Saturday, May 4, 2013

Wither by Lauren Destefano

Hi everyone! The twentieth book is Wither by Lauren Destefano! This novel was extremely intriguing for me, instead of the usual end of the world plot line, it had a certain twist to it. In this novel, males lived to the age of 25, and females lived to the age of 20. When they reach those age limits a virus would set in, and slowly, or sometimes rapidly, kill them. The First Generations, those who are able to live well into their eighties, are trying to find an antidote. While they are trying to find this antidote, the First Generations, who are wealthy as heck, send out Gatherers to find potential brides for their sons. It is common for the sons to have multiple wives at one time. The theory behind this, was to keep the offspring coming in hopes that the antidote would be found, and the First Generations could watch their grandchildren grow to old age. The story centers around three wives, their husband, their father-in-law, and a little dose of romance. Jenna, the oldest wives, has the most resentment towards Linden, the husband, because of what happened to her sisters. Rhine, the middle wife, wants to find her way back to her twin brother, but also knows how to play to the game, so she plays the affectionate, but yet resistant wife card. And finally Cecily, the youngest of the three wives, who is excited to bear as many children as Linden wants, and to take advantages of all the luxuries provided. 

About the Author: 
Lauren Destefano

  • Has a Bachelor's Degree in English from Albertus Magnus College.
  • Enjoys to thrift shop, play on her Nintendo, and playing with her cats in her free time.
  • Nominated for ALA Teens' Top Ten in 2012.
What to Expect in This Book:
  • Polygamous marriage
  • Disease
  • Survival 
  • Dystopia
  • Holograms
  • Four out five stars
    • I highly enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, but what really stood out to me was the futuristic characteristics that this book had. Those specific scenes in the novel really made me wonder if these holograms and such could actually become a realistic thing in the near future. The characters were strong, and developed through the progression of the novel. 

Stork by Wendy Delsol

Hello!! I'm going to just jump right into it. The nineteenth book is Stork by Wendy Delsol. It's basically about this girl who finds out that she has this special power/gift that makes her a human stork. She gets to choose which vessel, or potential mother, gets to conceive the baby. The main character, Katla, runs into a boy from her childhood that she has no recollections of, but they end up re-connecting and finding out things from their past as well as from their present. It was a novel that allowed you to read, and not have to be constantly thinking about different aspects of the plot. 

About the Author:
Wendy Delsol

  • Stork is her first novel.
  • Was born in Canada.
  • Has a Masters degree from California State University, Orange Beach.
  • Married with two sons.
  • Won the Voya Perfect Ten Award in 2010
What to Expect in This Book:
  • Folklore
  • Myths
  • Pregnancy issues/scares
  • Fantasy
  • Three out of five stars
    • I only gave Stork three stars, because there was nothing that had me turning the pages rapidly. I felt like I could predict some of the events that took place. However, I still thought the book was very well-written, and has great potential. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

Hi guys! Okay, I have been majorly slacking. I actually finished this book literally two weeks ago, and I have never blogged about it. I have been in a mild reading slump which doesn't help the situation. So the eighteenth book is Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith. This novel really does send a women empowering feeling, which I kind of like. However, the novel wasn't that exciting. I didn't rush home to finish it, I would watch TV, do my homework, go on the internet, stare at the wall, and THEN I would pick this book up. The novel takes place in the 1940's when Pearl Harbor takes place. It's about a girl, Ida Mae, who absolutely loves flying airplanes. When her older brother is shipped off, she feels like she should be doing something more than collecting grease and silk stockings. One day, her younger brother brings her a news clipping advertising  the WASP or the Women Airforce Service Pilots. She is interviewed only thing is she fakes her true identity by claiming she is white. She is able to get away with this because her skin is lighter. The story takes the reader on Ida Mae's journey in trying to find her true self, and having the ability to achieve the respect women pilots were searching for during this time. 

About the Author:
Sherri L. Smith

  • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
  • Flygirl started as a thesis project for her masters
  • Lover of books
  • Won the TAYSHAS High School Reading List Award in 2010
What to Expect in this Book: 
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Airplanes
  • Women Airforce Service Pilots
  • Issues because of race
  • Four out of five stars
    • I ended up giving Flygirl a four out of five even though it really didn't jump out to me. I think the reason this got the fourth star was because I enjoyed how the book was centered in the 1940's during the war. That era just really interests me. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger

Hi everyone! As summer is nearing, I have been busier than ever! The seventeenth book is Last Days of Summer by Steven Kluger. There are several reasons why I highly enjoyed this book. First, it's set in the time period of Hitler and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Anything written during this time period is just really intriguing to me. Second, the novel is written in the form of letters mainly between a young boy and a famous baseball player who develop a friendship as time goes on. After awhile the letters extend to the baseball player's girlfriend as well as his best friend. Third, this is one of the first books that I have read that has kept me chuckling throughout the novel. The writing style is so just so pleasant...if that makes sense. Fourth, the ending. So unsuspecting. I recommend this to everyone who needs a suggestion for a book to read. 

About the Author:
Steve Kluger

  • Novelist
  • Playwright
  • He enjoys dedicating his time to several different organizations:
    • Lambda Legal
    • GLSEN
    • Models of Pride
  • Also an uncle to his nieces and nephews
  • Won the ALA Alex Award in 1999
What to Expect in this Book:
  • Letters
  • Baseball
  • Baseball players
  • War
  • Friendship
  • Amazing ending
  • Five out of five stars.
    • It's a novel that will leave an impression. In my opinion, this novel deserves five out five because of its sentimentality throughout the whole book. This novel is so different from all the other books that are out now. Last Days of Summer is definitely worth your time. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill

Hi everyone! The sixteenth book is Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill. It's a novel written about the Salem Witch Trials. Before this challenge is over you will all realize how much I enjoy reading about the Salem Witch Trials. The story was written in an unique style. The pages kind of looked like they were in the form of poetry, but they weren't at the same time. It's confusing, but I would definitely check this novel out. It is well worth it. It is clear how much time and effort Hemphill put into this novel. She did a spectacular job!

About the Author:
Stephanie Hemphill

  • First novel was Things Left Unsaid
  • Second novel is Your Own, Sylvia 
  • Enjoys baking and crafting in her spare time
  • Huge sports fan
  • Has received countless five star reviews.
What to Expect in this Book:
  • Salem Witch Trials
  • Accusations
  • Fear
  • Irrational Decisions
  • Hysteria
  • False empowerment
  • Four out of five stars
    • Loved the style she used, and the topic she wrote about. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

Hey guys! The fifteenth book is Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber. It was an alright book, but nothing extraordinary to write home about. This novel is definitely a novel you could easily read in one day. If your looking for an easy read with vampires, then I say you have found a winner in this book. The writing level was easy with the occasional word that made you think for a second. This is a series, but the only reason I may continue reading this series is just out of curiosity. 

About the Author:
Ellen Schreiber

  • Was an actress before taking writing up as a career
  • Was a stand-up comedienne 
  • Know for the Vampire Kisses series as well as her Teenage Mermaid novel. 
  • Won New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
  • Won IRA/CBC Young Adults' Choice
  • Won ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
What to Expect in this Book:
  • Vampires
  • Immature Boys
  • Mysterious new family
  • Revenge
  • Little brother
  • Three out of five stars
    • Vampire Kisses didn't stick out to me, but that's not going to stop me from not reading the rest of the series. I might just not sprint out and knock down anybody who gets in my way to get it though. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

 Hey guys!! The fourteenth book is Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. Oh. My. Goodness. Golly. Where can I begin?! First, John Green is one my favorite authors of all time. I just love how he puts in his dry humor. When I was reading I could really hear each character's own voice in my mind. I also loved the concept of how all the odd chapters were from the perspective of the Will Grayson written by John Green, and all the even chapters were from the perspective of the Will Grayson written by David Levithan. I really enjoyed the two different writing styles the authors had. John Green had that dry humor and reasoning, while David Levithan just wrote in this raw way. When I say raw I mean words that were supposed to be capitalized weren't and the random spaces between the paragraphs that seemed pointless but really added to the raw effect from this character of Will Grayson. Another thing is how the characters in John Green's chapters would say the word "like" while they were talking, which made me notice how much myself and my friends use that word. Never knew how that one word could get annoying.

About the Authors:
John Green
  • Bestselling author of Looking for AlaskaAn Abundance of KatherinesThe Fault in Our Stars, and Paper Towns
  • Makes YouTube videos with brother that sparks changes throughout the country and world (Go Nerdfighters!)
  • Earned a B.A. while double majoring in English (Specializing in Mark Twain) and Religious Studies (Focusing mostly on Islam) at Kenyon College
David Levithan
  • Known for his first novel Boy Meets Boy and Nick and Noah's Infinite Playlist
  • He is an editorial director for Scholastic
  • He is the founder of  PUSH - a program through Scholastic that focuses on new authors
  • Nominated for the Abraham Lincoln Award in 2013
  • Was listed #3 on the New York Time's bestseller's list for chapter books for children - being the first novel to be on this list starring gay characters
What to Expect in this Book:
  • Gay-Straight Alliance 
  • Exaggeration
  • Online IM-ing 
  • MIA father
  • Heartbreak
  • School Musical
  • five out of five stars
    • A read that will have you laughing out loud, but yet feeling the pain of heart break. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell

Hi everyone! Isn't this snow crazy?! And to think this is supposed to be my spring break. The thirteenth book is Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell. I'm guilty of judging this book by its cover. By looking at this book I thought this novel would be spooky and creepy. However, as I began to read it I was devastated because it seemed like all the story was two best friends getting in fights because of some boy. But then. BUT THEN. The story finally got good, and the plot finally started to build rapidly to the climax. The suspense. Ohhh the suspense was killing me! Ha-ha sorry got caught up in the moment :) Anyway, the story ended up being beautifully written, and a complete success in my opinion. 

About the Author:

  • Wife and mother to two children
  • Screenwriter for 15 years for a couple different series of short films
  • Considered an expert on the topic of folklore and urban legends

Awards/Nominations for Shadowed Summer:
  • Won the The Society of Midland Authors Book Award for Children's Fiction in 2010
  • Nominated for the Edgar Award in 2010

What You Would Find in this Book:

  • controlling best friend
  • mild young love
  • suspense :)
  • family secret
  • small town (where everything travels fast)
  • gossipy townspeople


Four out of five stars 
  • the climax is what got me to give Shadowed Summer four stars instead of three

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Night Children by Kit Reed

Welcome back everyone! The twelfth book is The Night Children by Kit Reed. I despise this book with all my being. I wouldn't be able to tell you all how many times I almost stopped reading this book. I had to literally force myself to finish this book. The plot was so weak, and I found myself asking myself why am I reading this???? The author would switch from a character's perspective to another character's perspective without having a break to show that perspectives were changing. I would be reading, and a page later I would be confused and realized that the perspectives had changed. Another thing is that Reed would repeat herself about a situation in the book two or three times in a matter of a few pages. I gave this book a one out of five. This book had so many different aspects that irked me, and clearly wasn't challenging at all. Even though the idea of the book sounded great the actual story line was a drag. I don't know what the hype was all about for this book. If any of you have read this book leave a comment below because I would love to hear about others' opinions about this book :) 

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Hi everyone! I meant to put this up a couple of days ago, but that obviously was a fail. The eleventh book is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. I fell in love with Twain and his work when I had to do a report in second grade over a historical figure. (something like's been so long ago) Of course, second grade is sort of too young to understand his work. The one thing that I really enjoy about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is how Twain incorporates the vernacular of the time period. I will tell you it's challenging to read at points, especially when Jim, the runaway slave, is speaking. Twain was openly against slavery, and he combines his views about that topic throughout the story. The thing about that is that he did it in a way that you wouldn't really pick up on it quickly. I know this novel is very controversial, but you need to keep in mind that this was the lifestyle and speech during that time period. It really opened my eyes to how far our world and society has come. I rated this classic four out of five. It definitely is a book that everybody should read. What do you think of this American classic? Leave a comment below :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Hi everyone! I hope everyone is having a great spring break, or if it's next week I hope you will have lots of fun! If it is next week, you're not alone because mine's next week as well. The long awaited tenth book is Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I absolutely loved this book, and the trilogy! All though I am not too please that I have to wait till OCTOBER to read the last book. Sorry. Just had to vent about that a little. Anyway, the book is beautifully written and AHHHHH. I'm honestly speechless. Towards the end, my heart was breaking because I truly thought that Tobias and Tris were over, but then they didn't and cue happy dance and the words OHHHH MYYYY GOOSSSSH! Insurgent was definitely suspenseful, and I couldn't stop turning the pages. I was sort of intimidated by the size of the book, because I have been crazy busy with little time dedicated for reading that I thought I would never get through this book. I would give this book a five out of  five! Definitely one of my favorites, and will be going out and purchasing a copy for myself to keep forever! I hope you enjoyed, and if you have read Insurgent, Divergent, or just want to vent about having to wait till OCTOBER to read the final installment feel free to leave a comment below :)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness Inspired by Siobhan Dowd

Hi again! Long time, no write! ha-ha  The ninth book is A Monster Calls written by Patrick Ness. He actually got the idea from Siobhan Dowd who had passed away before she could put this idea into book form. I absolutely loved this book! I started reading it today, and I couldn't put it down. I thought it would be  scarier judging by the cover, but it wasn't even close to scary. The novel does deal with cancer, which hit at home with me because of family members. Although, I think it would hit at home with anyone. My favorite character was the Monster, because he was so wise and had a way with words that I found myself saving some of his lines to go back and reflect on or use during a rough time. Also, Ness added pictures throughout the novel, and they were placed strategically that they really flowed with the story. I would give this book a 4.5 out of 5. I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone. It's definitely an unforgettable story that leaves you thinking. 

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven't been able to post an update. Things have gotten crazy! Anyway, the eighth book is Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I was hesitate to begin reading this novel, because I was thinking it would be Twilight all over again. However, I got over that and I began to read and what I noticed was that the first couple chapters basically were just the girl seeing her wolf through the window, and her wolf watching her in the woods. At this point I was so close of putting the book down and walking away from it forever.   So then I talked to a couple of my friends who have read it, and they said, "Oh no you gotta keep going. gotta." So. I did. I don't know if it was a good thing or not, but I did finish the book. I will say that I loved the ending, BUT I don't know if I should continue the trilogy because I'm afraid the other two books will just be about the drama that goes on in their relationship. I would give this book a three out of five, just because I felt like the plot was weak in the beginning, and there were more than a few times during this book where I just really wanted to stop reading. If any of you have read Shiver, feel free to leave a comment below telling me how you felt about this novel. Talk to you all soon!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Hi everyone!! I hope everyone has been staying safe and warm during this crazy weather. You have to admit though, the snow is pretty. Anyway, the seventh book is Water for Elephants written by Sara Gruen. I actually began this novel about a month ago on my Kindle Fire, and I just couldn't get myself to pick it up and read. Thinking back on it, I think the way the book was set up on my Kindle it made it seem like it was a never-ending novel. However, I requested a physical book from my library, and I had it sitting around for awhile and I finally decided to pick it up. Once I started reading it again, I was able to finish it in a matter of a couple of hours. I loved how Gruen wrote through her characters. The story was humorous, and I found myself laughing out loud at some parts. On the flip side, some of the "scenes," if you may, were a tad inappropriate, but they went right along with the plot line. While reading this novel, I caught myself thinking "I really want to see how the movie compares to this book." So guess who gets to have a movie night soon?! Overall I loved Water for Elephants and on a scale from 1-5 I would definitely give it a 4.5. ( I changed the rating scale because 1-5 just seemed way more concise than 1-10) If any of you have read Water for Elephants or have seen the movie please leave a comment saying what you thought about either one or both! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Hi everyone! I hope everyone had a nice day off. The sixth book is Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake. Girl of Nightmares is the sequel to Anna Dressed in Blood. As I began to read this book, I was sort of cautious because sequels or the second book of a series can be sometimes a downright fail. However, this one was an exception. I absolutely loved Girl of Nightmares, especially because I didn't even realize I was turning the pages until something brought me back to reality. I really enjoyed the character Cas, and it probably was because of his talent of perfect timing. His tone throughout the whole book had me chuckling. There were a few cuss words throughout the book, but that's where his perfect timing comes into play. He had a knack of saying a cuss word, but it was so perfectly placed and said that you just have to chuckle. I would definitely recommend this book to someone, but I would tell them to read the first book first because it would just make the second book a lot easier to understand. I would also like to mention the cover of this book, because it is breathtaking, and it gives the reader an image for the plot line. And finally, I would give Girl of Nightmares a 10. Yes folks I am giving this book a 10! Ha-ha,  okay so if any of you have read either Anna Dressed in Blood or Girl of Nightmares or both feel free to leave a comment below! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Sister's Stalker by Nancy Springer

Hey guys! The fifth book in this wonderful challenge is My Sister's Stalker by Nancy Springer. If you guys are looking for an extremely quick read this book is the one for you. Literally. It's 93 pages that are divided into 12 chapters. There were moments where it was sort of creepy, and a little suspenseful. However, there were never moments where I was like "OH MY GOSH! I CAN'T HANDLE THIS! THIS IS WAY TOO CREEPY!" Nothing like that what so ever. The one aspect I absolutely loved about this book was how Springer wrote about a very scary but realistic event that brings family members closer together. Out of ten I probably would give a six because there just wasn't that suspense that I was looking for. However, you guys may have absolutely loved it, soooo if you have read it leave what you thought about this book in a comment below! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tighter by Adele Griffin

Hey everyone! Book #4 is Tighter written by Adele Griffin, who is a national book award finalist! I'm sort of neutral about this book. My one minor comment is I felt like the plot started out slowly and the material was dry. I will admit there was a climax, but getting to the climax felt like it took ages. Throughout the book the main character will be talking, and lines from nursery rhymes will interrupt her thought. In the beginning it was kind of confusing and distracting because I wanted to put all the nursery rhymes together. However, after I picked up on the pattern the reading went more smoothly. I really enjoyed the relationship that developed between the the main character and another key character. It's the kind of relationship that develops when tragedy strikes or difficulties blocks one's way. In all, I enjoyed this novel. Would I read it again? No. Would I recommend it to someone? Yes, because that person could end up really enjoying it, and then I could get someone else's viewpoint on it. If any of you have read this novel feel free to leave a comment below explaining how you felt about the book. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Hello fellow book readers!! Here is Book 3 finally! As the above title tells you, the third book is Divergent written by the talented Veronica Roth. To be honest I was really hesitate to read this book and eventually the rest of the series. I had this bad feeling that Divergent would be like all the other books that share the same genre. However, I can say that I was proven wrong. I absolutely loved this book! One thing I really liked was how Roth wrote in a way that made me (the reader) feel like the actions or events were right in front me. Also, Roth's way with words made me (the reader) feel all the different emotions that the characters were going through. If there was pain, sadness, happiness, and/or excitement I would feel them. This is a silly con for the book, but in the beginning when Roth would refer to the character Four, I would sometimes have to re-read the sentence because I would read Four as "for." It's a really petty thing, but really an important character to the story. On a scale from 1-5, with one being absolutely terrible and five being amazing, I would rate this book a five. I don't usually rate a book a five unless the book had something special, and this book just had that something special. Thanks for reading and following along on my journey to 200 books! Book 4 should be up soon! If you have any suggestions for books or you would like to leave a comment about Divergent feel free to leave one. Thank you and talk to you all later! 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Here's book #2!! So book #2 in my challenge is The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Around Christmas time I came to this realization that I have been neglecting the classics of literature, and of course I wanted to fix that ASAP. I had a friend who had read The Scarlet Letter and immediately fallen in love with it. I decided my first classic should be The Scarlet Letter first, so my friend and I could have a discussion about it. To be honest, I couldn't really get into the story. There was a lot of descriptions, which can be great at times, but not enough dialogue between the characters. The book seemed to move at a slow pace. However, the last two chapters were by far my favorite part of the whole novel! Even though I had a hard time getting into the story, I still hold The Scarlet Letter in high respect. Who knows, maybe I will re-read this classic in the future, and notice things I didn't the first time around. If you guys enjoyed or didn't enjoy (and why)  The Scarlet Letter let me know in the comments below! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Hi everyone! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. I actually have a book to add to my 200 book challenge and it is called Trick or Treat written by Richie Tankersley Cusick. You are probably wondering why I read a Halloween book at the end of January. To be honest you could read this book anytime throughout the year. Richie Tankersley Cusick is a true master of suspense in my opinion. Trick or Treat is about this teenage girl who moves into this "haunted" house with her dad, her new step-mother, and her new step-brother. She has a bad feeling about the house from the the very first sight of it. As the book progresses the reader finds out all these different things about the previous owner's daughter and ex-boyfriend. In all, the book is very suspenseful and does not allow you to guess who the "voice" is until the very last pages. With that my friends, is what I call a great book. Trick or Treat is one of those suspense books that you can read over and over and still get goosebumps or have the urge to look over your shoulders periodically. If any of you have any questions about this book feel free to leave a comment below and I will try to answer them as best as I can! Thanks :)