Monday, September 30, 2013

City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Many hundreds of years ago, the city of Ember was created by the Builders to contain everything needed for human survival. It worked…but now the storerooms are almost out of food, crops are blighted, corruption is spreading through the city and worst of all—the lights are failing. Soon Ember could be engulfed by darkness….

But when two children, Lina and Doon, discover fragments of an ancient parchment, they begin to wonder if there could be a way out of Ember. Can they decipher the words from long ago and find a new future for everyone? Will the people of Ember listen to them?

I got this at thrift store for 99 cents, and with a price like that I just had to pick it up and give it a try. It was a pretty enjoyable book and very simple to follow.

I generally don't read books with characters this young, (they're both only 12), yet I found I liked these characters. I generally get annoyed at how author's portray younger teens, and I usually find them annoying, but the main characters in this, Lina and Doon, were interesting, and I think forced to be more mature by their life in Ember. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty - especially if they learn of her Sight - and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost — regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.
Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.
- Courtesy of

I really thought that this book would be far better than it turned out to be. I guess I had too high of expectations. The story started out okay and was interesting enough, but after about 30-40 pages I began to get bored, and it wasn't until at least another 60 pages later that the story finally picked up and became interesting again. I had the same feeling toward the end of the book though, where I just wanted it to be over, I was bored. 

I liked Aislinn's character well enough, she's a smart and strong willed young woman, and I like that type of character (I can't stand whiny or stupid girls). Seth and Keenan were okay too, but honestly, neither one of them were really my type of guy (or faerie), and they're supposed to both be stunningly attractive, but I just didn't feel it. 

I guess this story ended up with me struggling through it, just because I wanted it to be over. I just didn't connect enough with the characters, and I didn't really like the author's style of writing, it got kind of confusing at times (but admittedly that was probably partly due to my lack of paying attention). 

If anyone was thinking of reading this book, I wouldn't recommend it. Read Holly Black's faerie books instead, they're WAY better!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Set at a boys’ boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles’s crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic.

- synopsis 

I stumbled upon A Separate Peace about 5 years ago. I'd never heard of it, and had no idea what it was about, and I absolutely fell in love with this book! I just re-read this book, and I think I might love it more!

This book is told by Gene, and it centers around him and his relationship with his roommate, Phineas and some of the other boys at their all boys prep school. Gene is the complete opposite of Phineas, who is athletic, the life of the party, and no matter where he goes everyone loves him. Or at least Phineas was all those things until he "fell" out of a tree and broke his leg, crippling him. 

Gene feels horrible about Phineas's broken leg, mainly because it's his fault, but Phineas refuses to believe that his friend would betray him or hurt him, and so their relationship becomes this complicated mess of Finny being in denial and Gene, well, just being Gene and going along with it. 

I only have one question about this book and that is whether Finny and Gene are more than just friends? Or are they just in a very serious bromance? Not that it matters either way to me, but I'm still confused as to which side of the line these two young men lean to. Also, I'm really not sure if it would make me interpret the story different if they were gay.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

I read this after I saw the City of Bones movie (which in my opinion sucked and wasn't even worth my time writing a review about it), but I feel it in a way shaped how I perceived this book.

This book has a much darker tone than the others, yet even though it's completely different from the other 4, it's also still the same.

In this book, Jace is under the control of Sebastian (Jonathan Morganstern) and no one knows what they're up to, but they all know that with Sebastian involved, it can't be good.

I feel like I'm getting tired of Jace and Clary...or well...maybe just Clary. I found myself more than once while reading this book thinking about how stupid Clary is, and I think if it weren't for all the other awesome characters, I would have given up on this series years ago.

I did enjoy reading more about Alec and Magnus, even if Alec is an idiot too. And even learning more about Isabelle and the Lightwoods was fun and interesting.

Overall though, I wasn't that impressed by this novel until the later half of it, but I am really looking forward to the 6th, and final, book! (although the 3rd book was supposed to be the final book, so I'm not holding my breathe haha)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I think I'm probably one of the last people on the planet to read this book and after reading it all I can think is...What the hell took me so long?!? I loved this book, and I was a little afraid that because I'd watched the movie first that my perception of the book would be off cause I'd be expecting what I saw on screen. I was glad though that the movie seemed to be a great adaption of the book, but nothing can beat reading a book, especially The Hunger Games cause you miss out on all of Katniss's inner dialogue in the movie.

I also feel like I feel different about the characters now, especially Peeta, since he appeared a lot more weak to me in the movie, but in the book I don't find him so much as weak, but just sweet and naive, and someone who wants to do what's right.

Katniss is one of the few lead female book characters that I actually like. I don't know what it is, but I generally don't like most women in books, they're either too perfect and too nice, or if the author leans in the other direction they come out as just mean and no one cares what happens to a bitch. Katniss though is likable and human, and also I found her character rather compassionate, even though she's ruthless and cunning too.

I think what I liked most about this book is that it's not the typical teen book that just a love story. This book has something to say about society. It reminded me a lot of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, just in the sense that they both take place in a society that has complete backward morals of what most people hold today. For example, in Fahrenheit 451 firefighters no longer put out fires, but instead start them and burn books, because books are dangerous. In both it's also a story of the individual vs. government/society.