Δευτέρα, 30 Ιανουαρίου 2012

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Publisher: Knopf Books
Publication Date: 26 Oct 2010
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN-13: 9780375866593
Format: eBook
Pages: 272
Websites:
Rachel Cohn - Official Site
Rachel Cohn - Twitter
Rachel Cohn - Goodreads
David Levithan - Official Site
David Levithan - Twitter
David Levithan - Goodreads

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Overview:

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions? 

__________________________
I generally disliked this book. I just felt it was weak in so many ways. First of all, the story is already a known one, but that wasn't the reason I disliked it. It could still have been interesting and there were a few parts (only when the red notebook was concerned) that were rather interesting, but not that many. I found myself rushing through the parts where the characters talked about their lives because I just couldn't care less about them and their family. Perhaps it was because I couldn't identify with the characters, i just didn't find them that likeable, or at least they didn't appeal to me at all.

None of the characters introduced seemed that realistic to me, not even the secondary ones. Lily I found was a bit selfish and a hypocrite and she tended to dramatize everything while Dash was, well, rude and kind of a douche. Plus, there were so many convenient coincidences that made it even harder for the story to seem real.

I also didn't really like the writing. It felt like the authors were over-trying for humor but the result was not humorous or funny at all. It seems childish at parts and full of clichés. Furthermore, it was so predictable and not at all original; this is a story we have seen or heard of before.

Lastly, something else i didn't like at all was the way Lily referred to her things by adding her name to them, for example, her room (or bed) was the "Lily pad", her coffee was the "Lilychinno" and the world was apparently called the "Lilyverse". I did NOT enjoy these nicknames; I did NOT find them cute or smart.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh but I did not enjoy this book at all. Perhaps it just wasn't for me because I know there are a lot of people who did enjoy it and who have rated it highly. Perhaps it's just a matter of personal taste.


Challenge(s): 2012 eBook Challenge

Παρασκευή, 20 Ιανουαρίου 2012

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Publication Date: 2002 (first published in 1960)
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 9780061120084
Format: Paperback
Pages: 323
Websites:
Harper Lee - Official Site
Harper Lee - Goodreads

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Overview:
"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice—but the weight of history will only tolerate so much.
_______________________________
This book has been sitting on my TBR shelf for something over two years. Every time i would decide to start it, my attention would be turned to another book. I guess i finally decided it was about time i start reading it. Now i want to hit myself on the head for having waited this long.

I did have high expectations of this book becasue of all the great things i had heard but in the end it managed to surpass my expectations. It was touching in so many ways. I am especially affected by topics such as racism and injustice so you can imagine how deeply this book moved me. I find it so sad that there are still people today who are unable or unwilling to understand that we are all human, all people with a soul and a unique personality no matter the color of our skin.

This is a book i would definitely recommend to everyone! If i ever have children this will definitely be a book i will "make" them read. I really do believe one can evolve from reading this book.

Furthermore, i found the characters extremely likable and i enjoyed following them around and witnessing the ways in which they grew and matured. The characters are also very realistic and true to their era.

I also find the title of this book lovely. I love it!
Looking forward to seeing the film adaptation soon!

Sorry, i know this isn't a very good review, i am really tired and I've taken up a very demanding and intense course for this session witch leaves me very little free time to do the things i like. Hopefully, my next review will be much better.


Πέμπτη, 5 Ιανουαρίου 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Publication Date: 36 Aug 2011
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 9780316134026
Format: e-Book
Pages: 418

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Daugheter of Smoke and Bone Series Order:
Book 1: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Book 2: Daughter of Blood and Starlight (~Fall 2012)


Overview:  
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
 ___________________

Wow. Where to start? Let me begin by saying how much i loved this book. The story was enchanting and original, the world magical. Laini Taylor is really a great author. I literally couldn't put this book down; i would read it in the car, when i was out drinking coffee, while eating, i even took it to the super market (i was reading and pushing the cart at the same time). There were so many parts i liked in this book and while reading i would oftenly tell myself "genius; this is genius", "i love this", "brilliant".

Laini Taylor has a very original way of writing. She uses humor in just the right places, in the right way and knows how to provoke strong feelings (i did cry in this book). I especially enjoyed her lovely expressions and descriptions. Some were just so unique.

One of the places i would really want to visit in this book is "Poison Kitchen". I really loved the idea of a restaurant with coffins for tables and statues from a cemetery wearing gas masks. It might sound like a morbid place but i totally found it cool.
However, Loramendi is where i would most want to visit. Something about the two moons...i don't know. It felt so unworldly and romantic. And the story of how Angels and Chimaera were created..it was beautiful.

Finally, another aspect i loved about this book was that Karou wasn't yet another "helpless" little girl who falls in love with the wrong person (forbidden love) and is in danger because of that love and just waits for her lover to save her. No. Karou is a strong and proud character, very much capable of taking care and protecting herself.

There was a part in the book, where it said that many unsuspecting tourists and authors would sign a contract with an old storyteller, in which they would offer him a year of their lives for a story idea. That really provoked thought in me, would i ever give up a year of my life for a wish or success? I decided that i wouldn't, just the thought of it made death seem scary and i realized how short life could be, and to make it even shorter?
What would you do if you could have anything you ever wanted and longed for for the price of dying one year too early?

Challenge(s): The Eclectic Reader (Fantasy), 2012 e-Book Challenge




Κυριακή, 1 Ιανουαρίου 2012

2012 Off the Shelf Challenge

Another challenge that will give me incentive to read those TBR books on my shelf. 





The Deets


  • The Main Rule: Do not include books acquired during 2012, it defeats the purpose, read those books from before 2012 started!
  • Running Dates: 1st of January – 31st of December 2012
  • When Can I Sign Up: All the way up to the last two weeks of December 2012!
  • Crossover Genres: Anything! The name of the game is to turn those unread books into read ones.
  • Mr Linky: To use the Mr Linky you’ll need to click on the graphic then enter your link. These will be updated and posted into this page every couple of weeks or so.
  • Further Details: Crossover challenges are fine, you can change levels at any time, this is eBook, short story, and graphic novel friendly, and you don’t need a blog to join in (read further for details).

The How To


  1. Choose Your Level:These are listed further down and you can change levels at any time.
  2. Grab The Badge: Place it somewhere on your blog, profile, or in a signature where possible and link back (main page or this page, it’s up to you).
  3. Sign Up Post: Create a post on your blog, in a group, or on a forum (only if allowed) to let others see what you’re aiming for (a predefined list of books is optional).
  4. Link Up: Grab the direct URL to your sign up post, not your blog, click the Mr Linky graphic and enter your link!
  5. Blogless? Don’t worry, you can sign up with your social network profile (YouTube, Twitter, GoodReads, Shelfari included), just make sure you link to your review list, shelf, tweet, or category. If you don’t have any of those feel free to comment!

Afterwards


  1. Your Reviews: Reviewing is optional! But if you do review we’d love for you to share them by submitting them on the Review Page (including social networks).
  2. Finished: When you’re done it’s completion post time and you can share these on the Completion Post page!

Challenge Levels


  1. Tempted– Choose 5 books to read
  2. Trying – Choose 15 books to read
  3. Making A Dint – Choose 30 books to read
  4. On A Roll – Choose 50 books to read
  5. Flying Off – Choose 75 books to read
  6. Hoarder – Choose between 76-135 books to read
  7. Buried – Choose between 136-200 books to read
I don't know if i'll manage to read 15 of the books that have been siting on my shelf (some even for years) but i will try to ready maybe 11 or 12, so i'll go with TEMPTED Level.

I will be updating bellow: 

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams


2012 Eclectic Reader Challenge

This should be an interesting one.


The aim of The Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge is to push you a little outside your comfort zone by reading up to 12 books during the year from 12 different genres.

Join in:


  • The challenge will run from January 1st to December 31st 201. Participants may join at any time up until December 1st 2012
  • Create a blog post committing to  your participation in this challenge.

*  If you don’t have a blog you are still welcome to sign up. You can create a shelf for the challenge at Goodreads or LibraryThing or a similar site Just include your name and a link to your shelf.

  • Post your name, blog name, and the direct link to your challenge post in the Linky using the link below

  • Select, read and review a book from each genre listed below during the year for a total of 12 books. A book may be in print, electronic or audio format.

*  You can choose your books as you go or create a list in advance. You may combine this challenge with others if you wish.

*  Where a book is identified by more than one genre eg historical romance, it may only count for either the historical fiction or romantic fiction genres – not both.

*  You can read your chosen titles in any order, at any pace, just complete the challenge by December 21st 2012 to be eligible for the prize drawing.
  • Each time you read and review a book as part of this challenge, make sure you identify it by adding either a direct statement  and /or the challenge image badge to the post.

  • Share your review with other challenge participants by posting your name/blog name and title of the book with a direct link to your review in the Linky.

All participants that complete the challenge by December 31st 2012 will be eligible to win a book of their choice to the value of $15AUD from bookdepository.com or a $10US Amazon gift card or paypal funds of  US$10 to be drawn via random.org Jan  2013.

I will be updating bellow:

Genres


  1. Literary Fiction
  2. Crime/Mystery Fiction - The Truth About Us by Dalene Flannigan
  3. Romantic Fiction
  4. Historical Fiction - To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  5. Young Adult - Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  6. Fantasy - Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  7. Science Fiction
  8. Non Fiction
  9. Horror
  10. Thriller /Suspense
  11. Classic
  12. Your favorite genre - YA -



2012 Debut Author Challenge

I have a feeling i might struggle a bit with this one. I don't really know why i just feel that way :S I'll try my best anyway :)


CHALLENGE OBJECTIVE:

  • To read & review a minimum of twelve young adult or middle grade debut novels between the dates of January 1, 2012 – January 31, 2013.*

*The 2013 extension is so that December Debuts can be read and count toward the challenge.

  • Any advance reader copies you read from 2012 BEFORE the January 1st start date DO NOT count toward the challenge! 
  • You can read twelve books in one month, or one book a month. It doesn’t matter as long as you have 12 read by the end of the year! 

RULES & GUIDELINES:

  • You must have a Blog to post your reviews or be a member of Goodreads. Youtube Book Reviewers count too!
  • Your blog/video must be written in English.
  • Deadline to join is May 31, 2012.

BOOK GUIDELINES:

  • Must be a young adult or middle grade title.
  • Must be the author’s YA or MG debut, released in 2012.
  • If an author has a previous novel published for adults or children, they can still qualify for the challenge.
  • If an author has a previous YA or MG title, they do not qualify for the challenge.
I will be updating below:

  1. Cracked by K. M. Walton
  2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge

Second Challenge for the year 2012.







I am glad for this one because it is my only chance to actually read some of the books i have sitting on my shelf just piling up dust. I really do hope i complete this.

Challenge guidelines: 


  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 - Dec 31, 2012.
  2. As we would like to see quality reviews linked up to our monthly wrap-ups, only bloggers can enter. Sorry about that!
  3. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2011 and earlier! NO ARCs and 2012 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge (You need to include the info + host list + challenge button. You can also grab the button code and add it to your sidebar!)
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  8. At the end of each month one of the hosts will post a wrap-up. Every wrap-up will have it's unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It's open to INTERNATIONALS. For participating in the mini-challenge you will get +1 entry.
  9. If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice - we will be checking ;)
  10. December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you'll link up in December will be entered into a HUGE giveaway - 12 books, 12 winners, INTERNATIONAL. 
  11. You don't have to follow all the hosts to join the challenge, but you do have to follow all of us to be entered in giveaways!
Levels:

1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children

Hosts:
Evie from Bookish - http://www.evie-bookish.blogspot.com @SeoEvie
Nicole from All I Ever Read - http://www.nicoleabouttown.com/ @Nicoleabouttown
Bonnie from Hands and Home - http://www.handsandhome.ca/ @HandsHomeBlog
Donna from Book Passion For Life - http://bookpassionforlife.blogspot.com/ @BookPforLife
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading - http://whatchyareading.net @caitlingss
Rie from Mission To Read - http://missiontoread.com/ @missiontoread
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea -http://booksbiscuitsandtea.blogspot.com/ @alouetteuette
Christa from Hooked On Books - http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com @ChristasBooks
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction - http://fansoffiction.blogspot.com/ @fansoffiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision - http://mermaidvision.wordpress.com @mermaidvisions



Wrap-up POST Schedule:

January - Donna (Theme: Let It Snow + Book Cover Challenge)
February - Nicole (Theme: Un-requited Love/Love Gone Wrong + Advice Column Challenge)
March - Rie (Theme: Green or Pinched + Green Cover Challenge)
April Bonnie (Theme: Easter + Mini Challenge)
May - Christa (Theme: MayDay - Disaster Books! + Cover Disaster Challenge)
June - Jenna ( Theme: Camping + Sentence Challenge)
July - Rie (Theme: International Day + Cover Comparison Challenge)
August - Angel (Theme: Summer Memories + Send Your Fav Character On Vacation Challenge)
September - Nicole (Theme: Life Changing Books + Mini Challenge)
October - Caitlin (Theme: Thanksgiving Theme + Share-A-Book Challenge)
November - Vicky (Theme: Spooky Halloween + Book Puzzle Challenge)
December - Evie (Theme: Xmas Bliss + Book Bachelor Challenge)


11-20 Books - A Friendly Hug

I will be updating below:

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams



2012 e-Book Challenge

My first reading challenge of the year!


The 2012 e-Book challenge is hosted by Sarah at Workday Reads. Rules are as fallow (copied from her blog):

Challenge Guidelines:
  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 - Dec 31, 2012.
  2. Anyone can join, you don't need to be a blogger. If you don't have a blog, feel free to sign-up in the comments. You can post reviews to any book site (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc).
  3. Any genre or length of book counts, as long as it is in ebook format.
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the E-Book Reading Challenge.
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.

Levels:
  1. Floppy disk - 5 ebooks
  2. CD - 10 ebooks
  3. DVD - 25 ebooks
  4. Memory stick - 50 ebooks
  5. Hard drive - 75 ebooks
  6. Server - 100 ebooks
  7. Human brain - 150 ebooks

At the beginning of each month there will be a roundup post for you to add your reviews for that month. If you forget, feel free to add your reviews in the following month. Any reviews submitted will be entered into the draw for that month.

Yes, there will be draws every month for participants. As long as you are signed up below, every review you add to the monthly roundups will get one entry into the giveaway for that month.

There will also be a grand giveaway at the end of the year for eveyone who achieves their goal level (or  higher). There may be different prizes for different levels, but that is not decided yet. If you are an author and want to contribute to the monthly or grand prizes, please contact me.

I'll try for DVD Level (25 e-Books). This should be fun :)

I will be updating below:
  1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  2. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  3. Cracked by K. M. Walton 
  4. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi 
  5. Cinder by Marissa Meyer   |    [Floppy Disk Level Completed]
  6. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  7. Angelfall by Susan Ee 
  8. The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
  9. Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things by Ted Naifeh
  10. Erebos by Ursula Poznanski   |   [CD Level Completed]
  11. The Truth About Us by Dalene Flannigan
  12. There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones 
  13. The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman