Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book Review: Crescendo

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Hush, Hush #2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: October 19, 2010
Pages: 427
Read it in: 5 days
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Summary: Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever and even worse, he's started spending time with Nora's arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadnt been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feeling that he's hiding something.

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperately searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts.

LC's Take:

Let me start off by saying that I loved Hush, Hush. Like I couldn't even believe how much I enjoyed it, because it isn't the typical kind of book that I fall in love with. I was definitely hooked by the end, so I had to read the second. But Crescendo? Well, I was not quite as big a fan.

The main reason that Crescendo was sort of (really) difficult to get through was because I didn't like the characters nearly as much as I had in the first book-- especially Patch. Also, I didn't think that the plot was paced well at all. About 90% of the action and explanation for what was going on took place within the last 2-3 chapters of the book, and the other 300 pages were basically a bunch of angsty, drama-filled fluff, full of Nora running around aimlessly in circles and making stupid decisions. By the end, I was left more confused as to what was going on than I was at the beginning!

Crescendo basically picks up where Hush, Hush left off. Nora now has a super-sexy personal guardian angel who also happens to be her boyfriend and things are going great until Nora's arch-nemesis Marcie Millar steps into the picture. Around this time, Nora also realizes that someone is possibly trying to kill her, but she's not sure who. Soon she has no idea whom she can and can't trust anymore, while the story behind her dad's death comes back to haunt her.

As I said, I really couldn't stand any of the characters in this book-- and Patch was at the top of my poop list. First, he starts hanging around with Marcie, completely ignoring Nora and treating her like she's five years old. I mean granted, half the time she does act like she's five years old, but still! He remains cold and aloof, keeping her in the dark about pretty much everything and acting like an ass the rest of the time for no apparent reason-- jeez, no wonder the girl was going crazy running around in circles for 400 pages! But then Nora also drove me insane-- it's like she was destined to do everything in the very dumbest way possible. Like, give her the pick of what to do next, and guaranteed she picked the very worst option every freaking time. This got to be extremely annoying.

Then, enter the new character, Scott Parnell. I wasn't much a fan of Scott either, as he was kind of a jerk and definitely a creeper. By the end of the book we do have some important information revealed about Scott, which sort of redeems him, but he still wasn't a very likable character in my opinion. Which is too bad, because with all the annoying behavior coming from Patch and Nora, it would have been refreshing to have a likable new character enter the scene.

And man oh man, then there was the ending. Really? I mean, really?? Here are just a few things that I couldn't stand about the ending, without giving too much away:
  • At a certain point, a certain someone is physically grabbing Nora and dragging her away with him. Now, both of them are out in public in the middle of an amusement park. Nora is screaming for someone to help her. They are in a CROWD of people. And no one does anything! Like, the whole time they're arguing and Nora is telling him repeatedly to leave her alone, and she's crying out for help and NO ONE moves. Somebody actually laughs. What?! The girl is being physically assaulted!! And no one does anything?? I'm sorry, but this is so freaking unrealistic. In real life somebody would have come to her rescue! I'm sorry, but you can't conveniently leave a big plot hole like that just to move on to the next part of the story and expect me to overlook it or forget about it.
  • After about 300 pages of aimless and unexplained plot, we have the classic case of the Big Bad Guy standing around with a long-winded, point by point explanation of who did what and how it was all done. In like, 2 pages, we get a blow-by-blow that gives you a freaking headache by the time it's done. I HATE when books end like this-- it's so cheesy and not at all believable, not to mention it makes my brain feel like it's about to explode from the information overload. Also, the villain ceases to be remotely scary or intimidating when he's sitting there explaining in excessive detail all his genius plans-- especially when his success or failure hinges on bumping off the main character as soon as possible! He's not going to spend 20 minutes explaining how he did everything! ARGH!!
  • Going back to that last point, I have to reiterate just how much I dislike having to read through an entire book, aimlessly following the main character who uselessly runs around trying to figure things out with hardly any explanation for what is going on, and then having a ton of information dumped on me in the last 30 pages. I was royally confused. I still don't completely understand the connection between the Archangels, the Fallen Angels and the Nephilim, or who is good or bad, or what exactly happened between Nora's dad and Hank Millar, or what the heck was going on between Patch and Marcie (WHY didn't Nora read the dang diary?!), or what exactly the Black Hand's motive is... The plot holes and loose ends had me positively reeling.
  • What reward do we get after slogging our way through over 400 agonizing pages of drama, angst, stupid choices, unanswered questions and confusing plot? A freaking cliff-hanger. Thank you, Becca. Thank you oh so much.
  • The fallen angels built the amusement park. HUH??? Why people? Just why??
So anyways, overall I guess you could say I didn't like this sequel nearly as much as I liked Hush, Hush. The reason that I ended up giving it three stars instead of less is because overall I still like the story-- if Cresendo was a stand alone book however, it would not have gotten such a generous rating. I am still planning on reading Silence, since I've heard from other readers that the third book is much better than the second. I really want to see this series get better. And even though Crescendo was pretty much a flop for me, I still feel invested enough in the story at this point to continue with it. My fingers are crossed!

~Cover Talk~

I really like the cover for Crescendo, although not quite as much as I like the one for Hush, Hush. I think that this is a great portrait of Nora, very romantic. Once again, I really like the black and white with the touches of red, I think it creates some pretty intense drama!

LC's Rating:
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I didn't like this one as much as I liked Hush, Hush. First of all, the characters were not nearly as likable, and also, I didn't like how all the action and plot was shoved into the last 20 pages of the book! Definitely hoping that the next in this series is better...


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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (23)

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For those who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme where we get to let everyone know about what books we are eagerly anticipating the release of. WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. Want to participate? Grab the logo on her page, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link on her blog!
*****
This week's Waiting on Wednesday pick is...

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 24, 2012

Summary: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

~Why I'm Waiting~

Well, first oh-my-goodness the cover! I could seriously sit and stare at that cover all day, drooling over that dress. Then, there is the story-- a competition between 35 girls to win a crown?! This sounds like it is going to be amazing! I am so intrigued by this synopsis, and honestly cannot wait to get my hands on this book.

Leave me a link so I can go check out your WoW posts for this week too! Happy Reading everyone :)
PS!
If you haven't entered my 1,000 follower giveaway, click the button here-- there are only 2 days left!

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Review: Wildefire

Author: Karsten Knight
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: Wildefire #1
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Pages: 393
Read it in: 3 days
Source: The Library

Summary: Every flame begins with a spark.

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

LC's Take:

Yep, so in a nutshell, I was not a fan of this book. Like, at all.

My main issue with Wildefire was that I didn't like the main character.

Wait, scratch that-- I could not stand the main character.

Wait, scratch that again-- I wish the main character had taken a running dive off of a cliff and spontaneously combusted in mid-free fall, or met any other catastrophe a la Wile E. Coyote.

Like so: 
Yes, that's how much I detested Ashline Wilde-- I had to whip out some visuals of her cartoon-ish demise.

Why? Well, first of all she was violent and abusive, and walked all over everyone and treated them like crap. She was super-aggressive and mean and made me wish someone would slap her into next week. Because of this, she was impossible to relate to or sympathize with.

Not to mention, she was absolutely, positively crazy. Let me elaborate on this point by saying that, in the prologue, Ashline beats up some girl that supposedly "stole" her boyfriend-- she actually punches the girl so hard that she's knocked unconscious and loses a tooth. Now, this begs the question, why didn't Ashline confront her unfaithful, loser boyfriend first instead of taking out her rage on the girl? And second, um hello! She just committed serious physical assault! And you now want me to be on this girl's side?! She's a psycho! I'm not on her side, she should be headed to a JV detention center for crying out loud! Not cool.

Her craziness continued throughout the book with many random outbursts, leaving me thinking, "um... ok?" And finally, she just wasn't girly. If her name wasn't Ashline, I would've sworn she was a dude. Which made me wonder, why didn't Karsten Knight just make his protagonist a boy? Since he is a guy himself, he would have been able to create a much more believable protag. All in all, Ashline just came across as both unbelievable as a character and really nasty as a person, so I never felt any connection to her in the story. In fact, I was sort of rooting against her.

I wish I could say that the secondary characters made up for Ashline's complete douche-baggery, but they were equally nasty, annoying and immature. The only one I liked somewhat was Colt, but I still couldn't understand for the life of me why he was so smitten with Ashline, who was beyond obnoxious and belittled him every chance she got. The guy doted on her like a love-sick puppy. Really?! Nope, not buying it. Ashline was a real you-know-what. In real life, he would've ditched her without a second thought.

Call me a wimp, but I also wasn't a big fan of all the gratuitous violence thrown into the story, much of which seemed pretty unnecessary, especially the prologue and the whole fiasco with Lizzie Jacobs. Maybe that's just me, but really, you are going to be pretty hard-pressed getting me to like a character who commits serious physical assault within the first few pages of the book. Yeah. Major turn off.

Next on the list: The dialogue between the characters was positively dripping with sarcasm and undisguised venom, also for no apparent reason. Now I don't mind a little snark here and there, that livens up the interactions between the characters, but having every line be some biting comment or come back? Nobody talks like that first of all, at least not anyone that I know, and second it comes across as very forced and artificial. It was like, how cruddy and mean can we make these characters without them actually killing each other off? I definitely got annoyed with the mean-spirited, heavy-handed sarcasm after awhile.

Finally, and I've heard other people say this too but I had the same experience-- it took me a long time to really get into this story. There just wasn't a whole lot to keep me interested until a little over halfway through the book. Unfortunately by that point, I was so fed up with the characters that I didn't really care anymore anyways.

So altogether, this book was a fail for me. Not only wasn't I invested in any of the characters, I couldn't stand them. The sarcastic dialogue got really old about half-way through the story and finally, I didn't think that the graphic violence did anything for the plot. The one redeeming aspect of this book was the ending-- not just because it meant I could stop reading, but it was admittedly quite the cliffhanger. I think that for anyone who did enjoy this book and the characters, it was the perfect ending to entice them into reading the next one.

Unfortunately-- and this probably won't come as a big surprise-- I won't be reading the sequel.

~Cover Talk~

I think that this cover is very intriguing, not to mention very beautiful. It's also different, and I like that it relates to the story without being too literal of a translation. Hmmm... I wish I had liked the actual book as much as I like the cover!

LC's Rating:
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The main reason that I disliked this book was because of how thoroughly unlikable the characters were. This, along with the bad dialogue and unnecessary violence, really turned me off of this book.


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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Book Review: Hush, Hush

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Series: Hush, Hush #1
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Pages: 391
Read it in: 2 days
Source: The Library

Summary: 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.

LC's Take:

Oh. My. Gosh. Seriously?? I LOVED this book!! I almost feel guilty for how much I loved this book, because I honestly thought I would hate it. But here I am, could not put it down, read it in about 2 sittings, and am dying to get my hands on the next in the series. Now, this was unexpected!

I know, I know. This is one of those controversial books that everyone has drawn a line on, and then taken love or hate sides. And honestly, I went into this book *slightly* biased (Lauren Kate's Fallen series sort of turned my stomach against the fallen angel genre) but then lo and behold, it totally suckered me in and didn't let me go until the last pages-- I loved it.

What's more, I loved pretty much all of the characters, and was absolutely on Nora's side the entire way through the story. Some people have said that Nora Gray is worse than Bella Swan. I beg to differ-- I thought she had an intelligent voice, she had courage and vulnerability, and she had an interesting point of view to read the story through. I didn't even find her internal struggle about her feelings for Patch to be annoying, in fact, I completely sympathized with her. Finally, I loved the fact that she was just your regular, everyday girl but she wasn't flat or boring. I really liked Nora.

And obviously, I need to spend a few minutes talking about Patch Cipriano. Holy Moly. I cannot even describe how freaking hott Patch was. And trust me, I am not one to go all gaga-eyed fan girl on  lots of boy love interests, but I make an exception for Patch. Ah, Patch... He's so wrong, he's right. (Wow, that was cheesy lol). He's the quintessential mysterious bad boy who you just can't help but swoon over. And boy, did I ever. Loved Patch!

The story itself had me so that I literally could not put this book down until I finished-- I started it yesterday, got about three quarters through last night, and finished it first thing this morning. The whole thing took a few hours to read, and I loved every minute of it. There was steamy romance, mystery and suspense, action, drama and pretty much every other amazing thing you could cram into a YA novel. It wasn't Shakespeare by any means, but there was never a dull moment and like I said, I really loved the characters. Hush, Hush totally took me by surprise and was definitely one big guilty pleasure from start to finish!

~Cover Talk~

Seriously, how hott is this cover? Cannot even stop staring at it. Like you needed to give me yet another reason to be head over heels in love with Patch, right?! I think the black and white effect with the traces of blood red was a good choice too, since it just amps up the drama even more. Definitely cover love with this one!

LC's Rating:
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Absolute love. I was a total sucker for this book. I almost feel guilty for liking it so much, especially since I sort of understand other people's caveats with it. In the end though? I could not put it down and I want more-- now!


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Friday, November 18, 2011

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs
Publisher: Quirk Publishing
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Pages: 352
Read it in: 3 days
Source: The library

Summary: A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

LC's Take:

I absolutely HAD to read this book. As a sucker for anything creepy, bizarre, or otherwise strange and phantasmagoric, I had this one on my TBR list from the moment I saw that disturbingly odd little girl levitating on the cover. Add to the fact that the story centers around an abandoned orphanage on a mysterious island?? Yup, I was all about it.

Jacob has just lost his grandfather. At 16 years old, all Jacob has left are memories of the fantastical, sometimes horrifying, stories that his grandfather used to tell him as a child, and the last words his grandfather uttered-- clues to the real story Jacob never knew. Now Jacob wonders if the nightmarish monsters his grandfather spoke of were not just metaphors for the Nazi soldiers that killed his family, but real monsters that still exist somewhere...  and whether they are out to get him like they got his grandfather.

I'm actually not really sure what to say about this one. It's not that I didn't like it, but I had pretty much the same reaction to it as everyone else: it just was not at all what I had been expecting. I think the main problem is that people going into this book are like me-- they saw that extremely creepy cover and flipped through to see some equally creepy old photos and thought that this book was going to be scare-your-pants-off terrific, but then when you get into the actual story it just... wasn't. Definitely no scary-pants-action going on here.

And honestly, it's not that the story was bad-- there was a lot of suspense, some romance, some folklore, some mild creepiness with the villains. But I went into this book expecting something totally different. The kids were not creepy. And I was looking for creepy ghost children. I was looking for a story that gave me chills and shivers and made me jump every time I heard a noise while reading. What I got instead was a good story, but it fell a little flat next to what I had worked myself up to experience.

The concept was really great, and I loved how the pictures were incorporated into the story. That was such an incredibly unique and awesome idea, and it definitely kept me interested throughout the book. The story told through Jacob's voice was very real, incredible funny, and I loved all the uncensored snark and raw emotion that came through from his perspective. Jacob's point of view really made this story come alive for me.

In the end, I was a bit disappointed with this book, despite some great characters and an interesting premise. I really needed this story to amp-up the creepiness factor because I had been expecting a bone-chilling ghost story and got something very different instead. Not bad, just not totally living up to my expectations.

~Cover Talk~

Seriously one of the most intriguing covers I have ever seen. If I was walking past this book, I would stop dead in my tracks to pick it up and see what it was about, even if I was running late to be somewhere. It would be like an involuntary reflex, that's how awesome this cover is. That picture of the levitating girl with the creepy face is so haunting, and the pics on the back of the book are even more nightmarish-- like, super scary! I wish that the story had the same creep-out factor as some of the photos did.


LC's Rating:
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A good story with a good premise that unfortunately fell slightly flat for me. I was expecting a very scary, creepy story with freaky ghost children, and got something totally different. It wasn't bad, just unexpected. I did really like the mix of old photos with the story! Altogether, still a unique and intriguing book.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (22)

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For those who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme where we get to let everyone know about what books we are eagerly anticipating the release of. WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. Want to participate? Grab the logo on her page, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link on her blog!
*****

This week's Waiting on Wednesday pick is...

Title: Night School
Author: Christy Daugherty
Publisher: Atom
Release Date: January 2012
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Summary: Allie Sheridan's world is falling apart. She hates her school. Her brother has run away from home. And she's just been arrested.

Again.

This time her parents have finally had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to a boarding school for problem teenagers.

But Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. Its rules are strangely archaic. It allows no computers or phones. Its students are an odd mixture of the gifted, the tough and the privileged. And then there's the secretive Night School, whose activities other students are forbidden even to watch.

When Allie is attacked one night the incident sets off a chain of events leading to the violent death of a girl at the summer ball. As the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, Allie must learn who she can trust. And what's really going on at Cimmeria Academy.

~Why I'm Waiting~

I have a major weakness for covers with redheads on them, let me just say that first. I know, I'm biased in this way, being a redhead myself, but I can't help it! They draw me in before I even realize it. But then, I also really like the mystery and sexiness of this cover in general. The story may or may not end up being to my liking, depending on how the author approaches the overdone boarding school genre. I definitely think it's possible to take a subject or setting that has been done ad nauseum and turn it into something fresh and new, so we'll have to see! Also, I do like reading books that take place at schools. And that little "hook" written on the cover is definitely intriguing! I wonder what exactly is going on at this school and what Allie is going to find out?

Leave me a link so I can go check out your WoW posts for this week too! Happy Reading everyone :)

PS!

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Book Review: Luminous

Author: Dawn Metcalf
Publisher: Dutton Childrens Books
Release Date: July 7, 2011
Pages: 371
Read it in: 3 days
Source: The Library

Summary: As reality slips and time stands still, Consuela finds herself thrust into the world of the Flow. Removed from all she loves into this shifting world overlapping our own, Consuela quickly discovers she has the power to step out of her earthly skin and cloak herself in new ones-skins made from the world around her, crafted from water, fire, air. She is joined by other teens with extraordinary abilities, bound together to safeguard a world they can affect, but where they no longer belong.

When murder threatens to undo the Flow, the Watcher charges Consuela and elusive, attractive V to stop the killer. But the psychopath who threatens her new world may also hold the only key to Consuela's way home.

LC's Take:

I like to think of Luminous as a very unique piece of modern art-- you're either going to love it or hate it, and everyone is going to interpret it differently. Now, I actually fall on the side of people who loved this book-- I thought it was creative, different, kind of bizarre, and always surprising!

Consuela Chavez is just your typical teenager-- until one night while she's in the tub, she finds out that she has the ability to step out of her own skin-- quite literally, she can pull it off like she's taking off a sweater-- and put on new skins made of fire, air, and water. I know, kind of creepy, huh? Stepping out of her bathroom, Consuela finds herself sucked into "The Flow," a kind of alternate reality where others with special abilities like her exist in order to save people from untimely deaths. However, once in The Flow, Consuela has no way to get back out and go home. To make matters worse, people start mysteriously dying in The Flow, and Consuela is the only one who can stop the killer.

The best parts about this book were the concepts it presented and the mood it created for the reader. The entire story brings you into this dreamy, almost trance-like state, where it's difficult to tell which end is up. The ideas that it explores were very metaphysical, like, what is the purpose of life? What comes after death? What is the standard for morality? What makes a person good or bad? The thought-provoking questions underneath the layers of imagery and imagination of The Flow had me completely wrapped up in this book.

The one thing that made Luminous difficult to grasp was that the plot and the setting were not clearly defined-- I don't even know how to describe The Flow or what it really was, and the series of events that took place were very much like when you dream-- one minute you're there, the next you're inexplicable somewhere else. I liked how this really gave you the feeling that you were in a dream, but at the same time, it made it tricky to pinpoint exactly what was going on.

I had actually already read a few reviews for Luminous before I read it, so I had a pretty good idea of what the book would be like. Which is probably a good thing, because it's one of those books that is just so wacky and bizarre, that if I went in totally unsuspecting, my first reaction to Chapter 1 would probably have been: What the CRAP is going on!?! Haha but anyways, I knew going in that this book was going to be very different than any others I've yet read. I really did enjoy it, and thought that Luminous was daring, unexpected and creative. I would definitely give it a try!

~Cover Talk~

I've heard mixed reactions about this book cover. Some say it's absolutely stunning. Some say it looks like Photoshop threw up. I for one, really like it. In fact, I was so in love with this cover, it was the number one reason I read the book, that's just how much I like it. It's one of those covers that if it was sitting on the shelf alongside a hundred others, it would make me stop and pick it up without even thinking. The colors, the patterns, the butterflies-- I don't know, I just really love it! And the back and insides of the jacket cover are just as beautiful.

LC's Rating:
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Luminous was a super-crazy, very imaginative book like no other I have ever read! Go into this one with an open mind and appreciate the unique concepts and vivid imagery that it presents. I think you will enjoy it if you don't mind something a little different every once in awhile!


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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Follow Me Friday (22)


First a quick promo...
 
OK guys, first thing's first-- if you didn't know, I have reached 1,000 followers, and that means GIVEAWAY TIME!! Be sure to click on the image above, or click HERE to enter yourself in my 1,000 Follower Giveaway, where you can win your choice of some amazing book Prize Packs!! Good luck to everyone! 

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This week's Follow Friday question:
In light of 11.11.11 and Veteran’s Day tell us about your favorite soldier and how he or she is saving the world. Fictional or real life.

Hmm... OK, so honestly I don't I don't really know anyone close who is in the military! My grandpa who is in his 80's now was in the army and fought in the Philippines, but I don't know too much about it! Yikes, this week's question really has me stumped lol :/ But I am still very thankful for the men and women who do serve our country, I don't think I could ever do what they do, so I greatly appreciate all of their many sacrifices  ♥



<--- TGIF at GReads is a Friday Feature hosted by Ginger at GReadsBooks.com!

Love-Hate Relationship: Which characters from a book do you love to hate?


Now THIS one is easy: Lucinda Price and Daniel Grigori from the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. I absolutely cannot stand this couple. They are horrible. Beyond annoying. Incredibly dysfunctional. I think that covers it! And yet, I still am shamelessly addicted to these books. Why? I have no idea lol. 

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

LC's 1,000 Follower Giveaway!


Guess what time it is!!!

Yes, my lovely darlings, I have reached the Big 1,000 and I want to say a big "thank you" to each and every one of you for reading and supporting my blog-- because of you, I have an incredibly  awesome online community to share, discover and talk books with :)

So to celebrate you can bet that I'm doing a majorly awesome giveaway! WOOHOO!!

How it works:

1.) There will be TWO winners
2.) FIRST PLACE wins ALL the books in ONE of the Prize Packs below!
2.) SECOND PLACE wins ONE of the books in ONE of the Prize Packs below!
3.) Giveaway ends on December 1st, 2011 at 11:59pm EST
4.) Winners will be chosen at random from Random.org
5.) Winners will be notified by email on December 2nd and will have 48 hours to respond
5.) Yes, this giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!  It is open to anywhere that The Book Depository ships
7.) Yes, there are extra entries available! (See below for more details)

How to enter:

1.) Be a follower or become a follower of LC's Adventures in Libraryland
2.) Fill out the form at the VERY BOTTOM of this post

It's that easy!

Extra Entries:
You must provide direct links in the form below to be eligible for these. You can get a maximum of 24 entries for this giveaway. 

+2: Follow me on Twitter @LC_speaks (If you're already following me, that counts too!)
+2: Tweet about this giveaway
+2: "Like" LC's Adventures in Libraryland on Facebook (see sidebar)
+2: Leave me a comment on my Facebook Page!
(It can be about anything-- Just say "Hi," introduce yourself-- What is one of your fave YA books?? Favorite authors? Favorite place to read?  Seriously, I'm interested! :)
+5: Copy and paste my Giveaway Button onto your blog:
+10: Do a blog post about this giveaway that includes the Giveaway image above

SO WHAT CAN YOU WIN???

You have TONS of choices when it comes to picking out what you want to win! Choose from one of the TEN prize packs below-- and then let me know in the form which pack you want!

Faery Prize Pack:
Wondrous Strange, The Iron King, Wicked Lovely

Fantasy Prize Pack:
Graceling, Rampant, The Warrior Hair

Dystopian Prize Pack:
Wither, Delirium, Divergent

Contemporary Prize Pack:
Anna and the French Kiss, He's So Not Worth It, 13 Little Blue Envelops

Historical Fiction Prize Pack:
The Luxe, Cleopatra's Moon, Ingenue

Werewolf Prize Pack:
Fateful, Nightshade, Shiver

Vampire Prize Pack:
Vampire Academy, Blue Bloods, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Mermaid Prize Pack:
Mermaid, Forgive My Fins, Lost Voices

Mythology Prize Pack:
Starcrossd, Sweet Venom, The Goddess Test

Zombie Prize Pack:
The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Zombies Don't Cry, Rot & Ruin

Sorry, this giveaway is now closed! Be on the look out for my current giveaways...

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (21)

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For those who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme where we get to let everyone know about what books we are eagerly anticipating the release of. WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. Want to participate? Grab the logo on her page, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link on her blog!
*****

This week's Waiting on Wednesday pick is...

Title: Rapture
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Pages: 432
Series: Fallen #4
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In Rapture, the highly anticipated fourth and final novel in the Fallen series, Luce and Daniel are together . . . but for how long? Can history be rewritten? Or are some punishments eternal?


Ooooohhh.... OK guys, so you have NO IDEA how long I've been waiting to see this cover or how badly I want to get my hands on this book. You might also not know that it is for all the wrong reasons...

Basically, I have a love-hate relationship with Lauren Kate's Fallen series. I've read and reviewed the first three, and have been waiting to see what the cover for the fourth-- and last-- installment would look like.And here it finally is!

Why is it a love-hate relationship? Well, I have a soft spot for this series because Fallen was the very first book I ever reviewed on my blog (awww!) and so I had to continue with the story, despite it being mediocre at best. Now, in my personal opinion, this is not actually a good series. I think that the writing is terrible, the story is ridiculous and makes zero sense, and the relationship between Luce and Daniel is unhealthy and kind of twisted. So why do I continue to read them and then rant about them, you may be wondering???

I honestly have no idea, I just do. I find them incredibly amusing and entertaining and yes, I occasionally read a badly written book so that I can get my frustrations out and rant about it-- there, I said it. BUT I always state something I liked about that book, and I never bash anything without solid reasons for doing so. Lauren, I love you, seriously.

But yes I am absolutely looking forward to Rapture, and if you like this series, please don't be insulted, it is just my personal opinion, and hey, I think they're bad in a good way! In fact, I'm probably the most dedicated non-fan of this series out there. It's a guilty pleasure, if you will. And who knows? Maybe I'll love the last one!

So bring it on, Lauren Kate!

Yours truly,

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Book Review: Sweet Venom

Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Series: Medusa Girls #1
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Pages: 352
Read it in: 2 days
Source: The Library

Summary: Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

LC's Take:

Sweet Venom had pretty much everything that I love in a book-- awesome plot line, tons of action, wonderfully likable characters, humor that made me giggle throughout, and a small helping of sweet romance on the side. This was my first ever mythology book, and I definitely was not disappointed!

So let's talk about the main characters. There are three girls in this book-- Grace, Gretchen and Greer-- all who turn out to be sisters, or triplets actually. I loved every one of them because they were each unique and interesting in their own individual ways. Grace was sort of klutzy and insecure, but with a kind heart, Gretchen was the kick-butt martial arts girl who has a sweet, vulnerable side under her tough exterior, and Greer was the prissy little rich girl, who ends up being really funny and endearing at the same time. Every sister was multidimensional and stood out on her own. Furthermore, the story is shared between all three of them with their different perspectives, and they each had their own voice, so I was never confused as to who I was reading about from chapter to chapter.

The narrative definitely flowed well and was excitingly fast-paced. Sometimes I can get a little leery about reading a book with multiple perspectives because the story can get choppy and confusing, but this was not a problem in this book at all. In this case, reading from the POVs of all three sisters made the story unique and interesting. Also, for someone who doesn't know anything about Greek mythology beyond whatever I learned in 6th grade, the story and events were explained well and I never felt like I was lost. I really loved this story because it was fun, full of action, and had tons of humor sprinkled in throughout. And THEN there was the ending-- whoa, I was NOT expecting that!! Talk about a cliff hanger, I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in this series!

So basically, Sweet Venom is definitely a must-read, and if you don't have this on your TBR list yet I highly, highly recommend adding it because it will rock your socks off. I mean, rock them right off. I had so much fun reading it and can't say enough good things about it. Really, seriously, you NEED to read this book because it was absolutely amazing!

~Cover Talk~

I really like this book cover for its simplicity, and for what it implies about the story. We know from the synopsis that this is going to be a mythological story about the descendants of Medusa, so I love that this was "hinted" at with the girl's hair, but it isn't taken so literally that it comes across as cheesy. I also like that you can't see the girl's face, since it gives an air of mystery. Finally, the swirly patterns of the hair are echoed throughout the book at the beginning of each chapter. Altogether, this was a very well-thought out book design that was executed brilliantly!

LC's Rating:
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Sweet Venom is definitely a must-read! It was just so much fun, and I could NOT put it down. Awesome characters, awesome plot, just the right amount of high school drama and romance-- go, go, go and get this book!


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