Monday, April 21, 2014

February and March 5 Star Reads

I know I've been inconsistent with posting this month, but in all fairness, I did warn you that I would be.  To make up for that, and to get my mind of Camp NaNoWriMo for a little while, let's talk about books!

In order for older to more recent reads, here are a few of the books I loved in February and March.

{Buy on Amazon}
{View on Goodreads}
The Archived be Victoria Schwab
The Archive, an otherworldly library, contains the bodies of everyone who has ever died. But when the Archive is compromised from within, sixteen-year-old Mackenzie Bishop must use her skills as a Keeper to identify the traitor and prevent violent Histories from escaping into our world. The first in a dark, dazzlingly inventive YA fantasy series from the author of The Near Witch.

When you're reading this book, if feels like its 300 some odd pages take no time at all.  When I was reading I literally felt like this book had no middle at all and I was okay.  I loved the voice and spunk of Mackenzie, and I felt like Wes was at least a semi-accurate portrayal of a boy.  Lately boys in YA have all been moody, mysterious, and seriously hot.  Not to say that Wes wasn't all of those things at times, but the way he was done made him seen more real and anchored in reality than a lot of YA boys I've seen.  He didn't weaken Mac by his presence.  He made her stronger and then left her to left her to fend for herself, which I really appreciated.  Also, as a side note, the plot was fresh and well done.  I just really liked this book!  I'd heard great things about it and was not disappointed.

{Buy on Amazon}
{View on Goodreads}
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.

This book was wacky and lovely, and disconcerting, and beautiful all at the same time.  I'd never read a book like this before.  I think it might be classified as a Physiological Thriller, but like I said, I've never read anything like it before.  I liked the way this book kept you guessing.  Even after finishing it, I'm not quite sure if Mara is crazy or has supernatural talents.  And I'm okay with that.  This is a series that I'm defiantly excited to see through to the end!

{Buy on Amazon}
{View on Goodreads}
The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen
War has come to Carthya. It knocks at every door and window in the land. And when Jaron learns that King Vargan of Avenia has kidnapped Imogen in a plot to bring Carthya to its knees, Jaron knows it is up to him to embark on a daring rescue mission. But everything that can go wrong does. His friends are flung far and wide across Carthya and its neighbouring lands. In a last-ditch effort to stave off what looks to be a devastating loss for the kingdom, Jaron undertakes what may be his last journey to save everything and everyone he loves. But even with his lightning-quick wit, Jaron cannot forestall the terrible danger that descends on him and his country. Along the way, will he lose what matters most? And in the end, who will sit on Carthya's throne?

I loved this series since the first book.  It has everything a good story should: a memorable main character, witty one-liners, heartbreaking love shapes (to call them triangle with be major simplification,) and a plot that keeps and reluctant readers turning pages.  Since reading this book, I've gotten three of my family members to read it, including one that will read the same book a dozen times to avoid picking up a new book. This book is simple enough that young teen readers can read it, while being so well written and engaging as to capture an audience of any age.  Basically, if you having read this series, starting with The False Prince, you should!

{Buy on Amazon}
{View on Goodreads}
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidentally poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.

I loved this book as soon as I heard the title. Anya was one of the most real, refreshing, and honest characters I'd seen in a long time.  Also, YA books are frequently preachy, and no one could accuse this one of falling into that trap! I loved the idea behind the world where Anya lives, too!  What teen wouldn't bend the rules if coffee and chocolate were illegal?  I'd probably either join the mafia or resign myself to never getting out of bed again.  I thought this book was really well done and I'm vary excited to continue with the series!

{Buy on Amazon}
{View on Goodreads}
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Ruby might have survived the mysterious disease that's killed most of America's children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp" with her life.
Now she's on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her-East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

I'd heard mixed things about this book, and was a little wary when wading in.  I read this book only days after reading Champion by Marie Lu, and the similar endings of both books left me book-hungover for days.  The things that Ruby has had to deal with in her short life are staggering, and heartbreaking.  This book was thrilling, but I loved it all the same.  It felt real, which I really value in books, especially of the dystopian variety.  I'm excited to get my hands on Never Fade.  I'm hoping the heart-wrenching ending gets more resolved in the next book!

Those are the books that I've loved in the last two months.  What were the books you loved recently? Have you read any of my five star books? What did you think of them?  Leave me a comment or write up a blog post of your own and link it in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

what do you count?

Every generation wants to have counted, right?
Well internet kids, we already have.

We've counted characters in our tweets
and calories in our food.

We've counted our friends on Facbook
and the number of notes we have on Tumblr.

We've counted pounds on a scale
and views on a video.

We've counted our score on Farmville
and also on the SAT.

We've counted our shots at parties
and also the number we weren't invited to.

We've counted our followers on Instaram
and the number of Likes our selfies got.

We've counted our class rank at school
and we've counted our jean size as Macy's.

But while playing this numbers game;
while keeping up with all the chatter;
did we make sure we count?
Or did we make sure we matter?

because sometimes you just feel like being creative.