Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles #3) by Kami Garcia

This book took me FOREVER to read. Well, two weeks, but that’s forever for me. It wasn’t because this book was bad. It was actually quite good. But I have this unlucky bookmark. I just now found out that it was unlucky because I noticed that whenever I use this bookmark, it takes me forever to read things. So, no, this book was not bad. I just used an unlucky bookmark.
            The story of Ethan and Lena continues: Macon is alive, Ridley is Mortal, Link is now an Incubus, and school is back in session. Oh, and the suffocating heat, the infestation of lubbers, and the droughts are signifying the End of Days. Abraham and Sarafine could not have planned the end of the world better themselves, and luckily, they didn’t have to. When Lena chose herself to be half Dark and half Light, she threw off the Order of Things. Now, it is up to Lena, Ethan, Link, Olivia, Amma, and even John Breed to bring about the New Order and avoid the apocalypse at any cost. But just how much are they willing to pay?
            I liked Beautiful Chaos because it was entertaining. Ridley was hands-down my favorite character, but then again, she always has been. In the third installment of the series, she continues to be witty, unpredictable, and badass. Lena is another of my favorite characters because I love her poetry, and near the end, we get some lovely poetry, and I like that she’s quirky and strong. Link was another of my favorites because he is hilarious and goofy. However, John Breed wins the award for Best Guy of the Book. He is yummy and he can literally do anything. I don’t want to say too much about that because I don’t want to spoil him for you.
            There was only one problem with this book: it was slow moving at a few parts. But that is it.
            The story line was pretty good. It kept me guessing until the very end. Speaking of the ending, I can’t even believe the ending. I want the next book so badly right now. I’m going to admit something to you guys: I’m not a crier, but I cried at the end of this book. I really did and not even I can believe it. I became really connected with all of the characters and grew to love them over the course of the three books and I can’t wait for the next one! If you have already read the first two books, read this one! If you haven’t started this series READ IT RIGHT NOW!! This is a great, fantastic, awesome series that I fell in love with on the first page of the first book and I am still under its spell. (It’s funny because this is a book about Casters. Teehee.)

This book was awesome! 4 1/2 Smileys!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wilde's Fire by Krystal Wade

I was a little nervous starting Wilde’s Fire because it is not the usual kind of book I read. I’m glad that I decided to take the plunge.
            When Kate, her sister, Brit, and her best friend, Brad, go on their annual camping trip, they expect a relaxing hike, some swimming, and big bugs (at the worst). They never thought that they would end up in another world, surrounded by demons, but they do. They land in Encardia, another world, and the world that Kate was born in. For years, she had dreams that took place in a beautiful land and that featured Arland: the man of her dreams (literally hehehe). However, when she arrives in Encardia, it is not the land from her dreams. It is covered in Darkness so thick that not even the sun can shine and the land is crawling in demons, one of which wounds Brad, who had just confessed his love to Kate; too bad it’s unrequited. As Kate finds out what she must do to save the land, she falls deeply in love with Arland, who is prophesized to be the Keeper of Light. Kate is the Light that will save the land from the Darkness with the help of old magic; she is the only one that can use it anymore because it was forgotten long ago. She must battle for those she loves and find out how to save the entire population of Encardia.
            There was only one main problem with this book, and it is a problem that I have witnessed in many YA books recently: insta-love. Kate and Arland fall in love in the first day they know each other. I know that Kate had been having dreams about him, but you can’t fall in love with someone you’ve only met in your dreams. Arland never had any dreams about her and he met her one time when he was like 5. That is no reason to be in love with each other. On the first night of them knowing each other, they take a bath together. That’s kind of fast, don’t you think? I’m not saying that their love wasn’t totally precious; it was. It was just too much, too fast. Other than the insta-love, there was nothing really wrong with this book.
            The heroine, Kate, was pretty good. She was strong, smart, and she had common sense. I thought she was likable, but at points she was a little ridiculous. For example, she would apologize for being sad because something horrible happened to her. You’re allowed to be sad when you’re best friend is dying, okay? Other than that, I liked her a lot.
            Arland, the hero of the book, was also a nice character. He was pleasant, strong, and likable. Overall, he was a good guy. My favorite character, though, was Flanna. She was hilarious and bubbly. She made every scene she was in enjoyable to read and she just cracked me up.
            I loved the story line. It kept me guessing until the very end. Actually, it’s still keeping me guessing and it’s over. I can’t wait for the next book! I can’t say that this book was the most original thing in the world, but it had a lot of aspects that I thought were very original. You should read this book because it was really good!

If you can handle insta-love, read this book! 4 Smileys!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lenore: Wedgies! by Roman Dirge (Comic Book)

Like the first issue of Lenore, this one was hilariously funny and sadistic. I love Lenore; I find her lack of emotions refreshing and comical. There are also parts that the author, Roman Dirge, includes himself in; they are stories from his past, illustrated for our enjoyment, and they are my favorite parts in every issue, especially in this one. I crack up during each of these and laugh for a good five minutes; it’s hilarious.
            Be warned, though: this comic book is not for the faint of heart or those sensitive to death; if you are, it may tear you apart, which I hope to avoid. I think that this series is funny, but some people may think it is horrible and disgusting. If you like shows such as Invader Zim or Ren and Stimpy, then you will love this comic.  I urge you to read this if it sounds like your cup of tea because it is hilarious!

I give this comic book 4 Smileys!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth

This is my second time reading Divergent. The first time was over a year ago, and to celebrate the recent release of Roth's second book, Insurgent, I decided to give it another go. My reaction: it was as fantastic as the first time I read it. A year ago, I thought that this was the best book in the world. 150 books and a year later, I still think that this is the best book in the world. I know that I may praise a lot books, but none of them compare with Divergent.
In the world of Divergent, a 16-year-old may pick one of five factions: Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, Candor, and Erudite. Tris, the heroine, is originally from Abnegation, the faction of selflessness, but she never thought that she was good enough or selfless enough, not like her brother, Caleb. She is sure that Caleb will choose Abnegation on Choosing Day, so she is reluctant to leave her family, but when Caleb ends up choosing Erudite, the faction of knowledge, she decides to choose Dauntless, the faction of bravery; there was never even a choice, really. However, some of the Dauntless leaders appear to be corrupt and in cahoots with the Erudite, the faction battling Abnegation for power in the government. Not only are the leaders horrible, but the initiation is damn hard. If she doesn’t pass, she becomes one of the factionless (basically a hobo.). And then there’s Four, the boy overseeing her training. He’s handsome and tough and he believes in her, unlike everyone else. There’s also something else about Tris that makes her life extremely difficult: she is Divergent. What does this mean? How will she overcome it? READ AND FIND OUT!! SERIOUSLY, DO IT RIGHT NOW! RIGHT. NOW. DO IT.
Okay, anyway, let’s talk about Tris. Tris is small and fragile-looking, but she can kick anyone’s butt. She never let’s anyone conquer her or affect her and she knows how to let go of bad memories. She also says things how they are. She is not disillusioned and she knows the truth about people, despite her sheltered upbringing. She is similar to me in this way, so I connected with her immediately. She is a realist; she doesn’t have some unreachable dream that she could never reach; she knows that nothing is perfect, yet she is content with what she has. Tris is definitely my favorite heroine of all time because, among other things, I can connect with her the most. However, she is also strong, she knows how to act in the presence of fear, and she never ignores the negative things to force herself to be happy. She also doesn’t ignore the negative aspects of herself. She knows who and what she is and she doesn’t try to change it. She is confident and strong and amazing.
I also have a lot to say about Four, although not as much because I didn’t hear this story from his point of view. If I had, this part of the review would be at least a page long. At least. Four is amazing and awesome and everything that anyone could ever want in a guy. Well, that I want, anyway. He is strong. He is tough without being cruel. He is stern without being mean. He is hard without being sharp. But then, when he is with Tris, all of his hardness and toughness and sternness melt away to leave the man that he actually is. He is actually soft, kind, and supportive; what any girl wants, really. Well, before I swoon or I faint or something, I think I’ll move on to a different topic.
By the way, all of the characters in this book are spectacular, especially Will. I love you, Will! Not as much as Four, but you’re a close second =)
Now: the plot. What I have to say about the plot is pretty much what I’ve said for everything else: miraculous. I cant believe that Divergent is Roth’s first book. One would think that she was a veteran of the writing career, not a newbie. She shows the world that writing is not something you learn; it’s something you’re born with. And, man, was this girl born with it. I think she stole the talent from several hundred people and hoarded it all for herself when she was born, because she is the most talented writer that I have ever seen. She’s so young, too! Anyway, I loved the plot because it was fast-paced and interesting, with just the right amounts of action and romance. I have to say that the first time I read this, I cried at all of the sad parts. I think that Tris rubbed off on me some because this time I didn’t cry at all! It was still terribly sad, but I kept it in. A testament to its greatness is that I read this book in two days. I read this nearly 500-page book in two days even though I had school and I had to do a lot of other stuff, but I stayed up late to read this. There is nothing more important to me than my sleep, but I jeopardized it for this book.

So, the moral of the story is this: be like me; read it, love it, stay up until 3 a.m. reading it. You will not experience anything more glorious. I would give it a gazillion Smileys if I could, but the most I can give it is 5, so... 5 SMILEYS!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lenore (Noogies) by Roman Dirge (Comic Book)

 Lenore is a cute girl, who also happens to be dead. Apparently, her heart died with her soul, so she is constantly hurting things. This comic book in particular is 3 sections and there are small stories within each section, one story being approximately one page.
           I like these comics because I have a slightly dark sense of humor and it reminds me of the show "Invader Zim," which is one of my all-time favorite shows. At some points, it is a little sadistic, but I still found most of it funny instead of disgusting. There were only a few parts that I thought were disgusting. Like the part when Lenore <spoiler>squeezes the eyeballs out of all of the hamsters. Ewww.</spoiler>. (P.S. You can look at the spoiler. It doesn't really give anything away, but what she does is not for the faint of heart. You have been warned.) I really liked the characters, though. Ragamuffin is my favorite character. He's so cute and has like three hair hanging off his head.

 At some points of this comic I burst out laughing for a few minutes, so I would definitely recommend reading this! 4 Smileys!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday was epic. I don’t usually read mysteries or even stories with normal people; I’m a supernatural type of girl. Anywho, I decided to give Deadly Cool a whirl and I am extremely happy that I did.
            When Hartley Featherstone finds out that her boyfriend has been sleeping with the president of the Chastity Club, Courtney Cline, she doesn’t know how her life could possibly get worse. Unfortunately, this challenge to the universe is not ignored; instead of confronting Courtney, she finds her dead in her boyfriend’s closet. The cops suspect said boyfriend of being the murderer, but Hartley is sure that he is not. He may be a “craptastical, gutless, son-of-a-cactus-humping butt monkey,” but he is no killer. As Hartley determinedly searches for the real murderer, she teams up with the gorgeous Bad Boy, Chase, and her best friend, Sam. Together, they investigate the crime, but will they find the perpetrator in time to save Hartley’s life? Read and find out! Seriously, read it right now. Drop the book you’re currently reading and pick this one up instead.
            Firstly, I must say that Hartley has to be one of my favorite heroines of all time. She is hilariously funny and I love to hear her commentate on the things going on in her life. Somehow, she makes even the most depressing moments funny, but not overly so, which made this book awesome. I connected with her within the first couple of pages and she made the story very interesting. Also, she was a normal teenager. There was no Mary Sue business and no idiotic clumsiness either. She was the real deal and reacts to things how I imagine I would react in her situation. Relating and actually liking the main character are two crucial things that Halliday did absolutely correctly. The supporting characters are also amazing and complex, despite their secondary roles in the storyline. On the subject of characters, I have one thing to say about Chase: yum. That is all.
            The storyline of Deadly Cool was also, well…. cool (haha pun). The mystery was complex and it was impossible to identify the true murderer until the very end. When I did find out, I was extremely surprised, but, looking back through the book, I could see hints here and there, which was what made this a truly good story. It made me feel kind of stupid that I couldn’t figure it out from those hints, but that’s why Halliday is such a genius. The point is that I am not supposed to know who killed her until Hartley did, which she achieved very well. In addition to the central story of solving the murder, the relationships (or lack of) are also a large part of the story. In some situations, Harley is very awkward (no, not like me at all, pshah, no) and it was hilarious. I liked watching Chase make her squirm; it was entertaining.

Keeping all of this in mind, I implore you to read this. You won't be sorry. 5 Smileys!

Friday, May 11, 2012

The White Oak by Kim White

Cora Alexander thought that all her problems were over: her abusive father was finally gone and she and her twin brother, Lucas, were finally left to peace. What she didn’t know was that her father was bringing her down with him, as well as Lucas. They knew that the ground underneath the White Oak, the locations of her father’s burial, was riddled with caves, which Cora and Lucas had explored all throughout their childhood. When the ground collapsed, her entire family was sent spiraling to the Underworld. Cora is the only one left alive in a world full of dead, including her brother. Desperate to escape and find a way to bring final peace to her brother, Cora struggles through the many trials (literally) that she must face, with the help of the advanced computer program, Minotaur.
Overall, this story was quite captivating. It held my attention and kept me fairly interested throughout the whole thing. There was an air of mystery throughout this book and I became slightly frustrated with it because I wanted to know what the truth was, which I suppose is a good thing. Another thing that frustrated me was the abrupt ending. It was supposed to end “in the middle of the action,” but she did not execute that exactly right. It felt as if she ran out of things to say, so she just decided to end it there. The abrupt ending was not as bad as some others that I have read, but make sure you have the second book handy so that the story can continue. Another negative thing about this book is that we never get to meet the love interest (well, who I think will be the love interest. I’m not sure.).
Other than those few points, there was nothing else wrong with this book. The strong point of this book, in my opinion, is the world building and her descriptions, as well as ideas, of her world. The Underworld is awesomely described and I could really picture the setting in my head. The picture I received was awesome: A giant, glinting, silver metal ball the size of a planet rotating on a river of black tar. In addition to this, the inside of the ball was spectacular. It is not something that I can describe to you, so you will have to read the book.
I also thought that the characters were really interesting. White describes characters really well and has new ideas for them that I have never really heard before.  In particular, the computer program, Minotaur. Minotaur could change his shape to become anything he wanted and he had access to all of the information recorded on an electronic device. I found his character really interesting, even though he didn’t have feelings (or did he? It’s a mystery!). Cora, the main character, was tough and not whiny, so I liked her for that. Her brother, Lucas, was really cool, too. He was really smart and created elaborate videogames. He also knew several types of martial arts, which was awesome, but sometimes it seemed as though he was in love with her instead of loving her like a sister. These moments were few and far between, though, so it didn’t really bother me.
Overall, I would say to read this book! It is entertaining and captivating, so it makes for a good, but rather quick, read.

3 1/2 Smileys! It was interesting and quick-paced with awesome world-building!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

    I went into Glow not expecting very much. And, at first, I thought that that was exactly what I was going to get. Glow is set in two spaceships, the Empyrean and the New Horizon, on their way to New Earth. The people on the New Horizon are unable to produce children because of a suspicious "disease" that spread through the ship while those of the Empyrean can have, and already have, many children. 
     Glow follows the lives of the two oldest children on the Empyrean, Kieran and Waverly. Kieran is the Captain's favorite child and he is destined to become captain one day. Waverly just began her pilot training and is destined to become Kieran's wife. However, she is not as submissive as the men of the ship think that she should be.
     The real problem in this book occurs when the New Horizon betrays and attacks the Empyrean, stealing all of the young girls on the ship and killing or capturing nearly all of the adults, leaving the boys alone on the ship and subject to their own whimsies. In the end, this book turned out to be a lot better than I originally thought.
        That is mostly because of Waverly. Waverly is independent, strong-willed, and strong, just as any respectable heroine should be. She does not allow other people to control her decisions and she always makes up her own mind. She does not let Kieran or anyone else influence her decisions and she is strong enough to make the hard choices that she must. Waverly never complains about anything, either. She had a series of horrible things done to her (that I won't mention- you'll just have to find out yourself ;) ), but she never once complains. She gets hurt so many times, yet she remains strong and in control. She is basically a total badass.
       But then there's Kieran. Usually the men of a book are supposed to be strong, confident, and tough. Kieran is none of those things. He is a weak, spineless little jellyfish who never knows what he is doing. He is pretty much the complete opposite of Waverly and he is why I didn't absolutely LOVE the book. Waverly's leg bone is shattered as a result of her getting shot. She then rips out her IV with her teeth and then puts it back in. She never cried or complained at all. On the other hand, when Kieran gets punched twice (once in the stomach, once in the face), he thinks that he is going to die. He literally thinks that two punches will kill him. Then, when Waverly gets back onto her ship after being kidnapped, he yells at her for not asking if his parents were there. In response, I yelled, "What the heck?" at the book and at him. He is so stupid and he is just really annoying and I kind of laughed when he was starving to death. Is that bad? Overall, he's a total wimp.
        Despite Kieran being a huge butt-face, Glow was pretty good. The story was entertaining and kept me wanting more and the ending really makes me want the next book. I would say to read this book. What have you got to lose? I mean, maybe Kieran won't bother you as much as he did me.