Thursday, June 30, 2011

Justine's Thoughts: Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder

Storm Glass (Glass #1)
By Maria V. Snyder

Source: Library
Rating: 5/5
Book Description:

As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed…powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.

A quote:

You can’t let the past ruin your future.

Any thoughts:

As a first book in the series, it is certainly one heck of a super packed adventure. I missed the days when I would zip through Snyder’s books and still a smile would be on my face. The Glass series is similar and as amazing.

Opal starts off on a mission, which is just the beginning of her journey. Her previous experiences (in the Study series) are a weight on her shoulder, causing her to distance herself away from others. She also struggles with grief, and find comfort in a certain Stormdancer who I really love. There is another sort-of love interest in the picture, and he annoyed me with his overprotective behaviour. Throughout Opal’s adventures, she encounters old friends and new companions.

The plot is enticing, almost as good as the Study series. Just like Yelena, Opal is a trouble magnet. It’s what makes her journey a suspenseful yet exciting one. The only thing that I had trouble with was the beginning, which took a little while to get into. As soon as the mission started, the pages were flipping and I was back on my game.

Overall, Storm Glass is a fantastic first novel. There is a real aspect of grief and Opal’s growth as she searches for her true self. And the glass analogies are so poetic! Those quotes definitely deserve to be recognized and quoted.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (76)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

Kiss, Date, Love, Hate
by Luisa Plaja

Release Date:
February 2, 2012

What if you could change your friends' lives and loves through the settings of a computer game...?

Lex Murphy's group of friends have all dated, hated, ignored and lusted after each other for the last few years. If only there was a way of matching people perfectly to avoid all the unrequited love, dumping and drama! Then Lex's friend George is given a mysterious Sims-like game by his software-testing dad which involves building character profiles in the categories of Life, Looks and Love. Lex and George populate the game with avatars for all their mates, making a few 'wishful thinking' adjustments to the settings - and find that the next day these tinkerings have come true! But how long can this new calm, loved-up atmosphere continue?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (49)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

From pg. 182 of "The Summer of Skinny dipping"
by Amanda Howells

“I see the light, and I just think it's beautiful. And that's all there is for me. Just the beauty of it. You can't explain it scientifically, it just is -- a beautiful strange light."
"That's too poetic for me."


Yes, a summer read! The scenes in this story are so makes me want to be in it, which *hopefully* I will later in the summer. In a similar way. And the mood of the story in the first half is just so saddening it breaks my heart. But! It's a very good read thus far. :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer, commence!

High school is done! Not really, since I've yet to graduate next week. But school is out and summer is here!!!

I already did a happy dance and this smile is staying on my face for a while. Hoorayy! Boy, this summer will be a busy one. With vacays, reading days, and especially preparation for school in the fall. Woo, that's going to be fun and scary at the same time. I mean, it's university! It's similar to high school all over again with the new school, meeting new friends, and big classes. Yikes, sounds frightening. Haha. But it'll be a new experience I'm already looking forward to!

And high school has been a blast. It was the time when I started this book blog! It was the time when I shared awesome books that had to be shared. It was the time for so many memorable things. Gosh, I will never forget these 4 years! I may never see all my classmates again, but that's life. It just goes on. Who knows? I'll probably bump into them at the grocery store in the future. Haha.

That's all I have to say. It's too difficult to put high school into words. I just love looking at the pictures that were taken throughout high school. And I love to reminisce. Ahhh, I might tear up during graduation next week!

So today's my first full day of summer. HOLLERRRRR! Ahem. Anyway, I'm spending it volunteering at a taste festival and I'll be making frappuccinos! Hurrah! Perfect on a lovely summer day! This will be the best summer yet I bet.

Cheers to everyone and as always, have a super amazing weekend! :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Blog Hop (11)

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee.

In light of the Summer Solstice. Also known as Midsummer...let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?
I haven't read much about fae...maybe a few novels or series. But the best one I would have to say is The Iron Fey series. Just the thought of it makes me want to smile out loud! I looooove that series so much. Yup, Sarah knows what I'm talking about. We both share a loving passion for that series, lending each other (mostly her lending me) the books! Haha.

What's so good about it? Um, everything? If you haven't tried the series yet, I believe you're missing out!


Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books.

When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?

It was in my young teen years. Specifically, summer of 2009. Err, I went to my old blog, Endless Books, to find that out. But that summer, I was constantly reading books that I borrowed from the library. And this is what I said:

"I have read countless books ever since summer began this year though sadly, I never really kept track of them. I have also thought of making a list of all the books I have read this year, starting in the very beginning of the year, like in January....but it's too late for that now and I absolutely cannot wait for next year. So what I've decided to do is create a blog of the books I've read (and the books I have yet to read) and take it one step further: I will review each single one and share my thoughts. It's something I've done before, but now I'm going to be focusing on it and enjoy the precious moments in doing so. ;)" -- quote from my old book blog, Endless Books. July 25 2009.

Yup, that was an actual blog post. Then when I entered the blogosphere, I began searching out blogger friends, information on blogging, and I just kept sharing my thoughts. Few years later, here I am! I love book blogging and the blogging experience. Being able to share your thoughts about the one thing you love most to people who also love the thing you love most? The feeling is incredible!

Friday's Finest (66)

Friday's Finest is a new meme hosted by Steff & Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts.

~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.

by Lauren Oliver

Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That's what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.


Have you got a quote to share? Link it below!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Justine's Thoughts: Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz

Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods #4)
By Melissa de la Cruz

Source: Library
Rating: 4/5
Book Description:

Young, fanged, and fabulous, Melissa de la Cruz's vampires unite in this highly anticipated fourth installment of the Blue Bloods series.

A quote:

The world in your mind is as real as the world outside of it.

Any thoughts:

Van Alen Legacy felt different when I was reading it. Perhaps it was because of the revelations from the previous book. Or perhaps because it takes place a year after the previous book ended. Whatever it is, it had a different air.

Characters were all around the globe. Some are running, some are chasing. The one character I never thought I would ever like started to get to me in a good way. Mimi is badass. The change in her character becomes evident in this novel. I’m actually starting to enjoy her character. And that scene with the gates? I believe I cried.

I am loving the series thus far and I am very much anticipating the next book. Who knew this series could be so addicting?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (75)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

The Silence of Murder
by Dandi Daley Mackall

Release Date:
October 11, 2011

Seventeen-year-old Hope Long's life revolves around her brother Jeremy. So when Jeremy is accused of killing the town's beloved baseball coach, Hope's world begins to unravel. Everyone is convinced Jeremy did it, and since he hasn't spoken a word in 9 years, he's unable to defend himself. Their lawyer instructs Hope to convince the jury that Jeremy is insane, but all her life Hope has known that Jeremy's just different than other people—better, even. As she works to prove his innocence—joined by her best friend T.J. and the sheriff's son, Chase—Hope uncovers secrets about the murder, the townspeople, her family, and herself. She knows her brother isn't the murderer. But as she comes closer to the truth, she's terrified to find out who is.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (48)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

From pg. 236 of "Linger"
by Maggie Stiefvater

“Everybody does that, though. We all, one day, realize that we're not going to be kids forever and we're going to grow up..."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Daily Dose (70)

This new meme is hosted by Holly from Good Golly Miss Holly.
(Click the photo to see its source!)

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Blog Hop (10)

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee.

Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre and which book in that genre made it your favorite?
Well, whatta tough question! I love almost all YA (mmm, I haven't tried all of them) including contemporary, dystopian, a bit of historical, paranormal, steampunk...But for a favourite? I really can't decide between contemporary or dystopian. I love both so much! Some books in these categories are:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Classic, to say the least. Will always be one of my most fave dystopian reads.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver - Whatever Lauren Oliver writes, it seems, I will love it.
Wither by Lauren DeStefano - It was pretty darn good too. Not to mention the writing was phenomenal.

Sarah Dessen novels! - I've yet to read What Happened to Goodbye, ahhh.
Courtney Summer novels - Ohhh my. I've read her first two books, Cracked Up To Be and Some Girls Are. Amazingggg.
Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert - The emotion in this.... it's undescribable. I loved it so much.
Oh and Sarah Ockler novels - I read Twenty Boy Summer and have yet to read Fixing Delilah. So memorable.


Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books.

How many books are currently in your To-Be-Read (TBR) Pile?

Mkay. So when we say the "To-Be-Read Pile", we talk about the books we have lying on our bookshelves just waiting to be read, right? Not the endless Goodreads list that I might possible read in the near or far future? Okay, just clearing that up. I hope that's right.

Well, there's about several unread books (or...more) on my bookshelf. Anddd the ones I want to read? They're running out! I've put books to the bottom of my TBR pile because, well, it's a certain book I'd like to read in a certain mood. So I will have to get through all of them...eventually.

Friday's Finest (65)

Friday's Finest is a new meme hosted by Steff & Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts.

~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.

Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins

Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?


An interesting question, isn't it? To me, home is family. It's something I feel in a community of people. During family get togethers, I would often say, "It feels like home!" Because that's the time of unity and it makes me feel happy!

Got a Friday's Finest to share? Link it below!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Justine's Thoughts: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

By Laurie Halse Anderson

Source: Library
Rating: 4/5
Book Description:

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute...

Laurie Halse Anderson's first novel is a stunning and sympathetic tribute to the teenage outcast. The triumphant ending, in which Melinda finds her voice, is cause for cheering (while many readers might also shed a tear or two). After reading
Speak, it will be hard for any teen to look at the class scapegoat again without a measure of compassion and understanding for that person--who may be screaming beneath the silence.

A quote:

When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time.

Any thoughts:

I didn’t rate this based on whether or not I liked it, or found it an enjoyable read. Because the truth is, I didn’t. No, I did not like it. But let’s not take that to heart, shall we? Because the real truth is, it’s good. It’s brilliant. It’s exceptional.

Anderson’s writing style is unique, and while it was difficult for me to get into because I was not in the mood for depressing paragraphs, it was interesting. The way the story was divided instead of chapters made me curious. There were also a lot of hidden meanings I thought I came across that it seemed like the entire book was a journal written by Melinda. And though she didn’t speak much, the first person narrative helped connect us to her little by little.

Some may relate to a part of Melinda at any time in their life, whether it is in high school or in their everyday life. That’s how deep this book resonates with people, as it reaches out to the others out there who are possibly in the same situation as Melinda. So why try to ban the book?

Laurie Halse Anderson said, “Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.” A true, unforgettable quote. By shoving away books like these, we cannot learn. Speak is important and it is definitely a book that I will always remember.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (74)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

On the Fringe
by Courtney King Walker

Release Date:
October 19, 2011

Claire is struggling to overcome the murder of her childhood friend and secret crush, Daniel. Everyone else seems to be moving on with their lives, but she's still trying to cope. The fact that she finds herself alone and drowning on her 16th birthday isn't helping.

Neither is thinking she sees Daniel's face in murky water as she mysteriously resurfaces. But something happened during those four and a half minutes that will make her realize it was not just her imagination.

As Claire and Daniel try to grasp a possible reconnection, other grudge-holding beings have plans of their own. Now, the two of them have to decide if their fleeting relationship is worth the possibility of Claire being trapped on the fringe forever.

Beautifully told, On the Fringe intertwines fresh ideas about devotion, revenge, and the consequences that come with life and death.

Wow this sounds crazy good. The whole drowning 'on the fringe' thing is so interesting, mysterious, and haunting. Seeing someone familiar underwater though would make me scream for air. The idea alone sends shivers up my spine!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Daily Dose (69)

This new meme is hosted by Holly from Good Golly Miss Holly.
(Click the photo to see its source!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday's Finest (64)

Friday's Finest is a new meme hosted by Steff & Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts.

~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.

Summer At Willow Lake
by Susan Wiggs

Here's the thing about broken hearts. You can always survive them. Always. No matter how deep the hurt, the capacity to heal and move on is even stronger.


Got a Friday's Finest to share? Link it below!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Justine's Thoughts: Wish by Alexandra Bullen

By Alexandra Bullen

Source: (ARC) Won from Teens Read and Write
Rating: 3/3
Book Description:

For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone... until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn't just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.

With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can't solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.

In a breathtaking debut from Alexandra Bullen,
Wish asks the question: If you could have anything, what would you wish for?

Any thoughts:

If I was granted three wishes right here right now, I honestly would not know what to wish for. Of course, there are many hopeful, possible times when I can make a wish, such as 11:11, though I don’t have a clue if it will come true. And there are times when I just blurt out a wish that comes from the heart, wanting it badly that it needed to be spoken out loud.

That’s what happens with Olivia as she wears the dress. The next thing she knows her sister is right there beside her, being her old self again.

The beginning of the story was alright. The grief part came right in and it held my attention long enough. But I still hoped for a better part to come up, which didn’t happen until past the midpoint of the novel. The main idea about wishes also wasn’t centred upon enough. Often, I would forget what the point of the scene is. I guess what Bullen is trying to achieve is the connection to life thing, that there are similar issues that need to be sorted out. Still, I thought it was iffy.

The writing is in third person, which makes the atmosphere of the story awkward. With a character like Olivia, who’s insecure, new in school, dealing with grief, I needed to connect with her and understand what she’s going through. No such luck. In third person, she speaks very little especially during moments with her love interest. Speaking of which, getting in between a breakup of two people who you’re becoming friends with is a turn off for me.

On the bright side, the end is wrapped up nicely. The story seems to revolve around Olivia’s coming-of-age. The relationships between characters have been well explored. My favourite characters would have to be Miles (Olivia’s guy friend) and Calla (the “it” girl at school who -- and I’m happy to say this -- is not a bitch).

Overall, it’s a good story that can be touching and sweet at the same time. Though it isn’t what I expected, it has the potential to become a really great, magical novel.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (73)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

A Beautiful Dark
by Jocelyn Davies

Release Date:
September 27, 2011

Skye never questioned the story of her life. Her Aunt Jo adopted her after the death of her parents when she was just a child, and together they flip through memories the way some people flip through photo albums.

She never questioned if the stories were true.

Until the night of her 17th birthday, when the arrival of two strangers intrudes on her cozy life. Polar opposites, like fire and ice, Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair, cold, and aloof. Skye has no idea what they want—only that their presence coincides with the beginning of some shockingly strange events. Events that Skye, if she dares to think it, might be responsible for causing.

High up in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado, Skye finds herself caught in the middle of an ancient battle, one that began untold millennia ago. Torn between unpredictable Asher, whom she loves, and the infuriating Devin, who she can’t stay away from, her fate is murky as a starless night. And as the secrets of her true identity are revealed, Skye realizes that her destiny may reside in the Heavens—or somewhere darker.

A LOVE TRIANGLE! And it sounds so freaking good! It makes me want to read more into the two guys. Heehee. I'm guessing this is a novel with angels. The cover looks heavenly, but I'm not a huge fan of it. I do like the font of the title, though. It gives that sense of ancientness.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (47)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

From "The Iron Queen"
by Julie Kagawa

“For the record,” Grimalkin stated as we ventured, single file, into the black, “I do not think this is a good idea. But, as no one listens to the cat anymore, I will have to wait until we are completely lost to say ‘I told you so'."

Not a spoiler, I promise.

Hooray, Grim! This book made me cry. It's probably one of the best in the series. No, scratch that...all the books are pretty damn good!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Daily Dose (68)

This new meme is hosted by Holly from Good Golly Miss Holly.
(Click the photo to see its source!)