Category Archives: Review

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Title: Awaken
Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Pages: Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Date Published: May 23rd 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
My Rating: 

Maddielives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to goto school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s reallyno need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—untilshe meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physicalcloseness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, hetells her.
Suddenly,Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is adifferent, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling herotherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if shewants to change the path her life is taking.
Inthis not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their ownspace.
My Review
When I first readthe summary for this book I was ecstatic to read it because since I lovetechnology I really wanted to go into a world where everything was based off ofthat. Once I began reading I started realizing it was going in a differentdirection than what I expected. Don’t get me wrong though, the idea was there,the story was quite interesting, there was just things missing in my opinion.The characters were great and it was good imagination I will give it that. I’llbe honest and say that it might be a great book for someone other than me, inwhich case I encourage anyone to give it a try.
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 17, 2012 in 3 Stars, Review


Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent (Divergent #1)
Author: Veronica Roth
Pages: Hardcover 489 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Date Published: May 3rd 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction
My Rating: 

Beatrice”Tris” Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage atwhich teenagers in Veronica Roth’s dystopian Chicago must select which of fivefactions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor,Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and herselfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Herchoice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group,but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortaldanger. Veronica Roth’s young adult Divergent trilogy launches with acaptivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extremecircumstances.
My Review
Not my favoritebook but does deserve five stars because it really was great. Many comparedthis to The Hunger Game and I can seewhy. They are very different books but it gives you that same feeling of thecharacters having no other choice but to live by what society has planned foryou. You can say, “well it sounds like any other dystopian story” but it’s alittle more than that. Oh and also that “I can’t stop reading it” feeling. Bythe way, if you have not read The HungerGames yet you have not lived. Back to Divergent,it had great characters and good twists. The romance was not overworkedlike most YA books. There was plenty of action. It was also perfectly pacedwhich is something you have to appreciate because it is one thing not everyauthor can accomplish so effortlessly.
Another book Icould not put down. Excited for the second book to come out!
I recommend thisbook to everyone. I believe there is a little something for everyone in thisstory.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 12, 2011 in 5 Stars, Debut Author Challenge, Review


The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

Title: The Water Wars
Author: Cameron Stracher
Pages: Hardcover 240 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Date Published: January 1st 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
My Rating: 

Veraand her brother, Will, live in the shadow of the Great Panic, in a country thathas collapsed from environmental catastrophe. Water is hoarded by governments,rivers are dammed, and clouds are sucked from the sky. But then Vera befriendsKai, who seems to have limitless access to fresh water. When Kai suddenlydisappears, Vera and Will set off on a dangerous journey in search ofhim-pursued by pirates, a paramilitary group, and greedy corporations. Timelyand eerily familiar, acclaimed author Cameron Stracher makes a stunning YAdebut that’s impossible to forget. 

“Letus pray that the world which Cameron Stracher has invented in The Water Wars is testament solely tohis pure, wild, and brilliant imagination, and not his ability to see thefuture. I was parched just reading it.”-Laurie David, academy awardwinning producer of An InconvenientTruth, and author of The Downto Earth Guide to Global Warming
My Review
When I first readwhat this book was about I was eager to read it until I actually got to readingit then I had a lot of thoughts on it, some not so great. I will start of abouthow it made me feel… thirsty, really thirsty. Stracher made it possible for meto crave water, the way he explained the shortage of water and the way thecharacters were described, lips chapped and at the point of dehydration, I haveto say it was pretty intense, made me think about real life and how we mightnot be using water properly. That was probably the good part of the book, howthe author can make you feel a certain way and so extremely. Now I want to talkabout the so-so portion of the book. There was so much action, if you are intoaction filled book, this might be for you. In my opinion there was way too muchaction, so much that it was really improbable, which was disappointing becausethe topic of the lack of water was so realistic it was even easy to connectthen you get all this action that you get in corny movies in which you think toyourself, “how does that happen? Is that even possible? No one can have thatmuch luck. If it was real life they would have already been dead.” A lot ofaction in which I waited for something important to happen but nothing ever did,it just went from action to more action and so on. This book was not exactlymade for me but it was not so bad.
I recommend thisbook to anyone into action filled stories and into the dystopian genre.
1 Comment

Posted by on November 2, 2011 in 2.5 Stars, Debut Author Challenge, Review


Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Title: Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen
Pages: Paperback 335 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Date Published: April 9th 2006
Genre: Literature, Historical Fiction, Romance
My Rating: 

Though he may not speak of them, the memories stilldwell inside Jacob Jankowski’s ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories ofhimself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home tothe Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filledwith freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a worldwith its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way ofdeath. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a livinghell.

Jacob was there because his luck had run out – orphanedand penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive ‘ship offools’. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in thisthird-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of theequestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, ahandsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was therebecause she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be thesalvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn’t have an act – infact, she couldn’t even follow instructions. The bond that grew among thisunlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hopefor survival.
My Review
Aninety-something year old remembering his days working for a circus during TheGreat Depression.  Doesn’t sound asinteresting? Yeah that is what I thought until I read it and it was more thanjust a book to me.
This book hasjoined My Favorites list. I was not expecting much from this book; actually Iexpected to not like it. I only read it because the movie was coming out but Iseriously fell in love with it. A well-written and well-researched book. Veryunique and I really enjoy knowing that I learned a couple of things from itsince it is based on true historic events and I will admit I am not a bighistory fan so this helped me get into it.
I recommend thisbook to everyone, it is definitely a must read!
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 22, 2011 in 5 Stars, Review


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1) by Stieg Larsson

Title: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1)
Author: Stieg Larsson
Translator: Reg Keeland
Pages: Hardcover 465 pages
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday
Date Published: September 16th 2008
Genre: Mystery, Mystery Crime, Suspense
My Rating: 

Once you start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there’sno turning back. This debut thriller–the first in a trilogy from the lateStieg Larsson–is a serious page-turner rivaling the best of Charlie Huston andMichael Connelly. Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist,watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appearbleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name isextended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch–and there’salways a catch–is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching amysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades.With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator LisbethSalander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is asit seems in Larsson’s novel, but there is at least one constant: you reallydon’t want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.
–Dave Callanan
My Review
Mikael Blomkvistis a journalist one day and another he is hired to be a private investigatorbut isn’t quite sure what it is he should be investigating since his case hasalready been investigated by police and has been unsolved for nearly fortyyears. Later on he gets help from an incredible computer hacker with bigissues, Lisbeth Salander.
This book washard to begin; it was a little slow at the beginning and only picked up ataround one third through it. I actually really liked it, but I didn’t read itall at once, I did pause for a month or two. Great plot and characters. It wassuspenseful and interesting. I am not a big fan of Mystery Crime novels becausethey seem a little boring to me but this book was different maybe because it iseasier to connect to these characters than with other ones in other MysteryCrime books, at least in my opinion. Lisbeth Salander is such a fascinatingcharacter it is hard not to like her. Once you read this book you will beshocked at the types of problems she is in and you won’t help but feel bad forher. Larsson isn’t afraid to be explicit; there will be a couple of things thatmight shake you.
I recommend thisto anyone that is into the Mystery Crime genre and to anyone that is willing toread something different.
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 12, 2011 in 4 Stars, Review


Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Wither (The Chemical Garden #1)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Pages: Hardcover 358 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’sPublishing
Date Published: March 22nd 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
My Rating: 

Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Geneticmutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less formost women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated inpolygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old RhineEllery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to breakloose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challengeshe can only hope she will survive. A dystopian fantasy series starter withwings. Editor’s recommendation.
Better summary of the book go here!
My Review
Amazing.Absolutely, remarkable.
What a strangebook. By strange I mean this book goes nowhere but goes everywhere at the sametime. Confusing, I know. The setting of this story pretty much stays the samethroughout the whole book, you don’t go on an adventure like most in most booksbut this story proves that you don’t need to! From the beginning this book capturesthe reader’s attention, from there on you become part of the story. I seriouslyfelt I was there with the characters in that house, even felt imprisoned. Ifelt seriously connected with this book.
The only thing Ididn’t like about this book was the guy characters, Gabriel I can stand but Istill feel he was missing something but I really can’t handle Linden, I reallydislike his character he annoys me and even grosses me out I have no idea why.I like the rest of the characters, each one is very unique, my favorite isJenna, and even Linden’s father is an interesting character. This book wasdifferent, besides the love triangle, there is no book like it, the story wasmorbid at times, I just loved it.
Okay one lastthing, out of all the books I’ve read I have only cried with at the most three,not even One Day made me cry, itshard for me to get emotional with just anything, but this book had a sectionwhere I couldn’t help it, it was way too sad and unexpected.
I recommend thisbook to EVERYONE!

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Title: Beastly
Author: Alex Flinn
Pages: Hardcover 304 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date Published: October 1st 2007
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
My Rating: 

I am a beast. A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorillaor dog, but a horrible new creature who walks upright – a creature with fangsand claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place isNew York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay thisway forever – ruined – unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English classcast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls bynight? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guyyou wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and a perfect life. And then,I’ll tell you how I became perfectly beastly.
My Review
For starters I will admit this book was not for me. Ireally believed it was of my taste but once I read it I realized it wasn’t. Itis a temporary version of Beauty and the Beast and I was really excited to readit. The book is small but it took me a while to finish it, I’m guessing it wasbecause it wasn’t seizing my attention. It was a good story and I understandwhy a lot of people liked it. It had its romance and its moral but it justwasn’t for me. I’m not going to say it was a bad book because it wasn’t, I amsure many of you will like it. It had a good little twist at the end that was prettyclever. I know this review was way too short but I hope you enjoy this book alittle more than I did.
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 29, 2011 in 2.5 Stars, Review