Cinder ~review

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living with her guardian and sisters in New Beijing. As a cyborg, she doesn’t have the same rights as ‘normal’ people. She is a hard worker, but gets no respect from the people around her. She tries to not let it bother her, focusing on her work instead. Until a chance meeting with Prince Kai, her sister’s sudden illness, and her subsequent voluntelling to join the cyborg draft, that is. Things get a bit complicated after that… And that’s not even mentioning the Lunar Queen and the lost princess!

I’ve heard of Cinder and Marissa Meyer from a few other bloggers. When I saw Cress at the store, I decided, Okay, I think I need to find these books. And I am glad I did! I love sci-fi and I love fairy tales. Cinder is a great mixture of both. Actually, it’s like Cinderella met Star Wars, fell in love, and had a baby. The futuristic elements were really well done. Nothing too far-fetched or unbelievable, for me at least. But I read copious amounts of Star Wars, so it may be different for other people.

As for the characters, they were well thought out and full of depth. I liked that the POV wasn’t all just Cinder. Kai gets a bit of page time, too. Also, there was no Insta-Love! That, I think, more than most other elements, drives me insane with YA novels. Guy meets girl, then BAM! Insta-Love! It’s like they put it in an aerosol can and just spray when applicable. But with Kai and Cinder, they barely got time together, so there may have been some attraction, but it wasn’t the focus of the story. Kai is a great character. It’s nice to see a male character in a YA novel that isn’t just a pretty face and muscles. Kai has a brain and uses it. Cinder is a more complex character who really grows in confidence as the story progresses. Oh, and the great, important secret that is revealed in the second to last chapter? Yeah, I guessed it a third of the way in. 😉

 Aside from the sci-fi stuff, there was more to the story than just a romance. Kai is having trouble with a hostile queen, so there are politics and character growth. The rights of cyborgs get brought up, as well as medical issues.

I really enjoyed Cinder. I haven’t read Scarlet yet, but I have read Cress which I also enjoyed very much, so look out for that review soon. Hopefully.

Recommend? Yes.
Rating-5/5

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Insurgent ~review

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Insurgent by Veronica Roth

{I apologize in advance if this is a bit jumbled and confused. I’m fighting a nasty cold that’s left me a little woozy. Sorry for any madness outside of the norm.}

Set immediately after the events of Divergent, Tris and Four are running for their lives. Again. They really don’t get a break, do they? Run, fight, run some more. (Sounds kind of like a recent movie series…) Tris has been hit hard by the death of her parents and still tries to come to grips with it. She, Four, and the remaining Abnegation take refuge in the Amity compound, hoping that the Erudite, the city’s new leaders, won’t think to look for them there.

Yeah, right.

When the Erudite and traitor Dauntless show up, it’s time to move on again. Our daring heroes spend some time in the Candor complex and with the factionless. But after a threat from Jeanine, Tris decides to turn herself in and of course doesn’t tell anyone. She should’ve known that wouldn’t go over well. 

Chases, escapes, rescues, betrayal, and secrets revealed, Insurgent has it all. The pace and writing of the sequel has sped up. It is also more confusing. There are so many sub-plots and Tris’s guilt-tripping make for a head scratching read. And about Tris. She seems to be wallowing in guilt the whole story. Yes, she has done bad things, but devoting pages and pages to her tortured musings does not a story make. She seems to have become more of a two-demensional character than she was in Divergent. Honestly, what is it with people not sharing potentially life-threatening secrets? Like, you know, running off to turn yourself in to your enemy? Yeah, honey, not a good move.

I don’t know. I was underwhelmed by Insurgent. It was just eh. Even more than I thought Divergent was.

Any thoughts? Leave a comment.

{PS. I changed the theme of my blog, in case you didn’t notice.}

Heroes of Olympus ~ series review

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The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan 

As promised, my thoughts on the Heroes of Olympus series. Oh, and there may be spoilers. If you haven’t read the series or any of the Percy Jackson books, I’d advise waiting to read this review.

I started reading the Percy Jackson books about the time The Last Olympian came out. They enthralled me and made me want more, more, MORE! I talked about them with my friends, (sparking a long-standing inside joke with my best friend who I tormented about the series.), and generally all around enjoyed them. When I heard Mr. Riordan was coming out with a new series, a continuation of the old one, I nearly jumped out of my skin in excitement. As soon as The Lost Hero came out, I bought it and had it read in two hours. Then I had to wait a whole year for the next book. It was sheer torture at the time. This cycle repeated itself three more times. I’m not sure what changed, but recently I lost interest in many of the series I formerly loved. It may or may not have had something to do with the horrendous movies made…

Anyway, that’s the back story. I’ve loved Percy Jackson since the beginning. He is such a great character in the original series. Loyal, kooky, not really sure what’s going on sometimes and relying on Annabeth to steer him straight, a total smart-mouth, and not to mention downright hilarious, he was and still is my hands-down favorite character. I loved Annabeth and Grover and Tyson and all the other characters.

{SPOILERS APPROACHING!}

But guess what? Percy isn’t even in the first book aside from a few mentions. Yeah! I know! I was furious. Seething. And flat-out annoyed. Hey, Mr. Riordan! I payed to read about Percy Jackson, not Jason, Piper, and Leo! But I held out hope that the next book would have Percy. And I was right! But oh, look, Percy has lost his memory. Darn you, Mr. Riordan, you just can’t make it easy for our heroes, can you? But if he did, then there wouldn’t be any story… Hmmm….

Point taken, love. {Spoilers mostly done for now}

I suppose I became more and more disappointed as the series went on. The whole style of writing seemed to have changed. There was still the smart-mouthing, the quips and dead-pan comments, and Percy not knowing things, but splitting the narration between three and sometimes four different people was confusing. Mr. Riordan also introduced five new main characters. Okay, that’s four too many, even for me. I utterly loathed Jason and Piper, enjoyed Hazel and Frank, and flat-out howled with Leo.

I think that was the problem. The series became too complicated. Too, too, too much going on. I like a good convoluted plot every now and then, but dude, don’t mess with my Percy Jackson loving. By the time Blood of Olympus‘s release date rolled around, I barely noticed. Instead of, AH! NEW PERCY JACKSON BOOK! SQUEE LIKE A FANGIRL!, it was more along the lines of, Oh, okay, cool. I’ll read it when it comes into the library. Blood of Olympus was also the end of the series. I was expecting something awesome and dramatic that would leave me happy by the time I turned the last page. Something that gave our beloved heroes closure, because you know I’m big on that.

{More minor spoilers!}

I was deeply underwhelmed. The big battles, that had been building up for four books, were over in four chapters or thereabouts. It was disappointing, to say the least. I had been let down by one of my favorite authors! *dramatic gesture* And I was sad, too. I don’t know if there will ever be a continuation of Percy’s story. There was no closure, at least not for me. Rick Riordan, you have let me down.

Okay, I know what you must be thinking by now. ‘Wow, she seems really down on the series, maybe I shouldn’t read them.’ Please don’t think that, dears. They are good books overall. They just aren’t great. I enjoyed them for a time, and I’m sure I’ll go back and reread them, but I’m no longer obsessed. Maybe that’s a good thing…?

So yeah, there you have it. My long-winded thoughts on The Heroes of Olympus series… I hope I didn’t lose you halfway through. 🙂

Divergent ~review

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Divergent by Veronica Roth

Beatrice Prior has a choice to make. Now that she’s sixteen, she must choose which “faction” she will belong to for the rest of her life; Dauntless, Amity, Abnegation, Candor, or Erudite. Since she was born into Abnegation, Beatrice assumes that she will choose to stay there. That is, until her aptitude test results come back a little…odd. Or in another word, they are Divergent. Beatrice learns that she has equal aptitude for not just one group, but three. Which is not good, especially in a society that encourages loyalty to faction before blood and the necessity to have your purpose in life maintained. How is Beatrice, or Tris as she’s now known, supposed to survive being Divergent? Simple; pretend she isn’t. Walking that fine line is not for the faint hearted. It’s for the Dauntless…..

(Okay, I had fun writing the synopsis. 😉 ) I hadn’t heard about Divergent till I saw something about the movie coming out. My thoughts went something like this; oh, YA dystopian, Hunger Games knockoff, something like Matched, eh, no overwhelming desire to read it. I was curious, but my life wouldn’t have been over if I never read it. Plus, I’ve never seen it at the library. Convenient excuse, I know. 🙂 So, when I was sitting at the library for three hours on Sunday, I spotted it and decided, why not? There’s nothing else to read.

As a general rule, I am not a huge fan of YA books. Too much inappropriate content, drugs, swearing,…, etc. Sometimes I’ll find a rare book that is actually decent and readable. I wasn’t blow away by Divergent but I wasn’t irritated with it. I wasn’t thrilled with many of the choices that Tris made. She was unforgiving, leading to tragic consequences for another character, and brutal at times, but she was also selfless. I really liked her mother as a character, even though she was barely in the story. Yes, Divergent made me cry. I won’t say why, but it did. Then again, I cry reading most books.

As a book, Divergent was kind of Eh for me. I don’t think I’ll ever want to own it, but I will look out for the rest of the series. Maybe since I’m reading them after the craze, I’ll be able to find them easier! Yeah, sure, keep on dreaming…

(P.S. Like this post if you love the snowmen mugs!)

Have you read Divergent? What did you think of it? Leave a comment!

rainbow spines

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When you look at books, the first thing you see is the spine of the book. Sometimes the spines are very pretty. Sometimes they’re really ugly. I searched through my favorite books to find ones with pretty, rainbow spines. Here they are in order. I hope this cheers up your dreary day!

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Red

Alice In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll~ I just had to include this book. My blog is named Alice In Bookland, after all! And the book itself is stunningly pretty. I love the vintage spine. And the White Rabbit on the front? Darling!

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Orange

Theodore Boone: The Accused by John Grisham~ The third of the Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer books by John Grisham. The spine looks more red than orange, but whatever. This is a really good book, great for boys. And girls!

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Yellow

Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne~ I think this book was printed in the 1930s or so. It is gorgeous!

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Green

Tiger’s Destiny by Colleen Houck~ Number four in the Tiger’s Curse series.

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Blue

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall~ Can I say how much I love the Penderwicks? The sisterly love between them is wonderful. The story is sweet. Skye trying to be the OAP (oldest available Penderwick) is hilarious. This is the third in the Penderwick series.

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Indigo

Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery~ My favorite of all the Anne books. I like it because Anne is older (but not too old), and it has romance. And Gilbert! Oh, I have such a literary crush on Gilbert…

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Violet

The Quiet Light- A Novel about Saint Thomas Aquinas by Louis de Wohl~ Louis de Wohl is one of my favorite authors ever in the history of authorship. His books are so well written, so detailed, and the subjects are wonderful. This one, about Saint Thomas Aquinas, is one of my favorites. And it’s one of the only books I have that has a purple spine!

Care to share your favorite rainbow spine books? Comment below!