Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cool Contest: YA Scavenger Hunt Winter 2012!

This is a really cool way to get exclusive content from YA authors you love, and to win their books.  All you have to do is pick a team (Blue or Red).  Then visit the websites of all of the authors on your team to find their lucky number.  Once you've obtained all 25 numbers, add them up.

Authors Participating: 





Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. 

I'm playing for the red and blue team.  Yes, it is legal to play for both sides.    Good luck all!

*Some of the numbers may be harder to find, but the comments of the STUCK? page addresses those concerns.  I swear, it is possible to get all of the numbers for both teams, as I just finished entering.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Library Giveaway: Holy Moley Guacamole!!!!


Wow!!!!! Beth Revis is spending big bucks on us! Shipping those books is quite the expense.  Many of these book are signed.  Wahoo! You guys know that signed books are my passion.  I actually have 10ish of these and saw Beth on the Breathless Tour, but this is such an amazing giveaway.  Whoever wins will be in for a nice treat.  I can't wait to see what Beth has planned for the winter holidays.  A whole bookstore next time?
I'm going to write my little entry right here.  Perhaps I'll inspire you.

On My Love of YA: Being within the YA range myself, I obviously commiserate with either the plot, maybe something of the realistic fiction genre, or the characters and how they come to terms with the problems thrown their way.  At this age, teenagers think the smallest things have the largest effects.  We're melodramatic, everything being at an extreme.  Reading YA books give me an escape from my "life-or-death" problems with my teachers, friends, or family.  Especially within the realms of fantasy or sci-fi, characters are battling issues that truly are a matter of life and death in their world.  However, the beauty of YA is that adults can read it too.  Contrary to popular belief, teenagers aren't stupid.  If we apply ourselves, we might have higher intelligence levels than the average "adult."  Thus, our books aren't for childish people.  The content may be more mellow than adult books, but sometimes all of the explicit details aren't necessary for the reader to become attached to the characters, to be thoroughly entertained, and to discover the joy of reading.  I wanted to break free of the YA because some of the content has become a little to immature, but I think I'm addicted to YA.  I will be that weird old person attending YA book events. Yes, she is me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1)Legend by Marie Lu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary:What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Yay for gold font in the print versions!

Characters: I love that girls are portrayed as fierce, intelligent heroines in books these days. June is a very strong character with a curiosity that leads to a bit of trouble. Regarding Day, I liked his caring nature. He loved his family, making sacrifices for then. He too was a smart and strong character. I enjoy stories in which the main characters shouldn't love each other, but I thought that June and Day's relationship wasn't developed enough for them to have true love for each other. Their love seemed only as strong as a crush. Lastly, I admired the racial diversity of the characters, the progress in society evident in literature.

Plot: So we have ourselves another futuristic, dystopian where there's an overthrow of government. I thought the plot was alright, but I'm getting tired of all the attempts at this genre. I heard that the next book in the series is absolutely amazing, so ill be sure to check it out.

Movie: the film rights were bought even before the book was published. The screenplay has been written.  The casting for this will be a challenge, especially for Day. I've never even heard of a blonde Asian, but obviously its possible because Marie Lu posted this picture on her blog:


In an interview with MTV, Marie mentioned that she envisioned Metias as Ben Barnes while she was writing.  For no other character did she picture an actor/actress playing him/her.

Hailee Steinfeld is a popular fan choice for June. I like her. She's gorgeous and she was great in True Grit.


Your thoughts?

Book Trailer

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

"After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations."
-Oscar Wilde

For those of you celebrating, have a fantastic day! Between stuffing yourself, remember what you are thankful for.

I am thankful for the gift of literacy and books. It's what keeps people smart;) Forget about family and friends. I kid, I kid. These loving people should be appreciated everyday, not just Thanksgiving.

Enjoy the break, and take advantage of the great opportunity for reading time!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summary: Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.
A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?
Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it. 


This is what every girl wants, right? I think my hopes were too high for this book based on my own crazy desire for fairy tale love.

Characters: Hadley is like an other teenager-naive and angry at her parents. Sometimes, she's quick to assume things, not using any logic. I found myself annoyed at her naïveté at times, but again, she's just a kid. Oliver's cute. I'm a sucker for Brits, but he definitely is a gentleman and has some witty lines throughout. Despite the fact that Hadley is the main character, I would argue that Oliver is more complex.

Plot: I absolutely loved the idea for this book. In fact, every time Rachel or I go on trips, we always tell each other to look out for the Brit whom the other will statistically fall in love with at first sight. However, the story fell short of my expectations. I feel that Hadley and Oliver's time spent together wasn't focused enough, considering what the title of the book is. I felt that Jennifer E. Smith's focal point of the story was Hadley making amends with her father, even though the book is promoted as being a love story. This had the get together, break up, make up formula. All in all, the make up was terrible.

Writing: It sure was fun learning new British diction! However, I will give credit to the author that there were a few insightful statements by the characters. While the story is still very cute, there are dramatic tones throughout.

Would I recommend it to a friend? No, it was a huge letdown. Great idea, but didn't turn out fantastic on paper.

View all my reviews

Monday, November 19, 2012

Crystal's "Read all the Reading Olympics Books" Challenge

Reading Olympics is a club/competition that I have been involved in for the past few years, and this year, I am determined to read all of them!
X ALL THE THINGS - read all the reading olympics books
Anyway, here is this list:
  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  2. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
  3. Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
  4. AuRevoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber
  5. Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
  6. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
  7. Before I Die by Jenny Downham
  8. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
  9. Born Blue by Han Nolan
  10. Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
  11. The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon
  12. City of Bones (Mortal Instruments, Book 1) by Cassandra Clare
  13. Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkataman
  14. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
  15. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  16. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  17. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
  18. Everlost by Neal Shusterman
  19. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  20. The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
  21. Getting Away With Murder by Chris Crowe
  22. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  23. How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown
  24. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  25. Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams
  26. Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldiers by Ishmael Beah
  27. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  28. Malcom X: By Any Means Necessary by Walter Dean Myers
  29. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
  30. Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  31. Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard
  32. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
  33. Repossessed by A.M. Jenkins
  34. The Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks
  35. The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
  36. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  37. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  38. Split by Swati Avasthi
  39. Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach
  40. Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen
  41. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  42. Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
  43. Under the Mesquite by Q. Garcia McCall
  44. White Cat by Holly Black
  45. Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr
So yeah, I basically have my work cut out for me. I have to reread a couple of these books; it's been awhile for some of them. I will have to finish these books before April.

Book Count: 10/45

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy One Monthiversary!

You don't know the awkward photos that came up when I was searching for a one month anniversary picture to put right here. Seriously, people these days can be so bizarre...

It's our anniversary to the day!  Yes, I started this blog exactly a month ago.  It seems so long ago, but since then Lisleslivres has added two awesome authors, Crystal and Rachel.  We've hit over 1,000 page views, and we're very excited to know that other people besides ourselves from multiple countries are reading something we really care about!  All kidding aside, this knowledge truly makes our days and puts smiles on our faces.

So merci beaucoup, readers:)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)Where She Went by Gayle Forman

My rating: 5 of 5 Shooting Stars!
(I can't take credit for that one unfortunately.  You just have to have read it to understand:))

Summary: It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.
Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I StayWhere She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.
I'm usually not one to say that sequels are better than the original, but this book is!

Characters: Mia and Adam are still as likable as ever, but it was nice to hear Adam telling the story. Through this POV, Adam is revealed as sensitive, sweet, even funny at times. He is absolutely perfect! If he doesn't qualify as being your literary boyfriend, you've set your standards to impossible.

Plot: This book is a romance, but I warn you that it is so much more. These characters have a lot of baggage due to their past; there's tension and drama, my favorite elements of fictitious work.

Writing: I really enjoyed the incorporation of different formidable places in New York. Most people will know of some of the places mentioned. In my opinion, when the setting of a book is familiar, I tend to enjoy it more because it feels more relatable. Additionally, Gayle Forman shows her poetry writing abilities with each chapter beginning with lyrics from Adam's songs. Overall, I think Gayle Forman creates beautiful writing.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Heck yes! You should read If I Stay before, but I think you technically could read this without actually having read If I Stay if you read the synopsis as well as this one.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)If I Stay by Gayle Forman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bring out the tissues!
Summary: In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices...
Characters: Mia was the perfect girl who had it all. I got the feeling that she'd be the type of person who is genuinely sweet and deserves everything she has. I felt absolutely terrible for her when her mind realizes she has lost her entire family. The entire story is mostly a narrative of Mia's memories of when she was living, her mind that is still functioning while her body is in a coma trying to figure out if she should stay alive for just give up living, and there really aren't any other main characters I will mention Adam because he plays a huge role in the sequel. So, all you really learn about Adam is that he is a really sweet guy, obviously in love with his girlfriend. The book describes their first meeting, him trying to impress her, and how their relationship has progressed since then. You might not love Adam just yet after reading this, but once you read Where She Went, you will fall, fall hard for Adam Wilde.

Plot: Very predictable...You might find yourself thinking of those tv shows and movies in which the characters won't wake up, but some part of them is aware of everything that is going on. Personally, I was reminded of the Full House episode when Michelle fell off the horse and couldn't remember anything until her "memory" came back.

Writing: Gayle Forman did a beautiful job of telling this story. It is very emotional, and as I already warned, you might find yourself wanting to cry.

Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes, and then the sequel!

View all my reviews

Review: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Struck (Struck, #1)Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Actual rating: 3.75

Summary: Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.
Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.
Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn't who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

If we're judging books by covers and book trailers, this would be the best book ever. Whoever designed them, you are awesome! Seriously, the trailer looks like a movie trailer, this coming from a girl who laughs at the silliness of all book trailers. I we judge on content, I'm going to have to lower my rating because this one really annoyed me.

Characters: Mia was kind of a boring character. She looked out for her family and was protective to the point of putting herself at danger. I know the author intended on her being a strong heroine, but she seemed too trite for me. Then there's the love interest, Jeremy. The thing I like about him was his appearance, with his Clark Kent glasses:) For the most part, I found him too elusive to care about. I wanted to figure the guy out, but he really wasn't in he book that much and I stopped caring. I realize that sounds weird as he was a main character.

Plot: I love the idea of the lightning addict. It seems original to me. However, as her power is discovered by various religious groups, they all want it for selfish purposes. That really annoyed me. You should know that I'm not a believer in religion. Regardless, all sides are corrupt so even if you are aren't religiously affiliated, you will probably get a little peeved. Overall, I found the plot to be slow, but I think my expectations were a bit high.

Writing: Mediocre

Book Trailer: Seriously, awesome! I know that the author and her husband are involved in the movie making industry from reading about her, and that fact is evident in the trailer.

Would I recommend this to a friend? Nah, it was a letdown for me.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

Ummm...So I may have been keeping a little bit of a secret from you guys. What's that you ask? Well, over the course of me posting on this blog I have never once mentioned my favorite book, or in this case, books!
City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)
Yes, friends, my favorite book series of all time is The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. I read these books a couple of years ago and I have loved them ever since.

My Rating: 5 out of 5

My Summary: The plot in each book all starts with the young New Yorker, Clary Fray. Clary and her Best friend Simon go clubbing one night and it's there in the Pandemonium Club that Clary is introduced to the world of Shadowhunters. Clary is then thrown into a new world of the strange and unexpected and is especially thrown for a loop when she learns she may belong to the world more than she thinks she does. Over the course of the 5 (soon to be 6) book series the plot thickens and Clary and her friends fight together to restore the peace and balance between the demon and earthly worlds.

My Review: Okay, well obviously I love this book, considering its my favorite and all. The plot, yes, maybe it's a little silly, is very enjoyable, I mean who doesn't dream of being a badass (pardon my french) demon killer? Also the writing is fun and really witty, which I love. Clare writing had some serious laugh out loud moments and perfectly timed one-liners that get me every time, and I re-read these books a lot!  Also, the character are AMAZING! Both the main and secondary characters are really well developed, and you really get to know them as you read more and more into the series. If any of you have read the books, then you know that I am missing a major element: Jase. Jase is seriously the most perfect boy that words can't adequetly explain my feelings for him. Haha! His romance with Clary is perfection and even though I'm jealous I can put my feelings aside for them. Another great part of the book is the representation of the LGBT community, which is always nice to see in books these days. 

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)Overall: I really think you should read this series and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. This is an awesome book for both boys and girls, and you wont regret it; I swear! It wouldn't be my favorite book for nothing!

Additional: There is a movie coming out for the first book sometime next year and I am super excited for that! Here's a link to the IMDB page, so you can check out the casting.  The trailer just came out today! Also, for more movie news and book news, check out Cassandra Clare's Tumblr page.

Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Goodreads Summary: A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.

R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving.

My Rating: 4 out of 5


My Summary: In this dystopian novel about the Zombie Apocalypse, R makes a stunning revelation about the truth of his kind and life in general. R had always held on to more of his humanity then the others of his kind had. One night, when R is on the hunt for food, R kills young Perry, an intelligent and light-hearted teen hardened by the apocalyptic world. While eating Perry, R has the ability to relive memories of Perry's human life, and it is in these memories that R sees Julie. Julie is/was Perry's girlfriend, and when R saw her he felt something and an odd feeling of love began to grow despite R's inability to feel. R quickly falls in love with Julie and together the two fight to find a cure to the plague and save the innocents that have turned into zombies.  

My Review: I really liked this book. It was fascinating, dark, sweet, funny, and the list can go on. The story itself was a little slow at times and hard to get through, but what really made this book was the writing. It was truly a beautifully written book, and in the YA fiction section it can be hard to find books that are written as well as this one was. The story was cute and it was really more of a story of hope and change rather than a simple love story. Also, this book is NOT for the faint of heart. If blood and gore doesn't tickle your fancy, then don't read this or skip the disturbing parts. The writing was perfectly descriptive and at times it was a little too descriptive for me, but then again I can be a little squeamish. I also loved R; he seemed like such an honest character and he was nicely developed. 

Overall: I  highly recommend this book for everyone! Its not really your conventional romance and it was really well written. Only draw back was the slow plot (trust me, this is easily overshadowed by the writing), but overall a fabulous read!

Additional: This book was actually made into a movie that is coming out in February of 2013.  And if the story isn't enough for you, then how about Nicholas Holt who plays R and Dave Franco who plays Perry (LOVE them both)! I just watched the trailer and the movie looks funnier than I remember the book being, but needless to say I'm super excited. 

Additional Additional: At this point here is Carly cutting into Rachel's review because she just found out good news: Warm Bodies 2 announced on Isaac Marion's blog!  (I know how dumb taking in third person sounds.)

"Clearly, there is something uncool about writing sequels. None of the writers whose careers I hope to emulate have done it--in serious literary circles, it just isn't done. 
The thing is, I am writing a sequel. 
I can see the reactions now: some smiles, some furrowed brows, some eye-rolls. People have urged me not get stuck in a rut, to move on and explore new territory, because as the above-mentioned Jeanette Winterson put it, 'Sequels are for when a writer runs out of ideas.'
I have not run out of ideas. I have more ideas than I'll ever be able to write, three of which already have their first chapter written. But as much as I'm pawing the ground to dive into those stories, here's why I'm staying in R and Julie's world a little longer: their story isn't finished."

As always...Happy Reading!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next DoorLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary: Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit—more sparkly, more fun, more wild—the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
When Cricket—a gifted inventor—steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Not as good as Anna, but still very cute...
Characters: Lola was out there! She was very hard to relate too because I'm the complete opposite of her. She's eccentric. I'm not. Nonetheless, I found myself feeling bad for her when things weren't working out for her. Moreover, I did not like Cricket as much as Etienne. How could I possibly? Etienne was perfect! Cricket, ok I absolutely hate his name, was a lot shyer and didn't tell as many witty jokes. I think if Etienne hadn't existed yet, I would have been in love with Cricket because he was super sweet, funny, and very talented. Speaking of Etienne, he and Anna have large roles as characters in this book too. They do not just say hi and leave, which is good for everybody:)
Plot: Another cute, easy, and fun rom com from the brillant Mrs. Perkins! Predictable, but you know you love it.
Writing: I'd love to personally know Mrs. Perkins. She must be hysterical because she crafts very funny characters that use sarcasm and wit, revealing their intellect.
Cover: The dress of these models is accurate all the way down to Cricket's pinstripe pants. This makes me happy.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Of course! I recommend this author to everybody, but if you haven't read Anna and the French Kiss or this one, I'm thinking you should read this one first so Cricket doen't get spoiled for you (I realize this storyline takes place after Anna, so the spoiler of knowing Anna and Etienne kinda ruins it for you, but I'm thinking you could guess that anyways.).

Here's a pretty cool fanmade trailer readers can appreciate.  I realize that if you haven't read it, it might seems pretty dumb but why not post it for you guys?

View all my reviews

Review: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary:  Caldecott Honor artist Brian Selznick's lavishly illustrated debut novel is a cinematic tour de force not to be missed!
ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

J'adore cet livre!
For those non Frenchies: I love this book! Despite its thickness, it's a quickie because of all of the illustrations, so don't be intimidated by its size,.  I know I was.

Characters: Can't really say much about the two main characters, Hugo and Isabelle. They were like regular little kids, curious and sometimes getting into trouble sometimes. However, I was impressed that Hugo was intelligent enough to realize that something was missing for him. Therefore, I like a few quotes by him and find them truly insightful.

Plot:The plot was very cool in that it incorporated the famous filmmaker, Georges Melies. If you are interested in anything related to movies or anything French, since the setting is in Paris, you will find it interesting. Brian Selznick was very clever in how the automaton, Hugo's father, and Georges were all connected.

Writing: Well, there isn't much of it. This is a children's book, so the writing wasn't too complicated.
Illustrations: Wow! There is no doubt Brian Selznick is talented and spent a lot of time on this. Even if you aren't the hugest fan of his cartoonish drawings, you have to check this out!

Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes, the story was neat and when will you ever read a book like this?

Movie: I saw the movie first actually. It was almost identical to the book. The cinematography was absolutely beautiful. Quite frankly, I enjoyed the cast. Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz were great, and Sacha Baron Cohen was hilarious. I know a lot of people don't give this movie the praise it deserves because it is a kid's movie, but this was a very good movie for the whole family:)

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

There is a movie for this book. I'll be reviewing the movie, both as a movie in general and compared to the book. Spoilers!

SummaryCould you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok, so this book is kind of amazing. I love it (and the rest of the series) so much that I've read them 17 times. I can quote direct lines from the book. It's kind of sad. Peeta is adorable <3
Plot: The plot of this story is so creative and so out there that I question Suzanne Collins' sanity. I've read online that she was flipping through channels on tv and somehow came up with the idea? I don't know. Anyway, the plot of the Hunger Games was superb, so well thought and without a dull moment. It kept me captivated 17 times, so it must be pretty awesome. I have the attention span of a puppy.
Characters: Ah, Peeta. You are my most favorite person in the world. Peeta is so lovable, and he is just the cutest and sweetest person ever. Gale is pretty awesome too, but he isn't really developed much in this book, more in Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Katniss is a female main character whom I am neutral about. I neither love nor dislike her. Suzanne Collins makes Katniss a character who is slightly difficult to love, but the complexity of Katniss' fight about her feelings about Peeta made it all better.
Style: The book is written in Katniss' point of view in present tense, which makes for a couple of awkward spots, but besides that, I loved the style of this book. It was easy to read, fast paced, and well written. Props to you, Suzanne Collins!


The Hunger Games directed by Gary Ross

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This movie did not do the book justice at all. It was kind of a disappointment, actually.

Casting: Don't get me wrong, I love Jennifer Lawrence, and she is a great actress, but she just isn't a Katniss. Katniss is supposed to be small and skinny, and Jennifer Lawrence is tall and normal sized (which I love about her, but not for this role). I love Josh Hutcherson dearly, and he was great personality-wise for the role of Peeta! Liam Hemsworth as Gale made me sad. The casting directors could have done so much better. All of the other actors/actresses (ie Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Toby Jones) were incredible. The casting for the other districts' tributes were great!
Costumes/Makeup/Hair: The costumes were great! Very much like the ones I imagined in my head. Except for the first getup that Katniss and Peeta wear (the one that was on fire), which was supposed to look a little more like real fire, and the fire wasn't supposed to go out. Makeup wasn't a very prominent part of this except for in the Capital, which was quite elaborate and somewhat along the lines of what I thought. Hair. Oh lordy the hair in this movie was awesome. So many braided updos and pretty waves and buns and yes, I went crazy. I'm a bit of a hair fanatic. Especially braids.
Plot Relevance: I had a couple of disappointments with how the movie wasn't like the book. The biggest complaint for me was how Madge wasn't in this movie at all. She was one of my favorite characters!!! The mockingjay pin had so much more meaning behind it when Katniss learned that the pin was Madge's aunt's. Francis Lawrence better make sure that Madge ends up in Catching Fire. Another complaint was that PEETA DID NOT HAVE TO HAVE HIS LEG AMPUTATED. The fact that Peeta has fewer limbs than Katniss physically shows that Peeta is weaker than Katniss! Sigh. Last complaint is that at the end, it wasn't clear that Katniss was faking her feelings the entire time. The writers should have made that clearer.
Camera Work: I actually loved the camera work for this movie. I'm not an expert on cameras by any means, but the filming of this movie seemed so natural and frenzied as I expected from somewhere like District 12. Good work with that one, Gary!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Review: Willow by Julia Hoban

WillowWillow by Julia Hoban

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Stayed up til 5:00 AM to finish it...needless to say I LOVED IT!

Summary: Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen year- old Willow's parents died in a horrible car accident. Willow was driving. Now her older brother barely speaks to her, her new classmates know her as the killer orphan girl, and Willow is blocking the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when one boy one sensitive, soulful boy discovers Willows secret, it sparks an intense relationship that turns the safe world Willow has created for herself upside down. Told in an extraordinary fresh voice, Willow is an unforgettable novel about one girls struggle to cope with tragedy, and one boy's refusal to give up on her.

Characters: Julia Hoban does a great job of developing these characters. Willow was someone who put up walls of protection, not wanting anyone to be let in, utilizing isolation and a little bit of sarcasm to keep people away. However, it is obvious that she still cares about her brother, niece, and others, and I couldn't help but feel for her. As for Guy, he needs to help Willow because that is the way he is. He was such a sweetie. I wish I had my own Guy to always be there by my side, although I hope this guy isn't named Guy because I hate that name. Haha.
Their relationship definitely had some awkward moments like all relationships do, and Hoban realistically demonstrates this. I very much admire the way that she had the two protagonists grow as their relationship simultaneously did.

Plot: It was totally predictable. I don't know what kind of stories are original these days. It seems like everything has already been done.

Writing: *Warning* If you are squeamish, you will have to utilize the super rapid page flip, made famous by moi, when you get to the descriptions of Willow cutting herself.

Would I recommend this to a friend? YES! I told you, I stayed up until 5 to read this. If you like romantic dramas, read it!

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Review: The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

The Last SongThe Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I did a review for this right after I read it, and did not remember that until today. It was terrible so REWRITE TIME!

*I read this after I saw the movie.

Summary:Seventeen year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father… until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story about love in its myriad forms – first love, the love between parents and children – that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that deeply felt relationships can break our hearts… and heal them.

Characters: I really enjoyed this book more than Nicholas Sparks' other stuff because these characters were closer to my age, the intended audience. I liked the evolution of Ronnie, how she grew closer to her family and came to fall in love. She learned from her mistakes and was redirected to the right path.  Will was a sweet character. He was always there for Ronnie and her family, but there wasn't anything special about either him or Ronnie.  I didn't become attached to them like I do with other characters, but they certainly were relatable.
After watching the movie first, it was hard not to picture the characters as the actors who portray them. In Will's case, it wasn't so bad since Liam Hemsworth isn't too bad to look at :)

Plot: We have you typical Nicholas Sparks formula. You know there's going to be love and death in the book.

Movie: DON'T be discouraged to read this after watching the movie. DON'T let Miley Cyrus' acting turn you away, for the book was much better than the movie!
I found amazingly interesting that the screenplay was written before the book just for Miley Cyrus. After reading it, i realized that there are a ton of holes in the movie, especially regarding the church fire. In the movie, this part of the plot was kind of forgotten about, but it is explained in the book because it has such significance to the story.
*Many of the funny lines from the screenplay show up verbatim.

The Last Song Trailer

Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes. However, I know some people do not like Nicholas Sparks where people die, so keep that in mind.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary:In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Before I start, I'll mention that Crystal and Rachel loved this one. I did not. It was very good, but I think it's getting too much hype. This is not as good as the Hunger Games.

Characters: Let's start with Four, my favorite character. I liked the elusiveness of Four. He's definitely got an interesting back story. He was always thinking of Tris' interests, even if it did not seem like it. He was truly caring for this girl, despite the cold shoulder he initially gives her. Tris was the underdog. She comes in as the weak little girl who eventually perseveres to the top. I like this about her, but I did think her character was a bit weak. Her inherent selflessness was described by Four as making her braver and stronger, but I think it's what really caused her trouble. It's her complex. Therefore, I don't think she can be the next Katniss. Nonetheless, these two characters have great chemistry, and the tension between them gets pretty juicy.

Plot: I didn't think there really was any until the end. Up until then, the book is about Tris's adjustment to the Dauntless faction and trying to see if she qualifies to belong there. The end got some excitement going, though.

Writing: I don't remember being super impressed by it, but the writing wasn't bad. It was typical ya fiction. Every once in a while, you find a ya book with truly impressive writing, but this wasn't one.

Overall feelings: Again, despite the negativity, I still read this one at a relatively fast pace and enjoyed it. It was a very good book. Had The Hunger Games not become a huge success and everybody started pumping out dystopians because of the craze, this might have been "the book" for me.
Would I recommend it to a friend? Yes


Shailene Woodley's in talks of being cast as Tris. I like her and wouldn't mind if she was playing Tris, but I've loved AnnaSophia Robb since Bridge to Terabithia.

Shailene Woodley

AnnaSophia Robb

I wouldn't mind if a "totally random never hear of you" person played Tris. There hasn't been anyone that I've been like"That is Tris."

I've watched a ton of fanmade videos on youtube, and the top two picks for Four seems to be Max Irons and Brant Daugherty. I think Max Irons is gorgeous, and I'd have no problem watching the movie if he starred in it. The only thing I've seen him in is Red Riding Hood, which I didn't like.

Max Irons

Brant Daugherty is good looking as well.

So, what do you think?

P.S. Don't forget to read Free Four: Tobias Tells the Story, Tobias' version of one of the chapters.  I actually liked it better than Divergent.

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