Top Ten Tuesday #9: Top Ten Books That Were Difficult to Read

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 8 comments
-Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish which shares bookish lists with others.-



Top Ten Books That Were Difficult to Read

As we all know, some books are so easy to read. I can fly by some in an hour! But then there are the crazy other deep ones that shatter my heart and I will spend days reading because it's difficult. I usually cry in those kind of books. Here are my top ten:

1. Maybe One Day, by Melissa Kantor


Ugh. This ruined my mood because it was the saddest thing in 
the world. Friendship = heart-broken.

2. The Impossible Knife of Memory, by Laurie Halse Anderson


THIS. CRACKED. MY. HEART. IN. HALF. The feelings and emotions that the
characters went through made me realize how hard it is
to handle a situation like that. And the protagonist was all alone for 
the most part. :(


3. Far From You, by Tess Sharpe


One of the best books I've ever read but also one of the saddest.
It left me craving for more but also I had a massive book-hangover.
I was unable to read anything for more than a day because the incidents
just kept coming back to me, reminding me.

4. Faking Normal, by Courtney C. Stevens


Gosh, I devoured this in one sitting! *gushes* But also, it deals with such 
a tough subject but the author mastered it. A character faking normal? Yes.

5. If I Stay, by Gayle Forman


Okay, you all know that this will break your heart. Damn, poor ADAM.

6. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson


I cried like crazy in both the book and the movie. Laurie Halse Anderson x2. 
She makes people depressed every time. 

7. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak


This will leave you on a wrecking ball. 

8. A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness


I read this in less than 2 hours, but the protagonist is a young boy,
and the events that he had to go through were horrible. I felt so bad. :(

9. Looking for Alaska, by John Green


You'll understand why the subject is difficult once the movie is released next year... or the year after? :')

10. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher


I LOOOVVVEEEDD THIS BOOK! Darn, I kind of wish I received the tapes,
because it'd be so heartbreaking and inspirational
at the same time. :)

What were the most difficult books to read in your opinion?


The Lucy Variations, by Sara Zarr Review

Monday, 29 September 2014 2 comments




The Lucy Variations, by Sara Zarr

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 1.5/5 stars

Publication: May 7, 2013, by Little Brown 

Format: Hardcover Edition (borrowed)




Goodreads Summary: Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.

That was all before she turned fourteen.

Now, at sixteen, it's over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano -- on her own terms. But when you're used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?

The Lucy Variations is a story of one girl's struggle to reclaim her love of music and herself. It's about finding joy again, even when things don't go according to plan. Because life isn't a performance, and everyone deserves the chance to make a few mistakes along the way.

Review:

"Climb on the stage stairs. Go to the piano. Sit on the bench; adjust the pedals. Because you're on the program. Momentum. Decisions made for her, performances planned a year in advance. I don't want to go, she'd told her grandmother. You have to, her mother said."

My expectations of reading something by Sara Zarr go lower and lower each time, mainly because I'm disappointed every single time. The Lucy Variations was a book that was like a piano—mellow, and soft. But at the same time, it was very disappointing, and boring whereas nothing was happening for more than half of the novel.


And I surprisingly was surprised with the outcome. 1.5 stars? That's pretty horrible if you ask me. The only reason that I didn't DNF this book was because it was short. I already read half of the book when I realized that it wasn't going anywhere, so I rather would just go on out and finish it and see the outcome. There were some good parts of the book, but I must say the main deal in this review will be negativity.

What this was mainly about was Lucy's regeneration of loving music again. She's sixteen, and her love of music has faded away. She feels like it's a job. Playing the piano is a chore, a job. When she meets her brother's new piano teacher, she finds that she might be able to find what she once lost.

Throughout the whole book, I felt like I was waiting for something to happen, but then it never did.


As soon as I began this book, I had a feeling that it wouldn't end up so amazing as some other people have found it to be. In fact, I'm still sitting here, clueless, wondering what people saw in this.

The plot and concept were both a catastrophe. #SorryNotSorry Something major was missing, and there really was NOTHING HAPPENING! So you may be asking, what was the positive stuff? Characters. 

Lucy—basically. She made me feel sympathy and all, but at the same time, she was such a strong person, but her overall impact didn't make me adore the book, either. She made it worthwhile for a lot of the time, because of her experiences and way she dealt with things. I give her the Oscar and the thumbs up. The rest of the book was a fracture.


I realize that I was in a good mood, and I didn't let this book ruin it, so I went on with finishing it. I didn't like the ending, especially since the rest of the novel wasn't all detailed either. We were just left with knowing nothing, just like we knew nothing about what was going on during the rest of the book. So there, voila. Here you have a disappointing novel that shattered my feelings for this author's books. I wanted something satisfying and fresh.


Stacking the Shelves #10: September 28

Sunday, 28 September 2014 2 comments
Hey, fellow folks! 

Weekends are obviously my favourite time of the week. I am usually really tired from the hectic week before, so it's my chance to sleep, eat, read, and repeat. :) This weekend... I'm planning on reading Heir of Fire! 


*squeals* YAYAYAYAYAY! It's the most wonderful time of the year... Sarah J. Maas time!
---

Last Sunday I actually went to my first bookish event, Word on the Street Toronto—Canada's largest book and literature festival! I totally went above and beyond my usual spending IN A MONTH in one day. xD I had a fantastic time, and here are the pretties that I received!


YES—I GOT ANNA & THE FRENCH KISS PINSSSSS! And people from Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Dutton were there and were selling these guys for amazing prices! I went crazy. $5 for The Boy I Love, which was just released? YES PLEASE.

K.A. Tucker was also there! She was reading out of her newest novel, Five Ways to Fall, and she inspired me to get her goodies! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get my books signed. But I did snag a photo with her while she was reading!

~~

That was WOTS. What about the other pretties I got? This week has been amazing for my book hauls, haha.


I got Tape by Steven Camden from EW to read and review! Ahh it sounds so cute!


And then I was lucky to snag A Little Something Different and YOLO from the library! 


Since I loved Pawn by Aimee Carter, I was the happiest person to receive Captive in the mail! Thank you so much, Harlequin Teen!



That was my crazy bookish-filled week!
What did you receive? What were your highlights?


Fox Forever, by Mary E. Pearson Review

Saturday, 27 September 2014 0 comments


Fox Forever (Jenna Fox Chronicles #3), by Mary E. Pearson

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian, Romance, Science-fiction

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Publication: March 19, 2013, by Henry Holt and Co.

Format: Hardcover (borrowed)




Goodreads Summary: Locke Jenkins has some catching up to do. After spending 260 years as a disembodied mind in a little black box, he has a perfect new body. But before he can move on with his unexpected new life, he’ll have to return the Favor he accepted from the shadowy resistance group known as the Network.

Locke must infiltrate the home of a government official by gaining the trust of his daughter, seventeen-year-old Raine, and he soon finds himself pulled deep into the world of the resistance—and into Raine’s life.

In Fox Forever, Mary E. Pearson brings the story she began in The Adoration of Jenna Fox and continued in The Fox Inheritance to a breathtaking conclusion as Locke discovers that being truly human requires much more than flesh and blood.

Review:

"I'm sure there's a lot you don't know about Raine." He walks over to my side of the desk so he's towering over me, and casually leans against it. "Just as there is so much I don't know about you." "My life's an open book," I tell him. "Anything you want to know, it's out there."

This series has had me captivated from the spot-on moment when I found it. The idea was so promising and I believed that I'd be able to love it from beginning to end. Now that it's all over and done with, I have found to be very disappointed—maybe even so disappointed that I'm sitting, rocking myself back and forth in a corner.

From the looks of the ratings I gave this trilogy, it decreased as it went on. I loved it in the beginning, thought the second was okay, and now really disliked the last one. Mary E. Pearson really lost the power she had going on before. But don't worry, The Kiss of Deception, the first book in her new beautiful series, made up for this, I guess.


As always, this book starts off with a POV of a character who we don't really know much about of. Mary E. Pearson's talent in writing is being mysterious and not letting readers really get to know who is really who.

This is mostly about Locke and Raine, but there are snippets of Jenna. Not much was really going on in the beginning through the middle of the middle, whereas the ending was pretty impressive. Locke is someone who doesn't know who he really is. No, seriously. He wakes up and finds himself in a new perfect body. The world is still used to developing this way, as it did when Jenna's time came around. So now he's about to some criminal work, but instead he falls in love with someone he's not really meant to fall in love with—Raine, the government official's daughter.


YES it is! This was all forbidden love and instalove. I was left going meh and turning to the next corny page sooner than I realized. Coming from an author who's very talented at creating perfect romance, I was shocked. Just look at the other books she's written! Total opposites...

The plot sucked for three quarters of the book. It was pointless, and I really felt like it should've stayed with two books, as a duology? But I guess everyone has different thoughts on it.. It did take a while for me to get to it and become sold to its idea and point—it took way too long.

Locke, Jenna and Raine were reunited! The trio together are so cute! (I always wanted to be part of a trio with a guy and another girl!) You'd think that some jealousy would be sparking up because there was something adorable going on between Raine and Locke, but this wasn't the case. :)

All in all, I was half disappointed and half okay with the way everything turned out to be. 2.5 is basically half of the 5 star rating, eh? I just hope that there won't be mistakes like this one had in other other books! (Mistakes as in plot disruption, I mean.)


Roomies, by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando Review

Friday, 26 September 2014 0 comments



Roomies, by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Chick-lit, Romance

Rating: 3/5 stars

Publication: December 24, 2013, by Little Brown Books

Format: Hardcover (borrowed)




Goodreads Summary: It's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.

Review:

I've read the rare few books that take place in college, and they're usually so cute! (Anna & French Kiss even had that sort of vibe, although it was boarding school!) Sara Zarr has always thoroughly impressed me, and I guess you could say that Roomies was more of a bummer compared to her better "classics."

I'd definitely have to say that this book is full of teen drama and angst:


And really, there are the few people who actually enjoy angst. I'm not one of them. Right when I began reading this, I got the vibe from the characters, especially Lauren. But really, both EB and Lauren were struggling, and their emotions were all over the place. They acted like they didn't care about nothing during all of the book's wild events.

So this reminds me of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, in a way. Lauren and EB hated each other (well they got the feel), and then by the end of this book, they were total besties and more. Imagine what a surprising relationship can do to you. And it's all because of college, the magical place where dreams come true. *says sarcastically*

When Elizabeth gets her soon-to-be roommate's email address, she writes right away, talking about mini-fridges and microwaves. But she instantly gets a vibe telling her that Lauren isn't that willing and friendly to become friends. Sooner than they know it, their relationship through email grows and secrets are revealed. And then with family trouble, they can only count on each other.

The characters were... interesting.


Elizabeth and Lauren were so alike. If you couldn't tell the difference between their POVs, you would never think that they're different people, except for the fact that different names are flowing around and different situations. I guess sometimes in friendship you've got to be alike, or different. Opposites don't always attract from what it seems like.

Really, this book didn't have any special qualities that stood out from regular, mainstream contemporaries. 


The plot was a little boring at times and too round-sided with basically no plot twists or suspense at all, and although that wasn't done the best way, the idea and romance between different characters was enjoyable.

The concept of friendship was perfected. Together, EB and Lauren really fit well, and the romance between them and some guys (won't mention nameeesss!) was a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!

Overall, by the end, I truly realized that this book wasn't filled with all of the feels that I wished it had. I'm looking forward to see what else Sara Zarr has in store for us!


How I Plan to Read it All...!

Thursday, 25 September 2014 11 comments

This week's topic...

How I Plan To Read It All...!


 It's incredibly difficult to manage a reading/blogging/social life at the same time when working or going to school. We read for our passions, and we review for the people so we can either recommend or not recommend a book. It's simple as that. But then again, it's not so simple when thinking about how can we plan to read every book in our shelves. 


As a lot of us do, we receive books in exchange for review. Getting books in the mail is such a pleasure for me—it's unbelievably amazing. Once those review reads begin to pile up with the amount of books that we purchased or were gifted, it all mixes in and the craziness and unmanageable thoughts begin to kick in. So really, as I ask myself this everyday: How is it possible to read it all? How do I plan to read it all, adding the hours of homework and studying in between? 

~~

Because I am a crazy neat-freak and organized person, I MAKE LISTSSSSSSS. Either on my computer or hand-written, every month I write/type out the books that I ASAP need to read that coming month, for publishers or because I WANT TO SO BADLY. 

But do you seriously think that I can get to it all?


I sometimes even miss deadlines for when I need to read a book and then I'm left reading it at the last minute. Well, that's how it used to be.

But I'm finding that I beginning to get the whole time management thing straight. Especially that I'm now in high school (add 100x more homework to the average Elementary school thing), time-management is key to success. *sounds like an old granny*

So I never really answered the question, right? 



How do I plan to read it all? Surviving. Surviving the crazy amount of homework, and just to chill and relax. Organization is key with this, but I really think that you'll need to just go out and realize that reading is a passion, and therefore there'll be no need for stressing over it. Most of us are here for the passion part of it, right? 

I have so many e-ARCs to catch up on, it's not even funny anymore and I'm literally embarrassed to death to even speak of the number that I have waiting to be read on my Kindle. So I was originally planning on reading 1 regular book and then 1 ARC, but it hasn't gone that way... yet. For now, I'm just reading what I feel like, and in those terms, ARCs are definitely part of that. Go with the flow, I guess?

But I guess those are my way of doing things. So go ahead and read the way you want to using your strategies. Make a list, go with the flow, randomize it. Basically, we all know that there're too many books, and too little time.

Hmmph. I wish there were 50 hours in a day. :'D

So tell me—how do you, wonderful person, plan on
reading it all? 


The Here and Now, by Ann Brashares Review

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 4 comments



The Here and Now, by Ann Brashares

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Time-Traveling, Romance

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Publication: April 8, 2014, by Delacorte Press

Format: Hardcover Edition (borrowed)





Goodreads Summary: An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins. 

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. 

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves. 

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year.

Review:

*sighs* This is going to be a very difficult review to write, as my senses tell me. *twirls mustachio* 

Ann Brashares was my favourite author since I was 9. I actually read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants when I was 9, and fell in love with it instantly. To this day, I am glad to admit that it was one of the first books that truly got me to fall in love with YA literature. I soon went onto the next three books, laughing and crying with Ann's four protagonists who changed my life with just a pair of blue jeans. 

From then on, I couldn't wait to read more from this spectacular author. Finding out that she was going to be releasing a new standalone in 2014, I literally was squealing.



But now after this whole situation, I'm in a very un-squealing moment. I feel like bawling instead of squealing. Coming from past experiences with Ann's writing, I was expecting something bigger and better and more inspiring. Instead, we've gotten a contemporary-romance mixed with time-traveling which all reminded me of Star-Crossed, the TV show. This is a very Starcrossed-wannabe, I must admit. 


But then again, it was unique for the fact that it explored the concept of time-traveling. We seriously rarely get that. I can't even remember the last time-traveling book I've read before this one. Now, Ms. Brashares, that is something you found well and did well with this book.

Now—the plot. Ethan Jarves was living a normal, ordinary life, until he fell for Prenna James. Prenna is not your ordinary new-girl. She's new, new from a completely different time period way into the future, where she time-travelled back into time (2012, was it?) because of a mosquito-borne illness that has turned into a pandemic. Now, she is in the past with a group of people that she can trust who have went through the same situation. They cannot reveal who they are, where they're from, and anything about their "past" lives. That's all that goes on until Prenna and James become closer, and Prenna's secret may have to slip.

Yes, this is also kind of like another Twilight, same old paranormal/fantasy stories that we hear about. This time around, it's gender-reversed. So the girl this time is with the secret. 

You can easily predict what will happen in this book. Boy meets girl, girl meets boy, girl has a huge secret that she cannot tell anybody, it's instalove, aka love at first sight, they become closer although the girl knows that she shouldn't, secret comes out because girl feels like it has to, boy is okay with it but shocked at the same time, girl feels safe that the boy "can protect her," drama and stuff happens and they're separated and everyone's pissed off at the girl for telling, they calm down and make sure that the boy won't tell, boy and girl live happily ever after. That was one of the longest sentences I've ever used, haha. If you're thinking that the long sentence above may describe what this book is about, then you're correct! *says in the voice we hear in gameshows*

It's almost exactly what I've described about. And I guess you can say that that was the way Twilight was planned out, too. 


So the plot was blasted downhill, as you can tell. No sorts of originality was found, at least for me! There were hints of dystopia and mystery in it, but for the most part, this was a contemporary-romance with a darker-scifi way to it. 

The plot was thin, I got bored easily because I knew what was going to happen and it was all predictable... So you may ask—why keep reading then? My answer: Because I wanted to keep giving it a try and because Ann Brashares cannot let me down. Period. Ta da. That's my answer. I couldn't stand to DNF it. DNF-ing books cracks my heart in half, and it stays that way for the rest of my life until I find a book that is worth more than the usual 5 star rating!
The good side of things *hears angels singing* were the characters. I can't say I loved Ethan, but he was not bad. He made good decisions, didn't act as stupidly as I thought he would in his situation, and he made the whole Prethan ship go pretty smoothly and cute. Prenna was all kick-ass and tough, just the way I want a girl like her in her situation to be. So, for that, high fives to them and their gorgeous romance! (THE FEELS)

Yeah, I must admit I clenched the book so hard that I literally was about to crack it because I wanted them to be together. *smiles weirdly* I couldn't let my ship sink! 

So here we are, at the end. The book ended okay, not as predictable as I thought it would. Ann gave us a little twist at the end to keep me happy, but I wasn't as happy as I wish I'd become! 

If you trust my opinion, then I must say that the reviews are correct for the most part. Stick to the negative reviews, they all have a point. I really don't recommend this book to much, for the part that the plot was strongly crushed because of its idea and predictability. Want something like Twilight? Good luck with this. :)

Top Ten Tuesday #8: Top Ten Books on My Fall To-Be-Read List

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 10 comments
 -Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish which shares bookish lists with others.-

TOP TEN READS ON MY FALL TBR LIST

   So now that it is officially fall/autumn over here in the Northern Hemisphere (Happy Spring to you wonderful others!) we all realize that this is the season of upcoming reads, and hey! Christmas is 2 and a half months away! *cheers* More books for me! Here are the ten books that I really need to get that are releasing in the coming months/weeks!

1. The Young Elites—Marie Lu (October 7)



        Legend was life, Marie Lu's books are life! I've been dying to snag myself an early copy of this beautiful, but no luck. Anyone care to lend me theirs? 

 2. Talon—Julie Kagawa (October 28)



         I LOVE DRAGONS. I didn't really enjoy Julie's other series (The Iron Fey) but all I need to hear is "dragons" to captivate me. It's so beautiful, like a Christmas present!
   

  3. This Shattered World—Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (December 23)


      I don't care that it's TWO DAYS AFTER AUTUMN IS OVER. This book deserves to me handed and evened out in every list. that. is. possible. :)

     4. Black Ice—Becca Fitzpatrick (October 7)



        SOCLOSE TO GETTING AN ARC OF THIS. But instead, I decided to go with The Bane Chronicles and Afterworlds. Tee hee.

     5. Zodiac—Romina Russell (December 9)



             Dystopian perfection, crazy positive reviews—that's mainly it. ;)

       6. Atlantia—Ally Condie (October 28)



                Ally Condie is absolutely majestic—like a pony. I WANT THIS SOOO BADLY. 

        7. Lailah—Nikki Kelly (October 7)



                 Why does everyone have an ARC of this except me? :'( You hoggers! *sends hugs in desperation*

     8. A Thousand Pieces of You—Claudia Gray (November 4)


                     *stares at the cover anxiously* Oh, hey there! *wacks out of imaginary world*

             

             9. Snow Like Ashes—Sara Raasch (October 14)




                     A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making? YAAASS.

   10. The Retribution of Mara Dyer—Michelle Hodkin (November 4)



                  I NEED NOAH AND HIS BEAUTY. MY BAAABBY! 


That's all for me, folks! What are your ASAP reads on your fall TBR?