Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book Review: Manifest by Artist Arthur

Title: Manifest
Author: Artist Arthur
Series: Mystyx #1
Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises, Limited
Release Date: August 1 2010
My Source: Won from contest
My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary:
When fifteen-year-old Krystal Bentley moves to Lincoln, Connecticut, her mom's hometown, she assumes her biggest drama will be adjusting to the burbs after living in New York City.

But Lincoln is nothing like Krystal imagined. The weirdness begins when Ricky Watson starts confiding in her. He's cute, funny, a good listener—and everything she'd ever want—except that he was killed nearly a year ago. Krystal's ghost-whispering talents soon lead other "freaks" to her door—Sasha, a rich girl who can literally disappear, and Jake, who moves objects with his mind. All three share a distinctive birthmark in the shape of an M and, fittingly, call themselves the Mystyx. They set out to learn what really happened to Ricky, only to realize that they aren't the only ones with mysterious powers. But if Krystal succeeds in finding out the truth about Ricky's death, will she lose him for good?

My Review:
I want to start out this review by saying this book was awesome because it featured a black female main character with paranormal powers. That's just something awesome we unfortunately rarely see in YA fiction. I really like the cover too!

Now, onto the book itself... Manifest was a mix of a coming of age tale about Krystal, the protaganist, learning about her new powers and growing up a bit herself, while at the same time solving a mystery relating to her new paranormal power of being able to see and talk to ghosts. I really enjoyed the mystery aspect and the end of the book had me totally surprised!

Krystal was a character I really could not stand at the beginning of the book, but grew to love and even care about by the end. For about the first half of the book, she was just a whiny brat. She was so resistant to learning more about her supernatural powers or even trying to fix her relationship with her parents, and it made me want to slap her sometimes! I felt like her resistance was really slowing down the plot for the first half of the book and there were parts it got dull. But then, about halfway through, we started to see Krystal change. She was still headstrong and stubborn, but started to use her it in a good way. She had to help Ricky solve the mystery of his murder and help her two new friends- Sasha and Jake- discover why they were started to get weird powers. I started liking the book a lot more once Krystal decided she was going to stop being so resistant of events that are going to happen anyway. The reason she was so obstinate was the issue of her parent's recent divorce and the fact that she was never given a really good reason for it. As Krystal found out more about what happened between her parents, I started to truly feel bad for her, almost to the point of tears when she learned some things that shocked her and me as a reader.

Throughout the book, there was one character I really loved- Ricky, the ghost Krystal is helping. He was funny, adorable, and the fact that only Krystal could see him gave them a connection I felt instantly. He was the reason Krystal transformed from an annoying spoiled girl to a great well developed character. I loved all of his scenes and I really hope he's back for the second book in the series- it wouldn't be the same without him.

Maybe it was because I was reading an ARC copy, but the one thing that really bugged me throughout the whole book this: we'd get into a scene, build up a lot of suspense, and then it would switch to a scene later, never returning to the previous scene. I wouldn't mind this except for the fact that we never found at what happened in the scene before. It felt a bit choppy between scenes and I wondered what I missed. It occured a few times, but it wasn't that bad and shouldn't keep you from reading this book.

Overall, I recommend Manifest to YA paranormal fans. It's a 4/5 rating for me because I really got into the second half of the book and loved the mystery and suspense, if you can make it through the beginning where I thought the protaganist's attitude might kill the plot. It's a great start of a series and worth adding to your to-read list. :)

Buy From Amazon

Author Website

Thursday, November 25, 2010

All I Want For Christmas/Happy Thanksgiving

This is a new meme started by Danya at A Tapestry of Words. Participants choose a book each week leading up to Christmas and say why it's made it onto their wishlist. Fun idea, and I've been meaning to join for awhile now.

Here is my pick for this week:

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

I feel like I might be the last person in the world to read this book... and it looks so good! I'm not afraid of big books, but I guess it's size has made me shy away from getting it at the library. But I think if I owned it, I'd be way more happy to read it. I think it would make the perfect Christmas break read. Anyone agree with me? I hope to get Beautiful Creatures for Christmas this year!

And while I'm writing a post, I can't forget to say Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow bloggers! I hope everyone has plenty that they're thankful for this year and a big meal on the table this evening.

I thank God for the many priveleges he's blessed me with. So many I can't even begin to list them right now.

Thank you, followers, for reading this blog and making it worth spending my time on!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A New Look

Right now my blog is in the process of getting a mini-makeover! I've been designing it for a while and I really like it so far. Designing pretty-looking stuff isn't exactly my specialty, but I like the end result.

I'm not done yet, I've just changed the header and background but I'm working on navigation buttons and other stuff, so if you notice things that don't appear quite normal, that's why. I know currently as I write this I don't have any navigation buttons at all! But the construction should all be over by the end of the day.

I hope you guys like the new layout! I decided it was just time for some change around here.

EDIT: I'm finished with the re-design (I think). If anybody notices any glitches with my blog, please let me know! This whole make-over took me about 6 hours- yeah, I can hardly believe it took that long! It didn't feel that long, I had fun doing it. :)

Waiting On Wednesday: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating! It is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine.

My Pick is Divergent by Veronica Roth. Release Date: May 3 2011

One choice

One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs, and determines your loyalties . . . forever.
Or, one choice can transform you.

In Veronica Roth's
debut novel, Divergent, a perfect society unfolds into a dystopian world of electrifying decisions, stunning consequences, heartbreaking betrayals, and unexpected romance.

Out of all the 2011 debuts, this is one of the ones I'm most eagerly anticipating. Dystopian? Check. Romance? Check. Awesome-sounding in general? YES! It looks so good! There isn't a whole lot of detail in the summary, so I don't know much about the plot, but it still looks awesome.

What's your pick for this week?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Book Review: Elixir by Hilary Duff with Elise Allen

Title: Elixir
Author: Hilary Duff with Elise Allen
Series: Elixir #1
Publisher: Simon and Shuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: October 12 2010
My Source: Read at Pulse It
My Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads Summary:

As the daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington D.C. politician, Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. And though she dreads the paparazzi who track her every move, she herself is a talented photojournalist who takes refuge in a career that allows her to travel to the most exotic parts of the world.

But after Clea’s father disappears while on a humanitarian mission, eerie, shadowy images of a strange and beautiful young man begin to appear in Clea’s photos—a man she has never seen in her life.

When Clea suddenly encounters this man in person she is stunned—and feels an immediate and powerful connection. As they grow closer, they are drawn deep into the mystery behind her father’s disappearance and discover the centuries-old truth behind their intense bond.

Torn by a dangerous love triangle and haunted by a powerful secret that holds their fate, together they race against time to unravel their past in order to save their future—and their lives.

My Review:
Yes, this book was written by a celebrity (Yes, THE Hilary Duff, the singer/actress). I know that might turn some people away from reading it, and it might make others more curious. I would have to say I'm part of the latter group- I couldn't help but be curious what one of my favorite childhood actresses had written! I was impressed. But I'm also crediting Elise Allen, who is listed as co-writer. She has her YA debut novel Populazzi coming out next year, which I hope to read considering I enjoyed reading this novel.

Thoughts of the author aside, Elixir was a romance/fantasy YA book that I enjoyed reading. The book revolved heavily around the plot. Clea- the protagonist- was constantly trying to find out answers to questions surrounding her dad's disappearance and a strange man that appears in all her photographs. It doesn't take long for the book to get going when she meets the man- his name is Sage- and falls in love with him. Her two best friends- Ben and Rayna- are two great supporting characters. Ben, of course, is Clea's other love interest, besides Sage. Yes, we have a love triangle here.

Something that might make sense to those who have read the book (no spoilers though!): I found myself liking Ben a lot more than Sage. Clea could've simply had a normal life with Ben if Sage wouldn't have been there. Plus, I felt virtually no connection between Sage and Clea. I still didn't trust him by the end of the book. Some of his actions, paticularly a scene that transpired between Sage and Clea shortly after they met- it was way too soon and I did not like it! It made me so mad at Sage! I don't want to give anything away to those of you who haven't read it, so I won't say anything else.

Getting back the story- the plot, though terribly unoriginal (I know I've read books with almost the same idea as the key plot), was well developed and I found myself not disliking it. I've read another series that I was reminded of constantly (once again, I won't mention because of spoilers). You'll know what I mean if you've read the book. I think the plot was much more developed here than in that other case- there was a lot of be revealed and we figured out just enough by the end of the book, though it still left me curious for a sequel.

The writing was good, pacing good, and overall I enjoyed it. Sure, there were a few flaws and people are complaining about the plot and the things left unexplained, but I thought it was a nice job. The characters were less believable for me, especially Sage. I gave this book 3.5/5 stars. It's the first in a series and I will probably check out the second one when it's published.

Buy From Amazon

Author Info:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge!

I find it hard to believe I'm nearing the end of the 2010 Debut Author Challenge and about to start reading books from 2011! I had a great time reading debut authors this year, and I'm looking forward to reading some new ones.

The Debut Author Challenge is hosted by The Story Siren. If you're interested in the details of the challenge, head over to her blog to check it out.

Here's my list for this year, though it's almost guarenteed to change to some degree. A lot of these authors I'm very excited about and can't wait to start reading.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Haven by Kristi Cook

Entwined by Heather Dixon

Queen of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Warped by Maurissa Guibord

Rival by Sarah Bennett Wealer

Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

XVI by Julie Karr

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Populazzi by Elise Allen

Wow, that makes me very excited for 2011! I can't wait. :)

Anybody else have some of the same books as me?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (A Movie Review)

Today I went and saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! Yay! I was excited, but not one of those people that would go at midnight. (Not that I don't think it'd be fun, but just because I'm too busy!) This post will be a little different than normal because I want to post my thoughts on the movie.

If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend you do! Like many others, I love the books, and the books are always better than the movies, though the movies are great too. This installment was was one of my favorites in the series, though it was not without some flaws. (Side note: Deathly Hallows is probably my favorite book in the series, so that might have something to do with why I liked it so much.)

Being only Part One, I missed seeing a lot of characters/locations from the previous books. This was the first movie where none of it takes place at Hogwarts! And a lot of supporting characters who I love didn't get nearly as much- if any- screen time. I believe Draco Malfoy had a total of one scene, and most of the Hogwarts students- such as Neville Longbottom- weren't even in the film. I guess I'll have to wait for Part Two to see them.

Unlike some, I really appreciated the decision to divide the movie into two parts. This movie felt a lot less rushed than other movies based on books. They weren't trying to cram 700+ pages into two hours. That decision was reflected well in the movie- we got to see more character developmen. The relationships between Harry, Ron, and Hermione were the central focus in this film. I think we saw those three characters- and only them- on screen 90% of the time. It's an important part and it wasn't rushed.

On the negative side, even though most of the movie was well explained, there were a few plot points that could've been better explained considering the movie only covered Part One. The explanation of the Deathly Hallows was done well, but other things felt like the audience might have had read the book to understand why something happened. For example, the lady at Godric's Hollow- maybe I missed it, but her snake transformation was never really explained. Also, like in the book, the main characters Apparate around, and I don't know if that was explainined thouroughly. Parts of the movie may have not made sense to those who haven't read the books.

Nothing major was left out of the book that I remember- a couple small things added, but I don't think it harmed the movie. Similar to the other films in the series.

There wasn't an enormous amount of action, though I'm sure the Part Two will be the complete opposite. In spite of that, this film is very dark. It fits the tone of the book very well- Harry and his friends are dealing with dark evils much larger than them, so it's not going to be lighthearted. I liked it, though the target audience is definitely an older group than the first couple of movies, just as our main characters are older. (Look at this picture- they were so young at the beginning!)

As I expected, it was terribly sad! I will admit I came quite close to tearing up (and I'm one of those people that doesn't cry easily). Emotional but really, really good!

Nothing else to say, except I highly recommend it. If I were to use my rating system, it would definitely be a 5/5. I hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I did. :) It ended with such a cliffhanger, I'm dying here waiting for the next one...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book Review: The Line by Teri Hall

Title: The Line
Author: Teri Hall
Series: The Line #1
Publisher: Dial
Release Date: March 4 2010
My Source: Library
My Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary:
Rachel lives with her mother on The Property. The good thing about living there is that it's far from the city, where the oppressive government is most active. The bad thing, at least to most people, is that it's close to the Line - an uncrossable section of the National Border Defense System, an invisible barrier that encloses the entire country.

She can see the Line from the greenhouse windows, but she is forbidden to go near it. Across the Line is Away, and though Rachel has heard many whispers about the dangers there, she's never really believed the stories. Until the day she hears a recording that could only have come from across the Line.

It's a voice asking for help.

Who sent the message? What is her mother hiding? And to what lengths will Rachel go in order to do what she thinks is right?

Written in mesmerizing prose, this futuristic debut examines one girl's struggle to risk crossing - not just the barrier, but the lines her mother has drawn to keep her safe from the secrets that Rachel is only just beginning to discover.

My Review:
This book is extremely hard for me to rate because a lot of parts were really good and others I strongly disliked. There were so many easy things that could've been fixed to make it great. I think my biggest issue was the pacing. This book is only about 200 pages long. The first 100 were spent setting up the background. Halfway through the book did ANY action start. It was really slow for me at first. Like, really, really, really slow. Hard to get through. Then, about halfway through it started to pick up. Then it kept going, as more started happening, it kept going and going. I started really getting into the story and the mystery, which was awesome. It built up to a climax at the very end and then suddenly- cliffhanger.

Ah! It made me want to throw the book across the room. I felt like the book had just started and suddenly it ended. I don't mind cliffhangers, but after so much preparation in the first 200 pages I was expecting more. Put simply, I hated the ending. Because it's setting up for a sequel, I understand, but this book was short enough on it's own that I think this book and it's sequel should be combined into one (of course, I haven't read the sequel yet, but that's how I feel from just reading the first book). Because of the length and the end, it makes me wonder if the author wrote it as one novel and then the publisher decided to split it into two to make more money or something. But that's just my opinion.

In terms of characters, Rachel was too naive and not as intelligent as I would've liked. She was always surprised when it turned out her mom or her employer Ms. Moore had some secret about The Line or collaborators that worked against the government. I was a little frustrated by the fact that she never saw some of it coming. I predicted a lot of what would happen in this book, and for awhile I was right on. Then, getting towards the end, I was pleasantly surprised when the plot started moving and secrets were revealed that I'd never guessed. It would've gotten a much lower rating if it wouldn't have redeemed itself at the end.

Since I had mixed feelings about this book, I'm giving it a 3/5. It's pretty short, so I would recommend it, but beware that it only starts getting interesting about halfway through. The way it ended leaving me dying to read the sequel... I feel like it's hard to judge this book on it's own without the next one. I'll be sure to get my hands on that as soon as I can.
Buy From Amazon

Author Info: Website

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In My Mailbox (12)

In My Mailbox is a super cool meme hosted by The Story Siren, to give book bloggers opportunities to share books they've recieved.

I usually post an IMM on Sunday- but hey, I'm breaking tradition! It's not a normal week for me anyway- I usually get most of my books from the library, but this week has been a bit different- I only recieved two books and they're both e-books (typically not what I prefer reading, but this week has been one of those weeks I've felt like reading e-books...long story).

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa: The sequel to The Iron Daughter, which I just finished and it was amazing. I am very excited to read this one. Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen!

Elixir by Hilary Duff with Elise Allen: This one interested me, and I'm about a third of the way through it. Good so far! Thanks to Pulse It, a division of Simon and Schuster.

That's all I recieved this week.

Week In Review

Reviews I posted:
Currently Reading:
  • Elixir by Hilary Duff
Upcoming Reviews:
  • The Line by Teri Hall
And on a side note, my NaNoWriMo progress: I am at 14190 words. I know, I am very behind! I got really sick earlier the week and I'm just recovering (also the reason I hinted at earlier why I haven't gone to the library). So that put me behind my quite a few days. But I'm not giving up- I'll still finish, I'm just going to spend all day today playing catch up!

Happy Reading!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Daughter
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Iron Fey #2
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: August 1 2010
My Source: Library
My Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads Summary:
Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

My Review:
I have heard so many people who love this series, but I just wasn't impressed with The Iron King. I'm glad I stuck around with the series and continued onto The Iron Daughter. It got so much better! While I liked The Iron King, I found it a little too predictable and standard (you can read my review here). I was still very eager to see what Kagawa was going to do with the sequel, and I must say the sequel impressed me a lot more than the first book!

The action and adventure was non-stop. There was never a dull moment, the pacing was perfect. I loved the urgency and tension that made me need to keep reading! The romance was awesome too- a great love triangle. Puck and Ash were two great guys, but if you're wondering, I'm most certainly Team Ash. :)

I liked this book much more than the first one because I liked the characters so much more. I thought Meghan was pretty dull the first go around, but in this book she turned out strong and courageous. It didn't feel like she was out of character, I could tell she was just growing because of all the events happening to her. Very well done. I also want to mention something great I noticed was Kagawa's incredible dialouge skills. Every character had such a unique voice and phrasings I could tell who was speaking without even being told. Each character talked differently, which gave the book much more spice. The supporting characters were awesome too- Grimalkin, Leanansidhe, (plus the aforementioned Puck and Ash)- they all rock.

Great book. I give it a solid 4.5 stars, a great read that I highly recommend to anyone who loves a book with a perfect balance of romance, action, and fantasy!

Also, there are two more books in this series: The Iron Queen (release date is February 1 2011), and The Iron Knight (release date is scheduled for 2011 also). The Iron Knight was just recently announced and is going to be Ash's story. Not much information on it yet, but I am very excited to read it!

Author Info: Website/Blog/Twitter

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Book Review: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Title: Halo
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Series: Halo #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: August 31 2010
My Source: Bought
My Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary:
Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings.

But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.

My Review:
It took me forever to get around to writing this review because I honestly don't know what to say about this book. I've read a few reviews of it before, and I hate to say it, but Halo wasn't quite as good as I expected.

This book is about Bethany- a young angel who comes to Earth and ends up falling in love with the school captain Xavier. This book was largely romance (which isn't a bad thing) but here lies my main problem with this book. Xavier was just too perfect- through everything that happened, all the awful things he may have endured with Beth, there was never any strain in their relationship. He was simply always the perfect guy. I assumed Beth and Xavier would be sort of star-crossed lovers, where nobody allowed them to be together. But no- actually, it took about one chapter for everybody to approve of their relationship. It worked out too well, too fast.

Except, there was a point, towards the end, where it seemed like Alexandra Adornetto realized the relationship was going too smoothly and she had to throw a curveball at them. (I'm not going into detail because of spoilers). Xavier and Bethany's little "fight" seemed so out of character. I found it highly unlikely for Xavier to believe Beth would leave him that easily. If you've read the book you'd know what I mean. That one scene really bugged me.

Speaking of characters that were unrealistic, I have to say Bethany's "friends" at her school were completely unlike real teenagers. Sorry, but normal teenagers aren't super rich and have huge parties every weekend where they drink all they want and their parents don't care. I'm pretty sure every teenager portrayed in these books (besides Bethany and Xavier) were like that.

I don't mind long books, but I think if you're going to write a long book, you have to keep the suspense high to keep the readers guessing the whole time, to make them want to keep reading. Halo didn't do this for me, and I actually found it a little hard to get all the way through. Now, having said all those things about this book, it wasn't an awful book! I apologize I might have ranted a little bit earlier, but I think it's important to understand why exactly I had problems with this book. I also realize that Alexandra Adornetto, the author, is only 18 years old (and was 16 I believe when she wrote this!). I was amazed by this, and it was one of the reasons I wanted to read this book. I can't imagine being a published author at my age, good for her! I am very impressed. Especially considering that, it's a good book.

I gave this book a 3/5, I liked it and will probably read the sequel when it comes out. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys the genre- it reminded me of other YA angel books, and if you enjoy those books you'll definitely enjoy this one. Though there were a few things that got on my nerves a bit, I am still impressed with this one, especially considering it's written by an 18 year old (oh, and did I mention the fantastic cover!).

Author Info: Facebook/Twitter

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the awesome Kristi, also known as The Story Siren, to give book bloggers opportunities to share books they've recieved.

I haven't done a IMM post for two weeks, but the actual amount of books I've gotten isn't a lot. But here they are anyway. These are all from the local public library!

The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum

This is the first of a series I've heard good things about, so I'm excited to check it out!

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

The description just sounds fantastic! Confusing and complex, yes, but still a great fantasy story I hope. Not to mention, it has a cool cover.

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

I've had a hold on this at the library for awhile and I was so excited when it finally came in! I hope this book is as good as I expect.

The Line by Teri Hall

This is my second time checking this out from the library. I got never got around to reading it the first time (I tend to do that a lot, don't I?). But it looks like a good story and it's futuristic.

As I already said, all of these books are from the library.

Week In Review

Reviews I Posted:

Currently Reading:

  • The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
  • The Line by Teri Hall

Reviews Coming Soon:

  • Halo by Alexandra Adornetto (I promise I will try to find time to review this very soon!)

NaNoWriMo progress update: Currently, I am at 10, 265 words. (That's 1/5 of the way done!) I haven't written anything today though, so I'll have more by the end of the day. I'm pretty happy with myself so far. I don't know if I've ever written this much in one book before giving up on it. I know that's a bit sad since in all reality it's not really that much. :)

Happy Reading and good luck to others participating in National Novel Writing Month!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hop...Hop...Hop... (9)

Book Blogger Hop

This is my 9th time participating in the Blog Hop... I actually went back and counted. :)

Hi! Welcome to Book Infinity! My name is Ava, and if you're a new follower, leave a comment and tell me! I always try to return the favor to the best of my ability.

The question for the week:

"What are your feelings on losing followers? Have you ever stopped following a blog?"

My answer:

Very interesting question, and I'm not really sure what my opinion is. I've never been concious of actually losing followers, but I assume people have stopped following my blog for one reason or another. If it's because they don't like it, that's not my fault. I'm just being myself- people either like it or they don't!

As for the second question, I've never un-followed a blog through Google Friend Connect (I don't even know if that's possible!). But I guess it's true to say I'll went to someone's blog a few times, commented a few times, and never returned. Not intentionally though, it was never because I didn't like the content, it's just that there's so many blogs out there and I follow so many sometimes it's hard to keep up with commenting on all of them!

I'm interested to hear what other people have to say about this. What's your opinion? Feel free to leave a comment!

Other news, my NaNoWriMo progress: I an currently at 6286 words in my NaNoWriMo novel! I started a day late (I didn't write anything on the 1st), but my personal goal is 2000 words a day. So far I am ahead of myself, which is a positive thing! I will admit content wise my novel is a little bit on the awful side, but I believe the goal is just to get writing, no matter how awful it is, because I know without it I wouldn't be writing anything at all. An awful book is better than procrastinating and never getting around to it at all!


Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched #1
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: November 30 2010
My Source: Borrowed

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary:
In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.

My Review:

Matched! When I got this book I literally screamed for joy- that was how much excitement I built up about this book. The premise sounded absolutely amazing, and I'd read plenty of positive reviews already. There was so much hype about this book. I'm glad to say it didn't disappoint.

Matched is a dystopian love story with a great premise. Cassia is Matched with her best friend Xander, but then she finds she starts to fall in love with Ky, who is an abberation, aka, he's not in the matching pool, he's not allowed to be Matched because of something in his past. The whole book is simply Cassie discovering that she wants to rebel against the Officials by falling in love with Ky.

There weren't a lot of negatives, but the few that were brought this book down. Matched has no sense of urgency. I felt like it was just a mental and emotional journey for Cassia without a lot of action or events. In some books this works just fine, but I thought this one could've benefited from some urgency in Cassia's actions.

The love triangle was so good- I didn't know who I wanted Cassia to end up with! I really liked Ky simply because he was different than the Society's expectations for Cassia. He had a past and secrets, and knew things Cassia didn't know. But at the same time, I didn't like him because he seemed a little plain. He was quiet, but not in a mysterious way, and it just felt a little awkward. That's the best word I can use, because I'm not exactly sure how to describe how his mannerisms felt. Xander on the other hand was a character I loved! I connected with him instantly and felt like I knew him- he was the boy next door. But I didn't want Cassia to end up with him, it didn't feel right for her, I could tell she didn't really love him. So that's why I'm still stuck between the two boys. It's frustrating when I come to the end of a book and still can't decide between the two, but I also know that makes it a good book because I was involved enough that I care.

Cassia was a great character who I could identify with. She cared for her family, but was also torn between two great guys, and torn between following the Society or her own choices. She was strong and made good decisions, but she certainly not perfect. She was independent, and though she was choosing between two guys she didn't rely on them to make decisions for her.

I'm so glad there's going to be a sequel! (Two actually-it's going to be a trilogy) There's definitely a lot of potential for a great continuation of the story. I can't wait until it comes out. I would recommend this to fans of clean romance, or YA dystopian stories.

Note: This was an ARC I borrowed from a fellow blogger friend. This book is not out yet- it releases on Nov. 30th.

Pre-Order From Amazon

Author Info: Website/Twitter

10 Days of Halloween and Spooktacular Blog Hop Winners!

I know these contests all ended last week, and I apologize for not selecting winners earlier! But now they've all been selected and emails have been sent.

The 2 winners of the Kick-Off giveaway are:

April X (entry #78)
Reading Lassie (entry #156)

The winner of Infinite Days is:

Rani (entry #385)

The winner of Rot & Ruin is:

Kathryn (entry #107)

The winner of Halo (Spooktacular Blog Hop) is:

Carol G. (entry #133)

Congrats to all the winners! I appreciate everyone who entered. I was blown away by the number of entries I had for some of the giveaways and gained over 100 new followers. Thank you so much!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNoWriMo Begins!

Today, November 1st, National Novel Writing Month officially begins. Throughout this month- I have committed to finishing my first novel! I posted about it awhile ago, but I'm just reminding everyone. This will be my first time! *squeals of nervous excitement* :D

If there's a slight absence of me in the next month, that would be why. I am committed to working hard on my novel! I haven't actually started yet, but I intend to after I finish writing the post.

I would love if any of my followers wanted to be my writing buddy! The website currently isn't working for me, otherwise I'd leave the link to my profile. If it works for you, then leave the link to your profile in the comments and I'll definitely add you once the website starts working! (Just the name doesn't work, you have to actually leave the link). Thanks!

Good luck to everyone else participating! It's gonna be an awesome month (I hope :)).

Also: This week is YA Love Triange Week at Down the Rabbit Hole. I'm participating in a guest post- I'll be defending Simon from Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series on Saturday! Throughout the week there'll be a lot of other bloggers defending their favorite characters, so go over there and check it out to read some awesome posts. Today the post is Team David vs. Team Zane from the Uglies trilogy, a series I love. My post goes up Saturday- I can't wait.