Friday, December 31, 2010

YA Historical Fiction Challenge

I've decided to try the YA Historical Fiction Challenge, started by Sabrina over at YA Bliss.  The point of it is to read five (if you're on level one, like me) historical YA novels in 2011.  Here's a list of the books I want to read:

1.  Between Shades of Grey - Ruta Sepetys
2.  The Stolen One - Suzanne Crowley
3.  The Vespertine - Saundra Mitchell
4.  The Luxe - Anna Godbersen
5.  The Book Thief - Marcus Zusak

Head on over to YA Bliss to sign up and get more information!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Polar Bears!!!!!

This is the most adorable video ever about the polar bears who are very curious about the spy camera hidden in a snowball!




Isn't that adorable???

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WoW - December 29th

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Jill, over at Breaking the Spine.  WoW stands for Waiting on Wednesday.  This week, I'm waiting on:

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand



Summary: In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny? 

Why I want to read it:  I'm tired of the main character being normal.  In almost every book I've read, the main character is normal until they meet some fallen angel, or demon, or something in the likes.  In this book, it seems that the character is different, and knows it, and I look forward to a change in the pattern!  Also, I'm very curious as to what her dreams really are.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Songs and books

Have you ever heard a song, and the first thing that you think about is a book that you've read?   'Cause I sure have.  Whenever I come up with a new one, I'll post about it.  So, I was listening to a song that I recently got, and it made me think of Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stoll.  It's called Iridescent, and it's by Linkin Park.  Here are the lyrics:

When you were standing in the wake of devastation
When you were waiting on the edge of the unknown
With the cataclysm raining down
Your insides crying, "Save me now"
You were there, impossibly alone.

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation?
You build up hope, but failures all you've known.
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go.
Let it go.

And in a burst of light that blinded every angel
As if the sky had blown the heavens into stars
You felt the gravity of tempered grace
Falling into empty space
With no one there to catch you in their arms.

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation?
You build up hope, but failures all you've known.
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go.
Let it go.

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation?
You build up hope, but failures all you've known.
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go.
Let it go.

Let it go.
Let it go.
Let it go.
Let it go.

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation?
You build up hope, but failures all you've known.
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go.
Let it go.
 
As I was listening to it, I just suddenly thought of those books.  I think it reminds of BC and BD because I thought of Lena.  It seems like something that Lena would say or write.  It's also a really good song!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cover Crazy (1) - December 27th

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted at The Book Worms.  The rules are simple.  Just come up with your favourite cover for that day (Monday, if possible), post it on your blog, and just give a couple sentences about how you like it.

I have always loved the cover for Fallen.  It has such pretty colouring on it, and I love the gothic touch.  I love the lighting; with the light streaming in, and she's almost a silhouette, but not quite.  My only question is: Why is her hair long?  In the book, her hair has been cut short.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas!

I know I've already done a post today, but I need to show pictures of three of my presents!



Here's the front of the mug and shirt. . .


And the back!!!!  I loved it when I saw that.  I am completely on team Peeta, so I adored it at first sight!

Sorry if this picture is a bit out of focus, but it's an awesome poster!  It got designed for me online and it was sent to me for Christmas!  They included my favourite book covers, along with favourite books!  I immediately put it up in my room; I have a cork board covering a whole wall to put posters up!






Hush Hush

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

My rating:  4.5/5


Summary (from Goodreads):  For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.


My review:

Hush Hush was gorgeously written.  It seemed like a dark, shadowy, Gothic book at first, but it wasn't, not really.  In some parts it was creepy, and dark, but nothing made me feel like I did when I looked at the cover.


It was creepy just to start with.  Patch, Nora's new desk partner knows everything about Nora, more than a lot of her friends know.  She's obviously quite freaked freaked out about this, and her imagination -- or is it just that? -- starts acting up.  While she's driving to her house, she almost runs into someone, but she doesn't hurt them.  She thinks that he then grabs her shoulder, but when she finally arrives at her house, she realizes that there's no hole in the glass, so he couldn't possibly have grabbed her.  


I liked Nora as a main character.  Her emotions all felt real to me, and I could understand them.  She was scared because of all the things she was starting to see, and her mom wouldn't be home for another week or two.    I felt the urgency she felt to figure out what was going on.  Nora keeps on seeing Patch everywhere, and isn't sure if he's stalking him or something like that.


I had mixed feelings about Patch.  He seemed a little bit like Edward, from Twilight, which I didn't like to much, but he was also a little different.  He was still mysterious about he was, but he didn't seem to want Nora to stay away from him.  I didn't like him as much as other characters in books that I've read.  He's too common of a character.  Recently, I've read a lot of books with characters like him: dark, mysterious, and intriguing.  I'm getting a little tired of reading books with the same sort of people in each one.


I loved the fight at the end, though.  The description was amazingly vivid, which I loved.  In my mind, I could see every heart-stopping moment, especially when Nora was on the beams.  I liked that it took place at the school, which is normally thought of as a place where nothing exciting happens.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Quick Quotes - December 25th - and a Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!  Today is a Saturday, so I'll be doing a weekly meme called Quick Quotes.  The point of Quick Quotes is to share just a couple sentences from a book, that you absolutely loved for whatever reason.  They can be funny, serious, touching, threatening, or anything in between.  This week, mine is quite a bit longer than other ones that I'll do.  Here it is:




"Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?'
Jace said, "Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself."
..."At least," she said, "you don't have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland."
"Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting."
— Cassandra Clare, City of Bones
Oh, Jace.  You are so self-centered, but also amusing.  Jace is my favourite character in the City of Bones, and definitely the most arrogant.  He likes to think himself the best person in the world.  As I read this, I thought once more about how much he loves himself.  And, I totally believe what he says about turning himself down to keep things interesting.  Sometimes I feel a little sorry for him, even though he isn't real.  Sigh. . . Oh, Jace, honestly. . .

Friday, December 24, 2010

'Twas The Night Before Quidditch

So, this is a poem that my friend and I made to celebrate Harry Potter and Christmas at the same time!  It was based on the poem 'Twas The Night Before Christmas.



'Twas the night before Quidditch, when all through Hogwarts,
Not a wizard was stirring, not even Harry Potter;
The flying brooms were stacked on the field with care,
In hopes that Gryffindor would win the game there;

The young wizards were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Snitches danced in their heads;
And Hagrid in his hut, and I in my tower,
Had just settled down for a nap that lasted an hour,

When out on the grounds there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the common room I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and drew in a huge gasp.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of midday to dark wizards below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
The Dark Lord, my greatest fear,

With a circle of Deatheaters, so sly and scary,
I knew in a moment that this night wouldn't be merry.
More rapid than eagles his Deatheaters they came,
And he hollered, and shouted, and called them by name;

Now! Lucius, now!  Bellatrix, now!  Greyback and Crabbe
On!  Severus, on! Pettigrew, on!  Karkaroff and Draco!
To the top of the tower!  To the top of the wall!
Now blast away!  Blast away!  Blast away all!

As dry leaves that before the wand battle fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, wands to the sky,
So up to the castle his followers they flew,
With their sticks full of magic, and dark revenge too.

And then, to my terror, I heard on the roof
The sound of Deatheaters trying to break through.
As I drew out my wand, and was turning around,
Down through the ceiling, Voldemort came with no sound.

He was dressed all in black, from his head to his foot,
And his cloak was so dark it was the colour of soot;
A Dark Mark was showing on his arm,
And he looked like a snake, about to do harm.

His eyes - how they flashed!  His skin as grey as stone!
And in his hand was his wand, the colour of bone!
His thin little mouth set hard and cold,
Knowing the terrors this night would behold;

And the light, it gleamed off his teeth,
As he gave me a wicked grin that gave me grief;
For I knew that any breath could be the end,
That by the time dawn glowed, I could well be dead.

But in a blur and a flash, there he stood,
Harry raised his hand, ready to cast what he could,
With a cackle and a twist, away the lord went,
And I knew that I had no more to dread;

Harry spoke not a word, but went back to bed,
And I stood in the common room, glad not to be dead.
And from outside, Voldemort  gave me a glare,
Before disapparating to who-knows-where;

I sprang back to my feet, and went to my room,
Trying to ignore the danger that loomed.
And as I lay down, I said to myself,
"What a mess to be cleaned by that poor, little house-elf!"

I made it to be in Hermione's point of view, but you can really say it's anyone, like Ron or Neville.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

City of Bones

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare


My rating:  5/5
Summary (from Goodreads):  When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know.... 


 My review:


City of Bones rates five stars with ease, as with the other books in the Mortal Instruments series.  I'd been looking for it for a while, and finally decided to get it out of the library.  I wish that I had bought it.  i could have read it again and again without getting tired of it.


I loved the characters, but I'll start with the beginning first.  It gets a little bit complicated at some points.  The main character, Clary Fray goes to the Pandemonium Club, and when she's there, she sees a boy about her age with lots of tattoos kill someone.  She goes to talk to him, and he's surprised that she was able to see him.  Clary ends up at the Institute, which is the home for Shadowhunters, a race of warriors who try to to rid the world of demons.  There, she formally meets the boy she talked to in the Pandemonium Club.


His name is Jace.  I must admit, I adored Jace, he is probably one of my favourite characters of all time.  I think that the only person he comes behind is Peeta, from The Hunger Games.  He sure doesn't seem like a very likable person at first.  He's arrogant, and seems to find everything funny, even when he should be being serious.  That was one of the reasons that I liked  him.  Clary finds him hot-headed and annoying, but eventually warms to him.  I liked him even when he was super frustrating.  Although he loved himself, and it seemed like only himself, you could see that he also began to like Clary, which was good.  That way, you could tell that he didn't live in his own little world, where he was the only one there.


Clary was also a great character.  All of her emotions felt real, no matter what they were.  You could feel her confusion and desperation as you read it.  You could also tell what she felt for Jace.  She loved him, but also hated him for all the pain he caused her.  She was always mad at him when he wasn't around for some reason, but when he was there, all that anger disappeared.


The world in the book was one that I would love to live in.  It was creative, and I loved the idea of the Shadowhunters, Downworlders and such.  It's interesting because in Clockwork Angel, which is set over a century before City of Bones, I get the idea that the Institute is quite shadowy, dark, and castle-like, with winding corridords, and tapestries on the walls.  In City of Bones, it seems like a brighter, cozier place.


Some thing about Cassandra Clare's writing keeps me craving for more, and once I finish a book by her, I'm frantic to read another, and I never stop thinking about it.  I loved the City of Bones, and it is easily one of my favourite books.  And also:  TEAM JACE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WoW - December 22nd

WoW, which stands for Waiting on Wednesday, is a weekly meme hosted by Jill, over at Breaking the Spine.  On Wednesdays, you make a post about the book that you are most looking forward to that week.  For me, this week, it's going to be. . .


The Gathering, by Kelley Armstrong

Summary (from Goodreads):  Maya lives in a small medical-research town on Vancouver Island. How small? You can’t find it on the map. It has less than two-hundred people, and her school has only sixty-eight students—for every grade from kindergarten to twelve.

Now, strange things are happening in this claustrophobic town, and Maya's determined to get to the bottom of them. First, the captain of the swim team drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. A year later, mountain lions start appearing around Maya's home, and they won’t go away. Her best friend, Daniel, starts getting negative vibes from certain people and things. It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret—and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy: Her paw-print birthmark.


Why do I want to read it?  Easy.  I love Kelley Armstrong's writing.  I read the Darkest Powers trilogy and absolutely loved them.  She has descriptive writing, amazing ideas, and some amusing lines.  This sounds quite different from the necromancy and such, but still great.  I'm already curious about her birthmark, just from reading the summary.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snow!

I love the snow, and probably will for the rest of my life.  It's so pretty and sparkly, especially when it hasn't been tread on, when it's in those waves.  Because it's the first official day of winter, I've written a poem about snowflakes, because I want to be an author, and this seems like a good time to write something publicly.

Chasing, laughing, fading, 
riding over the horizon,
Chilling the air, already frosty from the time of the year.
Falling to the ground in clumps of soft ice,
where they then meet to be one,
Cushion of sparkling diamonds.

Please give me feedback on any poems that I post on my blog!  I love to hear about what I'm doing well, and what I should work on!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare


My rating:  4.99999/5
Summary (from Goodreads):

Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

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.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

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: James, 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. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.


My review:

I have a lot to say about Clockwork Angel, starting with the beginning.  The introduction is honestly the only reason that this book doesn't rate five stars.  It just doesn't seem like a great start, and when I was only 35 pages in, I seriously wanted to put the book down, forget about it, and continue on Beautiful Darkness.  But because I loved The Mortal Instruments series so much, I forced myself to continue.  The reason that I didn't like the beginning was the characters.  You didn't really get a good taste of them, and Tessa didn't seem anything like she actually was.  She seemed like a little girl, helpless, and weak, when, quite frankly, she wasn't.  The Dark Sisters didn't seem quite real in that point of the book, nor did the setting.  The house wasn't quite real to my imagination, it was just a little too dark, a little too creepy.  But as soon as Will came in, I knew it would get better.  I laughed when Tessa threw the jug at Will, thinking that he was bad, not good.  I immediately saw him as another Jace from City of Bones and such, and I loved Jace.


Will was that mysterious, beautiful character, crafted out of pure imagination.  He's arrogant, but Cassandra Clare writes arrogant people well.  Very well.  He's got that humorous side to him, just like Jace, and finds almost everything amusing in some way.  He's always hiding a smile, though he hardly ever laughs.  Later in the story, you begin to see another side to him.  A side that is serious, emotional, and deep.  His love for Tessa begins to show, but he's always trying to deny it, to hide it from even himself.  Like Jace?  Definitely.  He's a difficult character to even begin to understand, but is a great person to read about once you begin to comprehend him.  I loved Will!


Tessa was a lot like Clary from the Mortal Instruments, and her relationship with Will was a lot like the one between Clary and Jace.  On and off, on and off.  Tessa was also a complicated character, but definitely not in the same way as Will.  She, like Clary, didn't really know anything about her parents, and no one is about to tell her.  I am still mystified about who -- or what -- her parents are.


Although there are a lot of similarities between the characters, I still loved Clockwork Angel.  It was very different from City of Bones in the way that it was set in the 1890s.  It was a great twist, and I loved seeing the Institute from over a hundred years ago.  I was surprised to see Church (the cat) in the 1890s, because he's in the Mortal Instruments, so that cat has been alive for over a century.  And I still loved the Institute in this book.  I get more of a picture of it in my mind.  I can see the winding corridors, the tapestries that aren't described so much in the City of Bones.


Oh, but the end.  I'm hanging on the edge of a cliff, wanting to know what Will. . . if you've read the book then you'll know what I'm talking about, if you haven't read it!  I want Clockwork Prince right now!  But, I guess I'll have to wait. . . 

And did I mention this?  TEAM WILL!!!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Poems

I really want to be an author when I grow up, so I need to practice some writing now.  Every now and then, especially around certain holidays, I'll write some poems that maybe someone will give me feedback on; I love to know what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong.  For my first time writing a poem publicly on my blog, I'll do three short poems, one stanza each.

Under the sea of glimmering darkness,
Of diamonds, of crystals, 
Of stars in the night sky.
There on the clifftop I stood, waiting for the spark of dawn,
So I could find a new hope.

I'm not quite sure how I came up with this one.  Maybe I was thinking of the night stars.  Maybe I wasn't.  It was just a time when I sat down to write, and this is what I came up with.

Looking up at the pencil,
scratching across my surface,
Like a perfect massage.
Ready for any type of novel;
Fantasy, sci-fi, romance, anything.
It makes me feel important,
As I am in the writing process.
For whether the story is typed and printed,
Or written upon me;
It doesn't matter.
I am still used,
Because I am the paper.

This poem is about writing.  I wrote it a while ago at a writing course that I took in in the summer.  We were told to write a poem about writing, and I decided to do it in the place of the paper.  I kind of had to put myself in the view of the paper (and, yes, I know that it is inanimate), and think about how it would feel about being written on.

Like a cherry glistening under the dew,
The flower begins to bloom,
Like a bird chirping it's first call of the morning,
It lets itself be seen and heard,
Like the rustling of a bush, as an animal searches for food,
It shifts in the wind.  
And in the last glow of daylight, it shows to the world,
That anything can blossom, in even the last hours of a day.

This is about a small flower, maybe a poppy, or a poinsettia, or some other type, that begins to bloom, and that even in the last hours of the sunlight, it can still grow.  It was weird, because when I was writing it, I was thinking about Christmas and poinsettias, but reading it now, it seems more like a springtime poem.  I guess it could be either.

Hope you liked the poems!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Quick Quotes (QQ)

So, I've been thinking, and I've decided that it would be fun to quote from a book every week.  I'm going to call it quick quotes, because it will be only a couple lines long, and either funny, touching, sad, or anything else in between!  I'll do it every Saturday (if I have time that is), and invite anyone else to join me by doing so on their blogs, too.

My first quote is going to be. . .
"Shut up and eat your pears!"
-Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games)

I absolutely loved this line when I read it in The Hunger Games.  It just seemed like a funny thing to say when you're in an unnatural arena where everyone is watching you, and you could be dead at any time.  It's said by Katniss to Peeta, when he won't eat and isn't hungry, even though he hasn't eaten for probably around a week, maybe more (I don't know exactly how long).  I started laughing out loud when I read this!
Link to your blog for other people to see your favourite quotes!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Across The Universe

Beth Revis, the author of Around The Universe, is holding a contest for the book at her blog, http://bethrevis.blogspot.com/2010/12/epic-contest-of-epic.html.  There are a hundred prizes up for grabs, including 15 ARCs.  Everyone should go check it out; it looks like a great book!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WoW - December 15th

It's probably obvious (if you've read my last post, that is), what my book for the WoW is this week.  WoW stands for Waiting on Wednesday, which started over at Breaking the Spine, and on that day, you write a blog post about the book you're most looking forward to that day.  At the moment, I can not wait to read City of Fallen Angels, by Cassandra Clare.


Summary:  “Love, blood, betrayal and revenge — the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels. Simon Lewis is having some trouble adjusting to his new life as a vampire, especially now that he hardly sees his best friend Clary, who is caught up in training to be a Shadowhunter—and spending time with her new boyfriend Jace. Not to mention that Simon doesn’t quite know how to handle the pressure of not-quite-dating two girls at once. What’s a daylight-loving vampire to do? Simon decides he needs a break and heads out of the city—only to discover that sinister events are following him. Realizing that the war they thought they’d won might not yet be over, Simon has to call on his Shadowhunter friends to save the day — if they can put their own splintering relationships on hold long enough to rise to the challenge.”

I have been waiting to read this ever since I finished the third book in the series, City of Glass.  I LOVED all the books that have come out so far, especially the latest one.  I love to read about the Shadowhunters, particularly Clary and Jace.  I can't wait to see who plays Jace in the movie that they're making.  I'm a little bit disappointed that it seems Simon is the main character, as I would definitely like to see a lot more about the Institute, Isabelle, Jace, Clary, and Alec.  Simon isn't a bad character to read about, and I definitely like him more than I first did.   I can not wait!!!!!!!!

City of Fallen Angels!!!

Great great great great great news!  The cover for City of Fallen Angels has finally been released!

Awesome, huh?  I was so excited when I saw it!  The people on the front are Clary and Simon!  It's funny, because this is the first book in the series that you can see the eyes of one of the people on the cover, and it's the first with two people.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Am Number Four

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore






My rating: 4.5/5
Summary (from Goodreads):  In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now.

The Nine had to separate and go into hiding. The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next. 



My review:

Wow.  What a thrilling book to read!  I never knew what would come next, what the next twist would be!


John Smith is a great character to read about, especially in first person, when you're listening to him.  I don't think that this book would have been as good if it had been written in third person form.  His description really came through to me, and I felt everything he felt, saw everything he saw, and heard everything he heard.My only regret was that it took too long to get to the climax, and not much really happened, so it started to get a little bit boring for, maybe about 75 pages. 


The battle at the end sure got me going, though.  It was a bit déjà vu for the setting, though, because I had just finished Hush Hush, and the big battle scene in that book is at a school, just like in I Am Number Four.  Like with the rest of the book, the description really called out to me.  All the emotions that ran through Johns mind swarmed in mine, and every little detail seemed to be sketched visibly on the page.  The beginning had the same sort of effect on me.  The first few chapters were so strong that I was on the edge of my seat wanting to read more.  The middle made me lose interest, but only for a little bit.  I think that  there wasn't quite enough going on to satisfy me.

Sarah was a simple character.  She was obviously the most popular girl in the school, pretty and smart.  She almost immediately fell in love with John, even though he was new, and not too many people liked him, especially Mark and his friend; the bullies of the school.  She was an interesting character to read about, but she could have been a little more brave.  At the end of the book, all she does, really, is just scream and cry.  I understand that that was probably the way that the publishers want her to be, but I still think she could have been a little more useful when the Mogadoriens (the evil aliens) attacked.

I Am Number Four was an amazing book altogether, and even the things that I griped about weren't that bad, honestly, and I would suggest that everyone watch the movie trailer!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Great and Terrible Beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray



My rating: 4.5/5
Summary (from Goodreads):  Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother's death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls' academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order.


My review:

Starting from the very first page, and going past the last, A Great And Terrible Beauty completely swept me away.  I'm not usually into books set in the 19th century, but this is definitely an exception.

This book was set in Spence Academy, a finishing school for girls in England.  Gemma Doyle is one of the girls sent there after her mother dies in India. Gemma wasn't my favourite character, for sure.  She was whiny and selfish, or at least it seemed that way.  Apart from that, she was pretty good, because she had life, reality, to her.  All of her emotions were very realistic, and I can easily see her being a person, well, at least back in the 1800s.  Felicity seemed a little snobbish at first, but I saw the other side to her eventually.  I could see that she was actually against Cecily (the real popular, snob, not Felicity).  So, in the end, I was pretty okay with her.   I only liked Ann for one reason; I felt kind of bad for  her.  She was the only girl at Spence Academy who didn't have money, or a family.  She was sent there from a scholarship.  She wouldn't have gone there otherwise, because she was an orphan.  I never liked Pippa.  She was Felicity's closest friend, but I have to say that, personally, I think she was worse than Gemma, honestly.  She was a little too rich and sweet for my taste.  She seemed to suck up to people a lot.

When Felicity invited Gemma to join her little clique, my first thought was that Gemma would never join.  She seemed too. . . I don't know what, but she just didn't seem like someone who would get along with people like Felicity or Pippa.

I loved the setting; it was probably one of my favourite things about the book.  Spence Academy, although it was really just a school, didn't appear to be one.  It was too classy to ever be anything like a school, even if it was a finishing school.  It seemed like a place that I might want to go if I had lived in the 1800s, no matter how perfect I would have to be, or how mean the teachers were.  But I really loved the realms.  The magic that filled them was so real, so lifelike I could almost feel it.  I loved the creatures that lurked, while Gemma and her friends were completely unaware.  The plot brought me right to the climax, which was a point where I couldn't put down the book.  The only complaint that I ever had about the realms was that I never bought Gemma's mom actually being there for even a second.

I loved A Great and Terrible Beauty, and when I finished, I couldn't wait to read the next in the series, Rebel Angels.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WoW - December 8th

So I haven't posted in a while. . . .  . But that's okay!  This is only my second WoW (click here to go to Breaking the Spine to learn more), so I've still got lots of books that I really want to read that I can post about!
Today it's going to be:  Steel - Carrie Vaughn






"When Jill finds a rusty sword tip on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued—and little expects it will transport her through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Will a dark enchantment, salty kisses, and a duel with an evil pirate captain leave her stranded in the eighteenth century forever?"

There's mainly one reason I want to read Steel is because of the idea.  It's not that I don't like the cover; I do, but I did fencing once, and it sounds like some sort of dark romantic book meets Pirates of the Carribean.  Since I enjoy both of these things, I think I'll love this book.  I like the idea of a girl from the present (or whenever she's from, I just know she goes back in time) going all the way back to the 1700s.  It seems to have a mystery aspect to it, because of the way she might be stranded there.  It reminds of Pirates of the Carribean mainly because it's set in the Carribean, and there's a duel with the evil captain.  I love the way that the summary pulls you in just from a few sentences, making you want more.  It seems like some sort of sword dueling rather than gun, or any other modern weapon, and although I didn't like fencing as much as I thought I would, I love sword fights the most.

Also. . . . . . . . .
I'm currently reading a book called I Am Number Four, which is absolutely amazing.  Here's the link to Goodreads, where there's the book summary, reviews, and all that sort of stuff.    Also, here's a trailer for the movie that's coming out. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Matched

Matched by Allie Condie


My rating:  5/5
Summary (from Goodreads):  Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.



My review:

I wanted to do a review about Matched as soon as I finished it, but I didn't have time because I needed to go to karate right after I finished it.  But here it is now!

I felt like I was reading a poem as I flipped each page.  The way the letters flow into words that flow into sentences was absolutely amazing.  They were intricately designed, made to sound like lyrics you could sing out, high and strong.

I never once wanted to take my eyes of the book, and I never let it out of my reach, even when I wasn't reading it.  It all went together so easily.  It was breathtaking, really.

Matched really made me think.  What if i didn't have the choices that I have now?  What if the person I loved was chosen for me?  What if I couldn't decide where I wanted to work?  What if I couldn't decide when I wanted to die, where I wanted to die?  What if I couldn't choose what I ate, how much, and when?  My life would feel closed off, like there was something that I should be doing, but I wasn't doing it.

The characters really called out to me.  Cassia and Ky were my favourites.  I didn't like Xander very much.  It reminded me of The Hunger Games in a way, Cassia being Katniss, Ky being Peeta, and Xander being Gale.  I was definitely on Team Ky.

I really understand what Cassia must be feeling.  She must feel as though she's waking from a dream, realizing that she maybe does have choices.  Maybe she can defy the Society.  She would feel confused but, well, if I were her, determined to do what she thinks is right.

Ky drew me in from the very start.  I love people who are mysterious about their past, like him.  He was interesting to read about; I always wanted to find out more about him, but at the same time, I didn't, because he seemed so lifelike to me that I would feel like I'm intruding on his ground.

That's another thing about Matched.  I felt everything.  Everything that the characters were feeling, everything that they wanted.  And I could see all the last little details because of all the description.  I could see in my mind the City, the dress that she wore to the Matching ceremony.  I could see every little thing that the characters did.

Really, I could go on and on about all the detail, the characters, the lyrically beautiful words, the depth of the writing, but I won't.  I may have to write another post on Matched when I re-read it, but let me just say that I absolutely adored it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hush Hush



This isn't a real review, since I'm only about fifty pages in, but I want to share my thoughts so far.  I just got Hush Hush, because I've been hearing good things about it for a while now, and, also, the cover is absolutely beautiful in that gothic sort of way.  I've always adored books that are about fallen angels, it seems, so I thought, why not?  From what I've read so far, I think that this will be one to add to my favourites.  The author, Becca Fitzpatrick seems to know exactly what her readers want to hear, and has the ability to write it that way.

Nora appears to be quite normal in the beginning (where I am), but it's not hard to tell, as it is with tons of other YA books, that she'll find out that maybe she's not so ordinary.  She's one of the characters that tends to draw me in; she's confused, frightened, curious, and frustrated.  She fits all of these traits because of Patch.  He makes her confused by not telling anything about himself.  She's probably frightened of him because of his creepy way of knowing everything about her.   That would also make her curious about what he is that he can do that, and frustrated because she can't get anything about him.

I already like Patch.  I can't say much about him, because, honestly, I don't know much about him.

I'll post a real review when I'm done the book, but those are just my thoughts for now.

WoW

I've signed up to do WoW at Breaking the Spine.  WoW stands for Waiting on Wednesday, so each Wednesday I'll put a post about the book I most want to read that week.  My first one is:

Entangled by Cat Clarke





Summary: 

The same questions whirl round and round in my head:
What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?
AM I GOING TO DIE?

17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with a table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got here.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?  


WHY DO I WANT TO READ THIS???
That's the question that I have to ask my self.


1.  The cover.  Astounding!  I wish I could find a better word for it, but. . . No, I can't.  I have always wanted to dye my hair that colour, that bright shade of red.  Her expression says everything on the cover.  She's confused.  She's innocent.  She's helpless.  She doesn't know what to do.


2.  The plot/idea.  It should sound like a regular amnesia story, right?  Well, to me it doesn't.  The white room does it for me.  From the summary, I want to know everything that she's remembering in that room. . . And what she isn't.  What is that thing that she can't remember?  Why can't she remember it?


3.  Reviews that I've read.  Apparently, it has amazing description.   You can feel her love and her hate, and every other emotion that she feels.   The book has been described as painful, and although that doesn't sound good to most people, to me it does.  If you can feel her pain, then the author has to have written it well.  I love reading books with emotion.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wings

Wings by Aprilynne Pike


My rating: 4/5
Summary (from Goodreads):  Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.
Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.



My review:

I couldn't stop flipping the pages, one after another, once I started.  I just kept on going, on and on and on.

What a weird twist on faeries.  Flowers?  Plants?  Really?  Those were my first thoughts.  I was doubtful, but also intrigued.  I wanted to know more about why she had a growing lump on her back.

Unfortunately, none of the characters really jumped out at me. Laurel was a pretty good character, but one of the only reasons why I liked her was because of her helplessness about the flower on her back.  David was okay too, but he wasn't that great.  I wasn't quite sure how to imagine him: interesting or a nerd.  I think that he was a bit of a geek, because of his love of school, and, more specifically, science, especially Laurel.  But he also seemed pretty cool.  His attitude wasn't nerdy, like I would have expected, more gentle, calm, and helpful.  I have mixed feelings about him.

Tamani.  He was. . . strange.  At first I didn't like him.  In fact, I didn't even like to read about him.  The only reason that I liked the parts he was in was because he gave Laurel the answers that she needed.  By the end of the book, I didn't mind him so much, but he honestly wasn't my favourite character.

The plot was good.  There was rising action all the way through when there was a lump on her back, and past when she grew a flower, right to the very end, and the part where she finds out she was a plant was quite interesting to read about.  I couldn't put it down until I found out her past, and also why she didn't have a heart or blood.

Before the last page, I knew that I would definitely want to read the whole series, which I still need to do.    Again, I have to say that I love the twist on regular faerie tales!  And I'm so so so so so so glad that there's a faerie book out there that isn't the same as  all the others.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures  by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stoll




My rating:  4/5
Summary (from Goodreads):  There were no surprises in GatlinCounty.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.



My review:


Three words can describe this whole book: gothic, dangerous, and intriguing.

I started this book unsure of whether I would like it or not.  By the tenth page, things were already looking positive.  I liked the main character, Ethan.  When Lena came in, I loved her almost immediately.  Her gothic taste and secretive style fit perfectly with the concept of the book.  To me, the characters are the most important part in a story.

The plot was amazing.  Questions were running through my  mind the whole time I was reading.  Who is this person, Lena, and her Uncle?  What is she?  What does she have to hide.  I loved the mysterious touch to this book that kept me waiting and anticipating.  The best part in Beautiful Creatures is the end, where Lena has to choose: Dark or Light.  That fight and decision had the blood roaring in my ears, head pounding, and heart racing.  It had me waiting for the happy ending, but it never came.  It had me sitting in suspense, waiting for more pages to appear.

The romance between Ethan and Lena was interesting.  I didn't know where it would end up.  In fact, I didn't know where anything would end up.  I could only guess where the plot was going to go, and I was almost never right.

As a debut novel for a series, Beautiful Creatures did a great job of keeping me craving more!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gone

Gone by Michael Grant


My rating:  4.5/5
Summary (from Goodreads):  In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.
Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.
Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.
It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else...



My review:

Gone was more than amazing.  The only reason I didn't give it five stars was because I forget the details, maybe if  I read it again, I would remember how good it really was.

First, I love the idea.  Adults disappearing, animals mutating, creature lurking, teens getting new powers.  Second, it explains it really well.  A lot of the books that I've read have made no sense until about the hundredth page.  In this book, I knew what was going on right from the beginning. I didn't know why people were disappearing, but I just knew that they were.  Also, I felt like I knew the characters quite well by the time I got to the tenth page: their personalities, and their interests.

My favourite characters in this book were Astrid and Sam.  I like Astrid because of her intelligence, her calm way of handling things.  I like Sam for the opposite reason.  I like his bold way of fighting, more on the offensive than the defensive, plotting to get rid of his enemies.  He's not cruel because of that; he's just trying to help everyone while the adults are all gone.

One of the things that I didn't feel, though I should have, was the urgency that the characters felt.  Because I knew that somehow they were going to make it, I couldn't feel that anxiety.

This book was better than I expected, so I couldn't wait to go buy the second in the series.  Gone was superb!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Marked

Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast


My rating:  4.5/5
Summary (from Goodreads):  The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are chosen do.  It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling.  She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers.  When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

This book didn't quite drag me in immediately, but it definitely did eventually.

I'll admit, I had no idea what was going on in the first few pages of this book.  When Zoey Redbird gets Marked in the beginning, I had no idea what that meant.  I didn't realize until a while later that she was then a fledgling vampyre.  The way that they put it, it made absolutely no sense to me.

The House of Night was a cool place; I would want to go to school there.  The House of Night is a school for fledgling vampyres, where they'll learn about the change to becoming a full vampyre, and lots of other things that anyone would regularly learn in school.  It didn't seem like a school though, and that's the main reason that I like it.  It was more like a castle, dark, in some parts eerie, and, in my mind, made of stones.  I would find that an amazing place, even if the mortals despised me.

My favourite character was Stevie Rae, Zoey's roommate, and closest friend.  She never gawked at Zoey's strange Mark, or pressured her.  She was encouraging, all the time.  She had a quirky taste.  She had a western style to her; wearing cowboy boots, jeans, and the same themed shirts. 

I didn't like Aphrodite, leader of the Dark Daughters.  The Dark Daughters are a group of fledglings who perform rituals for their Goddess, Nyx.  She was self centered, cruel to anyone that didn't immediately draw her attention.  As leader, she was the one that everyone followed, but they weren't given a good example from her.


Zoey had to overthrow Aphrodite, because of the heartless way that she acted towards all the younger fledglings in the Dark Daughters.  That lead to a huge seen at the end, where Zoey's friend from the mortal world, is in danger, because of one of Aphrodite's rituals gone wrong.


I have to say that I really didn't expect the way that this book went, I thought it would have more to it than what was there, but I still loved it all the same!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wicked Lovely

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr






My rating:  4/5
Summary (from Goodreads):  All teenagers have problems, but few of them can match those of Aislinn, who has the power to see faeries. Quite understandably, she wishes that she could share her friends' obliviousness and tries hard to avoid these invisible intruders. But one faery in particular refuses to leave her alone. Keenan the Summer King is convinced beyond all reasoning that Aislinn is the queen he has been seeking for nine centuries. What's a 21st-century girl to do when she's stalked by a suitor nobody else can see? A debut fantasy romance for the ages; superlative summer read.


My review:

Just from the front cover, this book already looked interesting.  The first few pages didn't grab my attention, but the rest of the book did.

The main character has the Sight, and is able to see faeries.  I do and don't envy her that.  As fun as it would be to have the ability to see another world of different creatures, it would be a huge burden to carry, seeing all the horrible things that the faeries do.

The reason that Wicked Lovely doesn't rate 5 stars is the characters.  Keenan was the worst.  Being the Summer King, I would have thought that he'd be a kind, lighthearted person. But he wasn't.  All he tried to do was make his court the best, therefore earning Aislinn's love.  He was selfish and greedy.  Aislinn was a fairly good main character, but I got mixed feelings from her.  Did she want this or did she want that?  Does she love him or does she love him?  I wasn't quite sure what the author wanted to say.  The character that I liked the most was Donia, a Winter Faerie.  The main reason I liked her is because I felt bad for her.  She was always subject to the will of the Winter Queen, Beira.  Beira was cruel, heartless, and cold.  I was sorry for her; Beira is not someone I would want to have control over me.

The plot was great, and so was the description.  In my mind I could see every little thing that was happening, especially in the last battle scene at the end, where the Winter and Summer king were fighting.  The plot lead up to that well, increasing my need to get to the end.

When I finished, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the next one.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Evermore

Evermore by Alyson Noel


My rating: 2/5
Summary (from Goodreads):  Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch.   Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…
Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition.  He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets.  Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head.  She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is.  Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.



My review:

When I bought this, I couldn't wait to start reading it.  That changed quickly.  By around the fiftieth page, I was already seeing how weak the writing was.

In the beginning, I liked Ever.  I liked the idea of someone who could see auras of other people, and their thoughts.  But she was black and white.  She had no personality, no thoughts of her own.  Soon, I could see that there had been almost no creativity put into her.  Ever gave off the impression of being self-centered, caring about nobody but herself.

When Damien came in, I must admit that I made the same mistake of liking him.  He sounded like a kind person, when in reality, he was rough, pushing people away from him without a second thought. The romance between him and Ever was predictable, and they didn't seem to have any real feelings for one another. 

The plot was just as weak as the characters.  The author didn't quite seem to know what she wanted.  All the places they went, all the things that they did, they all crammed together to bring you to the climax with no rising action before it.  There wasn't enough description to see things in my mind, so I barely knew what was happening in the last, half-exciting part.  Like I said before, it was all back and white.

The antagonist wasn't great, and didn't seem threatening in the least.  But I was rooting for her for the entire book, because I didn't think that Ever and Damien could beat her, no matter how bad she was at fighting.

I'm not happy that I bought this book, but I can't really take it back now, so maybe I'll come back to this book, and like it some more.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fire

Fire by Kristin Cashore


My rating:  5/5
Summary (from Goodreads):  Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.

Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.



My review:

From the very first page, this book was breathtaking.  I could see in my mind every strand of grass on the fields, every crack in the stones, everything down to the very last leaf on a tree.

At the very being, the main character, Fire, is shot by a mysterious person.  I loved this as an introduction; it really makes you ask why she's shot, and by whom.  Fire was an excellent character for this book.  She was a monster that wished not to be a monster.  As interesting as it would be to have those powers, I don't think that I would want them, if I would then be a monster.  I love that Fire hates to use her powers, but uses them more and more, and is no longer afraid of using them, but still only does good things with them, unlike her father, Cansrel.

Brigan was definitely my favourite character.  He was calm and levelheaded, able to control himself around Fire.  I understood why he didn't like Fire at first, even though he seemed really cruel.  As time went on in the book, I could see how well Brigan and Fire were suited for each other.

King City was the main setting in Fire.  It was also definitely my favourite place in the whole book.  I imagined it in a medieval sort of way, with the stones and the castle, the poor and the rich.  In my mind, I could see the castle with torches lighting the chambers, and tapestries hanging on the walls.

I don't know why I can't think of much to say about thin book, even though I've read it more than ten times.  But either way, this is an excellent book!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Graceling

Graceling by Kristin Cashore



My rating: 5/5
Summary (from Goodreads):  Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight — she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme, and in her case horrifying, skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace — or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away... a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.



My review:

Breaking my heart, bringing me further and further in, Graceling was fascinating the whole way through.  Once I was started, I couldn't stop, and I actually ended up walking around while reading this book.

This was given to my brother as a birthday gift, but I got to it before him.  I started by just reading the first page, and I was already intrigued, with questions running through my mind.  Why is she running through a dungeon sort of place in the dark?  What is her mission?  Where?  Who is she?  And many more than just that.  Just by hearing what Katsa's Grace was made me interested; graced with killing, she was already someone that you would want to read about.  (For anyone that doesn't know what a Graceling is, it's a person who has eyes of two different colours, and has a special talent.)  The main reason that this book rates five stars is because of the characters, so I'll start with them.

Katsa:  Katsa is the main character in this book.  Although she is Graced with killing, she obviously wants to do the opposite.  I love the battles that she's fighting with herself, and there's more than one.  There's the fight about whether she really is just the kings' dog, or if she can actually do something about that.  She's scared that if she defies the king, and he maker her angry, then she'll kill him.  Even though she doesn't like him, she's scared of what will happen if she kills him, if she really would be a slave to her anger.  Her other battle is about Po.  She loves him, but she can't decide whether she wants to marry him, because she still wants to be her own person, free to do what she likes.  This is an interesting part because I could never really tell what her ending decision would be.

Po:  I loved Po.  He was a great character, full of life, pain, and love.  He wanted to tell Katsa his secret, but wasn't sure if he could trust her.  That's one of the reasons why I like him; he has to really trust a person to tell them something that almost no one else knows.  I can connect to him because of that, I don't like to say much about myself before I really trust the person.  He always kept calm on the outside, even if he was really angry.  Another thing that I liked a lot about him is that his personality is so lifelike.  All his feelings are so possible, so realistic, that anyone in the world is like him at one point in their personality.  But in this book, it seems unique, such a strange way of putting regret, anger, pain, love, and sadness together.

The plot and the suspense in this book are also enjoyable, keeping you going and making you want to read more.

This book was definitely worth all five stars!