Friday, November 16, 2012

Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell

I fell in love with Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell when I read the very first page. And I stayed in love with it to the very end.

            When the world was taken over by aliens, all of the people over 18 succumbed to the Tone and were abducted by the aliens…
Holt Hawkins hunts people. He’s a bounty hunter and one person has a surprisingly large sum of money on her head: Mira Toombs. In a world where aliens rule and people get possessed by the Tone, the call the aliens use to lure in human beings, people can be guilty of anything. But Holt doesn’t care about the why of the price on her head; he just wants the money. After capturing Mira, Holt encounters Zoey, a little girl he rescues from a crashed alien ship. There’s something different about her, but Holt can’t decide exactly what that is. As the trio battles though endless obstacles to return Mira to her city, which also happens to be one of the last human strongholds in North America, they become comrades rather than prisoners and warden. When they finally make it to Midnight City, Holt discovers why Mira was so wanted and that things are a lot more complicated than he ever expected. Will Holt and Mira survive being attacked by the aliens? More importantly, will they be able to survive through the human attacks?

            My favorite part, by far, was the characters. They were perfect. Absolutely perfect. First, let’s talk about Holt. Holt is Heedless, so he is immune to the Tone. He was my favorite character, no doubt. First of all, he loves his dog, Max, so much that he risks his life several times to save him. I would do the same thing for my dog. I SERIOUSLY LOVE MY DOG AND SO DOES HE! Plus, he is a GENIUS! He is probably the smartest person that I have ever read about. Actually, I guess he’s more clever than smart, but still he was really smart/clever. I don’t even know how Mitchell came up with some of these things, but they amazed me! Holt is adorable with Zoey. For example, in one scene he teaches her to waltz and it’s seriously the cutest thing ever. Well, besides my dog. J Other than that, he’s always prepared, a little OCD, and totally amazing….
            Mira is pretty much just as amazing as Holt, except in girl form. They are evenly matched in everything: wits, strength, cleverness, and intelligence. But they aren’t the same person, really. You can tell that the reason for this is NOT that Mitchell can only write one kind of character; it’s because they’re perfect for each other, so they share some similar qualities. There is no macho man out to save the little damsel in distress; Mira saves Holt plenty of times, too. Holt doesn’t treat Mira like something delicate to be coddled, and he views her as a complete equal. Oh, and by the way, Mira is months away from being taken over by the Tone and being abducted by aliens…

            This plot line was so intense! I couldn’t stop reading it! I had o know what happened next! There were moments when I literally could not stop smiling, even after I stopped reading and I’m pretty sure my mom thought I was slightly crazy. Some parts of this book were so cleverly crafted I couldn’t help but be impressed, and sometimes astounded, by it. I couldn’t find any plot holes and the whole thing was really realistic. When the characters were in a situation, it tackled all of the problems presented; it didn’t just conveniently ignore a problem to make the plot simpler. Every event in the book meshed really well together and it turned out to be a fabulous read in the end!

            Mitchell did really well at creating a strong female heroine and he also did a good job making a strong male hero. All of the characters were so in depth and lovable that I couldn’t help but be totally immersed in the story from line one!

This book was AMAZING!! 5 Smileys!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan

I have no idea what to say about The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan. My feelings are so mixed that it’s crazy.

            Greer Cannon never worried about being good. She shoplifted at every store she could find, she slept with every guy she could get her hands on, and she ate as little as possible. When she gets caught shoplifting one too many times, her parents send her away to McCracken Hill, a reform school for “bad” children. There, she meets Addison. He’s perfect in every way except for one: he is not in control of his own life. His “friend,” a forty-year-old man named Joshua, controls everything in his life, down to the friends that he has to his very actions. What is supposed to be a fun weekend at a Poconos mountain house turns into a creepy stay when Joshua tells the kids of an upcoming war against vegans. It is then that Greer discovers how much power Joshua has over these kids and how he has built this power on lies. Can Greer release his hold over her friends, or will they blindly follow Joshua, no matter what he asks of him?

            This is an extremely hard review for me to write. The first half of this book was kind of annoying. It was like one of those horror movies where you’re screaming, “DON’T GO IN THERE!” but she goes in there anyway. Joshua was super creepy from the beginning and it was annoying how she kept thinking how weird he was and how wrong what he did and said was, but she never spoke up. When he overstepped his boundaries, she was like, “Someone has to speak up.” But no one ever did. So she didn’t either. She was a total sheep.

Greer and Addison’s relationship was so messed up. First of all, it was total insta-love (more like insta-lust) and I have no idea why she would even like him. He was really condescending. He said things like, “Greer that’s so ignorant,” and practically preached to the poor girl. I don’t know how she put up with it. She’s so attached to Addison that she’ll do anything for him (even let some creepy dude sleep in her bed) and she’s really dependent on him. It’s an unhealthy relationship.

            However, the second half of this book was slightly genius. Only when Greer started to get suspicious and actually question what Joshua was doing (like any normal person would) the story got a lot better. For one, I no longer wanted to pound her head against a wall until she gained an ounce of common sense because she did that on her own. Back to Joshua: I have no idea why anyone would ever listen to him. I mean, he’s obviously a psycho. I wouldn’t touch that guy with a 39 ½ foot pole (Grinch reference, anyone?).

            The genius in it was that it truly was frightening. This book showed how much power one person could have over a group. It also showed how some people preyed on the weak and that enough of the weak could become a strong army. It also demonstrated how desperate people will accept some lies, no matter how fantastic, if it suits their need.

            And then there was the ending. There was nothing particularly sad about the ending; the words were happy, at least. But it still made me cry. There was just something about it that seemed really tragic to me. Needless to say, the ending, as well as the last 100 or so pages, was fantastic. The first half of the book was slightly annoying, but the last part of the book definitely made up for it. Oh, and one part of this book made me feel physically ill. For some reason that made this book so much more powerful.

I have mixed feelings about this book. 3 Smileys!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Broken by A.E. Rought

I really don’t know what to say about Broken by A.E. Rought. Really, I don’t. Sometimes it was heinous and sometimes it was okay. I just… I’ll try to figure this out. In the mean time, here’s a summary…

            Emma Gentry hasn’t been the same since her boyfriend, Daniel, died. She’s been sulking and moping around, mostly at a graveyard where Daniel isn’t even buried… Yeah, I don’t know. Then Emma meets Alex Franks, the only son of a world-renowned surgeon. His father wants him to take a very specific path in life, but after waking up after a “fatal” accident, Alex has been having different thoughts, dreams, visions, and they don’t exactly follow his father’s plans for his success. When Alex seems strangely familiar to Emma, she can’t help but be intrigued. Little did she know that he would drag her into a huge mess that involves being injured numerous times, mostly in stupid ways. And I will give you a hint to what this book’s all about: Frankenstein. That is all I shall say on the subject!

As I said before, I can’t really understand this book, so this review is going to be VERY different from the others I have done. I’m also in a snarky mood right now, so I’m sorry if this sounds mean, but I’m just speaking my mind over here. You know, the First Amendment and such…

            When Emma first sees Alex, an electric current courses through her body and nearly stops her heart… is that what happened? Did it really? Well, girl, stay away from the dang electrical sockets when you’re looking at people! It may give you the wrong idea…. I don’t understand why authors of YA books say that a bolt of electricity magically strikes them upon seeing their “true love,” because I’m pretty sure that doesn’t happen. Someone correct I’m if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am. And has anyone ever gotten electrocuted before? Because it hurts. It’s not romantic or anything of the sort. I would think feeling electricity when you see someone would automatically detract from them, but hey, what do I know?

            Also, Emma is obsessed with him in two seconds flat. Why? Is it because he’s hot or something? What is it? Because I have seen plenty of attractive people in my life and I don’t become creepishly obsessed with them instantaneously. Actually, I don’t really become this weirdly obsessed with anyone, so I would say she displays some stalkerish tendencies. She’s also slightly self-destructive because she purposely cuts herself on a piece of grass during science class (yes, it is as random as it sounds) because Alex isn’t at school from one day. Um…. Okay….

            In the book, she says, "No new guy is going to fill that void he left." The very next day, she’s like, “Alex I love you, love me. What, Daniel who?” So obviously someone fills that void he left and you figured that one out the second you saw him when you got hit with some kind electrical bolt out of nowhere.

            Alex wears his hood all the time and apparently that’s sexy and mysterious? Umm, no, I think it’s kind of creepy. And no teacher would let a student wear a hood all day, anyway, so that’s not very realistic. While we’re on the subject of hoods, this woman uses the word “cowl” an overwhelming amount of times. Someone should give her an award for knowing an obscure word for “hood,” because I think that’s what she was going for there…

            Throughout the entirety of the book, Emma was like, “I’m not sure I even like Alex,” or “I haven’t even known him long enough to like him yet.” I know what you’re thinking: What’s wrong with that? The answer: Nothing. It’s her actions that are the bad part. She kisses him and slow dances with him and does so many things that she wouldn’t do if she didn’t like him. She’s super hypocritical and I don’t understand her at all. She says one thing, then does something else. It’s confusing as heck, I tell you.         

            There is one thing about this book that I must admit I liked, and that is Alex. I know everything I’ve said thus far leads you to believe that I didn’t like him, but I thought he was perfectly lovely. He was terribly adorable and sweet throughout the book, so I would say he’s definitely the one redeeming factor of this book. There isn’t much else…

            Rought’s grammar could be a tad awkward at times and there’s also… they’re not plot holes, but holes in the telling of the story. For instance, Alex is fighting someone named Josh and they’re on steps and Josh is above Alex on the steps. Alex falls down the steps and somehow rolls into Josh… then the next minute they’re next to a chair and a desk… on the steps… yeah, I didn’t really catch that. And the fighting that they were doing, it would have been impossible for anyone to fight like that on steps. Not even Jackie Chan could do that. Yeah. I think you get the picture.

            This book is extremely offensive to redheads. I would be insulted if I had red hair. She is always mentally making fun of this kid with red hair and saying horrible things about how he could never look sexy because he’s a redhead and how his freckles were gross or something like that. These are her words, not mine, so don’t blame me for them!

Yeah, I know that review was mean. But I can’t help it! Don’t put things like this in books if you don’t want people to point them out, okay? 

This just was not my book. 2 Smileys!

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

For a school-reading book, especially one written in the 1800’s, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde was amazing. I feel like it’s one of those books you either love or hate and I LOVED it.

            Dorian Gray has it all: gorgeous looks, tremendous fortune, and a dirt-free reputation. When Dorian wishes for a painting of him to age instead of his actual body, he never expects to get his wish. When he does he is truly horrified, but he is unwilling to reveal his dirty little secret to anyone. With every horrid act he performs, the picture grows more and more grotesque. With his looks and fortune constant, the only thing that can decompose is his reputation. After meeting Lord Henry, Dorian’s morals take a turn for the worse as Henry’s influence creeps through Dorian’s subconscious, until there is little distinguishing between Henry’s thoughts and Dorian’s. Can Dorian survive through the slow deterioration of his mind, as well as his picture? Will he even want to?

            Lord Henry was definitely my favorite character in this book. He could be considered the villain, I suppose, but what he says in the book is so awesome. It completely goes against the grain and is contrary to what everyone says and it’s definitely a breath of fresh air (except for when he talks about women…). He made this book so entertaining for me, it’s not even funny. Well, it was sometimes…. Anyway, Gladys, a duchess that Dorian is friends with, is also amazing. She is like a girl version of Lord Henry, except a little more scrupulous. Actually, a lot more. But the reason I love her most is that Lord Henry always says that women don’t know anything and they are just there to look at, but Gladys really shows him who’s boss and it’s slightly/totally awesome. Dorian was really adorable at the beginning, all innocence and rosy cheeks, but as he got older he became more and more deplorable, mostly due to Lord Henry’s influence.

            This is easily the most quotable book in the history of the world. THE WORLD. While I was reading it, I wrote down at least ten quotes a chapter, and vowed to remember many more of them (not that I did, but I really tried!) Here’s just a sampling of some of the awesome quotes from this book:

  • ·      “There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.”

  • ·      “It is only shallow people who require years to get rid of an emotion. A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure. I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”

  • ·      “Is insincerity such a terrible thing? I think not. It is merely a method by which we can multiply our personalities.”

  • ·      “There were sins whose fascination was more in the memory than in doing them, strange triumphs that gratified the pride more than the passion, and gave to the intellect a quickened sense of joy, greater than any joy they brought, or could ever bring, to the senses. But this was not one of them.”

  • ·      “Each of us has heaven and hell in him.”

  • ·      “We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were much too afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to.”

  • ·      “I knew nothing but shadows and I thought them to be real.”

  • ·      “Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.”

  • ·      “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”

Pretty great, eh? I never said they were moral, I just said they were awesome. Don’t judge me.

            The reason I say that someone will either hate or love this book is because it is purely philosophical about… 95% of the time, I’d say. Some people hate that and love action, or vice versa. I happen to love both, so I really loved this book and I thought the philosophical points made during the book were absolutely fascinating and overwhelmingly true. The themes presented in this novel are absolutely true (no matter how much people want to believe otherwise).

                  Everyone MUST read this book. It was AMAZING!!