Thursday, August 29, 2013

A quick break from college life...

Hello lovely readers!! 
I've recently started my first year of college and let me apologize in advance because I won't be able to post as frequently as I would like. I have a TON of readings to do on a daily basis- I'm taking two English classes, History of Lit in English I and Contemporary Women's Texts. 
But worry not, I WILL still be posting!

I'm really excited and I can't wait to tell you all about new books I'm reading in class. They probably won't be YA so don't be surprised if I start blabbering about Beowulf (though I really doubt that). Anyways, I'm currently reading Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson for my Contemporary Women's Texts class. I'm surprised by how much I like it so far! Very funny delivery. Can't wait to do a review when I finish. 

Okay, that's my quick update for the night.  And to everybody going back to school, good luck!  :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Top Ten Favorite Secondary Characters

Hosted over at The Broke and Bookish

Tesadora and Perry from The Lumatere Chronicles
There is so much back story for these two characters and SO much character development with regards to their relationship towards each other. Tesadora and Perry should definitely have their own book series.

Dee from Just One Day
He is just made from awesomesauce. I'd love to have someone like Dee as a BFF.

Finnick and Annie from Catching Fire/Mockingjay
I love these two not only for their heart-crushing romance, but also because of how these characters make readers rethink their initial impressions and look at them in a new light. 

She is just such a wonderfully selfless character- a real angel figure. By far my favorite character in the book.

Jackal from The Immortal Rules
This guy is a sadistic, slightly crazy vamp. With an awesome sense of humor. And I kind of love him. Julie Kawaga, what are you doing to me?!?

Rose and Linden from Wither
My God, what I wouldn't give for a prequel about these two.... Seriously! I'd give up chocolate! (Maybe for like a week, but it's the thought that counts.) I think the relationship between Linden and Rose is so complex and interesting... almost Stockholm-like. But I also think they're super cute and perfect for each other. So.

Isabel and Cole from The Wolves of Mercy Falls series
I definitely liked these two more than Grace and Sam. They were such broken characters, though undeniably tough in the face of what they were going through. 

Severus Snap from the Harry Potter series
Admittedly, he is a rather large secondary character, but I'm going to include him on this list because REASONS. 
Seriously. If you need me to explain why, then you need to go back and re-read the series.

Noelle from the Private series
Throughout the series, she's had so much development and, bitchy or not, I really love her as a character. 

Isabelle from The Mortal Instruments series
Izzy is a character who doesn't really start to shine until the later books. Sure, you see her sass and badassery in CoB and CoA, but its' afterwards you realize just how strong yet vulnerable she is. 
To be honest, I like her SO much more than Clary. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Movie Review: City of Bones

Am I the only one who thinks it's surreal that just last year, we were freaking out over casting news and scouring the web for set pictures, and now the actual movie is actually out...? Like- in theaters.

Yeah, it's cray-cray.
I apologize in advance for how unorganized this following review will be. The thing is, I just have way too many feels about this movie to try and organize it into a coherent, well-written review so this random list of thoughts and such is what you're going to get instead. :)

I didn't have time for a re-read prior to seeing the movie but I thought that the movie captured all the key scenes very well. If they had lost some of the small moments in between, it wasn't big enough to notice. The pacing was very fast and full of action. There was literally not a moment of down time and I loved that. 

The cast was wonderful. Any other argument is invalid. Lily Collins played a great Clary- I'm normally not a huge Clary fan, but I really enjoyed her portrayal. To those who doubted Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace, eat your words now because he was absolutely fantastic! And the chemistry between the two.... Let's just say that I am not an adamant shipper of Clace in the books, but I was squealing and flailing like crazy every time they had a Moment in the movie 

Other character-related thoughts
  • Really enjoyed seeing more Simon-Isabelle interaction. Give. Me. More.
  • I had my doubts about Kevin Zegers as Alec, but he nailed it!
  • "Godfrey Gao more like Godfrey WOW." Amiright? That being said, I feel like the movie took away some of Magnus's flair and humor. He was more intense and badass, which was nice, but I really missed his flippant side. Hopefully they can bring out more of that in the later movies.
  • Lena Headey totally kicked ass.... in the moments before she lost consciousness, yes, but still.
  • Hodge's story line was slightly altered. I liked it, and I'm really interested in seeing how it continues. 
  • Jonathon Rhys Meyers.... Well. He definitely took his own spin on Valentine- slightly more madman-esque and creepy. Brilliant portrayal but. Please. Lose. The. Braids. Just. No. 
Overall, though, I think the characters lost a lot of their normal humor and wit in the translation to movie form. There were a lot of great direct quotes from the book (which my inner fangirl greatly appreciated) but I really missed Isabelle's flippant sass and the ever-enjoyable Jace-Simon banter.

The special effects were great- especially in terms of how they portrayed the Institute. By far my favorite location in the movie- the Institute's library gave me a good idea of what I want my heaven to look like. The runes looked amazing and I could tell that a lot of detail went into incorporating the runes not only on the shadowhunters but on various artifacts. I personally thought the demons were pretty dang scary.... especially that little demon child. *shudder*

In terms of how well the movie followed the book, Harald Zwart did a great job. I'd say the movie nailed all the major plot points- and I understood the ones that they had to change. 
BUT. THAT. ENDING. The movie differed greatly from the book in terms of the ending, and I am still left with a bunch of conflicting emotions about that. I understood some of the changes that were made, but others kind of disappointed me. 

This is one of the better movie adaptations out there- pretty high up in my list of favorites- but it's not without its faults. I think it definitely helped to have read the book because the world-building was only briefly explained. The pacing was so fast that had I not had prior knowledge of this world, I would have been a little lost. That being said, I did really enjoy this movie and words cannot describe how excited I am for the next one.


Last note:
To all the reviews out there calling City of Bones a Twilight wannabe.
Just. Stop. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels

Hosted over at The Broke and Bookish

Coming up with 10 books for this list was... surprisingly hard.
As I looked back on all the books I'd marked as read on goodreads, I realized just how many of those books were part of a series. Must go out and explore more stand-alone novels. 

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
The whole book was about Amy and Roger coming together and I'd really like to see how they are as a couple.

Death by Denim by Linda Gerber
The ending of this was good, but too open-ended for my liking!! I need to know what happens to my OTP!

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
First off, this book was perfect as a stand-alone. I wouldn't change a thing about it. But I love the characters so much that I definitely would not mind a sequel. 

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
The fairy tale curse aspect is so cool and I definitely think it could be explored further in a sequel or spin-off. (*ahem* I'd particularly love a Beauty and the Beast retelling...)

Reckoning by Lili St. Crow
What even was that ending?!?!?! Endless. Frustration. If ever there should be a sequel for a series that has already ended, it would be for this one.

Sold by Patricia McCormick
I think this as a stand-alone was absolutely perfect. Flawless. But McCormick captured the protagonist's voice and the hell that she was going through so beautifully that I'm sure if she ever decided to write a sequel, it would be equally wonderful. Plus I really would like to know what happens to the protagonist after that ending.

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
I loved Remy and Dexter! I'd love to have a whole book to see how these two fair after Remy's in college.

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
In my opinion, this is the only Dessen book that really needs a sequel. Hallie and Macon. I just- I WANT SOME ANSWERS, OKAY?

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
I don't know if this one counts since Marchetta has said that she has an idea for a Jimmy Hailler book in mind, but I haven't heard definitive news about this would-be book yet. 
But I want it. Really, really badly.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Review: The Eternity Cure

Title: The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: I recieved a copy by Netgalley in return for an honest review

Rating: 4.5 stars

Goodreads l B&N l Amazon l Book Despository
Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

As far as sequels go, I'm glad to say that The Eternity Cure did not disappoint- which was quite a feat considering how much I loved The Immortal Rules. This book made me feel so many things- from anxiety to anticipation to short-lived joy to heartache- that I'm going to have to break down this review piece by piece.

The Characters
Allie. Badass as ever. She is both fierce and fearsome, which makes for a great vampire, yet she also carries vulnerabilities and insecurities, which makes for a great, relatable protagonist. In this book, Allie is really starting to come into her own, accepting and embracing her new vampire life. I'm really excited to see where Kagawa takes this character in the next book. Especially with the way this one ended.....

Zeke. Bookish bad boys better watch out because Ezekial Cross is making the Nice Guy persona very swoon-worthy. My favorite thing about Zeke, aside from his innate goodness is his unwavering loyalty and faith. In that respect, I think he and Allie complement each other very well.

Jackal. Oh, Ms. Kawaga.... what have you done? I think Jackal just became my favorite character in the series!! I loved how I was constantly guessing whether he would end up a hero or a villain. There are little moments when he proves to be a good ally (and great comic relief) but there is always this understanding that he can't be trusted. I guess I'm just a total sucker for morally ambiguous characters with snark. I also enjoyed his twisted sibling relationship with Allie- it brought some much needed humor and lightness into an otherwise dark story.

Kanin...... is such and interesting character. After two books, I'm still not completely sure what to make of him. Kanin takes a bigger role in this book which was quite nice because I love his demeanor, especially in relation to all the other characters. For me, Kanin is definitely the most intriguing one to read about.

And, in case you were wondering, Sarren is still as twisted and sadistic as ever.

The Plot
As always, Kagawa's pacing was perfect. This book had me hooked from the very first chapter and kept me enraptured all the way up to that jaw-dropping ending. Literally, I openly gaped at the book when I got to the last page. But don't worry, no spoilers for you!

The most notable thing about this book was that there was a lot more gore than in The Immortal Rules. On one hand, this was nice because more action was happening throughout the book- and, really, who doesn't love awesome fight scenes? On the other hand, it did feel just a tad bit excessive. There are only so many pages I can stand of sword-slashing and vampiric dismemberment.

The Romance
This is pretty surprising for me to say, but I was a little unsatisfied with the romance. It's not that I didn't like the romantic development (because I totally support the Zeke/Allie ship) but the initial meeting between the two, namely Zeke explaining why he came after Allie, did not feel very natural to me. I may be in the minority here, but, following the events of book 1, it didn't seem like their relationship was at a point where it was realistic that Zeke did the things he did for her.

All in all:
The Eternity Cure was a very riveting read. Kagawa has hit the character-plot-setting trifecta once again.
Warning: this book ends with one heck of cliffhanger. Unless it's 2014 and the third book is out, prepare junk food on hand to eat away the feelings.


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