February 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (79)

This week's topic is top ten book related problems.

1. My biggest book related problem will always be that I feel like my TBR pile is crushing me.  Like, always in my sightline, "You'll never catch up, you'll never beat me" a la Paris from Gilmore Girls.

2. When you don't know a book is part of a series until you finish it.  Honestly, if I had known you were going to be a series I probably wouldn't have read you at least until your second book was out.

3.  I have this weird thing where I won't read certain topics or genres until a specific season.  Like if a book takes place at the beach, I try to hold off until summer.  A lot of times I try to save fantasy until the fall/winter.  I try to break out of it, but it's a big mental hurdle.  This is just me annoying myself.

4. This is becoming a bookish confessions post, but oh well, you guys don't mind, do you?  I am terrible at returning library books on time.  I am more likely to read the book the first couple of days after I get it and then wind up having to renew it the allotted 2 times just so I'm not fined.  I am the literal worst.

5. I like to read/reread books that are becoming movies close to when I see the movie.  The problem comes when I'm ultimately disappointed in the movie because the book is so fresh in my mind.  

What bookish problems plague you guys?

February 5, 2015

Dorothy Must Die - Danielle Paige

Title: Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
Pages: 452
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: Publisher
About: I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado - taking you with it - you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still a yellow brick road - but even that's crumbling.What happened? Dorothy.They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.My name is Amy Gumm - and I'm the other girl from Kansas.I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.I've been trained to fight.And I have a mission.

So, let’s talk Dorothy Must Die.  I’m a huge Wizard of Oz fan and I usually love retellings so I really thought that I was going to be totally on board with this one.  I turned out to be totally wrong – shocking, I know.   This book was reaaaaaaaaaally long.  And the pacing wasn’t great either.  Also, it’s a series?  I wasn’t expecting that.

I felt absolutely no connection to the characters.  They would be introduced and then they would disappear (whether it was via death or just plain old leaving).  I could tell that I was supposed to be rooting for Amy and Nox, but I really felt nothing for them.  If their time together had been a little bit more fleshed out it would’ve helped a bit, but there were weird time hops that did nothing for their story.  We would get to an established point, say when Amy gets to the witches, there would be a little bit of the training that was going on and then a throwaway sentence like, ‘It was that way for a few months until…’  It happened when she was at the castle too.  I get that it wouldn’t be interesting to read about her cleaning the palace floors for months on end, but there are better, subtler ways to make that jump.

Another big issue I had was that I just couldn’t see this villain as Dorothy.  I’m so all for flipping these classic stories on their heads (for example: in Tiger Lily, Wendy as villainous rival felt very organic to me), but this Dorothy, who wears blue gingham everything – I’m talking mermaid dresses, bathrobes, EVERYTHING – and ruby stilettos, I’m just not feeling.  She’s written as a caricature of generic evil lady and it didn’t work for me.  It could have been done very differently, staying true to who Dorothy is at her core and had someone else pulling her strings the whole time (which is SPOILER ALERT implied at the end anyway) and there wouldn’t have been this disconnect.  I think what I’m trying to say is there’s really no reason for this story to be based on The Wizard of Oz.

I unfortunately will not be continuing this series, which is a shame because I was really looking forward to it before I read it.

February 3, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (78)

This week's topic is top ten genre books I can't believe I haven't read yet.  I have this problem with YA Fantasy where I want to read all of them in theory, but am so hesitant to reach for one when it's time to pick my next book.  I don't know why this happens to me, because I really enjoy them when I read them, but they're just not my first go to.  Here are ten (probably really awesome) Fantasy reads I can't believe I haven't picked up yet.

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. 

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license - for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. 
The choice Tally makes changes her world forever... 

Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms - a struggle that could very well mean her death. 

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one. 
But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will. 
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do. 

When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their loved moved from curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.
now.That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt.
forever.Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment - a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.
As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back. Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can’t dodge is each other. 

What have you guys been putting off reading?