YA Holiday Roadtrip

YA Highway just finished Friday with different questions and things to answer in a five-day road trip carnival. I just found out about it the other day, and since it's still the holidays and the year is soon over and because I felt like it I decided to see what I could come up with.

I'm not going to answer all of the questions because I seriously can't think of answers for all of them. This is part of the reason why Top Tens are so challenging for me- I have the hardest time remember all the books I've read farther back than 3 or 4 months, and then I also can't remember when I read them, or why exactly I did or didn't like them. Ramble ramble ramble, long story short, these are only some of the answers.

Also, these are books not necessarily released this year, just that I read this year.

From the first day, Monday the 24th, here's the questions I chose to answer:

 Best Book Of The Year: I have troubles choosing favourites, but the ones that stand out the most are The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Forever AND Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater.

Most Unexpectedly Delightful Book Of The Year: I'm thinking this might be Anna and the French Kiss, seeing as I held out for so long to read it and was prepared to have it disappoint.

Book I Can't Get Out Of My Mind: 

Best "New To Me" YA Author: Maggie Stiefvater, hands down. She's now one of my favourite authors.

From the second day, Tuesday the 25th:

Best Sequel: Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater. I love this book so incredibly much, it really captured my mind.

Best Debut: Hmm.... tough one. I think Anna and the French Kiss may have been one of the best debuts I've read.

From the third day, Wednesday the 26th:

Best "I Want to Go to There" Setting: Tortall, hands down. Always, always, always want to go to Tortall from Tamora Pierce's books.

Favourite YA Characters: Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss, Ismae from Grave Mercy, James from Lament and Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater, and Cole from the Shiver trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater.

From the fourth day:

Best in YA films/television: Does Disney's "Brave" count as YA? Hahahaha.... Umm, Avengers I think? HUNGER GAMES. And that is all I can think of. See, I told you I was bad at these!

Best Music to Write To/Be Inspired By: During November, NaNoWriMo, I tended to gravitate towards Songza, using, mostly, one of the Indie Coffeeshop playlists to listen to. I like the more alt-pop/rock whatever you call it, and also stuff like Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees and Fine Frenzy are good for me to write with.

From the last day:

Most Anticipated Book Releases in 2013: Tamora Pierce is coming out with a World Companion Guide to Tortall. Saying I'm excited for that is the understatement of the week.

Most Recommended (By Me): Anything by Tamora Pierce or Maggie Stiefvater. Anna and the French Kiss. For historical fiction lovers, Grave Mercy and The Gathering Storm. 

Have a good New Years Eve, if it isn't already 2013 for you! And a late Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, if you celebrate(d) any of those!

See you next year!



Short Story: "Eyes"

Hey, all you Write Readers! I have something a bit different for you today... For those of you who have been reading our blog since the beginning, (we love you!) you may already know that we have had plans to include our own writing on this blog, as well as the reviews that we post. We still have bigger plans in that regard in the works, but for now, I wanted to share a little tiny short story I wrote a few weeks back that I am very proud of. I decided to write it on a whim, I wasn't in the best mood that day, and Rachel suggested I write! She knows me too well that one... writing always does make me feel better... :) 

Anyways, here is my short story, called Eyes. I hope you like it! 

I stared into his eyes. I felt like I was staring at a brick wall. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but to tell you the truth, I wasn't so sure with this doorknob. I could never tell what he was thinking. And it certainly didn't help that he never SAID ANYTHING. Whenever I tried to have heart to heart with him, he would just STARE. It's like, dude, do you even know what to do when someone is talking to you? You REPLY. Speak. It's not that difficult. Open your mouth. And SAY SOMETHING. Don't just sit there. It pissed the heck out of me.

He blinked. I was about ready to slap him silly.

"Well?" I said impatiently. Actually, impatient is not a harsh enough word to describe how I was feeling.

"I dunno." he finally mumbled. Well then. I should have guessed it. Of course his reluctant reply would be something entirely impossible for me to work with. How in hell did I get stuck with this guy? What did I ever see in him? I should just leave. I thought to myself. No, I couldn't. What would he do about the... situation? But what could I do to help him with that if he refused to talk to me about anything? God, why was this so incredibly infuriating?

"What did she say?" I asked him, trying to calm myself down. It wasn't going to help me any to get angry. As much as I wanted to right now. He would just back off like last time, and not even give me useless replies like 'I dunno'.

I waited for a couple minutes, giving him a chance to respond. His gaze had shifted to the floor. His messy blond hair was shining in the warm afternoon sun. "Drew?" I prodded again.

"I love you." He murmured. My heart skipped a beat. My breath caught harshly in the back of my throat, and I almost started coughing.

"W-what?" I said, quieter this time. All of my previous anger and resentment had vanished.

"That's what she told me." he said, still staring into the cracked concrete sidewalk. "She said 'I love you'."

"Oh." My heart fell. Of course he wouldn't have... I was being stupid. The fire of my anger started to regain prominence within me.

"So... what should I do?" Drew looked up at me now, his stunning brown eyes looking inquisitively into my own pair of the same colour. He was finally opening up, after all this time, finally revealing his soul to me. Too bad the curtain of my own jealous rage prevented me from noticing.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and wish you a Happy New Year! Prepare for an epic 2013 jammed packed with more original writing like this from the both of us! 

keep readin' it write! 


Review: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.

           This book is very different than any book I have ever read before. Which to be honest, was a refreshing change from the YA fantasy and sci-fi I generally gravitate to. I haven't had much time to devote to this blog lately (ULTRA SAD FACE), or much time to devote to reading at my own leisure (RIVER OF TEARS), so this book is actually one that we studied in my IB English class... it feels like cheating, using it for both, but I hope you will forgive me. :) And plus, I felt it would be a nice addition to this archive of reviews we are slowing stockpiling on this here blog. A nice twist. I hope you agree.

           So the main differentiating factor between this book, and books I normally read, was that Persepolis is actually a graphic novel. And a damn good one at that. The author, Marjane Satrapi, is an AMAZING cartoonist, and her artwork brought so much to the depth and complexity of the story. It was all in black and white, so shadows and light gave each scene a very interesting feel. Even though she lacked colour, Satrapi still managed to succeed in translating the raw emotions that the characters were feeling. This book was literally bursting with reality, and truly alive. The almost amateur style of drawing also emphasized the naive narrator that Satrapi decided to use, which I will touch on in more detail in a few... 

           I am not Iranian, and I have never learned about Iran or it's revolutions in detail until this year, so this book's narrative was very informative and eye-opening for me. I learned a whole heck of a lot about the culture, and the strict society that Iranians lived through. It was very interesting to me. And seeing it all through the young eyes of protagonist Marji added a lot of depth and complexity to this otherwise hard to relate to tale. 

           Marji starts off as a young, naive 10 year old girl, whose sole ambition in life is to become the last prophet. She has a very deep connection with God, and sees him as a good friend that she can turn to at any point in her day to day life and just talk to. People around her don't quite understand this relationship, so she is seen as a bit of an outsider. Marji is different from all the other kids her age. But that soon changes. As Iran enters a state of war and rebellion, Marji grows and develops, physically, mentally and emotionally. She begins to question all the things she took for granted and blindly believed as a child. The incredibly real situation of the war influences the way she looks at life, and the choices that she makes. 

          Satrapi's choice of naive narrator for Persepolis really fits. I really do think that it was the best choice for this particular story. As an outsider to the Iranian revolution, I have no way to connect with the story itself. I have no idea what it would have been like! But having Marji as a young, humorous narrator, it becomes easier to relate and fully understand and appreciate what Satrapi has to say. Just having a little girl's eyes as the lens from which you view this world through, makes everything a bit lighter, and clearer in some respects. Children often don't think and analyze things as deeply as adults do, so gut feelings are depended upon more than logic. This fact prevents the story from becoming really heavy and hard to read, which a dark story like this could have easily become. 

          What makes it even more intriguing is the fact that Marjane Satrapi wrote Persepolis based on her own life experiences! To me, that brings in a whole new level of complexity and emotion to the story. Just thinking that a lot of the terrible events in this book actually occurred... It's really eye-opening stuff...but don't let that worry you! It's not all dark and miserable.  I really enjoyed this book. It's a quick and easy read, and it even has some laugh out loud moments! Humour, suspense, drama, and love... what else could you want from a book?! (There's also a fabulous movie adaptation of this book, which I loved!) 

PS: This is only the first half of the Persepolis story. There is a Persepolis 2!

The Good: Fantastic artwork, naive narrator brings humour, very informative. 
The Bad: Dark and disturbing at times. 
The Verdict: 4.5/5 

keep readin' it write!


TTT #16 Awaited 2013 Releases

1. Requiem by Maggie Stiefvater: It's going to be the third book in Maggie Stiefvater's Books of Faerie series (I totally recommend it!) I read both the first and the second and I loved them. They are so so so good.
2. Tortall world companion by Tamora Pierce: Because ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshphmygosh TORTALL. Only my favourite book-world of all time! (Yes, that does mean that I love this world just a tiny bit more than the Harry Potter world. Psst I think I'm going to be in trouble with Megan for saying this.) But there's going to be a world companion from Tamora Pierce for Tortall? 2013=life. made.
3. Divergent 3 by Veronica Roth: Megan's choice. She read them, and she loved them. And I really want to read them cause they look so darn good.
4. Requiem by Lauren Oliver: The book that comes after Delirium and Pandemonium. I've only gotten the chance to read Delirium so far, but holy cow was it good. I need to get my hands on Pandemonium...
5. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer: Megan chose this one too. It's the sequel to Cinder(she wrote a review for it, if you're curious) but I'm sure I'll want to read it too once I read Cinder. I love re-tellings.
6. The Program Suzanne Young: This is probably the darkest book on this list, but I'm intrigued. You'll see what I mean if you read the synopsis.
7 The Elite Kiera Cass: It's the sequel to The Selection, which Megan also wrote a review for(check that one out too!) And I really want to read The Selection, too. Geez, I'm really behind on some of these books, aren't I?
8. Etiquette & Espionage Gail Carriger: So if the title didn't catch you attention, here's the first synopsis sentance: "It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to finishing school." Ok, that was three sentances, but you get the point. I'm a sucker for historical fiction, so...
9. Delusion by Laura L. Sullivan: Again, first synopsis sentance: "When two beautiful teenage stage magicians in World War II England meet a pair of handsome men who can do real magic, sparks fly. " Woah what? Sounds awesome to me. Sold. 
10. Enders by Lissa Price: I read Starters and it was fascinating. I think I read the book in a matter of days. I'm really curious to see how this series plays out.

What's this? Rachel made an appearance on the blog for once? Crazy talk! I have a reason for not posting anything this month: NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo ate my soul, you see. Anyways. Megan made me actually put some effort in and so here I am. I'll be back!



TTT #15: Books Megan Would Want on a Deserted Island

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten lists for that topic.

This week's topic is.......Top Ten Books Megan Would Want on a Deserted Island 

As always, this list is in no particular order. 

1) How to Survive on a Deserted Island by Eric Endureitall: because death just isn't an option! There are wayyyy too many books I haven't read in this world yet! 

2) How to Build Shelter on a Deserted Island by Kristopher Koverupp: I don't like getting wet. Well unless I do like it. Which would be when I say, go swimming, or take a shower, or have a waterfight... or dance in the rain... but otherwise, no. 

3) How to Find Food on a Deserted Island by Ivan Injestibel: SUSTENANCE. 

4) How to Stay Warm on a Deserted Island When Fire is Not Available by Frederic Fownduhcaav: I despise being cold. 

5) How to Stay Warm on a Deserted Island When Fire IS Available by Peter Piero: Again, me and Mr. Cold don't get along. Whatsoever.  

6) How to Find Chocolate on a Deserted Island by Catherine Cocoluvs: Death would come swiftly in the absence of this fine delicacy. 

7) How to Fend off Disease on a Deserted Island by Mary Maladie: Well.... yeah. 

8) How to Keep Yourself Sane on a Deserted Island by Kevin Kipittuhgevver: I'm already insane, so I'm not too certain how much this will help... but you never know. ;) 

9) How to Escape from a Deserted Island by Simon Sicovthisplaiz: sooner or later, I'd have to get my butt outta there, and I MAY need a few pointers... 

10) Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling: cuz yenno, I might die. I'm gonna need me some childhood fondness... 

So there ya go. My deserted island TBR pile, which I hope never to need crack open. Except for number 10. Gimme a Potter book anyday!

keep readin' it write!


TTT #14: Favourite Kick-Ass Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten lists for that topic.

This week's topic is.......Top Ten Favourite Kick-Ass Heroines

1) Alanna from Tamora Pierce's Tortall books, mostly the Song of the Lionness Quartet: Well, she becomes a knight. Gotta be pretty kick-ass to achieve that, no?

2) Katerina from The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges: She's got the kind of 'do-something-about-it' that I've always wanted. There's a problem? She'll walk right out of that boarding school to go solve it. Consequences? Deal with them later.

3) Gemma Doyle from A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray: I'm reading this book right now, and like Katerina, she's got that 'do-something' that makes characters awesome.

4) Callie from Starters by Lissa Price: She, too, does something. She is a bit more aware of getting in trouble and messing up, yet she still is brave enough to do what needs to be done to the best of her abilities. 

5) Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling (do I really need to say the author every time?): I turned on the tv to Prisoner of Azkaban the other day, and it was right at the scene where Hermione punches Malfoy in the face. Kick-ass.

6) Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: She wins a fight to the death and beats the government all at once. Any more explanation necessary? I think not.

7) Tris Prior from Divergent/Insurgent by Veronica Roth: At first glance, she is a small quiet girl from Abnegation, but once you get to know her, her bad ass, "nothing-can-phase-me" side comes out. She's just all around epic, and a character that I look up to.

8) Cinder from Cinder by Marrisa Meyer: She was thrust into the middle of a complex situation that completely reverses what she has believed and known for her whole life. But still she keeps going, and doesn't let it get her down. She is brave, strong willed and a brilliant mechanic. Pretty kick ass if you ask me!

9) Isabelle from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: She's snotty and arrogant but she's deadly at the same time.

10) Princess Sylviianel from Pegasus by Robin McKinley: Sylvi is another of those characters that does something when she wants it.

Rachel and Megan


Waiting on Wednesday #7

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine . Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event meant to showcase the not-yet-released books that we are eagerly awaiting. 
This week I've chosen The Lazarus Machine by Paul Crilley.

An alternate 1895... a world where Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace perfected the Difference engine. Where steam and tesla-powered computers are everywhere. Where automatons powered by human souls venture out into the sprawling London streets. Where the Ministry, a secretive government agency, seeks to control everything in the name of the Queen.

It is in this claustrophobic, paranoid city that seventeen-year-old Sebastian Tweed and his conman father struggle to eke out a living.

But all is not well...

A murderous, masked gang has moved into London, spreading terror through the criminal ranks as they take over the underworld. as the gang carves up more and more of the city, a single name comes to be uttered in fearful whispers.

Professor Moriarty.

When Tweed’s father is kidnapped by Moriarty, he is forced to team up with information broker Octavia Nightingale to track him down. But he soon realizes that his father’s disappearance is just a tiny piece of a political conspiracy that could destroy the British Empire and plunge the world into a horrific war.

Sounds creepy and very interesting... can't wait! 

Release Date: November 6th, 2012 

Rachel and Megan 


TTT #13: Halloween Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten lists for that topic.

This week's topic is....... Top Ten Books To Get In The Halloween Spirit ahahaha... isn't it ironic how our 13th week of participating in Top Ten Tuesday is a Halloween themed week? Teehee, I find that amusing...

As always, our picks are linked to Goodreads, and are in no particular order! (Just the order in which they occurred in our brains!) 

1) Coraline by Neil Gaiman: Creepy but enthralling is all I can say...

2) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling: It's not to scary, but it is a bit darker, and you can't tell me that the whole Shrieking Shack and werewolf thing isn't a tiny bit creepy.

3) The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges: Again, not really scary, but it definitely has some Halloween vibes. Undead, zombies, ghosts... yeah, definitely there.

4) Edgar Allen Poe: I've read some of his short stories, and some are really, truly, spooky.

5) Blue Bloods by Mellissa de la Cruz: Vampires. Halloween-y?

6) The Journal of Abraham Van Helsing by Allen Condrad Kupfer: It's the journal of Abraham Van Helsing, the character in 'Dracula' that hunted vampires. It's a kind of spin-off. It's a bit gory or gruesome in some parts, but I was very fascinated.

And now I've run out of ideas. I'm one of those people that doesn't enjoy being scared for fun, so I generally avoid haunted houses/ horror movies/ frightening books. Which is why I don't know many Halloween books. So I'm going to finish this off with Halloween books that I'd like to read or that I've heard are very good.

7) Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice: To start, it's kinda of one of the very first recognized vampire novels since Dracula, and plus my mom has always told me she loved Anne Rice's books. It's on my 'read' list.

8) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: It's so well known, I really should read it some day.

9) The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson: The whole concept of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has always fascinated me, so I'd say it's about time I read it!

And that's all I got. 

-Rachel & Megan


Top Ten Tuesday #12

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten lists for that topic.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Favourite Authors in X Genre

and I piiiiiiiiiicked....... DYSTOPIAN/SCI-FI-ness. you know what I mean...those books that are often frighteningly/amazingly close to reality... yep... so in no particular order, HERE I GO! 

1) Suzanne Collins: I wasn't sure about the Hunger Games when I first picked it up, but Ms Collins managed to suck me in after about the first three lines. And keep me sucked in, for three books. That's a feat and a half. 

2) Veronica Roth: With Divergent on the other hand, I knew from the moment I saw the cover that I was going to enjoy the book. I had a gut feeling. And I was entirely correct. 

3) Kiera Cass: I painfully admit that I bought The Selection because of the cover. I thought it was really pretty... I know, I know, EPIC READER'S CRIME, SHAME ON ME. But if it's any consolation, I am now addicted to Kiera's universe. 

4) Ernest Cline: as you may have read in my review of Ready Player One, I absolutely LOVED it. Like beyond love, it's definitely closer to adoration... I have an enormous amount of respect for Mr Cline and his work. It makes my heart happy. :) 

5) Lauren Oliver: Delirium was different than all the other dystopian future type novels I have read. The main character Lena had different characteristics than I was used to seeing in female protagonists. It was refreshing and new. 

6) Orson Scott Card: Okay, so I haven't finished reading Ender's Game yet, (NO SPOILERS!!!) But from what I've read so far, I can tell that it is going to be an excellent read. 

7) Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Even the title is amazing... 

8) Ally Condie: Matched introduced an interesting twist of the future. One that I had actually pondered before myself. Seeing it brought to life in a novel was interesting, since it was something that I had actually thought about on my own. 

9) Marissa Meyer: My most recent review!!! Cinder was a great read. It was a fabulous combination of science fiction, dystopian future, and fairytale! Who can resist that? 

10) Beth Revis: Across the Universe was unlike any book I had ever read before. It was both captivating and disturbing. But not disturbing enough to prevent me from reading through to the end! 

there you go! My list of favourite authors in x genre. Who are your favourite dystopian/sci-fi authors? 

keep readin' it write! 


Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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. . . . 
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. 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.

This book took me a while to get through, but not because it was boring! It was far from boring. I was just short on reading time, because getting back into the school groove ate up a lot of it. Major sad face. :( But now I'm back! *does happy dance* 
I did finally finish it this book! And now that I've given myself a couple days to let it soak in before writing this, I've decided that I really enjoyed it. (I've caught myself absent-mindedly thinking about it, so I'd take that as a pretty good clue)  

The beginning seemed almost juvenile to me. While reading the first few chapters, I have to admit, I did ponder whether the quality of writing was worth continuing the read. I wasn't completely hooked after page one. But in the end, I think it was the situation Marissa Meyer threw me into that kept me reading. I mean, who can resist a Cinderella-Cyborg crossover? Not to mention it's all set in the yet to be established New Beijing. (sounds to me like there was a bit of World War 3 action goin' on... or maybe even 4) The whole idea is just too darn fascinating. 

After I got through the first few chapters, the plot really started to develop, and characters began to take shape. Cinder became more than just a mechanic with a robotic foot. She became a mystery. A question. Her past is unknown, so it leaves a world of possibilities for our minds to explore. How did she get hurt? Why did she become a cyborg? How did she end up with her step-family? These questions just explode off the page while reading. It was brilliant. 

I found the general progression of the story pretty well written, except... a bit predictable. I predicted one of the key plot points that was revealed at the end of the book, when I was halfway through. I was a little disappointed that this happened, because there was no surprise ending. I really commend authors who can keep me completely clueless and on my toes as to what's going to go down, but it just wasn't the case for this book. I did like the plot and the events that played out, it was the fact that I predicted them before they happened that was disheartening. 

Amidst all the cyborg-awesomeness was your typical love story. The forbidden love. I am a real sucker for romance in books, (and movies, and TV shows, and real life for that matter...) so this classic Romeo and Juliet-esque tale really pulled at my heartstrings. Another plot point I absolutely loved, was the disease conflict. It seemed much like a conspiracy to me the whole way through... I won't get into any more detail than that, or else spoilers will arise, but I would love to hear your thoughts on this if you have read Cinder!

keep readin' it write!


Waiting on Wednesday #6

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine . Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event meant to showcase the not-yet-released books that we are eagerly awaiting. 

This week I've chosen The Elite by Kiera Cass.

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

I absolutely loved the world Kiera Cass created in The Selection, and just can't wait for more in this sequel! And might I add that the cover looks absolutely gorgeous...EEEE! Can't wait!

Release Date: April 23rd, 2013

keep readin' it write!


Top Ten Tuesday #11: Rewind!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten lists for that topic.

This week's topic is: REWIND! so that means we got to pick a topic from all the topics previously done in the history of Top Ten Tuesday. 

Top Ten Books You Would Save If Your House Was Abducted by Aliens

1. I Am the Great Horse by Katherine Roberts: Because I'm horse crazy and this book is absolutely amazing. I've read it three times (incredibly rare for me!) and I want to read it again.

2. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: I think we've said enough about this series before so... yeah.

3. Sundancer by Shelley Peterson: Again, I'm horse crazy and I adore this book and the others by this author. 

4. Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke: When I was younger, this is one of the first 'big' books that I read and really liked.

5. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: Another book that I orignally read in elementary school, but it's still a favourite. Gail Carson Levine is a favourite author, too.

6. All my books by Tamora Pierce: Is this cheating? Ah, well. I couldn't choose my favourites, although The Song of the Lioness, Lady Knight and In the Realms of the Gods are a few I like just a smidgeon more.

7. Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater: Just... wow. Maggie Stiefvater? Yes please.

8. War Horse by Michael Morpugo: Horses + Historical fiction + sad story = awesome.

9. Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry: Here I go again with this horse books... but really, this one's a classic.

10. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman: It's just a really good book and I really need to read the other two in the series...

Rachel :)


Review: The Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan

When Henry Atherton helps Mr. Fogarty clean up around his house, he expects to find a mess and a cranky old man; what he doesn't expect to find is Pyrgus Malvae, crown prince of the Faerie realm, who has escaped the treacherous Faeries of the Night by traveling to the human world through a portal powered by trapped lightning. An egomaniacal demon prince, greedy glue factory owners Brimstone and Chalkhill, and the nefarious Lord Hairstreak, leader of the Faeries of the Night, all dream of ruling the Faerie realm and are out to kill Pyrgus. 

Enlisting the help of his sister, Holly Blue, and his new friend, Henry, Pyrgus must get back to the Faerie world alive before one of his many enemies gets to him instead. But how many portals are open, and can Pyrgus find the right one before it falls into the wrong hands? 

Conjuring scenes filled with vivid color, unforgettable detail, and fearless characters, author Herbie Brennan brings readers to the Faerie world, where nothing is ever what it seems and no one can be trusted.

The Faerie Wars started out in a way that I hadn't expected, but, to be honest, I'm not sure of what I expected because the copy I have has no synopsis whatsoever on it!

It started off by confusing me a bit, switching perspective between worlds a few times before it finally settled into the plot. Once it did, I was very glad I had picked it up. I ended up really loving the way it switched perspectives. It ended up telling a story that would have been much, much different and not nearly as interesting as if it hadn't.

The plot was one that kept me interested once it got going, it was really fun. It was the getting going that was tough, it was a bit slow for my tastes. Also, I'm not completely sure why Henry's family drama was necessary to this book- sure, it gave a nice back story and motive to Henry, but then it just kinda kept going and I really wasn't too interested in his bratty sister, stressed father and annoying mother that was having an affair.

Which brings me to something that I wasn't a fan of in this book- Henry's parents. Honestly, I really, really didn't like them. They tried to deal with the issue of Henry's mother having an affair like it was no big deal, which to Henry it was. Then they were just unreasonable and unsympathetic for the rest of the story, and that  made it all worse.

To get to the more positive, the concept of the faeries in this book was really cool! I loved how they had a sort of parallel world to our own. As far as characters go, the faerie ones were my favourite, especially Holly Blue. Blue is the sort of kick-ass female characters that makes books just that much better. She's a middle sibling, so she kinda gets ignored lots of the time and is left to her own devices- something that she is sure to take advantage of.

All in all, I had fun reading it but reading the next book in the series isn't a huge priority at the moment. Most likely I will in the future, but not for a while.

The Good: Some awesome characters, fun plot.
The Bad: Bad parent characters, a bit slow to start.
The Verdict: 3 3/4 stars

Rachel :)


Top Ten Tuesday #10

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten lists for that topic.

This week's topic is: Top Ten "Older" Books You Don't Want People To Forget About

As usual, these are in no particular order, and are linked to Goodreads (incase you're interested) ;) 

1. City of Masks (Stravanganza #1)  by Mary Hoffman: The original "City of..." series. Before the Mortal Instruments series came around. I borrowed this book from my aunt probably about four years ago, and LOVED it. I promptly gobbled up the rest of the series during that one summer. I highly recommend the entire series.  

2. Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee: I've probably read this book about four times, and every time I love it just as much as I did the time before. Something about Lisa Yee's writing style makes the characters very relatable and likeable. It's a quick, easy, though good read. 

3. Ingo by Helen Dunmore: I know that I've included this book in previous posts on this blog... It's good, okay?? ha ha ha... 

4. Watership Down by Richard Adams: It may be about rabbits, but it's a pretty darn good book about rabbits. I read this book when I was in elementary school and I just loved it. 

5. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: It's by one of my favourite authors. Lots of people actually don't know that there was a book first, and since this was one of my first favourites, I want more people to know about it.

6. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman: The movie didn't do this book justice. I remember that I really enjoyed this book.

7. The Dolphin Diaries by Ben M. Baglio: Ok, so maybe they aren't really YA, but we both loved this series when we were younger. It made me so happy when I was able to find them at the library!

8. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell: This book was one of the first books ever to speak out against animal abuse, and it was written by one of the first female authors that made it big. It's a true classic. 

9. The Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis: Honestly, I think this series is going to be on our lists many, many more times. It's just such a good series! It is older, but it is still fantastic. It's right up there with Harry Potter.

10. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: Arguably the most well-known series of all time, I really don't think I need to have this series on the list, but just to re-enforce it, I thought I better put it on here!

keep readin' it write!
Megan and Rachel

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