Sunday, 19 August 2012

No review today. :(

Hey everyone! So super sorry that I don't have a review today! The past three weekdays have been CRAZY. School started back up again.. BLECH. And then I had auditions for the play and then call backs and such! Luckily, I made it! :) The play is Les Mis and I got the part of Madame Thenardier!

But do not fret! That will not keep me from reading and writing reviews! I have scadsss of homework. Including writing a poem.. which I detest. Anyways, again, sorry!! I really wish I could have reviewed something but I just didn't have any time. If I have any time before next Sunday I may write a review just to make up for one not being posted today! So keep a watchful eye on that.

Thanks, everyone!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Review)

Genre: Fantasy
Number of Pages: 358
For ages 13+

"Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.

When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.

Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her . . . and only she can save the future." -Goodreads

This book had been sitting on my desk for who knows how long after Trisha lent it to me. Sometimes I would forget about it sitting there and then some days I would be in the middle of reading something while realizing I STILL needed to read it. When I read the excerpt I was a little wary of reading it. Trisha kept telling me over and over how good it was and pretty much every single book Trisha has told me to read has been a winner so OF COURSE I'm gonna listen to her.  DUH.

I'm not gonna lie, I really did not think I was going to like this book. But once I got into it, I was SUCKED IN. I had to force myself to put the darn thing down so I could go to bed at 1:00 am. I absolutely positively LOVE Alina. She's hilarious, witty, and has pretty much a comeback for everything. But she's also a character that you can connect to. She, like everyone else, has flaws. She views herself as a girl who doesn't really belong anywhere, and that she's really not someone special. But then she has to face the Fold. Which is a pretty stinkin' scary place, if you ask me. And everything just explodes.. Well not really explodes.. but.. like.. this blinding light goes everywhere.. and she passes out... OH JUST READ THE BOOK. Going on... Alina turns out to have all of this power that she had no idea she had. It was hard to read the struggles Alina had to go through, and the thoughts she had that she wasn't good enough. I just wanted to run in and give the poor girl a hug. And then on top of all that, she had to leave her best friend, Mal. And trust me, we're talkin' about him later... Do not worry your pretty little heads.

Something that Leigh made SUPER STINKIN' difficult was the feelings you had for the Darkling. FOR CEREAL. Sometimes I was all, "Maybe he's really nice! Maybe you just have to get to know him!" to, "DARKLING, YOU SUCK!" Even after finishing the book I still have no idea what feelings I have for him. On one hand I reaaalllyy do not like him, but on the other I do because he definitely had some sweet moments. And I'm sure Alina was having these same issues. But, again, you'll have to read the book to figure out why there are so many mixed emotions. Because seriously there are SO MANY.

Now we're on to Mal. Remember how I said we were gonna talk about him? Yeah. Let me just say something: *SWOOOOON* Kay, I'm done. Anyways, Mal is the guy best friend that all girls wish they had. He's like the Gordo to the Lizzie McGuire. Except, you know, there isn't any magical powers and they aren't separated and there's not really any life or death situations... So maybe they aren't ALL that similar. BUT, like Gordo and Lizzie, there was some chemistry goin' on between Alina and Mal. You see, Mal was the guy all the girls swooned over while Alina had to sit and watch. And if I were Alina I'd be pretty darn jealous. Mal isn't really in the book much until the end, and once again, I cannot tell you why. Do you all see the reason you need to go get this book yourself? The romance between these two was FANTABULOUUUSS. And Mal said some of the sweetest things ever. I loved the relationship between them. And sometimes I loved the bantering between them. It was kind of the comic relief when things got really deep.

 But don't be thinkin' this was some light hearted book. NUH UH. This book will have you thinking for hours after you've finished it. I literally closed the the book, and sat there. I had no idea what to do. I kind of just sat there and stared into space. Seriously. I needed to take in ALL that I had just read. The funny moments, the finger nail biting moments, and the heartbreaking moments. I can't even begin to explain the amazing things I read in that book. I. Loved. It.

I give this book 5 out of 5 diva crowns, go figure! ;) It was phenomenal. And yes, Trisha, you were right. I'm so glad I finally remembered that book was on my desk. Because if I hadn't, I wouldn't have read this amazing story. I highly recommend it.

I absolutely love this bookfession because it completely explains this book right here:

I really couldn't have said it better. This book took me somewhere new. And that my friends, is why I love reading so much.

Hope your day is filled with *sparkles*!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Twisted by Amity Hope (Review)

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Number of Pages: 231
For ages 14+
 (I got a tad freaked out at the end, that also may be because I'm just a scaredy cat.) ;)

"Maya Anderson has had more than her share of tragedy and heartbreak. For the past six years she's constantly been on the move with her mom. When another disaster strikes, she finds herself back in her childhood hometown of Beaumont, living with her older sister for her senior year.

A chance meeting reacquaints her with Ben McCaffey, a long-forgotten classmate from her past. After the death of his girlfriend, Ben has become a social outcast. Despised by some and feared by most. Determined to become Ben's friend, Maya begins to break through his layers of emotional protection. But the closer she gets to Ben, the more dangerous her situation becomes." -Goodreads

So, when I started out with this book I was thinking it was going to be a super sweet romance that would leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy. I was most definitely wrong. Don't get me wrong, I ended the book feeling satisfied and happy, just not the feeling I thought I would end it with.

At the beginning of this book you think you're going to be getting this love story between these two people, but once you get into it you realize there are A WHOLE BUNCH of problems with these two people. Holy cow. And some of them are so stinkin' drastic.

I loved Maya. I loved how she was flawed but could still hold her head high. She had been through so much but didn't let it hold her down. Instead she focused on other people. She was a very selfless person. She lives with her sister, Remy, and I can't tell you how much I LOVED Remy! She was awesome! She was an amazing big sister and an even more amazing guardian. It made me really happy that Maya could have someone so caring in her life after all that she had been through.

Then there's Ben. Ben is absolutely swoon worthy. Not in the way that most YA guy characters are, but still definitely swoon worthy. Sometimes he would say the utmost adorable things to Maya and I couldn't help but get all giggly. I went full on squealing teenage girl when he complimented Maya. Ben also had gone through a bootie load of crud. Seriously. Do you know how tortured these characters are?! For cereal. Everyone had blamed Ben for murdering his girlfriend even AFTER his brother was proven guilty. He would be bullied by people who used to be his friends. He would be beaten up daily and no one would stop and help him. And when he came home after being thoroughly beaten, his parents would be angry with him for drawing attention to himself. You have no idea how outraged I was while reading this book. I can't imagine ever being treated like that. I also couldn't imagine how Ben could be feeling. It was probably really lonely. Especially considering that if anyone decided to be his friend their reputation would have gone down the drain. Which is what happened to Maya. She started getting threats. Some that would totally have had me running away crying.

This book is super emotional. I bawled. I did, and I regret nothing. My little brother was freaking out when he saw me crying. He's not used to just how emotional girls can get, yet. ;) He will learn.. The ending.. I could seriously NOT BELIEVE. I can't really go into details without giving a whole bunch  away but let's just say if something like that happened to me I would need LOTS of counseling. And probably need to sleep with all the lights on, and get an alarm system, and sleep in my mom's room, oh, and hire a bodyguard. And then I'd still be scared out of my mind. ;) I'm pretty paranoid.. So as you can see, what happens is pretty darn scary. Maya actually handled it WAY better, though. I have no idea how, but she did!

The romance wasn't that huge of an aspect, but you definitely did get some sense of romance. The book mainly focused on the hardships the two main characters had and how they helped each other get through them. Something that I thought was a nice change was how Maya was more of the savior than Ben. I feel like she was the person who comforted more, whereas usually the guy who's the shoulder to cry on. I mean, he was definitely there for Maya when she needed somebody. But in this case Ben needed more of the comforting then Maya did. And at the end Ben is the hero. *sigh* Even though I love reading about strong, self-assured girl characters, I still definitely enjoy having those guys who sweep the girl off her feet and become the knight in shining armor. :)

Coming into it, I definitely did not expect to read what I read in Twisted. But I was not disappointed. I hadn't really read something like this in a while. It really did keep me at the edge of my seat. Loved. 5 out of 5 diva crowns! I recommend this beautiful story to people who love some romance but also a story that you can't help thinking about when you're finished. It gets you thinkin'!

(If you noticed, I almost always rate the books I review on here 5 diva crowns. The reason is is that I seem to easily review books that I absolutely love. It's a lot harder when there is a book I've read that I find is just okay. It's harder to put into words how I feel about the book. So, if you were wondering why I mostly rate 5 diva crowns, that's the reason!)

Hope your day is filled with sparkles!