Friday, April 29, 2011

Review for The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)The Maze Runner

Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Given to me from Amanda, thank you!
Challenges: For the Love of YA, 350 page Challenge
374 pages

"When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is empty.
     But he is not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls.
     Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as anyone can remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, for just as long, they've closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the Maze after dark.
     The Gladers were expecting Thomas's arrival. But the next day, a girl is sent up-the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is he message she delivers. The Glader have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might find their way home . . . wherever that may be. But it's looking more and more as if the Maze is unsolvable.
     And something about the girl's arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers --- if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked  within his own mind"

   How am I going to get across that YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK? I read this one a while back and loved it. When I picked it up again to read it, I'm like, 'I hope its as good as the first time". Let me tell you it was. Even though I knew the outcomes and secrets, it still had me on the edge and up till 2 o'clock in the morning!!

  The plot is amazing. How did James ever come up with it? He's a genius at his writing style too. He reveals bits here and there, just enough for you to create your own theories but not enough for you to know exactly what's going on. It's an incredible ride!! It's so easy to read and understand. And the 'language' they made up in the Glade was so ingenious! Haha, I have to laugh at "Greenie"... Anyways, the descriptions of the place and how it all works was so enjoyable - except for the Grievers - monstrous things that live in the maze.

 The characters were just as I remembered them! I still love Thomas as a main character, he's just so interesting to read about. As well as Newt, Minho, Teresa. You know who else I loved? Chuck. Lovable, funny Chuck. Thomas's best friend. (Just a note to author regarding Chuck: Why?) All of those characters are my favourite, each had their own personality, which brought a lot to the story.

  I am so happy to have the second book, The Scorch Trails.... So if you haven't read it, I highly recommend you to read it!! It's a fast-paced, full of mystery kind of book- which even has telepathy in it! Go, go, go! I want to see more reviews for this!!


  My name is Thomas, he thought.

That... that was the only thing he could remember about his life.

He didn't understand how this could be possible. His mind functioned without flaw, trying to calculate his surroundings and predicament. Knowledge flooded his thoughts, facts and images, memories and details of the world and how it works. He pictured snow on trees, running down a leaf-strewn road, eating a hamburger, the moon casting a pale glow on a grassy meadow, swimming in a lake, a busy city square with hundreds of people bustling about their business.

And yet he didn't know where he came from, or how he'd gotten inside the dark lift, or who his parents were. He didn't even know his last name. Images of people flashed across his mind, but there was no recognition, their faces replaced with haunted smears of color. He couldn't think of one person he knew, or recall a single conversation.

The room continued its ascent, swaying; Thomas grew immune to the ceaseless rattling of the chains that pulled him upward. A long time passed. Minutes stretched into hours, although it was impossible to know for sure because every second seemed an eternity. No. He was smarter than that. Trusting his instincts, he knew he'd been moving for roughly half an hour.

Strangely enough, he felt his fear whisked away like a swarm of gnats caught in the wind, replaced by an intense curiosity. He wanted to know where he was and what was happening.

With a groan and then a clonk, the rising room halted; the sudden change jolted Thomas from his huddled position and threw him across the hard floor. As he scrambled to his feet, he felt the room sway less and less until it finally stilled. Everything fell silent.

A minute passed. Two. He looked in every direction but saw only darkness; he felt along the walls again, searching for a way out. But there was nothing, only the cool metal. He groaned in frustration; his echo amplified through the air, like the haunted moan of death. It faded, and silence returned. He screamed, called for help, pounded on the walls with his fists.
Thomas backed into the corner once again, folded his arms and shivered, and the fear returned. He felt a worrying shudder in his chest, as if his heart wanted to escape, to flee his body.

"Someone... help... me!" he screamed; each word ripped his throat raw.

A loud clank rang out above him and he sucked in a startled breath as he looked up. A straight line of light appeared across the ceiling of the room, and Thomas watched as it expanded. A heavy grating sound revealed double sliding doors being forced open. After so long in darkness, the light stabbed his eyes; he looked away, covering his face with both hands.

He heard noises above--voices--and fear squeezed his chest.

"Look at that shank."
"How old is he?"
"Looks like a klunk in a T-shirt."
"You're the klunk, shuck-face."
"Dude, it smells like feet down there!"
"Hope you enjoyed the one-way trip, Greenie."
"Ain't no ticket back, bro."

Thomas was hit with a wave of confusion, blistered with panic. The voices were odd, tinged with echo; some of the words were completely foreign--others felt familiar. He willed his eyes to adjust as he squinted toward the light and those speaking. At first he could see only shifting shadows, but they soon turned into the shapes of bodies--people bending over the hole in the ceiling, looking down at him, pointing.

And then, as if the lens of a camera had sharpened its focus, the faces cleared. They were boys, all of them--some young, some older. Thomas didn't know what he'd expected, but seeing those faces puzzled him. They were just teenagers. Kids. Some of his fear melted away, but not enough to calm his racing heart.

Someone lowered a rope from above, the end of it tied into a big loop. Thomas hesitated, then stepped into it with his right foot and clutched the rope as he was yanked toward the sky. Hands reached down, lots of hands, grabbing him by his clothes, pulling him up. The world seemed to spin, a swirling mist of faces and color and light. A storm of emotions wrenched his gut, twisted and pulled; he wanted to scream, cry, throw up. The chorus of voices had grown silent, but someone spoke as they yanked him over the sharp edge of the dark box. And Thomas knew he'd never forget the words.

"Nice to meet ya, shank," the boy said. "Welcome to the Glade."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review for Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

Where I BelongWhere I Belong

Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: First book I ever won! Thanks to I Am A Reader Not A Writer
Challenges: For the Love of YA, I'd Wish I'd Read That
291 pages

"Meet Corrinne. She's living every girl's dream in New York City—shopping sprees at Barneys, open access to the best clubs and parties, and her own horse at the country club. Her perfect life is perfectly on track. At least it was. . . .
When Corrinne's father is laid off, her world suddenly falls apart. Instead of heading to boarding school, she's stripped of her credit cards and shipped off to the boonies of Texas to live with her grandparents. On her own in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the life she's supposed to be living. She doesn't care who she stomps on in the process. But when Corrinne makes an unlikely friend and discovers a total hottie at work, she begins to wonder if her life B.R.—before the recession—was as perfect as it seemed."- Goodreads

  A very charming read I must admit. I showed this to my mom when I got it and she said "Looks like a cowboy love story". IT IS NOT! Really, it's so much more. Let me explain.

  I always start with characters. So why stop now? Corrinne - heads up, she is about the only one that has a normal name - let me say that I hated her in the beginning. She was so bratty and ungrateful. If I was shipped to Texas to live with those awesome grandparents, I would not complain! But as the story progressed, she realized that hey, this isn't so bad. And actually starts making it her life. There is so much personal growth and realization in this book that I can absolutely forgive her for being a brat. I had two favourite characters in this book, Corrinne's grandpa and her friend Kitsy. They were awesome. Then there we the other well written characters: Grandma, Cole aka Dad, *here's where the names get -erm- unique* Tripp, Jenny Jo aka Mom, Bubby, Rider, Hands, Smith, Waverly, and Ginger whew, did I miss anyone? Anyways, overall the characters were well done.

  The plot is basically Corrinne trying to find a life - and survive it- in Texas with the Texan hottie Rider and jerk Bubby (in the romantic area, don't be fooled! Not all is as it seems...) I MUST POINT OUT THOUGH, that just because I said it isn't a love story I did not mean that there is no romance because there is!! The plot wasn't slow and it wasn't speedy, it was a nice pace. I think the author covered it well and with ok writing skills. The only thing I would have changed is some of the conversations. Some parts seemed, well, too planned. Not natural. It was only in some parts so the big picture wasn't ruined.

  This was a short, fun, feel-good book that I recommend to anyone who read the summary and has an interest. I enjoyed it very  much and am so thankful that I won it!


Dear Reader,

Have you ever heard of the Butterfly Effect? I learned about it in science class last year. Probably the only lesson I remember because it's way more relevant to real life than the three types of sediment rock or the properties of noble gases. And it's also not revolting, like dissecting a frog. Basically, the butterfly effect is a choas theory, attributed to a guy named Edward Lorenz. Here the CliffsNotes version: A butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil, and it sets off a tornado in Texas. It means the smallest moments of the past, even the ones that don't have anything to do with us, affect our future and our futrue selves.

When Wall Street nearly collapsed, I didn't pay much attention. I used to care a lot more about the hottest starlet's weight fluctuation than the current prices of stocks. But when the economic problems caused my dad to lose his seven figure job and me to move to a Texan town that's so teeny tiny its not even on Google Maps, I realized how seemingly distant events can change your life forever.

This is a story of how I was transformed. How the pieces of the global economy toppled like dominoes and made a teenage ice princess from Manhattan (me) melt and find her long dislocated heart. So if you hate me at first, keep reading. You might just surprise yourself. I know I did.

And just think, somewhere right now a butterfly might be flapping its wings and altering your future in some peculiar, yet beautiful way.

Corrinne Corcoran


Friday, April 22, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (18) Follow Friday (13)

Book Blogger HopBook Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books . Hop on over for more details.

"If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?"

Yes, I do. If I like the authors writing style, than yes I do feel compelled to see what else they've written. Great question :)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View. Follow on over to check out the details.

"What is on your current playlist right now?"

As of right now, my ever changing playlist consists of Coldplays Viva la Vida and The Scientist.

Do you hunt down beloved authors books? What's on your playlist? Tell me, tell me! Leave links, I'll check it out :)

Thanks for reading and peace out!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review for Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)Across the Universe

Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Personal Copy
Challenges: For the Love of YA, 350 Pages, I'd Wish I'd Read That
398 pages

"A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming." Goodreads

   Across the Universe is sci-fi for teens who don't like sci-fi, just like Beth said in one interview. Plain and simple.

   This was my first sci-fi read and wow, let me be the first to admit, it won't be my last! Beth Revis your a genious! Really all I have to say is, Why did it have to end?

   The first chapter didn't hook me, it was the second-and third chapters that did it to me. I mean seriously, this plot is amazing! How does a person come up with all those twists and gasps? I'm still awed. The book had so much mystery that I was reading when I should have been doing something else just so I could find out the ultimate answer: who?

  I loved the character Elder. He really became a 3D person to me, I could understand what he was thinking and why he did he things he did. But alas, Amy. In the beginning (really throughout the book) she kind of came off whiny and 5-year-oldish. Considering all the things she had to deal with though, I guess that's normal. Still, sooner or later she needs to get it together. Now, I bet all of you are wondering, what about the romance? Sad to say there isn't much but when you get reading, you'll get so absorbed in the plot that seriously it doesn't matter. There is some, and that was enough for me.

  The plot, well really I think you get my drift that the plot is off the charts. Beth Revis is an amazing writer, her words flow and don't clash. The conversations are believable, the for-shadowing is brilliant, and overall it's a ride that you wont forget - or want to miss!

  What else must I say to convince you? GO GET IT! Seriously, I highly recommend you read it! I found myself sighing, gasping, and marvelling at the brilliance of it all. My hat is off to Beth Revis for her stunning debut!

NOTE TO AUTHOR: Write really fast, I need to know what happens next!!
And I thought: At least I'll sleep. I will forget, for three hundred and one years, everything else.
And then I thought: That will be nice.
And then whoosh! The flash freeze filled the tiny chamber. I was in ice. I was ice.
I am ice.
But if I'm ice, how am I conscious? I was supposed to be asleep; I was supposed to forget about Jason and life and Earth for three hundred and one years. People have been cryo frozen before me, and none of them were conscious. The mind is frozen; it cannot be awake or aware.
I've read before of coma victims who were supposed to be knocked out with anesthesia during an operation, but really they were awake and felt everything.
I hope—I pray—that's not me. I can't be awake for three hundred and one years. I'll never survive that.
Maybe I'm dreaming now. I've dreamt a lifetime in a thirty-minute nap. Maybe I'm still in that space between frozen and not, and this is all a dream. Maybe we haven't left Earth yet. Maybe I'm still in that limbo year before the ship launches, and I'm stuck, trapped in a dream I can't wake from.
Maybe I've still got three hundred and one years stretching out before me.
Maybe I'm not even asleep yet. Not all the way.
Maybe, maybe, maybe.
I only know one thing for certain.
I want my year back. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review for How to Take the Ex out of Ex-Boyfriend by Janette Rallison

How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-BoyfriendHow To Take the Ex out of Ex-Boyfriend

Author: Janette Rallison
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Source: Personal Copy/ Won from Janette's Blog (Thank you!!)
Challenges: For the Love of YA
265 pages

"Sixteen-year-old Giovanna Petrizzo finds it hard enough to fit in. Three years since her family moved to Texas, she's still the newcomer compared to everyone around her. It doesn't help matters when her twin brother, Dante, takes on the mayor's son by running for class president. The least she could expect, though, would be for her boyfriend, Jesse, to support their cause. But Jesse's apparent defection triggers Giovanna's rash emotional side, and before she knows it, she's turned Jesse from the boy of her dreams to the exboyfriend she dreams of winning back."- Goodreads

  This was my first read from Janette Rallison.... I have been waiting months, I mean months, to read her work and let me tell you she does not disappoint!! I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but like her its funny. I was up at one o'clock just to finish it cause I needed to know what happened, and since the rest of my family was sleeping I had to surpress my laughter which let me tell you is not easy. I would be reading and read a line and burst out laughing which at that point I had to clamp my hands over my mouth. It was hard. It truly was "a-laugh-out-loud romatic comedy"!

  The characters were well developed. The main character Giovanna (it's Italian btw), is easy to relate to and finds herself in the most awkward situations. Those instances were when I laughed... crazily. The other characters were good too, her boyfriend erm, *cough* ex- boyfriend is very swoon worthy to say the least. If girls could find a guy like that (though he has flaws), the world be awesome!! Down to the point, the characters were solid.

 The plot was in my opinion very good, Throughout the book, there was a steady pace at which the plot progressed and you weren't just lagging behind or grasping at straws to try and find out what just happened. That was what I really enjoyed, Janette's writing style. It wasn't only clear and smooth, it was funny and clean.

  The whole book surpassed my expectations and I am so happy I won it. Oh, did I not mention is was signed? Yah, it was!! My first signed book EVER and she even gave me two bookmarks... can you say thank you?? I can! THANK YOU! So, I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a good strong laugh and down-right enjoyable time.... I can't wait to read more by her!!


  I bet you Cinderella didn't get along with Prince Charming's friends. Oh sure, the knights and barons probably put up with her on account that she was pretty and had such dainty feet and all, but you know every duchess and countess in the kingdom hated her guts. That's how women are when someone encroaches on their turf.

  And that's why all the girls at Jesse's birthday party ignored me. While he mingled with the guests to make sure everyone had enough food, I sat next to a group of cheerleaders who talked around me like I was a piece of furniture.

  I don't know why I expected any different. They'd acted this way since I started dating Jesse two months ago, giving me subtle and not so subtle messages that just because I was going out with a guy from the popular clique didn't mean I fit in with them.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Review for The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope, #2)The Last Little Blue Envelope (13 Little Blue Envelopes #2)

Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 26, 2011
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Challenges: For the Love of YA
304 pages

" Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.
Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions."- Goodreads

  This was a good follow up to 13 Little Blue Envelopes! I enjoyed it very much!

  It took me awhile to adjust to the third person writing - I think that's what it's called, when the author uses "they",  "her" etc. I'm used to reading first person; when you are kind of like in there head and hear they're thoughts. But once I adjusted (by like the fourth page) I came to really like the story!

 I enjoyed the amount of romance in this book. It didn't overshadow the plot, and there was enough to satisfy this reader. It also wasn't 'swooning' movie style love, which was quite refreshing. It was gradual. I'm not saying anything happened but I'm also not saying that nothing happened. Because in this story there isn't just Ginny and Oliver... there are other characters as well. You'll have to read to find out! The adventure was a good dose. It wasn't too much but again, it was a good amount. I liked watching Ginny grow in her personality and style. There were even a few laughs. Yes, I did say that. I admit I laughed a few times, mostly at Keith's remarks. Overall, it was a great add on for the series. It definitely added something to it. Great work Ms. Johnson! I recommend this book, but you must read the first book before! Otherwise you lose out :)


 At this point, the letter stopped. At the bottom, below the image, was a short message:

Sorry to interrupt. You don't know me, and likewise, I don't know you. As you can see, I possess a letter (actually, a series of letters) that seem to belong to you. But since this last letter contains very important information. I have to be sure that I am speaking to the right Virginia Blackstone. If you think this letter belongs to you, please let me know. My name is Oliver, and I live in London. You can reach me at this address.

  For a moment, she did nothing. No movement. No speaking. She waited for the information to sink in. This was a page of the last letter. This was a task undone. This was the universe more or less demanding that she return to England at once and finish what she had started. This was fate. This was her brain going into hyperdrive.

 The old Gin had never traveled and knew no one in England. Old Ginny would think, plan, be cautious. But new Ginny needed a distraction, and a reason to see her kind-of-something non-boyfriend .... and she knew someone who knew how to make unlikely things happen. She got up and started to pack.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Review for If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)If I Stay

Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenille
Source: Public Library
Challenges: Library, For The Love of YA, I Wish I'd Read That
196 pages

"In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands." - Goodreads

   Incredible. Inspiring. Undescribable. Wow. This is one of my favourites now and forever.

  I finished this book two days ago and I'm still speechless. Which let me tell you does not happen very often. Gayle Forman created a story of just your normal girl with a vibrant family who soons faces tragedy. And a big decision.

  If I Stay is told through the voice of Mia, and I really enjoyed that. She told of us past experiences while still keeping us in the present. It was a nice balance and I didn't find myself getting frustrated with the 'flashbacks' - they weren't really flashbacks but more of accounts. All the characters were well written. They each had their own personalities, and I could keep them seperate in my mind. Besides Mia, my other favourite character was of course Adam. He cared so much about her and I couldn't help but love him. Who couldn't? But that was how it was for almost every character in the book.

 The plot was very interesting to me. I really liked the way Gayle set things up, it sort of reminds me of a movie that I can't quite remember. Anyways, I think that way of telling Mia's story just added to it. The overall writing was easy, smooth, and sometimes heart-jerking. There were a few laughs which just made the story harder to read for me, but it was necessary.  I actually didn't cry, I surprised myself. But I don't think that it was meant to make the reader cry necessarly, it was more a journey for Mia and the reader.

 I'm hoping on hopes that I can read Where She Went because truth be told I need to know what happens!! I highly recommend reading this, it's a don't miss. Great work Ms. Forman!


  Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that's true.
I wake up this morning to a thin blanket of white covering our front lawn. It isn't even an inch, but in this part of Oregon a slight dusting brings everything to a standstill as the one snowplow in the county gets busy clearing the roads. It is wet water that drops from the sky -- and drops and drops and drops -- not the frozen kind. It is enough snow to cancel school. My little brother, Teddy, lets out a war whoop when Mom's AM radio announces the closures. "Snow day!" he bellows. "Dad, let's go make a snowman."
My dad smiles and taps on his pipe. He started smoking one recently as part of this whole 1950s, Father Knows Best retro kick he is on. He also wears bow ties. I am never quite clear on whether all this is sartorial or sardonic—Dad's way of announcing that he used to be a punker but is now a middle-school English teacher, or if becoming a teacher has actually turned my dad into this genuine throwback. But I like the smell of the pipe tobacco. It is sweet and smoky, and reminds me of winters and woodstoves.
"You can make a valiant try," Dad tells Teddy. "But it's hardly sticking to the roads. Maybe you should consider a snow amoeba."