Friday, June 29, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday!

Gain New Blog Followers
The Feature & Follow is hosted by two hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read.

Comment below for a follow!

Q: Birthday Wishes -- Blow out the candles and imagine what character could pop out of your cake...who is it and what book are they from?

Hmm, well Raider from Into the Wind and John from Abandon :) 

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

My Rating: 5/5

Thirteen Reasons Why

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.


I don't know what to say about this book. I think a simple "it's great" wouldn't suffice for the masterpiece that Asher has managed to create in a matter of 228 pages. Thirteen Reasons Why addresses such a relevant issue plaguing our society that sometimes, we tend to neglect or overlook. This book brings the harsh reality of the consequences of our actions before us, stripping us from the facade of ignorance. You can't just ignore this book, it stays with you.

There are a few main reasons why I'm giving this book 5/5 stars-

1. The brutal simplicity of how Asher wrote Hannah's cassette tapes. I felt like I could really hear her. There was no extravagant flair to her tone or a feeling of over exaggerated emotions. It was just simple and to the point, making the readers ache for Hannah and her pain even more. The author's tone complemented the message of the story beautifully. Also, the point of view switches from Hannah to Clay, giving the reader a complete insight on Clay and a limited one on Hannah. That was a plus for me because it not only took me inside the victim, but also someone who knew the victim and how they felt.

2. Cassette tapes? How original! Really! I think Hannah's words came to life even more so because her words were recorded in tapes and not written down or told to someone. It's horrifyingly beautiful though. Someone wanted to kill herself so badly that she would go through the trouble of preparing for after her death.

3. Some people think that Hannah's reasons for murdering herself weren't legitimate enough. Hmm... Really now? I actually thought the reasons for making such a drastic decision... made sense. Not everyone can cope with emotions and words the same way. We're all different. And this book makes us realize that we can impact absolutely anyone. Whether we do in a good or a bad way is up to us.

Interested? Check it out on Goodreads!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

To Read? More like Must Read!

We all have books that we want to read. And then we have those books that we just HAVE to read. And these are some books that I'm seriously considering on splurging my non-existent pocket money on.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi: I'm SO excited to read this one, I can barely contain my enthusiasm! Seriously, I've heard some great reviews for this book and I have to say, I'm in love with the cover. 

To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker: So I love pirates, who doesn't?! If you're a fan of Rosie and Raider, you'll definitely understand why it's so important for me to read this! 

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis: It looks different... I like different. 

Eldest by Christopher Paolini: There's no way I'm reading Eragon and not reading the sequel! Now where can I get my hands on a copy... 

Let me know if you've read any of these and if you have any suggestions on what order I should read these in!

PS: If you haven't read any of these and are interested in them, check them out on GoodReads! Here are the links for each:

Shatter Me:
To Catch a Pirate:


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What I'm Currently Reading!

I'm not really sure how I feel about this one yet. I think I like it but Pierce is starting to bug me a little and I feel a little disinterested. Maybe it was just because I was sitting on a hard bench and not the comfort of my bed.  Maybe it was because I couldn't focus...

Loving it so far! Never seen such a strong main character!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

My Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

When young Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his adopted family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of inescapable destiny, magical forces, and powerful people. With only an ancient sword and the instruction of an old,mysterious, hermit storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a Emperor whose evil and power knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands….


I absolutely, positively LOVED Eragon. He's got this stubborn and determined demeanor that gave me chills throughout the story. Not at one point of the novel was he the type of hero to sit back and say, "Well okay, let's see how things turn out." What I adored about Eragon was his constant take charge attitude which could become quite annoying in some characters but the characteristic just worked for him. Sometimes, a story with even the greatest plot can fall short without a strong main character; something you won't have to worry about while reading this book. 


I've never really been a huge Fantasy fan. Sure, Harry Potter is amazing and all but I was never so sure about reading others, believing that all fantastical plots were essentially the same in one way or another. Hence, I was pretty biased when I began this book, ready to not take it seriously and be disappointed. 

Oh boy, was I wrong! The story began immediately, with Eragon finding the egg and embarking on an adventure that had me literally on the edge of my seat throughout the course of reading this story. It all felt so real. Each emotion, each word, and each character nestled their way into my heart (yup, totally not being completely cheesy here Sidra). But seriously, that's how I felt. I felt so attached to Eragon. And the best part about the book? The connection between Eragon and his dragon! 

As strange as this sounds, it reminded me much of the connection between a child and his mother- which Eragon essentially is. The scenes between Eragon and his dragon literally had me going "Aw!" throughout the novel. So overall, I was never a huge Fantasy fan but this book completely changed the way I look at the genre of Fantasy not consisting Harry Potter. If there's anything that I didn't completely love about the book, it was probably the random page or two of (somewhat useless) details and description. But Paolini's magic with his words makes these few instances trivial. If you haven't read it yet, definitely do try it out! It's worth your time and effort, I can promise that! 

Find it on Goodreads

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

My Rating: 4/5


The novel Beastly adds a contemporary twist to the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast. Centered around Kyle Kingsbury, the “it” boy of his school and spoiled rotten brat, the story depicts his metamorphosis from someone with a disgusting and ugly personality and beautiful features to one capable of experiencing love. Growing up with a father on television who believed that nothing was greater than an image that must be preserved, Kyle is excessively proud and vain, marring his charming assets and turning him into a beast; what he truly is inside. After a cruel joke on a witch that goes terribly wrong however, Kyle is “cursed” to the life of a beast and the monster that existed within came blubbering to the surface. The book then shows his transition from being the most loved in school due to his money and looks to becoming the next victim of vicious gossip and ridicule.Kyle’s father, as demonstrated before, is a man of power and image and no one, including his son will take that from him. Not ready to give up his esteem and respect, Kyle’s father hides him from the world and Kyle becomes an ideal example of the Beast in the Disney classic, locked away and in turmoil, rooting for a chance at his love story. What follows next is the not-so-terrible decision of a father, the entry of the heroine Lindy, and the chance for Kyle to make friends not blinded by his material possessions. 


What I liked about both the main characters of the story was  their metamorphosis. Sometimes in stories, the "bad guy" becomes the "good guy" overnight and it's just black and white. In this story however, you see the wrongs that each character does and how their stubbornness affects others but you don't always label them as good or bad. There are layers of grey, just like in real life. The characters pose a gradual change into something else and it's not rushed or abrupt, something I really appreciated. The side characters of the novel were great as well and had every characteristic that they should have. Some friendly, others wise, and others not so nice; they were all there. 

Overall Review: 

I picked this book up at the library when I was in 6th grade and I had realized that I loved it. Years later, I saw it peeking it out from it's little niche in the library shelves, practically shouting at me, "Sidra, come over here and read me again!". So I did. I reread it. And that's when I realized that the magic that the book had cast over me as a pre-teen wasn't really there anymore. It was like talking to an old friend after a long time and realizing that they've changed, or maybe you have. Reading it a second time, I noticed the simple wording and somewhat middle-grade structuring of the story. The ending was rushed, I admit as well and the whole "romance" lasted about half of the book and seemed crammed in, as if the author was running out of time and had to put it in somewhere. Beastly is a typical contemporary where the main characters fall in head over heels in love pretty easily (I hope these aren't spoilers, it is based on Beauty and the Beast after all). Besides a few flaws though, I give this book a 4/5 just simply because I adored the transformation of the characters and how the story lived up to one of my favorite Disney classics. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a respite from other books and who want to read something short and sweet.  

Find it on Goodreads