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Friday, March 28, 2014

Review for the Fault in Our Stars by John Green

**Warning! Small Spoilers Ahead!!**

That moment when you look up from a book, and realize that the world is not experiencing the devastation that a book can cause. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green made me literally say that. I cried. I ugly cried. Then I thought, and now I am writing this review.

Synopsis: "Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love."

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is a sad book. It centers around 16 year old Hazel Grace Lancaster, and she has cancer. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was 13 years old, had it removed, and then they found the tumors in her lungs. She can't breathe on her own, so she is constantly hooked up to something. She goes with the motion, until she meets Augustus "Gus" Waters.

Gus had cancer. He made it to remission, but not without losing his leg. He learns about the cancer support group through Isaac, who has eye cancer and is going to be blind. He meets Hazel Grace, and falls for her immediately.

The Fault in Our Stars is filled with loss and love. First love, and the loss of that first love. I loved every character in the book. I felt mad when they were mad. The book made me happy at first.

The first half of the book is great. It's funny, if you ignore the undertones about death. I literally laughed out loud to this book, to half the book. Hazel Grace likes a specific book, but her one life question is how does it end. The book drops off mid-sentence, and by meeting Gus, she may get her wish. Gus uses his one wish (from the make-a-wish foundation) and gets Hazel, Hazel's mom, and himself to Amsterdam to meet the author.

Along the way, Hazel and Gus fall in love. They get close, closer than they ever were with anyone else. Then the bombshell is dropped. Gus has cancer again. All over his body. He will die.

From that point on, I cried. Every flip of the pages made the crying worse. It was sad, and I knew what was coming. I couldn't stop reading though, it was a beautifully written piece of art between the pages and attached to a spine.

What did I like about the book?
  • The characters were relatable.
  • It was beautifully written about an ugly subject.
  • It punched me in the feels.
  • It wasn't fake or magical, it was real.
What did I dislike about the book?
  • The ending.
That's pretty much it...I absolutely adored the book until the end. I loved that it changed my views of sad books. I never really read them anymore, but I may pick up more. and I will be picking up more of Mr. John Green's books.

I give The Fault in Our Stars 5 books.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Review for Divergent by Veronica Roth

Since Divergent came into theaters this week (and I have yet to see it) I decided to re-read the Divergent series in its honor. And, of course, so I can review it for all of you!

Synopsis-"In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her."

Divergent is a book about Beatrice Prior, who has to make a tough decision. When you turn 16 in futuristic Chicago, you must choose a faction to live in for the rest of your life. To help you make that choice, you go through an aptitude test and it slims down your choice until you belong to one faction. But what if it didn't help you make a choice?

Beatrice Prior gets inconclusive results. She is Divergent. Her brain thinks in more than one way. She's not just brave or selfless or smart. She's all three. Being Divergent can get her killed.

Her family lives in the Abnegation factor, which is selflessness. She knows she doesn't belong there. She's too curious and too selfish to belong. Her brother, however, isn't. The Abnegation's biggest enemy is the Erudite, who are the intelligent. They release reports about the members of the Abnegation factor that aren't true. Or are they?

On the choosing ceremony, Beatrice's brother goes before her. Instead of choosing Abnegation, he switches factions to Erudite. Beatrice knows she must stay for her family, but at the last second chooses Dauntless, the brave. Her parents are now alone.

 The book Divergent is a story about Beatrice, or Tris as she calls herself in Dauntless, trying to find where she belongs. She falls in love in Dauntless, and she finds herself. Until the war on Abnegation breaks out and she has to stop it.

This book is filled with love, loss, action, and adventure. It is the story of one girl who is on a journey to find herself. And I absolutely LOVE this book.

I have read this book twice now, and I can say I love it better the second time. I love the characters. Lets start there.

Tris- She is strong, and funny, and is everything she doesn't want to be. She doesn't believe she is selfless, but it shines through when she is brave. She is one of the strongest characters I have read, and that goes with Katniss.

Four- HE IS HOT. He is. He is also funny, and strong, and weak. He doesn't want to be weak, but he is. Especially when he is with Tris.

Christina- She was my least favorite in the book. She was supposed to be Tris's friend, but it just didn't seem like that.

Will- I loved Will. Even though he was an Erudite transfer, he still fit with Dauntless. He was funny.

Al- Even after what Al did (read the book to find out!), I still loved him. He was like the jolly giant, because he always made me smile in all of the scenes he was in. Even if suicide isn't brave, he was brave.

Peter, Molly, Drew, Eric- They were all the antagonists in the main parts of the book. Even though they were bad guys, they were well rounded characters. I loved how the characters shone through.

Beatrice's mom and dad- They were stronger than I thought. They were stronger than Beatrice thought. They were a surprise to read about, and they reminded me of my parents.

I loved the idea of this world. This idea was amazing. It's something that I would live in. If I was in a faction, I think I would be in either Erudite or Amity. I love learning and reading, but I believe happiness can help anyone. I guess I am Divergent. Just don't tell anyone.

Veronica Roth is a brilliant author. I would love to read more books by her. The next one I'll review will be Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Stay tuned!

I give Divergent by Veronica Roth 5 books.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Review for Panic by Laruen Oliver

I...Have...PANIC!!! Wow..ok. This book, I knew I had to have it the minute it came out. I needed it. The cover is catching, and stroke-able.

Synopsis-"Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most."


Panic is a game. Panic can only be played by seniors, and the winner gets the pot. The pot is created because everyone in the school has to donate 1 dollar every day that school is in session. When Heather plays, the pot is over $60,000.

Heather wasn't going to play. Her and Bishop, her closest friend, were going to cheer their friend Natalie on for the game. That is, until Heather gets dumped and makes the rash decision to jump off the ledge. The literal ledge.

Throughout the entire summer, there are games that the constants must complete. If you can't, your out. If you do it in the shortest time, your out. You can't panic. Panic is about getting over your fear.

Heather has a little sister who she needs to look after. Their mom is addicted to drugs, gambling, alcohol, and men. Heather has a lot to fight for in Panic, but so does Dodge.

Dodge is nobody. Dodge moves around so much, he doesn't knows where he is half the time. The only thing he does know is he lives on meth row, with his mom (who has a different boyfriend every day) and his sister. Dodges sister is paralyzed from the waist down, all because of Panic. Dodge wants to get revenge on the person who paralyzed his sister, and he joined because the sibling of the person is also in Panic.

Did I like the characters? Some of them. Bishop had secrets, and I liked him and Heather the most. I related to Heather, because she would do anything to help her sister, and I am the same with my brother. Dodge was a psycho! He just wouldn't stick with me, and I just wanted his story to end. Natalie was just as bad as Dodge. She used everyone to get what she wanted. I did not like either of them.

The story was well rounded. I enjoyed it, and found myself staying up all night just to devour this book. Once I started, I did not want to lose the story. It was real. It was something that could be going on. There was drama, there was deaths, there was Panic.

I feel like the ending could be different, could have been better. I like that it was a standalone, because I haven't read many of those. I loved this book, though a few things could be different.

The best part is the fact that the sleeve said its been chosen to become a movie!

Lauren Oliver is a great author. She wrote the Delirium series, which I absolutely adored! She also wrote Before I Fall, which was another standalone. I liked that one, but I loved this one even more.

I give Panic by Lauren Oliver 4 books

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Review for Zombies vs. Unicorns

Zombies vs. Unicorns...where do I start with thee?

Synopsis- It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn

This book is an anthology, which is a new type of book to me. An anthology is a book that contains multiple stories from multiple authors. Zombies vs. Unicorns is divided up into stories which have a subject about either a zombie or a unicorn, and the whole point of the book is to try and get the reader to take a specific side.

I tried to read this book in one sitting, and I couldn't. I realize that this book is meant to read and enjoy on different times. You pick it up, read a story, put it down. It's like a bed time story.

Each author in this book takes a specific side: unicorn or zombie.

Team zombie consist of - Justine Larbalestier as the editor, Libba Bray, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Scott Westerfeld, and Carrie Ryan. Each of these authors has a specific zombie story, and a different take on them.

Team unicorn consist of - Holly Black as the editor, Kathleen Duey, Meg Cabot, Garth Nix, Margo Lanagan, Naomi Novik, and Diana Peterfreund. These authors also have their own takes on the unicorn.

So now I need to take sides...right? Right.

While I only read about two stories for each side, I think I can safely take sides right now. After I describe all of the stories I read.

The first story is by Garth Nix, and it is called "The Highest Justice". This story is about a young woman who is carrying her zombie mother on the back of a horse, and there is a unicorn keeping them safe. The unicorn makes people face justice, and it has an ending that I wasn't expecting. It was a great start to the anthology.

The second story is by Alaya Dawn Johnson and it is called "Love Will Tear Us Apart". This story had a lot of flaws. It is about a zombie who is like a human being. The zombie is a virus that can be cured, but he was not completely cured. He eats humans after luring them into a forest and after he...has his way with them. He ends up falling in love with a human boy, and the boy's dad is hunting the zombie. It was too short to let the story unravel, it seemed like the ending was completely rushed.

The third story is by Naomi Novik and it is called "Purity Test". This story was boring, to say the most. It is about a unicorn who is looking for a virgin to help free baby unicorns that a wizard has taken to try and become immortal. Sounds like Voldemort eh? It did to me, and the girl in the story, also. The story at least made sense, but the end seemed unfinished. I liked it a bit better than the ones that had plot holes.

The last story that I haven't finished is called "Bougainvillea" by Carrie Ryan. I am not even half-way through it, because it is just...boring. People died. Zombies rose. People escaped to an Island. I can already see how the end will turn out, and I don't want to finish this story.

I love zombies, so I am probably biased, because I want to be team zombie. If it depends on how much I enjoy the stories, then I am 100% team unicorn. Although, the unicorn stories all seem to be the same. I don't know how I feel about this book. Or all of the stories as individuals.

So far, I give Zombies vs. Unicorns 3 books. I will add an update blog when I finish the book.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Review for Legend by Marie Lu

Legend is one of the books from my A-Z book challenge for the year.

Synopsis-"What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets."

I was a bit reluctant to read this book, since it is one of those books that receives a lot of hype. Legend by Marie Lu one of those books that I HATED when I had to put it down, for any reason. I didn't want to stop until I reached the end, and there were many points why.

1. It has a lot of twists and turns. You think you understand the story, then a new twist gets thrown in your face.
2. The characters are relatable. You have June, which is a girl who has everything. She's smart, rich, and the prodigy since she is the only one to get a perfect score on the trial. Then you have Day, who I related with from the first page. He is with Tess, and they are both homeless. Day is this esteemed criminal, who everyone is after.
3. The story is amazing. The world is amazing. Everything about this book was amazing. I loved the entire thing.

I loved Day. Daniel. Whatever you want to call him. He is on the top of my book crushes. This book has swoon worthy points, and everything made sense. You don't get too many books that just make sense, and I am excited to read Prodigy.

The story seemed new, even though it may have been done before. You have a dystopian society where, at the age of ten, everyone is expected to take the trial. It is a physical and mental test to determine your future. If you rate really high, you get your choice of college. If you rate good, you get a college chosen for you. If you rate ok, you get put into a type of labor work after high school. If you fail, however, you get thrown into a labor camp, or so it seems. But the truth is, if you fail you die. Day failed, but he is alive. 

The whole theme was great, even though it may seem a bit confusing until a way's into the book.  I read Legend by Marie Lu in one sitting, which was today. Once I started, the story just pulled me in. I would definitely read it again. Soon!

5 books                              

What is your favorite of My Favorite Stand-Alones?