Oct 28, 2012

Zompacolypse 2012 Giveaway!

Paranormal Wastelands

Welcome to the ZOMPACOLYPSE!
This event is being hosted by Paranormal Wastelands

Before we get to the giveaway, there is a free short story by the always awesome Neil Gaiman for everybody! Every time someone downloads the free story from their website, Audible donates $1 for education to DonorsChoose, so spread the word. 

I am giving away ONE of the books seen below. The first 6 are creepy books I've enjoyed and the last 4 are creepy books I want to read.

The winner will have their choice of ONE of those 10 books, which will come from the Book Depository. This giveaway will end at midnight on Nov. 1st (the night of Halloween). You are not required to be a follower but you will get extra points if you are! GOOD LUCK!

UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS INTERNATIONAL AS LONG AS THE BOOK DEPOSITORY SHIPS TO YOU! Thanks to Dita Skarste for asking about it - can't believe I forgot!

Oct 26, 2012

I Know It's Over

I Know It's Over by C.K. Kelly Martin
Published: 9-23-08 by Random House

PURE. UNPLANNED. PERFECT. Those were Nick’s summer plans before Sasha stepped into the picture. With the collateral damage from his parents’ divorce still settling and Dani (his girl of the moment) up for nearly anything, complications are the last thing he needs. All that changes, though, when Nick runs into Sasha at the beach in July. Suddenly he’s neck-deep in a relationship and surprised to find he doesn’t mind in the least. But Nick’s world shifts again when Sasha breaks up with him. Then, weeks later, while Nick’s still reeling from the breakup, she turns up at his doorstep and tells him she’s pregnant. Nick finds himself struggling once more to understand the girl he can’t stop caring for, the girl who insists that it’s still over.

I was interested in reading this book because it's a teen pregnancy story from the guy's point of view, which is something I've never read before. I learned that if it's a book from a male POV where sex takes place, I should read reviews 1st. Teenage guy protagonists aren't my favorite.

  • abortion - I do have to give the author credit for exploring abortion as an option for Sasha. No matter how you feel about abortion, it's a realistic touch. I don't know what the laws are in Canada though, which is where this book takes place.

  • Nick - The only thing motivating most of the decisions in Nick's life is sex. He has a friend he's not into, but she's willing to do sexual things with him, so he decides that's perfectly fine - ideal even. Yuck! I disliked Nick. I couldn't relate to him, and his decisions were generally terrible.
  • Sasha - It's extremely hard to read about Sasha because she is incapable of deciding what she wants. She is back and forth over whether or not she wants a relationship with Nick for the entire time they are together. She is not a strong-willed character in the least. I was too busy being mad at her to care about what she wanted.
  • all the parents in this book - Nick's parents are finishing up their divorce. Nick's dad is ok in one scene - when he really listens to Nick and helps get him what he needs. Besides that, he's a jerk. He gives his son cash for condoms instead of talking to him about his relationship. Nick's mom barely reacts to the fact that her son got a girl pregnant. Sasha's dad decides to stop talking to his daughter. What kind of support is that? Yeah, sure, be upset and angry - but to stop talking to your pregnant daughter is just about the least helpful thing I can think of.
  • decision - When Sasha decided what she was going to do in regards to the baby, it seemed so quick and easy. The way Sasha was portrayed, I expected her to agonize over a decision and take awhile to decide what the right choice was for her. Then Nick doesn't question that decision, or try to give Sasha his opinion. I don't even know if he had an opinion.

  • "Anyway, high school is just a stopover," Holland added. "It has nothing to do with what's really happening."   "Let's hope not," I sad grimly. Holland cocked her head and gave me a funny look. "These are the best years of your life," she said in an auditorium voice. Then the phone rang and she snapped it up and repeated it into the phone before pressing the receiver to her ear.              - pg. 73-74   Holland + Nick
  • "This is another test isn't it? Like Halloween." My eyes were burning from the inside. I hated that she could do that to me. I was trying to be careful with her and she was breaking up with me. "So how does this one work? If we don't talk for three months, you'll be my friend?"             - pg. 120   Nick + Sasha

2 robots
A character-driven book in which I disliked all of the characters.

Acquired: swapped for on swap.com

Oct 23, 2012

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Published: 3-1-2010 by Amulet Books

Meet Dwight, a sixth-grade oddball. Dwight does a lot of weird things, like wearing the same T-shirt for a month or telling people to call him "Captain Dwight." This is embarrassing, particularly for Tommy, who sits with him at lunch every day. 

But Dwight does one cool thing. He makes origami. One day he makes an origami finger puppet of Yoda. And that's when things get mysterious. Origami Yoda can predict the future and suggest the best way to deal with a tricky situation. His advice actually works, and soon most of the sixth grade is lining up with questions.

Tommy wants to know how Origami Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. Is Yoda tapping into the Force? It's crucial that Tommy figure out the mystery before he takes Yoda's advice about something VERY IMPORTANT that has to do with a girl.

This is Tommy's case file of his investigation into "The Strange Case of Origami Yoda."

This is a middle-grade book. I don't usually read or review middle-grade books, but I couldn't resist the combination of Star Wars and origami. Just look at that adorable Yoda! I'm making an exception for this series of books because I really enjoyed this one. 

  • references to Star Wars - Obviously, this book is based on the awesomeness that is Star Wars. There are a ton of really clever and subtle Star Wars references throughout this book that made me laugh because they were so appropriate for the situation. 
  • Dwight + Yoda - Dwight is the weird kid, the one nobody understands. We only get to know him through the other kids' stories, and they only really talk to him when they want Yoda's advice. I think this is pretty accurate 6th grade behavior. Dwight is hilarious!
  • POV's - All of the kids' stories were written in a fresh voice. Each one had a clear personality and they were easy to tell apart. It's been a long time since I was in 6th grade, but I was impressed with how realistic and universal the situations in the book are.

  • Then he goes over to the next table, and the next, and pretty soon he has told everybody in the library to learn the Twist. Then he left the library, apparently to spread Yoda's "wisdom" to the rest of the school.         - pg. 35   Sarah
  • As far as I can see, all this story proves is that Dwight is crazy as a bald gorilla. I was there when he was doing that covering-his-mouth thing, and it was totally embarrassing. Why does he have to sit at our table? Why wouldn't they let me kick him out?       - pg. 73-74   Harvey

4 robots
A cute and entertaining take on life in middle school - plus a Jedi master. The book includes instructions to make your own Origami Yoda!

Acquired: swapped for on swap.com

Oct 4, 2012


Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Published: 3.22.2011 by Simon & Schuster

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. 

A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can't bring herself to hate him as much as she'd like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband's strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted on day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape - before her time runs out?

You guys. ALL THE FEELS. I had to stop reading this book in public because it messed with my emotions so much. It's like a a roller coaster of emotions...in a tornado of emotions. Everything from the plot to the characters to the twists and turns had me sucked in and completely emotionally invested. SPOILER FREE REVIEW!

  • world building - This is the 1st dystopian that I've read that truly sent shivers down my spine. The world felt so utterly real. It was entrancing and terrifying - every little bit of it. Each detail was important, and Rhine's emotions were so raw and understandable. Seeing this world through her eyes was intensely realistic. 
  • characters - Each and every character was so complicated. I felt like I understood and sympathized with even the nastiest characters at some point during the book. Jenna, Cecily, Linden...I got everyone's motivations, even if I despised the person most of the time.
  • plot twists - The eerie and tense atmosphere is a slow simmer in this book. Each new discovery is a layer that blurs your picture of who each character is and how this world operates. Every time I thought I had a handle on the direction the story was going, something else would happen to throw me off.
  • more emotions - Everything was so intense and tangled that I can't even describe it properly. Every chapter reached out and punched me in the gut, but I loved every second of it. 

  • Rhine's flaws - I thought Rhine was a great character. But so much time was spent either getting to know her through flashbacks, or getting introduced to her new world and her thoughts that I feel her flaws were left out. Does Rhine have any flaws? Something that can be seen in both flashbacks and the present? She doesn't seem to have any kind of character defect, while everyone else in the story clearly does.

  • I wonder what would happen if I ran - if Gabriel or one of the others would stop me. But ultimately it's my fear of what my new husband might do that keeps me in place, because surely if I ran, I wouldn't make it far before I was caught. And then - what? I'd be locked in my room again, probably, forever marred as the one who can't be trusted.          - Rhine  pg. 50  (ARC version)
  • I could tell him right now. I could tell him that Jenna's sisters were executed in that van, and that the last thing I'd ever wanted to be was a bride. But would be believe me? And if he believed me, would he let me go?           - Rhine   pg. 222-223   (ARC version)

5 robots!
Whenever I start thinking about this book I just can't stop - it's so tense and creepily beautiful. Highly recommended!

Acquired: swapped for on swap.com