Saturday, March 19, 2011

XVI by Julia Karr

Summary:(from back of book) Every girl gets one. An XVI tattoo on the wrist- sixteen. They say they're there for protection. Some girls can't wait to be sixteen, to be legal. Nina is not one of them. Even though she has no choice in the matter, she knows that so long as her life continues as normal, everything will be OK. Then, with one brutal strike, Nina's normal is shattered; and she discovers that nothing that she believed about her life is true. But there's one boy who can help- and he just may hold the key to her past. But with the line between attraction and danger as thin as a whisper, one thing is for sure...for Nina, turning sixteen promises to be anything but sweet.
Review: I thought this book was pretty good. The premise of the story is what originally got me interested in this book and to me that was one of the best things about the book. I really liked discovering this dystopian society and the way it operates. As the story went on more and more information about the way things were run was revealed which made the story line that much more enjoyable. I also was interested in all the different types of technology that this society had developed. I thought the plot was a kind of slow moving in some parts but never really to the point of being boring. The one thing that kind of bugged me was the fact that the story wasn't centered around Nina turning sixteen and her worries about sex. It was mostly centered around Nina's family drama, which I liked but it was just different than what I expected. However, there is going to be a sequel at some point so I'm betting that this book was mostly used for buildup and setting up the story.
  I thought Nina was a realistic protagonist but, she didn't seem to change much by the end of the novel, I guess their is more time for that and other than that I really liked her. I also thought her group of friends were pretty cool. I don't really like Sal that much though. I wish she would be more interested in Mike or Derek. Anyone who wants to read a cool and slightly disturbing dystopian story than I recommend this one.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Awakened by P.C Cast and Kristin Cast

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.
Summary:(from book jacket) Exonerated by the Vampyre High Council and returned to her position of High Priestess at Tulsa's House of Night, Neferet has sworn vengeance on Zoey. Dominion over Kalona is only one of her weapons she plans to use against Z. But Zoey has found sanctuary on the Isle of Skye and is being groomed by Queen Sgiach to take over for her there. Being queen would be cool, wouldn't it? Why should she return to Tulsa? After losing her human consort, Heath, she will never be the same- and her relationship with Stark, may never be the same either. And what about Stevie Rae and Rephaim? The Raven Mocker refuses to be used against Stevie Rae, but what choice does he have when no one in the entire world, including Zoey, would be okay with their relationship? Does he betray his father or his heart?
  Review: This is the eighth book in the House of Night series and I liked it. It picked up a short time after the last book ended and I interested to see where the story would go from there. This book is different from the earlier ones in the series where it was Zoey and her friends were hanging out at school while having a few run ins with darkness. Things between light and darkness have become really intense and exciting as the story progressed. I also liked the fact that this book alternated points of view between pretty much all of the characters at one point. This was done in a way that the readers always had more information about what was going on then the characters did. The plot was pretty well paced, although I kind of got bored of Zoey towards the middle.
 I really like all the characters in the series. Zoey and her friends are pretty cool characters and I enjoy the story more because of that. I also enjoyed the fact that there were a lot of modern things weaved in to the story. Like the fact that Aphrodite has an iphone and Jack watches Glee just made me smile sometimes. those were the little things that made me smile to myself as I was reading. Also, Stark is absolutely awesome, he is my favorite guy that Zoey has dated throughout the series. They way he swears to protect Zoey no matter what makes me like him so much. And i kind of hat to say this but I'm kind of glad Heath is out of the picture I always got annoyed whenever he came aorund.
 I really like this series and Can't wait for the nect book to come out., which will be in November of this year.

Monday, March 14, 2011

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

Summary: (from back of book) 1 wish, 2 girls who love the same boy, 14 days to stop the madness. Kayla McHenry is having the worst sweet sixteenth birthday ever! And it's not just because she's cynical. It's hard to have a good time when your secretly in love with your best friend's boyfriend. Just before Kayla blows out her candles, she thinks: I wish all my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin' do. The next morning Kayla wakes up and sees a life sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. The following day, a year's supply of gumballs arrives. Then, an oddly plastic- looking boy named Ken shows up in a convertible and starts following her around everywhere. Each day, another wish from her childhood comes true. But...they MUST STOP. Because when she was 15? Kayla wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her. And Ben is her best friend's boyfriend.
Review: This book was a cute and light read. I liked the premise of the story and once I got into the story I really liked it. The first 50 or so pages are just build up and introducing the characters and their lives, which is a lot for a book that's less than 300 pages. However, once things got going they didn't slow down until the end. There were a few inconsistent things throughout the book that kind of bugged me. Each new wish would be such a big deal and then it would just kind of go away so she could deal with the next problem. I like the overall message of people changing as they get older which is the main theme in many aspects of the story.
  I didn't necessarily love any of the characters. Kayla was probably my favorite though because she seemed to have changed a lot by the end of the novel. Ben and Nicole were pretty cool characters as well. They both were a big part of the plot and I also changed by the end of the book. They all came across as average teenagers with realistic problems (apart from all the wishes).
  Overall, I think anyone who wants a cute, light and fun book to read should pick this one up. As long as you don't over analyze the details it's a really great  read. I think it can be enjoyed by teens and younger kids as well.

Monday, March 7, 2011

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.
Summary:(from book jacket) It's been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth's climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce. Miranda and her two brothers spend their days scavenging for food and household items, while their mother stays at home and desperately tries to hold on to the ordinary activities of their previous life. But they all know that nothing is truly normal in this surreal new world they live in. The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda's father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda's complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever.
Review: Despite liking the first two books in the series I didn't really enjoy this one. I did like the plot and premise of this book a lot was interested in seeing how this final book would play out. There were a few plot twists and other things that made the book pretty exciting. The thing that really disappointed me in this book was the characters.
 First of all, I didn't find Miranda and Alex's relationship very believable. They had just met and had barely even spoken and then suddenly they are madly in love. Another thing was that Matt and Jonny were immature brats in this book. Jonny had a little more justification for his attitude but it was still kind of annoying. Miranda's character kind of went backwards form where she was at the end of the last book. She had changed so much over the course of that book but I didn't see it here. Both Miranda and Alex did and said things that were really stupid. And as for Miranda's big decision that she makes at the end of the novel  I don't think she should have done what she did.
  Despite my dissatifaction with the characters I really want there to be another book in the series. I know their probably isn't going to be but in some ways it was left way to open ednded for my taste. Anyway I guess i kind of had mixed feelings about this book.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.
Summary:(from back of book) When a apocalyptic disaster strikes New York City, Alex Morales suddenly finds himself fighting to stay alive.
Review: This book is a companion of sorts to the first book in the series Life as We Knew It. I have to say that I liked this one even better. This story is told during the same time period as Life as We Knew It, but in New York city. This  story was more haunting than the first book. Although it was mentioned several times in the book only know do I realize how well off Miranda and her family really were. Alex and his family had more than their fair share of problems throughout the novel. There were a lot of surprising twists and just when you think nothing else can go wrong it does. I really felt for this family and was rooting for them to pull through.
All of the characters in the book were so amazing. Alex and his family were so richly detailed I felt like I knew them so well. I also liked the fact that religion and faith played a large part in this book and everything they had ever believed was questioned as they were struggling to survive. Alex was my absolute favorite character. I can't really say much about it without spoiling so let me just say that he was such a strong character and his development throughout the novel kept me reading.
 Anyone who read and liked the first book should definitely read this one as well. I was a little bit unsure that I could get into the same story told from a different perspective but it was awesome.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Summary:(from back of book). When a Meteor hits the moon and knocks it closer in orbit to the earth, nothing will ever be the same. Worldwide tidal waves, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions. Ans that's just the beginning.
Review: I really liked this book. The story is told through sixteen year old Miranda's diary entries as she and her family struggle to survive after the moon is knocked closer to the earth causing all sorts of problems. I liked the fact that although it is a story about the end of the world its not full of drama and explosions like most books or movies dealing with this topic seem to be. In that sense it became a more realistic account of this situation than the main character almost dying horribly at least five times, which is why I was reluctant to start reading this series. Turns out it was totally worth it.
  I also liked all the characters in the book. The author gives a wide range of personalities in how Miranda and the people around her begin to handle this situation. I thought all the characters were very realistic and I really liked Miranda and her family. My favorite character was probably Matt. He is Miranda's older brother and was always sensible and saw what needed to be done to keep things going as smooth as possible.
  I am excited to find out that there is a companion novel to this one and a sequel that brings both stories together. I already have copies of both of these and they will be next on my to be read list. I would reccomend this book to anyone who wants a simpler account of the end of the world.