Raindropreflections: April 2011

Friday, 29 April 2011

Follow Friday & Book Blog Hop (3)

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee 🙂

This week’s question is: Keeping with the dystopian and apocalypse theme that seems to be running rampant on parajunkee.com, I have one very hard question for you: If you were stocking your bomb shelter, what books would you HAVE to include if you only had space for ten?

Answer: I both love and hate this question. Only ten books?! How am I going to keep the Harry Potter series with me, then? Well, I’d probably bring these awesome books with me:

  • The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell- I love this book- some sort of weird connection with the MC 🙂
  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (3)- I have so much love for this series, and I could read and re-read it anytime.
  • Harry Potter 3, 6, & 7 by JK Rowling- my favourite books in the series for sure. They aren’t exactly YA (?) but oh, well.
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini- I’ve heard amazing things about this book, and I want to read it.
  • My Religion’s Book With the Translation– hehe. Never guessed I’d say it, but yeah. In a bomb shelter I’d probably be looking for comfort and solace, so yeah.
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella- I haven’t actually read this book, but I’ve seen the movie, so I know the book will be awesome- and it’ll crack me up 🙂

 

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blog Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books.

This week’s question is: Summer is coming quickly – what 2011 summer release are you are most looking forward to?

Answer: I had to look through my Goodreads list to answer this question, but I finally came up with one- Cleopatra Confesses by Carolyn Meyer. It’s releasing in June, and that’s summer, right? It looks really interesting and I LOVE anything to do with Egypt, so this looks like a great book for me.

Friday's Finest (8)

Friday’s Finest is a weekly meme hosted by Justine over at A Bookful of Thoughts. The rules of the meme are:

~Post a quote that really stuck to  you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn’t a spoiler!
~If you’d  like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.

This week’s quote is from one of my favourite books of all time, The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell.

[Lali] ‘I’m not like you, okay? I don’t know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I mean, why should I? I’m only seventeen. All I know is that I don’t want someone telling me what I can’t do.’

This totally rings true to me, especially at a time like this, when I’m supposed to be finalizing where I want to go in life so I can choose the rest of my courses for my last two years of high school. I don’t want to decide anything- how am I supposed to know what I want to do for the rest of my life?

What else is true from this quote is that I don’t want anybody telling me I CAN’T do something, either.

So yeah, just like the rest of the book, this quote is something I could relate with on a deeper level, and I’m pretty sure a lot of other high school students feel the same way.

 

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re looking forward to.

This week I’m looking forward to Possession by Elana Johnson, which publishes on June 7.

Summary (goodreads):

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have
brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashed Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous: everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

Sounds pretty intriguing, right? And I am in LOVE with the cover. It’s what made me curious about this book in the first place. It looks sort of weird here, since I couldn’t bring myself to put a border around it- had this intense workout at school. Bleh. I’m incredibly lazy that way. The cover still looks pretty awesome, though.

What books are you guys looking forward to this week?

BTW: for some reason my link won’t get added onto the WoW list. I’m sad about it 🙁 but maybe (optimist speaking here) it’ll get added on in a while…

Monday, 25 April 2011

Review- I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Summary (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.

I AM NUMBER FOUR is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.

I AM NUMBER FOUR.
I AM NEXT.

What I expected: to tell you the truth, I haven’t actually read a completely science fiction book. I mean, sure, dystopian books hold some degree of sci-fi, but I Am Number Four is pure sci-fi. So I was really excited to get this book.

Story

It was an okay story, I’d say, and I think there’ll be a sequel. The writing was probably one of the best I’ve seen in first-person, except Lauren Oliver’s writing.

The science-fiction aspect of it- I was pretty amazed. Aliens, other planets, out-of-this-world creatures and superpowers- wow. But I think I still prefer my sci-fi kept at a dystopian-level minimum.

The thing about there being nine aliens (who look like humans) hunted down one by one was kind of creepy and sad. It’s like they had their fate determined, unless they did something about it, fought the bad guys back.

Characters

For some reason, the MC John/Four remained as unknown to me at the end as he was at the beginning. It was like I didn’t really learn anything new about him- to be clichéd, like the MC didn’t really break the ice with the reader.

There were other, more memorable characters. Henri, Four’s keeper, was especially realistic. Like, he had this real-life element of him that everyone could relate with. There was also Four’s friend Sam Goode- he was surprisingly multi-faceted. But the female lead Sarah seemed kind of clichéd with the whole reformed-cheerleader thing.

Parting Thoughts: overall, while I Am Number Four was well-written and the plot was the classic kind and the sci-fi aspect of it was well brought upon, it wasn’t exactly my flavour of, uh, the metaphorical ice cream. And how can the author (using a pseudonym) be a character in the story and tell Four’s story with a first person POV? I just didn’t get that.

Rating: 3/5. If you want to try out some modern sci-fi, this is it. This book was well-written and had the science fiction turned on full blast.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Follow Friday/ Book Blog Hop (3)

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee 🙂

This week’s question is: What’s on your  current playlist?

Answer: Right now I love this cute song ‘The Lazy Song’ by Bruno Mars. It’s one of those kick-back-and-relax kind of songs and I love Bruno Mars- and this song cheers me up right away. So yeah, that’s my obsession this week.

What’re you guys listening to?

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books.

This week’s question is: If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?

Answer: Oh, definitely. This goes for debut authors, mostly- if they impress you with their first book, imagine what else is in their repertoire. And it applies to other authors, too- after reading The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell, I can’t wait to read her other books. So yes, I definitely look for other books by authors whose books I loved.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Review- The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

Summary (book jacket): the mockingbirds

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way- the Themis way. So when Alex Patrick is date-raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps, or enlist the aid of the Mockingbirds- a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of the student body.

In this account for a teenage girl’s search for her voice and the courage to use it, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that standing up for someone, especially yourself, is worth the fight.

What I Expected: honestly, the word ‘Mockingbirds’ was enough to convince me that I wanted to read this book. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favourite books of all time, and so I was expecting The Mockingbirds, which is inspired by the above mentioned book, to uphold the wonderfulness of its inspiration.

Story

Date-rape is a heavy topic, and nobody quite qualifies better to talk about the effects other than a victim- which is who Daisy Whitney was. I’ve read about rape before, in Speak, but The Mockingbirds wasn’t that kind of book. It was more about being able to stand up for yourself than it was the emotional effects of rape. Of course, the MC Alex’s emotional turmoil and fear were in the book, too, but it was more focussed on her getting justice.

It was a unique book, definitely; the plot was tight, and I was never really bored throughout the book. The trial was the best part of the book, just like the trial in To Kill a Mockingbird. The Mockingbirds, who’re a disciplinary group of students that deliver justice when the school system, which doesn’t like to look at its students’ faults (it’s a prestigious boarding school, remember), are the ones who help Alex get her justice.

Characters

I cared for the MC Alex and hoped that she would get what she deserved. She was a strong character overall and her point of view was probably what made everything more intense.

The Mockingbirds were an eclectic group, and I think that was probably their charm. The leader, Amy- I’m not about to release any spoilers here, but when you find out why she got to be leader, you’ll be in shock- just like I was.

The male lead, Martin, was really sweet, although shaggy hair isn’t really my thing. Alex’s rapist Carter had this sinister thing about him that made me hate him as much as Alex did.

Parting Thoughts: I didn’t know how to get down to writing this review. I didn’t know how to put my feelings into words, and, well, this is what came out after a few moments staring at the blank Word document on my laptop. I feel that victims of rape, especially date-rape, where they aren’t sure if it’s a black-and-white, right-or-wrong kind of situation, should get the help they need- both emotionally and in the justice sense. But obviously it’s not as clear-cut as that, and reading this book was what made me understand victims’ hesitation.

Rating: 4/5. I think this is a really good book- admittedly, not the light, funny type that I prefer, but a book more about the more serious parts of being a teenager. The Mockingbirds is a must-read for everyone, especially guys, I think- not all guys are like that, but some seem to think silly things are just games, but they really do have a deeper impact on girls than they assume.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Away for a While

I know, I haven’t posted since Saturday and it’s Wednesday already- but it’s not for whatever reason you might think, but because I’ve been incredibly busy with school and I have a midterm tomorrow and, well, lots of projects and tests and overall school workload. So I’m going to be back tomorrow with a post. I haven’t even been reading this week because of a project and my upcoming midterm. *sighs* well, at least there’s a long weekend coming up!

Until I post next (tomorrow, I promise), adieu. Oh, wait, that’s French for a forever kind of goodbye. Well then, au revoir!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Review- Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Summary (book jacket):Across the Universe

Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She has left her boyfriend, friends- and planet- behind to join her parents as a member of Project Ark Ship.

Amy and her parents believe they will wake on a new planet, Centauri-Earth, three hundred years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed’s scheduled landing, cryo chamber 42 is mysteriously unplugged, and Amy is violently woken from her frozen slumber.

Someone tried to murder her.

Now, Amy is caught inside a tiny world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed’s 2,312 passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader. Eldest’s rebellious teenage heir, is both fascinated with Amy and eager to discover whether he has what it takes to lead.

Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she put her faith in a boy who has never seen life outside the ship’s cold metal walls? All Amy knows is that she and Elder must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

What I Expected: Of course, my expectations for this book were very high, since everyone gave such great reviews and seemed so in
love with a seemingly outdated genre- science fiction.

Story

It was a pretty awesome read. I should tell you- I’m a fan of science fiction, from Philip Reeve’s olden-era-in-the-future novels to Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. But all these books (including Across the Universe) don’t have an overload of sci-fi; they have a lot of other stuff mixed in, too.

That was the best thing about Across the Universe- that it wasn’t just one genre- it was somewhat dystopian, a mystery, and a bit of romance all rolled into one. The story- about why Amy got frozen and why everyone on the spaceship acts the way they do was pretty unique.

I totally understood the claustrophobia some of the characters felt. Not a real, actual fear of closed spaces, but the feeling of being trapped inside a closed spaceship- how could anybody live like that?

And that twist at the end. I still shake my head thinking about it.

Characters

Initially I didn’t like Amy, but maybe it was because she’s so perfect, and since I’m not perfect, I prefer not to read about perfect people. But as the story progressed, I found myself rooting for her and her smartness. And sunset hair- I wish I had hair like Amy’s, aside from the fact that it wouldn’t suit me at all.

I loved Elder from the start, though. He was so calm and sweet and just that kind of person you could trust and believe blindly because he would never lie to you- it would be impossible (for me, at least) not to like him.

The other characters- Eldest, the leader, Doc, Harley, Orion were well developed. So, although Elder is my undisputed favourite from the group, no character was one-dimensional or anything.

Parting Thoughts: Across the Universe is exactly what I expected and also so much more. The fact that it was a mixture of genres just made it all the more interesting to read. I know that I did end up giving it a glowing review like everyone else, but it’s true- this is a pretty good book.

Rating: 4/5. I liked this book a lot, and I think a lot of people- especially those who don’t like an overload of sci-fi will like it too.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Follow Friday/Book Blog Hop (2)

Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee.

This week’s question is: Do you have anyone that you can discuss books with IRL? Tell us about him/her.

Actually, there are very few people I know in real life who like books as much as I do. But one is definitely Preet, who recently started a book blog that you can visit here. She and I talk about books all the time, especially now that she has a book blog as well.

There are also my friends Tanisha and Manveer, who usually have their nose in an intense Ellen Hopkins book. They practically force me to read those books- but hey, they’re awesome. Ooh, and there’s Lisa, my best friend from elementary school before she moved to a different high school- we usually talked about MG books because that’s how old we were at that time- usually about one of my favourite series, Percy Jackson or Artemis Fowl. Good times, good times =)

So yeah, IRL, it’s usually those people I talk about books with. The rest I’m just okay to talk guys/random stuff with =)

Book Blogger HopThe Book Blog Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books, and it’s a great way to connect with other book bloggers.

This week’s question: Pick a character from a book you are currently reading or have just finished and tell us about him/her.

Right now I’m reading Warped by Maurissa Guibord (it’s an awesome book, by the way) and I want to talk about the male lead William de Chaucy. Aside from being the impudent gentleman and all, his voice is pitched so perfectly- like, it actually seems like a guy from the sixteenth century is talking. Maurissa Guibord is awesome! And yeah, I’m developing a bit of a book crush on this gentlemanly guy =) Oh, and my review will be up in a while.

Friday's Finest (7)

Friday’s Finest is a weekly meme hosted by Justine at A Bookful of Thoughts. Justine- you are officially the awesomest person EVER. Thanks for that welcome to the blogging world- it made my day and still brings a smile to my face. Not many people are lucky enough to get a warm welcome like that- and well, like I said, you’re awesome!

The rules for Friday’s Finest are:

~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn’t a spoiler!
~If you’d like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.

This week’s quote is from an amazing book named Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigulapi.Ship Breaker

‘We all die,’ Tool rumbled. ‘It’s only choosing how.’

I know, it’s a pretty short quote. But isn’t it so true? I mean, most people don’t get to choose their death. But there
are also those who choose a certain way to die- in the army, being a rebel during a revolution, sacrificing yourself for someone you love, putting
yourself in danger to save someone else- yeah, you die, but you sort of choose to go that way, even if it seems like you don’t have a choice.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Well, this is my first WoW, but I get that the general idea of the meme is to write about a book that you want to read ASAP after the release date.

Well, I can’t wait for Divergent by Veronica Roth to be released. The publication date is May 3 of this year.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:Divergent

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the
honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year,
all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Sounds interesting, right? I think I’d be in either the Amity (the peaceful) faction or maybe the Erudite faction. See, I’m already so into the book! I can’t wait for this dystopian book to be released and I am SO going to get my hands on it as soon as it’s published.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Review- XVI by Julia Karr

Summary (goodreads):XVI

Nina Oberon’s life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she’ll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world—even the most predatory of men—that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a “sex-teen” is Nina’s worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina’s mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past—one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother’s killer.

What I Expected: As I always say, dystopian books are my favourite genre except for contemporary. So when I heard about XVI and found out it was dystopian, naturally my expectations were high; the dystopian genre is full of amazing works.

Story

I didn’t get into the novel for quite a bit. I couldn’t figure out what the plot was- about Nina’s mother’s secrets, Derek’s crush on her, or Nina trying to escape from her mom’s boyfriend. The storyline still isn’t clear to me, but it’s more to do with the fact that all the subplots are so tightly interwoven that they all join together to make one jumbo plot.

There was a lot of over-emphasizing things using quotation marks that the reader would have understood even if there weren’t quotation marks around the words. Other than that, the world was believable enough, even though there wasn’t a clear explanation as to why things ended up this way, why women got manipulated like that.

BTW: Amazingly, Julia Karr doesn’t have any schooling in writing; she learnt it from reading tons of books. I’m not a hundred percent sure about this, but that’s what it says on the author summary in the back. That’s something that deserves respect, and I think Julia Karr must have lots of raw talent to get published without taking writing classes.

Characters

For some reason, some of the characters seemed kind of one-dimensional to me. Nina wasn’t like that, though, and she was likeable enough, even with her crying and puking- but it’s understandable, given what she was going through. It highlights her troubles more. Sandy was a lot like some of my friends, and XVI made me stop and think about how much ads (called verts in the book) really affect us.

The circle of friends was pretty believable, including Wei, who’s probably my favourite character in the book. She’s awesome, let me tell you. And I want a tattoo somewhat like hers, saying ‘free’. Not the XVI tattoo, but the thistle one.

Parting Thoughts: overall, XVI didn’t turn out to be my kind of book. But it did make me hope that women would never be
manipulated like that in the future. This book has some strong messages, and I think that alone makes it worth reading. I recommend that you read XVI if you like dystopian and want to see yet another ultra-different world from the ones already imagined.

Rating: 3/5. Sorry, didn’t really work out for me. I admire Julia Karr, though, and I look forward to reading more from her.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Review- Fat Vampire by Adam Rex

SummaryFat Vampire

Doug Lee is undead quite by accident- attacked by a desperate vampire, he finds himself cursed with being fat and fifteen forever. When he has no luck finding some goth chick with a vampire fetish, he resorts to sucking the blood of cows under cover of the night. But now it’s just not the same.

Then he meets the new Indian exchange student and falls for her- hard. Yeah, he wants to bite her, but he also wants to prove himself to her. But like the laws of life, love, and high school, the laws of vampire existence are complicated- it’s not as easy as studying Dracula. Especially when the star of Vampire Hunters is hot on your trail in an attempt to boost ratings…

Searing, hilarious, and always unexpected, Fat Vampire is a satirical tour de force from one of the most original writers of fiction today.

What I Expected: a light read, different from other paranormal books. When I saw that the MC was a guy vampire with NO sad, depressed girls after him (in fact, he was after a girl this time) I was really looking forward to something refreshing.

Story

The storyline basically goes a) Doug turns into vampire, b) he wonders what to do with his life now, c) he falls for the Indian exchange student Sejal, but d) changes completely once he gets a taste of something much better than cow blood.

I liked the book up to the point where Doug started being all serious and evil. Up till then, Fat Vampire had been light and funny and very different from other paranormal books. But then came the second, dark half, and things didn’t work that well for me there.

Characters

Doug wasn’t all that memorable, seeing as he undergoes a complete personality change halfway through, but he was definitely very different from the conventional, beautiful vampire- he was the um, slightly pudgy, nerdy vampire. That alone was worth reading about.

Jay, Doug’s best friend, who is not a vampire, by the way, was so cute and nerdy and surprisingly interesting to read about. I loved how whenever he lied, he’d speak in caps, basically talk really loudly. And he didn’t swear, either.

The Indian exchange student, Sejal, is definitely not the mopey, lovesick girl featured in many vampire books. And Cat, the girl whose parents’ house Sejal is living in, may be goth, but she’s definitely not suicidal or whatever the stereotypes were about goths. Is anybody even goth anymore?

The one thing I couldn’t understand is why everyone kept saying ‘rad’. Isn’t that like, from the seventies or something? But there were other swearwords that I think haven’t existed until our era, so it’s probably a drama thing…?

Parting Thoughts: I liked the nerdiness and humour in the first half, but the second half, wasn’t nearly as entertaining. I kept willing myself to read faster; it was like struggling through mud, those last few pages. But the conclusion was funny and horrible at the same time, if that’s possible, and even though I went ‘huh?’ at the last line, I reread the last two pages a couple of times and understood what happened. At least, what I think happened.

Rating: 3.5/5. It was an average book, one I read because I wanted something different from the usual paranormal novel, which was what was happening for the first half. The sinister end portion didn’t really work for me, but hey, it might for you. If you’re looking for something refreshing to read, Fat Vampire is it.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Follow Friday

The Follow Friday meme is hosted by Parajunkee and, well, it’s my first time doing this 🙂

This week’s question is: Do you judge a book by its cover?

I hate to say this, but yes, I do judge books by their cover. I know it means that I’ll probably miss out on some great book with a horrible/boring cover, but still. I mean, I sometimes pick up books just because their covers are so pretty. So, yes, I judge books by their cover.

Friday's Finest (6)

Friday’s Finest is a weekly meme hosted by Justine at A Bookful of Thoughts.

The rules are:

~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure  it isn’t a spoiler!
~If you’d like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.Clockwork Angel

I wanted to share a quote from Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare:

Camille smiled. She was beautiful, Will had to admit- but then, a lot of vampires were beautiful. Their beauty had always seemed to him like the beauty of pressed flowers- lovely, but dead.

The last line made me laugh- ‘lovely, but dead.’ For some reason, to me it seems like something a kid would observe in that raw, innocent voice that speaks the truth more simply than anything- about the beauty of vampires, too. I never realized that, but it’s true- vampires may be beautiful, depending on the book you’re reading, but they’re dead, after all.

By the way, the only vampires I ever really liked are from Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel. They seem a lot more, I don’t know, mystical and supernatural and regal than any I’ve encountered in other books.

Have an awesome weekend!

 

 

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Review- Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Summary (Goodreads)Delirium

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love — the deliria — blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

What I Expected: Obviously I expected great things from Delirium after all the raving reviews, but I wasn’t sure how the story would sustain itself- I mean, love is forbidden, so duh, the girl goes and falls in love. But honestly, this book exceeded my expectations and turned out to be much, much more than the typical plot I formerly expected.

Story

It was certainly a unique concept, making love a disease. The way Lauren Oliver brought the disgust that people felt about love, as though it really was a disease, was probably the most unique aspect of it. I mean, it’s true- if you don’t love, you most likely won’t get hurt. But the way everyone twisted those words to mean that love was a bad thing- that was something that required a master storyteller.

Delirium was somewhat similar to Scott Westerfield’s Uglies, which is one of my favourite series. Love is the disease, so get it surgically removed= everyone is ugly, so make yourself pretty through surgery. I realized that halfway through the book- it was such an oh! moment.

I loved the wonderful, never-before-seen similes in the book- Lauren Oliver is so good at them. The language flows in a way that makes me wish I could make my words half as poetic. All in all, much more than the simple plot I expected.

Characters

I really liked the MC, Lena, because she wasn’t presumptive or stuck-up, but not boring, either. The way her emotions and thoughts slowly changed was expressed beautifully.

Lena’s love interest, Alex, was a great character too, perfect in a way that wasn’t annoying. He is definitely one of the best fictional guys I’ve read about.

There were other supporting characters- Lena’s best friend Hana; Lena’s little cousin Gracie, and even Lena’s cured foster family, safe from love, who gave the story deeper dimensions and made it worth the read.

Parting Thoughts: The similes in Delirium are exquisite, the writing is beautiful, and Lena’s world is constructed very believably, although I hope it doesn’t ever happen in the future. I would definitely have loved to read more about her dystopian world, since dystopian fiction is my favourite genre aside from contemporary. But Delirium surpassed all expectations and firmly cemented Lauren Oliver as one of my favourite authors. I’m looking forward to reading more from her.

Rating: 5/5. The writing alone made me love Delirium. Add that to a great MC and a boy to swoon for- the perfect formula for an awesome book.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Just Google It

True story: I didn’t have a clue what ‘penitentiaries’ was while doing a synthesis of 1800s government in Canada (for school, obviously; I’m not that much of a nerd). And guess what I did as soon as I got home? I Googled that unpronounceable word.

And in case you’re wondering, penitentiaries are basically reform schools for criminals. I’d have had to go to the enormous dictionary in my bookcase and slog through it (I suck at using dictionaries, BTW). But Google saved my life once again and hopefully the definition is what my Socials teacher was looking for.Google Logo

Honestly, Google is probably the one thing that keeps us ‘technological-devices-addicted’ people (as older people like to label us) sane. I can’t count the number of times I’ve run to my computer and Googled an irregular French verb for conjugations or typed in random things like my name when I’m so bored I can’t think of anything else to do.

Google is basically the Wikipedia of search engines. And even though teachers always tell you not to blindly trust Wikipedia or the first choice that comes up in Google, let’s face it, there is nothing more useful on the web than Google and Wikipedia.

In short, Google is my saviour. And like everyone likes to say, next time you’re looking for something, just Google it. Chances are, you already know that chances are, you’ll find whatever you’re looking for.

Because Google is G.

Ha-ha, I don’t even use excessive slang like the above line, but it sounds cool. I was just so glad to find out what penitentiaries are with miminum effort, and I thought I’d share it with you guys, since we all probably take Google for granted.

By the way, I just finished The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell. It’s SO amazing. Review coming up soon!

 

Monday, 4 April 2011

April Aspirations

I’m starting to get a habit of posting the month beginners a while after the first of the month. Sigh. Oh, well. If anybody can read this blog, they will probably bear with my tardiness.

Hmm. The only reason I put ‘aspirations’ after April was because it started with an A, too. Now I need to think of some aspirations. Crap.

  • Post every other day. I was good at this all of March, so hopefully I can do it this month, too.
  • Read. A very obvious goal, seeing as this is a book blog. He-he. Told you I was short on aspirations. I want to read about fifteen books this month. Come on, library, come through once again!
  • Keep up with school. There’s only 2.5 months until summer! But of course math class has to be boring, Socials full of 100 mark projects, and way-too-early mornings and *jazz hands* all that good stuff that comes with school.
  • Get more of a readership. If anybody is actually reading this stuff, thank you. I appreciate it more than you can ever imagine. My blog is only one and a half months old, and right now blogging is like shouting out to the world, ‘I like so-and-so!’ but at this point nobody cares because it’s 2012 and the world has ended and I’m the only one left because I was sleeping while everyone was running for their lives.
  • Um…
  • Uh…

Yeah, that’s it for this month. My July aspirations would have been ten feet long, seeing as I always have a lot to do in the summer, but April is the time of year when there’s lots of rain and not enough free time and absolutely nothing to do except go to school and look forward to summer.

I did lots in March, though. I posted every other day, I read a book a day during spring break, and I did the Book Blog Hop, although it was on the first of April. I’m looking forward to a great second month of blogging.

Look out for more reviews, random thoughts, and jazz hands 🙂

PS: I’m thinking of doing In My Mailbox this month- but will I have enough books per week? *shrugs* I’m going to do IMM this weekend, je pense. Maybe.

 

Friday, 1 April 2011

Book Blog Hop

Book Blogger Hop
Well, this is my first book blog hop, hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Books, and I must say, I’m really excited! I’ve never done this before (new blogger) and if I do something wrong… sorry in advance.

This week’s question is: “Since today is April Fool’s Day in the USA, what is the best prank you have ever played on someone OR that someone has played on you?”

Answer: I’m not really a prankster; I’m more of the spontaneously random funny type, so I have trouble being funny on purpose. As for others pulling pranks on me… *cringes* there was the time my cousins pretended there was a lizard in my food… NASTY. And I was actually silly enough to believe them.- for like two minutes, at least, which was enough time for them to tease me about lizards (which I HATE) for the rest of eternity.

 

Friday's Finest (5)

Friday’s Finest is a meme hosted by Justine at A Bookful of Thoughts. The rules are:

~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn’t a spoiler!
~If you’d like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.

This week’s quote is from Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I actually read this book a while ago, but I wrote this quote out because it matched so many things so perfectly.Delirium

It’s strange how life works: You want something and you wait and wait and feel like it’s taking forever to come. Then it happens and it’s over and all you want to do is curl back up in that moment before things changed.

Isn’t that so true, especially for teenagers? Thankfully I’ve got a while before graduating high school, but Grade 12 is so frighteningly close. I’m waiting and waiting and waiting for high school to be over (well, sometimes), for this school year to be over, for my mood swings to be over, but this quote made me wonder if after the change finally happened, I’d want to go right back to how things were before.

Like my dad always says (and I think he got it off somewhere) change is the only thing that’s permanent. It sounds like a total paradox but when you think about it, it’s true.

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