Sunday, April 25, 2010

New To My Shelves

1. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

2. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

3. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

4. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

5. Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New To My Shelves

1. Radiance by Alyson Noel

2. The Screwed Up Life of Charlie the Second by Drew Ferguson(thanks, Chris!!!)

3. Scott Pilgrim: Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O'Malley (again, thanks to Chris!!! :D)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri: A Book Review

"Well, I've only ever been a failure. I sign here?"
"Lots of big accomplishments begin with failures."
"Like what?"
"There was a man who owned a clothing store that went bankrupt."
"Let me guess. He learned from his failure and started over as Giorgio Armani."
"No. He left the clothing business. He became president and dropped a bomb on Hiroshima."

One dark night, five children suddenly disappear from their homes in Glasgow, London, Rome, and Paris. Several years later, at a Christmas Eve party in New York City, five stunning teens make an impressive debut with their mesmerizing, beautiful governess, Madam Vileroy. Soon, they are accepted into the elite Marlow School and, using "gifts" given to them by Madam Vileroy, begin to "claw their way to the top". But they have a secret...they've paid an enormous price for these gifts, and when Madam Vileroy starts to tire of them, everything they've worked for may come crashing down around them...

Victoria--the cheater. She'll do anything to win, even if it means hurting everyone around her.

Christian--the thief. His gift is incredibly powerful, but it is accompanied by an enormous sense of guilt. Christian wants a way out of this deadly game, before it's too late.

Valentin--the liar. He can replay scenes over and over again, until he gets them exactly right. But his gift may cost him not only his soul but also his mind.

Belle--the beauty. She's drop-dead gorgeous, but she has betrayed those closest to her to gain her stunning looks. And what no one else suspects is that her pretty face isn't even her own...

Bice--the hider. She can freeze time for years on end, hiding away in her room with her mountains of books. But what no one has told her is that, while everyone else is frozen, her body continues to age...

This modern retelling of the Faustian Bargain legend is fascinating and thought-provoking. What would you do if you were offered all the power in the world--for the price of your soul?

I found this book very enjoyable. It was dark but funny, and the characters were extremely interesting. At first glance, they might have seemed perfect, but each one had many flaws to their character that made them seem more genuine and realistic. I found it very interesting that this was a retelling of an old classic; I hadn't known this when I borrowed the book, but it made it even more intriguing. In fact, there were many references to the Faustian legend in this book--even the name of the school, Marlowe, comes from the last name of the man who wrote Faust.

This book was read for the Once Upon a Time Challenge.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Two Book Reviews--Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams and Mark Cawardine/ Bumbling Through Borneo by Tom Schmidt

Last Chance to See is a powerful book, both hilarious and heartbreaking. It is the story of several of the countless species on our planet that are on the brink of extinction, and the individuals who have devoted their lives to saving them. From the half-blind river dolphins of the Yangtze River to the charming kakapo birds of New Guinea, the stories of these animals, and those who fight to save them, will inspire you--perhaps even to take action yourself. Travel across Africa, Mauritania, China, and more with famous science-fiction novelist Douglas Adams as he takes you on a journey to see some of the rarest animals alive today...and pay attention, because this just may be your last chance.

I loved this book! I laughed out loud so many times I lost track while reading it, and yet it was also very serious at some points. Adams manages to inspire empathy through his humor and also through his stark portrayal of what is really happening to species all around the world. A must read for anyone interested in biodiversity loss.

Bumbling Through Borneo
, by Tom Schmidt, is the story of an American architect named Bob, who has received a mysterious note in his mail inviting him to travel to Borneo in search of a "great reward". Perhaps against his better judgement, Bob does so, and soon meets up with a myriad of unexpected traveling companions to help him on his quest. They find themselves traversing through an unknown country, hacking through thick jungles, fighting blood-sucking leeches, and more, while they come to the realization that all around them, this seemingly pristine jungle ecosystem is coming apart at the seams...

I really enjoyed this book. It combined humor, interesting travel stories, and environmental issues into a quick and satisfying read. The characters were funny and likeable, and the facts about Borneo scattered throughout this book were very informative. Definitely an enjoyable read for anyone interested in travel/adventure books.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New To My Shelves

So, here are all the new books I got this week. (I normally don't get this many, LOL!) Also, normally I'll post this on Sunday, but this week I was too busy, they are!

1. Clover by Clamp

2. Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter

3. Fading Echoes by Erin Hunter

4. Fang by James Patterson

5. Inside the Outbreaks by Mark Pendergrast

6. Little Miss Red by Robin Palmer

7. Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

8. Look Both Ways by Jacquelyn Mitchard

9. Nine Hills to Nambonkaha by Sarah Erdman

10. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

11. Stargazer by Claudia Gray

12. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

13. Wild Roses by Deb Caletti (this is not the cover of my copy, but I couldn't find that one online.)

14. Witch and Wizard by James Patterson

Night by Elie Wiesel: A Book Review

Night is a powerful, touching personal story of despair. When he was fifteen, Elie Wiesel was forced to leave his village in Transylvania for an unknown destination far away. His relatives, friends, and neighbors were also taken, crowded onto trains and forced to travel to days, pondering their fate. But how could any of them have known the horrors that awaited them at the place called Auschwitz? It was a concentration camp, one of many that had sprouted up across Nazi-controlled Europe. Here, the elderly, the sick, and the young were killed, and everyone else was slowly starved or worked to death. This is the story of a survivor, a memoir filled with both tragedy and triumph, about a factory of death, a place where hope was stamped out, where most who entered its gate never came back out...but some did. And one of them is here to tell his story with this book; what he speaks of may have happened decades ago, but it is an important lesson for all of us to remember, so that something like this may never happen again.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Soul Kitten: Just Cute!

Like my super-cute new T-Shirt? Recognize the kitty from anywhere?

3 New Challenges

Hi everyone! Today I'm joining 3 new reading challenges:

The Graphic Novel Challenge hosted by Chris and Nymeth

The Once Upon A Time Challenge hosted by Carl

The Nonfiction Five Challenge hosted by Trish

These all include some of my favorite kinds of books! And some of my favorite people hosting them! ^_^

Sunday, April 4, 2010

After the First Death by Robert Cormier: A Book Review

So, within twenty-five minutes, I will have killed my first man. A man will have died because of me.
But it turned out not to be a man.

Robert Cormier's chilling tale centers on the hijacking of a schoolbus full of preschoolers. The hijackers are four terrorists who aren't afraid to kill to get what they want. And before the ordeal is over, more than one innocent life will be lost...

Miro is roughly sixteen years old, the youngest of the hijackers. For nearly his whole life, he has been preparing for this moment: his first death, the driver of the bus that he and his companions will capture.

Kate is a teenage girl with many secrets. At first glance, she's the pretty cheerleader, the star student, the budding actress. But she has many disguises, and she'll do nearly anything to make sure her peers don't see the real Kate.

Ben is the son of a general; he has lived his entire life at a military community called Fort Delta. Despite this fact, he has lived for the most part an ordinary and unexciting life. But one fateful day, everything will change, as the bond between father and son will be shattered forever.

These three teenagers seem to have nothing in common. But after the hijacking of the bus, their lives will come together in ways that none of them would have thought possible.

First things first: if you're looking for a happy ending, pass by this book. However, if you're looking for a chilling read filled with suspense and action, this might be the perfect book for you. Although it wasn't the most cheerful thing I've ever read--in fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything cheerful about this book--it was still nearly impossible to put down. Since this was assigned reading, I had to put it down after every few chapters until the next class. But if I had been reading this for fun, I have no doubt that I would have devoured it in a few hours. The characters in this book were so complex and multi-faceted that it was easy to believe that they were in fact real people. Some were extremely easy to sympathize with, while some were extremely unlikeable, but all had rich personalities and real depth to their character. To make a long story short, this book was amazing.

Skelanimals: Just Cute!

Is this not the cutest undead kitty you have ever seen?

Starting Over

Who: Still me! :)

What: This blog

Where: Here

When: Now

Why: Because I want a fresh start