Apr 28, 2010

Review | Numbers by Rachel Ward

Title: Numbers by Rachel Ward
Series: Numbers #1
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Publication: February 1st 2010 by Chicken House/Scholastic Inc
Format: ARC
Source: Around the World Tours
Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: Ever since she was child, Jem has kept a secret: Whenever she meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die. Burdened with such awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. The two plan a trip to the city. But while waiting to ride the Eye ferris wheel, Jem is terrified to see that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today's number. Today's date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem's world is about to explode!

Thoughts: So far I've seen many "Eh it was okay" sort of reviews for this book and I must say I completely disagree! I must the only sane one (or crazy one, haha) out there. I really enjoyed this one, and although there are quite a few other reviewers out there who disagree, I completely respect everyone's opinion. I must say though, that I could not put this book down.

From the start, I was intruiged by Jem, she was an interesting and isolated character that I couldn't help but like her. She reminded me a bit about me, and maybe that is why I was able to like it from the beginning. Not only did I like her, but I liked Spider too, as weird as he was. The other characters in the book were also well written and described in my opinion, and although I didn't like them all, I was able to connect with the story better because of each one.

Now, my favorite part of the book was the actual "power" I guess we could call it, or "curse", that Jem had. I would be terrified to be able to see the date of people's death's and like her I would isolate myself from the world. It starts off a bit slow, but I didn't think it was bad, more of an introduction to the book and then the pace picks up and its twists and turns from then on. The ending, I thought, was fantastic. Just like I like them, with something you weren't expecting.

Apr 22, 2010

blogoversary :)

Actually, my blogs day was a few days ago and I missed it! It has been a whole year since I started this blog and I'm happy I've been able to keep it this long. It has been great :)

Apr 19, 2010

Review | Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith

Title: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith
Series: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #0.5
Genre: Fiction/Horror
Publication: March 1, 2010 by Quirk Books
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: In this terrifying and hilarious prequel, we witness the genesis of the zombie plague in early-nineteenth-century England. We watch Elizabeth Bennet evolve from a naïve young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead. We laugh as she begins her first clumsy training with nunchucks and katana swords and cry when her first blush with romance goes tragically awry. Written by acclaimed novelist (and Edgar Award nominee) Steve Hockensmith, Dawn of the Dreadfuls invites Austen fans to step back into Regency England, Land of the Undead!

Thoughts: When I read the first PP&Z, I was really excited because it had both zombies and Austen and I thought, "What a fantastic combination!" Wrong. I was a bit hesitant to get SS&SM, but that one was a bit better. Barely. So I was definitely unsure about D of D and really was not going to accept a copy. I thought it over quite a bit and then decided to give it a try.

I was surprised to find this one to be better than the last two. Sure, it's still based on Austen's original work, Pride and Prejudice, but Hockensmith created a whole different plot. It was so much better than the last two attempts to recreate Austen's work and although the author kept the same characters, the story was something new and unique.

I have always like Elizabeth Bennet, and watching her learn and struggle in her attempt to slay zombies was quite humorous. Most of the original characters were present or mentioned, but a whole new cast of characters were introduced that made this book stand out more than the other two. The differences in this book from the original P&P made it a lot better and I was able to enjoy it as a standalone.

I would recommend this book to anyone who's been curious about these monster books, and still hasn't given them a chance. I suggest you try this one first and then maybe give the other two a shot, although I do not think they're very good. I'm sure anyone who enjoyed PP&Z and SS&SM will also enjoy this one as well.

Apr 15, 2010

Review | Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

Title: Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
Series: N/A
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Publication: June 1, 2009 by Point
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Rating: ★★

Synopsis: 16-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science...and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate. 

There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship...and reality.

Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?

Thoughts: To be honest, I was expecting more from this book. I think that from the beginning I knew I wouldn't really enjoy it as much as I had originally hoped, but I decided to give a chance anyways.

I think the problem I had with the whole book were the chracters. To me they seemed sort of bleh, kind of boring, and I really didn't like anyones' "personality." Miranda was okay I guess, although I didn't connect with her. I think maybe the characters could've used a bit more depth and development.

I really liked the idea of merpeople and I expected the story to have more than what it did, and I thought it would have been great as a mystery. It all seemed to fall flat a bit though, and I really wasn't happy with the ending.

I would suggest others to give it a try because I know there are many people out there who loved this book. I thought it was okay, not really great, but not a complete waste of my time. So I would recommend this to YA lovers of all ages.

Apr 1, 2010

Review | Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

"Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did." So begins the story of Lily Casey Smith, in Jeannette Walls's magnificent, true-life novel based on her no-nonsense, resourceful, hard working, and spectacularly compelling grandmother. By age six, Lily was helping her father break horses. At fifteen, she left home to teach in a frontier town -- riding five hundred miles on her pony, all alone, to get to her job. She learned to drive a car ("I loved cars even more than I loved horses. They didn't need to be fed if they weren't working, and they didn't leave big piles of manure all over the place") and fly a plane, and, with her husband, ran a vast ranch in Arizona. She raised two children, one of whom is Jeannette's memorable mother, Rosemary Smith Walls, unforgettably portrayed in The Glass Castle.

Thoughts: To be honest, I wasn't too happy about starting this book. The only reason I even considered picking it up was because of the book club I had just joined, the Slow Readers Book Club, and this was the first book we were to read and review.

Around two days before it was due at the library, I finally decided to crack it open and give it a try. The first few pages were interesting but I'm not too sure if I would've really read on if I hadn't gotten sick that weekend. I was in bed for a couple of days and of course I was taking advantage of the time I had in between naps to read, and that was when this book finally drew me in.

I was suprised at how quickly I got into this book, but from the moment I picked it up, I could no longer put it down. I finished the first half in one sitting and the next day, I finished the rest. Although not told by Lily herself, her grand-daughter, Jeannette Walls was able to tell the story amazingly like if she lived it with wonderful details and each chapter feeling like a short anectode.

I really liked Lily, she was a strong, independent woman who endured a lot and never gave up on her dreams. She was such a great person to read about. I really loved Walls writing and I definitely want to pick up her other novel, The Glass Castle, which is about her mother.

I hadn't read an adult novel in a while before reading this, sticking to YA mostly, so this was a nice refreshing change. I definitely recommend this book to everyone, it is a great novel.

Favorite Line: "'I'm okay,' I said. 'I used to break horses. One thing I know how to do is take a fall.'"

This book was provided by the local library.