Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Maleficent by Elizabeth Rudnick Review

\(^o^)/ Hi everyone. I took a few months break from book blogging. It's great to be back. I'll be posting some pics from book events I've been to in the past few months. Also I've got a book haul posts coming up too. But first let's start off with the book reviews.

Title: Maleficent
Author: Elizabeth Rudnick
Published: April 29th 2014 by Disney Press

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A deluxe novelization of the Walt Disney Studios film Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie. This visually dazzling live action film explores the origins of one of the most iconic Disney villains: Maleficent, the infamous fairy who curses Princess Aurora in Disney's animated classic Sleeping Beauty. This 'origin' story is told from Maleficent's perspective, intersecting with the classic in both familiar and unexpected ways. The movie stars Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, and is directed by two-time Oscar-winning production designer Robert Stromberg ( Avatar, Alice in Wonderland). The film co-stars Elle Fanning ( Super 8) as the Princess Aurora, and features Sharlto Copley ( District 9), Imelda Staunton ( Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), and Juno Temple ( Atonement)

My Thoughts:

This was a refreshing take to the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. I thought it was unique to see the story through the point of view of Maleficent. I haven't watched Sleeping Beauty in a very long time so this book was like a new story to me. I was surprise to find out that she was a fairy in the first place. I thought she was a witch. The book started out with a back story of who Maleficent was and how she came to be the cold hearted villain. She had connections with the king who betrayed her. Coincidentally, the king was princess Aurora's father. Then Maleficent put a cursed on baby Aurora. Thus, the story continues like the original but I notice there was a twist to it. Her relationship with Aurora was deeper and meaningful than the original Sleeping Beauty. I also notice there was a twist to the ending. Let's just say that by the end of this book I feel for Maleficent and I really enjoy the ending. Overall, Maleficent is a great book and I'm hoping to watch the film soon.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Novellas review: Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi and No Place Like Oz byDanielle Paige

Good day. Here are reviews of the two short novellas I read.

Title: Destroy Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Format: e-book
Release date: October 2nd 2012

Goodreads synopsis:

Perfect for the fans of Shatter Me who are desperately awaiting the release of Unravel Me, this novella-length digital original will bridge the gap between these two novels from the perspective of the villain we all love to hate, Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me, Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45

My Thoughts:

Do I feel sorry for Warner? Not really. Was he misunderstood? Maybe. It was an interesting look into Warner's POV. His childhood was tough and that may be what made him the way he is. He became obsessed with Juliette and he just can't give up on her. It felt like there's a combination of love and lust that Warner is feeling for Juliette. Warner may be egotistical and self righteous but he's fragile inside. I really enjoy the complexity of his character and can't wait to see how the story will develop. Destroy Me is definitely a good novella.

Title: No Place Like Oz
Author: Danielle Paige
Format: e-book
Release date: November 12th 2013

Goodreads synopsis:

In this digital original novella, Dorothy travels back to Oz to reunite with old friends, but her story may not have a happy ending. No Place Like Oz is a prequel to the forthcoming novel Dorothy Must Die.

After returning to Kansas, Dorothy Gale has realized that the dreary fields of Kansas don’t compare to the vibrant landscapes of Oz. And although she’s happy to be reunited with Aunt Em, she misses her friends from the yellow brick road. But most of all, Dorothy misses the fame and the adventure. In Kansas she’s just another prairie girl, but in Oz she was a hero. So Dorothy is willing to do anything to get back, because there really is no place like Oz. But returning to the land she left comes at a price, and after Dorothy is through with it, Oz will never be the same.

Perfect for fans of Alex Flinn, Marissa Meyer, and Gregory Maguire, No Place Like Oz is a dark reimagining of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Building off of its rich mythology, Danielle Paige creates an edgy, thrilling story for teens that chronicles the rise and fall of one of the literature’s most beloved characters. This digital original novella is a prequel that sets the stage for the forthcoming novel Dorothy Must Die

My Thoughts:

No Place Like Oz is dark and interesting. I always thought of Dorothy as an innocent little girl. Seeing this side of her makes me think of her differently. It's a great twist to the usual The Wizard of Oz. I was curious to see how Dorothy would be like when she returns to Oz. I also wanted to know what leads her to become so evil that she must die. This time she didn't return to Oz alone. Her aunt and uncle came with her accidentally. While she's trying to show her relatives the wonderful world of Oz, they just want to go home. Also there's a new ruler of Oz called Ozma. As the novella progress, Dorothy's personalities began to change which may cause conflicts between her and Ozma. I also notice that her three friends, Lion, Tinman, and Scarecrow's personalities has change a little bit. No Place Like Oz is a very nice lengthy prequel and I can't wait to read Dorothy Must Die.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Beginning of Everything by Robin Schneider Review

Title: The Beginning of Everything
Author: Robin Schneider
Published: August 27th 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

My Thoughts:

Now I know why the original Severed Heads, Broken Hearts title came from. The Beginning of Everything also fits well as an alternative title for this book. It's a good YA contemporary. I love the California setting because I grew up in SoCal. The book really reminds me of my high school years. Erza's character is really likeable. The accident changed his life and he's trying to figure who he really is. It's hard to transition to the popular jock to a nobody. He's feeling insecure and he feels that he doesn't belong. Then he met the people at the debate team and the new girl that may change his life. He also rekindle his friendship with his old best friend Toby. It's a good coming of age book. It's full of love, heart breaks, and loss. I really enjoy reading this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone who's interested in a good roller coaster ride contemporary book.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Rush by Eve Silver Review

Author: Eve Silver
Published: June 11th, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

My Thoughts:

Rush is sci-fi fast pace action packed book with the main character Miki, who trying to figure out what she is and why she got pulled into the game. She'd been through a lot and now she'll be fighting for her life with other teenagers. I really like Rush and the world Eve Silver created. There's a bit of high school life mix in with an alternate alien fighting game world. The tough part is that getting the highest score in the game doesn't necessarily mean you will survive the game. 

I also really like the Miki's two love interest in the story. I think the person she chose to be with really fits her. As for the Drau describe in the game, they were scary and the things they are doing to the humans are horrible. It's great to see Miki's character becoming stronger as the book progress. There were enough backstory on each of the characters that made the story solid. Eve Silver did a wonderful job with Rush and I really want to know what happens next.

2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge ^O^

Last year I started out a bit late on this so let's try it again this year.

This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2014 - Dec 31, 2014.

Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Short stories and novellas are OK, too! Only books released in 2013 and earlier! NO 2014 ARCs or any books release this year.

There are 6 levels:

1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - First Kiss
31-40 - Sweet Summer Fling
41-50 - Could this be love?
50+ - Married With Children

My Goal: This year I'm aiming for 10 books for a firm handshake :)

TBR List for the challenge: (The list is tentative and may change throughout the year)

1. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
2. A Million Suns by Beth Revis
3. Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
4. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
6. A Monster Call by Patrick Ness
7. The Diviners by Libba Bray
8. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
9. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
10. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Want more info on this challenge or want to join the challenge? click here

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson Review

Happy New Year Everyone !! \(^0^)/ Hope you all have a fabulous new year eve and day. 2013 has ended and it's 2014 now so let's start with a book review.

Title: Steelheart
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Published: September 24th 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics... nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

My thoughts:

I like this book. Reading about antiheroes are always interesting. We always read about superheroes doing good things but what if the people use those powers for evil and becomes villain? Who would the normal people turn to for help. I really like Brandon Sanderson's take of this idea. The story is really good and I really enjoy the high octane action scenes in this book. David's character is likeable and he may seem like Epic fanatic but he has a good reason for it. Megan, his love interest, is an interesting character too and the rest of his Reckoners team are memorable and interesting.

I also really like the world building within this story too. Newcargo seem like a dark dystopian world that is mostly made out of stone and the is ruled by Epics. People are oppressed by Epics but there's still hope that there may be good Epics out there. Steelheart was a great antagonist. He appears complex. I wish there would be more interactions with him and the Reckoners team. The book really builds up to the last part wit the grand battle that reveals many interesting secrets. Overall, Steelheart is a great start to the series and it had many twist that will leave us wondering what will happen next. It's an awesome book and I'd recommend people who like action/ sci-fi adventure with antihero twist in it.