Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sam's Ramblings

I'm not sure what number I'm on, but whatever!

So, as I'm working on my list of top 10 favorite reads of this year, I realized how much I love being a blogger. Although I definitely can get careless at times and not update (usually from laziness) for long periods of time, everything else makes it worth it.

Especially when some of my favorite authors retweet me or @reply to me on Twitter! It's such an honor to be able to talk to them and know they ACTUALLY respond, that they aren't these famous people who don't have any time for a reader like me.

I think that's why I want to be an author so much. Because it's not about fame or money to the people who write books - it's about the books.

I love you guys! :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Review: Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

Title: Fall for Anything
Author: Courtney Summers
Page Count: 224 pages
Summary: When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on...but are some questions better left unanswered?

Review: I am a huge Courtney Summers fan - Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are are two of my favorite books. And even though Fall for Anything was definitely different in tone, I think it worked really well. Before, in her writing, we've seen characters that are witty and sarcastic or ex-mean girls, but while Eddie is broken like they both are, she is nothing like them.

For the first half of the book, I wasn't quite as into it as I have been with Summers' other novels; it felt as if there was something missing to make the story interesting to me. From the get go, I loved Milo - he was sweet and obviously cares so much about Eddie, whereas Culler just seemed super creepy to me. And while I wasn't quite taken in by the first half of the book, the second half had me going. It was just really interesting how Summers' can give you this impression of the characters without explicitly saying anything, while barely even hinting at it. I think that takes real talent, because I wasn't sure who I was supposed to like until nearer to the end of the book. And the suspense of that definitely made it worth it.

The thing I always like about Summers' books is that they are raw. There isn't any narration that isn't in character and the story is told more through the actions of the characters than any fluffy inner monologues, which I style that I strive to write in.

But while I did like Fall for Anything, I didn't quite as much as Summers' other books. Maybe because this one was so dark and there wasn't any funny sarcasm to lift me out it for a moment, but it definitely worked for the story. I couldn't see it being written any other way.

Overall: 4.5/5 stars

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This week I'm reading Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky!

"Because at some point, you need to start calling the shots. At some point, you have to start believing that you know what's best. Or, I thought with a smile, you just stop asking for their permission in the first place." - Page 124

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Page Count: 440 pages
Summary: Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

Review: God, I loved this book. Maybe not quite as much as Before I Fall, but it was definitely not a disappointment at all.

First of all, the character development is CRAZY good. In the beginning, Lena was this shy girl who didn't like to break the rules, but inside of her she knew there was something different than most of the people she had to spend her days with. And in the society she lives in, this is not a good thing. So she tries to cover it up.

But then she meets Alex and her entire world is flipped upside down. I didn't realize the depth of the loathing of love in her society until this point - parents who've had the procedure don't tell their children they love them, they don't comfort them when they cry. And while I can understand not wanting romantic love to ruin you, to feel the pain of it, to not love your child in the same way? Argh, it just hit me so hard. And I knew Lena needed to leave.

Her and Alex's relationship was... it was exactly like first love should be. I thought it fit so well - with her little insecurities melting away and her shock at seeing him shirtless for the first time. It just melted my heart. But at the same time, it flourished when love isn't supposed to.

The ending was so heartwrenching, but I thought it was a perfect ending for the book. I'm not going to give anything away and some people might disagree, but the ending worked so well. And it showed that love, even when you try to suppress it, cannot be stopped.

I guess I can't write this review without gushing. But there was only one thing I disliked about the book and that, too, eventually grew on me: the premise seemed a little hard to believe at first. But once I got into the book and saw the depth of it, of people believing that love will actually kill you, it definitely worked.

Overall, I loved this book. I don't have much more to say than that.

Romance: 4.7/5
Overall: 5/5

Delirium comes out in February, 2011.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Review: Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund

Title: Ascendant
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Page Count: 392 pages
Summary: Astrid Llewelyn is now a fully trained unicorn hunter, but she can't solve all her problems with just a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend, Giovanni, has decided to leave Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend's powers seem to be mysteriously disintegrating, and Astrid can't help but feel that school, home, and her hopes of becoming a scientist are nothing but impossible dreams.

So when she's given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and put her skills to use as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she want--or can she? At Gordian headquarters, deep in the French countryside, Astrid begins to question everything she thought she believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and most of all her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns, or saving the unicorns from the world?

Review: I think there are some books that affect me in such a way that I can't do my standard bullet point reviews. The last book I finished, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly was one of those and Ascendant definitely is. I think there's something in the rawness of these books that I can't make bullets about what I liked; I can ramble in paragraphs about it, however.

Ascendant took me a little too long to finish, but not for lack of interest. I'm glad I took it slow, because I could savor it. And even though it wasn't as fast-paced and exciting as Rampant was, with the whole, "Will she do it with Giovanni?" thing, I think it was definitely better for it. It was more mature. And you can definitely see the change in Astrid from the beginning of the book until the end. It wasn't some kind of dumb character development that I didn't believe - I really, really believed it. It was done so well.

I won't say I absolutely loved Ascendant, because I probably would've finished it earlier if I had, but the ending was awesome. I don't want to reveal too much, but Astrid is bad-ass. Even more bad-ass than in Rampant, if that's humanly possible. I know I like my characters to be kind of hard, to have a tough outer shell, but Astrid has to earn that, because that's not really the kind of person she is.

I'm really interested to see where this series goes!

Overall: 4/5 stars

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blog Update

Finals are over, hooray! Well, they were over for me a lot earlier than most people. I got sick after I got back from Thanksgiving at school, which accounts for my MIAness lately. I went to the doctor twice, the urgent care center, and the emergency room twice, and no one could help me. So my mom had me shipped home early because she was so worried about me and I've thankfully gotten a lot better. But since most of my friends hadn't come home yet, all I did was watch TV and EDIT.

The first round of edits on The Shape that Breaks are COMPLETE. I'm so excited and ready to start with critique partners. I've never been this close to finishing a novel and I'm so freakin' excited I've been neglecting reading. Right now, I'm finishing up Ascendant by Diana Peterfreud (I always have to look up how to spell her name). Also, I got a couple of ARC tours coming up, which I'm super excited about, so hopefully I'll be more active this winter break!

I think about once a week or so, to help with the fact that I have no money, I'm gonna review an old favorite of mine. And I have a ton, so be ready!

Happy holidays, everyone!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Across the Universe Book Trailer

I know everyone and their mother is posting about this, but I'm so freakin' excited for this book that I had to post this.

A book trailer for Beth Revis's upcoming novel, Across the Universe!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sam's Ramblings (3)

I think I have mono. I have to go to the doctor tomorrow to confirm but I don't feel THAT crappy. That would be very bad, if I actually did have mono.

I'm here to talk to you about: WINTER.

I live in Florida. I've lived in South Florida for my entire life, with only vacations to places where it gets colder and there are mountains. (Lake Tahoe!) But Florida, for those of you who don't know, is a LONG state. It takes about seven hours to get from where I live to FSU, if that gives you a little bit of an idea. So, down south, there really isn't a winter. It gets in the 50s, maybe the 40s, everyone complains, and it's back to 80 for two weeks until the next cold front.

So, living in Tallahassee? Yeah, there's a winter. It was 30 degrees this morning when I left my dorm and even though I wasn't that cold, it's so weird to see people COMPLAINING about 50 degree weather. If it was 50 degrees, I could lay outside and read a book and not wear gloves.

This rambling today has no purpose. I'm reading, a review for Revolution to come in a day or so, and I'm getting through Ascendant! Hope everyone is doing well and had a great Thanksgiving!