Book Recommendations?

Hello, everyone!  I am in the process of compiling a list of various book recommendations according to genres.  However, I have one section dedicated to my follower’s recommendations, so I need your help.  If you have any recommendations, whether it is an adult thriller, new adult romance, or young adult dystopian, all are accepted!  Of course, you will get credit (I’ll link your blog within the rec, as you deserve it!)  Please send as many as you desire!  I greatly appreciate all of your help!

Happy reading!

Katie 🙂

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Book Review: The End Games

It’s Saturday!  Time for a book review!  Saturday Book Reviews are a part of my Daily Post; to learn more about it, click here.

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It happened on Halloween.

The world ended.

And a dangerous Game brought it back to life.

Seventeen-year-old Michael and his five-year-old brother, Patrick, have been battling monsters in The Game for weeks.

In the rural mountains of West Virginia, armed with only their rifle and their love for each other, the brothers follow Instructions from the mysterious Game Master. They spend their days searching for survivors, their nights fighting endless hordes of “Bellows”—creatures that roam the dark, roaring for flesh. And at this Game, Michael and Patrick are very good.

But The Game is changing.

The Bellows are evolving.

The Game Master is leading Michael and Patrick to other survivors—survivors who don’t play by the rules.

And the brothers will never be the same.

T. Michael Martin’s debut novel is a transcendent thriller filled with electrifying action, searing emotional insight, and unexpected romance.-Goodreads summary

Judge the Book by its Cover:

  • In real life, the book cover is much darker, which makes the images extremely hard to see.  However, I quite enjoy the use of the dark reds and blacks.  These colors play an integral role in the overall plot, and I would like to think  that the cover artist did it on purpose.  Besides the coloring, the images of the two brothers and bellows are okay-not necessarily my favorites, but they, again, relate to the plot.

Things that Made Me Happy:

  • The book immediately jumps into the plot.  Quickly, I was swept into the apocalyptic world overrun by zombies that Martin created.  While he did instantly begin the plot, Martin provided ample “flashbacks,” which provided answers that readers may have concerning the world-building.  These moments never distracted from the main plot but provided ample explanations for the brothers’ current situation.  Overall, I enjoy this plot format that Martin exercised.
  • This book truly had some fantastic character development; I especially enjoyed the character development of Michael and Holly.  Throughout a majority of the book, I became increasingly annoyed with Michael.  I found him to be close-minded and never willing to accept the help from others.  Likewise, I felt pity for Holly.  She was a quiet girl, who I so desperately wanted to speak her mind because I sensed her potential as a character.  Simultaneously, these characters both realized their faults and attempted to work with them in order to create some goodness in this world.  Rarely, do readers see this kind of genuine character development.  I really enjoyed it. 
  • There were some hilarious pop culture references in this book.  The world that Martin created was bleak and depressing, so the little details of the boys sleeping in Pokemon sleeping bags and pretending like the war against the zombies was a Call of Duty game were lighthearted and deduced a lot of the book’s melancholy.

Things that Made Me Unhappy:

  • Within the first 100 pages there is a totally unsuspecting plot twist that completely destroyed the book for me.  Prior to this destructive plot twist, I enjoyed Martin’s concept; I found it to be unique and possessing an abundance of potential, which made me want to keep reading.  However, this plot twist shattered the unprecedented elements of this story and turned it into a typical “apocalyptic zombie story.”  Additionally, I felt that adding this twist was a last minute decision made my Martin and his publishing company because I found latter parts of this book to be full of inconsistencies as if that plot twist did not exist, which made the novel that much more frustrating.  Therefore, I found the rest of the book to be extremely dull, and completing the book was a huge struggle for me.  
  • In addition to the plot twist and the subsequent actions boring me, I had an inability to relate to any of characters.  While they did have some amazing development, I just could not connect with the characters and did not find myself really caring how their story ended.

My Rating:

★★★ 3/5 stars!

Recommendations:

I’d recommend this book to those who like young adult fiction, science fiction/apocalyptic, action, and horror novels.

Worst Read Wednesday: I am Number Four

Welcome to Worst Read Wednesday in which I talk about books that were awful or that I did not enjoy as much as it was/is hyped.  Worst Read Wednesdays are a part of my Daily Post; to learn more about it, click here!

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Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books – but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.

I am Number Four.

I am next.-Goodreads summary

From the plot summary, this book has so much potential.  Overall, I’ll admit that the plot and concept is extremely unique and, for the most part, professionally executed.  While I’ll give Lore credit for his creativity, I had numerous issues with this book regardless of its “hype.”

First, the romance was my BIGGEST pet peeve in this book. I believe the romance was totally irrelevant and unnecessary to the plot, and the novel would have been far better without it. My theory is that Lore perhaps wrote the romance to appeal to a female audience, as it was heavily chick-lit-esque.  

Second, the grammar errors were awful in this book. Every couple chapters had at least one mistake.  If I am correct, Pittacus Lore is another surname for Lemony Snicket.  For an author who is well-regarded, I found his mistakes to be extremely amateur.

Third, the chapters ended at extremely awkward places. Normally, chapters end at really suspenseful places so you want to continue reading the next chapter, or they end at the conclusion of some action. Either way, it flows nicely. However, Pittacus Lore really chopped up his novel with randomly adding new chapters in the most random places, which was aggravating and discombobulating.  The way the chapters ended gave the plot an inconsistent feeling, which irritated me as a reader.  Due to this, I was never able to fully immerse myself in the plot.

Lastly, I despised every single character in this novel. The protagonist and his love interest claimed their “undying love” for each other after only three months of dating, mind you they’re only fifteen. Also, the protagonist and his Cepân should have just tattooed “WE ARE ALIENS” to their foreheads because they basically told everyone their dirty little secret-I mean you’re only going to die next if the Mogadorians find you, but it’s whatever. Etc. Etc. Etc.  These characters were irrational and acted against themselves.  There was some serious anti-character development in this book.

Overall, these issues culminated to me not being as impressed with this book as some other readers.  Sadly, it was a majorly disappointing read.

*What book have you hated or did not fall for its hype?  Comment below!*

Happy reading!

Katie

Currently Reading: The End Games and am 50% into it.

Find me on Goodreads.

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Book Review: Passenger

 

Happy Saturday!  It is time for another book review.  Saturday Book Reviews are a part of my Daily Post; to learn more about it, click here.

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Best friends Jack and Conner can’t stay away from Marbury. It’s partly because of their obsession with this alternate world and the unresolved war that still wages there. But it’s also because forces in Marbury—including the darkest of the dark, who were not revealed in The Marbury Lens—are beckoning the boys back in order to save their friends . . . and themselves.

The boys try to destroy the lens that transports them to Marbury. But that dark world is not so easily reckoned with. Reality and fantasy, good and evil—Andrew Smith’s masterpiece closes the loop that began withThe Marbury Lens. But is it really closed? Can it ever be?-Goodreads summary

Judge the Book by its Cover:

  • The back of this book has the Marbury Lens from the first book, and the front of the book has the Marbury Lens from the second book.  I like that!  It symbolizes the unification of the two plots!  These images are also nice because they reinforce the way readers picture these mysterious lenses.

Things that Made Me Happy:

  • Smith writes some of the clearest and most vivid descriptions in YA fiction.  Through his writing, every scene was perfectly visible in my head.  At one point in the book, Jack falls in the world of Marbury and gets ash and granulated human bones in his mouth.  Somehow, I got a similar taste in my mouth from Smith’s descriptions.  Nasty, but it reflects his ability to truly convey the story to its audience.
  • His descriptions lead into some pretty wonderful world building, as well.  Smith builds off the old world of Marbury and creates a completely new Marbury in this novel.  Of course, both these worlds are intriguing.  However, the new Marbury was more complex and mysterious than the old world.  Therefore, this helped generate an action-packed plot and led the boys to uncover the mystery of this messed up world.
  • I enjoyed reading about the “Marbury Jack.”  To me he was a fantastic leader who persevered through many struggles.  While many people would have quit, Jack continuously fought for his friends and himself.
  • Lastly, I enjoyed the continuation of Jack’s psychology in this book.  For those of you who recall, in the first book Jack was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a man named Freddie Hovarth.  Since that moment, Jack has suffered with anxiety and experienced some PTSD symptoms.  While Jack never talked to adults about his experiences, it was interesting to read how these events affected him, particularly how he viewed Marbury as a sort of “justifiable hell” for him.  Passenger took place six months after his kidnapping, but the event continued to haunt him.  Again, he viewed the new twisted Marbury as his punishment.  To me, this was thought-provoking.  Is this world of Marbury Jack’s escape from reality?  Does he consider it a safe place and provide some sort of comfort the real world can’t offer?  It was very interesting.

Things that Made Me Unhappy:

  • Overall, I found this book to be too long.  Once I got about halfway through it, I was bored.  Events kept recurring, and characters were stuck.  The development was simply too slow.  I would have preferred Smith continued with plot and character developments instead of repeating events to reinforce the “trapped in Marbury” theme.  I got it the first few times!  Additionally, the book could have done without the 100 page ending.  It was unnecessary.  I know this is horrid, but I kind of thought Smith took the length of this book to be a tribute to his masculinity.  Cool, you write big books…
  • Speaking of Smith’s masculinity, this book portrayed girls horribly.  First, this new Marbury has only four known human females.  Since this world is extremely impoverish, these women frequently used their sexuality in this testosterone-filled environment to get what they wanted.  Was it cunning?  No.  It was offensive.  The men in these books would fight over who got to have sex with these girls, and the girls were all la-di-da about it.  Additionally, Smith portrayed Jack’s girlfriend, Nickie, as being a sex-crazed animal.  In the novel Jack stated something about how Nickie had sex with him all night and all day.  Jack always “blamed” these sexual encounters on Nickie’s desires.  He averted all responsibility for these acts and just was like, “Sorry, man.  She’s just a lady in the streets and freak in the sheets.”  No, Smith.  That is not okay.  Do you think Smith is finished with his “I hate women” motto?  Oh, no, my friends.  He’s not.  In the book Jack, Conner, and some of their school friends make jokes about how it is okay to lie to women/their girlfriends because they will never figure out because they’re basically stupid.  Excuse me, what?  I believe the “Women are awful creatures” theme is the most prevalent in this novel.
  • The “new romance” between Jack and Conner was bizarre.  It didn’t make sense to me.  Jack claimed that he loved Nickie, and she was the most beautiful girl in the world, but he had these moments with Conner, which didn’t make any sense.  I think the relationship between Jack and Nickie was more genuine and provided a sort of  “real life” comfort that he desperately needed, but, of course, Smith can’t have respectable happy females in his novels.
  • While I do overall like the character of Jack, I increasingly grew annoyed with him at the end.  He was so indecisive.  Here’s a shorten version of my interpretation of Jack’s persona: I want something; I got it; I’m supposed to be happy, but, naturally, I’m not; I want old thing; I got old thing; I’m supposed to be happy, but, naturally, I’m not; I want the old old thing; I got old old thing; I’m supposed to be happy, but, naturally, I’m not; REPEAT; REPEAT; REPEAT.  GAH!
  • Lastly, why is Smith even considering writing another book in this trilogy/series?  It would not be worth reading.  I feel the book would be just as dragged out like  Passenger’s ending.  No, I will not pursue this series any longer.

My Rating:

★★★ 3/5 stars!  While a lot of the latter half annoyed me, I still liked the overall story.  It’s a very unique tale with some epic world building.

Recommendations:

I’d recommend this book to those who enjoy young adult fiction, action, adventure, science fiction, and fantasy novels.

Happy reading!

Katie

Currently Reading: The End Games.

Find me on Goodreads.

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Friday Reads (7/5/13)

Happy Friday!  Woohoo you successfully got through another week!  Friday Reads, a popular query that originated on Twitter, enables me to share what I plan on reading this weekend.  As I do not post on Sundays, it allows you to be updated and know what I hope to accomplish in my reading endeavors.  Additionally, Friday Reads is a part of my Daily Post; to learn more about it, click here!

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Best friends Jack and Conner can’t stay away from Marbury. It’s partly because of their obsession with this alternate world and the unresolved war that still wages there. But it’s also because forces in Marbury—including the darkest of the dark, who were not revealed in The Marbury Lens—are beckoning the boys back in order to save their friends . . . and themselves.

The boys try to destroy the lens that transports them to Marbury. But that dark world is not so easily reckoned with. Reality and fantasy, good and evil—Andrew Smith’s masterpiece closes the loop that began withThe Marbury Lens. But is it really closed? Can it ever be?-Goodreads summary

It has taken me nearly a week to read this book-something very atypical of me during summertime.  However, with work, the Fourth of July, and helping my family, I have been quite busy!  In the moments that I do get to read this book, I thoroughly enjoy it.  As this is the second book in the Marbury Lens series/trilogy/no idea, I actually prefer it to its predecessor.  The world building is fantastic; the plot is enigmatic and intriguing.  I simply can’t wait to finish this.  I have nearly 100 pages left and should finish it later tonight.  I want to review it immediately so anticipate a thorough book review on this book tomorrow! 

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It happened on Halloween.

The world ended.

And a dangerous Game brought it back to life.

Seventeen-year-old Michael and his five-year-old brother, Patrick, have been battling monsters in The Game for weeks.

In the rural mountains of West Virginia, armed with only their rifle and their love for each other, the brothers follow Instructions from the mysterious Game Master. They spend their days searching for survivors, their nights fighting endless hordes of “Bellows”—creatures that roam the dark, roaring for flesh. And at this Game, Michael and Patrick are very good.

But The Game is changing.

The Bellows are evolving.

The Game Master is leading Michael and Patrick to other survivors—survivors who don’t play by the rules.

And the brothers will never be the same.

T. Michael Martin’s debut novel is a transcendent thriller filled with electrifying action, searing emotional insight, and unexpected romance.-Goodreads summary

I just discovered that there are zombies in this novel!  This will be my first “zombie book,” and I’m very excited.  Overall, I have not heard too much about this novel, but it is a very popular novel in my library.  

I’m going to be honest.  I’m a little hesitant about reading this book immediately after Passenger.  As stated Smith has done a fantastic job with the descriptions and world building.  Therefore, I’m nervous that this book, my first zombie book, will simply be average for me because this author may not compare to Smith’s world.  Who knows?!  I plan on going in with an open mind and hopefully will be blown away!

*What are the books you plan on reading this weekend?  Comment below!*

Thirsty Thursday: The Selection

Welcome to the book edition of Thirsty Thursday in which I talk about a book that I cannot wait to read or be published.  Thirsty Thursday is a part of my Daily Post; to learn more about it click here!

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“For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.” –Goodreads summary

While this book is extremely popular in the YA book community, I also have had many of my Tumblr followers and friends on Goodreads suggest this book.  In fact one individual compared this book to being a “fictionalized account of The Bachelor.”  As someone who loves trashy (obviously set-up) reality TV, I am very hopeful of my future approval and admiration of this book.  Seriously, this book is a combination of nearly everything I could want in a book: crummy reality TV, dystopian, romance, etc.!

Luckily, pay day was two weeks ago, and I immediately rushed to Barnes & Noble.  When I saw this book on the shelves, I freaked out and purchased the book.  Currently, it is looking beautiful on my shelf-I mean can we please take a second to admire that gorgeous cover?  I seriously LOVE books that have Vogue-inspired covers!  

I cannot wait to read this book.  Unfortunately, I have not heard to many great things about its sequel, but we’ll get through the first book and approach that mountain in the future.

*What book(s) are you excited to read or be published?  Comment below, and you may be featured in next week’s Thirsty Thursday post!*