Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Book: Marked (House of Night #1)
By: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Publication Date: May 1, 2007

Description: The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire -- that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are chosen do.  It's tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling.  She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers.  When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

My Thoughts: This is one of the additional audiobooks I borrowed from the library and may I say I'm glad I did. I had honestly been avoiding this book for quite some time. I thought it seemed dumb. I hate books about special schools and all that, plus my little sister has the book and that just makes me feel like a child. Finally, since I didn't have to pay for it, I got the audiobook and listened to it in the car.

I absofreakinglutely loved this book. Why oh why had I never read it. I cant even really explain how much I loved this book. As a character, Zoey Redbird was great. She seemed like me, only a vampyre of course. I could totally get her. I even liked her friends, I mean ALL of her friends. From the gay guy to the country best friends, they all added a little something to the book that just set it apart from the rest. Even the almost-ex-boyfriend and the new boyfriend made me fall deeper in love. This book was just great and I love me some Zoey Redbird. (I also love that she's Cherokee because I tend to read a lot of books where the MC is White American. Not that that's a problem or anything, but it's just nice to read something from a minority ethnicity, especially since I'm a minority and since I have a bit of Native American in me - don't ask what, I was never told, so I don't know.)

I usually focus on listening to my audiobooks when I'm on the move; driving somewhere or walking far to go to lunch, but as I got deeper into  this book, I found myself sitting on the edge of my bed listening to it over my iHome while my dog anxiously prodded me to play with him. It was too good for words and I immediately went back to the library to pick up the rest of the audiobooks in the series. (They didn't have Hunted, but I may just buy it.) This is literally one of those books that I'll buy the print version of just so I can add it to my shelves. So great. Even the speaker of the audiobook made me fall in love. Her voice was hypnotic and comforting and she really knew how to do all the character voices. It was great.

I realize I've told you nothing about this book specifically except about how great it was, but there's really no way to explain it. It's wonderful and if, like me, you've been pretty on the fence about it, I'd suggest you pick it up. You won't be sorry. I give it 5 stars.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: Florence by Ciye Cho

Book: Florence
By: Ciye Cho
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: July 1, 2012
NOTE: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Description: Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.

Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand--and find out where she belongs--Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart... and her very soul.

My Thoughts: Florence was an interesting view into the world of mermaids and focused on the idea that living without a purpose isn't really living at all.

We begin the book following Florence, a 17 year old loner chick who would rather watch others live than join in herself. She enjoys taking pictures and observing lives around her and seems to be very perceptive. One day, while on a field trip, she swims out farther than the others and gets kidnapped by a mermaid and dragged into the ocean. Luckily, there are these things called breathing polyp's that allow humans to breathe under water or else she would have drowned.

In the underwater kingdom, Niemela, we meet Rolan and Kiren both gorgeous and sexy hunks of prince mermen. Kiren seems to instantly show an interest in Florence as does his younger sister Princess Yolee. Florence's presence isn't welcome by the king, but at the request of Yolee, she is allowed to stay as Yolee's friend/plaything. Yolee is the sweetest little girl. She's very lovable and innocent and loyal and fun loving and I just want to pull her into my lap and keep her safe from harm. Right off the bat we see that Florence is an outsider. No one wants to talk to her or be around her, especially Prince Rolan. He is outwardly hostile toward her and constantly reminds her that she is not welcome. Prince Kiren, however, seems entranced by Florence and seems to take an unusual interest in her. ***spoiler alert*** I was initially a little wary of him, and it seemed my wariness was supported as the book went on. Over the course of the book. I begin to love Rolan more and more, and hate Kiren, and as the book came to a close, I began rooting for Rolan. Eventually, Niemela is threatened by the darkness where the sea monsters come from, and the Wise ones. What happens as a result is quite interesting.

I didn't care much for the writing in the book. The author created a Niemelan language that we could understand, but I didn't like how it was the same but different for certain words. It just confused me and I'm probably confusing you with my explanation. It was kind of like if I said all of a sudden I could speak your language, but then you have words that are different and so I really cant speak your language. I also didn't like the fact that I was never really emotionally involved in the book. It was kind of like hearing something on the news about something that happened to someone in another state. "Wow that sucks, but in other news......" The characters seemed kind of flat, except Florence of course and I didn't really grow to understand them. I also didn't like how Florence all of a sudden gained all these convenient powers that helped her know all this information. It was just too convenient for my taste. I also wanted a bit more at the end. Like a bit of closure with the Niemelans. Perhaps there will be a sequel, but I wasn't given enough information to decide if I really wanted to find out what happened.

All in all, Florence was a good book. I'm not obsessed with it, but it was interesting and the descriptions and details about the underwater kingdom were interesting. If you're really into mermaids and their battles with the creatures around them, then this is the book for you. I give it 3 stars.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review: Wings by Aprilynne Pike

Book: Wings (Wings #1)
By: Aprilynne Pike
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: May 5, 2009

Description: Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful--too beautiful for words.
Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.
In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

My Thoughts: I've recently discovered this thing called the library (I know, I know. It's been around for a while. I like to buy and keep my books. But then I realized, whats the point in buying all my books. What if they're sucky. Then I have a book that sucks taking up space. I've now decided to borrow until I decide if I like the book, and then buy it if I'm in love.) They even have audiobooks, which before I would buy, but now I get all the excitement without having to spend all the money. One of many audiobooks I've borrowed is Wings by Aprilynne Pike.

Wings follows the life of Laurel, a 15 year old who is experiencing a lot for the first time. She has been home schooled for a while and is now going to high school for the first time, making friends for the first time, falling in love for the first time, first kiss, and sprouting a flower out of her back for the first time. That last first, (as you probably already know) isn't normal for humans, so what is she? I loved the ways Laurel tried to hide them and get rid of them, but nothing worked. Then she finds out she's a faerie, and faeries are really just advanced plants and all that strange stuff, and people are after her and she has to protect her house and so on. It's a pretty good book, all things considered.

All in all the story was pretty innocent. I think I was a bit too old to read it. I didn't like Laurel's age at first. Her parents let her do way too much for my taste. Laurel made some pretty dumb decisions and I began to feel frustrated. Then, when her age stuff was clarified, I was even more annoyed. It just doesn't fit for her.

In terms of the audiobook aspect, I didn't like it. The speaker's voice seemed to constantly annoy me and she just didn't seem to make it believable.

The storyline was interesting and I was genuinely interested to know the outcome (which is the reason I'm currently reading the sequel.) This probably isn't a book I'd read again, or buy for the sake of buying, but I also didn't feel like it was a waste of time either. I enjoyed the different theories it presented and the historical details it included. I'd give it 2.5 stars.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

10 Reasons I love Blogging

Hey Everyone.

It's June 12 and I'm ankle deep in piles of books. My 4 current reads (for a list of what I'm reading, see my Goodreads page) are really getting good, and I'm working on a few blog posts to add later in the week.

During this time though, I decided to make a post that would spotlight the reasons I hopped on the bandwagon and decided to book blog, and why it's been the best decision of my life. Since it's the 12th, I suppose I should give you 12 reasons, but since I can never really determine all reasons I do anything, I thought it would be a bit easier to give you 10 reasons, plus that's a nice, common/even number (and my sorority line number so it's even better!!) So without further ado, the 10 reasons I love book blogging....
 10. It gives me something to do at work. I know you all think I;m joking sometimes when I say most of my blogging is done at work, but its the truth. My best thinking is done at work. I'm an intern so I honestly don't have much to do on a day to day basis, so once I've done that, there's nothing else to do but blog and surf the net.  Blogging gives you a chance to free your mind and give opinions  and feelings and use words you never thought you'd actually be able to use like douchecanoe.

9. Its so much easier to keep track of all the books you've read or not read. I used to sit in the bookstore for hours trying to remember if I've actually read this book or that book. I eventually had to read the first few pages to see and do a little flip through just to be sure. Now, I have most of them logged so If I get really confused, (which is often) I can always pull up my blog and see. The only problem now Is making sure I don't purchase a book I already have in my home library that I haven't read yet.

8. You learn about new releases of books so much faster. I never thought I'd have a "Books not yet released" wish list. I thought that they were just released on random days and so I would just go to the library/bookstore on random days to see if anything was new (odd how I never saw that all the new books came out on Tuesday...oh well!) Now, I know when something I want is coming out, and can wait outside the bookstore as its opening (don't judge me) and race in to get my anxiously awaited book.  (Funny how as soon as I get home, the book goes on top of my to read pile for me to wait to read at the "right time" whenever the heck that is.)

7. I get to read so many reviews of the same book that I can easily decide whether its even worth my time or if I should read it right away. There's nothing worse than reading a horrible book, and then knowing you could have been warned before you spent your time reading a book that sucked. I'm so happy some of you have warned me. This leads into my next reason....

6. There are so many books I never would have heard of if it weren't for this blog. My 3 favorite self pub book series' The Experiment in Terror Series, Marina's Tales and the Telesa Trilogy are amazing books. I would have NEVER found out about them otherwise and am so glad I did. Which reminds me...as of TODAY, my favorite, most bestest, most amazingest, most funny, author friend Lani Wendt Young has just released the second book in the Telesa Trilogy, When Water Burns, now available on Amazon. This is the best series ever and you should read it like now!!!! I cant wait until mine comes in the mail so I can get to it. Wooo Hoooo!!!!!

5. It helps me work on my writing. When it comes to school, my writing is quite superb, but when it comes to actual writing for anything other than a school assignment, I like to think I suck at it. That I'm quite possibly the most boring person on this earth. This blog, through my beloved followers, has shown me that people are interested in what I have to say (sometimes) and that I don't suck that much.

4. I meet all these wonderful authors, and get advanced copies of books. Who would have thought that just by giving your opinion, you could be given free stuff? I certainly didn't, and when I started receiving free books and what not, it kind of sealed the deal. Seriously, who wouldn't want to give their opinion if that meant they could be given, absolutely free of charge, the one item that they spend the most money on? Its one of the best perks of this whole thing.

3. It sounds good at interviews and sometimes even on dates. Okay so I've actually told interviewers that I have a book blog and for some reason, that makes the interview so much more fun. They start asking me about all the books I've read and then they compare their favorite books, and then we're laughing and joking and everything's just peachy. They think I'm dedicated and can write well and so it all works out great. On dates, the guy always thinks it's cute that you have a nerdy passion (apparently nerdy is "in." Who would've thought back when I was a little girl that eventually all my nerdy tendencies would be cute and guys would love it. I was too busy getting teased as a child to hope things would be different later). Ahhh, sweet success.

2. You get to meet and chat with other people from all over the world. From Australia to Samoa, and Brazil to China, and everywhere in between. I, a tiny girl in Maryland, USA have blogger friends in a bunch of these locations. it feels good for some reason. I literally feel like I can go to another country, email someone, and meet up for coffee or something. (I haven't done it yet though. Besides the fact that I haven't been out of the country since I started the book blog, right now I'd feel like a bit of a stalker, and like I cant possibly be as interesting in person. Ha!)

1. It's a Family. Like I said before, I was a bit of a nerd as a child. Braces with crazy teeth and two left feet and the whole deal. I didn't have very many friends, and preferred the company of my imagination and my books. Now, although I hear I no longer look nerdy and all that, I still feel like I don't completely fit in. People laugh a little and give me raised eyebrow glances when I rave about a book, and never understand why I'd prefer to curl up in my room with a book instead of going out to party. Here, with all of you, I feel like I belong. Like we all understand each other and like the same things. We may disagree but who doesn't? I love blogging because no matter if I love Twilight and you think it's the scum of the earth, we can all agree on the fact that books are wonderful things that give you experiences you never would have experienced, and that they deserve to be talked about.

Why do you love book blogging?