Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Young Elites by Marie Lu - Book Review

Alright, so there will be two parts to this review. The first part is a spoiler free summary and my thoughts on the book (for those of you who haven't read it). And on the second part I will go into deeper detail about the story and share with you all my feels (for those of you who have read it)! And don't worry, before reaching the spoiler section, there will be a warning. :)

Spoiler Free

Summary from the book:
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina's black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family's good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever's survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.
Teren Santoro works for the king. As a leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it's Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.
Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. The secret sect of the Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Dagger finds Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they've never seen.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - Book Review

Story summary: 
Set in a futuristic time place, Red Queen tells the complicated tale of a girl named Mare. Mare is a Red, which means she has red blood (duh), and Reds are at the very bottom of the social ladder. At the top? Silvers. Silvers, as Mare describes them, are like gods. Gods that have come down from the heavens and rule the earth. In a more literal sense, however, the Silvers are really just people with silver blood. But that silver blood makes all the difference. It gives them certian abilities that make them much more special—and powerful—than the Reds. Just to name off a few, some can control water, some can control metal, some can control minds. Of course, that's only a few out of the broad array of abilities that Silvers are able to possess. Because they have these abilities, the Silvers believe themselves to be better and greater than the Reds, and so, they spend their time living luxuriously as they rule over the Reds, who spend their time working and living under the poorest conditions possible.

Mare Barrow is just another Red. She's 16 years old, and spends her time adventuring with her best friend Kilorn and pick pocketing to help her family survive through the harsh every-day-Red-life.
One day, Mare suddenly finds herself caught in a whirlwind of events that lead her to discover that she, in fact, is not like any other Red. She has something about her that distinguishes her from both Reds and Silvers, and makes her more powerful than both.

Suddenly, Mare finds herself forced to play the role of a princess-to-be in the luxurious Silver world that she despises more than anything. But instead of sulking, Mare ultimately decides to take advantage of the opportunity to help the miserably-treated Reds, even though it may cost her her life—including those of whom she loves most. Caught in between two completely different worlds, Mare experiences everything from love and betrayal, only persevering for the sake of her people, determined to bring justice and freedom.

I honestly loved this book so much. The second I turned the last page, I could not believe that it was over! From start to finish, this book was such an attention grabber. Every last detail about the story—from the dystopian setting to the intricate social system—was completely captivating.

So, first, let's talk about the good stuff.
I really enjoyed the first person point of view in the novel. Personally, I'm more of a third-person lover, but this story's point of view was actually well told! The reason I usually dislike first-person novels is because sometimes being in the character's head for too long can result in me being flat-out annoyed with their thoughts by the end of the story. However, this was not the case with Mare in Red Queen. I genuinely enjoyed reading from her perspective. I love her cynical and sometimes satirical personality. It made the story much more interesting than it already was.

I also really loved the world building in this novel! What I have noticed a lot of the time with complicated dystopian novels, is that the world the author will try to build is so complicated that he or she will leave some unintended holes in their world building, causing the reader to have trouble understanding the world. Victoria Aveyard, however, did a very great job at explaining and describing the world of Reds and Silvers in her novel. It was wonderful, really.

Now, onto the ehh... stuff.
There was one thing that kind of irked me in this book—just a little—and that was the ending. Now, I understand that the point of making plot twists and unexpected endings is to leave the reader wanting more. However, I feel like there should be a limit as to how much plot twists you can have. To put it bluntly, I feel like Aveyard slightly overdid the amount of plot twists that should be accepted. Like, during the entire novel there weren't very many plot twists. But suddenly, as I reached the ending...BAM. BAM. BAM! One plot twist after another, and it was pretty overwhelming. I personally feel like it would have been a lot more pleasurable to even out the plot twists as the story went on.
However, please do not think that the ending ruined the greatness of the book. It did not. Not at all. It was very well put together and I know that I will surely read the next book the second it comes out, no doubt about it.

For Victoria Aveyard's debut novel, I truly am amazed. This book was what I called good writing! There is not one person that I wouldn't recommend this book to, as I feel like it is quite an enjoyable read for everyone and anyone!


Monday, February 9, 2015

Book Review: Cinder by Melissa Landers (SPOILER FREE)

Even in the future, the story begins with Once Upon a Time...
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl...
Sixteen-year-old Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past and is reviled by her step-mother. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future. Because there is something unusual about Cinder, something that others would kill for.

When I first held the book in my hand and read the word "cyborg," I had to take a second look. Cyborg? I thought. Never in my life had I read a book with cyborgs. That immediately caught my attention. I decided to give the book a try although I was not much of sci-fi reader. And gosh, I am so glad I bought it.

If you haven't noticed yet, Cinder is the story of Cinderella retold with a science-fictional badass twist to it. A fairy tale? Robots? Lunar people? A cute Asian prince? Honestly, what could be better?

The story takes place in New Beijing which was built after the fourth World War. Androids roam the place along with humans and basically everything is controlled with high-tech gadgets. Normal cars don't even exist anymore. Instead they were replaced with hovers: floating cars. (Yes, our flying-cars-in-the-future theory came true. *cheers*) 

The main character, Cinder, who's half cyborg is sort of an outcast since cyborgs are greatly looked down upon in that time. She's an expert mechanic, nothing special, really. UNTIL, of course, the tension between earthens and lunars (people who live on the moon..say what?) gets stronger and things begin to change. Cinder suddenly finds herself in a sticky situation (many sticky situations) and has to try to somehow sort things out. I really liked Cinder. Like, really really really liked her. She's so relatable and genuine. She's not this perfectly pretty main character. I mean, she's missing a hand and a foot, so... But even with her missing parts, she's still beautiful, from the inside and out, and I love that. I enjoy when authors make their characters flawed and not boringly perfect.

Now, let's not forget Prince Kai. I know I literally just said that it's boring when characters are perfect, but Prince Kai is an exception. He is beyond the definition of perfect, but gosh do I still adore him. Unf. All I'm gonna say is that Prince Kai is the sexiest Asian guy you will ever read about. (So go read the book!)

This book was a total attention grabber. Every chapter somehow leaves you hanging and you just can't help yourself, you have to keep reading to find out what the hell is going to happen next. This book made me so anxious but I loved it! I was at the very edge of my seat the entire time! Before I knew it I had finished the book in only a day. You don't even notice the time fly by. 

Please, please, please do me a favor and go read this book! Trust me, you will not regret it. Marissa Meyer is an amazing author and I thank her for writing the amazing Lunar Chronicles! I cannot wait to read Scarlet

5/5 Stars

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My reading goals for 2015

I know, I am fully aware that I am making this post in the month of February. The month of January was a very hectic month for me (end of the holiday season, finals, traveling, etc), but now I am finally easing into a much more peaceful schedule and I am happy to announce that I will be returning to blogging! 

For the past couple months that I've been MIA, I have actually still been involved in the book-world, just not on here. I've become more in love with Bookstagram and through there I have met many other amazing book-lovers my age! 

Anyhow, the principle point of this post was to share with you my reading/bookish goals of 2015, so here it goes:

1. Get involved deeper in the online book community.
Whether it be on Instagram, Tumblr, Blogger, you name it, I really want to continue to pursue my dreams of being an active and dedicated book blogger, and what better way to do so than to interact with other lovely book bloggers all over the Internet?

2. Go to book conventions!
I live in Southern California, and there aren't that many book related conventions near me very often. The one I'd say that is most spectacular is probably the LA Festival of Books, and so I will most likely be attending that this year! Besides conventions, I'll also be doing my best to attend as many book signings as I can, since there are some held in LA quite frequently. 

3. Complete my Goodreads goal of reading 30 books.
I know what you're thinking: "But 30 books is so little!" Yes, I whole-heartedly agree, 30 books is very little, but this year  one of my personal resolutions was to attempt exploring, traveling, and trying new things, and in order for me to do that I'd have to set my priorities straight and not overwhelm myself with other commitments. So, as a result, I have kept  my Goodreads goal very low in order for me to have time to fulfill other special duties. 

So, those were my three reading goals for 2015, and I really hope to complete them by the end of the year. Do you have any 2015 bookish goals? If so, what are they? Comment them below!