Sunday, January 30, 2011

In My Mailbox (28)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren that tells people what books we got this week. All the links in this post go the book's amazon page if you want more info on it.

Downloaded to Kindle:
Fever series Book 3: Faefever by Karen Marie Moning.-Trying to finish this series so I can get to Shadowfever. FYI this is FIVE DOLLARS on the Kindle guys. Can't beat that.

From the Library:
Bewitching Mysteries Book 2: A Charmed Death by Madelyn Alt.-another series I'm trying to finish that got started last year.
Jane by April Lindner-A retelling of Jane Eyre that looks interesting. Been wanting to read this one for a while now.
Study series Book 1: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder-Pretty stoked to read this one. I've heard lots of good things about it.

That's all I got this week. What did you get your mailbox?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Book Review: Fairy Tale

TITLE: Fairy Tale
AUTHOR: Cyn Balog
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: faeries, romance, drama
PREMISE: A teen oracle discovers her boyfriend is a changling and that the faeries want him back.
MY REVIEW: First I will say I love Balog's creativity. She manages to not use the same tired idea over and over again. She also seems to actually understand how teenagers act and behave so her portrayel of high school is pretty accurate. She's also got some nice writing in there and manages to put in some thoughtful things.
However, before I can say she's excellent she needs to work on two things: her main female characters and her endings. Her main female characters tend to flip flop. A LOT. This MC especially I couldn't figure out who she was because her personality did one-eighties all the time. First she would be sardonic and sassy and I would love her but then suddenly these out of no where insecurities popped up and she'd be the "oh my guy is so hot, why on earth is he with ME? He deserves so much better!" kind of girl. Which is SUCH a trope and one that I hate (FYI I hate it when it's guys doing it with their girlfriends too). Then there are the plot turns. First, she has the tendancy to go for the predictable endings and the endings tend to wrap up way to abruptly in my opinion.
If Balog would work on those two things, then I bet her books would improve by leaps and bounds. Compared to this, Sleepless was better so she is definitely improving which makes me eager to read her future work. This is a nice twist in the faerie book genre anyway. The ending makes me think that perhaps Balog is leaving room for a sequel which I'm all for.
WHO SHOULD READ: faerie book fans, fans of Tithe, fans of Sleepless
MY RATING: Four out of Five changelings

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Review: The Book Thief

TITLE: The Book Thief
AUTHOR: Markus Zusak
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: historical fiction, drama
PREMISE: In Germany during WWII a young girl goes around stealing books and deals with the changing world around her.
MY REVIEW: I absolutely loved this book so before I start my gushing, and to make you aware it's not perfect, I'll go over the (very few) issues with the book. First, the narrating style takes some getting used too. Once you do though, it becomes enjoyable and second, I'll admit the book sometimes did drag a bit. But that's about it. For the most part this book is excellent.
Liesel (you're forgiven if you keep thinking about the Sound of Music) is a hilarious protagonist. Watching her grow up and deal with people is great. She's nice and spunky, doesn't angst over boys, and her relationship with Rudy is histarical to watch. You root for this girl so much that you end up just as heartbroken as she was at that ending.
Another thing I loved was that this was a different look into WWII. Most books dealing with WWII don't deal with the everyday Germans and what they went through. Which is understandable, it's a touchy subject. I liked that the author pointed hey, guess what not every German was in favor of Hitler! The war was just as tough on them as everyone else. Doesn't excuse the holocaust at all, I know, but it's nice to see someone make it not so white and black and explore the gray areas of the war that few people tackle.
Plus, the writing is just GOOD. The narrative style like I said is odd, but in it's own way brilliant. The author created fully fledged three dimensional characters that you grow to really enjoy and the story well I won't give it away but if you aren't tearing up by the end, you may want to check your pulse. A perfect book? No. No book is absolutely perfect. But it is most definitely an excellent book and I highly recomend it to everyone.
WHO SHOULD READ: anyone inclined
MY RATING: Five out of Five stolen books

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Review: Blue Bloods

TITLE: Blue Bloods
Book 1 in the Blue Bloods series
AUTHOR: Melissa De La Cruz
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: vampires, romance, drama
PREMISE: Schuylar goes to an exclusive school where she learns she and the all the rich kids are vampires called blue bloods who are being hunted.
MY REVIEW: I saved this series for last on my quest to read the major vampire books because I had a feeling I wouldn't like it very much. Turned out to be both right and wrong. I'm honestly very split on this series. The tween bopper in me that likes the cheesy stuff like Wizards of Waverly place and rom-coms and is seriously thinking of trying out the Vampire Diaries on CW sort of dug this. Was the premise and idea ridiculous? Oh yeah, baby. I'd go as far to say it's almost as a ridiculous an idea as House of Night. However, unlike House of Night I did at least find this a bit believable. There is also an ongoing mystery that I am mildly interested in and a few funny lines here and there. For it's audience (tweens who like stuff like Gossip Girl) these books are all right. Oh, and the fashion is fun.
However, that's about all the good I can find because honestly it's a ridiculous series. The names are ridiculous (there's a woman named TRINITY, okay? Plus when I find the name Cordelia normal you know it's bad), all the characters are two-dimensional and actually kind of obnoxious with the possible exception of Schuylar who is a total Mary Sue. The series on whole is a bit shallow to be honest. There is nothing really deep going on here. In fact this series is pretty much Gossip Girl combined with Vampire Diaries. I fully expect CW to pick these books up in the future to make it a teen drama. Don't get me started on the writing which have really bad prose, eighty million descriptions of fashion that were fun at first but quickly became annoying, and did I mention the names were ridiculous?
So is it utterly horrible a la House of Night? No. I mean, at least there's some resembelance of a plot going on here. I think. The author does have some interesting takes on the vampire mythos (even though I find them almost as ridiculous as the sparkling vampires of Twilight. Almost). But on the whole it's just cheesy so I can't really give it more then three stars for good guilty pleasure series. I also am not even sure if I'll continue it even though I'm mildly interested in the mystery part.
WHO SHOULD READ: younger teens, house of night fans, twilight fans, vampire diaries fans, gossip girl fans
MY RATING: Three out of Five plaid skirts

Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Review: Blood Bound

TITLE: Blood Bound
Book 2 in the Mercy Thompson series
AUTHOR: Patricia Briggs
GENRE: Urban fantasy, romance, adventure, mystery, werewolves, vampires, faeries
PREMISE: Mercy gets pulled into vampire politics thanks to her "friend" Stefan.
MY REVIEW: Once more I feel my need to express dislike for the covers. It's not that the artist is bad, they are artistically nice. It's that I feel they give people the wrong impression of what this series is about. If you were someone browsing and saw these your first take would probably be "oh, it'll be like Anita Blake and be sex all the time". I know that was my impression from the covers and thus I was turned off on reading these for the longest time. But when you go to read it, that's not what it's about. In fact, Mercy never ONCE dresses like the girl on the cover. She's a jean and t-shirt gal and there's very little sex in these books. So it gives entirely the wrong impression of not only the character but the books themselves and I don't think they do Briggs any favors (I feel the same about Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld covers too, just so you know, although they've recently rereleased nicer versions of the covers so yay).
Other then my distaste for the covers which is entirely a personal opinion and not necessarily something you should take to heart, I kind of love these books. This along with Sookie Stackhouse and Women of the Otherworld and Kate Daniels and the Fever series have made me fall in love with the adult urban fantasy genre. Brigg's worldbuilding is excellent. She's good at keeping you at the edge of your seat and the way the characters interact is awesome (btw my OTP in this is Warren/Kyle. I could honestly care less about Mercy and her boyfriends, although I'm more partial to Adam then I am to Sam if I must choose. BTW, what's with all the werewolves named Sam lately?). Is it the best series ever? No. Sometimes the plot went by way to fast and I sometimes had a hard time keeping of who was who in the minor characters due to this. Plus stuff felt like it came out of no where and got solved awfully quick and the prose...not much to write home about.
But for a urban fantasy guilty pleasure this series is great. I am hooked and honestly can't wait to read the rest which I plan on reading throughout the rest of this year in the hopes of catching up for the newer books. Expect more Women of the Otherworld reviews as well.
WHO SHOULD READ: adult urban fantasy fans, Kate Daniels fans, Women of the Otherworld fans, Sookie Stackhouse fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five wrenches

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (27)

Apologies for this being late. I had to work this morning.
Anyway, this is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren that tells people what books we got over the week. Since I missed last week, I'll be including last week's books as well. All the links go to the book's amazon page if you want info on them.

Downloaded to Kindle:
Fallen Book 1 by Lauren Kate.-Part of my quest to look into this angel book thing.
Dragons of Starlight: Starlighter by Bryan Davis.-It was free.

Net Galley:
Angelfire Trilogy Book 1 by Courtney Allison Moulton-Part of the angel book thing as well as part of my debut author 2011 challenge plus it just looks good.
Delirium Trilogy book 1 by Lauren Oliver. First in a new trilogy by the author of Before I Fall (which was awesome). One of my anticipated books this year.

From the Library:
Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog-I kind of dug Sleepless so I thought I'd look into her other more well known book.
Mercy Thompson Book 2: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs. From last week. Finished. Review will be up later today.
The Maze Runner Trilogy Book 1 by James Dashner.From last week, finished, review is up. Really good.
Discworld-Tiffany Aching Book 4: I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett-I've been waiting for my library to get this since it came out. They FINALLy got it in this week. Squee. I love the Tiffany Aching books.
Forget Her Nots by Amy Brecount White-from 2010 that I didn't get to read till now.

So that's all I got this week. What did you get in your mailbox?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Follow Friday

So I've decided to participate in Follow Friday which is a weekly thing hosted by Parajunkee at Parajunkee's View:

Question of the Week: Who do You cheer for?
Well, I don't really follow much sports. They just aren't my thing. But the few times I do, I go for my home teams which gets complicated as I'm a native Washington D.C resident (technically Silver Spring MD but no one knows where that is. It's 20 mins or so from D.C for those wondering) but I also spent my teen and current years in the St. Louis area. So if I must, I cheer for the following:
Washington Redskins
Baltimore Ravens
Washington Wizards (who in my day were called the Bullets so I still have to remember to call them this)
Mizzou Tigers (football and basketball)
St. Louis Rams (who have redeemed themselves slightly so I can admit it again)
St. Louis Cardinals (please don't go Pujols!)
St. Louis Blues (well I'd cheer for them if I ever actually watched hockey)
Sometimes my Mom also makes me cheer for the Denver Broncos (she and her family are from Boulder area)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review: The Maze Runner

TITLE: The Maze Runner
Book 1 in the Maze Runner Trilogy
AUTHOR: James Dashner
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: dystopian, adventure
PREMISE: Thomas awakens to find himself in a giant monstrous maze with a group of teenagers and no memories.
MY REVIEW: I've heard nothing but praise for this series and while I think some of the praise is a little exhaggerated, it's well deserved. Dashner has a solid book here. I will say, I found the characters two-dimensional (particularly Thomas who is such a Gary Stu) but that's to be expected with these sort of books that focus on the action and developments rather then character. Plus, I sometimes felt Dashner was trying a bit to hard to be edgy, but that's a personal feeling and not neccessarily true. I'll also say it: it's Hunger Games combined with Lord of the Flies, minus the cannibalism. So yeah, not terribly original.
Overall however, this is a very good book and I see why there's a lot of hoopla. It's exciting and hooks you from the start. Dashner has created an intriguing idea here that makes you excited to see what happens next. While it maybe is not on the same level as Hunger Games, it is still excellent and I can't wait to get my hands on Scorch Trials. I also think I'll look into Dashner's other series, the 13th Reality.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of dystopian novels, fans of The Hunger Games, fans of Lord of the Flies, boys
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five grievers

Monday, January 17, 2011

Book Review: Wildwing

TITLE: Wildwing
AUTHOR: Emily Whitman
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: Romance, drama, historical fiction
PREMISE: Addy hates her life as a maid, she then gets dropped into medieval times where she gets everything she ever dreamed and meets the man of her dreams...
MY REVIEW: I won't lie, this book is basically a harlequin-esque romance novel for the tween set. Which is fine, these books fill a niche and those in the mood for a light romance will devour this book and enjoy it thoroughly. Whitman had some nice writing in here, there was a lesson to be learned, so it wasn't horrible.
Unfortunately I had trouble getting into it due to the main character. I just didn't like her. She was a obvious Mary Sue with little to no personality and was honestly quite a arrogant brat. She never got to Bella Swan level or anything (to her credit she did learn her lesson and tried to get herself out her own messes and there was a bit of character growth at the end) but she just didn't interest me at ALL. The secondary characters were just as uninteresting and two-dimensional. It just made it hard for me to get into the plot when I just didn't care about the characters. Also wasn't helpful that the plot became quickly obvious and predictable.
So it wasn't a horrible book, it was just slightly blah. Especially when you compare it to Whitman's first book Radiant Darkness which I kind of dug. For romance lovers, this one is for you. For everyone else, I'd only pick it up if you like fluffy historical romances.
WHO SHOULD READ: romance lovers
MY RATING: Three out of Five wedding gowns

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Book Review: Witch and Wizard

Witch and Wizard
Book 1 in the Witch and Wizard series
AUTHOR: James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: adventure, fantasy
PREMISE: Whit and Wisty get caught up in a struggle against their world's opressor when their family is targeted and they learn they have magic.
MY REVIEW: I'll give this for Patterson: his books are addictive and entertaining. I liked this just as much as I liked his other stuff. Man, I wish he would go into TV because our tv would probably be ten times more creative then it is now if he did. Guess I'll have to settle for his guest appearance on Castle.
So this book is pretty much your usual Patterson. If you read his other stuff you know what to expect: snappy dialogue, really quick pacing (this one was quick pacing on steroids, yeesh), fast reading (this should take no more the two to three hours to read), and slight cheese. Extra on the cheese for this one, I think. But mostly, entertainment. Patterson isn't out to make great works of literature, he's there to entertain readers who otherwise wouldn't read and that he does well.
So if you want a deep thinking, well written, thoughtful book you're probably better off going elsewhere (although to be fair there were some nuggets put in for teens to think about). But if you're in the mood for a quick, action-packed, cheese-fest this book is perfect.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of Maximum Ride
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five drumsticks

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm on Twitter!

Okay, so this Twitter thing seems to have not gone away so I figured I might as well join in as part of my effort this year to be more sociable. So I have a twitter profile under AFangirlsView now. Not sure what I'll be doing with it but for now, probably just updates on what I'm reading or watching. Maybe a few quotes here and there. Come follow me if you want! Link is in the sidebar.

Book Review: Trickster's Girl

TITLE: Trickster's Girl
Book 1 in the Raven Duet
AUTHOR: Hilari Bell
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: science fiction, fantasy, adventure
PREMISE: Kelsa lives in the near future where the planet is in danger of dying. She gets approached by a boy named Raven who tells her she can help.
MY REVIEW: What I love with Bell's work is that I never know what I'll get from her. She is one of the few YA authors out there who is creative with plots and ideas. Each series or book she does is different from her last and I love that. This book is no exception. It's actually even different from her other work because it's not just fantasy but a bit science fictionish as well and as always I loved what she did with the world building.
I really liked Kelsa and enjoyed her interactions with Raven even if sometimes Kelsa seemed like a Mary Sue. She wasn't full-on Mary Sue like some characters have been in the past, but she had some sueish qualities so that did sort of take away some enjoyment from it. Plus the ending was a bit abrupt to me but it does set it up nicely for the sequel so I guess it's okay.
Bell's best work? Not really. Her Knight and Rogue series is much better in my opinion but still, this is a nice solid and interesting book and like all her work, it makes you think about stuff. I'll be keeping a lookout for the sequel in the future because I'm interested in how things turn out. This is the first book I read from 2011 and I have to say if this is an indication of the coming year then it's going to be a good year for books.
WHO SHOULD READ: Hilari Bell fans, you don't mind lack of romance in books
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five ravens

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book Review: Sleepless

TITLE: Sleepless
AUTHOR: Cyn Balog
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: paranormal, romance, drama
PREMISE: Eron is a sandman in love with his charge. When he gets the oppurtunity to become human again, he jumps at the chance, only the catch is in order to become human he must train his replacement: his charge's recently deceased boyfriend.
MY REVIEW: For the most part I think this is a good solid book. The world building is great. It was nice seeing a creature not used very often in YA for a change. There were some thoughtful prose and ideas in it and all in all it was cute.
However, there were a few problems. Characters were a tad two-dimensional. The plot sort of fell by the wayside about halfway through and became predictable and boring and rushed, and the ending...was cliche. Oh, and the heroine was boring and of course needed saving all the time.
But I still enjoyed it and think this is a nice quick read for those looking for a cute romance who don't mind rather cliched endings. I just sort of wish the author had made the book a full novel because I felt there could have been much more to this but instead the whole thing just felt...rushed. I have not read Balog's other book Fairy Tale but I think I'll now pick it up.
WHO SHOULD READ: Sandmen fans, fans of Twilight
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five vials of sand

Sunday, January 9, 2011

In My Mailbox (26)

In My Mailbox is back! Yay! This is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren that tells people what books we got over the week.

Downloaded on my Kindle:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak-I've been flip-flopping about reading this and finally decided to just get it because it sounds like something I'll get into. Now if I can just make up my mind about Eat, Pray, Love...
The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson-Currently being offered for FREE on Kindle! Can't beat that.

From the library:
Sleepless by Cyn Balog.-About sandmen so I had to pick it up because no one not named Neil Gaiman does anything about sandmen.
Witch and Wizard by James Patterson.-Finally getting off my butt and checking this series out. Hopefully I'll be finishing up Maximum Ride this year too.
Wildwing by Emily Whitman.-Looked really good and my library actually had it!

Bought (over the break period, not all this week):
Vampire Queen series Book 1: Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel-Been eyeing this one so I finally caved.
Haunting Emma series Book 1: Deception by Lee Nichols-ghost story-like thing that looked cool.
Haruhi Book 3: The Boredom of Haruhi Suzimiya by Nagaru Tanigawa.-Light novel series that the anime is based on. Read the books, they are just as hilarious as the show.

That's all I got in my mailbox. What did you get in yours?

Book Review: A Northern Light

TITLE: A Northern Light (or A Gathering Light in some instances)
AUTHOR: Jennifer Donnelly
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: historical fiction, drama
PREMISE: Maddie wants to go to college in a time when educated women are not appreciated.
MY REVIEW: I have mixed feelings about this book, but ultimately I think it's very good. On the very plus side. The writing is great, even if the author does use the annoying present tense that feels out of place in an historical novel. There are some very nice lines. It was nice seeing an intelligent heroine for once who was worried about more then just who to date. The book also made you think which as we know is a rarety in YA.
However, the story is a tad bit dull and predictable. Maddie is not very interesting. Even the slight mystery of Grace's murder is pretty easily solved so that becomes boring and so pointless you wonder why the author bothered with it at all. I also sort of think the awards this book got are stretching things just a bit because while it was very good, I wouldn't really call it an award winning book, you know?
But all in all it's still very good. A nice solid historical novel that does everything historical books are supposed too and it's thought-provoking and well written. I just wish the author had made the storyline a bit more interesting. I reccomend this to all historical fiction readers.
WHO SHOULD READ: historical fiction fans, fans of Revolution (the author's newest book)
MY RATING: Four out of Five diaries

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Book Review: Impossible (contains spoilers)

TITLE: Impossible
AUTHOR: Nancy Werlin
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: Romance, drama, fantasy
PREMISE: Lucy learns that there is a curse in her family that makes the girls go through three impossible tasks or they lose their mind when they give birth.
MY REVIEW: This is my first Nancy Werlin book and I have to say that if this is how her writing normally is, I won't bother with any of her other books. Seriously, how did this book get on the best books of 2009 list? I will say it was an interesting idea and were a few interesting tidbits floating around in there. However, those are all over-shadowed by very poor execution.
First, the writing is bad. Not Stephanie Meyer level bad, but amatuerish to be kind. The writer tells and doesn't show and has some really bad prose in it. The characters are also two-dimensional. Lucy and Zach have no personality from what I can see and the minor characters are no better. The book also suffers from what I call Twilight-itis. In the author's quest to appeal to the fans of Twilight in order to sell her book, the plot got dumbed down a LOT. This unfortunately seems to be something that has been plaguing a lot of YA authors as of late and it's driving me up the wall. Because this book seriously could have been EPIC. But no, the author wanted it to be all about the romance in order to appeal to Twihards.
Other things that make this book...well impossible for me include several issues with the plot. For instance Lucy gets raped, yet this causes next to no mental anguish for her and the only issue that comes from it is that she gets preganant but even that becomes a non-issue as she of course has the baby, her man is all set to marry her, and they have no problems making a life of their own. Even the so-called "impossible" tasks are pretty easily dealt with from what I saw. There was never any real danger for Lucy or her baby who she loves unquestionably even though the baby was a product of rape. Don't get me started on Lucy's attitude to towards her mother in the beginning. In short, this book was bad. I sort of see it appealing to the younger romantic crowd and Twilight fans but for everyone else, I say avoid.
WHO SHOULD READ: Tweens, Twilight fans
MY RATING: Two out of Five vengeful faeries

Friday, January 7, 2011

Book Review: Rosebush

TITLE: Rosebush
AUTHOR: Michele Jaffe
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: Mystery, drama
PREMISE: Jane wakes up in the hospital to learn that she was in a hit and run accident. But then she starts getting threats, which imply that her accident was no accident.
MY REVIEW: Finally, someone writes a nice juicy YA mystery. I swear, this genre is like dead in YA or something. About the only person I know who is doing a mystery (that doesn't involve some sort of fantasy/paranormal/other element) is Sara Shepard with Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game. Oh, and if you want to count Gossip Girl as a mystery...I particularly don't. So this was a nice refreshing book. I've read Jaffe's other YA books, the Bad Kitty series so I was really looking forward to this one. I'm happy so say this is not only just as good and enjoyable as Bad Kitty, it's better.
Jaffe's writing has improved by leaps and bounds. Granted she is guilty of throwing a few theosaurus words here and there which occasionally got annoying but the rest of the writing is pretty good. She managed to flesh out three dimensional characters, create loads of suspense (I was guessing through the whole thing), and has many twists and turns. At times it did feel a bit like Pretty Little Liars but it has something those particular books don't: characters I actually LIKE and good writing. Look, I like PLL but the writing leaves a lot to be desired, it's one of those that translates better on TV.
The book is not completely perfect. The ending was a tad rushed and sometimes the flashbacks got annoying (even if they were important into adding character detail). However, those are very minor complaints to a otherwise very good book. I hope that Jaffe does a sequel like it looks like she's doing because I'm DYING to find out what happened with Bonnie. No pun intended.
WHO SHOULD READ: Fans of Pretty Little Liars, mystery fans, fans of Bad Kitty
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five roses

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Movie Review: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

TITLE: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Movie 3 in the Chronicles of Narnia franchise
PEOPLE INVOLVED: Ben Barnes, Liam Neesan, Will Poulter, and all the rest from the previous movies
RELEASED: December 2010
PREMISE: Lucy and Edmund return Narnia with their cousin Eustance to help Caspian find the seven lost lords.
MY REVIEW: I'm not a huge fan of the Chronicles of Narnia books themselves to be honest. I find the writing stilted, the Christianity message less then subtle, and don't get me started on the slight sexism towards women in it (yes, I'm aware that these books are old, but STILL). However, I have a bit of a fondness towards them because they were some of the first books I read on my own and you can't help but respect books that have that sort of lasting popularity. I will say, I love these new movies though. I think they're beautifully made, Aslan is freaking PERFECT, the actors do as well as can be expected given their limited roles, and most importantly: THEY FOLLOW THE DAMN BOOKS. Before all of you huff at me about the battle scenes in Caspian, those scenes did happen in the book, they were just talked about instead of shown because Lewis figured that'd be too rough for kids (he wouldn't have been a popular author nowadays, I'm sure).
Voyage of the Dawn Treader is not my favorite of these three movies (I still say the first is the best) but it was still pretty good. The best addition was definitely the kid who played Eustance. He NAILED Eustance perfectly and actually made me kind of like him by the end so much so that I'm looking forward to his next movie. I hope there's a next one anyway. I so want to see Jill on screen because they NEVER get to her and she was always my favorite next to Lucy. Note to writers: there'd better be some Eustance/Jill snarking guys. Or I will NOT be happy. Also that dragon they animated? FANTASTIC.
If you've seen the previous movies, you know what to expect from this already. Voyage of the Dawn Treader is basically an extention of those films only we get to see more of Narnia, which I heartily approve of because Lewis's world building was actually very well done and one of my favorite parts of Narnia. So if you've seen and liked the first two movies, you will not be disappointed by this.
WHO SHOULD SEE: Those that have read the book, those that have seen and liked the first two movies
MY RATING: Four out of Five lions

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Book Review: The Devouring

The Devouring
Book 1 in the Devouring Series
AUTHOR: Simon Holt
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: horror, series
PREMISE: Reggie has turned to horror tales to get her through her mother leaving their family, however when the horror tales become real and threaten her brother. They're not so much fun...
MY REVIEW: It's been so long since someone not named R.L.Stine has just done good old fashioned horror. Horror that does not include a romance between a vampire or a werewolf. So for me, this book was very refreshing. It was rid of all the tropes that have been plagueing YA lately: Plain girl (usually unpopular) finds love with hot mystical creature, love triangle, girl having to choose between two guys yada yada. It was so nice to see.
There were even some nice interesting psychosis things in the book. The author actually had REASONS for why these people acted the way they did and made his characters three dimensional. Granted, the book isn't without problems. It feels a tad rushed at times, I wish Reggie had gone through some more character growth because what growth she did go through felt flimsy and quick to be honest, plus the writing itself was pretty amatuerish. But all in all, a solid scary horror book for those tired of all the romance taking over their horror genre.
WHO SHOULD READ: horror book fans, those that like R.L.Stine
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five monsters

Monday, January 3, 2011

Book Review: Jekel Loves Hyde

TITLE: Jekel Loves Hyde
AUTHOR: Beth Fantaskey
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: Retelling, Romance, Mystery
PREMISE: Jill Jekel becomes involved with Tristen Hyde and learns that their families are connected by a dangerous secret...
MY REVIEW: This book was honestly just okay for me. I would have liked it more if the writing hadn't been so amatuerish, if the characters hadn't been so boring and two-dimensional, and if the author hadn't taken the awesome book of Jekyll and Hyde and turned it into Twilight. Seriously authors, do your own thing, is that so hard to ask? On the bright side, it wasn't about vampires or a love triangle so it's progress at least.
But I'm not the target audience for this book. This book is obviously meant for the younger tween crowd of Twilight lovers. So for them, this will probably be very enjoyable. For everyone else though, I wouldn't really bother. Why this author is getting so much praise is beyond me. Maybe her other book is better? Who knows. Personally I say skip this and read the actual book it's based on, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson because it's ten times better.
WHO SHOULD READ: tweens, younger Twilight fans
MY RATING: two and a half out of five syringes

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Looking Ahead in 2011

So 2010 is done and gone just like that. Now it's 2011. So what do we have to look forward too? Well, I have a few things I'm dying for.

Books I'm looking forward too in 2011:
The continuations of series such as The Curse Workers, The Iron Fey, Meg Cabot's sequel to the awesome Insatiable, Wicked Lovely, more Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices, Kate Daniels, Sookie Stackhouse and so on.
There's a couple of good looking books coming out this year as well. For instance, Meg Cabot also has a new paranormal YA series that looks really good coming in spring. Lauren Oliver has a new book called Delirium coming out and if it's anything like Before I Fall it'll be excellent. There are new sequel series coming out as well including a new series by Richelle Mead (I think that's coming out this year, right?) set in the same world as Vampire Academy but with a different character. There's also going to be a new trilogy by Kelley Armstrong that is in the same world as her Darkest Powers Trilogy.
REALLY looking forward to Tamora Pierce's short story collection featuring characters from her awesome Tortall series. She hasn't written anything in over a year and I'm going through withdrawel so I can't wait for this as it'll tide me over till the final Beka Cooper book.
A couple of book trilogy's are ending as well. Iron Fey's conclusion comes out later this month (but don't fret, Kagawa has said she's going to be doing another trilogy set in the same world and focusing on Ash...personally I want one with Puck but I'll take what I can get). Wolves of Mercy Falls will also come to its conclusion this summer.
Then of course, there are all the awesome sounding debuts coming out this year as well. 2011 is going to be another exciting year for books I think.

Music in 2011:
No clue what's going on here as I'm not into popular music much nowadays. However I am looking forward to the inevitable decline in Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber's popularity. Look, nothing against these two, I admit some of their stuff is good but I'm sick of seeing them everywhere I go.

Movies in 2011:
I hope some of the movies are better this year because last year, with the exception of a few was rather mediocre movie-wise. Here are some I'm looking forward too:
The Green Hornet
I Am Number Four (mild curiousity, mostly)
Jane Eyre (looks AWESOME and like they actually ;gasp; read the book!)
Beastly (I'm going for Neal Patrick Harris, that is all)
Water for Elephants (after I read the book)
Thor (prep movie watching for Avengers because I'm not overly familiar with this particular hero)
Pirates of the Carribean 4 (JACK!!!)
Kung Fu Panda 2 (hey, Kung Fu Panda was fun okay? I'm betting the sequel will be fun as well; Dreamworks does have a good track record with sequels)
X-Men: First Class (even if they are totally screwing up continuity. For those wondering, Emma Frost was not around during the first class years AT ALL)
Green Lantern (it's not the Batman sequel I wanted this year, but it'll tide me over at least)
Cars 2 (trailer is making me hesitate but I trust Pixar so I'll go)
Transformers 3 (these movies are guilty pleasure, sue me)
One for the Money (even if I still hate that they cast Katherine freaking Heigl as Stephanie Plum. What the heck cast directors? If nothing else, Sheri Shepard will make an awesome Lulu. Yes, I watch the View.)
Harry Potter 7 Part II (Going. To. Be. EPIC.)
Captain America (what? It's in preparation for the Avengers movie, okay?)
The Help (also after I read the book)
Footloose (morbid curiousity mostly)
Sherlock Holmes 2 (not till December ;pouts;)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (american version, but it's going to have Daniel Craig so it looks promising)
Oh and I heard there's apparently going to be some other Twilight thing later this year;) but as I'm steadfastly ignoring everything Twilight now that I've finished the books, I'm not going to bother to tell you what I think about this (or the stupid fact that they seem to think Breaking Dawn needs 2 movies). In more exciting news, I heard rumor that they're doing a movie of The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi! This is an AWESOME idea! I loved that book as a kid. I hope they don't ruin it though.

All around though, I just hope that this year is better. As in no cheating husband scandels (really, what was with that this year? Was something in the water?), no economy collapse (we can't afford another one), oil spills, job loss rates raising, attacks, etc. Also I want less of the following: The Kardashians, Kate and Jon, the Hills stars (especially Spiedi...oh wait,haven't they broken up?), Jersey Shore (especially Snooki), Teen Moms (especially the one who hits her husband), and the Bachelor. Really, gossip mags: I DON'T CARE. So here's to another year and hopefully a better one then 2010.