Jun 27, 2011


Drought by Pam Bachorz
Published: January 25, 2011 by Egmont USA

 Ruby dreams of escaping the Congregation. Escape from slaver Darwin West and his cruel Overseers. Escape from the backbreaking work of gathering Water. Escape from living as if it is still 1812, the year they were all enslaved. 
When Ruby meets Ford- an irresistible, kind, forbidden new Overseer- she longs to run away with him to the modern world, where she could live a normal teenage live. Escape with Ford would be so simple.
But if Ruby leaves, her community is condemned to certain death. She, alone, possess the secret ingredient that makes the Water so special- her blood- and it's the one thing that the Congregation cannot live without.
Drought is the haunting story of one community’s thirst for life, and the dangerous struggle of the only girl who can grant it.

       This is a book that I loved, but had a hard time reviewing. I was so emotionally invested in this story and was outraged at the Congregants whenever Ruby was, but I have so many unanswered questions! Plus, when I read a book, I tend to like the characters I am meant to like and dislike the ones I am meant to dislike. BUT, Pam Bachorz doesn't make it that easy, and I'd like to believe she does so intentionally. I thought I knew what I thought about this book when I finished reading, but a couple days later and I was questioning why I liked this character, why I disliked this part of the book, etc. This book was also so radically different from Pam Bachorz' first book, Candor, yet they both hold some of the same themes of control.

Reasons I love this book:
  • Ruby- even though she knows the risks, Ruby knows there's a possibility that she can escape from her horrible existence and she's smart and gutsy enough to take that chance, unlike the older and "wiser" Congregants
  • Ford- he is amazingly real- he's conflicted and caring, he's willing to suffer for those he loves and risks everything to see Ruby and try to help her escape
  • control- the overall feel of this story to me was who has the right to decide Ruby's life? Ruby's mother and the Congregants (who are all older than Ruby) are relentless in their opinion that they know best (seriously they will stop at nothing!). Ruby feels like she understands something that they don't, but her opinion doesn't matter because she's young (even though they've all been living 100s of years supposedly...), so what could she possibly know right? Who is really in control of how the rest of Ruby's life plays out? It's her choice to obey or rebel, but her blood is the key to the Congregants' long lives... would you want so many deaths on your conscious? 

Huh, what?:
  • Ford- he seems like a decent person, but he's an Overseer. He's also selfish- he thinks he and Ruby can have a relationship like they live in the normal world he's used to, but he risks her life every time he's near her. He also took her out one night, away from her mother who was badly injured. A question my boyfriend brought up: If Ruby hadn't returned Ford's feelings how helpful would he have been? 
  • all my unanswered questions! I have a feeling some (if not all) of these things were left up in the air purposely, but I like closure.
    • the Visitor- he's creepy- how is he literally sniffing Ruby out? Who is this guy? 
    • Otto- does Otto exist? Does he know there's a cult group of slaves worshipping him? Does he care?
    • long life- why are they living for 100s of years? There's an explanation as to how but none for why. What is the point of their longevity? 
  • the Congregants- they are all so blind and readily willing to kill to keep things as they are even though they are captives. They all insisted that their great and mighty Otto wanted them to suffer and endure, yet not make any attempts, no matter how small, to better their situation. And this made me want to punch something. 

The boyfriend factor:
  • My boyfriend didn't trust Ford, as shown clearly by his question above. If Ruby hadn't like Ford, would he have cared if she escaped her life as a slave? Would he have helped? 

Favorite quotes:
  • "Would your mother be proud of you?" I ask, loud enough to make sure he can hear me. I can't tell for sure, but I think Ford shakes his head. His back is turned to me and he's looking up at the cisterns. No. I won't let him ignore me. I walk close to him. "What won't you do?" I ask. "Is there anything you wouldn't do to keep your mother alive?"           - Ruby  pg. 209
  • "There's nothing you need to tell us," Mother says. "I've told them everything." She's told them everything she wants them to know. But what of my side? Words tumble over my lips. I sound frantic, but I don't care. They have to listen. "I want to explain. I want to tell you why I didn't leave. I want to tell you about Ford-"  "Don't say his name," Hope says, her voice gravelly.   - Ruby  pg. 331

4 Robots

This is a book that'll make you think. I really enjoyed both Drought, and Pam Bachorz' first book Candor (which never got much attention in my opinion). 

Acquired: Gifted

Jun 19, 2011

City of Fallen Angels

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
(Book 4: The Mortal Instruments)
Published: April 5, 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.
But nothing comes without a price.
Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary's best friend, Simon, can't help her. His mother just found out that he's a vampire and now he's homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. Not to mention that he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other one.
When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

       Ok, so. This series is one of my favorites of all time and Clary and Jace keep me reading these books. If you haven't read the 1st book, City of Bones, GO READ IT NOW PLEASE. You won't be sorry :)

Reasons I love this book:
  • it is as riveting and insanely addicting as the first 3 books- the Shadowhunters and the world Clare has created are amazing
  • Jace- does this even need to be said? He's sexy and there were a few scenes in this book that were so hot they actually made me blush.
  • Kyle- obviously we kind of need some new characters at this point in the story and Kyle is great- he's sweet and the way he fits into the story is seamless
  • I didn't suspect how everything was going to fit together at all and all of the lore and legend of Shadowhunting is so clever

Huh, what?:
  • Jace- boy you need to get over yourself and stop torturing Clary because you don't think you deserve her! After all these 2 have gone through to end up together I can't believe Jace is STILL holding back. As stubborn as Clary is, I kept waiting for her to go smack some sense into him but she didn't...what happened there? 
  • Simon- dude spent years being in love with his BFF Clary and all of the sudden he's over her and with TWO chicks? Simon, you deserve to be smacked around some. I dislike Simon even more now so I really didn't care about his storyline, which takes up a lot of this book.
  • the ending- OH MY GOD WHY?! Why would you do this to us, Ms. Clare? I'm glad you're writing more in this series because it's awesome, but if I'd known what you had in mind I would have begged you to leave theses characters alone after the 3rd book!
  • Will?- I guess I get how he ties in with these characters, but I don't get his connection to Magnus Bane...maybe I need to re-read Clockwork Angel but I thought Magnus was only in it very briefly. What Camille seems to imply makes no sense to me.

The boyfriend factor:
  • My boyfriend loves these books and had trouble reading this one because he was so mad at Jace the whole time. 

Favorite quotes:
  • "I can keep a perfectly good eye on Simon, thank you. He's my neophyte Downworlder to mock and boss around, not yours."              - Jace  pg. 144
  • It was the sort of lingering kiss that turned her insides to water. The sort of kiss that might have made her feel that nothing was wrong, that things were as they had been before, and he was only glad to see her. But when his hands went to lift the hem of her T-shirt, she pushed them away. "No," she said, her fingers wrapped around his wrists. "You can't just keep grabbing at me every time you see me. It's not a substitute for actually talking."        - Clary (and Jace)   pg. 241

4 Robots
If you've read the first 3 books, this is a must! If you haven't, go read City of Bones!

Acquired: Bought

Jun 9, 2011

What Happened to Goodbye

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Published: May 10, 2011 by Viking Juvenile

Another town? Another new school? Mclean really doesn't mind. In fact, she welcomes the chance to try on a new persona. Ever since her parents' bitter divorce, she ad her father have been on the move, leaving the unhappy past behind them. And each move has brought a fresh opportunity for Mclean to reinvent herself. Perky rah-rah girl. Drama mama. All-round joiner.
But here in Lakeview, for the first time she's putting down roots, making friends, and just trying to be someone she hasn't been in a long time: herself. Dave has something to do with it. He's the most real person Mclean's ever met, and he thinks he's falling in love with the real Mclean. Mclean doesn't even know who that is anymore, but she wants to find out- before it's time to move on again.

       Sarah Dessen books pretty much define contemporary YA for me. With the exception of Dreamland, That Summer, and Someone Like You, I have been head-over-heels for all of her books. She creates the best male characters: Wes, Dexter, Owen... This book is no different- it has family drama, inner turmoil, and a sweet guy and turned out to be one of my favorite Dessen books so far. Although nothing can touch The Truth About Forever or This Lullaby. 

Reasons I love this book:
  • Mclean and her dad- It seems to me that in Sarah Dessen books, for the most part, there is usually a mother-daughter conflict while the dad is either gone, dead, or unimportant. (There are exceptions of course- namely Along for the Ride) Mclean's relationship with her dad is so quirky and unique.
  • Dave- Dave is made of awesome. He's sweet and geeky but has a good heart. I love how he and Mclean first meet, and all of their encounters are great.
  • Deb and the town model- Deb is a great character who is a lot more than she seems to be, and when she takes over building the model of the town she really breaks out of her shell. Deb's kind of nuts but it's hilariously real- how someone can turn out to be nothing like you expected.
  • obsession with basketball- These details are what makes Sarah Dessen books so real, plus it really helped to show how close Mclean and her dad are. 

Huh, what?:
  • Mclean's fight with her mom- Usually Dessen's main character has a struggle with herself and finding love, while her family issues are secondary. Here there was a lot of time devoted to her fight with her mom and less than I would have liked to see and Mclean and Dave. 
  • Lindsay Baker- Ugh. She's some kind of politician and she leaves up to the stereotype of shiny and fake fake fake. She's extremely annoying, but then that's who her character is meant to be.
  • There's a really weird transition after Mclean has a heart to heart with her parents. All of the sudden it's days later and she's acting like everything is fine and nothing ever happened. It was like the equivalent of a fade to black in a movie and really threw me. 
  • The cover blurbs for Dessen's books have always bugged me a little. The blurbs make the books sounds incredibly cheesy like they're Lifetime movies. If my friends hadn't begged me to read them, I would have never picked any of them up after reading the blurb. 
  • (This is not really about this book in particular, but I went to buy this one and the cover price was $19.99! What?! I know that's cheap for adult hardcovers, but did I miss when YA book prices skyrocketed from like $16?)

  • I love the appearances by other characters and places- here are the ones I spotted:
    • Jason
    • town of Colby
    • the Last Chance
    • Heidi and Thisbe
    • Jackson High
    • Ume website
  • Comment if you found any I missed!

Favorite quotes:
  • Then, though, I saw the single figure at the back of my house, walking away from the back door. And another person, a girl, running through the side yard, where the hedge would have been, while someone else, with a badge and flashlight followed. There were three people under the basketball goal, one lying prone on the ground.                           -  pg. 388-389
  • "Wait," he said, moving over to the next cabinet and opening it. Empty. "Is this... What going on here? Are you, like, survivalists or something?"                        -  pg. 213

4 robots
What can I say- it's a Sarah Dessen book so you should go read it!

Acquired: Bought

Jun 2, 2011


Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Published: February 1, 2011 by HarperCollins

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.

       I love dystopian books: the Chaos Walking trilogy, the Scorch Trials books, the Hunger Games...all some of my all-time favorites. Now, if you think that this thing about love being a disease is cheesy, give it a shot anyways because that's exactly what I thought before I read it. When I finished this book I had teared up and had to Google if there would be a sequel even though it was after 2 AM. I do not cry in books or movies (well, ok, I can count on one hand how many times I have) so this is a big deal. 

Reasons I love this book:
  • Lena- she infuriated me pretty often and I had to keep telling myself that she acted the way she did because it's a dystopian society and that's all she's ever been told about love. So, she ticked me off, but I respect authors who make me care that much about characters I don't instantly love. 
  • the plot- it's awesomely executed, and to me the idea of love being a disease sounded C-H-E-ES-Y, but I read Oliver's Before I Fall and going through disliking the main character and then rooting for her anyway made me trust Lauren Oliver to deliver with this idea- it was great
  • Alex- I'm in love with this boy- from how he and Lena meet (my favorite part) to his backstory, he's a great character
  • I really like the little chapter intros from the official book about why love is bad and its effects. They're pretty funny and they really help set up the society this story takes place in.

Huh, what?:
  • there's not a lot of dialogue in this book and I found my attention waning sometimes because Lena was in her own head and not interacting with anyone
  • once Lena had fallen for Alex there was a part of the book where everything was going well for them- it felt like your typical chick flick montage where the stars are making kissy faces at each other- I could have skipped that part and still loved the book
  • Alex's secret- it was a little obvious and too easy to guess for me, mainly because there's only one option set up to be something he could be hiding that would be frowned upon
  • the cover under the jacket...have you seen it? It's horrifying. I never read hardbacks without taking the dust jacket off- but I took one look at that cover and put it right back on. I don't know what it is about it, but I find it to be really creepy. 

Look away!

Is this the end?:
  • Thankfully no because this book ends on one MAJOR cliffhanger. As I mentioned, I had to immediately check to see if there was a sequel. It will be a trilogy, with the next book, Pandemonium expected in February of 2012. Of course by then I will have forgotten what happened to make me so desperate for the sequel!

Favorite quotes:
  • He's been hanging back, standing a few feet behind us, and ever since we came up the hill he hasn't said a word. Which is why I nearly jump out of my skin when he leans forward and directs a single word into my ear: "Gray."         - pg. 67
  • Best friends for more than ten years and in the end it all comes down to the edge of a scalpel, to the motion of a laser beam through the brain and a flashing surgical knife. All that history and its importance gets detached, floats away like a severed balloon. In two years- in two months- Hana and I will pass each other on the streets with nothing more than a nod...          - pg. 190    

5 robots

An awesome read with a lot of depth and a promising start to a series.

Acquired: Bought