Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Friendships

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - This is a story of friendship between two sisters and the power that binds them together.

2. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt - The friendship between Lizzie and Turner is beautiful.  They are unlikely friends that come together because of Lizzie's enthusiasm for life.

3. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson - The friendship in this story is pure and amazingly creative.  This story pulls on all of my heart strings, I love it.

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - The multiple friendships in this book make it what it is: beautiful. The narrator chronicles their importance and how they shape the life of one lonely yet lovely girl.

5. The Secret Life of the Bees by Sue Monk Kidd - The bond of sisters in this book is unique and engaging, but also the bond of unlikely friends.

6. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - The friendship between Samwise and Frodo is one that last the true test of time.  Also, Legolas and Gimli's friendship is absolutely one of my favorite fictional friendships ever.

7. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling - Ron, Harry and Hermione's friendship is everything that friendship should be.  They have their ups and downs but in the end they always have each other's back.

8. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer - Cinder and Iko's friendship cracks me up, but I love how they have each other's backs no matter what.

9. Percy Jackson and The Olympians/Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan - The friendships between all the characters: Percy and Annabeth, Tyson and Percy, Grover and Percy, Leo, Jason and Piper: all these friendships are dynamic and important to the adventures that they face in their lives.

10. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green - Yes, I love the romance in this book but more so, I love Isaac and his friendship with Augustus.  These guys have an awesome and vulnerable relationship that blows me away.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Notable Quotable: F. Scott Fitzgerald (#35)

"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
     --The Great Gatsby

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: I Almost Put Down But Didn't

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - There was a moment at the beginning of this book the first time I picked it up when I thought that I wasn't going like it, but I was so wrong.  And I'm so happy I continued to read it.

2. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick - This book is strangely beautiful and it tackles a couple really tough subjects. (These kind of books are often favorites of mine.)  This one I listened to and the rental expired before I could finish, so I almost didn't renew it, but I couldn't help myself.  I needed to know how the story ended.  

3. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan - I wanted more Percy Jackson when I finished Riordan's first series and I thought this series could give me more.  I almost put down this book because the characters weren't the characters I came to love in the Olympian series.

4. Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - I almost didn't pick this one up at all, and when I did I almost immediately put it back down, but there was something  (or maybe lots of someones) telling me to keep reading and I'm glad that I did!

5. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - This book began slow for me, but it picked up the pace.  It's all about the power of books and knowledge and oppression, which I love.

6. The Giver by Lois Lowery - There was a moment at the beginning of the book when I wasn't sure I wanted to continue, but thanks to my I-must-finish-everything-I-start mentality I didn't put it down. And thank God for that!

Thursday, May 8, 2014


By Marie Lu
Pages: 369

It's been eight months since June and Day have seen each other, but when June comes calling, Day doesn't hesitate to move Eden and himself back to Denver.  However, June hasn't been completely honest with her reasons for wanting him to return.  Day still has not told June his reasoning for leaving either.  It's a web of lies and half-truths that could ultimately cause the greatest war between the oldest of enemies: The Republic and The Colonies.  June and Day seem to be the only ones able to make the sacrifices necessary to saving the planet from war, but are they willing to do it?

My first thoughts after finishing this book were: now that's how you finish a trilogy. Recently I've been let down by the third book in several trilogies so my hopes were not high for this one. But I was blown away by this conclusion, however frustrating I initially thought it. The story telling in this novel is excellent. The pace was steady with high action and resolution in the perfect place to keep the narrative compelling.

The characters we met in the first two books come into play big time. Even the infuriating end of Prodigy fuels this book with just the right amount of stubborn angst and tension to keep me coming back for more.  There are a couple of places characters say and do things that I thought puzzling because it seemed slightly out of character but those moments were few and far in between. 

The best part about this novel is that even though there is clearly loads of romantic tension it's not goddy, to use one of Day's favorite words.  There is something at stake besides the happiness of the romantic leads, which can sometimes be overshadowed by teenage angst.  That is not the case here. There is a real sense that something important is about to happen, the worst may not be over like June and Day hope. The tension between The Republic and The Colonies is by far the most palpable. 

Marie Lu has created a world in which I would not want to live, but however many issues I have with it, her characters are aware of their faults. They struggle with the difference between using their hearts and logic to live in the only world they know and there are consequences to actions. That's what I love about this series.  This is a series that I would read again and again and find something new every time.

PS. The cover is gorgeous!

Stars: 5/5


"Remains masterfully true to its themes of loyalty, necessity, and dreams, eschewing any easy outs that the plot could offer."
     -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The exhilarating finale to the dystopian Legend trilogy delivers on the promises of the genre without ever being predictable about details.  Ever respectful of the capacity of its readers, this series offers a satisfying conclusion of potential rahter than a neatly wrapped denouement."
     --Kirkus Reviews

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The End Games

By T. Michael Martin
Published: HarperCollins, 2013
Pages: 369

Michael has one goal: to get his five-year-old brother, Patrick, to the safe zone.  Since Halloween, he and Patrick have dodged the brainless Bellows who are quickly evolving from wandering flesh-obsessed undead.  They aren't playing by the rules of The Game and neither are the new survivors that Michael and Patrick meet.  In order to survive, Michael needs to figure out who they can trust and follow The Game Master's instructions if they ever expect to get to the safe zone and end the game.

I have mixed feelings about this book.  I searched high and low for it and when I found it, I was ecstatic.  But I feel as though I hyped this book up far too much in my mind.  I did enjoy reading it, but not as much as I thought I would.  It took me a while to get into the book, though I did I sneak in a page or too whenever I had a moment to read.  

I  found myself falling in love with a five-year-old. Patrick's innocence along with his disability, touched me. In a world where Bellows run free and nothing makes sense, this boy gives a stark contrast - he is the hope this book needs. Michael's innate desire to protect Patrick, even before the apocalypse, makes their relationship tender. I love the contrast between the world they live in and the one that Michael creates for Patrick, however flawed it may be. Along with Patrick, some of the other characters, Michael and Bobbie particularly, were dynamic and intriguing.  I routed for them wholeheartedly despite the stupid decisions they may have made.

I had a little bit of a tough time with the voice of the story at first.  It seemed choppy and over the top.  I'm not sure what I expected, but this particular 17-year-old narrator annoyed me, which may be why it took me longer than usual to get into the book.   That being said, the narration grew on me as I got to know the characters.  I ended up sympathizing with Michael and finding his way to seeing the world engaging.

This was my second read into the zombie genre, but it's so much more than a zombie book.  It gives me hope for other zombie books.  As far as a debut book goes, it is incredibly imaginative and well done.  I am looking forward to T. Michael Martin's next book, with the hope that it will be even better than this!  

Stars: 3.5/5


"I feel like calling The End Games a zombie apocalypse novel will deter many of the readers who will love it most.  It's brilliant, fun, and blisteringly intelligent fiction that happens to feature a zombie apocalypse.  I can't recommend this one highly enough."
     --John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

"The best of the undead bunch, meshing relentless action, intelligence, and emotion.  The plot rockets forth like a single exhaled breath.  Any last words? Yes: Very. Exciting. Book."
     --Booklist, starred review

"It's full of both jaw-dropping action and heart-twisting beauty."
      --Sara Zarr, National Book Award finalist