Thursday, August 29, 2013

Book vs. Movie: The Mortal Instruments - City of Bones

I was thrilled when I heard that City of Bones was going to become a movie - I am a huge fan of the series along with Cassandra Clare's other works. I even went to one of her book signings! My excitement began to wane when I found out that Jamie Campbell Bower was cast as Jace (not really a fan of the actor) and I heard how poorly it did at the box office. Nonetheless I still had to see the movie!

Overall, I definitely enjoyed The Mortal Instruments, though I'm not sure why we're calling it by the series name. The movie hit all the major points of the book and I thought the actors did a fairly good job. Some of the fight scenes were pretty exciting and made the movie fun.

Most of the casting was spot-on (with the huge exception of Jace) because I loved Lily Collins as Clary, Robert Sheehan as Simon, Godfrey Gao as Magnus, Jonathan Rhys Meyer as Valentine and Lena Headey as Jocelyn. Their accents were so fun to listen to, even though it was a little weird that everyone had British accents. When people were speaking with American accents (for example, Magnus) it actually sounded grating! I guess I was used to all the fancy proper language!

There are definitely changes to the plot, so all you book purists might not enjoy that aspect. Some of the changes made sense because they cut back on the running time but other ones confused even me, who has read the series more than once! The ending is changed a lot - a big plot twist is given away; I assume it's in case the second and third movies aren't filmed. They altered Jace and Valentine's relationship but it actually made it more confusing! I didn't understand why they just didn't take it straight from the book. The whole ending was kind of a mess in that respect. I'm still not sure what the director was going for and I'm positive that viewers that haven't read the books have no idea what's going on.

I also wish the movie spent more time developing the relationships between Jace, Alec and Isabelle. They barely interact in the few scenes they are in. You can't tell that Alec and Isabelle are siblings and there is no mention of Alec and Jace being parabatai. Even if they did it wouldn't have mattered because they exchange about three sentences and don't act like best friends at all. I was very disappointed in that. Also, the actors who play Alec and Isabelle look way too old. I'm guessing that they are supposed to be older than teenagers (which is how they are in the book) but they looked about 30!

The movie was fun, especially seeing one of my favorite books come to life on the screen. However, there are some major flaws that prevent me from loving it. I will probably see the next movies if they make them but my expectations won't be that high.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - 152

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to get excited about upcoming books.

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

In the tradition of Kristin Cashore and Cassandra Clare comes this brilliant, unputdownable, star-crossed romance about the curse of winning.

Seventeen-year-old Kestrel is an aristocratic citizen of Valoria, a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers. Here, a girl like Kestrel has two choices: join the military or get married. Despite her skills in military strategy, Kestrel’s real passion is music.Which is why she feels compelled to buy Arin, a slave with a talent for singing, at auction. It’s not long before she finds herself falling in love with Arin, and he seems to feel the same for her. But Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for Arin is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. (from GoodReads)

This sounds really interesting and if it's anything like Cassandra Clare's novels, I know I'll love it! The Winner's Curse will be released March 4, 2014.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - 97

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers who like to make lists about books.

Top Ten Secondary Characters

1. Simon Lewis - The Mortal Instruments
I just saw City of Bones last night and it reminded me how much I love Simon! First off, he's adorable. He's also hilarious and such a loyal friend to Clary.

2. The Weasley Twins - Harry Potter Series
They weren't in a whole lot of scenes but whenever they were they stole the show. Fred and George would just pop up with the best one-liners and were just awesome characters.

3. Willie - Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
There were a lot of great secondary characters in this novel, but Willie was definitely the best. She's like a mother to Josie, even though she's the madam of a brothel in New Orleans. What a kick-butt character.

4. Magnus Bane - The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices
The actor that plays the warlock in the movie is amazing! Just how I pictured him! It helps that the character is so awesome in both series.

5. Cinna - The Hunger Games
I love Cinna, especially because he helps Katniss succeed in the Games and isn't afraid to stand up for what's important.

6. Jeb - The Host
Jeb is the crazy uncle who carries a shotgun around, but he's actually pretty savvy and clever. He's also understanding and open-minded, even letting an "alien" enter the compound.

7. Hana - Requiem by Lauren Oliver
She's not a big character in the first two books in the trilogy, but she gets her own narration in the last novel. I loved Hana's parts because they were something different but also I liked seeing her figure out the mystery of her fiancé and ultimately become a strong character.

8. Willem - Just One Day by Gayle Forman
He's an important part of the story but isn't really in the book that much. Even though he breaks LuLu's heart, I still think he was an enigmatic character that I'd like to know more about.

9. Kartik - The Gemma Doyle Trilogy
Kartik is the main love interest throughout the trilogy, but his presence is very sparse. When he does show up, it's amazing though!

10. Lacey - Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt
She becomes friends with Hannah, the protagonist, and their relationship is contrasted with Hannah's friend Ava, who is not a very good friend. Lacey is a hypochondriac but it just makes her character more interesting!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously--and at great risk--documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart. (from GoodReads)

Review:When this book was first released, everyone was raving about it and I never actually knew what it was about. I knew the story was set during World War II, but that was about it. It wasn't my favorite novel, but I learned a lot about history which I enjoyed.

Between Shades of Gray is about how the Soviet Union invaded Lithuania (along with other Baltic states) and deported millions of their citizens for being enemies of the state. These citizens, like Lina's family, are forced into work camps, similar to the concentration camps under Hitler's regime. I always knew that Stalin killed millions of people during WWII and that his death rate is actually higher than Hitler's, but I never really understood what that meant. I definitely did not know that the Soviet Union deported Lithuanians, Latvians, and Finns. I feel like I'm learning so much more about history by reading, with this novel and with the Vel' d'hiv roundup in Sarah's Key. I love it!

I enjoyed Between Shades of Gray but I liked Out of the Easy better and thought that novel was better written. This book is Sepetys's first novel, so I can cut her some slack. For me at least, it was hard to get into the story of Between Shades of Gray. Even though it's written in first person, Lina's narration is almost detached and the reader is kept at a distance. Even though all these horrible things are happening to Lina and her family, I didn't feel many emotions while reading. I also read the books slowly and in small spurts and I think it would have been a better read in bigger chunks.

I liked most of the supporting characters, especially Andrius, Lina's brother and mother and even the ambiguous character of Kretzsky. I liked the little romance between Lina and Andrius and I was convinced throughout the whole book that Kretzsky was actually good though it was hard to tell. It was obvious that he was the guard that wasn't okay with what was happening but he still wasn't as nice as he could have been.

The setting was pretty exotic as most of the book takes place in Siberia! I can't even believe that people can actually travel there, let alone live and work there like Lina did. It was so cold and I hate the cold so I probably would not have survived that long winter.

I wished there was more to Between Shades of Gray because the ending is very abrupt. There's an epilogue but I would have liked to read a little more about Lina and what happened to her! We should have at least gotten a better conclusion. While it's not the best written book out there, Between Shades of Gray is definitely an interesting story about a topic that many people do not know much about! I would recommend it on that aspect alone.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library.

2011/Philomel Books/344 pages.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky

With Judy Blume-like honesty and insight, this sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend is about life after first love--romance, sex, friendship, family, and the ups and downs of life as a single girl.

After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one.

The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered.

But I couldn’t avoid my future forever.

In Daria Snadowsky’s daring follow-up to Anatomy of a Boyfriend, eighteen-year-old Dominique explores the relationship between love and lust, and the friendships that see us through. (from GoodReads)

I feel like I've come full circle after reading this book. When I was just beginning book blogging, Daria Snadowsky was one of the first authors to offer me a review copy, which was Anatomy of a Boyfriend. Now she offered me a copy of the sequel, Anatomy of a Single Girl, which I loved!

I really enjoyed the first novel, as it detailed Dominique's first experiences with a boyfriend and with falling in love. Many girls could relate to her confusion, heart ache, and butterflies as her relationship blossoms but eventually withers. It was so honest, even going over things like hooking up and sex. In Anatomy of a Single Girl, we get that same candor and honesty but it takes place after Dominique has finished her first year of college. She starts dating a guy, but it's definitely not the same relationship as the one she had with her first boyfriend.

I felt like I could relate to Dominique: she's still unsure around guys, she misses her best friend while said friend gallivants with her boyfriend, is serious about school but still wants to have fun. There were some parts, particularly when Dominique is around her new guy, where she becomes extremely irrational. It reminded me of the stereotype that women are "crazy" and "illogical" especially when it comes to relationships. That definitely rubbed me the wrong way and I even Anatomy of a Single Girl.
wanted to throw my book at the things Dominique would say and do. Luckily, she came around most of the time and those parts were the only things I disliked about

This book will really suck you in - I seriously couldn't put it down. Daria Snadowsky gave Dominique a great voice and I obviously wanted to know what would happen next between her and Guy. I enjoyed the character of Guy. He's smart, funny and he and Dominique have great chemistry.

In the end, I think that Anatomy of a Single Girl was an interesting and candid look at relationships. I'm so glad I got to revisit this world after about 5 years! I hope Daria Snadowsky keeps writing about Dominique because I would gladly read more books.

Rating: 9 out of 10.
FTC: sent copy by the author.

2013/Delacorte Books/227 pages.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - 151

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to get excited about upcoming books.

Double Down: Game Change 2012 by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann

From the authors of the number one New York Times bestseller Game Change, an explosive account of the 2012 presidential election, pulling back the curtain to reveal the exhilarating, newsbreaking story behind the headlines for the first time

John Heilemann and Mark Halperin set the national conversation on fire with their bestselling account of the 2008 presidential election, Game Change. In Double Down, they apply their unparalleled access and storytelling savvy to the 2012 election, rendering an equally compelling narrative about the circuslike Republican nomination fight, the rise and fall of Mitt Romney, and the trials, tribulations, and Election Day triumph of Barack Obama.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Heilemann and Halperin deliver another reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, Double Down offers a panoramic account of a campaign at once intensely hard fought and lastingly consequential. For Obama, the victory he achieved meant even more to him than the one he had pulled off four years earlier. In 2008, he believed, voters had bet on a hope; in 2012, they passed positive judgment on what he’d actually done, allowing him to avert a loss that would have rendered his presidency a failed, one-term accident. For the Republicans, on the other hand, 2012 not only offered a crushing verdict but an existential challenge: to rethink and reconstitute the party or face irrelevance—or even extinction. Double Down is the occasionally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of an election of singular importance. (from GoodReads)

I absolutely loved Game Change, which was about the 2008 presidential election, so I'm super excited to read about the 2012 race. Double Down will be released November 5, 2013.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - 96

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers who like to make lists about books.

Top Ten Things That Make Blogging Easier

1. GoodReads
GoodReads is a godsend for bloggers. It's a great way to keep track of the books you've read and it also always has up-to-date information on new books, like covers and release dates. I also love that authors write posts on GoodReads to connect with their readers. It's basically awesome.

2. Blogger
I use Blogger as my format and I love it! It's easy to use and looks good as well.

3. Libraries
Obviously this is such a big one but we have to thank Ben Franklin for beginning the first public library in Philly. I am always going to the library because reading can be an expensive hobby! I feel so lucky that I am able to utilize one.

4. Inter-County Library Systems
This is even more specific than the last one but I love that I can go to any of the 27 libraries in my county because they all take the same card. I can even return books from different libraries to any of the ones in the system.

5. Amazon
Amazon always has good prices on books plus free shipping on orders over $25. It's a great way to buy books if you're on a budget.

6. Chegg
Chegg doesn't really make blogging easier but it does make reading my textbooks for college easier. I try to rent my books because it's usually cheaper than buying them. Chegg also plants a tree for every order you make, which I love! Since I've been using them for a few years now I also sometimes get special deals - for example I get 15% off my next order!

7. Waiting on Wednesday
I love this meme because it allows me to see what new books are coming out.

8. Other Bloggers
Getting to participate in a blogging community is the best part! I love seeing everyone's reviews and special content, which make it easier to see what books I should be reading.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer.

She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny. (from GoodReads)

Everyone raves about Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys, but I haven't read it yet! So I went into Out of the Easy without any knowledge of this writer's ability. Luckily the hype seems to be legitimate because I loved Out of the Easy!

This book sucks you in right from the beginning and I happily dove straight into Josie's world of New Orleans in the 50's. It's definitely a fun setting and one that I hadn't read about before. I kind of wanted to live there or at least follow Josie around for a little longer because I liked it that much. Ruta Sepetys did a great job of describing the city and making it come alive.

What makes Out of the Easy such a good book is that the supporting characters really bring the story to life. This includes Patrick, the son of the owner of the bookshop where Josie's works; Jesse, Josie's maybe-beau; Willie; and Cokie, Willie's driver. They all gave the book a lot of heart through their dedication to Josie and just being all around awesome and interesting characters.

The mystery and Josie's connection to it were very interesting and added some depth and plot to the book. I like mysteries in general so I was happy to see that genre incorporated into this historical fiction novel.

I can't really think of much to say other than that I enjoyed Out of the Easy immensely and especially Josie as the heroine! That girl could kick butt!

Rating: 9 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library.

2013/Philomel/346 pages

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - 150

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to see what new books are going to be released.

Summer State of Mind by Jen Calonita

Harper Mcallister is a sweet but spoiled freshly minted rich girl whose dad decides she needs a shot of reality. His plan: send her to his childhood sleepaway camp, Whispering Pines. Ziplines, mud, bugs, and bears are not Harper's thing and she'll hilarious have to navigate that world without her iPhone or beloved Twitter account. Can she hack it with the help of some former "Sleepaway Girls"? (from GoodReads)

YOU GUYS. I am so excited to read this!!! I absolutely adore the first novel Sleepaway Girls (I reread it every summer) and was just lamenting the fact that there is only one book where I can visit Whispering Pines! I can't believe I have to wait until April 22, 2014 to get my hands on a copy.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - 95

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers who like to make lists about books.

Top Ten (actually 8) Books With a Beach Setting

1. Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
I loved this book when I first read it and I was really into the setting! Miranda is living on small Selkie Island for the summer and I enjoyed the small beach community. It was so quaint!

2. Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber
These mystery books are so awesome and the first one takes place on an island resort! Doesn't get much better than that.

3. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Pretty much the quintessential summer romance book - this time on the California shores.

4. Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
I read this so long (probably middle school) but I love the beach town in North Carolina where this is set. Plus it's a good story too!

5. Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott
This is about a daughter and mom who rob expensive houses, and they decide to do it in the beach town of Heaven.

6. Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen
A lot of Sarah Dessen's books take place in the same areas, and I'm pretty sure this is set in the same town as Keeping the Moon.

7. The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti
Like Sarah Dessen, all of her books are located in the Pacific Northwest and this one specifically is on the ocean.

8. The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
I'm not a fan of the ending of this book, but I love the New England summer!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Miracle by Elizabeth Scott

Megan survived the plane crash—but can she survive the aftermath? An intense, emotional novel from the author of The Unwritten Rule and Between Here and Forever.

Megan is a miracle. At least, that’s what everyone says. Having survived a plane crash that killed everyone else on board, Megan knows she should be grateful just to be alive. But the truth is, she doesn’t feel like a miracle. In fact, she doesn’t feel anything at all. Then memories from the crash start coming back.

Scared and alone, Megan doesn’t know whom to turn to. Her entire community seems unable—or maybe unwilling—to see her as anything but Miracle Megan. Everyone except for Joe, the beautiful boy next door with a tragic past and secrets of his own. All Megan wants is for her life to get back to normal, but the harder she tries to live up to everyone’s expectations, the worse she feels. And this time, she may be falling too fast to be saved....(from GoodReads)

So I unwittingly started reading this the day before I was about to leave to visit family ... on a plane. Luckily Megan survives so I wasn't too worried. Also I didn't understand how she was the only one to survive a plane crash until I realized that she was flying on one of those small propeller planes with only a few other passengers. It made a lot more sense after that!

Anyway, onto the novel. I've noticed that a lot of Elizabeth Scott's recent books have been really depressing with very tragic characters. I'm just thinking of Living Dead Girl, Love You Hate You Miss You, Heartbeat (which isn't released yet), among others. I absolutely loved both Bloom and Perfect You when I read them and they are much lighter. I'm not a fan of these dark novels.

And Miracle is definitely dark. Megan is the only one who survived a plane crash and the memories of it end up being pretty gruesome. She's obviously suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder but everyone just ignores it because she's a "miracle." I think Megan should have spoke up a lot earlier about her issues but her parents shouldn't have just assumed she was perfectly fine. Luckily for Megan she becomes friends with her neighbor Joe and a woman at church named Margaret who help her to cope.

Miracle does have a hopeful ending but it was hard to connect with Megan. The book is pretty short so that might be it. I wish Elizabeth Scott would write something a little happier! I think her books are better when they are not super depressing, and now there is a definite formula to her books which I'm not a fan of. I need some surprises!

Rating; 7 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library.

2012/Simon Pulse/224 pages.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life. (from GoodReads)

I really enjoy history in general and have read many books regarding World War II and the Holocaust. Imagine my surprise when I picked up a book about a topic I had never heard of: the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup. I don't think many people know about it, which made Sarah's Key a fascinating read.

For those who don't know, the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup was when the French police (on the orders of the Nazis) rounded up all the Jews in Paris and brought them to the Velodrome de Hiver, which was an indoor stadium used for bicycle races. Parents and their young children stayed in horrible conditions, without food, water or bathrooms. Then they were taken to a nearby internment camp and then later transported to Auschwitz where most of them were killed. What makes this event particularly interesting is that most people have never heard of it, including the French. Since the French police carried out the orders, it has been a blight on the nation's history and something no one wants to talk about. I was glad that the author decided to write a book about it to bring the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup to everyone's attention.

As stated in the synopsis, the book splits its narration between Sarah, a young girl taken to the Vel' d'Hiv during WWII, and Julia, an American journalist living in Paris who decides to write about this horrible incident. Tatiana de Rosnay did a good job of differentiating between a 10-year-old and a 45-year-old living in completely different eras. I could easily distinguish between their voices and the different fonts used helped as well.

Besides the history, a lot of focus is on Julia and her personal life. She discovers something important about the apartment in which she lives in regards to Sarah. Her husband's family gets involved and there's a lot of investigating about the former residents and the people connected to them. The author also discusses Julia's feelings about living in France as an American and marital problems with her husband. I thought these things added depth to the story and I enjoyed reading about Julia and her life.

Overall, I really enjoyed Sarah's Key and thought it was about a fascinating topic that not many people know about. I think the ending will be satisfying to the readers. If you're interested in history (particularly WWII), then you should definitely give this novel a chance.

Rating: 8 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from a friend

2007/St. Martin's Press/294 pages

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge. (from GoodReads)

When I read Pandemonium I was dying to finish the trilogy. That book left off on a huge cliffhanger and I had to see what happened next. The beginning of Requiem was amazing but the ending left me disappointed.

It was easy to get back into the world of Requiem. even though I haven't read these books in awhile. It pretty much begins were Pandemonium left off and Lena is still in the woods with the other Invalids.

I was surprised at the change in narration - Lena's friend Hana now gets chapters dedicated to her. I actually really liked them. Hana has had the operation but she still doesn't think or feel like the others. She is being forced to marry the soon-to-be mayor of Portland, Maine so she's always in the spotlight. Since Lena is mostly in the forest throughout Requiem, I actually enjoyed Hana's sections more. It's a nice change of pace and I loved seeing Hana try to figure out some mysteries surrounding her fiancé.

It's hard to discuss this book because I don't want to give anything away but there are some big revelations throughout Requiem and some issues will be resolved. However, as I was reading I got the sense that this could be a filler novel before the actual conclusion. When I finished Requiem, I was so disappointed because it just kind of ends. There's no meaningful resolution to the romance and we never find out what happens to the characters. That's not okay! I don't mind ambiguity but the reader is just left hanging. Is there another book? There really should be. I also enjoyed the short chapter from Alex's point-of-view but that's not enough!

It's so funny examining this trilogy as a whole because the second book, Pandemonium, is definitely my favorite and that never happens. Remember the middle book syndrome? I don't know what to think of this. I love the story so much and I wish we were given more resolution. I still love Lauren Oliver but I'm not satisfied!

Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library.

2013/HarperCollins/391 pages.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - 149

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to see what new books are going to be released.

UnSouled by Neal Shusterman

The story that began with Unwind continues.

Connor and Lev are on the run after the destruction of the Graveyard, the last safe haven for AWOL Unwinds. But for the first time, they’re not just running away from something. This time, they’re running toward answers, in the form of a woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to erase from history itself. If they can find her, and learn why the shadowy figures behind unwinding are so afraid of her, they may discover the key to bringing down unwinding forever.

Cam, the rewound boy, is plotting to take down the organization that created him. Because he knows that if he can bring Proactive Citizenry to its knees, it will show Risa how he truly feels about her. And without Risa, Cam is having trouble remembering what it feels like to be human.

With the Juvenile Authority and vindictive parts pirates hunting them, the paths of Connor, Lev, Cam, and Risa will converge explosively—and everyone will be changed.

Neal Shusterman continues the adventure that VOYA called “poignant, compelling, and ultimately terrifying.” (from GoodReads)

This is one of the best series - it's so good and exciting! I can't wait to see what happens next and i'm glad to see that there will be a fourth book too! And isn't that cover creepy? UnSouled will be released November 7, 2013.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - 94

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers who like to make lists about books.

Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels

1. Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
This is one of my favorite books and I just had it out the other day to reread the best parts. I would love to revisit the characters but with new material!

2. What We Keep is Not Always What Will Stay by Amanda Cockrell
When I finished this book I immediately wanted to start reading it again. It was that good. So a sequel would be wonderful.

3. The Language Inside by Holly Thompson
I was wary of The Language Inside because I'm not a huge fan of books written in verse, but this one blew me away! I need to know what happens to Emma next!

4. Past Perfect by Leila Sales
Yes, another Leila Sales book. Can you tell I can't wait for her next novel? I seriously just want to live in her books.

5. Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita
I reread this every summer because it has such a "summery" feel to it! I haven't read it this summer yet so I better get on it. I wish there was a sequel so I could read that instead of my battered copy of this.

6. If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
I loved this so much when I first read it - what an absolutely fantastic novel. I can't wait to read more by this author.

7. The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti
I loved the characters in The Secret Life of Prince Charming and would love to spend more time with them.

8. Paper Towns by John Green
So far this is my favorite John Green book (still haven't read The Fault in Our Stars...) and I would like to see a sequel.

9. Girl, Stolen by April Henry
What an awesome book, especially because the protagonist is blind! I would love to read more about Cheyenne.

10. Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
This book was so addicting! The romance was good and Lauren Barnholdt gave both of her teenage characters great voices. I would love to see what happens now that Jordan and Courtney
are in college!