on task and get school work done on time as well.

I planned to go to the Spring into the Future book tour when they stopped in DC (really Alexandria, Virginia) last Saturday. I was excited and hoping and planning to go. My little sister was supposed to go with me and everything would be fabulous! Then, I sprained my knee the weekend before.Never before having any injuries I assumed it would get better by then. NOPE! I could barely walk without crutches and moved at a snails pace.Let's not even think about how bad an idea trying to drive would be, and the parents had other things to do besides drive me to some "little book thing." (I'm 23 for goodness sakes. When will anything I do stop being "little") So once again, my plans were blown.

Time and time again I make plans only to have something better come along and make me feel horrible for making them in the first place. Almost every time I make plans, something else HAS to occur at the same time on the very same day. Why on earth cant things happen when I have absolutely nothing to do huh? All the fun and exciting stuff just sits back and waits until some requirement comes along and then WHAM! it pops out in front of me, taunting me and telling me how fun it is and wonderful and "It's too bad you have that important thing to do because we could have so much fun together." Then, say some miracle happens and I somehow get out of the important thing, all of a sudden, the fun and exciting other thing gets cancelled too. Or how about when the one thing you missed ends up being the best fun thing ever and "Oh My Gosh I can't believe you missed it!!!

I'm pretty sure plans and I don't get along. They're only really made to show people how much of a failure they are when it doesn't work out. How much they aren't fun anymore because they have important stuff to do instead. That`s why, beginning today, I'm going to stop making big plans until the last possible second (if I can) I'm just going to go with the flow (for the most part) and I'm going to show plans who's the boss.

Am I going to blog during this class? I'm not sure. Stay tuned and find out.

Am I going to set dates for doing homework and dates for reading and writing? Nope! Probably Not. All I'm going to do is make sure I meet the hard class deadlines for assignments.

Now that I think about it though, I cant really stop making plans. Ultimately, what I'm doing right now is making plans not to make plans. That sucks. I think the real problem with plans is, no matter how much you don't want to make them or follow through or whatever, you can't help but make them.

What do you think? What are your experiences with making plans? Please tell me I'm not alone!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Book: Forbidden
By: Tabitha Suzuma
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 28, 2011

Description: Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives--and the way they understand each other so completely--has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

My Thoughts: I was honestly worried about reading this book, but I'm glad I did. I honestly have no idea how I'm going to write this review, but I'll give it a try.

The life of Lochan and Maya sucks. Their alcoholic mother who's never there, their absent father, the fact that they are forced to feed, care for, and become parents for their little brothers and sisters when they are not yet adults themselves on top of the fact that they have issues of their own sucks. From the beginning, we are thrown into a story about a family hanging on by a thread that, despite its fragility, has sparks of happiness and perseverance that fill readers with an overwhelming sense of family. Despite it's description, this is not a book about incest, but about love of the purest form.

Lochan and Maya are brother and sister, but they are also in love. This isn't the kind of love that comes overnight, but the kind that slowly creeps up on you, standing in the background and waiting for the perfect time to jump out at you. It begins to blind you to everything and anything until you have no choice but accept it, knowing that in doing so, you may condemn yourself and everyone around you. It's a love that's sure to lead to disaster, but it must exist.

What if it was illegal to love who you love? Disgusting to others? Would you automatically stop loving them? Is there some way to force your heart to behave differently? Is there a way to force it into loving someone else? Or, in attempting to make it behave differently, do you accidentally make it bind harder to the object of the love. What would you do to keep that love?

I've never read a book that forced me to question my morals and beliefs about what's right and wrong as much as this book did. Believe it or not, I felt like there HAD to be some way these two could be kept together. If they don't have kids, what's the problem? I wanted to fight! Why on earth couldn't they stay together!?

Read this book. Trust me. It may make you feel confused a bit at times and a bit uncomfortable with the way your mind begins to rationalize things, but it's a good book. Beware: This book is a young adult book for the mature audiences only. If you cried while reading Romeo and Juliet, you'll probably cry while reading the end of this book. I loved it. I give it 4.5 stars, mainly because I wanted a happy ending.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Review: Prince of Air and Darkness by Jenna Black

This review is Adult Paranormal Romance. Readers of this book should be over the age of 18.
Book: Prince of Air and Darkness
By: Jenna Black
Published: December 23, 2011

Description: It’s not easy being the son of evil incarnate…

Hunter Teague is the prince of the Unseelie Court, the dark half of Faerie. Raised in an atmosphere of unspeakable cruelty, Hunter has learned the lessons of his mother, the Queen of Air and Darkness, and he’s ready to put them to use. He’s on a mission, one that will shift the balance of power in Faerie forever: he will seduce the Seelie king’s mortal daughter and sire a child upon her—a child who will be heir to both the Seelie and the Unseelie thrones. Hunter has never met a mortal woman he couldn’t seduce...until now.

Kiera Malone is a self-employed web designer and a self-professed cynic. She doesn’t believe in magic or soulmates, let alone her mother’s ridiculous claims to have slept with the mythical Faerie King. But when Hunter hires her to design a website, Kiera finds herself drawn to him in ways that seem almost magical. He’s gorgeous and sexy as sin, the kind of man any woman would swoon over—but her every instinct warns her there’s something dangerous lurking beneath his charming fa├žade.
To succeed in his mission, Hunter must let himself get closer to Kiera than he ever planned. Soon, he finds himself burdened with the one thing a prince of the Unseelie Court can’t afford: a conscience. Now Hunter must betray either the woman who is slowly working her way into his heart, or the Queen of Air and Darkness...who would destroy him and Kiera both.
My Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a sexy, steamy world that I could not get enough of.
Prince of Air and Darkness started out as a bit of free reading on the Author's website while bored at work, then once I got to the steamy scenes, I had to call it quits. (No one wants someone else to walk into their cubicle as a somewhat inappropriate word crosses into their field of vision.) I planned to read at home but forgot. Finally, when I got back to it, I was saddened to see that it was now being sold, and on Kindle (I have a Nook and hate doing all the wierd app computer thingys.) Finally, when I got my iPhone, I decided, why not have both apps on there, and then I can read on the go at times when I cant bring my nook along. I did and immediately bought and read this book. I am not sorry for that decision.
The story follows Hunter Teague, son of the Queen of Air and Darkness of the Unseelie court. His task is to impregnate the Seelie King's mortal daughter, Kiera Malone. I loved me some Hunter. There's something about a sexy anamalistic man that I just love, and with a name like Hunter, how could you not resist? He knows how to seduce a woman and is just all around sexy!!! I wanted him to be real. Yes, I agree, he's horrible for trying to get into Kiera's bed, but still, how many men do you know that don't want to get into a woman's bed. Therefore, I still love him.
Kiera is a great character. She is even headed and firm, but a bit stubborn. I loved her. She was relatable and an even match for Mr. Teague. She definitely gave him a run for his money.
I also loved the supporting characters. Jackson - the gay best friend, Kiera's Mother, and even the goblin Bane gave me a lot of variation and fun when reading this book.It was great.
The story line wasn't too predictable. Although at times I knew what would happen because there was just NO other way to get around it, the author put in just the right amount of twists and turns to make it interesting. I wont tell you what happened in the end, but lets just say I wasnt frustrated.
I would give this book 4 stars. It was a great read. I had a few issues with the lateness of the decision for the conclusion, and a few solutions in the middle, but on the whole, it was enjoyable.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Book: Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1)
By: Jessica Spotswood
Publication Date: February 7, 2012
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Description: Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

My Thoughts: I liked Born Wicked. It was quite interesting and different than any other book I have read.

Not much really happened in Born Wicked. That's not to say it's boring though, just different. There was no running away to escape those that were chasing you, nothing that really jumped out at you, nor was there much humor. Like the time period in which it takes place, this book is secretive, proper, deceptive, and serious. We followed the main character through her life as she awaits her ceremony where whe much choose between joining the Sisterhood and marrying. As a Character, Cate is pretty great. She's Strong and Independent and Responsible. The love she feels toward her sisters she cares for is amazing and honest. I loved it. It was easy to connect with her. There is a hint of a love story here, but it doesnt overpower the book. The focus is more on Cate's witchery and family.

Unlike many other books, there seems to be no "bad guy vs. good guy" here. Everyone seems to be some varying shade of gray, even Cate herself. I liked that. What I didnt like was some of Cate's inner monologue. She thinks she's wicked and I understand that, but there's no reason for me to be reminded of it over and over and over again. That was my biggest annoyance.

This was a great simple read. I enjoyed it but it just didn't put me over the edge so I probably wouldnt read it again. For that reason, I give it 3 Stars.