Tag Archives: 4 stars

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King

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Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Release Date: October 12th 2010

Pages: 336

Young Adult

Rating: 4

“Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.
 
So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?
 
Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.”

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Expectations: I had heard wonderful things about A. S. King and her writing. I was hoping that I would enjoy it as much as other people seemed to.

My Thoughts: Wow…alot of emotions after finishing that book. I enjoyed it alot, I can say that much. The writing is good, and I love all the different perspectives. It worked very well for the story. The flashbacks worked out very well to. I do however wish I could have gotten a bit more out of Charlie’s character. Jenny Flick and her band of “detention-heads” were realistic and believable and I liked that. Vera felt so realistic it was scary. Her father kind of plucked my nerves at times but not too much. The plot was okay, but the ending was great. The end of the book was just the beginning for her and her father. The cover is perfect. End of story. Overall I’m going to give this book four stars. It wasn’t perfect but I really enjoyed getting to know Vera and Charlie. I enjoyed King’s writing and hope to get my hands on more of her books in the future.

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Author Info: Website / Twitter / Buy from B&N

“A.S. King is the author of the critically-acclaimed EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS (Little, Brown 2011) the Edgar Award nominated and 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ (Knopf 2010) and award-winning THE DUST OF 100 DOGS (Flux 2009) and other fiction for teens and adults. Next up: ASK THE PASSENGERS coming October 2012.”

-Goodreads

Standalone

Other Books By Author:

Everybody Sees the Ants,

 The Dust of 100 Dogs

Format: Hardback, Paperbackswap

Shadows on the Moon Available Today!

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I am a member of Netgalley and the first galley that I ever read and reviewed (slightly earlier, oops) is Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott. I really enjoyed this book. My review can be found here.

 

Check out the Trailer as well.

Zero by Tom Leveen (ARE)

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Zero by Tom Leveen

Pages: 304

YA novel

Format: Ebook courtesy of NetGalley

Rating: 4 stars

Standalone novel

Add to Goodreads

“For aspiring artist Amanda Walsh, who only half-jokingly goes by the nickname Zero, the summer before college was supposed to be fun—plain and simple. Hanging out with her best friend Jenn, going to clubs, painting, and counting down the days until her escape. But when must-have scholarship money doesn’t materialize, and she has a falling out with Jenn that can only be described as majorly awkward, and Zero’s parents relationship goes from tense to relentless fighting, her prospects start looking as bleak and surreal as a painting by her idol Salvador Dali. Will life truly imitate art? Will her new, unexpected relationship with a punk skater boy who seems too good to be real and support from the unlikeliest of sources show Zero that she’s so much more than a name.”

 

 

Probably my favorite contemporary so far. If you enjoy contemporary novels, pick this one up. The characters overall I enjoyed. Sometimes Zero’s angst was a bit much and sometimes I felt she said the same thing to many times. Example ” Later, skater” It was appropriate at times and others…not so much. But other than that I liked Zero. Boy angst worked, girl angst…not so much.  She learned something about herself and her life in the end. I didn’t like her dad but that may just be because he is a drunk. The best friend, I wanted more from her! I loved the plot line that was going on between her and Zero. What I liked the most is that the story is believable.

Something I want to point on in this book is, the sex scenes were more detailed than I expected for a YA novel. I’m not sure which range of YA he was aiming for…

But! Score points for Leveen – No Insta-Love!

Sometimes the art metaphors were a bit overwhelming. I like but I don’t know enough about it.

Sad? It had its moments. It definitely had potential to be a a way more sad book.

Overall I give the book four stars. I enjoyed the book and was happy with the ending and happy overall with the characters. The story was believable.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

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Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for YoungReaders

Released: March 22nd 2011

Pages: 358

Young Adult – Dystopian novel.

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: “By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out?Together with one of Linden’s servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?”

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Expectation: I expected a lot from this book, there was so much hype around it, yet I didn’t know much about it. I don’t think it disappoints. For being a debut novel, I am impressed.

My Thoughts: I’m just going to start off with this book got me out of my reading funk. I was sitting in my classes waiting to get out to read a few more pages before my next class. This book was tragically beautiful. I loved the characters, they all very much had their own personalities. The writing just made me feel for Rhine and her sister wives. Not so much for Cecily though, she got on my nerves in the beginning. I loved Jen as well, all throughout the book. I liked Rhine because she never gave up. She was determined no matter what to escape her unwanted “marriage”. The main love interest (or the forces upon interest) was okay, he was kind of a bizarre character. He does seem a bit naive in a way though. Now for the actual love interest, I enjoyed him. It’s an almost impossible friendship that could be more…I can’t wait to find out what happens in Fever.

The plot was interesting, I feel like it could have been a bit more extravagant but it was still nicely done. The world building I could understand and I enjoyed. I had never read a book with polygamy so it was something new. The cover is nice, normally I don’t like covers with just pretty models but the designing makes the book. The pacing was also nice, I almost couldn’t put it down. There wasn’t really a time where I was bored or it was slow. The ending left with a cliffhanger, naturally. I think it was nicely done and a good spot to leave off. Not that I’m happy about the cliffhanger. I mean I want to read fever right now! But alas, I shall have to wait. But look forward to fever in the future. I am giving Wither 4 stars. Overall I could barely put the book down. As I said I look forward to reading fever and will definitely be continuing the series.

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Author Info: Website / Twitter / Buy from B&N

“Lauren DeStefano (pronounced: de STEFF ano) graduated Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT in 2007. Her debut novel, WITHER, the first in The Chemical Garden Trilogy, published by Simon & Schuster BFYR, is out now.” – GoodReads

Series: The Chemical Garden –  Wither #1 & Fever #2

Format: Bought, Hardback

For People who enjoy: Dystopian, Controversial topics, Strong Heroine, Evil father in laws, Secret Laboratory, The concept of sister wives or Polygamy,  Death Disease, and more…

Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann

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Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann

Hardcover, 233 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Simon Pulse

“The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on… until Kendall’s boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace. Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk. She knows it’s crazy, but Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk, dreaming of Nico and wondering if maybe she, too, will disappear…and whether that would be so bad. Then she begins receiving graffiti messages on the desk from someone who can only be Nico. Can he possibly be alive somewhere? Where is he? And how can Kendall help him? The only person who believes her is Jacian, the new guy she finds irritating…and attractive. As Kendall and Jacian grow closer, Kendall digs deeper into Nico’s mysterious disappearance only to stumble upon some ugly—and deadly—local history. Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.”

 

 

One of the first books that I have read in a day in a long time. (I am a super slow reader.) I was rather skeptical about this book because I could not get into Gone which is another book by Lisa McMann. I am so glad I picked up this book. This was a quick read but I couldn’t put it down. The plot kept moving and things kept getting more intense.

I really enjoyed Kendall’s characters, the OCD really added something unique to her character, and the story. You really felt her anguish over the missing students, and especially her best friend. Jacian is another wonderful character in the story, you really get a feel for him and I liked that. I really connected with the characters in this novel.

Also, it is nice that it is a stand alone novel, series tend to be the trend right now and it was nice to break up all the series I’ve been reading with a stand alone.

I am only giving this book a four because I have read a book similar but it was fairly close to a five with me. I definitely recommend it to people who want a quick and chilling read.

Lisa McMann’s Website: here

Buy from: B&N

Check out the Trailer! I think it’s awesome.

Revealing Eden by Victoria Foyt (ARE)

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Revealing Eden by Victoria Foyt
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Sand Dollar Press Inc(first published October 6th 2011)

“Eden Newman must mate before her 18th birthday in six months or she’ll be left outside to die in a burning world. But who will pick up her mate-option when she’s cursed with white skin and a tragically low mate-rate of 15%? In a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, underground world where class and beauty are defined by resistance to an overheated environment, Eden’s coloring brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. If only she can mate with a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class, she’ll be safe. Just maybe one Coal sees the Real Eden and will be her salvation her co-worker Jamal has begun secretly dating her. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father’s secret biological experiment, she finds herself in the eye of a storm and thrown into the last area of rainforest, a strange and dangerous land. Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity’s last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction. Eden must change to survive but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty and of love, along with a little help from her “adopted aunt” Emily Dickinson.”

This book went a totally different way than I was thinking, but wow I liked it. The synopsis is rather vague compared to the actual book. I very much enjoyed the pacing, and there was so much going on and so many questions to be answered. The whole world is very different that what I was picturing from the synopsis, but it’s like nothing I’ve read before.

Eden…I kind of had a love hate relationship with her. Which is the main reason that I am giving this book a four. I feel like she should have stood up for herself a bit more, I feel like she is very naive. But she did grow throughout the book but I just wish she could have grown a bit more. Her father on the other hand I was not to fond of, only for the fact that for the most part of the book he didn’t seem to care, but his character worked for the story so he was good and bad. Bramford is just a beast full of bottled emotions. Wow, so much going on for him, and so I don’t spoil, I’m just going to say that his secret did surprise me. I was a bit confused on his appearance but for the most part the descriptions throughout the book were fine.

It was interesting to see Caucasians be the inferior race. I did feel bad for the poor albino’s though. But overall I give the book a four, I really enjoyed the book aside from my love-hate relationship with Eden and occasionally her father, I thought the pacing was nice and there were enough twists and turns to keep me engaged in the book. I will definitely be looking forward to the next book in the series. I’d like to see where Eden and Bramford’s relationship goes.

Check out the author’s website!

Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott (ARE)

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Ebook, 464 pages

Expected publication: April 24th 2012 by Candlewick Press (first published July 7th 2011)

A powerful tale of magic, love and revenge with a strong female lead set in fairy-tale Japan; this is “Cinderella” meets “Memoirs of a Geisha”. Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume is able to recreate herself in any form – a fabulous gift for a girl desperate to escape her past. But who is she really? Is she a girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama, or a lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens, or Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Whatever her true identity, Suzume is destined to capture the heart of a prince – and determined to use his power to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her, not even love. The author’s debut novel, “The Swan Kingdom”, sold over 20,000 copies worldwide. It was chosen as a USBBY Outstanding International Book and was longlisted for the Branford Boase Award. Zoe also recently won a writing grant from the Royal Literary Fund. It is supported by a major marketing and press campaign, including book proof and Ebook for early adopters, author events and dedicated online activity. “Shadows on the Moon” has already won the prestigious Sasakawa prize, an award gifted by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation for outstanding contributions to the promotion of understanding and cooperation between people of Japan and the UK.

Beautifully written. The last page, I didn’t realize was the last page and I didn’t want it to end. This really is a wonderful mix of Cinderella and Memoirs of a Geisha. The shadow weaving was an interesting twist to throw into the story. It was fascinating to learn about all of the Shadow Weavers abilities and how they each used them in different ways. The characters I felt added something to the story in their own ways. Suzume was such a wonderfully complex character and I kept wanting to read more about her and her story. I only wish that she had stood up for herself a bit more.

Really, there is so much emotion in this book. I do wish Youta was more into the story than he was, I liked his character but he did full fill his purpose. On to the love interest, aka Otieno. I actually really liked these two together. The balanced each other out even though Suzume had such an emotional mess going on inside her. Akira is a fierce friend and I liked that about her character, even when Suzume thought she was going to cast her out Akira stood firm and reassured that that she wasn’t going anywhere.

The pacing of the book was great, I didn’t want to put it down most of the time. The cover is okay, not one of my favorites, but the story inside makes me overlook the cover.

This book really took me by surprise. I haven’t read a book with this high a rating (in my mind) in a while. I’m giving this book a 4 a very strong 4, I was half tempted to give it a 5 but there were still little things that kept me from giving it a 5 but definitely a book I will be recommending. I look forward to reading more books from this author.

You may visit Zoe Marriott’s Website: Here
And her GoodReads Page: Here