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Thursday, March 31, 2011

REVIEW: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore


In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now.

The Nine had to separate and go into hiding. The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.

I AM NUMBER FOUR is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.

I AM NUMBER FOUR.
I AM NEXT.


Book: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Release Date: August 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction
Series: Lorien Legacies, #1
Obtained: Library
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (3 Zombies)

I'd just like to start by saying that I don't approve of James Fray's Fiction Factory, nor do I approve of the fact that the "author" and book names rhyme. I hate rhyming. And using the pen name Pittacus Lore was just plain dumb, since he is some semi-mythological dude from the books. Way to put yourself up on a pedestal, yeah?

Okay, now that that mini-rant is over, I'll move on to the actual review. I Am Number Four is full of action and angst, but not much more. It is entertaining, for sure, but not very substantial. Which is not necessarily a bad thing for everyone. There is nothing at all imaginative about it, but it's still fun to read.

The main character, John, was nothing special, but he didn't piss me off too much, so point for him. Most of the side characters, excluding the love interest Sarah, were also un-annoying. Sam was cool, Mark was kind of a dick, but since Jake Abel plays him in the movie, all is forgiven. Henri was my absolute favorite character, without a doubt (He was shit awesome, LOL. Inside joke.). He rocked.

The end sucks, and that's all I'm going to say about it. Not much I can say without spoiling everything. If you want a quick read that won't challenge you but is still very entertaining, I Am Number Four would be a safe choice.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (40)




Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Jill at Breaking the Spine. Each week, participating bloggers will make a post about a book whose publication they're eagerly awaiting.

This week, I'm featuring Amplified by Tara Kelley.


When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their industrial rock band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright, and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it.

This one has an interesting premise. I'm looking forward to reading it! What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cover Trends (5)

COVER TRENDS


Cover Trends is a feature here at Braintasia Books where I discuss aspects of book covers that I've seen recently that seem to be popping up in a lot of books. Sometimes they're good, sometimes they aren't, but they're all getting quite common. These book covers tend to only represent YA, UF, and PNR since those are the genres I read, and as such, the covers I see.

This week's trend is Black Background, Bright Image. I usually love this one, but sometimes it just looks wrong. This trend can definitely make for some stunning covers, though. I especially like the covers for Starstruck and Wildefire (I spelled it right this time!!), but the Wake Unto Me cover just isn't thrilling me. My examples for this week are:


What are your thoughts on this week's trend?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Book Title Survey

I found this cute survey here. What you do is answer all of the questions with the titles of books you've read this year. Since I haven't read many books lately, some of my answers are a bit awkward XD

Describe yourself: The Demon Trapper's Daughter
How do you feel: Abandon

Describe where you currently live: Enclave

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Oblivion Road

Your favorite form of transportation: The Near Witch

Your best friend is: The Piper's Son

You and your friends are: Personal Demons
What’s the weather like: Switched

You fear: Snake Agent

What is the best advice you have to give:
Magic Bleeds
Thought for the day: I Am Number Four

How I would like to die: Saving Francesca

My soul’s present condition: Blackout

REVIEW: The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta


The award-winning author of Finnikin of the Rock and Jellicoe Road pens a raw, compelling novel about a family’s hard-won healing on the other side of trauma.

Award-winning author Melina Marchetta reopens the story of the group of friends from her acclaimed novel Saving Francesca - but five years have passed, and now it’s Thomas Mackee who needs saving. After his favorite uncle was blown to bits on his way to work in a foreign city, Tom watched his family implode. He quit school and turned his back on his music and everyone that mattered, including the girl he can’t forget. Shooting for oblivion, he’s hit rock bottom, forced to live with his single, pregnant aunt, work at the Union pub with his former friends, and reckon with his grieving, alcoholic father. Tom’s in no shape to mend what’s broken. But what if no one else is either? An unflinching look at family, forgiveness, and the fierce inner workings of love and friendship, The Piper’s Son redefines what it means to go home again.


Book: The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
Release Date: March 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Genre: Adult
Series: Companion novel to Saving Francesca
Obtained: From the publisher, in exchange for an honest review
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)

The Piper's Son was kind of hard to get into at the beginning because I was expecting something so tremendously different, since I'd just finished Saving Francesca a few days earlier. I was expecting to read a novel about a still-young Tom with the same friends and a similar storyline, but instead found a novel about a much older Tom and his aunt Georgie (it's told in dual perspectives) with the old gang at odds and missing Jimmy (*sadface*).

I did get into the book after a little, however, and after that it was all great. Well, actually I cried a little bit and my heart broke a little bit more every time Francesca and Co. were mean to poor Tom. They just didn't seem to be very understanding, but at the end I felt better about everything.

Tom's story was every bit as heartbreaking as Francesca's, but I found Georgie to be alternately intriguing and annoying as hell. She won me over at the end, but some of her earlier scenes had me begging to be back in Tom's head.

I know that this seems like a more negative review, but I gave The Piper's Son four zombies for a reason. I really did like it, I just don't quite know how to articulate the good parts. Let's just say that Melina Marchetta wrote it, and that should be good enough for anyone who's read any of her other books.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Contest!!

Hop on over to Lisa Desrochers' blog to win an ARC of the much-anticipated Original Sins along with a lot of other cool stuff!

In My Mailbox (38)

The Story Siren


In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren that I participate in regularly.  All you have to do is post whatever books you've received in the past week, bought or for review, and any cool swag you want to mention.


For Review:
Stay by Deb Caletti
Thanks to all the awesome peeps at Simon & Schuster! 

Won:
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton (From the fabulous Fiktshun!)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blog Hops (21)

Book Blogger Hop
 "If you could physically put yourself into a book or series…which one would it be and why?"

I would choose to be two different worlds. First, Holly Black's Curse Workers series because the idea of curse working is just so cool and I really love gloves. Second, Sarah Rees Brennan's Demon's Lexicon series because I really want a Nick. He is so sweet (not really) and amazing and wonderful (sometimes).

















Q. Inspired by the inane twitter trend of #100factsaboutme, give us five BOOK RELATED silly facts about you.

1. I hate audiobooks with a passion.

2. I'm currently writing a book about a 16 y/o Russian crime heiress.

3. I have an entire bookshelf dedicated to books I own but haven't read yet.

4. I keep books in a tub under my bed, in my closet, stacked on the ground, and on both of my desks, yet neither of my bookshelves is full.

5. I like listening to Jack White while I read ;) He kind of looks like a vampire, doesn't he? Albeit, a very good looking vampire, but still . . .

Thursday, March 24, 2011

REVIEW: The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver


Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself – and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on…

Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper, Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father's footsteps. The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers’ Guild needs all the help they can get – even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.

But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers’ Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart – and her life?


Book: The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult
Series: The Demon Trappers, #1
Obtained: From the publisher, in exchange for an honest review
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)

The Demon Trapper's Daughter was one of the best futuristic books I've read in a while, probably because a) it's set in the South and I love the south (Southern Vampires, anyone? True Blood, for those of you who don't read the books. I like both.) and b) it's a very near future. Less than ten years from now, I believe.

Riley was a likable and believable protagonist, and my only issue with her was that she was occasionally kind of whiny. I mean, I know that her dad just died and all, but she has some pretty amazing friends/boyfriends and not a lot to complain about. Sometimes it was realistic (I am a teenage girl. Yes, we complain.), but sometimes it was a little over the top (I am a teenage girl. No, we do not complain about too many hot guys.)

Speaking of hot guys, Beck was so totally yummy and Simon was just meh, and that is all I will say on the topic. I always go ├╝ber fangirly about love interests, but there is no need for that. No more.

So, overall, The Demon Trapper's Daughter was a fast-paced novel set in an awesomely dark Southern city (Atlanta, yay! That's where Anna's from! ATFK FTW!) with hot guys. Yay! And, yes, I do realize that I've used the word 'yay' way too many times in this post. It's a good word. Yay was made for overuse.

P.S.: Yay!

P.P.S.: Winning! (Go Charlie Sheen! I <3 you, even though you're crazy!)

P.P.P.S.: I promise to try to use less exclamation points in the future. Try.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (39)




Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Jill at Breaking the Spine. Each week, participating bloggers will make a post about a book whose publication they're eagerly awaiting.

This week, I'm featuring Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray.

Falling for Hamlet retells the familiar Shakespearean tragedy from the point of view of a feisty, empowered Ophelia, who is neither suicidal nor anybody’s pushover. In a glittering world of celebrities, paparazzi, and reality TV, Ophelia navigates the minefield of teen life in a royal family gone crazy.

OMG, this cover! It's so awesome and cute and sexy! I love it! Can't wait to get a copy! And I know this makes me sound realllly nerdy, but I'm kind of a ginormous Shakespeare fan . . . What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cover Trends (4)

COVER TRENDS


Cover Trends is a feature here at Braintasia Books where I discuss aspects of book covers that I've seen recently that seem to be popping up in a lot of books. Sometimes they're good, sometimes they aren't, but they're all getting quite common. These book covers tend to only represent YA, UF, and PNR since those are the genres I read, and as such, the covers I see.

This week's trend is Feet & Shoes. I'm not sure how I feet about this trend. Some covers do it well (Back When You Were Easier to Love, Notes From the Blender), others, well, don't (First Grave on the Right), and others still are just mediocre (Gone, Gone, Gone). Some examples I've seen are:


 What do you think of this trend?

Monday, March 21, 2011

REVIEW: Wither by Lauren DeStefano


What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.


Book: Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Chemical Garden, #1
Obtained: From the publisher, in exchange for an honest review
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (5 Zombies)

Wow. Just wow. Wither is by far the best YA I've read in a long time, and a very original take on the flooded dystopian genre. After The Hunger Games, I've seen so many mediocre and bad dystopians that I almost stopped reading them altogether, but Wither has put the genre back on my good list. I actually have zero complaints with this book. It was perfect.

Rhine, the main character, was strong and realistic, and I loved seeing from her perspective. Watching her realize that things weren't as black and white as she'd thought they were was amazing, and I look forward to seeing this continue in the next book.

The two sort-of love interests were Linden, the rich man that purchased Rhine to be one of his brides, and Gabriel, one of Linden's servants. I liked them both in different ways, but ultimately favored Linden (which, going by what I've heard from other bloggers, seems to be unusual). He was just so clueless and vulnerable and adorable that I couldn't help but like him.

Rhine's sister brides, Rose, Cecily, and Jenna were all fabulous characters in their own ways. Rose was kind to Rhine, and I liked what I saw of her, but she also seemed to be kind of bitchy to the servants, very realistic for someone who has grown up rich. Cecily was naive and childish, but she grew up quickly towards the end. Jenna was always very serious and more worried about other people than herself, and a sort of mother-figure. Jenna seems like she would have been the most likable sister bride, but I actually preferred Rose.

The plot was full of twists and turns that made sense when I read them, but I never saw coming. Except for one tiny thing regarding Cecily. I was so absorbed with Wither that I was almost late to two classes, and read waaaay too late at night, then woke up waaay to early to keep reading until I finished it.

Wither is the haunting story of a reality where the only thing that matters is survival and the only guarantee is death. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. It may not be a happy read, but it is most definitely a good one, and it'll stick with you for a long, long time.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (37)

The Story Siren


In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren that I participate in regularly.  All you have to do is post whatever books you've received in the past week, bought or for review, and any cool swag you want to mention.



For Review:
Huntress by Malinda Lo

Gifted:
The Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda from Amber @ Down the Rabbit Hole


Thanks to everyone who sent me books this week!

What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Why Can't It Be Later?

I don't know about you guys, but I am really looking forward to some things happening later this year. Since I am a book blogger, and we tend to be slightly inclined to make lists, I will give you, dear reader, ten reasons why I wish time would speed up just a little bit. So, in no particular order, these are some things I'm really looking forward to:

  1. The end of this semester: I'm taking 19 units right now, and only two of my classes interest me. Physical Geology & Lab suck, Contemporary Topics in Biology sucks, Abnormal Psychology sucks, College Algebra sucks, but at least Critical Thinking & Composition and American Government are fun. Also, I have too much homework right now. School is eating my life.
  2. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins: After the amazing amazingness that was Anna and the French Kiss, I can't wait for the first of two companion novels :DDDD
  3. Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey: There aren't enough gay paranormals out there, and I don't know of any of them that are YA. I'm looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.
  4. Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers: I just finished Personal Demons about a week ago, and I can't wait much longer for more Luc. *Drools*
  5. Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer: Despite the ugly, unprofessional-looking new covers, this series is made of awesome and I really want to know what happens next.
  6.  Wildefire by Karsten Knight: I read the first chapter of this book online, and now I have to wait an eternity to read the rest!! Why me?!
  7. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare: I reallyreallyreally love the first book in this series and I must have more Jem and why oh why did it get moved to December? Maybe for the same reason that that run-on sentence is missing punctuation that might make it slightly more grammatically correct. Or not.
  8. My learner's permit: I really don't like not being able to drive. I can't walk to the bookstore anymore since the one by my house went out of business, but I can't take the driver's ed class on top of 19 units, so I have to wait until summer.
  9. Summer vacay: I'll have more time to read, I won't be in school, more time to blog, more time to write, more time to draw, more time for contortion, more free time . . . Maybe there is more time in the day in summer?
  10. Priest: Paul Bettany. I don't really have to say anything else. Oh, Cam Gigandet. Now I really don't have to say anything else. Vampires, too. *Dies* Who else is seeing this one on opening day?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Blog Hops (20)

Book Blogger Hop
 "Do you read only one book at a time, or do you have several going at once?"

Up until mid-December of 2010, I was fairly strict about only reading one book at a time--not including school stuff--but I was trying to get some review books read and a few books that had just come out, studying for finals, and preparing to fly out to Texas for Christmas the next week, so I was like, "Screw this, I'm reading as many books as I want at a time!" Currently, I am reading six books, but about two weeks ago, it was like nine books.


1. Snake Agent by Liz Williams
2. Death Masks by Jim Butcher
3. Daemon Eyes by Camille Bacon-Smith
4. Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
5. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
6. Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

















How did you come up with your blog name?

I basically just pulled it out of my ass. I really have no clue where it came from, but I hate it, and I wish it would go back there.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

REVIEW: Hex and the City by Simon R. Green


The Barnes & Noble Review
In Hex and the City, the fourth installment in Simon R. Green's Nightside saga (Something from the Nightside, Agents of Light and Darkness, and Nightingale's Lament), private investigator John Taylor uncovers the dark origins of the Nightside -- and gets in touch with his supernatural side.

The Nightside -- the subterranean realm underneath London "where gods and monsters walk side by side" and where it's always three o'clock in the morning -- is the perfect place for Taylor, a private eye with the preternatural ability to track down anyone and anything. After a wealthy client hires him to uncover how and why the Nightside was created, Taylor begins a perilous quest that not only almost gets him killed several times over but also leads him to some jaw-dropping revelations about his own mysterious origins.

Accompanied by a madman, a soulless sinner, and a demon, Taylor looks for answers in the darkest corners of the Nightside. After talking with some of the weirdest and most dangerous characters that the realm has to offer -- Herne the Hunter, the antlered god of the forests; the Lamentation, also known as the Saint of Suffering; and the Lord of Thorns, the mythical overseer of the Nightside -- Taylor finally unlocks the mysteries of the Nightside when he meets his long-absent mother!

Like H. R. Giger meets Monty Python's Flying Circus, Green's Nightside saga is as ghastly as it is outrageous. An audacious amalgam of mystery, fantasy, and horror, John Taylor's adventures in the Nightside are action-packed, breakneck paced -- and thoroughly entertaining. Paul Goat Allen


Book: Hex and the City by Simon R. Green
Release Date: February 22, 2005
Format: Mass market paperback
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Nightside, #4
Obtained: Bought
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)

I'm a huge fan of the Nightside series, as some of you already know, and while I may be quite far behind (I think there are something like 12 books so far.), I intend to get caught up as soon as possible because John Taylor is just so awesome.

Green has this dark, irreverently creepy style of writing that fits the Nightside books so well you wouldn't believe it. It is just awesome. Sometimes dark, sometimes funny, always wonderful. It's like he drained one of those old, scary carnival things and used it to write a billion little Nightside books.

John Taylor is a great leading man and the side characters are always fun, but I miss some of the earlier characters that have been somewhat absent lately, suck as Razor Eddie and Julian Advent. They are so interesting to read about and I want more of both of them. I hope to see more of those two and a few others in later books.

The mysteries in this series always leave me guessing until the very end, and I never get it right. I love that. I'm tired of books that make it so obvious that I know half-way through the third page whodunit. In the Nightside books, Taylor usually knows before I do.

If dark and somewhat gruesome is up your alley, these are some great, quick reads.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (38)




Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Jill at Breaking the Spine. Each week, participating bloggers will make a post about a book whose publication they're eagerly awaiting.

This week, I'm featuring Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz.

The two novels will follow the lives of the Beauchamp girls, who live in the fictional town of North Hampton, as they struggle to stop an arch nemesis and restore the delicate balance between good and evil. De la Cruz will weave characters from her best-selling Blue Bloods young adult series into this new paranormal series for adults.

Not a hugely informative summary, but I like the Blue Bloods series well enough, so I'll give this one a try, as well. What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cover Trends (3)

COVER TRENDS


Cover Trends is a feature here at Braintasia Books where I discuss aspects of book covers that I've seen recently that seem to be popping up in a lot of books. Sometimes they're good, sometimes they aren't, but they're all getting quite common. These book covers tend to only represent YA, UF, and PNR since those are the genres I read, and as such, the covers I see.

This week's trend is Crazy Hair. For those of you who don't know, I am kind of into crazy colored hair, so I'm loving this trend. In fact, I am sometimes known to have pink or purple or blue or green streaks in my hair. Some cute examples are:




What do you think of this trend?