Monday, October 31, 2011

Book Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Monday, October 31, 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Library
Rating: 2.4 stars

Fallen (Fallen, #1)

Girl comes to a new place, which is gray and cloudy and dull. Girl meets boy who she is inexplicably attracted to. All boy does is glare at girl. Meanwhile, girl meets Boy #2 who is a friendly goofball who she starts to fall for, too.

No, this isn't Twilight, but I wouldn't blame you if you thought it was. As I was reading, I couldn't help but think of this series, and it didn't get Fallen and I off on a good foot.

There are variations, of course. For instance, instead of her mom getting remarried, Luce (the protagonist) has just been in an accident that killed her boy friend. She isn't going to Forks, but to a reform school. And Daniel (her love interest) isn't a vampire, even if he does look pretty miraculous in the sun. Luce, also, is a lot so much more likable than Bella... but that isn't really hard to do. Sorry to all of you who like Twilight! There's nothing wrong with liking it, I just don't. At all.

I didn't mind Luce, even towards the end when she begins to be a little irritating. (She becomes a sort of damsel in distress.) And her best friend, Penn, was a really likable character. Arianne could have been,too,  if she was given more than a cameo. Plus, that cover? So gorgeous.

I didn't like the love triangle though.That plot line is so overdone, it's cliched and dull, especially in instances where you can predict who the protagonist is going to end up with. It's especially boring when a similar love triangle has already been done. Luce and Daniel's relationship was a little irritating, too. Daniel is a jerk for the first half of the book, and then his dialogue abruptly becomes nothing but sappy lines. I love a little romance, but this was tedious. Plus, the tension between Luce and Daniel for the majority of the novel is kind of useless. From the beginning, it's obvious that these two have to get together at some point (even if they don't stay together) in order for the plot to move forward. A similar issue is the build up to Daniel's identity. It says Fallen on the cover, and Luce dreams of wings, so why is there all this unnecessary build up to what he is? Lastly, Luce cracks her knuckles, a lot. I know this isn't a reason to dislike a book, but I was (and still am) trying to break my own nasty knuckle-cracking habit, and it was hard reading about someone do it! Haha (:

What did you think of Fallen? Do you think I should give the sequels a try?
Other YA Angel Books: A Need So Beautiful, Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Sunday, October 30, 2011

In My Mailbox (4)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to share what books you've bought/borrowed/received in the past week!

As a gift for my uncle. (:

That's it for this week because I'm catching up on my TBR pile! 

Leave me a link to your IMMs! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (7)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Top Ten Books to Read Around Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor
Killer Pizza

2. Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)

3. Abandon by Meg Cabot
Abandon (Abandon Trilogy, #1)

4. Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
Cold Kiss

5. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

6. Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
Juliet Immortal

7. Everlost by Neal Shusterman
Everlost (Skinjacker, #1)

8. Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman
Full Tilt

9. Jinx by Meg Cabot

10. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Lovely Bones

What's on your list? Leave a link! Also, comment question: What are you being for Halloween?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Monday, October 24, 2011
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons (Penguin)
Source: Library
Rating: 4.5

In 1888, England was terrorized by a faceless murder, a man who went by the name, "Jack the Ripper". Hundreds of years later, the mystery of Jack's identity remains unsolved. In fact, only one thing may be certain about him... he's back. It just so happens that Aurora "Rory" Deveaux arrives from Louisiana as Rippermania takes hold of London once again, ending up as the only witness of one of the Ripper murders. She's the only one who can see him, and might just be the only one who can stop him.

Maureen Johnson is a fantastic author, and her jump from realistic fiction to paranormal was evidently done with ease. This story is grittier and darker than her past books, but still includes the humor we know and love. Rory is such a likable character, and her partner-in-crime, Jazza, is someone you'll want to be friends with. (Plus, there's Jerome, a cute British boy. 'Nuff said.) The setting of Wexford, an English boarding school, is the best aspect, though, because it gives American readers a chance to experience something most of us only dream about. Not to mention, it really adds to the suspense of this novel. However, while it has been described as a thriller, it isn't particularly terrifying. It was a little nerve-wracking, but never edge-of-your-seat scary. It is enough to definitely make you bite your nails, though, because you never know who may be next...

Other books by Maureen Johnson: 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Suite Scarlett, Girl at Sea

In My Mailbox (3)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to share what books you've bought/borrowed/received in the past week!
A gift for my brother (:

None! I have too many books in my TBR pile that I didn't let myself take out anymore!


But wait! I had this last week!
You're right. I actually entered two
contests on book blogs never
imagining that I could possibly win
both... but I did. However,
my friend is a HUGE Funke fan,
so she will be getting a very nice surprise!
Thank you, Nicole!

Sorry this is late guys! I wasn't home at all yesterday!
Leave me a link to your IMMs!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wonderfully Wicked Readathon

Saturday, October 22, 2011
Michelle over at Book Briefs has an awesome challenge for this Readathon that I couldn't resist participating in!
Below are two pictures which are symbols for a book title. Guess the title in the comments below!!


I probably made this way too easy, but it was fun anyways! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: The Death Cure by James Dashner

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Genre: Dystopia
Publisher: Random House
Source: Bought
Rating: 5.5 stars

Another series over. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner... I'm suffering from series withdrawal. ): Also, this review will be short since I don't want to give anything away. Don't read this unless you've read the first two books in the series!

The Gladers have gotten out of the Maze and out of the Scorch, past Grievers and Cranks, only to be trapped in WICKED headquarters. Rat Man is saying that the blueprint is almost finished, and that their memories must be restored but Thomas doesn't want them anywhere near his brain, not again. The Gladers will have to escape, but is the outside world any safer? And, what if Teresa is right, and WICKED is really good?

This book is riveting; fast-paced, action packed, and full of emotion. The suspense is incredible because no one, and I mean no one, is safe. It's all perfectly terrifying, and hauntingly possible because James Dashner has crafted a world that is so different, yet eerily similar to our own. The characters have grown so much since the first book and continue to do so as they're pushed to and past their limits.This book will definitely leave you thinking. I loved and hated every minute of The Death Cure because it was so amazing, and because I knew it would have to end.

Other Books in this Trilogy: The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials
What did you think of the ending? (No spoilers, for those who haven't read the book!) How much are you going to miss The Maze Runner?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (6)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Judging a Book By Its Cover
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I have to admit, a cover has never really been a deciding factor of why I do (or don't) read a book. Covers definitely draw me to books, but I've never thought, "Oh, I must have that book simply because of the pretty colors!" I have, however, read a book simply because of it's title. Such as...

1. Piratica by Tanith Lee
Piratica doesn't sound like it can be an intense, kick-butt, girl power, high seas adventure but Tanith Lee proves that it so, so can be. 

2. Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor
I mentioned how skeptical I was starting this book, but Killer Pizza is such a fun book! I loved it!

(Side note: My brother actually picked these two books based on their titles for me, but I chose to read them, so it still counts! (;)

3. I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
Another kick-butt girl power series with an awesome title! 

4. Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Well, here's one I kind of picked because of the cover. But I wouldn't have read it if I hadn't read the summary inside! (Love this series, by the way. Team Tamani!)

5. Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski 
This title is meant to be intriguing! And it's such a good book!

6. Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
Okay, I admit i: This one was a cover thing. I mean, it says "Romeo and Juliet, the greatest love story ever told, is a lie." And it's gorgeous! How could I not read it??

7. Sorry guys, but I can't think of anymore!! I'll try to do 4 extra next week. (:

Have you ever judged a book by it's cover? Leave me a link for your Top Ten Tuesday!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Author Interview: Robin Palmer

Monday, October 17, 2011
Robin Palmer, author of Cindy Ella, Geek Charming, Little Miss Red, and the Lucy B. Parker series, was kind enough to stop by The Page Sage for an interview! :D !

About You: 

1. You worked in Hollywood for ten years before deciding to become a full-time writer. What was that like and what inspired you to do that?

My second favorite thing in the world after books are movies, and because I had decided at an early age that only special people could be writers (so not true BTW- if you write, then you're a writer, even if you never get published) I decided I would move out to L.A. and try and get into the movie business. I started at the William Morris Agency which was one of the oldest and most respected talented agencies and was lucky enough to end up working for the guy Lanny Noveck who is one of the nicest people in the world, let alone in Hollywood. He really took me under his wing and encouraged me to learn about the TV business (he ran the TV literary department) and because he took me seriously and cared about my opinions, it motivated me to work that much harder. After three years there, I left to go work with a TV producer and then after three years there,  I ended up at Lifetime Television where I worked on the original movies. I had a terrific boss there as well named Laurette Hayden and I got to work on some great projects. After five years there, I realized that I wanted to be the writer getting notes from people versus the one giving them and in what was either a very brave (or very dumb) move, I left the business and started to write. Ironically, twenty-one years later, Lanny is now my TV agent!

2. Which of your books was the most fun to write?

That's a tough question because books are like kids- you don't really have favorites and you love them all in different ways. I guess it would have to be Geek Charming because Dylan is so different from who I am (I'm much more of a Josh) so it was fun to do the "he said/she said" of it all. But Sophie in Little Miss Red was fun as well because of the drama queen aspect of it. And, of course, Cindy was my first born. ;)

3. Cindy Ella, Geek Charming, Little Miss Red, and Wicked Jealous (coming July 2012) are all modern adaptations of fairy tales. What is it about fairy tales that appeals to you?

I have a strong interest in Jungian psychology and had been reading a lot of Marie-Lousie von Franz's work about fairy tales around the time I came up with the idea to revise them for a YA audience. I think because fairy tales are told to us at such a young age and penetrate our psyches, I wanted to put something out there that had a more... empowering message for girls about self-acceptance and not waiting to be saved by a man but instead saving yourself. 

About Geek Charming:

4. Geek Charming has been made into a Disney Channel movie that is premiering in November. What can you tell us about it? (Any behind-the-scenes secrets? Were you involved in the making of it?)

I was not involved in the making of Geek. With my background, and having worked on many movies based on books, I purposely did not want to be part of it due to the fact, that for me, my books exist as books and to watch them be changed to fit a studio or network's needs would be a very hard thing to deal with. (Kind of like payback for all the books I messed up as an executive ;) So when my agent called me and asked if I wanted to read the script, I said no. And when I received a copy of the movie in the mail, I couldn't bring myself to watch it for months. I finally did... and was relieved (and happy) to find that it's actually very cute. Obviously they changed things, but overall I feel as if the spirit of the book is still there, and the message, which is the important thing. My feeling is that if a movie based on one of my books exposes my work to a larger audience and gets them to buy more of my books, that's the important thing.

5. I love the cover of Geek Charming- it's so bright and colorful! What did you think of it when you first saw it?

I have to say, I feel very lucky to have Kristin Smith at Penguin do the covers for my books. I think she's got a great vision and a great sense of design and when you look at all my books together, they really pop. 

6. While in high school, would you say you identified more with Dylan or Josh?

Oh, definitely Josh. I was never popular like Dylan and I was never stuck-up. Like Josh, I kind of just couldn't wait to get out of high school so that I could find my people. ;)

About Writing:

7. What authors have inspired you? Favorite book(s)?

Judy Blume was my favorite when I was young. It was such a relief to come across books about kids my age who were struggling with issues. Her books made me feel more understood and less alone which was a huge gift. When I get emails from girls who express that sentiment, they make me cry.

8. What advice do you have for aspiring authors, especially teen writers?

Write, write, write... and read, read, read. The thing that cracks me up is how people-- myself, included, before I started writing myself-- think that writing is some magical process that happens when the stars align and that if you're not in some sort of ecstatic state when you're doing it, you're doing it wrong. None of that could be further from the truth. The truth is, writing is quite boring a lot of the time, and there are days when you feel like everything you're writing is awful, and a lot of times it is. But none of it is a waste because sometimes you have to write and write and write until you get to that moment where something clicks and you finally find the voice of the character or you have a revelation about the structure of the piece. Writing is like going to the gym. In the beginning it hurts and you're sore but when you do it continually and you start to see results it's exhilarating and it motivates you to keep going. And writing is all about revising. There's a great book called Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott about it where she talks about the "down draft" which is about just getting it all down on paper. And then you do the "up draft" which is where you fix it up. And, as for teens, the biggest piece of advice I could give is to just be yourself and find YOUR voice. Don't try and be Stephenie Meyer or J.K. Rowling-- just be yourself. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (2)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to share what books you've bought/borrowed/received in the past week!
Sorry, the quality of the pictures isn't that great. I had to use my iPod camera.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
By Michelle Hodkin
The Death Cure
By James Dashner

Across the Universe
By Beth Revis

In the Mail:
by Cornelia Funke
Thank you,
 Lisa the Nerd!! (:
Sisterhood Everlasting
by Ann Brashares
Won from Random Buzzers!
Thanks so much!
What did you get in your mailbox? Let me know or leave a link!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Review: Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Rating: 3 stars

When Danny, her first love and best friend, dies, Wren is broken. After losing her father, her grandmother, and essentially her mother, she can't stand to lose anyone else. So, she decides to use the forbidden power she's tried to stifle and brings him back to life... But he's not the Danny she knew. As her own life starts to spiral out of control, Wren is forced to rely more on Gabriel, the new boy who knows her secret. Can she allow herself to love again when she's the only thing Danny has left? Can she even fix what she's done to begin with?

This book, poignant, heartbreaking, and tragically beautiful in the first part drags towards the end. Wren is, for the most part, unlikable, and no different from every other whiny YA female protagonist. What Cold Kiss desperately needs is a comic relief to alleviate the suffocating depression of the story. Jess, one of Wren's best friends, might have been that, but she's such a minor character that she never gets the chance. Danny (pre-death) would have been perfect for that role, too. And Gabriel, well, he's kind and handsome and smart, but do boys like this really exist in high school? Ones that are so, so mature for their age and always fall for the immature, messed up, high-strung girls? Wren treats him pretty badly for a lot of the book, and they only know each other for a week, yet he keeps saying how much he cares about her.

On a good note, Garvey does a fantastic job when it comes to characterizations. It's the little details, the behavior between two sisters or a mother's habits, that really stand out and make the novel seem real. The magical aspect is, like the rest of the book, enchanting, tinged with a sort of sadness. And even though it can be a little much, the story is still touching. None of this, though, is enough to bring Cold Kiss to its full potential. As the expression goes, close but no cigar.

You'll Like This If You Liked: A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
What did you think of Cold Kiss? What's your favorite paranormal book?

Top Ten Tuesday (5)

Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
This series is, in every sense of the word, magical. After years, they are still my favorite books EVER. 

2. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
I'm afraid the shock-value and overall intensity of this incredible series won't be the same a second time around.

3. The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner
I was amazed by how much I loved this series.

4. The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray
I had never read a book like this before. Sure, there was Narnia and all those other books about escaping into another world, but never was there one quite like Bray's. 

5. Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
This is one of the few books that got me to laugh out loud. (And that's really hard to do.)

6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Need I explain this?

7. Paper Towns by John Green
I've probably mentioned more than once how I have a massive crush on John Green.

8. Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter
Such a great series! Can't wait for the final book!

9. The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
I adore Greek Mythology, so mix that in with Riordan's humor, a tinge of romance, and a prophecy? Perfection.

10. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
Who else is excited for November?!

Oops, so I actually listed 28 books. Let me know what's on your list! (:
P.S. Sorry, some of the pictures don't show up in Google Reader. I don't know why. ):