6.22.2012

Legend by Marie Lu


Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Pages: 305
Release: November 29th, 2011

Synopsis:
(from Goodreads)What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

My Thoughts:
I picked up Legend because I was very busy and it looked small-ish and I had heard such fantastic things about this dystopian re-telling of Les Miserables. This was a read that I loved and couldn’t put down the entire way through.

On top of Legend being a really good book, it was also aesthetically pleasing. The cover has a really cool look to it and even the inside has a unique appearance. The chapters in Day’s POV are printed in a gold color! June’s are in black. How nifty is that? In other books I have read where POV changes from chapter to chapter, I find that some authors seem to have trouble establishing two distinctly unique personalities for the alternating characters. I wondered early on if this color coding was done to help keep the characters straight, but was really pleased to find that Day and June are very original and that was not an issue at all.

The only thing I can say negatively about this book was especially in the beginning, I really disliked June’s character. I would want to read through her chapters as quickly as possible in order to get to Day’s perspective again. Fortunately, by the end of the book I really liked her and am thinking maybe she was supposed to be unlikable at first glance? Legend was a fast-paced story with realistic characters and lots of twists and turns.

In Short:
Rating: 5/5
Purchase or Check Out?: Purchase
Would I read it again?: Yes


6.15.2012

Book Clubs, Yay or Nay?


I am currently on vacation this week and in lieu of my regular posting, this week will be a series of discussion posts by me as well as by a couple of guest bloggers.


Book Clubs, Yay or Nay?

Cindy from Oodles of Books was supposed to blog today, but she had some things come up and was unable to join us. Therefore, I decided to end this vacation week of discussion posts with a topic that always fascinates me and I love to hear opinions on, and that is: What do you think of Book Clubs? That could be a traditional group meet up style or a more technological online club or anything in between!

When I was a little kid I attended a summer book club sort of thing. All the kids would read a short picture book with their parents and in the middle of the week we would all gather together to talk about it and draw pictures….Well, that’s pretty much my only experience with book clubs. Pretty pathetic, huh?

It’s not that I never wanted to be in a book club, it’s just that the opportunity never seemed to present itself. For me, it was something that never worked out regardless of how interested I was. In High School, our book club was really cool! It was arranged like Harry Potter, complete with sorting hat, house points, and a yule ball. My issue with that was that I was more devoted to other clubs and never had the spare time to join. Apparently, my hometown even has quite a selection of book clubs that are hosted at the library these days.

But, alas, there just aren’t any book clubs around my college town that I could join and as for online book blogs, well that is completely uncharted territory for me. So, I fear that book clubs may just be something that I always want to experience, but will never have the chance. I suppose that is where the book blogging community fills in! Ha!

Have you ever been in a Book Club? Do you enjoy scheduled group reading? Does your town offer lots of opportunities for Book Clubs? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

6.14.2012

Divergent: What’s Your Faction?

I’m on vacation this week, so in lieu of regular posting I have asked some of my favorite bloggers to do a guest post. Today’s guest is Hilda from Catch the Lune! here to discuss Divergent factions. Thank you Hilda!



Which Faction Would You Be in Divergent?

Hi everyone! *waves excitedly* First of all, I want to thank Darlene for being so awesome! Thank you very much for having me! Darlene has such lovely blog, don’t you think so? Her blog suits the title very much! x) Naah, some of you might remember me from my own book blog, Catch the Lune. Hey there, minions! *blow kisses* LOL, you might have urge desire to throw me with rocks now. Sorry, I have tendency to blabber! x)
Today, I have the luxury to talk about one of my latest book obsessions… Divergent by Veronica Roth! Squealll! Divergent is such an amazing book and it’s one of my best read in 2012. I just love it so much! You can check out my blog and read my blabbering review there! I can talk about Divergent for hours, but for now, I’m just going to share my result of Factions quiz and what I think of it! :)


There are five factions in Divergent: Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, Amity, and Candor. The five factions represent five different virtues each of them held. Do you cogitate that peace is more important than important fighting? You might be Amity. Or maybe you think knowledge is the most important thing? Then, my friend, you might be an Erudite!
My paperback copy of Divergent has bonus material inside and there’s a part when Veronica Roth talks about the factions, along with personality quiz which faction you belong.
I tried the quiz and guess what I got?
*a little bit of drum roll please….*
Abnegation!
I wasn’t very surprised to find out that I’m Abnegation, although I’m not very sure that I can live up to their selfless standard. I think the reason why there are people from different factions who despise Abnegation is their reasoning that no one could be that good. No one could be that unselfish, living their life only to serve others. I think that’s a very bitter thing to believe, especially since we’ve seen amazing people like Mother Theresa, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Nelson Mandela in our life. I think these people would be perfect examples of Abnegation people. Maybe people who are truly selfless could really exist. Well, my ever-optimist view of life believes in kindness and bravery.
I’m not very sure, but if I lived in Divergent world, I think I would choose Amity. I like the way they seem to put happiness and peace above everything. There are some issues I have with Amity’s too-carefree way of life, but no faction is perfect. I don’t think that I would be brave enough to choose Dauntless. Yes, the sorting hat from Harry Potter may put me in Gryffindor, but I’m not a thrill seeker at heart. If I could gather enough courage, then maybe Dauntless would be my choice. Candor is out of question. There’s a reason why we learn to paraphrase truth. :P Erudite… I don’t like the way they think. Although Erudite comes second after Abnegation in my result, I don’t think I would choose Erudite. It’s the way they seem to eliminate people who aren’t smart enough in their initiation. Remind me too much of Darwin’s natural selection theory (which makes me real sad!).
The awesome Miss Veronica Roth herself stated that no one can belong perfectly in one faction. Faction you belong and faction you choose are entirely two different things. I think what’s really important is what kind of person you want to be. x)
Gosh, I write such solemn post this time, right? Sorry, must be the side effect of post-exam hehe!
How about you, lovely people? Which faction do you think you would choose if you lived in Divergent world? Don’t be shy, share with me! :)





6.13.2012

E-Readers vs. Paper Books

I am currently on vacation, so in lieu of my regular posts, this week I will be doing book-related discussion posts everyday, as well as having some of my favorite bloggers do guest posts.


E-Readers vs. Paper Books

The more popular E-Readers have become in the most recent couple of years the more people have sort of taken sides on this strange sort of battle. There are people who swear by their E-Readers and never plan to buy another physical copy again. Then there are people who push away this technological advance as something to be avoided. My stance on this topic is: What does it matter as long as you’re reading?

I actually haven’t met anyone in the blogging community who is against one or the other format, but I do know a few people in my town who have taken a side. What I really was thinking about with this post was, what are some of the pros and cons with the two.

E-Readers
Pros:
-Reading in the dark! (YEA!)
-Reading while laying down is easier
-More Portable, less to carry around
-Instantly receive books 24/7
-No one else can see what you’re reading by the cover (I’m looking at you, Fifty Shades of Grey people)
-Overall Cheaper Prices

Cons:
-Batteries die
-If you don’t back up files, you can lose your books!
-E-Books don’t have the same “smell”
-More Fragile
-Expensive Device
-Bugs/Glitches happen

Paper Books
Pros:
-You can keep them forever!
-Support local bookstores by buying books from them
-Cute Bookmarks
-Admiring Covers in all their Glory
-In certain places, Electronics are Prohibited
-Reliable
-Lendable
-Can Read Indoors or Outdoors

Cons:
-Can get bent or torn when being carried in luggage/purses/backpacks
-Jackets can be irritating at times
-Take up a LOT of space
-More Expensive than alternative
-Library “Paper Books” have germs

This was really all I could come up with for both E-Reader and Paper Book Pros and Cons. I personally read both E-Books and Paper Books. My method is that if it is cheaper, I buy that version. Or if it is a book series that I have the first book in a paper copy, I will continue that pattern, and vice versa.

Do you have a preference of E-Reader or Paper Books? If you have an E-Reader, what brand is yours? Do you have any other pros and cons I could add to my list?



6.11.2012

Youtube Book Bloggers

I’m on vacation this week, so in lieu of regular posting I have asked some of my favorite bloggers to do a guest post. Today’s guest is Elena from Novel Sounds here to discuss YouTube Vloggers. Thank you Hilda!

"Hi everyone! My name is Elena and I blog over at Novel Sounds. I was so flattered when Darlene asked me to guest post on her blog! The topic I'm going to be discussing today is youtube bloggers.

Now, I haven't been blogging that long so blogging is still a relatively new world to me. I don't even think I really even knew what book blogging really WAS last year. So it's sort of strange to me that not only is book blogging a new thing to me, on top of that there's book vloggers? Of course, I knew what vloggers were like the popular Charlie McDonnell and Community Channel but I wasn't aware that there was actually people who vlogged about books. I think it's interesting because there's in the book blogging community but using a new form of medium to express their views. I admire them because A) they're just OUT THERE for the world to see which can be a scary thing B) they have to talk about books in way that people would be engaged. I guess that's also true for book bloggers but in vlogging, you have to be ON POINT since you're on camera. At least, that's what it seems like to me!

I don't think I've watched many book vloggers even though they do have their own community. I've probably watched around three in total with one girl impressing me in particular. She was English and what I admired about her vlogs is she didn't go off topic at all! I tend to notice with vloggers, they go off topic and you have to fast forward to get to the actual video. I was also impressed with how eloquent she was, no "ums" or mumbling that I recall. That's hard to do! I tried vlogging once but it ended up being too quiet.

My question to you is: do you watch Youtube vloggers? How do you feel about them? Are you one yourself? Do you have any vlogger recs?"

6.10.2012

Do You Listen to Audiobooks?

I am on vacation this week and in lieu of regular posting, all this week I will be featuring book-related discussion posts. I will also be featuring some awesome guest bloggers as well. 


Do You Listen to Audiobooks?

I like audiobooks.
Now that is a sentence I never thought I would have uttered. If you asked me a year ago what I thought about audiobooks I would have told you that it took too long to read them, the narrator never says things the right way, and that they were a nuisance, especially keeping up with all those discs!

So, what happened?
A lot of long days with myself and a paint brush. This summer I was able to get an internship, but it didn’t start until the middle of June and I was out of college by the first week of May. I had to make money to afford gas and other necessities, so my dad agreed to pay me for doing some painting projects. Painting walls, doors, EVERYTHING! I began downloading mp3 audiobooks from my library’s e-book site and my whole world was turned upside down.

Not only are audiobooks a great way for you to get in some reading time when your hands are tied, they are also now more than ever, available. To buy audiobooks, you can sometimes spend $30 on a book that in paper would cost $15. With those options, of course most people would pay half and get the paper copy, but now there are Library websites offering mp3 or wma formats so you can listen on your phone, iPod, or even your computer without keeping up with discs or paying.

Another perk I discovered about audiobooks is that they appeal to people who don’t read in the traditional sense. Have you ever really loved a book and you want a person to read it, but they hate reading?
Audiobooks are an option to try. Sometimes people who are better listeners or even musically inclined friends will enjoy an audiobook and it’s a great way for them to still get exposed to some of that great reading material we all love.

My question to you is, Do you like Audiobooks? If so, what are your reasons for being a fan of listening over reading? If not, what turns you away from listening to books? Let me know in the comments and I will try and check out your responses soon!

6.09.2012

Reading Friends

I am on vacation this week and so in lieu of normal posting, I will be featuring some bookish related discussions, as well as having a few guests on the blog.


Reading Friends

For me, friends who are as passionate as I am about reading are hard to come by.
 My mother has always enjoyed reading as a past time, but nothing serious and we definitely don’t share common book interests. I pretty much kept my opinions to myself until I met a girl, Nicole, in high school. We met through the school’s drama club and we didn’t even discuss books seriously until about a year after we met. Then one day, I guess we just got on the subject and realized we love the same books! I don’t know if anyone else has ever experienced that moment, but I am pretty sure we talked for hours about characters and different genres. At the end of that night we swapped a couple of books the other had yet to read and several years later she is still one of my only bookish pals!

I’m also a big believer in converting non-readers. I was extremely successful during the whole Twilight craze that occurred when the first movie was coming out. I can’t tell you how many friends I had who borrowed my Twilight book…but I can tell you that once it had been returned for good, the spine was held together with tape. The sad thing is, none of them really stuck to reading after that series. I’ll tell you what series did convert someone who I never believed would be a reader: The Mortal Instruments. That is my favorite series ever and I actually got my Dad to read by giving him The Mortal Instruments while on a plane ride. He found his genre and now he even reads more than I do sometimes. That’s a big accomplishment from a man who used to hand me his Lawn Mower Instruction Manuals to read…. when I was like, 10.

I was so interested in this as a discussion post this week because I feel like several people in the blogging community have many friends in their everyday life who they can share books with (I won’t lie and say I’m not jealous!). Do you have a big group of friends who are real life readers? How many of your friends also read? Does anyone only have blogger friends who share your love for the written word?

Please feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments below and I will try to read and respond to you when I can!


6.08.2012

Vacation!


VACATION!

Vacation, all I ever wanted! Vacation, had to get away!
You can’t tell right now, but I am dancing!!!!! (possibly with my suitcase as my dance partner, but whatevs.)
The time has finally come! I am leaving for the beach TODAY and I could not be more excited about it.

However, I was really indecisive about what to do during my absence with my blog and I have decided that rather than leave it alone for 10 days, and in lieu of my normal posts, I am going to post book related discussion topics daily. Even more fantastic is that I have asked some of my favorite bloggers to do Guest Posts, so it will be more than just my opinion voiced during this series of posts and maybe you will even have the chance to learn about some other blogs you may not follow yet!
Below is a schedule for what topic will be discussed when and who will be blogging that day.

Saturday, June 9th – Reading Friends (me)
Sunday, June 10th – Do you listen to Audiobooks? (me)
Monday, June 11th – YouTube Book Blogging (Elena, Novel Sounds)
Tuesday, June 12th – Why Blog? (me)
Wednesday, June 13th – E-Readers vs. Paper Books (me)
Thursday, June 14th – Divergent: What’s your Faction? (Hilda, Catch the Lune)
Friday, June 15th – Book Clubs, Yay or Nay? (Cindy, Oodles of Books)

I hope that you all will stop by to see these awesome posts. Keep in mind that I may be slower to respond if you send me an email, but I DO have access to my email. Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on all the discussion posts, I really appreciate your comments and the time you spent visiting my blog. I always try to check out other people’s blogs who leave me comments, but I will also be delayed in responding to comments / visiting other blogs next week. 


6.05.2012

Teaser Tuesday #7

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

1. “We saw it coming -- someone saw it coming. We were that little bit ahead of you, and you didn’t realize it.” (Pg. 39)

2. “I’m just damned. I am utterly and completely damned. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do, because that’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. After I write this confession, if you don’t shoot me and I ever make it home, I’ll be tried and shot as a collaborator anyway.” (Pg. 5)

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein









I haven’t read a really great historical fiction in a long time, but this one is really fantastic so far! I can’t wait to read more.
Feel free to share your teasers in the comments!

6.03.2012

In My Mailbox #14

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi from The Story Siren as a way to share the books you received over the past week whether for review, purchase, or borrow.

Borrowed From Library:
The Maze Runner - by James Dashner (audiobook)
Blood Red Road - by Moira Young (audiobook)
Legend - by Marie Lu
Nightshade - by Andrea Cremer
Across The Universe - by Beth Revis
A Million Suns - by Beth Revis

As some of you know, I am getting all ready to go on vacation this Friday, so I had to get some quality reading material to enjoy while on the beach. I also got a couple audiobooks to listen to during the long drive. My boyfriend and I are driving separately from the other family, so I am hoping if I can’t get him to actually read, maybe I can get him to listen to some good books. Wish me luck!

What’s in your mailbox?

6.01.2012

Timepiece by Myra McEntire


Title: Timepiece
Author: Myra McEntire
Pages: 336
Release: June 12th, 2012

Synopsis:
(from Goodreads) A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.
Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

My Thoughts:
After reading Hourglass and loving it, I knew any other books in the series would be a definite buy for me. Unfortunately, while Timepiece has a lovely cover and a synopsis that promises another thrilling adventure in this unique time travel series, I found that Timepiece is really just an average read.

My first issue with this book is that it’s in Kaleb’s perspective. I find the cover to be very misleading because to be honest, Emerson isn’t a huge figure in this sequel, but she’s still on the cover. I also had a lot of trouble remembering this was Kaleb’s perspective because I felt like his dialogue and thoughts seemed almost identical to Emerson’s from the first book. It got very confusing at times and actually made me miss being in Emerson’s head. I also had a problem with Lily, Emerson’s best friend. While she isn’t a huge character in Hourglass, in this book she’s more prominent and I found that I kind of detest her character. She doesn’t know what she wants, is very whiney, and half of the book is spent with everyone else trying to persuade her to help the Hourglass out. It got repetitious and very tiring.

The book had some really good things though, like a very strong beginning that really caught my attention when it jumped right into some pretty heavy plot. I felt connected early on. It also has a very strong close at the ending that promises a lot for the next book and was wrapped up nicely. I will not give up on this series and I believe that the next book could really have great potential. However, I would say that this book was simply okay. Nothing spectacular, but not bad either.

In Short:
Rating: 3/5
Purchase or Check Out?: Purchase
Would I read it again?: No