Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Yellow Birds
By Kevin Powers

4.5 out of 5

The story of two young men who forge a friendship while serving their nation in Iraq. This is a story of Private Murphy, and Private Bartle as they struggled to keep the good guys alive, kill the bad guys, and make sense of the world that they currently called home.

This book was incredibly well written for someone who is not an author. The story tells a (mostly) true story of two young men who are in the Iraq war. The story itself is incredible, and the way the story is told, skipping around through the years, actually helps the reader to understand how Private Bartle thinks and remembers his experiences. I did tear up at a few points, but never full on sobbing. It is a story about war, there are some things that you should expect. I had to read this for school, but I thought that it was really good, and I would definitely recommend it to others!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)
By Laini Taylor

5 out of 5

With the start of the first book, Karou and Akiva have both disappeared into the world of angles and chimera. But they are not together, far from it. Karou has realigned herself with the White Wolf, and is beginning the impossible task of earning her people's forgiveness, and resurrecting the chimera. And Akiva? Akiva is mourning his loss of Karou (again) while he follows his orders from his position in the seraphim army. But things are never as simple as they should be. Both sides are using guerilla warfare, attacking innocent civillians, and there will be no mercy for anyone. Unless, there is a change. From both sides. But will Akiva and Karou be able to convince anyone this is possible, when they barely believe it themselves? Or has the actions of both sides just been too much for any sort of peace, between breeds, and lovers?

This was both difficult and very easy to read. Difficult because the things that happened, are not what I wanted to happen. But easy, because it was just so good. This was the type of book that I would think about during the day, while driving home, while watching the World Cup on TV. It was a book that I wanted, needed to read. Straight from the beginning, it hooked me, maybe even more than the first book did. Karou and Akiva are such deep characters with so much history and development that I felt what they were feeling. I cringed for them, I yearned for them, and of course, I hoped for them, and I still do. I can't wait to read the third (and final?) book in the series and see what happens next!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Eleanor & Park
By Rainbow Rowell

2 out of 5

Eleanor is a troubled, slightly chubby, fiery redheaded girl who makes the mistake of not knowing where to sit on the bus. Park is a half Asian, bit of an outsider, indie music boy who makes the mistake of letting her sit in his seat with him. This is how it begins. Slowly, over time, Eleanor and Park become acquaintances, and then friends, the boyfriend/girlfriend, and then much more. But their lives are far from easy. Bullies and hatred meet them at every turn, even at home, and Eleanor's home life is a constant worry and struggle in her life. But they say true love conquers all right? Can Eleanor and Park's love do just that?

I am sorry to say that this book kind of disappointed me. Having just finished Fangirl, and completely loving it, I had high expectations for this book, and it, just did not live up. I felt that the characters were too rigid in their major character flaws. Eleanor was too closed up and defensive, even after admitting that she loved Park, she still snapped at him, and didn't let him know what was really going on. And Park, Park was too himself. Too easily angered, and driven to rage. To needing to be different from everyone else. To obsessively in love with Eleanor. That goes for both of them. Obsessively in love. This may be classic teen love, or it could be the epic love story of Eleanor and Park's time, but really, they were obsessed. Maybe this is just a never-been-in-love cynic talking, but I didn't like how completely dependent they were on each other, and how there was no just Eleanor, no just Park. There was only Eleanor and Park. If you saw a relationship like this in real life, it would not be okay. It would be deemed unhealthy. I understand what Rainbow Rowell was trying to convey with their story and the way people connect through different medias and crossing all sorts of boundaries to be together, but I really didn't think that this book was as good as everybody has been saying.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

By Rainbow Rowell

4 out of 5

Cath is about to start her freshman year of college. But everything is not as it should be. Her twin sister, Wren, isn't her roommate, Cath doesn't know where the dining hall is, and Cath can't write Carry On Simon, her massively popular fanfiction story, with her new roommate Reagan in the room. Things look tough, and they are bound to get worse before they get better. Cath is very introverted, but will people like Levi, Reagan, Nick, and Wren be able to break in and become friends with Cath? Or will they all be shut out in the cold?

This book was surprisingly good. I will admit, that I picked up the book due to name only. Fangirl. I was intrigued. This book was really good, but hit too close to home in some cases. Having just completed my freshman year of college, reading about Cath's adventures of her freshman year made me sad and nostalgic. And angry. Cath can be so introverted at times that it frustrates me. She would rather give up than be challenged in life, and that mindset upsets me. However, alls well that ends well. This book had me giddy and grinning from ear to ear (probably a lot like Cath and Levi), and other times cringing in mutual awkwardness. Speaking of Levi, the parallels I could draw between Levi and Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars are incredible. Don't get me wrong, I love Levi as his own person, but I look at him very fondly as Augustus' very close cousin, I even picture them looking very similar!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Godfather
By Mario Puzo

4.5 our of 5

It has been so long since I have posted a review, but I'm back and ready to get reading!

This book is a classic, so I'm not sure how much description is needed, but here goes. The Godfather is the story of the Corleone family, one of the major mob families in New York City. Through out the book, the family deals with highs, lows, deception, betrayals, deaths, loves, and everything else in between.

This  semester has literally been the semester where it took me forever to read anything. But I have finally finished the Godfather, and I must admit, it was worth it. I, of course, have seen the movie and knew the story, but the book is always better, and I had heard that this is a great book, so when I left the country for four months, I took the book with me.

The characters were vivacious and gripping, the twists and turns in the story engaging and thrilling, while sometimes also being unexpected and frustrating. In a book there is so much more time to explore characters and story lines so the reader gets a much more in depth picture of the Corleones and their lives.

This is a book that everyone should read. It is a classic, that will never go out of style, and is a great story, for wherever you are in your life.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Measure for Measure
By William Shakespeare

3 out of 5

A tragi-comedy full of scandal, one of Shakespeare's lesser known plays will have you sweating like a whore in church, literally. The story is one of endless scandal and double standards. The story starts with the Duke leaving on a "journey". In his place he puts Angelo, who is strict to a fault, but also untested. The crime? Sex out of wedlock, and everyone in the play in involved! Lots of disguises, tongue in cheek, and play on words, if you like Shakespeare, this is a good one!
United We Spy (Gallagher Girls #6)
By Ally Carter

5 out of 5

Senior year. Graduation in imminent, but for Cammie and her friends, it might be the last thing on their minds. The only thing on Cammie's mind is the Circle and their plan. As they track down member after member, people are dying and no questions are being answered. Then things get dangerous. Preston and his dad are taken into coustedy, and the only person they will talk to is Cammie. But then when the Senator gets killed right in front of Cammie's eyes things get dangerous. Not to mention World War 3 is about to start unless the girls, and Zach, can save the world one last time.

Endings are always bitter sweet, and this one was no exception. I never wanted it to end, but at the same time, I couldn't stop myself from reading it! Ally Carter stayed true to herself and her story, and it was just as good as I expected. Now the story, was one that I didn't. World War 3, secret hideouts, raging fires, there was no way I could have predicted all of that. The only thing, and I mean only, is that in my opinion, there was not enough Zach. I am a sucker for a good romance, and Zach and Cammie just didn't have enough chances to be cute while they were saving the world.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)
By Maggie Steifvater

4 out of 5

Blue has been told forever that she will kill her true love with a kiss. A terrible curse, but fairly avoidable. Until she sees her first ever spirit of Gansey. A boy her same age who is going to die within the next year. The only reason Blue can see him is either because he is her true love, or she is the one who kills him. In a family of psychics,  things like this are taken very seriously. But Gansey and his passionate mission to activate the ley line and find the long dead spirit and change his life has a strong pull on Blue and she just can't stay away from the adventure.

Ok, this was read in a pre-cross-atlantic-flight-won't-be-home-for-months fury. Luckily, that did not tamper the book for me. I thought it was interesting and different and I liked the characters and the story. I, unlike Blue, was instantly drawn to Gansey, but I always crush on the charming handsome boys, they are my weakness. Adam is the type of boy that would like me, and one I would actually get with, but the Ganseys of the world have an incredible pull on me :) Anyway, back to the story. I liked how it started in the beginning, we know what is going to happen. Gansey is going to die. Blue is most likely going to be the cause. And then the story unfolds. The ley lines. The generations of characters. They mystery and the endless questions that envelope the town of Henrietta. IT was an exciting read, and I definitely want to read the next book in the series, I just don't when that will be.

**Sorry, I finished this a week ago, but I have been traveling with a crazy schedule so I haven't been able to post**

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Just One Year (Just One Day #2)
By Gayle Forman

5 out of 5

In Just One Day, we got to hear Allyson, or LuLu's, point of view and everything that happened to her after that magical day in Paris. In Just One Year, we get to hear Willem's point of view. The book picks up with Willem waking up in a French hospital confused and hurt, and knowing that someone is waiting for him. But he can't remember who, or where. When Willem finally does remember, it is too late. So begins Willem's year long search to find his mysterious LuLu. But it's not an easy search. And his personal life is not making it any easier. Willem is lost, this year is about finding himself, and finding the people who really mean something to him.

Wow, just wow. I have been waiting for this book even since I read Just One Day almost one year ago (the irony is not lost on me). And, wow, this did not disappoint. I never knew a male led book could have me brought to tears so many times during one book. Willem's story was complex and sad and I really got a sense of who he was in 300 pages. There is so much emotion and depth to his story, it was incredible. And even though I knew what was going to happen at the end, the story was still a complete surprise to me. I loved it and my only complaint is that I wish it would go on longer. There is the implication of what happened, but I wish it was spelled out in exacting, beautiful detail. However, that is not the case, so I am left with my imagination to picture the perfect ending.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
By Lucy Christopher

3 out of 5

Gemma and her family are in an airport waiting for their plane to come. Gemma goes to get a cup of coffee and her entire life changes. She runs into a cute man. He buys her coffee. They sit down and talk, and then, things get fuzzy. The man has her arm. He's guiding her through the airport. He's having her change clothes. And then... Gemma wakes up in an unfamiliar room, with only her captor as company.

This book was just ok in my mind. I wasn't even sure if I was going to be able to finish it. The thought of being taken like that, in a crowded airport haunted my and I almost gave right up then. But, I powered through. The middle of the book, I wasn't in love with. I found it boring, and I was forcing myself to read it instead of wanting to read it. The end, however, I thought was really good. I could understand how Gemma was feeling having "been there" while it was just her and her captor. Everyone assumed the worst, when Gemma had seen an entirely different side of her captor and couldn't completely agree with everyone. Which is true. There were flashes of a sad, hurt, confused person that made it impossible for me to completely hate Ty. I thought the end was great, and I found myself enjoying it immensely. I'm glad I stuck it out for the good ending, but overall this book was not one of my favorites.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Allegiant (Divergent #3)
By Veronica Roth

4.5 out of 5

In the finale of this trilogy, no time is wasted before the action starts. Told from both Tris and Tobias' points of view, the story starts with Tris being questioned about her actions in the releasing of the Edith Prior video. Evelyn has taken control of the city, and the factions are being demolished. But not everyone is happy about this. A rebel force, called the Allegiant, has formed and they have to goals. 1) To send people outside the city to see what's out there and 2) to reinstate the factions. Both Tobias and Tris volunteer to go outside the city. What they see out there changes their lives, and their futures forever. Danger, betrayal, love, and plenty of tears are sure to happen if you dare to read this book.

Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! You can't do that! You can't have it end like that. Never have I ever read a book where I dreaded getting to the ending. From everything I had heard, I knew that there were a lot of character deaths, but there was no way I could have predicted what happened. That being said, that is a sign of a great book, and this book was great. These characters are so vibrant and so real, that you can't help but cry when their lives are unfairly ended. I hold the Divergent trilogy dear to my heart, and the story stayed true to itself. I have enjoyed the story from start to finish, and I am interested to see how they interpret it into a movie (hopefully better than the Mortal Instruments film).

Friday, January 10, 2014

Daughter of Smoke & Bone
By Laini Taylor

4 out of 5

Karou is a girl caught between two worlds. Raised in Brimstone's workshop, Karou knew nothing but it for years. Now, she lives her world in the human world, traveling all over the world, moving whenever anyone gets suspicious. Karou attends school like a normal teenager, but she also has secret responsibilities. She travels all around the world, to every corner of civilizations to collect teeth. Human, animal, any teeth that can be found. Karou  is sent to collect them and bring them back to Brimstone. Karou doesn't know what the teeth are for, and Brimstone isn't telling. But then disaster strikes. Black handprints show up on all of the secret doors. What can they mean? Where did they come from? And when all the doors simultaneously burn, will Karou be left alone forever in the human world?

As per usual with me, I had no idea what this book was going to be about. But, as per usual, I completely surprised and fully enjoyed it. Laini Taylor was able to create an entire other world, with connections to ours. I loved Karou's character, and the outlook she had on the world. also, I liked how we were given pieces of the whole story throughout the book, but the entire truth wasn't revealed until the very end. I will definitely read the second book in the series, and I am curious and excited to see what is going to happen next. Hopefully we will be able to see more happy Akiva (keep your fingers crossed)!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Champion (Legend #3)
By Marie Lu

 5 out of 5

The final book in the Legend trilogy, Day is living in San Francisco and June is living in Denver. It has been 8 months since their passionate and painful separation. Day is undergoing treatment for his brain tumor, but none of them are proving to be particularly successful. Day is doing his best to forget June, but then she calls him, asking him to come to Denver for a secret meeting. Day could never refuse June so he packs up Eden and heads to Denver. From there things spiral out of control. Day's condition is worsening, and he can no longer keep it a secret, the Colonies are attacking and there is no help in sight for the Republic. Will June and Day make it through their most recent set of obstacles, or is it too much this time?

Wow! What an ending! Marie Lu sure knows how to give every reader a heart attack. She ripped out my heart and then sheepishly gave it back to me. So much happened, but the book never felt rushed. Everything flowed together great, as always. The characters were intense and vibrant, causing "eeks"of panic, and uncontrollable smiles from me. I love the ending, it's not the magic fairy tale, everything is instantly perfect, but it is a good ending, and is very appropriate for the book. The end is true to the characters, and I am so happy! Having said that, I haven't cried this hard about a book since The Fault in Our Stars.