Monday, June 28, 2010

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Summary: ( from book jacket) In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live T.V. Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the games. But Katniss has been close to dead before- and survival, for her is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Review: I love this book. it was action packed and exciting from beginning to end. Just when you thought you knew what was going on Collins threw another twist at the reader. This book is the beginning of an exciting and unique trilogy. This is a book that stays with you long after you finish reading. It's a really amazing story and everyone should read it.
   Another thing I liked was that the characters are really relatable despite the fact that they are in a very unique situation. When it comes down to it, this is a story of love and friendship and determination. You make it through the bad times so you can enjoy the good. The characters, and the overall story has developed a huge fan base and I know I am far from the only one waiting anxiously for the final book Mockingjay to be released. Collins has done an awesome job creating a world that keeps you on the edge of your seat and rooting for the good guys to win. So definitely pick this up if you are looking for an exciting series full of adventure ( and let's face it who isn't). I'd be surprised if you didn't like it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Midnight Alley- Morganville Vampires book 3 by Rachel Caine

This review may contain spoilers if you have not read first two books in the series.
   Summary: ( from back of book) Morganville is such a nice place to live and die if you don't mind that sort of thing. When Claire Danvers learned that her college town was run by vampires, she did what any intelligent, self- preserving freshman would do: She applied for a transfer and stocked up on garlic. The transfer is no longer an option, but that garlic may come in handy. Now Claire has pledged herself to Amelie, the most powerful vampire in town. The protection her contract secures does little to reassure those closest to Claire. All of a sudden, people are turning up dead, a stalker resurfaces from her past, and an ancient bloodsucker extends a chilling invitation for private lessons in his secluded home. To what end, Claire will soon discover and it will give a terrifying new meaning to night school.
  Review: I know I'm late to jump on the Morganville bandwagon but I have to say I'm glad I did. I like this series a lot. Well at least what I've read so far. I continue to be surprised when authors manage to create yet another unique, fun and exciting vampire series, But I'm really glad they do and this one is no exception. I think one of the reasons I like this series so much is because it's really action packed. There's constantly some problem or conflict and unexpected plot twists around every corner that make this book really hard to put down. I was annoyed at the cliffhanger ending, but luckily I already have a copy of the next in the series and can't wait to start reading it.
    Another thing I like is the fact the characters seem so real. They're not your typical vampire novel type and it was kind of refreshing. I really like all of the main characters in this series I like that after all the action and drama they come home and argue about whose turn it is to make dinner.It makes it seem real... almost. The only thing that bothered me was the fact that everyone kept acting like they were going to punish Shane for what his dad did( and is most likely continuing to do). I mean Shane didn't do anything so I wish everyone would stop hating him because his dad is an idiot. Also, I like Oliver for some reason. i know he's evil but I do. i would recommend this book to anyone who wants a good vampire series. But you should definitely start with book 1 The Glass House.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cheater by Michael Laser

Summary: (from book jacket) Karl Petrofsky has spent most of his eleven years in school trying to hide the A+s scrawled across the top of his tests. Einstein,the jocks call him. Geek God,shout the skaters. Intel inside,quips his A.P calculus teacher. Karl prefers to imagine himself as the hero- the lone skeptic who harpoons pompous fakes with terse, devastating remarks. Back in real life though, whats a whiz kid to do? Finish his test and pretend to check his answers as he gazes with envy at Blaine Shore, the smoothest guy in high school.... but wait, hold on. Is Blaine checking his cell phone for answers to the test? And did Blaine just wink as Karl caught him cheating? When Blaine unexpectedly asks Karl to aid and abet his ring of high tech cheaters, Karl flatly refuses. but then the tyrannical assistant principal makes an example of a hapless student, and threatens anyone caught cheating with expulsion and an indelible stain on their permanent records. This means war!
   Review: I picked up this book at the library because it seemed like an interesting idea for a story. It was a very entertaining story and a fun read. As the plot continued to unfold it became really unrealistic and kind of ridiculous  as far as how realistic it was compared to what would actually happen in that situation. I found everything from the methods of cheating to how some of the adults responded to the situation to be a little bit far fetched.
    Another thing I didn't like about it was cheating was the only thing that happened in the whole book. The only times they were at school was to cheat on tests and the rest of the time they were talking about it. it made the story really patchy and kind of annoying.
   On the other hand I liked the way that Karl was portrayed in the story. Laser really showed Karl's internal struggle between cheating and wanting to do the right thing and I really liked seeing that. Another thing I enjoyed about it was the sense of humor of some of the other characters. Overall, not one of my favorites i like the idea behind it more than the actual story.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Summary: ( from back of book). Annabel Greene is the girl who has everything. At least, that's what she portrays in her modeling shoots. But Annabel's life is far from perfect. Her friendship with Sophie ended bitterly, and her older sister's eating disorder is weighing down the entire family. Isolated and ostracized at school and at home, Annabel retreats into silent acceptance. Then she meets Owen- intense, music obsessed and determined to always tell the truth. And with his guidance, Annabel learns to just listen to herself and gains the courage to speak honestly. But will she be able to tell everyone what really happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends?
  Review: I love this book. It's sweet, funny and entertaining all at the same time. The plot is fairly simple but it was never once slow or boring. It kept me turning pages up until the end. I think this is a book that a lot of people can relate to. Annabel is dealing with so many issues with friends and family and that's something that alot of teens can see in their own lives. Dessen has created a really awesome story and this one is still my favorite out of all her books. I also think the message this book sends is really great. The idea that every once in a while you should stop thinking and judging everything around you and just listen is really awesome.
   I think Owen Armstrong is the most honest character in all of young adult literature. The way he has decided to live his life after all the things he went through is so cool. I definitely without a doubt would recommend this book who wants a story about family friendship and learning to trust. I have read this cover to cover probably 3 or 4 times and my favorite parts even more than that. Sarah Dessen is awesome!!

Feed by M.T Anderson

Summary: (from book jacket). "We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck" So says Titus, whose ability to read, write, and even think for himself has been almost completely obliterated by his "feed", a transmitter implanted directly into his brain. Feeds are a crucial part of life for Titus and his friends. After all, how else would they know where to party on the moon, how to get bargains at Weatherbee & Crotch, or how to accessorize the mysterious lesions everyone's been getting? But then Titus meets Violet, a girl who cares about what's happening to the world and challenges everything Titus and his friends hold dear. a girl who decides to fight the feed.
     Review: This book was really interesting The idea of the feed is a really intriguing one. It's basically like having your computer, t.v, cell phone and ipod on a small chip that is then implanted into your brain. This book shows the way the feed has affected the many people who have grown up with it and have started to take it for granted. Not only that but there is also mentions of the poorer families who can't afford to have the feed. Some of the technology things that were mentioned were really strange. Like the ability to broadcast your memories so your friends and family can view them. The message in this book about the way being a consumer affects us in our everyday lives was definitely there. i really enjoyed this book.
    Despite the fact that they all have the feed, the characters in this story just seem like your average teenagers. They go to parties and hang out at the mall. But on the other hand, they fly around in upcars and go hang out on the moon. At first they seem like and average group after a while they all seem really shallow. This didn't take away from the story however if anything it added to it. As you begin to see how heavily this community relies on the feed and on technology in general it becomes really disturbing but in a way that made me want to keep reading.
   My only problem was that I wanted to know more about how all the things they used like the feed, m- chat and upcars just to name a few. Other than that i would definitely recommend this book.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Summary: ( taken from book jacket). There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at Sword & Cross boarding school in Savannah. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are screw ups, and security cameras watch every move. Except Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce- he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret...even if it kills her.
   I have kind of mixed feelings about this book. On one hand it's a paranormal romance, which I really enjoy reading. On the other hand though, it didn't seem all that exciting for some reason. The plot is kind of slow for the first part of the book. of course this is usually true of the first book in a new series. Its setting up for everything else that is to come later. Despite that fact the second half of the book was very action packed and answered a few questions about what was going and left many more unanswered. There were a few plot twists toward the end that took me by surprise and the cliffhanger ending will keep readers guessing about what will happen next.
     One thing I did love about this book was the characters. There so many quirky personalities in this book. The many people that Luce meets at Sword & Cross were all very fun. I felt like they were more relatable than Luce herself. All of the characters in the story end up playing a pretty big part towards the end. I could really see why Kate had included them in the story and that was really cool. However, some of the characters did start to seem just a little bit too simalar. There were Arrianne and Penn two upbeat troublemakers who become friends with Luce. then there was Daniel and Cam the two good looking mysterious guys. It got kind of repetitive after a while.
So all in all not one of my favorites but because of the ending that makes me want to know more and the fact that i can't easily remember a time when the first book in a series has been my favorite I am going to read the sequel Torment when it comes out this fall.

Party by Tom Leveen

Summary: ( from book jacket). It's Saturday night in Santa Barbara and school is done for the year. Everyone is headed to the same party. Or at least it seems that way.The place is packed. The beer is flowing. Simple, right? But for eleven people, the reasons for being there are way more complicated.
Review: I thought this book was awesome. It's not everyday you come across a book told from eleven different points of view and this one was really enjoyable. Leveen makes the transition from each character so smoothly it felt  real. I have to say I was so invested in what one character was doing I didn't want it switch because I wanted to find out what was going to happen to them immediately. However,this story is told so well that it didn't really matter because everything was revealed at the end.  The way Leveen managed to make all the character's stories come together at the end was simply amazing.
    All the character's in this story were really unique and were each dealing with their own problems. Since this book isn't very long ( only 228 pages) there wasn't  much time to really get to know each character individually. This didn't affect the story though. it was more like you were getting to know all the character's at once as they continue to appear in each other's stories. I enjoyed all the character's points of view but if i was going to choose one I would have to say my favorite was Josh. His story just made me want to give him a hug, because you feel so bad for him.
   Overall, This book is awesome and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who's ready for a party. This is a book that I will keep around for re reading.