Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins

Synopsis: "If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year's there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love."

Title: My True Love Gave to Me
Series: None
Genre: Romance, Some Fantasy
Ages: 12+
Pages: 336
My Rating: 3 stars
One Word: Diverse
Fave Quote: N/A


So my sister always knows what I want for Christmas, and last year, after I've been thinking about reading this book, she gave it to me as a present. I was ecstatic of course, but I knew I had to wait until next year in order to really get the Holiday feel when I read it. Now a year later I finally finished it!

There's always a problem with short story books, however, because they are always compiled of mostly average stories with some really good or just awful ones in between.

"Midnights" Rainbow Rowell
Rating: 4 stars
Cute, light, and very easy read. It was a great start to the book and hooked me in for the rest of the novel.However, Noel got on my nerves.

"The Lady and the Fox" Kelly Link
Rating: 2 stars
This story just got me so confused. It was a very...different story and its ideas were scattered everywhere. The ending was just over dramatized, and-I'm sorry I just can't deal with stories that seem realistic but have a weird fantastical twist that this one had. The romance was also written pretty awfully, sorry.

"Angels in the Snow" Matt De La Pena
Rating: 2 stars
I didn't like this story either as it was just not realistic at all. Who would be so cruel as to ask someone to cat sit over Christmas break, and not have any food in their fridge? The main girl in the story was annoying af too.

"Polaris is Where You'll Find Me" Jenny Han
Rating:4 stars
The storyline is very creative (claps to Jenny Han), but the main character was very bland and had no emotion at all.

"It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown" Stephanie Perkins
Rating: 4 stars
Thought it was a cute YA rom-com story, the romance part was a little awkward and definitely not realistic (I know it doesn't have to be realistic obviously, but I just couldn't relate.)

"Your Temporary Santa" David Levithan
Rating: 1 star
Didn't even make sense. People just kept randomly popping up and I'm still not even sure if the family knew they were dating...??

"Krampuslauf" Holly Black
Rating: 3 stars
Started out really good with a solid main character...and then just turned weird fast with the whole fantastical element. It was a similar weird twist to "The Lady and the Fox"

"What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?" Gayle Forman
Rating: 5 stars
Was cute and adventurous, main character was very realistic and I could totally relate to her (despite the fact that I'm not Jewish).

"Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus" Myra McEntire
Rating: 4 stars
Was a relatively cute story. I enjoyed the main character, except some parts of the story seemed too fast paced or convenient for the main character if you know what I mean.

"Welcome to Christmas, CA" Kiersten White
Rating: 5 stars
I never liked White's Mind Games novel, however this short story was the best. Main character was funny and could handle her own, and story was built perfectly.

"Star of Bethlehem" Ally Carter
Rating: 3 stars
Was cute, but the romance part sped up wayyy to quickly, and the story overall just didn't flow too well. There were some funny parts though.

"The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer" Laini Taylor
Rating: 3 stars
I usually love Taylor's writing but for some reason this story wasn't that good. Maybe it was the fact that I just wanted to get the book over with or the fact that I was not expecting a story that fantastical. Her writing is always beautiful, though so it had to get at least 3 stars.

Well, there you have it. I'm rushing through this review because I'm on vacation and am antsy to get outside to the warm weather, but I think you get the gist of my review :). It feels like I give every book with short stories 3 stars just because the stories are so diverse and all receive different ratings.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Synopsis: "It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul"

Title: The Book Thief
Series: ?
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 552
Ages: 14+
My Rating: 5 stars
One Word: Epic
Fave Quote: In Review


It took me FOREVER to get through this book due to my 20 lbs of schoolwork each day and due to how dense this book is!! I loved every single page of it though, from Death's little blurbs to the powerful yet simple endings to each chapter. What an amazing book, filled with joyful and heartbreaking moments.

Right from the words "HERE IS A SMALL FACT: you are going to die" (3) I was hooked into the mesmerizing story. I honestly do not know how Zusak does it, but he definitely amazed me with his creative writing style and vivid imagery (and not just because I watched the movie beforehand). My favorite quotes from the film were usually from Death himself:

“I’ve seen so many young men over the years who think they’re running at other young men. They are not. They’re running at me” (175).

Woah. Zusak you have opened my eyes.

While reading the novel, death both invigorated and petrified me, and that’s why Zusak’s writing is so breathtaking.

The character development was also spot on from Liesel to Rudy (the hair the color of lemons) to Papa to Max. I felt a strong emotion towards each character.

Overall, 10/10 would recommend


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

Synopsis: "This is a world divided by blood - red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.."

Title: Red Queen
Series: RQ #1
Genre: Fantasy Romance, Dystopian
Pages: 383
Ages: 13+
My Rating: 2 stars
One Word: ehh
Fave Quote: N/A

School season has begun and it's the worst time of year because I have probably an hour out of the week that is actually free for me and 1/100000th of the time I can actualy use that time to read so, like I said, it's the worst time of yea -_-.

Ehh I hoped this book would have some slight difference to other dystopian fantasy novels but it was really just bland. Same love triangle, same protagonist problems, same "OMG I'm special and different from everybody else!!!!" storyline. My face was just plank the whole time reading it and the romance was subpar. Both Cal and Maven had no appeal to me whatsoever and Mare was just very annoying and had no personality.

I may have liked this better despite the fact that I am sleep deprived and overloaded with homework, but still, it was just not a unique book at all.