31 January, 2011

Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Title: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
Published: 2010
Length:  454  pages
Genre:  Young Adult, Supernatural, Romance
Where Found: My little sister  

Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything - including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

I started reading this book this afternoon because I was bored stiff. I didn't know what to do with myself so I went into my little sister's room to talk to her. I saw Nightshade sitting on her bedside table and asked if I could read it. To be honest I was expecting a silly teen paranormal romance that I could roll my eyes and laugh at. I didn't think i'd actually like it... or spend all afternoon reading it, snapping at anyone who interrupted me. The book reminded me of the song Bittersweet by Apocalyptica

So now that I have a day to think about this book.. i'm not sure that I liked it as much as I initially thought I did. It's not that it's a bad book, it's not. It's just lacking. Lacking in most areas. I won't say too much more about it. I really don't want to spoil it for anyone wanting to read it. 

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading (1)

This is a weekly meme hosted by One Persons Journey through a World of Books
I thought i'd hope on the meme train this week and see how I go!

"It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list."

What I'm Currently Reading:
Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pride And Prejudice'

Upcoming Reads:
All on hold and ready for pickup from my local library!

How to Bake A Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal
How to Bake A Perfect Life                                              

                                   Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon
Cross Stitch
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
Battle Royale

28 January, 2011

Review: The World Ends in Hickory Hollow by Ardath Mayhar

Title: The World Ends in Hickory Hollow
Author: Ardath Mayhar
Published:  1987
Length:  168 pages
Genre:  Post-Apocalyptic, Survival 
Where Found: Bookdepository    

The World Ends in Hickory Hollow

When the bombs fell and Western civilization ended, the residents of Hickory Hollow, Texas, scarcely noticed the difference. They were already used to fending for themselves--growing their own food, helping their neighbors survive, keeping their rural life going, much as before.

But when the Ungers--a band of renegade thieves, murderers, and ne'er-do-wells--began raiding the nearby plots, looting and killing everyone in sight, it was time to take action!

This book is lovely. One would think that a post-apocalyptic wouldn't or even shouldn't be "lovely". But this one was. Compared to other books of it genre its quite.. gentle. Gentle but a very good read. I had been looking forward to reading this since I stumbled upon it a few months ago. It lived up to my expectations. Despite being written in the 80's it doesn't really read that way. The characters are interesting and are a great group of people. I'd love to just jump into the pages of the book and have long rambling conversations with them.

There are a few things that I could find wrong with it - it was too short, the writing was a little hard to understand. Just little things like that. Nevertheless.. this is a story to curl up with on a rainy day and just read.

I can't really say to much more on it because the story is short and I do not want to give anything away.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

21 January, 2011

Review:Unwind by Neal Shüsterman

Title: Unwind
Author: Neal Shüstermann
Published:  2007
Length:  335 pages
Genre:  Young Adult, Dystopia, Sci-fi,
Where Found:  Bookdepository

book cover of 



Neal Shüsterman

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive. 

Holy poop on a stick! My mind is just buzzing after reading this novel. I loved it, was disturbed by it and  it made me think.

Set in the near future (we never find out the exact year), world that Shüsterman has created is vivid, terrifying and altogether very possible. The novel follows three teens about to be unwound – which is the thing to do with unwanted teens and basically means that they are to be scavenged for body parts to be transplanted to where they are needed. Connor has always been in and out of trouble, sometimes unable to control his temper. When he finds out that his parents are about to have him unwound, he runs away and crosses paths with Risa and Lev. Risa is a state ward being sent away due to shortage of money and Lev is a tithe, sacrificed by his religious parents for a "greater good". 
All they have to do is avoid being caught by Juvey-cops until they are 18 and they are safe from being unwound.

As I said before I really loved this book.It kind of slaps you in the face, but you still want to dive back in and read it again. The characters were interesting and I always wanted to know more. 

There was one scene in this book that I found quite disturbing. There weren't many gory details, but they way it was written was.. haunting.

Rating: 4.5 starts outa 5. 

19 January, 2011

Hogwarts Reading Challenge 2011

I cannot, CANNOT pass this challenge up. I am a huge Harry Potter fan, so this is perfect for me!

The Hogwarts Reading Challenge 2011 is being hosted over at Worth Reading It

What you need to know about the challenge:
January 1, 2011 to June 30, 2011

In the Hogwarts Reading Challenge you are a student of the school. You will be sorted into houses. Each book you read must fit in to the subject of one the classes. You do not have to read books that fit all the subjects. Each book equals one point (toward the house cup).

You must read at least 5 books (audio books counts) before you are enter in to the drawing. At the end of the Challenge one person will win a $15 Amazon Gift Card and one house will win the House Cup (purely a pride thing).

I will post all of the Mini Challenges in the next few days so that everyone can plan out their books in advance.

To be eligible to win prizes you must have a blog and sign up using Mr. Linky. Then start a Hogwarts Reading Challenge post and link it back to this post.
****Update you can be eligible for prize if you become a member of I Love Reading Challenges on Shelfari and keep the list of the books you read for this challenge under the Hogwarts Challenge post there. You can also become a fan of the I Love Reading Challenges Facebook fan page and keep you list there as well.

Click here to go to the Sorting Hat. Please be honest. If there are too many in one particular house you may be place into another. So if the Sorting Hat places you in Sytherin you are Sytherin for duration of this challenge.

Click here to check your individual points and your house points.

Reading one of the 7 Harry Potter books earns you 25 house points. You can only read this books once during the challenge. 15 points for any other Harry Potter related book such as Tales of Beedle the Bard or A Parent's Guide to Harry Potter, again these books and only be read once during the challenge.

Have any questions leave them in a comment and I will get back to you. Have fun, good luck and Happy Reading!

****you can also find this challenge at my group I Love Reading Challenge on Shelfari
The Houses
Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin
If you were a part of this challenge before you can stay in the house you were in or go to any house of your choosing just leave a comment letting me know what house you are in.

The Classes

Transfiguration - read any book that has trans or figure in its title, is about shape shifting, has a shape shifter in it, or is about anything having to do with changing one thing into another
1. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer 31/01/2011

Defence Against the Dark Arts - read any book that has defence(defense), dark and/or art(s) in its title, read any book that is about self defense, war, history of war/marital arts, murder mysteries

Charms - read any book that has charm in its title, any book that deals with gives something or someone a new aspect (for example the nerdy guy become a handsome doctor)
1. The World Ends in Hickory Hollow by Ardath Mayhar 27/01/2011
2. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank 11/02/2011

Potions - read any book that has potion in its title, cookbooks count but you must cook at least one recipe out of the book

Astronomy - read any book that has astronomy in its title, books about planets, stars, etc, sci-fi
1. Inside Out by Maria V Snyder 17/01/2011 
2. Unwind by Neal Shüsterman 21/01/2011

History of Magic - read any book that has history or magic in its title, books about magic, witches, etc

Herbology - read any book that has herb in its title, again cookbooks count and again you must cook at least one recipe out of the book

Arithmancy - read any book that has arithmancy in its title, any book with a number in its title, any book that deal with numbers or math

Ancient Runes - read any book that has ancient or runes in its title, books about historical places like the pyramids, Stonehenge, great wall of china, or any book about symbols
Divination - read any book that has divine in its title, any book about psychics or psychic abilities, tarot reading etc

Care of Magical Creatures - read any book that has magical or creatures in its title, about supernatural beings

Muggle Studies - nearly any book works here, what better way to understand Muggles than to read what they read
1. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami 27/02/2011

How to list your books and keep track of points:
When you copy this post onto your blog just list the book you read for the challenge under the subject to which it fits. Please list books using numbered bullet points. This makes keeping track of points easier for me.
History of Magic - read any book that has history or magic in its title, books about magic, witches, etc
1. Tears of the Moon by Nora Roberts 3/12/2010
You can be a part of this challenge on Shelfari I Love Reading Challenges group if you do not have a blog.

The Sorting Hat sorted me into....



Anyway I will add my list as I go. :D

Perfect Mini Challenge
Time frame is Jan 14th to Feb 13th
So what do you have to do?
*First way: read at least 3 books with the word Perfect in the title.
*Second way: read at least 3 books that you give a perfect rating to. You do not have to blog the books but you do have to tell me why you gave it a perfect rating.
Points - 10 points (max 30 points) an additional 25 points for completing the challenge. Meaning you read all 3 will receive 30 points plus 25 bonus points for a total of 55 points. 15 points for each additional book (for every 3rd book you get an extra entry in the Triwizard Tournament Drawing)
***Yes, you can do any combination of the two options. Ex: read 2 books with perfect in the title and 1 book that you have given a perfect rating to.
Have Fun and Happy Reading!!!
Winner of Perfect Mini Challenge Melissa of Hufflepuff used Random.org
the Prize: choice of House Pin

Book in the Day Mini Challenge
Time frame is Feb 14th to March 13th
Throughout the series the characters are constantly delving into the past so in this challenge we will too. You task is to read 3 books that were published in 1999 or earlier.
Points - 10 points (max 30 points) an additional 25 points for completing the challenge. Meaning you read all 3 will receive 30 points plus 25 bonus points for a total of 55 points. 15 points for each additional book (for every 3rd book you get an extra entry in the Triwizard Tournament Drawing)
*Yes, books set in the past count but it still have to be set in a time period on or before 1999.
Have Fun and Happy Reading!!!
1. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami 27/02/2011
2. The Giver by Lois Lowry 12/03/2011

Hide and Seek Mini Challenge
Time frame March 14th and April 30th
There are times when one must hide while seeking out the next move to make. Harry and friends had to this on many occasions like when they can to sneak and learn Defence against the Dark Arts on their own. For this challenge, you must read 3 books that are related to hide and seek. These books can be mysteries, detective stories, crime, have the words hide or seek in the title. When in doubt ask me.
Points - 10 points (max 30 points) an additional 25 points for completing the challenge. Meaning you read all 3 will receive 30 points plus 25 bonus points for a total of 55 points. 15 points for each additional book (for every 3rd book you get an extra entry in the Triwizard Tournament Drawing)
Have Fun and Happy Reading!!!

Flight or Fight Mini Challenge
Time frame May1st to June 30th
We all know that at the end of the series Harry Potter must either fight Voldemont or forever run in hiding. For this challenge read 3 books that have to do with fighting, boxing, military, or aviation. Books with the words flight or fight will count as will. Books with the word bird or a type of flying bird will count. So books about an ostrich will not count, they do not fly. When in doubt ask me.
Points - 10 points (max 30 points) an additional 25 points for completing the challenge. Meaning you read all 3 will receive 30 points plus 25 bonus points for a total of 55 points. 15 points for each additional book (for every 3rd book you get an extra entry in the Triwizard Tournament Drawing)
Have Fun and Happy Reading!!!

18 January, 2011

Book Review: Inside Out by Maria V Snyder

Title: Inside Out
Author: Maria V Snyder
Published:  201o
Length:  315 pages
Genre:  Young Adult, Dystopia, Sci-fi, 
Start Date:  17th January, 2011
Finished Date:  17 January, 2011
Where Found:  Borders (I used a gift card I got for Christmas.)

book cover of 

Inside Out 

 (Inside Out, book 1)


Maria V Snyder

Keep Your Head Down.
Don't Get Noticed.
Or Else.

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own.until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

Let me start off by saying that this is the first review I have written since.. wow it must be 2007. I'm using this review as a practice, so please forgive any mistakes. I'm also trying to avoid any spoilers.

I started reading this book at 1.00pm and finished it a few hours later. I just could not put this book down (The saying is probably over used, but very true in this case). I was intrigued from the first two lines, "A vibration rippled through my body. I awoke in semi-darkness, unsure of my location." I simply wanted to know more. 

Inside Out tells the story of Trella, a lowly scrub, who works as a cleaner in the pipes of Inside. She is one of the many thousands who work in the lower levels, cleaning and performing all the other necessary duties to keep the levels functioning. The first thing you have to say about Trella is that she has spunk. She's tough, smart, strong, and at times cold. All in all a very real character. Adding to this, she managed to grow as a person as the novel progressed. You can actually see her grow as a person - something which I loved. At the start of the novel she is quite closed off to the world around her. She sees it, but doesn't particularly care about it, or many of the other scrubs - except her friend Cogon. Trella mainly keeps to herself and wishes for only one thing: to have some privacy and to be left alone with hopes for escape and a better life ‘Outside’. But then Cog takes her to see a a new prophet, who claims he knows the location of a Gateway (A way to the Outside), and the only thing Trella wants to do is prove him wrong - to prove to herself that there is no hope, so she can accept that the life she as.. is all she will ever have. But soon afterwards, she finds herself caught up in the beginnings of a revolution and all her beliefs about herself and her fellow Insiders are challenged…

As Snyder, through Trella, described the almost bleak world of the Inside, I was able to get a clear picture of her world. Snyder didn't over load the reader with massive amounts of information all at once, it was slowly and carefully explained. And even the background characters had a lot of substance to them. Though I do wish we knew a little more about Cob. I will admit that I guess who Trella's mother was before it was reviled and I hope that we see more of her in the next book. 

I really liked to romance between Riley and Trella. It was very tame and I wish there was more of it. And I was so VERY glad that there were NO love triangles. I'll read them if I have to, but it's like pulling teeth. Riley is sweet, determined, smart and thoughtful. He is very good for Trella, and you see her soften slightly. She's still very independent, and does not rely on Riley for every little thing (unlike some some female characters we're seeing in YA these days). I'm hoping to see Trella and Riley's relationship continue to grow in the next book.

There were also a lot of twists and turns.. and the ending.. WOW. I didn't see that coming. 

Rating: 4.9 stars out of 5. I loved this book and it will be re-read at some point.