Sunday, April 29, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is held weekly by Kristi at The Story Siren.


From the Library

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

This book is sooooo overdue! And what I mean by this is that I was supposed to read this last summer...and then school happened. But it's no big deal -- better late than never! I've read comments about this last book in the series and I must admit...I'm so excited! I'm also just slowly getting into reading for fun again. First book from the library this summer! Hooray!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

The Secret Year
By Jennifer R. Hubbard
Source: Bought
Book Description:
How do you get over someone who has never really yours to begin with?

Julia and Colt were together for a year, but nobody knew of their secret love. Then Julia dies, and Colt’s life spirals out of control. He is haunted by her memory, and things only intensify when her journal falls into his hands. Can Colt bring himself to read Julia’s diary? Or will he live without answers to his burning questions about a romance that changed him forever?

A quote:
"Like I told you on Thanksgiving, pretending is a lousy way to get through life."

Expectations: I have heard few things in reviews, mostly good. The summary on the book also seems intriguing, which is why I bought the book. The truth is, I’m not sure it’s worth buying, especially for those who rarely buy books like me. I would borrow this from the library and would definitely give it a try because it’s worth trying. It’s a really good debut.

About Setting: The story takes place in a small town, but there is a clear division between the rich people who live on Black Mountain and the middle to poor class who live in the “flats”. The tagline goes: “Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly”. It felt very much like The Outsiders, especially in a specific scene. The tension and anger in this town is probably enough to cause a big riot.

About Characters: When you can’t talk to anyone about a person that you lost, it hurts. And you can’t help but bottle it up inside. This is what Colt experiences throughout the book. The aching pain inside him made me feel incredibly sad for him. But for some reason, it wasn’t enough to entirely connect with his character. Maybe because he was so driven by sex, hence his relationship with Julia, which was mostly physical. It did feel like he knew her, but not very well. Colt and Julia needed to hide their relationship from everyone because of their class. Colt belongs to the flats and Julia is high class. There is  Romeo and Juliet’s theme of forbidden love. The other characters were so greatly developed. Kirby, Austin, and Michael all had important roles in the story.

About Plot: The main topics this book focuses on are love and loss. There were plenty of times when I thought my chest would fold into itself. Hubbard did an amazing job creating and wrapping the story with enough suspense to keep me going.

Overall Rating: Y Y Y Y
The Secret Year is a very contemporary read. It’s sad and real, but there is a message tied with the ending that should reverberate among all YA fans.

Well, well, well...I'm back!

After one full year of school (more like 7 months), I'm finally back to blogging. I apologize for the tiny updates over the year! I tried to schedule some review posts so at least my blog wouldn't be too inactive. I just finished finals today so I know I needed to update you all. It was a hectic end of the year with 17 days of finals and I never knew my brain could take in so much knowledge! But school was great and summer will be amazing.

So the books I read over the year weren't much. I must admit, university takes up too much of my reading time so there was no chance of reading for fun at all. I did manage to squeeze in several books. That's right -- several. I am way behind on this annual 100-book goal. For the books that I read, I'm going to do a mini review. It was my mistake not to review them immediately *bangs head on desk* and so I may not remember much. I won't do the usual expectations-setting-characters-plot style since I'm unable to be that detailed. I'm such a bad book blogger! I promise to be better this summer!

Also, I should acknowledge my reaching 700 followers! Wow-wow-wee!!! Well, it might switch from 699 to 700 to 701 but that'll be fine. Thank you all for sticking by me, especially through my school year. Oh I'm getting so teary-eyed! To some of you, I've communicated with you on Twitter so I've kept in touch. But to those who take the time to visit and comment -- I thank you! AND I LOVE YOU ALL!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4)
By Cassandra Clare
Source: Borrowed from Sarah 
Book Description:
Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

A quote:
Hearts are breakable. And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before.

Thoughts (Vague Spoilers Ahead):
Expectations: The long, ever awaited book in the series! I had such high expectations, especially because it’s a Mortal Instruments book. After City of Glass though, which was my favourite out of the entire series and still is, City of Fallen Angels couldn’t compare. While I didn’t like it as much as the rest of the books, it is most definitely a 5-star book.

About Setting: The lovely, busy city: New York! And New York only. I must have been disappointed because I missed the other settings like Idris, where there were so many different kinds of adventures. In City of Fallen Angels, it felt sort of stationary but still very eventful.

About Characters: I missed everyone so much! Simon is much more included in this book and I love it. The change is very evident in his character as he becomes an important piece in the story. As for Jace and Clary, their relationship is being explored...and tested at the same time. I’m scared to see what lies ahead of them in the next book. Jace was so secretive in the beginning that it irked me a lot, though, especially when he was acting insecure. Later I found out that there was more to it than that. Clary is becoming fiercer than ever and I couldn’t help but cheer out loud! Ahh, training is always fun for her, I bet. And for the other characters -- Alec and Magnus, Isabelle, Maia, and a new guy named Kyle -- they’re a fun pack. I love each and every one of them!

About Plot: This felt different from the other books. One: because of the amount of action in the story. It was less than usual, maybe because it didn’t take place in Idris or such. But somehow it never felt dull. Just relaxed and settled back that it almost felt like a break from all the action in the series. And that was totally fine with me because two: there is more room for romantic relationships to grow. And you all know how I am with romance. The ending was a shocker. It totally left me drooling for the next book. As always.

Overall Rating: Y Y Y Y Y
Although City of Fallen Angels isn’t my most favourite in the series so far, it is still a freaking awesome novel. Who knows what would happen in the next one?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Crescendo (Hush, Hush #2)
By Becca Fitzpatrick
Source: Won a signed copy 
A quote:
Everything had come into sharp focus : his smooth words, his black, glinting eyes, his broad experience with lies, seduction, women. I'd fallen in love with the devil.

Thoughts (Vague Spoilers):
Expectations: I’ve heard many things about Crescendo with the majority being that it is unfortunately not so good as Hush, Hush. And I might have to agree because I still have mixed feelings about the novel.

About Setting:
It has a very ominous setting in Coldwater, Maine considering that it is a place where a lot of fallen angels are found. Nora lives in a farmhouse with her mom gone almost at all times, which leaves her alone and free to do anything. In front of the farmhouse is a forest, which would look creepy at night. The overall setting feels like an almost deserted area with a really eerie air.

About Characters: Nora is her usual self. The difference is: she does more of her silly decision making and her emotions are going berserk. Not that I blame her for the latter -- I think I would be utterly confused about the signs Patch is giving. Patch is more mysterious than usual as well. He is keeping things from Nora and it’s obviously driving her insane. The swooning feeling I’ve felt for him has disappeared since it seems like he’s missing in most parts of the novel. Instead, when he comes into a scene I feel a sort of aching that must come from Nora and her pain that Patch is causing.
Vee is still so I missed her! I love her attitude and her endless talks and her brilliant comebacks. Marcie, on the other hand, is the root of Vee’s comebacks (since Nora doesn’t do anything about Marcie). She is a selfless bitch who likes making Nora suffer. There is also a new character named Scott who is from Nora’s past and he becomes a part of an important revelation. More information about Nora’s parents is unravelled, but again by the end of the novel I was left with nagging questions about Patch’s actions. But hey, we get to find out Patch’s real name!

About Plot: Like in Hush, Hush the mystery and suspense aspects were ever present. They perfectly went well with the dark setting. I was always curious to know what was going on because I said before that I felt confused almost all the time. Especially with Nora’s emotions jumping to and fro all the time that it seem like she’s PMSing. She just cannot make up her mind! But whoa, the twists are there waiting to spring at you. I for sure was caught up in it. The ending leaves you with a cliffhanger just when it was starting to get good. Ouch for me.

Overall Rating: Y Y Y Y
It was either a 3 or a 4 for this one and I waited until the end before I decided. It turns out that’s when everything became clear. Becca Fitzpatrick can really keep you out of the loop and waiting then she gets you real good. What a talent she has. And what a wait it will be to get my hands on Silence.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

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

Rebel Heart by Moira Young
Book 2 of Dust Lands

Release Date:
October 30th, 2012

Spoiler alert if you haven't read Book 1!
The Tonton have been defeated. Lugh has been rescued.
The heartstone has brought Saba and Jack together.
Now, Saba and her family head west to meet him and start a new life. All should be well.
But shadows of the dead are stalking Saba.
And another kind of shadow is creeping over the dustlands.
Then a messenger shows up.
With news of Jack.

Now it's been wayyyy tooo long since my last WoW but I just really HAD to post this! I recently finished reading Moira Young's first book in the series - Blood Red Road. And oh my shnitzel how I fell in love with the book. Mind you, I still have to review the book but basically my thoughts about it are: adventurous, suspenseful, and there was never a dull moment. This series reminds me of Maria Snyder's Poison Study series...which is one of my ultimate favourite book series. So this is really saying something! I immediately went to look up the next book that's coming out (and cried when I realized it's being released in OCTOBER - oh the pain that comes with waiting!).

So to talk about this book...The cover is hot. Is it Jack? Lugh? Someone else, perhaps? All I know is that it's hot. And I've no idea what's in the background. At first it looked like a ship and then it looked like a sword/stick, and now I really don't know. Still, have I mentioned the cover looks hot? Also, the description makes me want to scream. Gahh, the wait is killing me!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Justine's Thoughts: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey #2)
By Julie Kagawa
Source: Borrowed from Sarah
A quote:
Shopping is just another form of hunting. All fey are hunters, whether they admit it or not. It's in our nature, pet, nothing unnatural about it

Thoughts (Vague Spoilers):
Expectations: It’s the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa so of course I figured it was going to be epic. And lo and behold, it went beyond my expectations.

About Setting: I’m in love with the world of fey. Every time it gets so much better, expanding its horizons that I wish I could be in that place. But not really because it can be quite scary sometimes. The Winter Court is explored more in this novel than the previous one, which gives a haunting, cold air. Now it is easier to see the contrast between The Winter Court and The Summer Court.

About Characters: I admire Meghan for many things. It must be so difficult to be in her situation. I could feel her heart crushing to pieces at times and it would hurt me. Meghan would emotionally break down because it’s difficult not to at times, but she would strengthen herself and face whatever comes at her. Although I like physically strong heroines -- which Meghan definitely doesn’t fall under -- I really like mentally strong ones too. Puck and Ash as well as Grim (!) are back in the story so it really set the mood to my preferences.
Oh and I think I’ve made up my mind that I’m Team Ash. I do love Puck because of his goofiness but I love Ash because of his tortured heart. It just stirs up emotions in me!

About Plot: Plenty of adventurous trips, once again. There is so much more tension and angst that you can’t help but ache for! Overall, however, it’s your exciting joy ride and you will never ever be bored. The end? It’s bittersweet. (And I cannot say no more!)

Overall Rating: Y Y Y Y Y
Fantastic second book in the series and I’m ever so glad that it might possibly be better than the first. It’s a thrilling series, that I can say. I am more than excited to get on reading The Iron Queen.