Friday, June 28, 2013

Not exactly book-related...

But I figured I'd announce that I'm finally back to Europe, and I'm about 1/4th of the way finished with The Selection by Kiera Cass. I'll definitely finish that by the time the month is up, so be expecting both a review and a June Wrap-Up as well as a July TBR.

I may also post a little sneak peek of my Camp NaNoWriMo project if I get around to it next month.

See you all very soon!

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

I have one word for what I thought of this book: Wow. Just wow. 

I loved this book through and through. I don't think I can stress that enough, although I was a little hesitant about it at first. I'm not a fan of paranormal YA, mainly because it usually entails the average-looking main character falling for some gorgeous supernatural bad boy within the first three chapters. However, I put aside the fear of this happening, and I sure am glad that I did. 

The dialogue was surprisingly clever for a YA novel, and the plot was surprisingly creepy. I wasn't expecting any of the twists in plot, which made it all the better. The villain, "Naughty" John Hobbes was by far one of the most sinister antagonists I've ever encountered. He's right up there with Voldemort. Just the mention of his name, or the little song he sings throughout the book, sent shivers down my spine.

I was simply blown away by the amount of research that went into making The Diviners the perfect flapper novel. Libba Bray nailed the "Roaring Twenties." She even added in the slang of the period, which annoyed a lot of the reviewers on Goodreads, but I personally loved it. I'm honestly surprised that the book was only 578 pages, with the amount of information piled in there. I'm also surprised that I finished it in a little over a week. 

If there isn't a sequel in the works, I will be highly disappointed. 

Overall rating: 5/5 stars. I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves to read, regardless of the genre.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Book Haul #1

How exciting! This is my first book haul on this blog! I had a graduation party yesterday, and I figured: what better way is there to spend money than on books? So needless to say, I had a little shopping spree at the out-of-town bookstore today. I bought:

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
I was recommended this book by my lovely boyfriend and some of the other people in his Literature class. I've heard it was really good, and I haven't read a classic in a while, so I picked it up. 

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Everyone raves about the amazing world-building hidden in the pages of this series. There was no way I could let myself not buy this.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
So many book bloggers have recommended this book to me when I posted it as my last week's Wishlist Wednesday. This was one of the more expensive books in my haul. Hopefully it'll be worth the arm and the leg I paid for it. 

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Again, this is a book I've only heard good things about. I have it as an eBook, but the formatting went wrong and I never got around to actually reading it. Picked up a paperback copy today just for the heck of it. 


The Luxe and Rumors by Anna Godbersen
Today, I also invested in the first two books in The Luxe series. I haven't read Historical Fiction in so long, so I'm really excited to start these because HF was my favorite genre as a child. And I just love Victorian Era Manhattan.

On an un-book-related note, I also bought the 30th Anniversary ANNIE Broadway Cast Recording for $3. What can I say? I'll always be drawn back to my musical theatre roots. The highlight of my :"career" began with that one role: Annie. Now I'm just obsessed. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #1

I found this really cool meme hosted by the Pen to Paper blog (which has some really lovely reviews, so definitely check her out!). Basically, you just post a different book from your wishlist every Wednesday.

I figured this would  be a way to make sure I update at least every week, because I won't be doing very many reviews this month.

Now comes the tough part: deciding which book on my to-be-read list to have the honor of being my first Wishlist Wednesday choice. After a lot of debating, I've decided on Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

This is actually unlike anything I've ever read, and the synopsis intrigues me to no end. I've only heard good things about the Lunar Chronicles, so I feel like I absolutely have to get my hands on a copy of this. I can't seem to find it anywhere offline, though. I'll keep my eyes peeled.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. 

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. 

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them. 

Honestly, I'm torn. I'm not entirely sure how I felt about this book. In the beginning, I was struck with this awesome sense that this book was going to be righteous, because the idea was just that good. But now that I've finished it, I feel like Ernest Cline did a really poor job of executing his great idea.

The story line was magnificent, and for that I gave it 4/5 stars. However, sometimes I felt that the characters were a little hard to relate to, because they were so smart. Too smart. No teenager, not even in the year 2044, could possibly possess half of the information that Wade does. I feel like if Wade Watts was a real, truly live human being living in the world, he wouldn't be stuck living in a trailer park. People with his intellect get jobs, no matter what the year. So it was a little annoying to me, how he constantly whined about his life, when he did absolutely nothing about it other than log into the OASIS every single day.

However, I must say that the world and plot-building was right up my alley. I love the 1980's and I really enjoyed learning trivia about the '80's pop culture along the way.

I didn't like this book as well as I thought I would, but I still gave it 4/5 stars because the story line was just amazing.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

June TBR

I'm not planning on finishing too many books this month, just because of the sheer size of the first one that my loving boyfriend so graciously picked up for me at the library just last week. I also have a lot going on this month, I have graduation next Friday (woo!) and I leave for Europe on the 17th (double woo!). So this month, I'm only setting a goal of reading two books.

The Diviners by Libba Bray
As I mentioned in the intro, this book is an absolute monster read, coming in at around 578 pages. With everything I have going, I'll be surprised if I finish this by the end of the month. However, it's a book that I've heard several BookTubers rave about, so I figured I'd give it a go. Especially since it's set in my favorite time period. I'm a flapper at heart. 

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
I've had this book in my collection since the start of my 9th grade year, when it was a required read. So, of course, I never even touched it. I've never been able to make it through a Sarah Dessen book, but from what I've been told, once you get through the slow beginnings, they turn out to be really worth the read. I sure hope that's the case.

If I miraculously finish both of these books this month, I will probably end up starting either the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin or The Selection series by Kiera Cass. I plan on reading a lot over this summer holiday, because I know I probably won't be able to read much when I start college in the fall (go Clemson!).