Monday, April 30, 2012

Books: April Edition

Whew, April flew by in a blur, but I am SO glad! I was barely hangin' in there, but now I am done with the semester and I can breathe. It is awesome. I'm not sure how, but I got through three books this month and here they are.

First, I tried out a book called After Eden by Katherine Pine. Here is a summary, courtesy B&

Devi knows she shouldn't trust the new employee at her favorite used bookstore. Sure, he's funny, smart and hands down the sexiest guy she's ever met, but something dark lurks behind his unassuming smile and sinful green eyes.

Still, a girl can't always afford to be picky. When an angel abducts your twin brother it should come as no surprise that the one person who can help you get him back is a demon--and only if you're willing to pay his price.

This book is a Pubit book from Barnes and Noble, so I was prepared for the amateur writing and plot. I liked the subject of this story, which is angels and demons. That part was very interesting and written in a unique way. That is probably the reason I kept reading. Oh, and the fact that I really liked Oz, the guy from the bookstore. He was definitely the best written character. Devi was... kind of whiny and obnoxious. Not my fave. For $0.99, it really wasn't bad. But I'm also not sure if it was worth my time. Overall, two out of five stars for this one.

 Next I read Partials by Dan Wells. Here is a summary:

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

I definitely liked this book. It's a great dystopian novel with a little sci-fi and a tad of romance. Maybe because the book was written by a man, I found that the main character, Kira, was very different from your average teen character. There were moments when I thought,"OK, no girl would ever say that", but overall, she was a strong, smart character that I liked reading about. 

At points this book reminded me of Mockingjay (the third novel in The Hunger Games series), but for the most part, it was a nice breath of fresh air. The plot was complex and captivating. The characters were very well written. I cannot wait until the next book is released! Overall, I would give this book four out of five stars

Lastly, I read The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. It's one of my mom's favorites and I decided it was high time I read it. Here's a summary: 

Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's "saying" the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money. "To despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable." Forty years later the stories and history continue.

With wit and sensitivity, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and daughters. As each woman reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined. Mothers boast or despair over daughters, and daughters roll their eyes even as they feel the inextricable tightening of their matriarchal ties. 

I really enjoyed reading this book. There were times I got very confused with the eight different narratives, but I just kept flipping backwards to remind myself who was who. Amy Tan is a great writer and the stories told by the mothers and daughters were captivating, humorous, and heart-breaking.  I only wish it had gone on, to tell exactly what happened to each character.  If you haven't read this book, it is definitely one that should be read at least once by everyone. Five out of Five stars.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Last Week of the Semester

This month has been insane and I have been a slacker when it comes to my poor blog. But the good news is: only one more week of this until my summer break! Since I decided not to do summer semester, I wont have to worry about school until August. I really love that feeling. So to celebrate this last week of stressing, worrying, staying-up-until-midnight-and-then-getting-up-at-five-inthefreakingmorning-crap, here are some of my favorite little things I have found over the internet (mainly pinterest) that made me smile. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Books: March Edition

Oh hai.... Yeah, obviously this is a little late. Pretty much like everything else in my life right now. Ha. But here's my post about the books I read in March.The first book I read this month was Legend by Marie Lu. I was drawn to it because it is dystopian and I am so into that genre right now (or basically for the past three or four years, whatevs). Here's the synopsis (source: B&, of course):

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.

I can truly say, this book was really good. At first glance, I was thinking "Oh, Hunger Games redone?", but no. It is completely different. The only similarities are that both books are dystopian and set in what used to be the USA. That is all. This book really kept me guessing. I finally thought I had a good idea of what was going to happen, but then came another twist. I also loved the characters and the way you see the relationships between them form; they felt very real. Day and June were characters I would love to be friends with in real life. It was a really fun, refreshing read that also was a good thought-provoking story. I would definitely recommend it and give it four out of five stars.

Next, in honor of the movie, I reread The Hunger Games. For those of you who haven't read it (really?? You need to), here's a synopsis:

Could 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 is forced to represent her district in the Games.

If you know me at all, you know I'm a huge fan of this book and the entire series. So not much needs to be said. Every time I read this book it is like a new experience and I get something different from it. I love that Katniss is a strong, sassy, un-frilly heroine who shows girls what it means to be brave. I like that most of the time, I either want to hug her because she is so awesome or smack her because she's so dense. And I always have and will always love the character of Peeta. I think he is real, genuine, sweet, and so wonderfully different from most book-boys. Love this book to death. Five stars!