Monday, July 28, 2014

Mark Your Calendar: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

October 8th 2014

Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

There are no words for how excited I am for this book. But at the same time, I dread it. It marks an end to a life changing chapter of my life and also, kind of, marks the end of my middle school days. There will be a lot of tears and happiness and farewells, but knowing Tio Rick, this is not the last time we see these characters.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Author: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Genre: Contemporary, Christmas, Adventure, Romance 
Goodreads Blurb:“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors ofNick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.
Published/ing: October 26th 2010 Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4/5

Okay, I know it's summer. Or at least where I am. 

I bought this book back at Christamas because my friend, Spun With Words, was thoroughly obsessed with it. But strangely enough I didn't get around to reading the two hundred or so page book. 

Seeing it on my shelf while trying to pick out books for summer it made me sad sitting there. So I said, what the hey, and read it. 

The first thing I'd like to point out is the setting of the book; New York at Christmas. The writing of the book was so balanced between having the actual story going on, but at the same time having you picture this beautiful snowy background. It was one of those situations where the setting itself played a character in the story. 

Speaking of characters, let's talk about Dash and Lily. I have not read many books where two people are writing the same story from two POVs (Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green would be one). This is probably my favorite dual POV story so far because of how connected the POVs were. The chapters were chronological and included both characters, but they didn't awkwardly crossover through dialogue or the other character's inner thoughts. They were well thought out and flowed very well together. 

I thought Dash and Lily were such cute characters because of how dorky and teenage-like they were. It wasn't fake or too perfect to be true. 

Okay, wait, it was a bit too perfect to be true. Although the notebook idea was awesome and cute and really quirky, I thought it was all a bit improbable. They left the notebook in places that didn't seem that 'secure' or in places that somebody (janitor, little kid, nosy human being) could've easily picked up. 

That was my only low point in the book. Otherwise it is a very light-hearted, easy read. It is cute and fluffy, with a bit of mystery to it. I would suggest reading this any time of the year. 

Future News:
David Levithan is currently working on the second book for the Every Day series. Rachel Cohn is currently writing the rest of the books in her Annex series. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mark Your Calendar: Series 8 of Doctor Who

August 23, 2014 9pm CT

I know for a fact that I am excited to see Capaldi take the stage as the twelfth doctor, but are you? There are many rumors about the new season, some of which might come true. But for now, fans can't sit still in anticipation for the globally adored Doctor Who.

for more upcoming fandom related events refer to the calendar tab

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau

Graduation Day
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Goodreads Blurb: In book three of the Testing series, the United Commonwealth wants to eliminate the rebel alliance fighting to destroy The Testing for good. Cia is ready to lead the charge, but will her lethal classmates follow her into battle?

She wants to put an end to the Testing
In a scarred and brutal future, The United Commonwealth teeters on the brink of all-out civil war. The rebel resistance plots against a government that rules with cruelty and cunning. Gifted student and Testing survivor, Cia Vale, vows to fight.

But she can't do it alone.
This is the chance to lead that Cia has trained for - but who will follow? Plunging through layers of danger and deception, Cia must risk the lives of those she loves--and gamble on the loyalty of her lethal classmates.

Who can Cia trust?
The stakes are higher than ever-lives of promise cut short or fulfilled; a future ruled by fear or hope--in the electrifying conclusion to Joelle Charbonneau's epic Testing trilogy. Ready or not…it's Graduation Day.

The Final Test is the Deadliest!

Publishing: June 17th, 2014 HMH Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4/5

These books have flown by. 

It must've been just yesterday when I received the first one for my birthday, and then dove straight in. 

To see it come to end so quickly is a bit startling. 

To start off my review, let me just say the amount of internal conflict from Cia in this book was enormous. It seemed that everywhere we turned Cia was having a new problem. Whether it was trust or the difference between right and wrong, Cia was having to deal with it. I think that aspect of the book pulled the reader in a bit more, because you yourself are questioning the trustworthiness of these people and whether or not Cia should have to take on her mission. 

This creates a bit of mystery also, because you have no idea who to trust or who will end up stabbing Cia in the back. 

Through Cia's investigation of the characters, we also get a deeper view of the many side characters than we did in the other books. We saw redemption, and never-ending trust, and other characteristics that made these character more realistic and round. 

The ending to this book was absolutely exceptional in my eyes. (Warning, Spoilers) There's that last minute decision that Cia has to make. Dr. Barnes spilled all the stuff he knew about the president right there, and Cia had to decide whether or not to kill him. 

I think that just completely built up the ending and let it slide to the calming end, where Dr. Barnes is gone, Cia gets to go back to her colony, and the Testing has ended. 

My only low point for this book was the slow beginning, but other than that it was amazing. 

One very small thing that I'd like to point out is Cia's overall independence. She doesn't let others influence her decisions; not the president, not her lover, and not her parents. And I thought that was downright awesome. At the end when she told Thomas that she had to go back to University and keep an eye on the president and he accepted it and told her goodbye I was so happy cause yes. That's how it should happened. 

I really want to see more from Cia and Joelle's dystopian writing. This series was one of the best dystopian trilogies I've read.  

Future News: 
There is no news to whether or not the author will continue the trilogy in any way. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Get Happy by Mary Amato

Get Happy
Author: Mary Amato
Genre:Contemporary, Romance, Music, Coming-of-Age
Goodreads Blurb:In this poignant, realistic, contemporary YA by a state master list star, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman, a young songwriter builds a substitute family with her friends in place of the broken family she grew up with.

A hip high school girl who loves music, writes songs, and is desperate for a ukelele, learns to her shock that her father did not abandon her years ago and has been trying to keep in touch. She begins to investigate him, only to discover that he has a new life with a new family, including the perfect stepdaughter, a girl who Minerva despises.

Publisher/ing: October 28, 2014 EgmontUSA
Rating: 5/5

This book filled me with a certain indescribable euphoria that I can't honestly describe in English words.

The main character, Minerva, captured my heart from the beginning with her quirky personality and her desire for her own ukulele. 

I mean, instead of waiting to learn the ukulele on a real uku, she built her own. 

I love her devotion to her friend and her passion for music and life. 

This book had a lot of different themes to it, that makes it the perfect coming-of-age novel. Minerva has a passion for music, that forms her goal to buy the uku, but at the same time, she has issues with jealousy, self esteem, the search for her father and the conflict surrounding that. 

I thought all aspects of this book were very precious and carefully written. The end of this book especially was so heart-breaking, but at the same time happy. The way she stood in front of her father and called him out for abandoning her family. How she called her mother out on lying and being hypocritical. I believe the ability to stand up to your parents if what they are doing/saying is wrong is an important trait that teenagers must have. 

The quirky characters, excellent representation of teenagers, and the thick plot and multiple conflicts morphed this book into an excellent coming-of-age novel about a girl with a love for music. 

Future News:
This book will come out late fall, and after that, I do not know what she has planned after that. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Dangerous Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Action and Adventure
Goodreads Blurb: A new series returns to the world of Beautiful Creatures. Some loves are cursed...others are dangerous.

Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she's a bad girl. She's Dark. She's a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she's around. Lucky for her, Wesley "Link" Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn't hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthors of Beautiful Creatures, are back and casting another magical spell. Their signature mixture of mystery, suspense, and romance, along with a dash of fun and danger, will pull fans in and leave them begging for more.

Published/ing: May 20th, 2014 Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4/5

My favorite part of this whole book was connecting with old characters. I adored the Beautiful Creatures series, and you definitely need to read those before you read this. Seeing my second favorite character, Ridley, come back in crimson lipstick and heels was thrilling. 

I believe one of the big points in this book was the development of Ridley's character. In the other series, we only graced the edge of Ridley's character, but in these books we see character development through emotional trials and life or death situations.

With Ridley's development, I would also really like to see Link develop more as well.

Another thing I really enjoyed, was right off the bat I recognized the writing. It was as if I recognized a voice of a long lost friend. It was so familiar and unique, the mythology and descriptions.

That was probably what really kept me going through this book.

Of course, as I got further into the book, this became less of a problem, but I did not like the overwhelming amount of characters that were thrown right at me. I got them mixed up and confused. Their personalities seemed a bit blurry and too similar.

There were also a lot of large plot points mixed together in the beginning, and that made it very chaotic to keep up with.

This is the first book and it is a whole new story, so I get the need to put all the new characters and conflicts out in the open, but I just thought it was a bit inefficient and busy. 

Future News:
The release date and name for the next book in this trilogy is yet to be released. 

My Author Event

So, a few weeks ago I was graced with the presence of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl at my local library. 

Yes, that is Ridley Pearson, author of the beloved Kingdom Keepers series, wearing the pink hair strip like Ridley herself. 

And that is how my night started. I scored a seat in the front of the room next to a girl who was casually scrolling through tumblr and an empty seat. So, checking the time on my cellular device, I cracked open City of Heavenly Fire and went about reading. Around 7:45, an older looking man sits down in the seat beside me. He begins to ask me what I'm reading and how I like it and my interests. 

Now I recognized this mystery man. I couldn't but my finger on it until he cracked open Dangerous Creatures, pointed at Ridley's name, and said "I rather like that name."

After that I asked if he was Ridley Pearson, and he replied that he was. He went on telling me about writing skills and books. One of the really intriguing things he told me about writing, is have a beginning, middle, and end before you start.

He said once you had that, you knew the destiny of your characters, and that was very important when writing, especially in fantasy. 

Then the event started. 

Kami and Margaret were hilarious and not afraid to answer all questions. 

They talked about the movie, and how little authors get to participate in the making. They talked about their journeys writing separate books, and how they decided that the fans and characters were calling them back to where they originally started. 

Overall, it was an exciting night and I was glad to get a chance to meet them. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mark Your Calendar: Landlines by Rainbow Rowell

July 8th 2014

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

This will be my first adult novel from Rainbow Rowell, and I hope it's as good as her teenage books. I am thoroughly excited for another summer read, though. For those who got ARCs of this much anticipated book, I'd love to hear from you and your opinions on the book. Have a nice summer. 
~ Monty