Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials” by Rosalind Wiserman



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Will told me that Tyler asked you to homecoming. Is that true?"
That shut her up.
"Were you ever going to tell me, or were you just going to continue letting me make a complete fool out of myself?" I asked angrily.

~p.34 (e-book)” Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials” by Rosalind Wiserman


I was curios about its title thinking about what are those hazardous materials. Living the Ben Franklin Middle School, Charlie--yes she’s a she--will start her new life, will it be great or awful? I think I will enjoy this book ;)


Monday, May 30, 2011

Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Enclave (Razorland, #1)

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Hardcover: 259 pages
Release date: April 12th 2011
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Gifted 
Amazon ││ Goodreads

Goodreads Summary: In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember. 

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known

Thoughts

I am a sucker for Dystopia books and this one is a great addition to the ones I loved! I was excited to have received it last week without much expectation of the book. For a change, I had no idea what it is about and I didn’t try to read the synopsis first. I wanted Ms. Aguirre to surprise me and she did not disappoint!! This has to be the first zombie apocalypse book I’ve ever read since I managed to avoid reading morbid books. I found myself enjoying reading about them a lot in Enclave. I’m so glad that the author wrote the characters’ encounters w/ these monsters skillfully and it reminded me of Chaos Walking and The Hunger Games trilogy. Those series are ones of the best I’ve read and I have no problem seeing their resemblance with this book.

Deuce is the kind of heroine I will always look up to. She’s like Katniss in the physical strength aspect. She’s a strong-willed young woman who knows what she wants and what she has to do. Born to be a huntress, she had a hard time dealing with emotions that are usually the Breeders’ kind of thing. Fade is the mysterious and tough guy she’d been partnered with since the naming day. I don’t think I can describe him much without giving anything away. All I can say is, I loved his character since I first saw his name. The budding romance between Deuce and him is to watch out for. While love triangles are fun to read, I want to hug Ms. Aguirre to find none! 


While on their way, they met two interesting people: Tegan and Stone. Tegan I liked but I didn’t expect to feel the same way about Stone. Not as much as I loved Fade but I still like him despite of his getting in the way of Deuce and Fade’s relationship (Though I don't really think Stone is Fade's rival, much). He may be selfish but at least he’s not the kind of man who sugarcoat things. 



Overall, Enclave is a great start to a trilogy. I cannot wait for another Ann Aguirre’s detailed and gripping action plot that put me on the edge of my seat. If you’re as crazy for dystopian books as I am, I highly recommend this book.




Sunday, May 29, 2011

Review: Intrinsical by Lani Woodland

Intrinsical (The Yara Silva Trilogy, #1)

Intrinsical by Lani Woodland

Hardcover: 304 pages
Release date: August 20th 2010
Publisher: Pendrell Publishing
Amazon ││ Goodreads

Goodreads Summary: Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn't want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist's attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara soon realizes that the past she was trying to put behind her isn't going to go quietly


Thoughts

Lani Woodland takes us to the different side of our world. Intrinsical talks about ghosts, Waker and astral project. It would lead you to believe the ghosts, the people who could see them and how to be part of them or to be frightened. But while it was an attention-grabbing book, it's the characters that will have you reading to the end at a spur-of-the-moment.  It starts out with Yara who initiate a simple and trouble-free girl in an elite school, the Pendrell. But everything changes when she saved Brent and be friends with him, who turns out she’s more than a plain girl. Yara doesn’t wasn’t her talent, to be a Waker—a person who could see and talk to spirits. She is a kind of a girl who wants to be normal as other, but as she pushes her talent away it want her more. But as she became close with Brent she soon finds out that she’s not the only special in her surroundings that even the elite boarding school has it own secrets. The relationship of Yara and Brent as friends quickly develops as they discover their unique talents and use it to unchain the dark secrets of their school, where some students killed their selves.

When I was reading the book I was anxious about what will happen next to the escapade of Yara and her friends. And at the same time so zealous on the story that I can’t take off my eyes on it. I was also devastated on the revelations that could take the wind out of your sails. I also adore the song, ‘Can’t stop dreaming of you’ ,which I noticed could be the theme song of the story, it’s really matched on the connection of Yara and Brent, (thanks Ms. Woodland for making me discover the song ;))Then of course, there are the minor characters which feel as pleasing and genuine as Yara. Yara and Brent with the help of their friends, they conquer the blackhearted guy who started the curse on their school.

All of it--the backdrop, the characters, the prose—I like it so much, it’s a poignant story. It was so hard for me to keep my review neat and spoiler-free for it was a totally must read book that will teach you how to accept things on how they are and to have faith on the people who loves you because they’re the only ones who could also help you to love yourself for who you really are. The story ends in an exquisite way that will leave you yearn for the next venture of Yara.
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Friday, May 27, 2011

On My Wishlist (2)

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It’s where we list all the books we desperately want but haven’t actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It’s also an event that you can join in with too – If you want to know more, click here.


A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd
Hardcover: 224 pages
Release date: Sept. 27th, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick
Goodreads Summary: 
At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting – he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd – whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself – Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined
Shut Out


Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Hardcover: 288 pages
Release date: Sept. 5th, 2011
Publisher: Poppy
Goodreads Summary: Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part,Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention. 

Then Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. But what Lissa never sees coming is her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling...

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Hardcover: 435 pages
Release date: Jan. 4th, 2011
Publisher: Harperteen
Goodreads Summary: In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?


What's on your wishlist for this week? 



Review: How To Ruin series by Simone Elkeles


How to Ruin a Summer Vacation
 Summary: Moshav? What’s a moshav? Is it “shopping mall” in Hebrew? I mean, from what Jessica was telling me, Israeli stores have the latest fashions from Europe. That black dress Jessica has is really awesome. I know I’d be selling out if I go with the Sperm Donor to a mall, but I keep thinking about all the great stuff I could bring back home. Unfortunately for 16-year-old Amy Nelson, “moshav” is not Hebrew for “shopping mall.” Not even close. Think goats, not Gucci. Going to Israel with her estranged Israeli father is the last thing Amy wants to do this summer. She’s got a serious grudge against her dad, a.k.a. “Sperm Donor,” for showing up so rarely in her life. Now he’s dragging her to a war zone to meet a family she’s never known, where she’ll probably be drafted into the army. At the very least, she’ll be stuck in a house with no AC and only one bathroom for seven people all summer—no best friend, no boyfriend, no shopping, no cell phone…
How to Ruin My Teenage Life
 Summary: In this sequel to How to Ruin a Summer Vacation, EVERYTHING in sixteen-year-old Amy Nelson Barak’s life is going wrong! Her mom got married and moved to the suburbs, and now they are going to have a baby. Amy moves in with her dad in Chicago and signs him up for an online dating service. His first four dates are that night … What else? Her dog Mutt impregnated her grumpy neighbor’s prized poodle, so Amy will actually have to get a part-time job to pay for half the veterinary bill. And there’s this totally annoying boy, Nathan Rubin, who just moved into her apartbuilding. Luckily, Amy has a cute boyfriend named Avi. Only he’s more like a non-boyfriend considering Avi is in the Israeli army for the next three years. What’s a girl to do when everyone is conspiring to ruin her life?
How to Ruin Your Boyfriend’s Reputation
 Summary: Guess who’s jetting to the Holy Land this summer! Remember me, Amy Barak-Nelson—a.k.a the queen of disaster? In case you forgot, my boyfriend Avi is in the Israeli army. A visit is definitely in order. Somehow my grandmother convinced me to sign up for two weeks of pure hell in a military training base. Getting up before dawn, peeing in a hole, and playing war games in the desert isn’t my idea of fun. But what’s worse? Our team leader turns out to be Avi!
Thoughts:
Simone Elkeles never fails to impress me. This was the last series that I’ve read of her work after enjoying both Perfect Chemistry and Leaving Paradise series. I expected to see similarities from her other works and I’m happy to see none. How To Ruin trilogy was an eye-opener for me. Just like Amy, I saw Israel without so much affirmative judgments because of the war that’s still happening there. The author proved both Amy and I wrong. I had an 8-hour trip to the country and Ms. Elkeles successfully pulled off to take the reader’s imagination to where Amy is. It is a fun read that I finished the whole series in one sitting within less than twelve hours (I didn’t mind that my brother’s mumbling ‘no life’ loud enough for me to hear). It was highly entertaining to know Amy’s POV though she’s really annoying and is ruining a lot of things on every first part of the books. Her relationship with Avi was enviable and realistic. There were many times that they argue about a lot of things, but the moment they made up, nobody can separate them from each other –except Amy’s father, Ron, when they get too close--. It’s a wholesome series despite several sexual tensions between Amy and Avi. Religion was also a big part of the series. I’m a catholic and I respect every other religion equally. I know a little about Judaism from our Social Studies last year and it’s interesting to learn more of Jews’ cultures and traditions. 

Overall, I really, really liked it. Ms. Simone Elkeles taught and showed me a good deal of things and I’m counting the days to finally read CHAIN OF REACTION.
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Follow Friday & Book Blogger Hop






Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee.
This week's question: 
How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?

At the beginning of vacation last April, I read 4-5 books a week on e-book and paperpack/harback formats. Lately, I get to finish 2-3 since I have tons of advance reading materials for school on June. I'll be starting off college next next week so I'll be reading a lot less. Maybe a book a week. As for reading formats, I'd probably love e-books more if I have a Kindle so I'm saving up for one right now. :D


Book Blogger Hop




Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word and to connect with other bookworms, make new friends, support each other, share our love of books! 
This week's question from Britta who blogs at I Like These Books:
What book-to-movie adaption have you most liked?  Which have you disliked?
I loved all the movie adaptations of Harry Potter books! I don't think anyone would disagree to that.There are so much book-to-movie adaptations that I didn't like... but I'd pick Eclipse of the Twilight Saga.That book was my favorite among the four but they ruined the movie. We anticipated for months and even wore our Team Jacob shirts. Too bad it was so boring and I almost fell asleep in the theater.




Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Review: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen


Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things, #1)

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Paperback: 400 pages
Release date: October 12th 2010
Publisher: Puffin
Source: Won
Amazon ││ Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star…
Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will.
The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.
Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart. From the New York Timesbestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

Thoughts
I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Anna Godbersen’s Luxe series, so I was really excited when I won this book in a contest. All I could say was I am not disappointed. I hate myself for doubting it a little because of its not-so high rating. Now I could safely say that I’d set aside my prejudice more often so I won’t miss out on books like this.

Set in 1929, Bright Young Things effectively transported its readers to the Jazz era. It made me think of Gossip Girl in a lot of ways! The talk of glitz and glam, boys, and anything that makes anyone on top of the social ladder made the resemblance evident. I’ve also been a sucker for Historical fiction lately and this book is a good addition to the ones I loved.

The plot went slowly at first but I had no problem with it since I got used to the author’s writing style easily. Godbersen’s words brought me to what might have been the late 1920’s atmosphere. I was completely drawn to the story and to the lives of Cordelia, Letty, and Astrid.

The characters have their own unique way of showing their sharpness and strength. They didn’t come off as superficial and proved my negative first impressions wrong. Cordelia, for instance, would be my favorite character. There was this air of confidence and independence in her that I really admire (and I’d really want to have). Her valiancy and bravado made me respect her more. She handles things the way I would want myself to and I don’t think she made any stupid decisions.

Na├»ve and innocent would be the words to describe Letty. She’s not as independent and clever as Cordelia but I liked her nonetheless. It’s also a good thing that she and Cordelia had separate ways throughout the book because that made her grew more as a person. Astrid on the other hand was not the spoiled brat I thought she was. What I liked about her was she didn’t let boys ruin her emotions. She loves Charlie (Cordelia’s brother) but she held her head high even at those times when he wronged her. These girls are the ones you could definitely connect and relate to.

The ending was a cliffhanger! Though I’m glad that I won’t have to wait for a year to read the next one. Due to the buzz regarding the Prologue, I had to read it again after finishing it to find out what the fuss is all about (pardon me for my short-term memory). I have never read a more interesting Prologue than this one’s. The most interesting bit was: ONE WOULD BE FAMOUS, ONE WOULD BE MARRIED, AND ONE WOULD BE DEAD.

I WANT THE SECOND BOOK RIGHT NOW. 
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Waiting on Wednesday: The Carrier of the Mark and Prized

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Paperback: 352 pages
Release date: September 13th, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Goodreads Summary: Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime.  In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole?
I'm not sure if she still remembers me but I exchanged a brief convo with Leigh Fallon months ago on Twitter about Vampire Academy. I followed her without knowing that she's a 2011 debut YA author! I was so excited when I found out and added this book on my to-read shelf immediately. Seriously, look at that stunning cover! So GORGEOUS that it matches the intriguing story. 


Prized (Birthmarked #2) by Caragh M. O'Brien 

Hardcover: 368 pages
Release date: November 8th, 2011
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Goodreads summary: Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime.  In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole?
I read Birthmarked a month ago and loved it. One of the unique dystopia books I've read and left the readers with a cliffhanger. The cover's really pretty too! I saw the paperback cover of Birthmarked that matches this one that will totally look cool on my bookshelf. I'm also curious what made 'Prized' the title of the sequel. Oh, well.. 6 months to go!!

What are you anxiously waiting on this week? Just leave a comment of the link to your WoW post!

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