Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gamer Girl by Mari Mancusi

     Maddy's parents have just divorced and she has had to move in with her Grandmother in a new town. This means starting a new school without her friends. She is labeled the freak.
     Maddy is a great artist and takes comfort in her manga drawings. Her father gets her an online game called Fields of Fantasy which she loves and plays often to escape her problems. Online she can be anyone she wants to be, so she becomes an Elfin maiden named Allora. She makes friends on the game as well.
     Maddy is your average protagonist. Her parents are divorced, she has to move to a new school and all of that. What makes her different from the many other books of this sort is her love of manga and her obsession with her online game. You don't generally see too many novels about an obsession with online games, but Mancusi does well to present it. Maddy loves that game and it almost seems to become an extension of who she is, in her mind. She plays it all of the time, thereby avoiding having to feel anything besides what Allora would feel. She logs on constantly to play: instead of her homework, when she gets into it with her mom, or even when she misses her dad.
     I really do feel sorry for Maddy. I know what it's like to change schools and leave all of your friends behind. Regardless, she still seems a little pathetic. It is almost like she doesn't want to make friends to show her parents how horrible a thing they did to her. I like how Mancusi developed Maddy, I'm not saying I don't because I did love Maddy, but I wanted her to try a bit more to make some new friends instead of being all woe is me.
     I do have to say that as good as Gamer Girl was, it was too predictable. There was not nearly enough suspense. I knew what was going to happen pages before it did. The writing, however, kept me reading because it really was good.  All said and done, Gamer Girl was pretty interesting and well-written.
     Rating: 6
     Find Gamer Girl at Amazon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

     Cleopatra's Daughter starts out as Octavian's army is approaching Alexandria, Egypt. Alexander, Selene, Ptolemy and their mother, Cleopatra, hide as best they can, but they are found. Cleopatra kills herself and their father. Marc Antony, dies as well, leaving them to the mercy of Octavian Ceasar. Rather than killing them, Ceasar takes them back to Rome with him to show his immense power. Selene and Alexander grow up in Rome, longing to be home with their people. They learn the secrets that surround their new home and the people they live with.

     I think this is probably the best historical novel I have ever read! I fell in love with this book quite quickly. Moran's writing style just flows so perfectly. The language is definitely not modern, but it is understandable. I think she did a great job in bringing this piece of history to life.
     Selene and Alexander are twins, but they are far from identical. The story is told from Selene's perspective. You get to see just how hard losing her parents and having to be Ceasar's trophy is for her. She hates it. Selene misses her home and parents dearly and has trouble adjusting to the abnormal ways of Rome. Nonetheless, she has immense courage! Somehow, Selene finds it in her to stand up to Ceasar and I envy her strength.
     Alexander is not as eager to go home. He finds Rome much more exciting than his sister, who is miserable. and seems to be adjusting better. Either way, both he and Selene live in constant fear of their lives being extinguished. Octavian Ceasar uses them to show his power and cares little about them. They are just prisoners of war to him.
     Octavia was so sweet! The book would not have been the same without her. She helps Selene to fit in better and takes care of Alexander as well. She even stands up to her brother, Ceasar, for them.
     The secrets in Rome were enough to drive me crazy! I wanted to know so badly what this or that meant. It makes me want to read even more books on the subject. The tension certainly added to the story line. It made Cleopatra's Daughter a page-turner for me! I simply loved this book. Everything came alive for me, and that is the most important part. I want to be able to feel what the character's feel, see what they see, ad even hear what they do. Cleopatra's Daughter did that for me. For instance, the first time Selene has to dress in Roman clothing she feels ashamed. I felt that embarrassment with her. I wanted to slap Ceasar just as much as she did.
     All in all, Cleopatra's Daughter is a book well-worth the time it takes to read it. If you are interested in history, or specifically Ceasar or Cleopatra, then this is the book for you. Plus, it comes highly recommended!
     Rating: 9.8
     To find Cleopatra's Daughter, check Amazon, Walmart, or even Michelle Moran's website!

Hush, Hush Contest

     I'm sure many of you are looking forward to October 19th. Who wouldn't be? After all, Crescendo is going to be released then! Of course, it would be inappropriate, tragic even, to read the second book before the first. ;)
     Which is why Melissa at YA Book Shelf is giving away two glorious copies of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick! Tears of pure joy are running down your face now, aren't they? I assure you, you are not alone. I would adore a copy of this book!
     So, make sure you do not miss out on this chance! Enter the contest here. Good luck!

Book Blogger Hop (September 17th -20th)

     I had quite the week, what about you? The teachers piled on the homework this weekend, but that's alright. I'm still on a high from our awesome version of trench warfare in U.S. History on Thursday. :) We used paper balls (simulating bullets) and the desks (forming the 'trench'). It may sound dorky, but it was unimaginably fun to get the chance to throw things at the people you don't like in your class! No, I'm just kidding!
     Good times, good times...
Book Blogger HopThank you Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books!
Prompt of the Week:
     In honor of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, let's take time this week to honor our favorite book bloggers and why we love them!
     Well, I'd have to say Christina from Books Are Life is definitely my inspiration for blogging! She is the one who introduced me to the whole world of sharing my love of books with other people. Obviously she has a wonderful blog complete with reviews, interviews and everything in between! What's not to love? I've also had the great experience of being friends with Christina in-person (oh, those lovely AP Euro days...).  Don't miss out on this fabulous blog!
     Then there is my eighth grade English teacher's review blog. She was one of my favorite teachers. Heather (it's weird calling her by her first name) at The One Thing I Regret could be a writer herself! Don't you just love her style? She truly makes me want to read every book she discusses!
     I know there are zillions of other blogs out there that I have surely missed out on, but I feel that the above mentioned two are some of the best. Be sure to stop by and check both of them out!
    Have fun reading and hopping!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Nightlight: A Parody by The Harvard Lampoon

     Belle Goose falls in love with Edwart Mullen in this parody of Twilight. She lives in Switchblade, Oregon, and is looking for a vampire boyfriend. She thinks Edwart is a vampire and attempts to convince him to make her a vampire too, by stalking him.

     I know this book was supposed to be funny, but I just didn't like it. Some things were funny, I'll give it that. For the most part though, I think this book went much too far. This could be because I actually happened to enjoy the Twilight saga, but I won't go into fan-girl mode at the moment.
     Belle stalks Edwart and Edwart is creeped out by girls. None of the words that come out of anyone's mouth seem even remotely real. Most importantly, it doesn't even really make that much sense! I couldn't follow what was going on very well.
     It was actually fairly hilarious the way the authors changed the names though. Belle Goose is Bella Swan. A goose is a type of bird, as is a swan... get it?  ;)
     Rating:  1
      -- I really hate to give the book this low of a rating, but I just couldn't connect with it. I'm sure some people might actually like Nightlight, so give it a try if you'd like. I am most certainly not an expert on books!
     If you would like to read Nightlight, try Amazon.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Super-duper Contest

     The Book Buzzer has an AMAZING giveaway going on until September 30th! There are some wonderful books being given away including some that are on my imaginary to be read pile. 
     You can win The Giver by Lois Lowry, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, The Hunger Games and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, and an ARC of Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson, among others. This is just what you've been waiting for, right?  ;)

     Sign up for the contest soon and good luck to you all!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: September 10-13

     It was only a four day week this week! Thank goodness. Surprisingly, I didn't have quite as much homework as normal so I got in some extra reading time. I'm almost finished with The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer.
     Today we had a big pep rally at school because tonight is when we play our biggest rival. It was hilarious! Some of the football players dressed up as girls from our rival school (decked out in skirts and all) and someone even brought a possum. I suppose this might make more sense if you knew who this rival team was and all. :)
Book Blogger Hop
Question of the Week:
     Post a link to a favortie post or book review that you have written in the past three months.
     This really isn't an answer, since it wasn't really a question, but here is my link anyway:
The Named
I think that I would consider this one of my favorite books ever. I wish I could read the next two, but that, my dear friends, is another story altogether!

     Have a great weekend and make sure to read plenty!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

     I was beyond amazed by Mockingjay! It was simultaneously horrible and wonderful.

     Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12.
--Summary from Amazon (I would have put too many spoilers in the description alone)

     As I mentioned above, I loved this book. Suzanne Collins has once again managed to awe us with her talent! Her writing is beautiful. Somehow she manages to put you right there in the book. She makes Katniss's struggles so real, so powerful. I wanted to cry so many times, but mostly I think I was in too much shock to do so. Still, there were countless times in which I thought my heart was being ripped out of my chest.
     Katniss was wonderful and strong as usual. It seemed as though she was a bit too lost though. I wanted her to be more of her old self, but I suppose the harshness of life just got to her. I felt bad for her because she had to grow up much too fast. Katniss is still amazing. Despite everything she manages to keep moving, to keep trying, and to keep looking for a way.
     So, I decided who I wanted Katniss to end up with before I read Mockingjay. I chose Peeta. Then I read the book... I don't really like Peeta so much anymore but Gale isn't so fantastic either. Peeta is just, well, not Peeta. I miss the real Peeta so badly and I miss the peaceful time that Gale and Katiss spent together. It just wasn't the same, but I guess nothing ever really stays the same, right?
     To this day I still can't figure Haymitch out. Sometimes I love him and other times I want to strangle him! I know he cares about Katniss. I know this. I just wish he would show it. Of course, if he did he wouldn't be Haymitch anymore.
     Prim is as sweet as ever. She too has grown up throughout the novels and I must say she is quite the lady now! I'm glad that she got to spend more time with Katniss. They both seemed to be slowly pulled apart by the Games, but now they have a little time together. It's just so... wait I can't tell you that! :)
     The end held me captivated. I think I sat there, mouth agape, for a full five minutes trying to digest everything. I can't say that I really liked the ending though. It just didn't seem like Katniss was truly happy, and that is what I wanted for her, more than anything.
     All in all, this was wonderful! If you haven't read this yet, I strongly suggest that you do so immediately. You may even want to run out to the nearest bookstore now...
     Rating: 10!
     I'm pretty sure you can find Mockingjay almost anywhere including Walmart and Amazon.

Happy reading!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Book Blogger Hop September 3- 6

     Thank goodness Friday has finally come! I was dying! Now I have a lovely three day weekend for Labor Day. That means plenty of time to finish Mockingjay.  I tried reading it this week but it got in the way of homework (oops!) and I ended up staying up late to finish the lame homework I dismissed to read.  :)  Ah, the life of a book lover...
Thanks to Jen at Crazy-for-Books!Book Blogger Hop

Question of the Week:
     Do you judge a books by its cover?
     I know it's horrible, but yes I do. They say not to judge books by their covers. Honestly, how do you decide to pick up a book and examine it otherwise though? I'm usually not going to pick up something that looks horrible or boring, personally. My friends and I have discussed this plenty and it's just the honest truth that most people won't pick up a book that isn't visually appealing.
     Besides this, I like to run my fingers over covers that I like (weird, I know). I like tracing the words and pictures or feeling the different elevated/impressioned parts. It's just nice.
     So do you judge a book by it's cover?