Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: The Fledgling Handbook 101 by P.C. Cast

The Fledgling Handbook 101
Author: P.C. Cast
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: October 26, 2010
Pages: 157
Source: Paperback/Own

Merry meet, fledgling. I trust this guide will serve you well…
Every vampyre fledgling who arrives at the House of Night receives a copy of The Fledgling Handbook 101, and now, fans can have one, too, with this gorgeous must-have edition. Inside you’ll find original stories, the complete vampyre history, inside info into rituals, vamp biology, and the Change, and much more.

Review: This handbook is like it is in the HoN books, it explains everything about being a fledgling. It is very helpful for those who don't know much about Wicca to get a better understanding of some of the rituals, elements and everything else that goes along with being a vampyre. I liked how throughout the book they tell stories of how certain things came to be and got their names. I also enjoyed the quotes throughout the book and the pictures they included. They really gave a clear image to certain things that are constantly talked about, the changes the vamps go through and just good visuals to accompany the stories.

Review: Extras by Scott Westerfeld

Extras (Uglies #4)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 2, 2007
Pages: 399
Source: Hardcover/Own

Fame
 
It's a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. "Tech-heads" flaunt their latest gadgets, "kickers" spread gossip and trends, and "surge monkeys" are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it's all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of American Idol. Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules. 
As if being fifteen doesn't suck enough, Aya Fuse's rank of 451,369 is so low, she's a total nobody. An extra. But Aya doesn't care; she just wants to lie low with her drone, Moggle. And maybe kick a good story for herself. 
Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. Aya wants desperately to kick their story, to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are. But doing so would propel her out of extra-land and into the world of fame, celebrity...and extreme danger. A world she's not prepared for.

Review: This book was good. First of all, how the economy is set up brings popularity and cliques to a whole new level, and how you get your popularity brings social networking to a new level. Aya's city (which I'm pretty sure is in Japan based on names, they speak Japanese and they say their in Asia, so its a good guess) uses an economy based on reputation or popularity. So the more famous you are the more you can get, which means if your a total extra off in extra territory you don't get much. Aya's way to fame is to kick a wild story, but while in the midst of going after a story she stumbles upon a secret, way bigger than the story shes chasing. Exposing it could change everything.
Tally fans don't be disappointed. She appears in the story but that's about all I'll say about that. Overall I really enjoyed the book. 

4 Stars!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cover vs. Cover [#3]

Cover vs. Cover & US vs. UK are weekly memes hosted by a number of different people, I found out about it from As These Pages Fly. Its about comparing different covers of the same book.

This weeks covers are:

      The Old US Covers                                                                    The New US Covers



















This week I decided to compare the old and new US covers of the Uglies trilogy. Now I realized they changed the covers just recently. I re-read the Uglies trilogy to review but I actually never read Extras so I had to go buy the book. When I found the book I realized they made new covers for the entire series. So I have Uglies, Pretties, and Specials in the old cover and Extras in the new. Now I'm kinda mixed on what covers I'm a fan of and which ones I'm not. I really liked how all the old covers showed the faces and how they changed each time an operation was done. I do however like a few of the new covers for them. First of all I like how on Pretties they show the legs with the writing on them because it shows how they really changed your whole body when you become pretty. I also really like the new cover to Extras. I like how they show a close up of the eye and in general how beautiful and more filled with color it is. I feel like the other new covers seem kinda boring in color. This is easy for me. The old covers overwhelmingly win in my opinion. I feel like they pull you in more to wanting to read them.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Review: Specials by Scott Westerfeld

Specials (Uglies #3)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 9, 2006
Pages: 372
Source: Paperback/Own

"Special Circumstances"

The words have sent chills down Tally's spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor -- frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally's never been ordinary.

And now she's been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid. 
The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more. 
Still, it's easy to tune that out -- until Tally's offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she's programmed to complete. Either way, Tally's world will never be the same. 

Review: The book was amazing! You really got to see just what happens when your made into a special. Tally, Shay, and a few other Crims from the city have been made into specials, specifically a group named the Cutters; Dr. Cables special specials. Right from the beginning they are set on taking down the New Smoke. But Tally's mind is elsewhere. She cant help but miss Zane, because hes not a special and she wants him to be. So Shay comes up with an idea to get him noticed by Dr. Cable and to help her group take down the New Smoke at the same time. So Tally and Shay follow Zane and his crew to the New Smoke but what they find is much bigger than they expected, and at the same time things are happening that could change the world as they knew it forever. 

I loved the book. It was thrilling. You get sucked into the story right away. I loved the details (not only in this book but the other 2 as well.) Everything was so well explained that you could picture everything clearly and as it happened, just like you were actually there. I love books that give you such a clear image of whats going on and that make you feel like your actually there. I think it makes a book just that much better. Also, if anyone caught onto it while reading all 3 books. The last word of Uglies is pretty, the last word of Pretties is special, and the last word of Specials is ugly. Its a circle. It shows that Tally is more like her old self than whats shown on the outside, that shes still ugly deep inside. 























5 Stars!

Review: Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Pretties (Uglies #2)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: November 1, 2005
Pages: 370
Source: Paperback/Own

Gorgeous. Popular. Perfect. Perfectly wrong.

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she's completely popular. It's everything she's ever wanted.
But beneath all the fun -- the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom -- is a nagging sense that something's wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally's ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what's wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold. 
Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life -- because the authorities don't intend to let anyone with this information survive. 

Review: It was great! The book starts up about a month after Tally's operation. You really get a good look at what exactly the operation does and how it changes you. It was amazing how much the operation changed you and what people had to do to overcome the effects of it. It was pretty amazing the differences between being ugly and pretty. It was interesting how during the operation the specials could choose what you did and did not remember. If there was something the specials felt was something you didn't need to know or remember they made it fuzzy by messing with your brain during the operation so that you couldn't remember unless you got cured of the fuzziness or overcame it somehow on your own. All the new technology was pretty amazing too although I don't think I'd be very fond of certain pieces of it. It was shocking the types of technology the government could come up with, and it really makes you think "what if our government did that?" The action involving the New Smoke starts up right away, and it was interesting how they came into the picture in the beginning. The action through out the book doesn't disappoint whether its dealing with the New Smoke or just Tally and her friends up to their same old tricks. Great sequel to Uglies. :)

4 Stars!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Uglies (Uglies #1)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 8, 2005
Pages: 425
Source: Paperback/Own

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that?
 
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there. 
But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever. 

Review: This book was awesome. This series definitely has the best dystopian novels I've read in a while. I loved how it was set in the future, way in the future from present day. I like how in Uglies, Westerfeld brought out real emotions and changes that teens go through, but with a brand new twist. When you turn 16 you get an operation, which makes you pretty, no more worrying about how you look. But being pretty isn't all its cracked up to be. Its all up to a choice. The choice to have a life changing operation and being pretty, or running away, staying the same, not changing and being ugly for life or being forced into it. I found the book easy to get into. Some of the language was confusing at first but when things are described and talked about more you understand what things are. It was amazing to think about how the world would be like if something like this were to really happen. The book definitely doesn't let down on action either. From the moment Tally made her choice and even before, the action and thrills pull you in. I loved this book. I also loved how the cover showed a really good picture of Tally as an ugly. 

5 Stars!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cover vs. Cover [#2]

Cover vs. Cover & US vs. UK are weekly memes hosted by a number of different people, I found out about it from As These Pages Fly. Its about comparing different covers of the same book.

This weeks covers are:
             
                 The US Cover                                                                The UK Cover
 I really like both of these covers. I like how on the US cover it has the flowers shining through the glass ball in Evers hand. I dont like that you can only see about half her face though. I like how you can see Evers face on the UK cover with the flowers off to the side. I also like how there is a catchy phrase on the UK cover. I'm honestly torn between both of these covers, they are both beautiful in there own ways. Personally it is a tie for me.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review: Passion by Lauren Kate

Passion (Fallen #3)
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Delacorte Press/Random House
Publication Date: June 14, 2011
Pages:420
Source: Hardcover/Own

Luce would die for Daniel.

And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way…

Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime… going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.

Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames… forever.

Sweeping across centuries, PASSION is the third novel in the unforgettably epic FALLEN series.


Review: Luce starts traveling through announcers to her past lives, hoping to find the source of the curse and change it. Along the way she learns just how deep Daniels love for her is and what happens each time she dies. The farther back she travels the more she learns but what exactly happens in the end may shock you.


OMG! I LOVED the ending. I didn't expect it to end quite like that but it was definitely enjoyable. I got a little bored reading the stories of her past lives but in the end it was worth it. Its obvious that a lot of research was done just for this book alone. It was pretty interesting learning certain things from her past lives and all the different ways things happened. I also loved how real the love seemed to be in every lifetime. I liked how the book wasn't only from Luce's perspective but also from Daniel's as he was chasing after her through each life time. It really gave you a sense of what he was thinking and feeling at the same time she was experiencing each life. Things that were referenced and questions people had from the other books suddenly made sense and were answered. A fair amount of times while i was reading, I read something and I was like "Oh" because I finally understood things. I love the cover of the book. It is beautiful. I cant wait for Rapture to come out. :) 


4 Stars!

Review: This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This World We Live In (Last Survivors #3)
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: April 1, 2010
Pages:239
Source: Hardcover/Own

It's been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth's climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce. The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda's father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda's complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever.

Review: A year has passed since things changed. Miranda starts writing in her diary after a month because she feels like somethings gonna change. Its started raining again which is making the snow melt and the roads travel-able again. Matt and Jon decide to go to the river in hopes of catching fish since the roads are clear and Miranda decides to search houses for toiletries. Matt brings an unexpected surprise home from the river and weeks later Mirandas father shows up with his family and 3 strangers, among them Alex and Julie Morales. Suddenly with twice as many mouths to feed and not enough food, finding any food becomes crucial. Alex is determined to get him and Julie out of there but when his plans are thwarted he's forced to stay. As Alex and Mirandas feelings deepen for each other it becomes harder for him to find a way to leave and Miranda is forced to make a life changing decision. Then a tornado hits Howell, changing the Evans and Morales families lives forever.

I LOVED how this book brought the families from the first 2 books together. I also liked that even in times of heartache and hardship faith and love was proven to overcome everything. Both families had something to believe in, it might not have been the same faith or in general faith but both families had something to keep them going. It really showed how strong both families were.

 4 Stars!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cover vs. Cover [#1]

Cover vs. Cover & US vs. UK are weekly memes hosted by a number of different people, I found out about it from As These Pages Fly. Its about comparing different covers of the same book.

This weeks covers are:

                The US Cover                                                                The UK Cover

I like both of these covers. I love how on the US cover they show the perfect skin and the flash tattoos of the specials. I also like how it has more color to it. I like how the UK cover shows different pics in the body of the girl but I felt like they could have put more on the cover. I liked how both versions had a saying on the front (the pic of the US one I have doesn't have the sayings but I own the book so I swear its on there.). The UK version has the saying "Time for the final choice", and the US version has the sayings "Frighteningly Beautiful. Dangerously Strong. Breathtakingly Fast." I felt like the sayings on the US cover and the cover of the US one pulls you in more to wanting to read the book. So my choice is the US cover.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review: the dead & the gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

the dead & the gone (Last Survivors #2)
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Pages: 308
Source: Paperback/Own

Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event—an asteroid hitting the moon, setting off a tailspin of horrific climate changes. Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City, revealed through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican Alex Morales. When Alex's parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle. With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities.

Review: Unlike the last book this one starts on the day the asteroid hit the moon. Now Alex didn't keep a journal but Pfeffer wrote this book so that you could follow things day by day as they happened also. Pfeffer shows how things are drastically different in New York City than a rural town in Pennsylvania. Alex was working at a pizza parlor the night it happened. The cable went out and he didn't think nothing of it, so after work he went home and found the power out, the cable out, even no radio broadcasts. He went to bed thinking things would be fine in the morning until he was woken up at 4:30 in the morning by his uncle to clear out his store and stock up food, that's when he found out the blackouts were caused by the moon. Days start to pass with no word from their parents and only a phone call from their brother Carlos saying hes being deployed to Texas. There was a possible call from what sounded like Papi and what sounded like he said Puerto Rico but no one is 100% sure it was him. Alex and his sisters are abandoned and forced to fight for survival on their own. As time goes on more and more people are leaving New York, but because his family was never rich they cant get out because getting out is based on money and connections, and if you didn't have either, you were forced to fend for yourself in the city. Alex sends the older of his sisters to a convent with a farm so she has a safe place with food and so that he can save whatever he can for him and his younger sister. Within weeks of the moon being knocked out of orbit the food starts running out. He find 2 keys in his dads office to other apartments and people keep leaving so he got 2 more, in a search for food they search the abandoned apartments for anything they can get their hands on. Some food is found but to save as much as they can they rely on their schools for a meal a day. Then the volcanoes start erupting blocking out the sunlight and any hope of growing food. In the midst of everything bartering has become the new economy. A couple months later a friend introduces Alex to body shopping, taking valuable items off of fresh corpses to trade for food. He hated it but he was willing to do anything to ensure him and his sisters survival. Air quality got worse, the cold came in suddenly and his sister was sent home with a medical condition. Throughout all of this, their catholic faith kept them going though it was also a downfall.

I loved how throughout the book the Morales family kept their faith and fought so hard to survive. It was amazing to read how different things could be in a city than a rural town and this book was as heart wrenching as its companion maybe even a little more. It showed a 17 year old stepping up to protect and make his family survive even though its something a man his age should never have to do.

4 Stars!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors #1)
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: October 1, 2006
Pages: 337
Source: Paperback/Own

Miranda's disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove. In her journal, Miranda records the events of each desperate day, while she and her family struggle to hold on to their most priceless resource—hope. 

Review: Once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. From the moment the asteroid hit the moon and the chaos began you were sucked into the story. You could feel Miranda and her family's fear. The asteroid was denser than the astronomers thought so no one knew the moon could be knocked out of orbit. No one thought about how much the moons gravitational pull affected the tides, earthquakes and volcanoes. No one also expected world wide epidemics of diseases. I really enjoyed how it was written like a diary. It gave you a real sense of how things could change day by day. I also enjoyed how there was a lot of action but not enough to overwhelm you. I loved how quick thinking these characters were, from Mirandas moms quick thinking to basically ransack the stores (they technically paid for the food, but amidst the chaos it seemed more like ransacking) and stockpile as much food and supplies as they could, to Mirandas quick thinking when the sunroom filled with smoke with the family sleeping in it. They were right on top of things as they happened. It was also nice that even with the chaos they still shared a laugh or two now and then and that they still fought like any other family. It gave a small sense of something normal while dealing with the increasingly worse situations outside. They also still shared family moments together and when things got really bad they knew they could still count on each other. Through it all they still kept up hope that eventually things would get better. I really liked the ending. The book was left off on a positive note basically stating that what will happen will happen and with hope that the future will be better. I thought that was a nice way to end the book. I did dislike though that in this specific book in the series that there was a lot of putting down god.

3 Stars!

 The video promotes all 3 books.

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