Apr 26, 2012

Review: The Future Of Us

Title: The Future of Us
Author: Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 356
Challenge: None
Source: Own
Add to Goodreads

My Rating:
It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future. By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present. -summary from goodreads.com

The Future of Us was a very enjoyable, unique and clever story. Having been in 4th grade in 1996, I couldn’t really relate much to the pop references, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t remember; Walkman’s, VHS tapes, dial up internet…. Wow. Talk about a blast from the past. I’m going to feel so old telling my kids that I was born before the internet. It’s hard to believe that this was 16 years ago… it seems like only yesterday. I do know one thing though, I would have killed to have been able to log into my current facebook account while I was in HS…. that would have been something.

The book is well-written and is narrated back and forth between the two protagonists; Emma and Josh, whom were both very relatable characters. Emma did get on my annoying side every once in a while, but only because of her negative attitude. Also, the way she tried to “erase” her friend’s pregnancy, NO WAY! You don’t do that. Unwanted pregnancy or not, that was not her choice to make! That docked her off another couple points in my book. Josh was just awesome, he was funny and loyal; 2 traits that every best friend must have, in my opinion anyway ;)

The plot offers an interesting premise, one that made me question my “online life” today. If you really think about, we share a ton of personal information online. There was this scene where Emma logs into facebook and ponders, “Who would share such personal information on the Internet?”… *raises hand slowly*… I’ll be honest and say that after finishing the book, I logged into facebook to sort of evaluate my own page.

Overall, The Future of Us is a light and entertaining read. Having read this after a strong emotional book, was a perfect combo, it was just what I needed. The only thing that bugged me was the fact that there were a ton of plot holes. I know that usually tends to happen to time travel stories, but in The Future of Us we don’t get an explanation of any kind, it just happens. Which worked out ok, but I just wish the authors would have added more plot twists (story was very predictable), or even an epilogue from the future self’s of Josh and Emma.

Apr 18, 2012

My Book Boyfriend (4)

My Book Boyfriend is hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader. Thanks to this meme we now get to gush over some of our favorite "Book Boyfriends", on a weekly basis :) Want to participate? Well head on over to Missie's blog and link up your post! Don't forget to include some stats, a picture of what you imagine your book boyfriend looks like and some swoon worthy quotes!

My pick this week:
From- Angelfire by Courtney A. Moulton

There was a lot of mystery to Will, the Guardian, in Angelfire. I'll be honest, I often times found myself annoyed with Will for purposely holding back information from Ellie in regards to her ancient warrior powers... But then later on in the novel you find out his reasons why and everything he does for Ellie…. *sigh*. I need to find myself a Will.But for now, my mental representation of him, portrayed by Matthias Lauridsen, will have to do <3

-Tall, maybe six feet, and broad shouldered.
-Bright green eyes.
-His hair looks black, until caught in the sun, it reveals a more walnut color.
-Twenty or twenty-one years old.
- Black, spiraling tattoos all up and down his muscled arm.  

"...he gave me a quiet smile, one that amplified the gentle contours of his face, the curve of his lips, the little line beside his right eye that appeared when he smiled."

Favorite Scenes/Swoon-worthy quotes:
"And everytime you die, a little piece of me dies with you.” -Will to Ellie

“He reached forward to cup my cheek, the touch surprising me. "Please understand that no matter what I am or what has happened in the past, I am yours. I am devoted to you above all else, including my own life." -Will to Ellie

“As I swung a third time, he grabbed my wrist. "That's enough hitting," he growled. "You don't exactly hit like a girl, you know.”  -Will to Elli

“I have a ninja sitting shotgun. Of course, I'm tense.”  -Ellie referring to Will

"Ellie, you need to understand," he said softly. "I exist only to serve you and fight by your side. Whether that fighting is to preserve your life or to make sure you smile, that is what I am built to do. You're all I have, and I will watch over you forever.” -Will to Elli

Have you read Angelfire? Wasn't Will just, magnificent?! What do you think of Matthias Lauridsen as Will? Share your comments below!

I still haven't had the chance to pick up WINGS OF THE WICKED (book 2) but hopefully that changes and soon! I think a re-read of Angelfire should do me some good ;) Thanks for stopping by!

Apr 16, 2012

Movie Monday (1)

Just a meme I came up with that should help me look forward to posting on Mondays because if there's anything I love more than books, it's movies :)

This week's Topic
My top 10 movies of 2012 (so far!)

1. THE HUNGER GAMES- Do I even need an explanation?! Camped out a whole 8 hours in advance. It was well worth it. Brilliant movie! So sad to hear Gary Ross won't be directing Catching Fire.

2. 21 JUMP STREET- omg! I don't think I've ever laughed so hard during a movie! Not a movie for younger viewers, even though the majority of the audience watching this movie were teenagers. Channing and Noah make an awesome undercover team!                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS- Barely saw this one last night and it definitely left it's mark. Unlike any other movie I've seen. I literally turned to my BF like 10x's during the movie and asked him, "What the hell are we watching!?" Super twisted and just weird. I'm not feeling that ending, though.

4. CHRONICLE-  Whoa. Such an intense movie. Was not expecting it to be so good. Loved it! It's like a boys gone wild type of movie, only these boys have telekinesis powers.

5. JOHN CARTER- Such a fun movie to watch. I went with my brother, and to be honest I wasn't expecting much.... Boy, was I surprised! Plus, John is a total hottie ;) Same guy from Friday Night Lights.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 6. MAN ON A LEDGE- Surprisingly good! Watched this last week, although it's been out for a while. The concept overall seems lame, really; a man on a ledge?!...(anyone remember Phone-booth?) But overall the movie has a very well thought out back story that will keep you hooked til the end.
7. THE WOMEN IN BLACK- Although the movie overall was a bit disappointing, I still adored every minuet of it (I don't know if that makes sense, but that's how I felt). It was good to see my beloved Harry Potter outside of the wizarding world ;) 

8. UNDERWORLD AWAKENING- One of my ALL-TIME favorite movie series. Fell in love back in 2002 when the first Underworld movie came out. I have a girl crush on Kate Bekinsale. I was a bit disappointing that Michael doesn't make an appearance in this installment, even though his character is still very much involved in this movie (watch it, you'll see what I mean!) Very happy to hear that another Underworld movie is in the works :)                                                                                                                9. CONTRABAND- Mark Wahlberg can do no wrong in my book ;) Cheesy plot line (boy gets caught up with Narcs, ex-narc brother in law must save his sorry ass) but overall filled with plenty of action and explosive scenes! Kate Bekinsale as a blond is just a bonus ;)haha!               

10. JOURNEY 2- I was craking up! Not usually a Vanessa fan, but this movie made me see her in a completely different way. Plus, it was nice to see Josh Hutcherson in a movie before I saw him in the HG. Definitely a movie to watch with the family :)

That is my list for this tiring, yet moving onward, Monday. Any good movies you've seen lately that you'd recommend? let me know :) Thanks for stopping by.

Apr 13, 2012

Review: Clockwork Angel

Title: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 476
Challenge: None
Source: Own
Buy the books: B&N / Amazon

My Rating:
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. 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: Jem, 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. -summary form goodreads.com

Maybe it was my love for The Mortal Instruments or maybe it was just my mood, but I was expecting a little more out of Clockwork Angel. Don't get me wrong, I still very much enjoyed it, but I was not feeling the whole, "OMG! BEST BOOK EVER" vibe I've been seeing around the blogger-sphere!

I really enjoyed the whole historical/paranormal atmosphere combo, but what surprised me the most was the steampunk element and the machine building world. The plot was simply alright. I felt like the author started off right with her awesome world building and a kick ass back story. She even spaced out the action scenes long enough for me to take a sincere interest, but towards the middle I found myself skimming through… and that’s never a good sign :\ The ending and mysterious nature of the characters is what kept me flipping the pages.

Tessa in my opinion rocked! (I think I like her more than Clary- TMI). I’ll be honest and say that I had a very difficult time in accepting the love interest between Tessa and Will. I don’t know why but it just felt so forced and rushed. Also, what he says to Tessa at the end was just RUDE. Who does he think he is?!

Something that bugged me beyond belief was the similarities between Will and Jace (TMI). I knew that there would be similarities between the two characters since they‘re related…. but really?! They’re practically the same person! Brooding attitude towards life and how much they hate themselves… Come on!? I know it’s the same type of back story, but this is supposed to be a whole different series.

Overall, Clockwork Angel is riddled with mysteries, misconceptions and diverse characters that are sure to leave an impression. In regards to teams, I think I’m leaning more towards Jem. Hopefully we get a little more of him in book 2.

Apr 12, 2012

Review: Revolution

Title: Revolution
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Pages: 472
Challenge: None
Source: Own

My Rating:

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up Revolution. I’ve heard about Ms. Jennifer Donnelly, but I haven’t had a chance to pick up any of her books. Yeah… that’s a big mistake on my behalf! Revolution was breathtakingly beautiful!

Andi is a 17 year old girl who is severely depressed after the death of her younger brother Truman. She blames herself and contemplates suicide several times. She has a strong passion for music and that’s what she looses herself in along with her anti depressants. Her mother is just as lost as she is, so when her Noble-Prize winning father puts her mom in a rehab care facility, he brings Andi back to Paris with him so she could work on her senior thesis that’s needed for her to graduate. Once there, Andi finds a diary of a girl her age, Alexandrine Paradis, who lived in the late 1700’s, even though they come from different backgrounds and lived centuries apart have so much in common to one another. Through the diary, we are able to see the parallel stories between these two girls, and let me tell you, it was intense.

Andi’s character was filled with so much grief and guilt, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. If anything, it brought me so much closer to her as a character. It was fascinating to see how Alex’s life helped Andi realize that she couldn’t gibe up and that she should fight for what she loves. When Andi read Alex’s diary I was right alongside her wanting to know more about this girl who was fighting for something she strongly believed in. I actually ended up putting the book aside a few times because of how devastating and powerful it was…. But at the same time, I was dying to know what was going to happen next. Talk about an emotional roller-coaster.

You could tell that Ms. Donnelly put much thought and effort into writing Revolution. From the history, to the music, to the characters… everything was just so powerful and relevant. Revolution was my first book from Jennifer Donnelly and I can’t wait to read more from her.

Apr 5, 2012

Review: The Goddess Test

Title: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 304
Challenge: None
Source: Own

My Rating:

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall. Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess. -summary from goodreads.com

I’m sad to say that I didn’t enjoy TGT as much as I thought I would…. I did enjoy it, just not to the level I was hoping too! Being a big fan of Persephone's story, I had a very difficult time identifying the myths and happenings. I mean, yes, there were a few, but there weren’t nearly as many as I would have expected! I was hoping we’d have tons of Greek Myths left and right… instead I only got like two or three.

Kate as a character felt rushed. As the reader, I felt as if I didn’t get enough of a feeling to her, for me to decide if I like her or not. This whole novel is done in the first person perspective, yet I feel like Kate is a stranger. We never really got a view of her inner conflict, just her decisions and actions. She had this vulnerability about her that made her relatable in certain situations, but at the same time I wanted her to wake up and take action. I like my characters to have a backbone, and Kate just didn’t make the cut!

Henry was very… what’s the word I’m looking for… Bland?! Dull?... I went from thinking, “what a total creep!”, to thinking, “ok, maybe he’s just hardcore old school. Total gentleman.”, and lastly, “AHHH! Henry, you’re supposed to be the King of the Underworld; ACT LIKE IT!”

Now don’t automatically think I hated the book, because I didn’t. There were a few aspects that kept me interested, thus the 3 hearts and not lower. Although the plot didn’t have many similarities to the myth that we all know, the author made up for it by adding several original elements that I think enhanced the storyline. And although I’ve pretty much bashed on Henry up above, I loved the way the author didn’t turn him into a complete jackass/bad boy just because he’s the King of the Underworld. You know what I mean? Having Henry be a compassionate and caring form of Hades, was a very nice touch. Lastly, what I think just plain out SAVED the book were the scenes with Kate and her mom. I found myself tearing up a few times during the more sentimental scenes. Even though I had a problem with the character development, Kate’s mom proved me wrong. She was just awesome.

So all in all, TGT had a ton of potential but the story just didn’t feel like it was carried out the right way. It was a little hot and cold for me; in the beginning I couldn't take it, but at the end I wanted the story to keep going. Let's hope the sequel, GODDESS INTERRUPTED, steps it up to the next level!

Apr 4, 2012

Review: Spells

Title: Spells (Wings #2)
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 359
Challenge: None
Source: Own

My Rating:

Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger--and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.

When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable? -summary from goodreads.com

In book 2, Spells, the story continues exactly where Wings left off. Laurel goes to Avalon for a summer and learns more about what she can do as a faerie. An eager, but patient, Tamani is her guide throughout the city. The author did an amazing job at describing the city of Avalon. I felt like it came to life right before my minds eye. I loved going into their world and learning more about the four seasons, the rules, the faeries, etc . There was such detail and importance in every Avalon scene, it really did seem like a mystical place. Sadly, that was probably all I liked about the book.

I wasn't a huge fan of Laurel in the book. She was needy and didn't have a lot of goals. To be honest, she was really beginning to get on my nerves, especially with her inability to make a decision whether she wants to be with her human boyfriend David or her faerie friend Tamani. Bottom line: Laurel, you're getting annoying. Honestly, you're a borderline Mary Sue now, if you haven't already reached it. Grow a pair (a lady pair) and start acting like a faerie.

I also felt like there were to many plot holes. Although Tamani does a lot of explaining, I still felt there were to many confusing things. I’ve read other reviews that state that Tamani was different in this book and I agree. I understand that once in Avalon he has to act according to his “lower class” (which is total BS!), but that doesn’t mean it should take a toll on his sarcasm. He just seemed so plain in this book. Where’s the charming Tamani I fell in love with in book 1?

This book seemed like a filler… A background filler, giving us the faerie culture and history. That’s it! Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t horrible, but I just wasn’t into either... BUT, I will be reading book 3. Just because I already bought it.

Apr 2, 2012

Monday Countdown (April)

Just a list of a few books I am SUPER excited about :)
Expected release month- April 2012

  STORM (Elemental, #1) 
April 24th

 THE IMMORTAL RULES (Blood of Eden #1)
April 24th

THE LAST ECHO (The Body Finder #3)
April 17th

GRAVE MERCY (His Fair Assassin, #1) 
April 3rd

April 24th

TAKEN AT DUSK (Shadow Falls, #3)
April 10th