Friday, March 27, 2015

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger: Review

RATING: 4/5 stars!
Author: J.D. Salinger
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication date: 1951
Find it on Goodreads here!
SUMMARY (from Goodreads):
Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent." Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. It begins,
"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."

His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation.


To start off, I was assigned to read this book for school, and I was NOT looking forward to it. I thought it would be boring, and I just didn't really want to read it. But I really needed a good grade in the class, so I started to read it.

And I loved it.

Holden Caulfield's observations of the world are absolutely hilarious. I could relate to a lot of them. And even though I could tell this book was geared more toward boys, I, as a girl, still got a lot out of it.

It also puts perspective on maturity and growing up. Holden doesn't want to grow up, and he avoids it at all costs. But this is ultimately his downfall. I feel like teenagers can relate to him and his feelings of loneliness and never wanting to grow up.

But why the four stars? As funny as Holden was...he got a bit annoying after a while. Towards the end of the book I was ready to slap him upside the head. It got better eventually, but it was still frustrating.

Overall, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is a fabulous book. I highly recommend it!!!

CONTENT: Quite a bit of swearing and talk of sex and prostitutes. Definitely not for younger readers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (17): Six of Crows (The Dregs #1) by Leigh Bardugo

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This week's "waiting on" is...
Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo!

Publication date: October 6th, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Game of Thrones meets Ocean's Eleven in this brand-book in the world of the Grisha by New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.


The Grisha trilogy is one of my favorite trilogies. I can't wait to see what else Leigh Bardugo has in store!
What is your "waiting on"?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Shadowcry, Blackwatch, and Winterveil by Jenna Burtenshaw: Wintercraft series review

SERIES RATING: 3/5 stars!!
Author: Jenna Burtenshaw
Publisher: Greenwillow books
Shadowcry, Blackwatch, and Winterveil on Goodreads!
SUMMARY of SHADOWCRY (from Goodreads):
Ten years ago Kate Winters' parents were taken by the High Council's wardens to help with the country's war effort.

Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane - the High Council's most feared man - recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council's experiments into the veil, and he's convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace.

The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft - a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft.
I bought these books a while back, purely based on their covers. They were gorgeous, and looked so pretty on my shelf! But, in normal Marie fashion, didn't read them until I've had them for about a year and a half.
While I did like them, I was slightly disappointed. The story was so unique; but I felt that all of the characters has little to no depth. I could not connect with any of them. Also, the writing didn't have a flow. It felt very simple, and I wasn't crazy about it most of the time.
The world building, though, was on point. I loved it. I was easily drawn into this other world, and I could have easily lived there.
Overall, this series was not the most spectacular thing out there, but was still very enjoyable. I recommend giving it a try!
CONTENT: Mild violence.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (16): Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This week's "waiting on" is...
Frozen Tides
by Morgan Rhodes!

Expected publication date: December 15th, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill

SUMMARY (from Goodreads):

Rebels, royals, and monsters wage war over the Mytican throne in the shocking fourth book of the Falling Kingdoms series, from New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes.

CLEO: Reeling after a bloody showdown in Limeros ending with Amara’s abduction of the water crystal, and a vacancy in the Mytican throne, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a Queen.

MAGNUS: With the kingdom in chaos, Princess Lucia still missing and quite possibly in danger, and a shocking realization about Cleo, the steely prince is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.

LUCIA: The young sorcercess has had her vengeance after the cruel death of her first and only love. Heartbroken and unable to trust anyone, she allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.

JONAS: After escaping death by the skin of his teeth, the defeated rebel—along with a mysterious stranger–leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to find himself a mere pawn in a dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.

KING GAIUS: Abandoned by Melenia and betrayed by his own children, Gaius flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea.

I am so pumped for this book! WHY MUST I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL DECEMBER?!
What is your "waiting on"? 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Invaded (Alienated #2) by Melissa Landers: Review

RATING: 5/5 stars!!
Author: Melissa Landers
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Bought
Release date: February 3, 2015
Find it on Goodreads here!
SUMMARY (from Goodreads):

The romantic sequel to Alienated takes long-distance relationships to a new level as Cara and Aelyx long for each other from opposite ends of the universe...until a threat to both their worlds reunites them.

Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life.

The Way clearly needs humans’ help . . . but with what? And what will they ask for in return?


It's no secret that I absolutely ADORED Alienated (My review), and Invaded was definitely one of my most anticipated releases of 2015.

While it was really good, I did not think that it was as good as the first one. For a lot of the book, I felt like there was something missing. It may have had to do with Cara and Aelyx being on different planets, because I did not like that at all. Part of what made the first book so good was their interactions and conversations with each other, and I really missed it in this book. But the rest of the book was still absolutely fabulous. David and Syrine were absolutely hilarious, and Cara's wit had me laughing so much.

I also loved getting able to see more of L'eihr. It was cool to see how the cultures are so different, and the different ways the aliens interacted with one another.
Overall, if you are a sci-fi fan, these are definitely the books for you! I highly recommend them!

CONTENT: Lots of talk of sex, but none actually done on page. There is quite a lot of kissing, though. Language and violence are the same as the first book.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater: Review

RATING: 5/5 stars!
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Library
Release date: October 21, 2014
Find it on Goodreads here!
SUMMARY (from Goodreads):
There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.


Since this is the third book in a series, I'll do my best to keep it brief.

This is my favorite Maggie Stiefvater book so far. It is complex, and intriguing, and I loved absolutely every minute of it.

If you have not read this series, I highly suggest that you do so immediately.

CONTENT: I read this a while ago, so my memory is a little hazy. No sex, but there is some kissing, and one of the characters is possibly homosexual. Heavy swearing (several uses of the f word) and heavy violence.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Reckless and Fearless by Cornelia Funke: Dual Review

RATING: 9/10 stars!!
Author: Cornelia Funke
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
SUMMARY (Reckless):
Ever since Jacob Reckless was a child, he has been escaping to a hidden world through a portal in his father's abandoned study. Over the years, he has made a name for himself as a finder of enchanted items and buried secrets. He's also made many enemies and allies--most important, Fox, a beautiful shape-shifting vixen whom Jacob cares for more than he lets on.

But life in this other world is about to change. Tragedy strikes when Jacob's younger brother, Will, follows him through the portal. Brutally attacked, Will is infected with a curse that is quickly transforming him into a Goyl--a ruthless killing machine, with skin made of stone.

Jacob is prepared to fight to save his brother, but in a land built on trickery and lies, Jacob will need all the wit, courage, and reckless spirit he can summon to reverse the dark spell--before it's too late.
Holy moly these books.
I love the concept of other worlds besides our own existing, so these books were right up my alley. But why did you take so long to read them, Marie? Because I'm weird and didn't feel like reading them. Don't judge me.
But I finally picked them up, and I am sooooooooo glad that  did. Not only are they extremely unique, but they are also some of the most well-written books that I have read. Cornelia Funke knows what she's doing, and it is fabulous.
But why the 9/10 stars? The second book got really slow about halfway through. It may have just been me, but I found it really hard to read for a while. But once I finally got passed that, I read the rest in one sitting.
In short, these books are a must read for fantasy lovers. I highly recommend them!!
CONTENT: No sex, but there is some kissing. Mildswearing, but these books are extremely dark, and I wouldn't recommend them for younger readers. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler: Review

Authors: Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Book exchange
Release date: November 21, 2011
Find it on Goodreads here!
SUMMARY (from Goodreads):
It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.
I was born in the year 1996, the year that this book took place. I don't really remember anything from that year, because I was a baby, but this book made me feel like I was a whole lot younger than 18-years-old. I can hardly remember a day when everyone didn't have cell phones or easy access to a computer, so this book was kind of a culture shock.
Needless to say, this book was extremely unique. I've never read anything quite like it. I really liked the concept of them looking at Facebook in the future, and the interactions between the characters were great. But even though it was unique, there were still many flaws. The writing style for Emma's POV was very choppy, and it didn't have the same flow that Josh's POV did. And Emma, as much as I liked her, really got on my nerves after a while. She made the most stupid decisions, and I wanted to strangle her a few times. Josh wasn't always the brightest either, but he's a sophomore boy, so it's to be expected.
All in all, I really liked this book, but it wasn't the best book ever. If you want, I recommend giving it a try!
CONTENT: No sex, but there is kissing and lots of talk about sex, condoms, pregnancies, etc. Moderate swearing, and no violence.