Friday, September 21, 2012

Review for Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)Insurgent (Divergent #2)
By Veronica Roth
Published by HarperTeen
Bought Hardback
525 pages

 "One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so." - Goodreads

After I finished Insurgent, I ranted and raved how much I loved it (sorry Twitter). It blew my mind and that's saying something because my mind had previously been blown by Divergent. Insurgent has serious Author Brain characteristics (all credit goes to Small for the term!) Don't get me wrong, I loved Divergent just a little bit more but together they are an amazing pair.

These characters will grow on you, they will dig their way into your mind and set up camp... days after reading I still have them in my head. They have become that real to me and my emotions are completely invested in this series. Tris, she goes through some really rough times and how does she come out? Stronger than ever. She learns and fights till the end. Its one of the best character growths I've seen. Although I understand where she was coming from, I was disappointed that she kept lying though. As for Tobias, he has to put up with a lot and he has his personal skeletons to deal with but no matter what he keeps strong. Together, their relationship is rocky but it goes deeper... after all they experience they are still together. They build on their mistakes and their relationship has seriously gone to the next level so much so that I truly believe their "I love you's". One of the best fictional couples ever. I love them to pieces!

Insurgent had me smiling ("happy" serum scene anyone? Where Tris is at Amity headquarters?) but mostly it had me clinging to its pages breathless. There is a lot of action and a lot happens. We get to see into different factions and layer upon layer of the society is being revealed to us. The world building still amazes me. This society Roth has created was clearly thought out to the slightest detail. Be warned once you start reading, you won't reemerge until the end! And then your jaw will drop because of the cliff hanger ending (once you recover you might have the slight side effect of repeatly saying, "no,no,no,no,no it can't end, no,no....). 

Again, I highly recommend this series (of course if you are younger mabye not because of all the deaths)! It's a series you don't want to miss out on, Veronica Roth has a brilliant talent!

"Four!" I call out. Why am I calling out a number? Oh yes. Because that's his name. I call out again, "Four! Where are you?"
"Tris?" says a voice from the trees on my right. It almost sounds like the tree is talking to me. I giggle, but of course it's just Tobias, ducking under a branch.
"What did they-" he starts, but I stop him with my lips. He kisses me back, but too quickly, so I sigh heavily.
"That was lame," I say. "Okay, no it wasn't, but..."
"Tris," he says. "What did they do to you? You're acting like a lunatic."
"That's no very nice of  you to say," I say. "They put me in a good mood, that's all. And now I really want to kiss you, so if you could just relax-"
"I'm not going to kiss you. I'm going to figure out what's going on," he says.
"What did you do to her?" Tobias says, terse. "What in God's name did you do?"
"I..." Johanna frowns at me. "They must have given her too much. She's very small; they probably didn't take her height and weight into account."
"They must have given her too much of what?" he says.
"You have a nice voice," I say.
"Tris," he says, "please be quiet."
"The peace serum," Johanna says. "In small does, it has a mild, calming effect and improves the mood."
The serum wears off five hours later.... Tobias shut me in my room for the rest of the day, checking in on me every hour. This time when he comes in, I am sitting on the bed, glaring at the wall.
"Thank God," he says, pressing his forehead to the door. "I was beginning to think it would never wear off and I would have to leave you here to...smell flowers, or whatever you wanted to do while you were on that stuff."
"I'll kill them," I say. "I will kill them."
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review for The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your KingdomThe Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
By Christopher Healy
Illustrated by Todd Harris
Published by Walden Pond Press
Bought Hardback
419 pages

"Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change. Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it's up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.

Debut author Christopher Healy takes us on a journey with four imperfect princes and their four improbable princesses, all of whom are trying to become perfect heroes--a fast-paced, funny, and fresh introduction to a world where everything, even our classic fairy tales, is not at all what it seems." - Goodreads

What a great read! Put aside all your fears about middle grade books (yes, those, "but it's too young for me", "it's FAIRY TALES", "I'm too old"), let that love of adventure and laughter move you to pick up this book! Trust me, no matter what your age, you will fall in love with these characters and their unique situation.

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (from this point on referred to as THGTSYK), is a fresh take on the classic fairytales: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel. What do you really know about these tales? Don't answer that, it was rhetorical. Basically, you don't know the half of it. Healy takes the tales we know and adds on to it with his own twists, creating a whole new story with whole new characters. Every character be it a Prince or a Princess or a Troll or a Bandit, they have very unique qualities and personalities that simply make them shine. The four Princes Charming have a quirky chemistry together that will have you laughing and smiling throughout their adventure. I love them all SO much that I just want to burst! Simply put: they rock.

The pace of THGTSYK is great, it's not cheetah speed but it's not snail speed. The style in which it was written was different and it worked great. The humor present lifted my spirits and had me in a feel good mood: the perfect emotion I want when reading a fairytale-based book. I think the thing that I most appreciated though were the illustrations. They were absolutely gorgeous and help you to envision what is happening.

I'd highly recommend this to people of EVERY age. It will have you laughing, gasping, giggling, smiling, and most of all entranced. It's truly a fairytale mash up for everyone!

Prince Charming is afraid of old ladies. Didn't know that, did you? Don't worry. There's a lot you don't know about Prince Charming: Prince Charming has no idea how to use a sword; Prince Charming has no patience for dwarfs; Prince Charming has an irrational hatred of capes. Some of you may not even realize that there's more than one Prince Charming. And that none of them are actually named Charming. No one is. Charming isn't a name; it's an adjective. But don't blame yourself for you lack of Prince Charming-based knowledge; blame the lazy bards. 
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