Friday, October 24, 2014

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Wow, this book was amazing!! I can't wait to watch the movie!!

This book is about a community where everyone is the same. They don't see colors, they don't feel, and there is a specific set of rules that everyone has to follow. It sounds crazy, but to them it's normal. They chose to do away with all that to have a peaceful life. This book is about Jonas, who's supposed to become the new Receiver, and his journey in finding his place in the community and how he is affected after beginning his new training.

This book is great!! It's short and is a children's novel, so it's not hard to read and isn't very long, but the story is great! It gives a great look at what it would be like in a world without war. There is just Sameness. No feeling, no color, just everyone acting the same way all the time. It's a very interesting concept to think about. I really feel that Lowry did a great job conveying how scary this type of environment is. I mean, they do some scary stuff and think nothing of it. I love it!! I can already tell from the previews that the movie will be different, but this book was written in 1993 so I feel like the movie will appeal to our more modern ideas of what this life would be like.

Well, I would highly recommend reading this novel :D I hope there's a sequel, because I want to read it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The One by Kiera Cass

Hey guys, I actually meant to write this last night, but I completely forgot. Sorry!

Well, this is technically the last book in the series, although there are a few novellas which have been put into an anthology(as far as I know) that I hope to read in the future. This book was amazing!! I was just as much in love with it as the first one. It combined the elements of the first two books perfectly.

There is just so much in this book, but it doesn't get overwhelming. America really decides to take a stand and fight for what she wants. A lot of things happen, and I can't tell them to you because I'm pretty sure no one has read the books yet. However, know that you will cry. A lot. There will be happy times that are fantastic, but I definitely cried more than once when reading this. America makes choices, other people make choices, and big things happen. It is a great read and the ending is very satisfying, although I wasn't sure about one of the couple at the end. You read it and let me know what you thought.

I loved how Cass combined the element that just made you fall in love in the first book with the serious element in the second book. I felt so connected and inspired by the characters in this book. I also loved how the antagonists in this series were not always where you think they would come from. The third book also revealed allies in hidden places and the identity of some characters you would be surprised at. All in all this series, and all the books, have a great depth to them that allow us to see true human character. We can identify with all the choices the characters make, even if we don't like them. The identity of the characters is given without drawing out the descriptions and making it boring. I think this is going to be one of my all time favorite series.

I give this book a 10 out of 10 and recommend it to YA readers.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Elite by Kiera Cass

Hey everyone, sorry my blog post is so late!! I had a crazy work schedule this week and a lot of reading for class!!! I'll try to post 2 reviews next week to make up for it, k? :)

Alright, The Elite by Kiera Cass. GREAT book!!! I didn't fall in love with it the same way that I fell in love with The Selection, but I still think it was just as good. America has now only 6 competitors. The stakes are much higher and the lessons are more serious, as they have to see if the girls are really princess, and future queen, material. The relationship with America and the men in her life are complicated, and while her indecision is a little frustrating, it is also completely understandable. Chapter 31 in this book is probably the best definition of America's relationships. I think it sums them up very nicely and is a great way to end the book!!!

As I said earlier, I think this book is just as good as The Selection, although it doesn't make me fall in love with it the same way. For one thing, The Selection was all about meeting everyone and falling in love with America and any others you happened to like. This book is more serious, and rightly so. Now we see our favorite characters in serious situations and how they react to them. However, it follows the book well because it gets more serious for them as well. The girls are tested, and if they fail it could mean their elimination. Relationships are more serious I just LOVE how Cass portrayed them!! I don't want to give away any spoilers though, so I won't say much more. However, I think she did a great job of portraying how a real relationship would work in this situation. I simply love it, and I am going to be reading The One because I want to know how it all worked out! This is really a fantastic book and although it is more serious, it is very believable and an enjoyable read. If you read it please let me know how you like it.

I give this book a 9 out of 10. I recommend this book for YA readers.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fire of the Raging Dragon by Don Brown

This is not the normal type of book that I read or write blogs about. However, I got this from BookLookBloggers for my father so I need to write a review before I can get more books from them. I actually have two different books I want from their site. It's so hard to pick! However, I had to read this book so I could write a review and continue with the site :)

I did not care for this book. However, I also don't care for military books. This book is definitely military fiction and while it's well written and seems accurate(although my knowledge of military matters is not very high) I had a hard time getting into it. I thought the story line was great and I did enjoy the characters. When first introducing them the author gave them a short little bio in a way that helped me get to know them without it being just a 'Here's my characters' type of thing. I did really enjoy reading them! There's lots of action and what was pretty neat, although not something I look for in the book, the author included maps of places the characters were talking about. It was helpful because then the reader can also visualize what is going on and fully see what the characters are looking at.

I quite frankly had a hard time getting into this story. I do not normally read military novels. The closest novels I have come to that are somewhat military based is the O'Malley series by Dee Henderson, and they are not as detailed as this one. There are choppers and soldiers and planes and all sorts of stuff that I don't know how to picture. I mean, I have a rough idea but since this is not the normal type of book for me I wasn't sure exactly how to tell what was going on. I thought the ending was great!! I did enjoy what happened at the end, and not just because the book was done!! I really liked what the author did :) So, if you enjoy military books I would definitely advise you to look into this one. This is actually #2 in the series. The first one is called Thunder in the Morning Calm.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I give this book a 5 out of 10. I recommend this book for adult readers interested in military fiction.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hero By Alethea Kontis

Hey everyone! So, I realized that while I wanted to post at least one book a week, that doesn't mean I have to post only one!! I may be doing about 3 this week :D I want to review this book, the America book, and another book so that I can get a book from BookLookBlogger.com that I want. And after that book I'll get another book because there are 2 right now from that site that I want xD Anyway! Just a forewarning that I may be posting quite a bit this week! Don't worry, I'll spread them out :)

Alright, onto the book! Now, I got my 2nd Selection novel today, FINALLY and yes I already read it even though I had work today from 12-3 and I couldn't pick it up until 10 xD However, I want to talk about Hero because I want to read that book again and give you an excellent review :) I only read Hero once, and while I think it is a good book, I don't love it as much as Enchanted. It's a great story, but what I loved about Enchanted was the fairy tales woven in and the magic and the whimsy. This book was not the same. I recognized a couple fairy tales that were mentioned, but they were not delved into. There is a set up though, so I hope the next book will be out relatively soon :D I liked the characters, but I missed connecting all the fairy tales and seeing how she wove them in.

Saturday gets to have an adventure. She supposedly doesn't have magic(she has a talent having to do with magic, but you'll have to read to find out!) and so is jealous of everyone. However, she ends up getting kidnapped by a witch/demon(she is a witch in that word because she's a demon, but she's not that great xD) whose eyes were stolen by Jack, Saturday's brother that's been gone a long time. However, the witch can't tell that it's Saturday and not Jack so Saturday is forced to complete tasks while trying to find a way to escape. One thing that was confusing was the caves and the sense of time. Of course, time doesn't pass and the witch made the cave, but I still wish that I could have pictured the caves and how they worked, and I just couldn't. The other person in the cave is a prince guy who got tricked into taking the place of the witch's daughter by the daughter herself. He didn't completely change into a girl, but he wears skirts to stay alive. That was weird. I did like the shapeshifting animal, though! He was cool :D I kind of was put off by a part in the ending....but I won't tell you exactly what because it's a spoiler :) All in all, the book was well written and I will probably read it again, but it doesn't grab me like it did Enchanted. It did fit Saturday though, as Saturday is a very down to earth and sturdy character. I think it is a good read, but check it out at the library before you decide to buy it :)

I give this book a 7 out of 10 and recommend it to YA readers.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Entwined by Heather Dixon

This book is yet another fairy tale retelling, shocker, and this one tells a version of the story of The 12 Dancing Princesses. It's a bit creepy, but it's a very good book and well written. I feel like I understood it a lot more the second time around, but it has been a while since I read it :)

I like to assume that most people know basic fairy tales, but I find that not many of the population are as well versed in fairy tales as I am, so I shall give a basic rundown of the story. There are 12 sisters who dance the night away every night and wear their dancing shoes out. The king issues a decree that whoever can discover where they go and who they dance with will get to marry one of the princesses. A soldier returning from the war receives a cloak of invisibility and tricks the girls into thinking he's asleep. He follows them to an underground palace where they dance with 12 men. He brings back a cup and breaks off pieces of the precious metal trees to show the king, and when the soldier exposes them they admit it. There are a few different endings, but they are all happy! There are three that I know of: he marries the eldest, he marries the youngest, or he tells the girls to marry the 12 young men they danced with.

This story has a bit of a twist and I rather like it! The girls don't get along well with their father because he is rather strict. Their mother dies on Christmas night and dancing is the only thing to link the girls to their mother, but their father forbids it. They call him 'Sir' if that's any indication of the relationship. The story basically follows the story line from the previous paragraph. What I enjoy is the relationship of the sisters and how she was able to portray the sisters without muddling them together. I do wish there was more of an individual introduction, but she didn't use all of the princesses all the time so it was a bit easier keeping track of who was where. Magic is involved and it is very interesting because it's nothing I had heard of before, which I liked. I also really enjoyed the ending. This is one of my favorite fairy tales and I think Heather Dixon did a fabulous job when she wrote this!