Sunday, November 30, 2014

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.

Check it out on goodreads! 4.5 stars

Midnight by Rainbow Rowell- This story was super cute gave me butterflies in my stomach. Loved the characters and the whole story. Her writing style is lovely :)

The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link- I was rather reminded of a Scottish fairy tale I read a while ago. It was interesting enough. Christmassy. Fey-like.

Angels in The Snow by Matt de la Peña- Cute and Christmassy. I liked the spanish influences.

Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han- This one was cute and unique. I liked that it was set in the North Pole, it was the only one that Santa and his Elves appeared in it. 

It's A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins- Oh wow, so cute and definitely lived up to my expectation of it being written by Stephanie. :)

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan- Cute. Dunno if I got the meaning of it. But cute and I really liked the characters and writing. 

Krampuslauf by Holly Black- Quite interesting. I really liked the folklore bit and it was original. If a bit violent or vengeful, it's still a unique twist.
What the hell have you done Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman- Cute, I liked the writing and I liked the style or vibe. 

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire- Really cute and wasn't what I had been expected. Really enjoyed it and the characters and setting. 

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White- I really liked it was cute and American feeling. I enjoyed the ending so much and the Spanish and the characters. Had some really funny parts too :)

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter- Cute and a very interesting twist!! It was also quite funny.

The girl who woke the dreamer by Laini Taylor- Interesting and quite unique feel. Pretty good I guess. It was a bit darker.

So overall, it was a very cute collection. I'm pretty sure that this was my first anthology that wasn't fantasy, horror, supernatural, or dystopian and I enjoyed it. Probably much more than I have the others. It was much lighter for one and it definitely put me into the holiday spirit! I think that I enjoyed every story, even the ones that were slightly darker. There wasn't one that wasn't unique or well written either, there were loads of amazing authors! If you're looking for a holiday book to read, I would highly recommend this one as I thoroughly enjoyed it :) And it was cute! (sorry for my repetitive use of that word but it's the most adequate I think)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill Review

Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life.
Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over.
When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it didn’t occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself.

Published January 2014. Stand alone. Check it out on Goodreads.
3 stars.

What I liked: I liked reading about the figure skating and the hockey parts, I love watching figure skating and hockey isn't too bad either. It was interesting to switch from one sport to the other and to see how each Sloane handled things that different from their original sport. Also it was interesting to see how they adapted to the persona that can be stereotyped for both sports and handled the people around them. I liked it and there were some nice b characters and love interests. The plot was relatively simple with reasonable flares, Figure Skating Sloane had trouble dealing with intimidating hockey girls and Hockey Sloane was surprised by the intense figure skating schedule and diet etc. But there were a few surprises that I thought were nice :) 

What I didn't like so much: There was a bit of fear at the beginning that made me a little reluctant to continue, it's that "oh no, this plan won't work out well at all!" I get like that sometimes. I thought it might be annoying, the troubles they would go through. But I read on anyway and it turned out that there wasn't much difficulty at all actually. Yay. There were also a few characters that I wasn't to fond of but really there wasn't much that I disliked. 

Overall, I thought this was a cute book and while I didn't love it, I did enjoy it. I liked the skating and hockey aspects of it, I thought the Sloane's were pretty interesting and I liked them. It was great seeing them grow in different environments and the ending was really sweet :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Finisher by David Baldacci Review

Why would Quentin Herms flee into the Quag? There was nothing in the Quag except certain death.

Vega Jane has never left the village of Wormwood. But this isn't unusual -- nobody has ever left the village of Wormwood. At least not until Quentin Herms vanishes into the unknown.

Vega knows Quentin didn't just leave -- he was chased. And he's left behind a very dangerous trail of clues that only she can decode.

The Quag is a dark forest filled with terrifying beasts and bloodthirsty Outliers. But just as deadly are the threats that exist within the walls of Wormwood. It is a place built on lies, where influential people are willing to kill to keep their secrets. Vega is determined to uncover the truth -- but the closer she gets, the more she risks her life.

Published March 2014. First in The Finisher series. Check it out on Goodreads!

What I liked: I liked the world that the author created. It was very detailed and well developed. He even had a different way of measuring time too. So that was cool. The characters were interesting and he had a wide range of them in the village that you become familiar with. I especially liked Vega's dog, Harry Two, and her friend Delph. The plot was pretty drawn out, it was an interesting one with a lot of layers. However the plot twists were brought on slowly and I felt like there was really only one big surprise . You can tell that it's a well written book and I think that the world-building and the characters were lovely. The plot was maybe a bit too slow for me, but it was still well thought out and developed nicely. I liked the way Vega transformed from the beginning of the book to the end and I also liked how the book had a sort of open ending. So you could guess what would happen next.

What I didn't like so much: I feel like this book needed a glossary for all of the creatures and terminology that was in this book. It was pretty confusing for a while and some things are just named and never really explained. I'd also say that the sheer size of the book, while it's a good book and it's interesting it is pretty thick, around 500 pages. I feel like it should have been a bit shorter maybe, because it sucked some of the energy out of the book. There were some scenes that weren't very clear to me, when Vega went into the upstairs of the Stacks and went into the past and wasn't really explained what happened up there.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and it was a very original fantasy story with some interesting characters and a nice plot. However sometimes I got a little tired or bored, I think it was maybe a bit too long and some things were too drawn out. I also got confused with some of the terms the author created for his world. I liked it and I would recommend it if you enjoy fantasy and the synopsis interests you. :)