Friday, December 3, 2010

Long Time, No See!!!

   Ahh! It's been forever! I was actually thinking of giving up on the blogging world. It's much more responsibility than I thought it would be! But I came back when I realized that I craved being updated on the recent books. So here I am! Back again.
   I probably won't post as frequently as I used to since school is getting in the way. My reading schedule has been so wacky for the past several months. It seems like there's always something more important than reading.
   I'll post reviews soon, I believe. I hope I can keep it up this time.
   Thanks for supporting me since the beginning!

Love,
Sophia

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

    Synopsis: "My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead."

    Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
    It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans -- except Katniss.
    The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what the personal cost.

    Oh. My. Goodness.
    There were so many expectations and so much weight on this final and closing book, I have absolutely no idea how Suzanne Collins dealt with it. I would've had some kind of meltdown. And yet, Suzanne Collins stood up strong and finished this thrilling series saying bravely that this book was no harder to write than the other two.
    But, this book was so much harder to read than the previous two. It's so brutal and bloody. Collins definitely does not spare us any detail of how gruesome war is. And then the killing! Oh my goodness, the killing. It was terrible reading about how so many characters die. I mean, how could Collins just kill off... well, I don't want to spoil anything.
    By the way, I think I turned into Team Peeta during the time between finishing Catching Fire to the release of Mockingjay. I know, unbelievable. I was strongly Team Gale throughout the first two books, but then I realized that even though Gale may be passionate and has the power to protect Katniss, it should be up to Katniss for who she wants to end up with. I mean, if Katniss loves the little baker boy... maybe she should get with him. Anyway, I'm not saying anything about who she ends up with. I think that both Team Gale and Team Peeta fans will be disappointed and feel something lacking with the ending/epilogue.
    Collins continues to write in that hypnotic style that makes you want to to glue the book to your hands. I'll admit it, I just had to put the book down at times. It was just the emotional heaviness of everything that got to everyone. The love triangle is really not the focus in this book, not that it was in the other two. But in Mockingjay for sure, the romance takes the backseat.
    The plot is non-stop action with surprises at every turn, along with heartbreak and thrills. Though I am still deeply overwhelmed at the deaths and intensity of this book, I have to say that this series is the best I've ever read.
    4 keys.

Love,
Sophia



Friday, September 3, 2010

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

*ARC Review*

Synopsis: After a close encounter with the front end of a school bus, Alona Dare goes from being homecoming queen to Queen of the Dead. Now she's stuck as a spirit (DON'T call her a ghost) in the land of the living, with no sign of the big, bright light to take her away. To make matters worse, the only person who might be able to help her is Will Killian, a total loser outcast who despises the social elite. He alone can see and hear her (turns out he's been "blessed" with the ability to communicate with the dead), but he wants nothing to do with the former mean girl of Groundsboro High.
    Alona has never needed anyone for anything, and now she's supposed to expose her deepest, darkest secrets to this pseudo-goth boy? Right. She's not telling anyone what really happened the day she died, not even to save her eternal soul. And Will's not filling out any volunteer forms to help her cross to the other side. He has only a few more weeks until his graduation, when he can strike out his own and find a place with less spiritual interference. But he has to survive and stay out of the psych ward until then.
    Can they get over their mutual distrust--and weird attraction between them--to work together before Alona vanishes for good and Will is locked up for seeing things that don't exist?

    I love ARC tour sites and my favorite is definitely We Love Ya! It was finally my turn to receive this book and I was so excited. This was actually my very first time participating in a book your site, and I have to say, I love it! I love the idea and everything.
    Anyway, in my previous post, I said I would be posting a review soon, and when I meant soon, I meant like the next day. Hehe... I got delayed.
    This book was really cute yet was lacking. I'm really not sure what it was lacking of, but it's something vital in a good YA book. I thought that the writing style was rather childish, almost a little too carefree or breezy. I wanted the book to be fun and light but not to the point where it's almost obnoxious. By the way, I'm not saying Stacey Kade writes obnoxiously. No, not at all! It just wasn't the best.
    I know everyone has said this, but I imagined Alona and Will to be like those two people on the cover. I love the cover, by the way. I think it fits the story perfectly.
    The ending was really surprising and kind of confusing, but I heard that Kade was making this into a series, so maybe everything will be explained later?
    Overall, I thought this book was only okay. I give it 3 keys.

Love,
Sophia


Sunday, August 29, 2010

One Lovely Blog Award!

    Sorry I've been away for so long! I'll post a review soon, I promise!

    Guess what?! I received a blog award from Maddie M.'s blog, Confessions of a Teen Bookaholic! It's my first every blog award and I am totally thrilled! So big shout out and tons of love for Maddie!
    Anyway, this is how the award works:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to fifteen other blogs you have newly discovered.


3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.


    So, now I have to pass this award onto 15 blogs I've newly discovered? Well, I better go blog-searching................
    Okay, I'm back from blog-searching and here are my 15 blogs in random order:


1. Chapter Chicks
2. I Was A Teenage Book Geek
3. Oh My Books!
4. YA Bookie Monster
5. YA Librarian Tales
6. Library Lounge Lizard
7. Reading Vacation
8. Book Infinity
9. The Bookscape Report
10. One Book At a Time
11. The Paperback Princess
12. The Book Speaker
13. Down The Rabbit Hole
14. Reading Nook
15. That Bookish Girl

Whoo, that's a great list! Have fun with the awards!


Love,
Sophia

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L. J. Smith

Synopsis: Elena is a high school golden girl who's used to getting what she wants. When she meets handsome, haunted Stefan, he struggles to resist her for fear that his dark secret is too much for her to handle. He's torn by guilt over his past, and mindful of the threat that his vengeful brother, Damon, poses to anyone Stefan gets close to. Soon Elena finds herself torn between two brothers, and in terrible danger.


    Even though I am horrible at finishing series, I couldn't resist reading this. I've never watched the TV show, but I heard it was good. But I know, secondhand and from experience, that the books are always better than the TV show or movie. Always.
    This book went by super fast. After reading Twilight, the Vampire Diaries was so different, yet similar. I have to admit, I like Twilight better, but L. J. Smith's vampires and Stephenie Meyer's are so different. It was a bit hard for me to get into Smith's vampires since I kept assuming things about them, like, "How can he bite her? Shouldn't he be going into a blood craze?" or, "Why isn't he sparkling?" or, "What the heck are Powers?"
    But in the end, I finished the book. It was good. Not really good. I don't think I'm a real fan, but it was worth the read.
    The plot was fast and exciting, like a scary, dark, intense roller coaster. The characters were not the best. They seemed... unreal (ignoring the fact that some characters are vamps), especially after reading Amy & Roger's Epic Detour. I also thought it was a little predictable. Now, I know it seems like all I'm doing is trashing the book, but believe me, I'm not trying to.
    I was pleasantly surprised at the thrilling sensation it sent through me while reading this book. It was like I was excited and anxious, terribly eager to find out what would happen next. L. J. Smith creates this book in a unique way, made perfect for it to be appear on the television screen.
    3.5 keys.
   
Love,
Sophia




Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Synopsis: When you're on a road trip, life is all about the detours....
    Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mother has decided to move across the country and needs Amy to get their car from California to Connecticut. There's just one small problem: Since her dad died this past spring, Amy hasn't been able to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger, the nineteen-year-old son of and old family friend, who turns out to be unexpectedly cute... and dealing with some baggage of his own.
    Meeting new people and coming to terms with her father's death were not what Amy had planned on this trip. And traveling the Loneliest Road in America, seeing the Colorado mountains, crossing the Kansas plains, and visiting diners, dingy motels, and Graceland were definitely not on the itinerary. But as they drive, Amy finds that the people you least expected are the ones you may need the most--and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.
    I won this book from the wonderful blog of in which a girl reads! It came with a digital keychain which I will be filling up with cool pics. But I'm not here to talk about me. I'm here to talk about this book, which I thought was fantastic!
    First off, I love the cover. I think it's awesome and cute and... awesome. The colors, the font, the holding hands thing, I love it all!
    I loved the book more. Amy was a great narrator and she lets you into her mind and only her mind. The flashbacks were great and made everything seem so real. Morgan Matson does an incredible job with the characters. Amy and Roger were just so realistic!
    The little scrapbook and "Where I've Been" pages that are scattered throughout the book made it so cute and enjoyable! This book was a really cute and light read with deep and moving messages. Like the tragedy with Amy and her father. Charlie's, Amy's brother, story isn't that great of a background either.
    Morgan Matson's debut novel is mind blowing and one of my favorite reads of 2010 so far. Can't wait for her next book!
    4.5 keys!
Love,
Sophia

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

   Synopsis: Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don't like your best friend's boyfriend.    
    Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He's easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he's paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend.

    Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she's thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It's wonderful...and awful.
    Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can't stop herself from wanting more...


    I received this book for review, because I asked for it. I was so lucky that the nice people of Simon and Schuster sent it to me!
    This is my first Scott book and I read tons of reviews for it among my fellow bloggers. Most of them were... not good. So I was kind of scared to read it.
    But I'm so glad that I did! Elizabeth Scott has a real and pure way of writing and her description of wanting and yearning (for Ryan) is so realistic. I feel like I'm wanting Ryan, also. Scott's voice is raw and true, exactly the way a teenager would speak or think. I think that Scott's and Colasanti's writing styles are a little similar.
    True, Brianna was one of the worst best friends ever, and I have no idea why Sarah put up with her so long. I mean, some things that Brianna tells Sarah are so mean. Example:


"But Greg won't ever really like you because the guys who like me--you and I are just really--well, we're different looking, you know?"
    Which is basically Brianna saying that she's much prettier than Sarah. But that's not it. Brianna says a lot of other not-nice stuff and I don't know how Sarah stands it. She's just too passive. Like when Brianna said this stuff: 
"Remind me that I have some conditioner that's supposed to be great for limp hair, okay? I totally bought it for you and remembered it just now."


"I have the cutest dress, and we'll go out and get you something fantastic to make you look way different. Sexy..."


    I mean, if my so-called best friend said things like that to me, I'd totally slap her. Well, not really. But you catch my drift.
    I think, like a lot of YA books out there nowadays, that the romance in this novel isn't much of a romance. More like physical attraction. Sure, Sarah and Ryan have those moments of connection, but they don't really know each other that well.
    But, overall, I still enjoyed this book. Scott captures the realistic voices of teen characters, creates a dramatic and suspenseful plot that makes you need to see how it ends. Which by the way I didn't like. The ending, I mean.
    I definitely plan on reading another Elizabeth Scott book soon! 4 keys!


Love,
Sophia



Saturday, August 7, 2010

I'm Back!!

I came back from Korea today!!! And I'm super tired.


BUT... Now I can read books!


And I'm so, so, so, SO sorry, but I had to cancel the giveaway. While I was gone, I forgot where I left the book. I'm so, so, SO sorry!!!!!!!!


SORRY! Please forgive me!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard


Synopsis: Alison, Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer were best friends, until Alison disappeared. Three years later, the remaining girls, now juniors at Rosewood Day, are leading separate, but charmed lives.
    After living in Iceland, Aria returns home sophisticated and worldly. Emily is a champion swimmer, Hanna is the most popular girl in school, and Spencer's accomplishments make the average type-A valedictorian look like a slacker. But in Rosewood, appearances are deceiving, and when the girls start receiving mysterious texts signed by someone named A, the past threatens to ruin their perfect present. A claims to know all of their secrets—but who is A? How much does A really know? And what can four pretty little liars do to protect themselves from the truth?


    I was only able to watch the first episode of the ABC Family series, but I was hooked. So, when I heard of the wonderful opportunity to read this book online, I grabbed it. Now I'm not sure if I like the TV series anymore. It's SO different!
    The start of the series has to be good for the series to take off. Obviously, Sara Shepard whipped up a scandalous story filled with tons of of romance, suspense, mystery, and betrayal.
    Right now, I'm itching to read Flawless, which is the sequel.
    I don't think that the book was as good as I thought it'd be. The writing was just okay, but the plotline was just like reading a soap opera! So dramatic.
    Anyway, I'd recommend reading the series and then watching the show, because the show is making things up as it continues. Also, it kind of spoiled the book for me. :(
    The characters are intriguing, the plot never pauses for breath, and the suspense is enough to make you tear the pages. Everyone wonders, What happens next? Only A knows. Anyway, this book earned 3.5 keys!


Love,
Sophia


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Life Without Books and World Cup

    As some of you may know, I am in South Korea for summer vacation and I only brought three books. D':
    I know, I'm so stupid, but books are pretty heavy and you know how expensive it is to ship luggage these days. Let me tell you, it is a terrible, terrible life when you have no books to read. Yeah, sure, I do things to get my mind focused on other fun stuff, but when I'm resting on a bed without a book in my hand, the sadness comes back to me. :(
    Anyway, on a happier note, Spain won their first World Cup! Yay for them! No one take offense but I was rooting for them during the game. And what a smoking game that was, eh? Congratulations!
    Short post. I know. Sorry.


Love,
Sophia

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Review: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Synopsis: If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss. She wouldn't have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn't have hit her head on the steps. She wouldn't have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia. She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place. She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her “Chief.” She'd know about her mom's new family. She'd know about her dad's fiancĂ©e. She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her. She wouldn't have wanted to kiss him back.


But Naomi picked heads.

    I read Zevin's other book, Elsewhere, and I loved it so much. So when I came across this book in Barnes & Noble, I just had to pick it up.  
    Like Elsewhere, this book deals with head trauma (you know, the amnesia). But I like the idea of amnesia. It may be really annoying to not remember things, but it's also like starting a clean slate. Which is exactly what Naomi does. She starts a totally different slate.
    Naomi is a strong and edgy character. She's a bit on the angry side during a lot of the story. But that's okay. James, on the other hand... just, oh my goodness! I have absolutely no idea why Naomi fell for him. He runs hot and cold and is somewhat a... jerk. And since when does "Jerk" equal "Sexy?" I really don't want to say anything about Will other than, "I love you and I have no idea why Naomi is so stupid and loves James instead."
    Zevin created a strong voice for Naomi and a moving plot to go along with it. I mean, some events were just not how you'd picture it, and I liked that. The ending left enough for the reader's imagination to make something up, but not enough for a sequel.
    Zevin whips up another genuis book with a twisted storyline, unique characters, and a story that will keep you thinking about it even after you finish it. I think I liked this book more than Elsewhere. I give it 4 keys.
 
Love,
Sophia
 
 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Review: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen


Synopsis: "Ruby, where is your mother?" Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future—it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?
    Hey! It's been a while, right? Well, that's because I'm in... *drum roll please* South Korea! I'm Korean, so yeah. It makes sense. Anyway, since I'm in Korea, I don't have internet access everyday. So I'm probably not going to post again soon. I mean, I only brought three books (I know, I'm stupid) here to Korea and I've already finished them all!
    Anyway, two Dessen's in a row! Yeah, I was shopping at Target and I saw this book... and you know how bookaholics can be. This book was, I think, Dessen's longest one? So it took me longer than usual to finish it. But it was just as good! Being honest though, it wasn't as good as The Truth About Forever.
    Nate wasn't as appealing as Wes, in my opinion. But Nate was still a complex character. Ruby is just like one of my characters in a story I'm writing. Ruby was kind of edgy and I couldn't accept her as easily as the rest of Dessen's heroines. But that made me like Ruby even more in the end.
    This book was a little on the slow side for the plot, but that's because Ruby has a lot going on in her mind. Nate and Ruby's relationship didn't end how I wanted to, but if someone asked me to change it, I couldn't have.
    Intriguing characters, a deep and thoughtful message, and everything that makes Dessen famous is in this book. I give it 4 keys.


*Cover Note*: I've always loved Dessen's covers, but this has to be my favorite! It's so peaceful, yet engaging and... awesome~!


Love,
Sophia

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Review: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Synopsis: Macy's summer stretches before her, carefully planned and outlined. She will spend her days sitting at the library information desk. She will spend her evenings studying for the SATs. Spare time will be used to help her obsessive mother prepare for the big opening of the townhouse section of her luxury development. But Macy's plans don't anticipate a surprising and chaotic job with Wish Catering, a motley crew of new friends, or ... Wes. Tattooed, artistic, anything-but-expected Wes. He doesn't fit Macy's life at all--so why does she feel so comfortable with him? So ... happy? What is it about him that makes her let down her guard and finally talk about how much she misses her father, who died before her eyes the year before? Sarah Dessen delivers a page-turning novel that carries readers on a roller coaster of denial, grief, comfort, and love as we watch a broken but resilient girl pick up the pieces of her life and fit them back together.
    To be completely honest, I was ready to give up on Sarah Dessen. I mean, my first book of her's was The Lullaby and it was good. I really liked it. Then I tried Someone Like You. I did not like it. It was boring and I hated Macon (or whatever his name was). But since I liked This Lullaby so much, I decided to give her another chance. I picked up Dreamland. Oh my goodness! It was terrible, well, in my opinion. I hated it so much. The plot dragged, Caitlin was so insanely passive, etc.
    But I'm here to talk about The Truth About Forever. I'm not even sure why I picked up this book after my unfortunate opinions of Dessen's other ones. But I did and I'm so, so, so glad. I loved it.
    Macy is a unique character. I like how this book is different since she doesn't seem to realize that she has the pressure of trying to be perfect. She doesn't realize that it's a burden, and that made the story a lot better. Well, Macy doesn't realize it until she talks with Kristy and Wes.
    Oh, Kristy and Wes! I loved their characters so much! Kristy was hilarious, I think. She's got spunk and fashion and humor, she's awesome. Wes. Oh my goodness, Wes. Wes was loveable, immensely so. As I said before, this book was so different than any other teen book out there. I liked how Macy didn't really know that she loved Wes. She really didn't. Because their love wasn't the Oh-My-God-I'm-In-Love, heart soaring love. And it wasn't lust either. It was just the kind of love that is comforting and friendly. I liked that.
    This was a very complex book. There are so many things that are going on at once, and everything is so interesting. This book will have all of Dessen's many fans wishing that the novel was longer, feeling like the characters were their best friends, and hoping to find comfort like Macy does in the end.
    I give this book 4.5 keys.
 
Love,
Sophia
 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Take Me There by Susane Colasanti

   
Synopsis: Rhiannon is completely devastated after the breakup with her boyfriend. She wants him back.
    Nicole's ex still wants to be with her, but she's obsessed with someone else.

    James is hopelessly in love with Rhiannon, who doesn't see that their friendship can be so much more.

    Will their desire to take a mean girl down a notch bring these three friends what they want . . . and more?
    This is my first Colasanti book, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. But what I wasn't expecting was such a unique plot with such believable dialogue. The words that come out of the teenagers' mouths are so realistic, you think they're stolen straight from the hallways of high school... kind of.
    When I read the synopsis on the back, I was hooked. But it was vague. The summary, I mean. That's why I didn't see any events coming. It had twists and turns that I would've never thought of.
    Each character has a somewhat unique 'voice'. Rhiannon is devastated and incredibly hurt when she gets dumped by her boyfriend, Steve. I think she's a character a lot of teens out there can relate to. Nicole is such a cute character, I think. Sometimes, she's confused because her mind and her heart are saying two different things. But everyone's like that once in their life. James is one of those characters that are so... different. I mean, he's so many things at once. But I think that's what makes him so lovable.
    But I also hated this book so much! Why? Because I got so, so, so sick of reading, "He was like..." or, "She was all..." or, "I go..."! And, yeah, I know that everyone talks like that in actuality, but that doesn't make it less annoying. Now that I'm typing this and all, I realize that it doesn't seem like that big of a deal. But it was! It made the book so much harder to read for me.
    So having that big "thumb's down" up there^, I guess I have to give this book 4 keys.


Love,
Sophia

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Review: The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy

   
Synopsis: What’s a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn’t want to wear it anymore?
    Sixteen year old Jess Parker has always been an outsider. So when she receives an invitation to join The Cinderella Society, a secret society of the most popular girls in school, it’s like something out of a fairy tale. Swept up by the Cindys’ magical world of makeovers, and catching the eye of her Prince Charming, Jess feels like she’s finally found her chance to fit in.

    Then the Wickeds–led by Jess’s arch-enemy–begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers there’s more to being a Cindy than reinventing yourself on the outside. She has unknowingly become part of a centuries-old battle of good vs. evil, and now the Cindys in charge need Jess for a mission that could change everything.
    When I heard about this book, I was like, "I HAVE to read this!" And I'm so thankful to the GreenBeanTeenQueen for letting me win it! And, just because I want to put this out there, I absolutely adore the cover (though it had almost nothing to do with the book's content).
    Jess started as a weak person. She let Lexy (the mean girl) just push her around. But Jess still had strength inside of her. She just needed to project it in some way. This is why it was so interesting to see Jess transform into such a confident young lady.
    I don't really like the name "The Cinderella Society" because I don't like Cinderella. Cinderella is a "princess" that was passive and whiney, which is the exact opposite of what The Cinderella Society was rooting for, ironically enough!
    The plot is kind of slow and I had to put this book down several times because of the detailed descriptions of the Society. I mean, I get that the Society is really official and important, but the rules and everything take away from the book.
    What didn't take away from the book were the characters! I totally want a best friend like Sarah Jane or Audrey. They seem so real, yet like famous celebrities. All the Society members are all so independent and supportive, it's insane! If only the Society was real....
    But the Society isn't real. Sometimes, I found the idea of the Cinderella Society/ISIS so laughable. I mean, the technology is like things from a spy movie, the members are like perfect angels, and the Wickeds are just so... fantastical.
    The book was well-written, it really was. I might be interested in reading the second book, as long as there are not more parts of the Society itself. But the concept is so pure and good-hearted that this book is a great read. That touch of romance makes it all the more better! I give this book 3.5 keys.


Love,
Sophia



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Review: The Naughty List by Suzanne Young



Synopsis:  As if being a purrfect cheerleader isn’t enough responsibility!
    Tessa Crimson’s the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad–turned–spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn’t be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty!

    When Tessa’s own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa’s sneaky ways end in catastrophe?

    The Naughty List. Is your boyfriend on it?

    I had the pleasure of reading this book because I won it from The Eager Readers and it was signed! Thanks so much! The first time I saw it, I wanted to read it so, so, so bad! I mean, the cover is sweet and teasing and the summary was the most enticing ever. So I was really, really glad that I had the opportunity to read it. But it was kind of uncomfortable when my friends saw the cover and their eyes widened. I had to tell everyone what the book was about to keep them away from thinking it was something way dirtier and worse....
    I think I had my expectations to high, though, since the book disappointed me. Don't get me wrong, though! The book was really good, just not as good as I thought it'd be. Tessa's a sweet character and ALWAYS polite. Sometimes, it got irritating but it was actually a really nice fresh breath of air from all the other YA books nowadays filled with curse words and snobby cheerleaders.
    Speaking of cheerleaders, Tessa is one and so are all the Smitten Kittens (cute name!). They are all so enthusiastic and nice. I wish I had a big group of friends like that!
    The book is perfectly paced and the characters are SO unique. Honestly, where are you going to find a girl so nice as Tessa? Or I perfect, handsome guy that likes to paint toes like Aiden (though the painting toes was kind of pushing the limit for me)? Some people may say that the plot was predictable but I can't say that for myself. There were twists and turns that I never saw coming. And I hated when things just came crashing down (I'm purposely being vague).
    Tessa's non-cuss words were so absurd, it was funny. Honestly, the phrases were so silly, you couldn't help but roll your eyes and smile. Here are some examples: Oh, sweet vanilla sky!; Peanut butter sandwiches!; Apple dippers!; Butterscotch!; Crab cakes!; Mashed potatoes and gravy! I've noticed that a lot of them are food related. But I love Young's creativity with these saying and how she never repeated one twice. Except for my favorite: Strawberry smoothie.


Tessa: She's completely lovable and she's so upbeat! Always positive and smiling, I wonder if anyone is actually like that in real life. But she's interesting and she tries so hard to please everyone. I think Tessa needs more love from the characters because she does more things for others than she does herself. She's gets under a lot of pressure. No matter how much I enjoyed Tessa's character, I have to be perfectly honest and say sometimes she got a little annoying.


Aiden: He's so weird! I mean, he's hot and everything, but he's so weird! What guy loved painting toes and giving foot rubs? Seriously, if I meet a guy like Aiden who loves those things AND isn't gay, it'd be a miracle. But I love his character and his loyalty. He's really nice and sometimes neglects Tessa but that's partially her fault, her with the SOS and all.


This book was so strawberry smoothie and I give it 4 keys.


Love,
Sophia

Friday, May 7, 2010

Reviews: The Hunger Games + Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Synopsis of The Hunger Games: In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.
    Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.



I'm not telling the description for Catching Fire because for those who haven't read The Hunger Games yet would have their book spoiled for them.
    Yes, this time I'm hitting y'all with a double whammy! After I finished The Hunger Games I just had to have the sequel! So here it is!
    The Hunger Games was a brilliant and complex story filled with mystery, action, sci-fi, and (my favorite) romance. The many layers in this tale with keep you entertained and begging for more. My friend had said that this book was really good so I checked it out. I had huge doubts, though. I mean, even the title was weird for me. The Hunger Games. Strange, right? But now, I'm so glad I took the chance.
    Collins is a pure genius for writing such an exciting and unexpected book! Though, I wanted to vomit with all the times Katniss kissed Peeta. (I'm strongly and immovably Team Gale, 100%.) If you haven't read this book, you have to. It's that good. Each page turn will keep you captured in the futuristic and dangerous world. I couldn't put it down.
    I recommended it to my friend and she loved it (and is Team Gale)! She is currently reading my copy of Catching Fire.
    I can't reveal too much about Catching Fire, since I'm probably going to spoil everything if I spill things now. All I'm going to say is that this sequel certainly does The Hunger Games justice. It passed my expectations, though this one took me longer to read than The Hunger Games. I actually had to put it down once or twice. But either way, I would've finished, since it's so good. I'm really worried that Katniss is really and truly falling in love with... You-Know-Who (yes, because Katniss loves Lord Voldemort).

Katniss: She's feisty and strong and knows her way to survive. I loved her the second I read about her character. I love her relationship with Gale and I love how she can take care of her and her family. She's confused most of the time, but that doesn't mean she's weak. Oh, no! She's a fighter, never giving up. Katniss is a wonderful character.

Peeta: He's nice and sweet and there's absolutely nothing wrong with him... except for the fact that he's not Gale (my bias is very strong). Peeta isn't used to being in the wild and doesn't have the experience Katniss has. But I guess his tiny vulnerability is what draws the readers into him. He truly loves Katniss.

Despite the fact that Katniss kissing Peeta is repulsive to me, I give this awesome and amazing series 5 keys!
Love,
Sophia

 


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Review: Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer

Synopsis: Prom fever has infected LA - especially Cindy's two annoying stepsisters, and her overly-Botoxed stepmother. Cindy seems to be the only one immune to it all.
    But her anti-prom letter in the school newspaper does more to turn Cindy into Queen of the Freaks than close the gap between the popular kids and the rest of the students. Everyone thinks she's committed social suicide, except for her two best friends, yoga goddess India and John Hughes-worshipping Malcolm, and shockingly, the most popular senior at Castle Heights High and Cindy's crush, Adam Silver. Suddenly Cindy starts to think that maybe her social life could have a happily ever after. But there's still the rest of the school to deal with.
    With a little bit of help from an unexpected source and a fabulous pair of shoes, Cindy realizes that she still has a chance at a happily ever after.


   This is one of the most predictable books I have ever, ever read. And it's not just the fact that we know it's going to end up like the Cinderella fairytale. I won't spoil the book, but if you are over the age of ten, then you will know exactly what's going to happen, in EVERY SCENE.
    The plot and characters were unrealistic and the tiny part of "romance" near the end of the book was SO RUSHED. It was like, "Hi," and then kiss. Then another kiss. Rush, rush, rush. You don't see the relationship develop. And I don't think Cindy and Adam (I think we already knew that they were gonna get together) knew that much about each other.
    The humor was not very funny, in my opinion. The plot was okay, I guess, but the book was not enjoyable, in my opinion. I guess there were a few good scenes, but all in all, I wouldn't recommend it.
    Now for my character analysis (because I don't want to complain too much):


Cindy: is okay, I guess. I kind of don't like her. She's kind of whiny (like all other female main characters in books nowadays) and over-analyzes everything. She is rather childish, in fact.


Adam: In the summary (which I didn't write. I don't write any of the summaries in my posts), it says that Adam is following Cindy's non-prom agenda. Well, in the book, it's not that obvious that he's following it. He is an unrealistic character.


I'm going to give this book 2 keys.


Love,
Sophia


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Review: Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern

   
Synopsis: With her marriage already in pieces, Joyce Conway nearly lost everything else. But she survived the terrible accident that left her hospitalized--and now, inexplicably, she can remember faces she has never seen, cobblestone Parisian streets she's never visited. A sudden, overwhelming sense of deja vu has Joyce feeling as if her life is not her own. Justin Hitchcock's decision to donate blood was the first thing to come straight from his heart in a long time. He chased his ex-wife and daughter from Chicago to London--and now, restless and lonely, he lectures to bored students in Dublin. But everything is about to change with the arrival of a basket of muffins with a thank-you not enclosed--the first in a series of anonymous presents that will launch Justin into the heart of a mystery... and alter two lives forever.
    Right when I picked this book up, I knew it was going to be amazing. In the beginning, I didn't like it a lot. It seemed kind of dragging but I kept reading because I had faith. And I'm glad that I had that faith because this book was exquisite. I think Joyce is a very likable character and she's easy to understand. She's rather straight-forward and she's really strong.
    This book is filled with magic, drama, suspense, family, and love. It tells the story of a journey of not only romance, but of friendship and family. It's the diary of a heart. I can't exactly classify it as a romance novel since it's not much of a romance but I was sad when the page numbers were dwindling toward the end. I wanted to keep reading and reading and reading. I, personally, didn't like the way it ended and how Justin came back last minute. But, then again, I never like the endings of books.
    Now for my character anylasis:


Joyce: She's emotionally strong and she's another one of the few main female characters that I like. She's independent and, thank goodness, not whiney!


Justin: I have no idea why, but I don't like him. He seems rather cocky and arrogant (just a bit, but enough for me to notice).




4.5 keys


Love,
Sophia


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Review: FANG by James Patterson

   
Synopsis: FANG WILL BE THE FIRST TO DIE. Maximum Ride is used to living desperately on the run from evil forces sabotaging her quest to save the world--but nothing has ever come as close to destroying her as this horrifying prophetic message. Fang is Max's best friend, her soul mate, her partner in leadership of her flock of winged children.
    BUT THERE WILL BE ANOTHER... When a newly created winged boy, the magnificent Dylan, is introduced into the flock, their world is upended yet again. Raised in a lab like others, Dylan exists for only one reason: he was designed to Max's perfect other half.
    This book from the Maximum Ride series has sent many girls all over the nation swooning for this "hotter-than-Edward-Cullen" bird kid named, of course, Fang. Luckily, I am not one of them. And after reading this book, I am even more anti-Fang.
    With new bird kid Dylan, whose only purpose if to be Max's "perfect other half", I expected a whole lot of drama and jealousy between Dylan and Fang. Like always though, I was disappointed. There was only one scene where a hint of jealousy was shown between the two characters.
    Okay, also, hey, Mr. Patterson? Stick with writing action! Seriously. James Patterson is trying to change Max and Fang into Bella and Edward or something. Honestly, there are events in this book that make me feeling like I'm reading the Twilight Saga all over again (and I've already read that series enough to last a lifetime). But Max and Fang were making out on, like, every other page.
    In this book, I think Max gets a whole lot whinier and loses her temper way too easily. Either that or I never noticed her annoying attitude before.
    Anyway, Dylan's creator is Dr. Gunther-Hagen. Dr. G-H is an evil scientist (aren't they all?) who thinks he has the solution that will help humans survive after the apocalypse. He, of course, wants the flock. Blah, blah, blah, nothing new here.
    Now for my character analysis:


Max: is getting on my nerves. She's too infatuated with Fang. She's a bad leader and she always seems lost. She's rather whiny.


Fang: is not the Fang I once knew. Now he's all touchy-feely and gooey and I don't like it one bit. What happened to his tough face and "don't-mess-with-me" attitude?


Dylan: I like him! There's absolutely nothing wrong with him, in my opinion. In fact, I wouldn't mind if him and Max got together (especially after how the book ended).


Angel: Hate her. Hope she dies. Stupid power-hungry traitor.


    Yeah, so I'm gonna have to five this book 2.5 keys. Harsh? I don't think so. Check the book out for yourself.

Love,
Sophia

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Review: The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Description: Seventeen year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father… until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story about love in its myriad forms – first love, the love between parents and children – that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that deeply felt relationships can break our hearts… and heal them.
    I recently finished The Last Song by my friends's requests. They were like, "Sophia, it's so good!" or, "Once you start reading it, you can't put it down." And so, of course, I had high expectations. And to be honest with you, I was pretty disappointed. Maybe I had too high of expectations or something.
    Don't get me wrong, I liked the book. It just wasn't as good as I thought it'd be. I just don't think Ronnie and Will's relationship was really that strong. I didn't feel that connection between the two of them. Now, I know a bunch of girls are willing to disagree with me, but whatever.
    And now for my character analysis:


Ronnie: Probably one of the very few main female characters that I like. I honestly never like the main girl character, but I like Ronnie. She's tough and yet no one comes sweeter than her. Ronnie has unique spunk.


Will: Uh, where do I start? Will's a nice character, very thoughtful and caring. But there's something off about him; something rotten. And though I can't pinpoint what it is, I know it's there.


Steve: Love him! He's definitely my favorite character. He's so sweet and caring. He's so selfless and I absolutely admire him.


Blaze: She's a good person choosing some not-so-good paths. But I don't think any reader ever lost faith in her. In the end, everyone knew she was going to choose the right choice.


Marcus: I hope he dies.


Yeah, so there you go. I, honestly, thought the book was a little predictable. I give it 4 keys.


Love,
Sophia


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