Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Scoop #1

Welcome to the Sunday Scoop, where I will be sharing links of cool articles that I've come across on the Internet. Feel free to join!

  • Ever wanted to throw a Harry Potter bash or just nerd out on some HP love?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Day Two: My Bedtime Reading Ritual

Click the image to go to the original page of the Blogger Challenge by Good Books and Good Wine!

Gosh, I'm just one of those people who don't have a set ritual. I don't go to bed at exactly the same time each night

Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Review: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Genre: Memoir / Graphic Novel / Coming of Age

I had seen the film Persepolis and since it is Banned Books Week and there's been a controversy about the Chicago public school system trying to pull the book off the shelves, I finally read the graphic novel! 

Persepolis is a graphic novel about Marjane Satrapi's life. As the child of communist revolutionaries, Satrapi grows up in Iran during the 1970s and early 1980s.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Published: 2013 

Genre: YA / Contemporary / Romance 

Many realistic first love stories are bittersweet, especially when they take place in high school. Set in Nebraska in the 1980s, Eleanor & Park captures the feverish passion of first love between two teenagers who don't quite fit in for different reasons. This is one of those wise books that surpass genre because anyone who's been to high school can relate to this story and the issues that it covers: first love, racism, family drama, abuse, and bullying. 

What I liked: 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day One: 15 Book-Related Confessions

Click the image to go to the original page of the Blogger Challenge by Good Books and Good Wine!

Heya. I know I'm joining this party super-late, but it looks too fun to not do. I won't be doing the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge consecutively but plan to finish it. You can visit to check out other bloggers who have done this challenge. 

Okey-doke. So here goes my list of 15 book-related confessions. The best confessions I have are from the past. Warning: some will be totally nasty. 

1. I used to wipe my snot onto library books back in elementary school. 
The thicker the snot, the better. What? I told you it was going to be gross! 

2. I sniff paperbacks. 
Old. New. I like how all paperbacks smell. I think this is relatively common among bibliophiles though.

3. I have bad taste when it comes to crushes on fictional men. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Review: Heartkeeper by B.T. Lyons (Heartkeeper Saga #1)

(Kindle edition is free right now!)

Genre(s): YA / Fantasy / Post-Apocalyptic / Coming of Age / Allegory

139 pages on Kindle

Heartkeeper is a novella set in the post-apocalyptic future, where the world population has dwindled to a sustainable level. To ensure their survival in the generations to come, humans picked up sustainable lifestyles and went back living in pre-industrial societies. Earth noticed their efforts and helped them out by releasing a system of Hearts, spirits of animals who each bind with a human and serve as their conscience.

Adain's a thirteen-year-old boy who has to complete an adulthood initiation rite with the other thirteen-year-olds called the Heart Chase, to hunt for his heart. Not all children are successful, and not all hearts are good. Most hearts are golden hearts, benevolent to humans. Red hearts are spiteful animal spirits, and they work as bullies in the forest. Black hearts are malevolent animal spirits, who had become embittered from suffering at the hands of humans--these tear people apart, and the village feeds their misfits to the black hearts. 

The children who fail to catch a golden heart by sunrise get eaten by the black hearts. Also, in order to be accepted by the village, a person has to be bound to a golden heart. When their heart leaves them (usually because they don't listen to the heart or do bad things to others), they are exiled from the village--basically condemned to be ripped apart by the black hearts. 

What I liked:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Banned Books Week 2013: Challenged vs. Banned Books

Save this lonely, banned book by reading it! 
Banned Book Week Image by Charlie Corrigan
A ban-tastic (sorry, couldn't resist) morning to you, and welcome to the 2013 Banned Books Week, which is taking place between September 22 and 28. 

My mom wasn't too strict about books, as long as she didn't see any words like SEX or pictures of half-naked people on the cover she was fine. With the help of book covers it was easy to sneak certain books in the house.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bloggiesta Finish Line and What I've Learned

This Bloggiesta weekend was highly productive. I enjoyed blog-hopping and meeting other bloggers, and subscribed to a ton. I'm a relatively new book blogger, so this was the first time I felt connected to a community of bloggers.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Bloggiesta To Do List!

Woohoo! It's time to participate in a festive Bloggiesta that will be taking place this weekend from September 20-22, 2013. If you have a blog, you should participate too! Here's the link for instructions at the Bloggiesta page

I'll be gone in Tecate working as a scrub tech to help docs open up people's eyeballs all day Saturday, but when I get back, I'll get to work on some things. Here's my to-do list for the weekend:

Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Fifty Shades #1)

Published 2012
Amazon | Goodreads

Genre: Romance / Erotica / BDSM

What the hell did I just read? 

I've never read a book that made me want to fling my e-reader across the room so bad. I've read erotica before, but Fifty Shades of Grey is like a five-hour porno with a boring, two-hour buildup.

Fifty Shades of Grey started out as Twilight fan fiction, and it was originally based on Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. The novel will be made into a movie that will come out in 2014.


What I liked:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fall 2013: Book-to-Movie Releases

Since autumn will start in a few days, I made a post about some highly anticipated books-to-movies that are coming out this fall from September 23 to December 23.


October 11

Romeo and Juliet
What it's about: Two horny teenagers from enemy families meet, and well, what do you think happens?
Directed by: Carlo Carlei
Written by: Julian Fellowes (screenplay) & William Shakespeare (play)
Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Damien Lewis, Ed Westwick

Another remake of Romeo and Juliet

This is the sort of classic that pops up in movie-format every decade or so. Unlike the 1990 version  Romeo + Juliet starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio, this one is set back in old Verona. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Old Cover (left): "Does this knife make me look fat?"
New Cover (right): "I will find you. And I will cut you." 

Published 2012
Genre: YA / Fantasy

The issue I have with high fantasy is that after you've read a lot of it, you start to notice a lot of the similar patterns being thrown at you over and over: character archetypes, plots, and settings, for example. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I enjoy reading high fantasy. I shiver with delight whenever I turn past the cover page and come upon a beautiful map with forests, mountains, jungles, and cities etched out throughout the map. I go in knowing that I'm probably going to read something with a quest or mission, magic, and swords.

Throne of Glass sits right in the middle of high fantasy

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Book Review: Crash by Lisa McMann (Visions #1)

Published: 2013

Genre(s): YA / Paranormal

Jules is a high school student who works in her family's Italian restaurant. Lately, she's been experiencing horrifying visions of the future in which people die in a crash at the rival restaurant. 

The rival restaurant is owned by the Angotti family, which includes a teen boy named Sawyer. Jules has had a huge crush on Sawyer since 7th grade (she's like 17 now) but because of their families' rivalry, they haven't really spoken to each other for years. She needs to warn Sawyer of the future, but he thinks she is going crazy. How can she save him before it's too late? 

My thoughts: 

I wanted to like this book, but Jules's voice sounds monotone and not engaging at all.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Personal Post: Hermitage


No book review post today. I went on a volunteering trip to a free opthalmology clinic in Tecate

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon -- Debut Book Review

Release Date: August 20, 2013

Genre(s): YA / Christian Fantasy / Romance

From: Barnes & Noble Store

My thoughts:

Christian fantasy or mainstream fantasy? 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Blink YA: A Secular Imprint of the Religious Zondervan Publishing: Marketing to Teens

When I bought Doon at the bookstore, I was surprised to see that it was published by Blink YA, which I had never seen before. 

The book flap made no mention of God, and it didn't seem to be leaning towards a Christian romance. And besides, Scots lore and fairy tales probably have their own share of pagan origins, so I couldn't see the main characters ending up with "And then I welcomed Christ into my heart." The story sounded like a good romantic fantasy tale, and the cover was gorgeous (oh, shallow me) so I went ahead and bought it. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Book to Movie Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

movie film
Release Date: August 21, 2013

Director: Harald Zwart

Writers: Jessica Postigo (screenplay) 
Cassandra Clare (novel)

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones IMDB page

Spoilers alert!

When actress Lily Collins heard that there was going to be a City of Bones movie, she frantically made a bunch of phone calls so that she could get the role of Clary, a teenage girl who is thrown into the chaos of the war between Shadowhunters (the race of nephilim, half-angel and half-human warriors) and the forces of demons. 

Pacing / Action. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill -- Debut Book Review

Published 2013
Release Date: September 6, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion

Genre(s): Sci-fi Thriller / Dystopian / Time Travel / Romance

Uh, okay--WOW. I mean, what else can I say? I just finished reading this book. I looked for it on the fifth after reading around some blogs on what to read--this one has gotten quite some buzz and the plot sounded interesting. I almost walked out of Barnes and Noble without buying it because it hadn't been shelved yet, but then an employee ran to me holding a bunch of copies. As she handed it to me, I knew I had to buy it. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Reviews Coming Soon: ALL OUR YESTERDAYS and DOON

Hey! I managed to snag a copy of All of Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill and Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon yesterday, so I'll be putting these at the front of my list since they're new releases. 

All Our Yesterdays: Amazon / Goodreads

All Our Yesterdays came out three days ago, on September 3rd, 2013. I'm in the middle of the book right now (okay, more like 2/5 of the way), and it is super-good.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (An Eclipse Novella) by Stephenie Meyer -- Book Review

an eclipse novella

Published: 2010

Genre: YA / Contemporary / Vampires

Okay, so I was curious about Bree Tanner as a character after I saw her in the movie, so I borrowed this book from the library. I must admit that I haven't read Eclipse, but I've read the three other books. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is about Bree's short, confused life as a vampire being trained to fight in an army against the Cullens. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Good, the Fab and the Ugly (Poseur #2) by Rachel Maude -- Book Review

The Second Book in the Poseur Series...and Sexism

Poseur book 2
Published: 2009

From the back of the book:

Halloween comes to Winston Prep and the newly named teen fashion label POSEUR introduces this season's must-have accessory: a red-hot handbag called the Trick-or-Treater. But whose design is sweetest? Janie, Petra, Melissa, and Charlotte all insist: Mine. You see the problem? 

Good thing, then, for the sweetness of revenge. Time to dust off that costume and put your best mask forward. 'Tis the season for candy, conflict, and couture. 

Once again, we are treated to the adorably cute fashion sketches, signed by Janie Farrish, who is the designated artist in the Poseur group. But they're actually done by Rachel Maude (except the Compai ones in the back). So beautiful. I was inspired to start some of my own! 

The story continues the four girls' quest to promote their fashion label, Poseur.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Poseur (Poseur #1) by Rachel Maude -- Book Review

Poseur #1

Published: 2008

Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary / Privileged 

From the back of the book: 

Four high school girls who love fashion (but hate each other) are forced together to create a designer label for their exclusive LA private school. Can a cool coquette, a shy punk, a ghetto-glam egomaniac, and a hippie goddess make peace for couture? Welcome to Winston Prep--where wardrobe means war. 

One of the fun parts of this book is the fashion--there are beautiful fashion sketches throughout the novel, and every chapter begins with a character's outfit. If you're into what people wear, this book will have a lot of imaginary eye candy for you. There's even a DIY guide in the back so that you can make your own clothes based on what the main characters wore in the book!

Now, about the story. The narrative is mostly split up into the tales of four different girls, but sometimes veers into the perspective of minor characters, which is interesting but inconsistent. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day!

Hope you're enjoying your Labor Day today! The temperatures seem to have cooled down but I'm still fan-dependent. I'm sitting two feet away from it. This is a deliciously cloudy day. I should have tea. 

My blog will have mostly young adult books, but I also want to read some fantasy and sci-fi books that aren't marketed to the YA crowd. There are books that I consider to be YA (well, the protagonists are young adults at some point!), but aren't marketed as such. You could tell by the fact that the covers aren't as cute. Well, when it comes to me, it sells. I'm a sucker for books with cute covers.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer by Cecily von Ziegesar -- Book Review

Published: October 2011

Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary / Privileged

From the back of the book:

Welcome to New York City's Upper East side, where my friends and I live, and go to school, and play--and sometimes kill each other. It's a luxe life, but someone's got to live it. Until to they die. 

Serena van der Woodsen is back from boarding school, hoping to make amends with her BFF Blair Waldorf--things just haven't been the same since Nate Archibald came between them. Serena decides the only way for her to make things right with Blair is to eliminate Nate, and if that means killing him, well, c'est la vie. The attempted murder doesn't go unnoticed by Blair, however, who isn't about to let Serena kill whoever she wants and steal the spotlight yet again--not when so many Upper East Siders deserve to die. From the #1 bestselling author Cecily von Ziegesar, this bloody reimagining of the original Gossip Girl novel takes backstabbing to new heights. 

Actually, it was less of a "bloody reimagining" and more of a "bloody cut-and-paste" of the original Gossip Girl novel.