Book Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

Of all the books I read in 2010, Matched was probably my favorite. I raced through the book mesmerized by the poetic language of Ally Condie. When I heard Matched was the first in a trilogy, I quickly became obsessed with the second installment. I had the pleasure of meeting Ally at a signing at the LA Times Festival of Books this past April. I did ask Ally if the second book would feature more with Xander. She said that the second installment would not have a lot of Xander but the THIRD would make up for that. EEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I later talked to my friend who works for Penguin as she had already read Crossed. She said of Crossed “I was Team Ky but then something happened that I went to Team Xander”, that statement haunted and delighted me and I made it my goal to get an ARC of Crossed. This long diatribe does have a point as my friend and I waited and started a line 40 minutes before the ARCS of Crossed were to be handed out. I had never seen an ARC more beautiful than Crossed, which featured the actual cover that would be used in the final printing.

I tore into Crossed shortly after I got it. If you read my post on Eve, you would know I don’t usually cry when I read. Crossed had me crying on page 36 or so. It was a lot slower than Matched, almost painfully slower in parts but the beautiful language made up for it. I never thought that Cassia would meet up with Ky and I was not happy when they did-sorry I’m Team Xander all the way! Once they met up, wow. I can’t even go into the emotions that happened after several revelations. I now LOATHE Ky, absolutely loathe him. I understand why he did what he did (keeping it non-spoilery here) but as I type this, I am still incensed by his actions.

With that said, I cannot wait to dive more into the Rebels and the uprising and if my suspicions about Xander’s role in all of it ring true. When I reached halfway through the novel I really got into Crossed and could not put it down. Ally Condie is a master of description and her picturesque fine comb detail of the Outer Realms and the Cavern was amazing. I am now giddy with anticipation and excitement about the third and final novel in the trilogy. I assume the cover will be red (to symbolize the last pill and color that hasn’t been featured on the cover thus far). I cannot even wait to find out the name of the title! I try to daydream possible titles but they all don’t seem to work. I’m actually embarrassed to admit that so I won’t be putting my title thoughts here.

Here’s to hoping we get news on part 3 soon and that November 2012 comes quickly!

Happy reading!

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Book Review- Legend by Marie Lu

Legend was another book I was desperately after during my time at Comic Con 2011, but sadly the Penguin booth was out of copies by the time I got there. Luckily, my friend who works for Penguin sent me an ARC. I started Legend in August and barely 30 pages in, I had a scare. My teething kitten got to the cover and teethed all over the corner. I’m completely anal about my books so I was NOT happy about that. I ended up tweeting a picture of the damage to Marie Lu and she thought it was funny. Now on to the review.

I had heard a lot of buzz that Legend was THE dystopian to read this year and there was nothing else like it. I knew from page one, that this was not your cookie cutter dystopian, if there is such a type of dystopian that is cookie cutter. I love that the point of view shifted back and forth between Day and June. I really liked both characters and that neither were flat or uninteresting. June is a great strong feminist heroine and I cannot wait to see her develop in the next two books. Day had so many amazing layers to him that I found myself more drawn to him then June in some parts. The twists and turns in the plot that I will keep from divulging left me breathless. There were many facets of betrayal and secrets that were mind-boggling and really added and pushed the story along.

I think the buzz and hype of Legend was worth it. It has a fresh setting and concept. The characters are fleshed out really well and I liked the dynamic between Tess and Day the most. I did feel that June and Day’s attraction was too instantaneous and rushed but the jail scene at the end validated it more for me.

Overall this was an enjoyable read and it has its own place in the white-hot dystopian YA genre. It was a slow start for  me but 100 pages in I could not put the book down or turn the pages fast enough. Thank you so much to my friend for providing this. I cannot wait to see how this trilogy progresses and will be awaiting Legend #2.

If you liked Hunger Games, Divergent, and love dystopian, read Legend!

Book Review: Eve By Anna Carey

Eve was one of 6 or 7 books I picked up on the last day of Comic Con 2011. I had the opportunity to meet Anna Carey at a signing after the High School Bites panel. I was unfamiliar with Carey until Eve was pressed in my hand but Carey was very pleasant to talk to as she signed my copy. 

I read Eve a few months ago and have heard it compared to Hunger Game and The Handmaid’s Tale. While it is obviously dystopian, both books are in very separate castes. 

I really enjoyed the California, New America setting where Eve takes place. The pacing is a bit slow in parts, which made it hard to become completely engrossed in but it was a great payoff a the end. I had a love/hate relationship with Eve herself, she annoyed me a lot and I felt that Carey had not rounded her out as a character as much as she did for Caleb and Arden. However, the further on in the book I got, I came to the hypothesis that Carey purposely leaves Eve the character to be flat because of her sheltered nature and upbringing.

I fell in love with Caleb before Eve did, the swoon-worthy blonde who rescues and shelters her. while he is not Peeta (who is, really?) he was a refreshing take on the cute hero type popping up in dystopians lately. I am interested to see what their relationship evolves into in subsequent books.

I very rarely cry when I read books ( can count the amount of books i have shed tears while reading on one hand) but I did tear up at the end of Eve. I’ll be spoiler-less and not elaborate.

I cannot wait until the next installment and hope for an even stronger second book in this fresh trilogy!

If you liked Hunger Games, and you ate up Wither, try Eve! 

Winter Break Reading and Writing Goals

Hello there!

November and early December escaped me and so here I am, on Winter Break, finally able to blog! I have finished a bunch of books I need to post reviews on, and will work on getting those posted this week. I am on day 3 of my winter vacation and am looking forward to a lot of reading and writing.

Here’s what my reading schedule looks like:

Week 1:

Finish The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

Read Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

 

Week 2:

Read Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire

*Another book TBD out of my ALA Mid-Winter 2011 & Comic Con 2011 book pile

I’ve also been writing again and it feels so good to start fleshing out all the characters screaming in my head and the scenes that have been dancing around in it for so long.

I am hoping to complete a few chapters for the two books I am starting to write. One is a fresh idea but the other is based on a novella I wrote when I was twelve that I only have in hard copy. I need to type it into my laptop and get copies of chapters from the novel I started in college on to my laptop as well. My goals are to have those completed by the time I return to work.

Do you have any reading or writing goals over Winter Break?

ONYX Cover Reveal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I was thrilled when I was picked to be a part of the cover reveal for Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout, this is my first cover reveal, ever! Onyx is the second book in the Lux series, the first is Obsidian, which releases tomorrow, December 6th!

Here are the cover and description for Obsidian, courtesy of Good Reads:


Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is…

You can purchase Obsidian via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Book Depository at the links below:

Amazon

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/obsidian-jennifer-l-armentrout/1105621066?ean=9781937044237&itm=6&usri=jennifer%2bl%2barmentrout&workid=1033604979

http://www.bookdepository.com/Obsidian-Jennifer-Armentrout/9781937044237

And without further adieu, here is the highly anticipated cover for Onyx!

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

Wow, what a cover! I really like how both titles are a type of gemstone, I wonder what the significance of both stones will be to the plot and series overall. Happy reading everyone!