Tuesday, September 29, 2015

TopTenTuesday: If You Like The Hunger Games, Then You Should Check Out...


Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish.

This week, i'm doing...
Ten books that have similar aspects to The Hunger Games

It took me a while to finally decide on what to do for this Tuesday.  I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a while, but am always so indecisive when it comes down to comparing/matching books.  I decided to do something a little different.  I’ve picked The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and I have ten books that I think are similar in some aspect and I’m going to talk about that.  Not in that obnoxious, “If you liked the Hunger Games, then you’ll love *insert every dystopian book ever*”  Because each and every book is unique.  I’m focusing on three aspects of The Hunger Games: Survival, Kick-Butt Female Protagonist, and Romance.  And I’m going to talk about the aspects that that book includes to help you see if you’ll enjoy it.  Some are similar in multiple or all three aspects, some in just one.  It’s hard to explain, but I promise it made sense when I thought of it. 



Not A Drop To Drink
By Mindy McGinnis
Survival | Kick-Butt Female Protagonist
Survival:  This book is all about survival.  Lynn is trying to survive in a world where water is scarce.  So valuable that she needs to kill to protect it.  This book goes through Lynn trying to survive on her own and the character development throughout is insane.  If you enjoyed the survival aspect of The Hunger Games, the struggle to survive and the well,…killing part.  This book has that. 
Kick-Butt Female Protagonist:  Lynn is such a strong, kick butt gal.  She has crazy skills and continued to amaze me with her survival skills, but also her willingness to so whatever she needed to do to survive.  She is such an amazing female protagonist and like I mentioned, she does go though amazing character development as well.  


Monument 14
By Emmy Laybourne
Survival
Survival: This book is about a group of teenagers who get trapped in a superstore during what pretty much amounts to the apocalypse.  These teens (and children) are completely thrown into this situation and torn away from their families.  It is so intriguing to see the mental state of the kids as they go through this and the complications as they try to organize and figure out what to do.  I mean, if you stick a bunch of kids in a Costco together, there’s gonna be problems eventually. Once again, If you enjoyed the survival aspect or the “games” part of THG, you might enjoy this book.  

My Side of The Mountain
By Jean Craighead George
Survival
Survival: This is a little bit of a strange pick.  I read this book back in Elementary school with my class and it was one of the few school books I’ve ever enjoyed a lot.  It’s about a young boy who runs away to live in the woods.  You may think “SURE.  Sounds like a great plan *eye roll*”  But seriously.  This boy is amazing.  He completely LIVES in the woods.  You follow him as he survives on him own, finds and prepares food, TRAINS A FALCON, and builds a HOUSE for himself in a tree. (like, the trunk of a tree)  Seriously, he’s amazing.  I’m sorry but I think he outdoes even Katniss in this department.  Now, some people might find it a little slow, so if you only want something fast-paced, you may be slightly bored.  

The Book of Ivy
By Amy Engel
Kick-Butt Female Protagonist|Romance
Kick-Butt Female Protagonist:  This is really an amazing book and I don’t think enough people have heard of it.  Ivy is a really amazing character dealing with so much pressure from her family.  She is supposed to marry an then kill the current “president’s” son so her family can be in charge.  But, she digs deeper and uncovers that the government may not be as bad as her family would have her think.  The main thing I love about Ivy is her incredible loyalty to the people she loves.  Her and Katniss have that in common I feel.  She will lay everything on the line and sacrifice herself for the people that she loves. 
Romance:  I just had to mention the romance because Ivy and Bishop are amazing.  Ivy tries not to get close to him with the notion that he’ll have to die or the she’ll have to kill him.  But, they discover so many things together and it really opens Ivy’s eyes as to what’s really going on.  Just honestly, if you’re a fan of AMAZING books, you NEED to read The Book of Ivy.  

Poison Study
By Maria V. Snyder
Kick-Butt Female Protagonist
Kick-Butt Female Protagonist:  Yelena is the ultimate kick butt female protag.  As I read this series, I was continually amazed with Yelena’s inner strength.  The things she’s had to endure are terrible, yet she still finds the strength to get up day after day.  Katniss and Yelena both definitely have this incredible strength within them and if you love reading about characters like that, Poison Study is a must.  

Under The Never Sky
By Veronica Rossi
Survival | Kick-Butt Female Protagonist|Romance
Survival:  Under The Never Sky is set in a world where there is terrible lighting storms and it’s very post-apocalyptic.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll die.  The MC, Aria starts out annoying and ignorant because she is thrown (quite literally) into this world and is as unprepared as you could be.  Aria learning to survive in this world is a big –and important- part of this book. 
This is dual narrated, and Perry, the other POV is amazing and has wicked survival skills.  He knows everything and anything about this crazy world and he helps Aria such and unbelievable amount.   
 Kick-Butt Female Protagonist
Kick-Butt Female Protagonist:  What I love about Aria is that she doesn’t start out that way.  Throughout the series you can see her becoming stronger and developing into such an incredible kick butt gal and it’s amazing. It’s something that she has to develop and I feel like that makes it more special.  You can truly see how far she’s come when you look back at the series and I’m just in amazement of her. 
Romance:  I love the main couple in this book because they help each other survive.  They truly couldn’t do it without each other and they become such a huge part of each other’s lives.  They really only have themselves most of the time and they are both able to come such a far way and help each other. 

 These Broken Stars
By Amie Kauffman and Megan Spooner
Survival | Kick-Butt Female Protagonist|Romance
Survival: Lilac and Tarver unexpectedly crash land on a strange planet with no way of getting back to civilization.  Basically, they’re screwed.  Together, they have to survive on this plant as they deal with their situation.  They work so hard to survive, even though they aren’t in an ideal situation OR with the ideal person.   
Kick-Butt Female Protagonist:  Lilac is similar to Aria, actually, in the way that she isn’t kick butt from the beginning.  Lilac has to learn to toughen up quickly.  And it isn’t easy for her.  But, she pulls herself together and is there for Tarver when he needs her.  When it comes time for Lilac to survive for the both of them, she’s ready and does a fantastic job.  She is willing to sacrifice herself to protect Tarver and I really admire that. 
Romance:  This is a situation where two people are thrown together, but through that they develop a wonderful relationship and learn so much.  Both of them go through so much character development and it’s wonderful to see these two people come together through these devastating and difficult circumstances. 

 Reboot
By Amy Tintera
 Kick-Butt Female Protagonist|Romance
Kick-Butt Female Protagonist:  Wren is another example of a character who goes through so much character development. In the beginning of the book, she’s totally kick butt, however kind of cold-hearted.  She becomes not only MORE kick butt, but she learns that she isn’t less human than anyone else and she has emotions and feelings and her increased need to protect and care for Callum is really beautiful. 
Romance:  Callum helps Wren in so many ways and their relationship is beautiful.  He tells her things opposite of what people have been telling her for her entire life and it changes the way she looks at things.  Wren and Callum are both exactly what the other person needs and they work great together. 

The 5th Wave
By Rick Yancey
Survival | Kick-Butt Female Protagonist
Survival:  The 5th Wave is a book dealing with the “5th wave” of an alien apocalypse.  The world is ravaged, many people dead, and the few that are left wish they WERE dead.  There are many flashbacks of horrible situations and past tragedies.  And basically for the people left, their ONE goal is survival.  No matter what situation they’re in. 
Kick-Butt Female Protagonist:  Cassie was my least favorite character in this book.  But, that doesn’t mean that she isn’t strong.  What she’s gone through with her family is terrible.  But, through it all she has that something that keeps her alive and fighting even while crazy things happen around her. 


The program
By Suzanne Young  
Kick-Butt Female Protagonist|Romance
Kick-Butt Female Protagonist:  Sloane goes through so much in this series and I can’t hurt enough for her.  She loses so many people close to her and deals with so many terrible things and it made me feel very angry and panicky.  I can’t describe all of the things that she deals with, but she always keep fighting.  And I think that that is what really makes a strong protagonist. 
Romance:  Sloane and James are incredible and I ship them so hard.  They deal with many of the same things, and are both hurting so much.  Through everything, they always promise that they will always be there and that they’ll help each other.  They’ll be okay.   And it’s terribly depressing and heartbreaking, yet hopeful.  I can’t even describe what they are to each other and how they help each other through the hardest times.  (also, some aspects reminded me of Katniss and Peeta in Mockingjay, which isn’t necessarily a good thing and very sad BUT ANYWAYS)

This was really fun to make and I hope you liked it!  I tried to use lesser-known books, so I hope you’ve gotten some recommendations to check out!
I can’t wait to see everyone else’s lists because I just LOVE this prompt and posts like these are a blast to read!
Olivia

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley Review

The Fairytale Detectives by Michael Buckley
Published: 2005

Genres: Middle Grade, Fairytale, Fantasy, Mystery







Synopsis:

For Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, life hasn't been a fairy-tale. After the mysterious disappearance of their parents, the sisters are sent to live with their grandmother - a woman they believed was dead! Granny Relda that the girls have two famous ancestors, the Brothers Grimm, whose classic book of fairy-tales is actually a history book that documents magical mischief. Now the girls must take on the family responsibility of being fairy-tale detectives. Their first case? a roller-coaster ride of an adventure to stop a giant from destroying their new home town.

Thoughts:

I picked up this series based on some very high recommendations from friends of mine.  And I am SO GLAD that I did because I absolutely adored it. 

I love the premise of this series.  Our two main characters, Sabrina and Daphne are the descendants of the brothers Grimm.  Therefore, they are responsible for keeping the peace and solving the crimes between the “everafters” and the humans.   In this world, the fairytales aren’t fairytales.  Those “stories” that the brothers Grimm wrote were very real.  And it’s their job to maintain the fragile balance between everything.

Sabrina and Daphne are both adorable and instantly likeable.  Sabrina is the older sister, and always used to taking care of Daphne.  They’ve both been through so much since their parents disappearance and they’re both such strong girls.  Sabrina can be bossy at times, and is somewhat distrusting and headstrong.  She is stubborn a lot of the time and doesn’t want to listen to anything or anyone.  Daphne is so sweet and adorable.  She’s more friendly and trusting, yet still had great instincts.  Daphne is always great for a laugh, but she can be serious when needed.  It seems like sometimes Daphne’s really the one in charge and she’s definitely smarter than everyone probably gives her credit for. They complement each other so nicely, both have great instincts, and street smarts, and know what to do in a tough situation. 

Their relationship with Granny Relda was adorable.  They are apprehensive at first (mainly Sabrina) but I loved seeing them come around.  Relda has to be the most awesome grandmother ever.  There were so many times when I was like”she’s SO awesome!!”  I did really love that the girls were able to have Granny Relda.  It’s so great for the girls to be back with family again, especially after so long when they didn’t have anyone.   

I also just really love Sabrina and Daphne’s relationship.  It seems like you don’t often get two sisters as the main characters.  I love sibling relationships in books, and I love that this series focuses on that.  They reminded me a lot of me and my little sister.

I thought the world was so cool and really unique.  Having all of these fairytale characters and creatures all in one town was awesome.  I love how they were a part of the town, (such as the police or the Mayor).  You felt like there was so much history between all of these characters and things that we don’t really know yet.  We’re discovering things just as Sabrina and Daphne are. 

Rating:




To Conclude:

I loved this book so much and can’t wait to continue on with this series.  Even though it’s a children’s series, it’s fun and appealing to all ages.  There’s so many endless mysteries to solve and histories between the character and in the town.  I know I’ll be eagerly following Sabrina and Daphne along on their journeys as long as they continue.  


Olivia

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR


Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish.
This week’s topic is… Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR
I LOVE doing seasonal TBR Top Ten Tuesdays.   There’s something so exciting about TBRs for a new season.  All of these are books I sincerely hope to be getting to this fall and I want to try to do better in regards to my TBR this season. 


Ten books I want to read the most this Fall


1.     Queen of Shadows
By Sarah J. Maas
Queen of Shadows is #1 on my list.  I’m actually proud of myself because I’ve started this one already and am ten chapters in.  I’m reading this with the #AEJreadsQoS read-a-long and having the best time.  If this is on your TBR, start reading it now and join in!


2.     Cress
By Marissa Meyer
I haven’t read Cress yet and it’s not okay.  I’ve talked about it before and have had approximately 1000 people tell me that I need to read this.  Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite series and I can’t wait to read finally read Cress (sometime) soon. 


3.     A Court of Thorns and Roses
By Sarah J. Maas
ACTOAR was on my Top Ten Fairytale Retellings TBR I believe too.  Basically, it’s been on every TBR of mine ever since it came out.  It’s Sarah J. Maas,  I know I’ll love it.   Even one of my mom’s friends was like “Have you read this book? It’s really good!”  YES I KNOW.  I’M WORKING ON IT.  


4.      The Winners Crime
By Marie Rutkoski
This is absolutely deplorable.  This book was on my May TBR.  No joke.  I REALLY want to continue on with this series and see what happens with these characters.  And I intend to soon. 


5.     The Hero of Ages
By Brandon Sanderson
I’ve been working my way through the Mistborn trilogy and I’ll be so sad once I finish the final book.  I’m not ready for it to be over!  Thankfully, Brandon Sanderson has plenty of other fantasy book for me to read once this is over.  


6.     Legacy of Kings
By Eleanor Herman
I’m SO HAPPY that Legacy of Kings is finally released.  This was one of my most anticipated releases and I can’t wait to read it.  It sounds amazing and unique and right up my alley. 


7.     The Unusual Suspects
By Michael Buckley and Peter Ferguson
This is the second book in the Sisters Grimm series.  I just recently read the first book and LOVED it.  It’s like Percy Jackson but with fairytales.  It’s incredible.  I can’t wait to get my hands on the other books in the series.  (Frustrating story: I tried to buy this at Barnes and Noble the other day and they DIDN'T HAVE IT. *anger*)


8.     Night Film
By Marisha Pessel
I’ve heard good things about Night Film and have been meaning to read it for a while.  It sounds like a perfect book for fall and I’m hoping to read it very soon.  


9.     Kiss of Deception
By Mary E. Pearson
I’ve been meaning to read Kiss of Deception since it came out over a YEAR ago.  It has a sequel out now.  That’s how long it’s been.  Once again, I know I’ll love it, so it’s just a matter of finally reading it.  


10.     Queen of The Tearling
By Erika Johansen 
This is kind of my wild card.  I don’t actually have this book yet, and my reading it very much depends on when I can get my hands on a copy.  But, lately, I’ve been itching to read this series because it sounds great and it’s Fantasy.  So, of course I’m going to read it.  

There you have it!  There’s much more, but those are the main ones that I need to get to. 
I can’t wait to see everyone else’s lists (because I really need more books for my TBR. Lol.)  Also, if you’ve read any of these, let me know what you thought.  Thanks for stopping by!
Olivia




Thursday, September 10, 2015

Inherit The Stars by Tessa Elwood Review

Inherit The Stars by Tessa Elwood
To Be Published: December 8th, 2015
Genre: Sci-Fi 

*I’ve received an E-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*





Synopsis:

Three royal houses ruling three interplanetary systems are on the brink of collapse, and they must either ally together or tear each other apart in order for their people to survive.

Asa is the youngest daughter of the house of Fane, which has been fighting a devastating food and energy crisis for far too long. She thinks she can save her family’s livelihood by posing as her oldest sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the throne of the house of Westlet. The appearance of her mother, a traitor who defected to the house of Galton, adds fuel to the fire, while Asa also tries to save her sister Wren's life . . . possibly from the hands of their own father.

But as Asa and Eagle forge a genuine bond, will secrets from the past and the urgent needs of their people in the present keep them divided?

Author Tessa Elwood's debut series is an epic romance at heart, set against a mine field of political machinations, space adventure, and deep-seeded family loyalties.

Thoughts:

Inherit the Stars was different from what I thought it would be, but not in a bad way.  I expected this action packed, space adventure.  Instead, I was sucked in the middle of this futuristic world of feuding interplanetary systems.  I felt like this book focused more on the political aspects of what was going on in their world, and I loved that.  We get a glimpse into the different houses –especially Fane- and realize that their world is nowhere near stable. 

I really liked the world in this book.  I feel like it was different from other Sci-Fi books I’d read, and I liked that.  The idea of these different “royal houses” ruling different systems was really cool and gave it a unique twist.  Their system is in the middle of a horrible energy and food crisis, and the people are getting restless.  As the smallest house, Asa and her family are fighting to keep their system afloat.   

I loved her relationship with Eagle and how it changed throughout the book.  Despite the strange circumstances, I think they really made it work.  They’re so cute together and I definitely ship them.  The dynamics between all of the other characters were so complicated and politically influenced and I really liked that.

Once I started Inherit The Stars, I couldn’t put it down.  Something about it just completely drew me in and I ended up reading it in one sitting.  I loved how unpredictable it was.  With this book, I never knew what was going to happen next.  It kept me on my toes and there were so many crazy twists and turns and drama.  I could seriously never guess what was going to happen next.  Every time I thought I knew what was going on, something completely unexpected happened.

I will say that this book wasn’t perfect.  Some things could have been better explained, or fleshed out.  There were times when I was confused and had to read a chapter over again.  I found the writing a little bit strange at times.  I didn’t feel like I knew the characters as much as I’d have liked, and the world definitely could have been more fleshed out. 

But, despite all of that there was something that really made me like this book.   Even with all of its’ imperfections, In Inherit the Stars, I saw the beginning of a series that has great potential.  There is room for improvement in various areas, but through it all I saw a series with the potential to become really great. 

There’s so much potential for more character development and world building in this series and I hope we’ll get to see more of that in the sequel.  I’d love to see this series and these characters reach their full potential.  I’ll definitely be picking the next one up to follow these characters and see what happens next in this crazy world.  

Rating:





In Short:

Tessa Elwood has created great characters, a unique and interesting world and such complicated character dynamics.  All she needs to do is build on those things and develop them more fully.  I was sucked in by the story and plot and she has the ability to create such great twist and turns.  I would definitely recommend picking up Inherit the Stars, and I look forward to this series only getting better.


Olivia

Have you read Inherit The Stars?  What were your thoughts?  Are you planning on picking this one up?  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I Need To Finish

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish.
This week’s topic is… Ten Finished Series I Have YET to Finish
I’m pretty bad at finishing series.  Everyone seems to have those series that they haven’t finished yet that are just sitting around. 


Series I really need to finish


1.     Splintered Series
By A.G. Howard
I read the first book, Splintered, and adored it.  This is one of the series I’m most excited to finish on this list.  Hopefully, I’ll get to it soon!




2.     Poison Study Series
By Maria V. Snyder
I read the first two books and I’m completely in love with this series.  The original series was three books, and they’ve been out for a while.  Recently, she’s continued it so I look forward to more Poison Study books!


3.     The Selection series
By Kiera Cass
I’ve only read the first one (again) but I did enjoy it.  I didn’t LOVE it and I don’t like the MC, America.  BUT I do want to finish this because I need to see how it ends. (even though I already sort of know) So, I will finish this series sometime whether I buy them or just get them from my Library.


4.     A Series of Unfortunate Events
By Lemony Snicket
After hearing so many things about this series, I decided I had to see what all of the hype was about. So far, I’ve only read the first one but I did really enjoy it.  My library has all of them so I can work my way through them little by little. 



5.      Woodcutter Sister Series
By Althea Kontis
This is a fantasy retelling series that I absolutely LOVE.  Seriously, check it out.  I’ve wanted to pick up the other books in this series since the beginning of time.  It will happen sometime soon.


6.     The Monument 14 Series
By Emmy Laybourne
This is a wonderful series about a group of kids trying to survive during the apocalypse.  I LOVED the first two, so once I get my hands on the last one, I WILL be finishing it. 


7.     Top 8 Series
By Katie Finn (AKA Morgan Matson) (AKA Goddess of YA Contemporary)
I read the first two books in this series but not the last one.   I really liked both of the first books.  Overall, this series is cute and funny and all very quick reads.  I really want to finish this series very soon. 


8.     The Graceling Realm
By Kristin Cashore
I absolutely LOVE Graceling and Fire, the other two books in this companion series.  I have absolutely no excuse NOT to have read Bitterblue because I know I’ll love it.  Next time I’m in the mood for a great YA fantasy, I’ll have to pick it up. 


1.     The Ascendance series
By Jennifer Nielsen
I was absolutely blown away by the first book, The False Prince.  I had every intention of finishing this series very soon after.  Well, it’s been two years now.  Ooops.  But, in all seriousness, I want to read the rest of this series VERY VERY soon. 



10.     The intern Series

By Gabrielle Tozer
I really loved the first book, but I couldn’t find the second one.  Not online. Not in stores.  Does anyone know what the deal with that is?  They’re kind of hard to find in the US, because I think it might be UK YA?  Or maybe Australian?  IDK. 

I didn’t realize how many series I needed to finish until I had to make this list.  BUT now I have them all in one place and  I’m really hoping to finish these soon. Sometimes I just forget that I need to finish them, you know? 
I look forward to seeing what’s on your list!  Hopefully all of you can get around to finishing your unfinished series. 
Olivia