Weekly Wrap-Up (1)

28 February 2010

I thought I'd do a weekly wrap up every now and then, so ta-da! I might not be blogging as often as usual because I'll be extremly busy. After 3 months of no tennis, I'm starting up again tomorrow, which is going to be REALLY painful. They say the first time back is the hardest. And this is a serious, work-out tennis academy. I'm not complaining though!

Anyway, this week I posted my Hunger Games review and my Catching Fire review here. I also posted a poll on my sidebar asking what Hunger Games Team you were on, and so far it's up to 24 votes. Cool!
I'm also updating my blog roll, you can e-mail me or post a comment on my Blog Roll post.
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I'm also proud to present my awesome new affiliate....Cate from Sparrow Review!


This week on Cate's blog she reviewed Their Eyes Were Watching God. She received The Iron King in her mailbox, and wished for a copy of Ashes by Kathryn Lasky! Be sure to check her blog!

Have a great new week everyone!

Updating Blog Roll!

27 February 2010

I've deleted my old blog roll, which had a total of 93 blogs, and I'm starting a new one. I deleted the old one due to technical difficulties (stupid Blogger wouldn't let me move it to where I wanted to) and because most of the blogs weren't very active, and I started to wonder if I really needed them on there. Here are the blogs that I have on so far:



If you want me to add your blog link then please e-mail me!

Chances are that I already have your blog button on my blog button scroll widget, but if I don't (please check) then shoot me an e-mail at raokiki6(at)gmail(dot)com. By the end of next week, I'll post my new blog roll.

Review: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire +What's your opinion?

22 February 2010




Title: The Hunger Games (read 3 weeks ago)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Stars: 4.9
Summary from Goodreads
Review by Kirthi
Pages: 374
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.
My thoughts:
Oh my gosh. The Hunger Games is one of the best books ever! Everything about The Hunger Games was right, the plot, the action, and the events.
I like the idea of Districts, kind of like separate planets in Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund. The evil, controlling unitary government was an old idea reflected back in a new better version.
I felt utterly repulsed at the Capitol, and felt what Suzanne Collins must have been trying to portray to the readers, how survival can bring people together,and how sometimes the impossible becomes the possible.
I have a few Gregor the Overlander books on my shelf. I a read a few books in the series and remember enjoying it, but not as much as I enjoyed The Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games and Graceling, similar?
Somehow The Hunger Games reminds me of Kristin Cashore's Graceling.
Katniss and Katsa share similiar names and similar characteristics. Katsa's Grace on survival mirror's Katniss's survival ability. Katniss is hard and sometimes shown as unfeeling and immune to other people emotions, just like Katsa is in Graceling. Peeta shares the same first letter as Po, and I think Peeta shares the same characteristics of Po: a stubborn, strong, and in-love man.
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I like how Collin's shows the control-obsessed, powerful government in an indirect way, based on Katniss's thoughts.
Ending: The ending was in my opinion, unsatisfactory.
Conclusion: Insanely good, recommended to all ages and genders!
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Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Stars: 5+
Summary from Goodreads
Review by Kirthi
Pages: 391

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

My thoughts:
I am totally blown away by Catching Fire. I literally could not put it down! Everything was thick and real. The trickery, the cunning, and secrets are all cleverly revealed. I cannot wait to read Mockingjay.
Catching Fire (and the Hunger Games) is like a literary phenomenon to be ranked with Harry Potter and all the other great works of literature.
Beginning: The tension between Peeta, Gale, the government, and Katniss's screwed up life is all so real, so wonderfully written. The beginning really pulled me into the story right from where I left off in The Hunger Games.

Middle: Absolutely enthralling. My eyes were hot glue-gunned down on to the pages. I started today, on the bus home from school and finished three and half hours later, no breaks. That tells you something. The teams and alliances made in Catching Fire were different and brought on insight on the other victors and Districts, good and bad. The silent war between Katniss and Peeta and the Capitol is agonizingly deep, with shocking turns. I never knew what to expect from Suzanne Collins. The most shocking, most completely unexpected things just pops up and then continues leaving me with no time to recover.
End: Wow. So bad yet so good. So sad yet so okay-ish. If you've read the Hunger Games highlight over the white text below to read my REAL thoughts on the ending:
Oh my gosh, District 12, destroyed? Wow! Did Peeta die or is he being helf captive by the Capitol? Yeah, he's being helf by the Capitol, but why's Katniss so devastated? The ending went by so fast...Help anyone?

Characters: I ~heart~ Peeta! Team Peeta!!! Katniss is as strong and admirably brace as always. The other new characters were lovable and well-developed, easy to understand, unlike Peeta who is the most surprising, unpredictable character ever!

Conclusion: Delicious. Rich. Yummy. It may be obvious, but you must read! First read The Hunger Games, though.
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What Team are You?
If you haven't visited my Which Team are You On? Poll for The
Hunger Games, please do (only if you've read the books)!
Add these Team buttons to show your side!




Link your review of Catching Fire or The Hunger Games (please mention) below on Mr. Linky so I can read your thoughts on them! Thanks!



ARC Review: Claire de Lune

19 February 2010


Title: Claire de Lune
Author: Christine Johnson
Stars: 4
Summary from back of the book
Pages: 352
Release Date: 5/18/10
Thanks for the copy Christine!


Torn between two destinies...

Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all the sense of normalcy: She's a werewolf. As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire's new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love. Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart. she will make a choice that will change her forever...

My thoughts:

Claire de Lune is completly different than what I expected a werewolf book to be about. Becoming a werewolf is not by being bitten, but by being inherited and no male werewolves exist, which is completely different.
Beginning: Romance. No other book I've read introduces the romance before the actual excitement. I'm very happy it started with romance, though. I get very tired of waiting till the middle or even the end to read about the romances, so Claire de Lune was a pleasant surprise.

Middle: Absolutly wonderful. This was a totally different werewolf book (like I said before), the threats, the plot, and mostly everything was not expected, which is rich. I was dying of the cliche, boring werewolf books (Blood and Chocolate, Twilight etc...) but Claire de Lune saved me. I was stick in this book book, loved it!
There was, however, a few minor blemishes. In a few spots, the events were very rushed, and I had to go back a little and re-read it to comprehend what was going on.

End: Betrayal. A very good and tasty betrayal.

Characters: The characters weren't as well developed as I hoped they would be. Matthew was obscure, and so were most of the pack. The pack members were just there. Not much elaboration on them. I'm a reader that really likes details (more like a person who likes knowing things) so it frustrated me when I didn't get much on the characters.

Conclusion: Original and a great read, Claire de Lune is a wonderful, action-packed debut novel by Christine Johnson.

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16 February 2010

This week is two great books!

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

If you've read the Hunger Games or Catching Fire, be sure to vote on the poll to the right on my sidebar to pick which team you're in. Team Peeta or Team Gale? I'll have a post on the results when they end on the 23!

Need by Carrie Jones
Zara White suspects there's a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She's also obsessed with phobias. And it's true, she hasn't exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane...but Zara's pretty sure her mom just can't deal with her right now.

She couldn't be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara's overactive imagination. In fact, he's still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There's something not right - not human - in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs point to Zara.

News around the Blogosphere (2) + Affiliates!

15 February 2010

I haven't done a News around the Blogosphere in a long time! So here it goes!

Book Cover Craze!
The new cover to the last book in the Hunger Games trilogy! (left) I love how different this cover is from the other two! The Hunger Games and Catching Fire were all dark colored and scary, but the last book is bright and beautiful. What's your thoughts on it?

Linger Giveaway and more!

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabel, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole. At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.

Why did I post this Linger Giveaway? Because I entered over at Maggie's Blog! You should enter too :D
Another great contest is being held by Amanda-Lee at Storywings! Her 49 Followers Contest! Be sure to enter my 100 Followers Contest!

Affiliates?
Everyone's been getting affiliates lately, and I was wondering if anyone would like to be my affiliate? If you do then please fill out this form. I'm just looking for about 3 affiliates, maybe 5. Thanks!

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11 February 2010

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren!

I got: Claire de Lune by Christine JohnsonFrom Simon Pulse publishing, this is an ARC that'll I'll review A.S.A.P.
I love how BLUE the cover is, with the moon glowing in the background and Claire looking down
Christine Johnson’s CLAIRE DE LUNE, in which a teenager learns that she is a werewolf, descended from a long line of female werewolves, and must balance her human and werewolf lives, while tracking down the rogue werewolf preying upon the people of her town.

And: The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa De La Cruz
I love the American cover and how the model (Schuyler?) looks out into the distance with that little smile on her face. The city of Paris below in black is a great touch too!

With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss's true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry, love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Jack and Schuyler are over. Oliver's brokenhearted. And only the cunning Mimi seems to be happily engaged.


Funny, this week it's vampires and werewolves! I guess I still enjoy them :) What're you reading? :)

Review: Ways to Live Forever

06 February 2010



Title: Ways to Live Forever
Author: Sally Nicholls
Stars: 4.5
Summary from Goodreads
Pages: 208
My name is Sam. I am eleven years old. I collect stories and fantastic facts. By the time you read this, I will probably be dead. Sam loves facts. He wants to know about UFOs and horror movies and airships and ghosts and scientists, and how it feels to kiss a girl. And because he has leukaemia he wants to know the facts about dying. Sam needs answers to the questions nobody will answer. "Ways To Live Forever" is the first novel from an extraordinarily talented young writer. Funny and honest, it is one of the most powerful and uplifting books you will ever read.

My thoughts:

Beginning:
At first, I felt like I didn't want to read this because of the thick, stiff paper it was printed on, but as I kept reading, all of Sam's thoughts, facts and dreams pulled me in.

Middle:
I felt emotional as I read the good, the bad, and the sad things and events in Sam's life. The thought of an 11 year old boy was memorable. I'm glad I took this brief break from teen romance/fiction for this. The simple things that I take for granted means much much more to Sam's character than it does to me.

Ending:
I laughed and cried at this ending.
Characters: I love love love Sam's character. An innocent (sort-of) boy who wants to know what it's like to live. He's an inspiration ot me.
Felix was as great as any best friend should be. He's ill, just like Sam, but he's older by 2 years, and yet that age difference doesn't matter, and that's what I love about Sam and Felix's friendship.


Cover Love:

I love the trees, bright and colorful. The leaves mix together beautifully, like two painted colors smudged together on a canvas. The long thick branch that Sam's sitting on is clear, whereas the other branches blend in with the blob-by leaves. And then there's the model who plays Sam. He's perfect, those happy, inquisitive light-filled brown eyes looking up into the distance. That lovely, hope-filled smile is the reason I picked this book up. The red hoodie just screams SAM. The fact that it covers his bald head (chemotherapy) is even better, but in the book it says he grew his hair back, curious...but I'm glad this is the way the cover is.
Title love: Ways to Live Forever. Intriguing. Those simple words that speaks thousands. Very inspirational title.

Conclusion: I love how innocently wonderful this book is. Recommended to all ages!
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P.S. Here are all the other covers that I don't like as much.

Another IMM (3)

05 February 2010

I've been reading a load of great books this week, I just couldn't help but to show off! All summaries are from Goodreads, the ever so awesome site for book lovers!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I have to polish up my (blustering) review on this, I'll have it up soon!
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.
The Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink: I'm still reading this, thanks Grace, for letting me borrow this!
Sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe and her twin sister Alice have just become orphans, and, as Lia discovers, they have also become enemies. The twins are part of an ancient prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other. To escape from a dark fate and to remain in the arms of her beloved boyfriend James, Lia must end the prophecy before her sister does. Only then will she understand the mysterious circumstances of her parents' deaths, the true meaning of the strange mark branded on her wrist, and the lengths to which her sister will go to defeat her. Debut novelist Michelle Zink takes readers on an unforgettable journey where one sister's fateful decision could have an impact of Biblical proportions. Prophecy of the Sisters is the first of three books.
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong: Thanks to Elyse Marshall from HarperCollins for sending me my first ARC!
Only two weeks ago, life was all too predictable. But that was before I saw my first ghost. Now, along with my supernatural friends Tori, Derek, and Simon, I’m on the run from the Edison Group, which genetically altered us as part of their sinister experiment. We’re hiding in a safe house that might not be as safe as it seems. We’ll be gone soon anyway, back to rescue those we’d left behind and to take out the Edison Group . . . or so we hope.
Spectacular Ireland with text by Peter Harbison: Thank you to my parents for buying this for me in celebration of my straight A's!
A luxurious full-color celebration of Ireland's scenic beauty, this book features more than 125 full-color images by Ireland's top landscape photographers and includes six panoramic gatefold pages, each one opening to almost four feet.

I've got a lot of great books this week, and I'm uber excited! Sooo happy :D So what're you reading?

Awards and Favorite Fictional Character!

03 February 2010


I recieved a wonderfully new award from Milli from Everything Crazy called Beyond Your Imagination! She designed the award button too, I love it! The rules are easy!
1. List 8 stories or books that you would like to live in (for two weeks?)
2. List 8 other bloggers who deserve this award
3. Comment on their blog, and tell them they won an award
Now my list of books that I'd love to live in!
  1. Harry Potter- J.K. Rowling
  2. Mortal Instruments- Cassandra Clare
  3. Artemis Fowl- Eoin Colfer
  4. Poison Study- Maria V. Snyder
  5. The Lightning Thief- Rick Riordan
  6. The Alchemist- Michael Scott
  7. The Snow Spider- Jenny Nimmo (and Charline Bone!)
  8. The Sisters Grimm- Michael Buckley
Now I nominate!
  1. Alyssa Kirk from Demonic Atrractions
  2. Inkgirl from Inkhymn
  3. Kat from Kat's Books
  4. Isa from Mixtures:...Books
  5. Rachel at The Book Wars
  6. Bookologist from The Bookologist
  7. Cassandra from Happy Book Lovers
  8. Amanda from The Zen Leaf

Favortie Fictional Character is hosted by Ryan at Wordsmithonia!
My favorite fictional character(s) is Jack and Annie from The Magic Treehouse!
They're my favorite, intelligent, adventurous characters. I love Jack and his book-y smart ways, and Annie and her awesomeness. I used to read one book after another in the series, it was absolutely addicting.

That reminds me! I want to challenge you to read children's books! Go to the library and go to the children section and check out a load of great books! I got Extra Credit by Andrew Clements. He was my favorite author, and had me from Frindle. Look here for more novels by Andrew!

Review: Academy 7

02 February 2010


Title: Academy 7
Author: Anne Osterlund
Stars: 4.5
Summary from Goodreads
Pages: 259

With a past too terrible to speak of, and a bleak, lonely future ahead of her, Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe. Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin—son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance— consistently outtalks her. Fortunately Aerin consistently outwits him at sparring. They are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is unintentionally dragged down with him. When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship—and romance—begins to form. But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets, and the two are linked in ways neither of them could ever have imagined. . . .


My thoughts (in a new layout that I might just do for this review):
Beginning: "Aerin tried to ignore the bloodstain on the control panel of the Fugitive"
What a great way to start a book, with blood and action! Anne Osterlund sure knows how to start a book!
Middle: I had my nose in Academy 7 and finished at around midnight. My eyes were glued, and regused to be torn away. I kept thinking, "Okay, I'll read the next page and save the rest for tomorrow". A while later, "One more page" and "Two more" and "Three more" etc..
There was a lot of juicy, nonstop action throughout the book, and I haven't read a good action book in a long time. There was romance (obviously) that I loved, and the shocking past of the characters were a bonus!
End (includes some SPOILERS): It ends with a kiss. The best way to end a non-sequel book is with a kiss. A great way to end any romance is with a kiss. I like saying kiss. ANYWAY, I was very pleased with the ending. All of the events come together in one, big finale.
Characters: I love love love Aerin. She's a strong, mysterious, powerful, and shadowy independent girl with an interesting background. Dane is not as intense as Aerin's character. He's te sensitive, soft character, and Aerin's the hard, fighter character, and together they make a great couple. I beleive that opposite personalities attract, and Aerin and Dane prove that.
Plot: Totally original and beyond the ordinary. The plot rocks.
Conclusion: A very good read!
Includes:
  • 3rd person narration
  • action +romance
  • no cursing
  • violence (not too violet, an average amount of violence)

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01 February 2010

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren!

Won: Hardcover of Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves from Sara at The Hiding Spot! Thanks Sara! Dia also
included a signed bookmark (eeek!)
and signed the book with a personal message!


Library:

I'm going through technical difficulties, so to check out the summaries of all these books please click on
the links to the books above.

I'm really interested in Celtic mythology so I checked out:
P.S.
I also got The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. So what're you reading? :D

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