Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 27

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from BreakingTheSpine and is about the books we are anticipating the release of. Here is what I am waiting for this week.

Title: Goddess Interrupted

Author: Aimee Carter

Summary: (goodreads) Kate Winters has won immortality.

But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

My Thoughts: Greek mythology is really enjoyable a subject or me. After reading the first in this series, I cannot wait to see what new characters show up and how the myth of Persephone and Hades is woven into the second book. Also, I wonder of how Kate plans to deal with Persephone and what is Persephone like anyway?

What are you waiting for this week, fellow readers?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Goddess Test

Author: Aimee Carter

Source: Harlequin Teen Panel. Paperback.

Summary: (goodreads) It's always just been Kate and her mom--and her mother dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate passes seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

Review: Kate is an amazing character with lots of inner strength and maturity for her age. Dealing with her mother's terminal illness for most of her high school experience, has opened her to being compassionate and understanding of others and accepting the idea of loss at such a young age. But because Kate spent all the time she possibly could caring for her mother, her own identity is obscure at the beginning of the book.

She is unsure of anything, but that she wants her mother to continue living if even for one more day. Kate lives in denial trying not to think about the inevitable future, but this is how she grows in this book. The move to Eden forces her to re-think life without her mother. And that is what her mother wanted...but there is a whole lot more to the story than first meets the eye.

As a spin on the story of Hades and Persephone, I loved it. When Henry explains the truth of how he met Persephone, it seemed so much more realistic. And heartbreaking. Henry is amazing. He is quiet, but a revered leader. And the way he interacts with others is cold making the moments when he lets down his guard full of impact.

The two people at school that Kate meets and eventually forms friendships with are very unique characters. Ava was a meanie to her in the beginning, but then Kate saw beyond the surface and through some obstacles, forged a strong bond. James was always sweet and nice and quirky at times. Then there is Henry...when she moves into Eden Manor.

Knowing that if she doesn't pass the tests, her life would be the price, Henry tries to keep himself distant from her. Kate doesn't seem to mind at all in the beginning, but her curiosity wins out as she tries to engage in conversations with him. Their relationship built slowly making a connection between them more believable.

Although a paranormal book, The Goddess Test created a perfectly acceptable world of bright colors, grieving, and love while incorporating one of my favorite Greek myths ever. Nothing is an accident in this book. There is a reason behind every action and I guess that made the book wonderful to read and seeing how everything tied together. I eagerly await the next book!

Rating: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Fold

Author: An Na

Source: Library

Summary: (goodreads) Joyce never used to care that much about how she looked, but that was before she met JFK—John Ford Kang, the most gorgeous guy in school. And it doesn’t help that she’s constantly being compared to her beautiful older sister, Helen. Then her rich plastic-surgery-addict aunt offers Joyce a gift to “fix” a part of herself she’d never realized needed fixing—her eyes. Joyce has heard of the fold surgery—a common procedure meant to make Asian women’s eyes seem “prettier” and more “American”—but she’s not sure she wants to go through with it. Her friend Gina can’t believe she isn’t thrilled. After all, the plastic surgeon has shown Joyce that her new eyes will make her look just like Helen—but is that necessarily a good thing?

Review: I loved one other book that I read written by An Na and I thought this one sounded really interesting since I know a little bit about the fold's importance in Asian culture. I'm hispanic, but I also don't have a complete crease all the way to the very inner corner of my eyes. This book really seemed to be about a subject I was interested in. And overall, the concept was very intruiguing. But the characters were a tad difficult to deal with.

Joyce was surprisingly shallow. And although she fits the personality of those around her, and she was realistic, I thought she was unrealistically obsessed with John Ford Kang. Way obsessed. The writing is very emotion-based and solely takes Joyce's perspective which can be a bit overwhelming when she isn't being a very practical person. I did get the sense that this book was from the point of view of Asians in general and the beauty standards that don't include just being skinny, but having bigger eyes.

As Joyce's aunt pushed her to get the surgery, and people and school did too, Joyce starts to actually think things through. She begins to question herself and what it is she would achieve or lose through the surgery. The ending was expected and maybe a little bit cliched, but there were lessons learned on the part of many characters. Joyce still wasn't perfect, but she'd found a bit of her true identity and self-esteem throughout the experience of searching out the answer to getting or refusing the fold surgery. I think younger readers would enjoy the story while those interested in the subject may benefit from the perspective.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blog Tour: Fracture

I am honored to be participating in the Bloomsbury Blog Tour for Fracture. Please check out this book as soon as it is released. Incredible <3 ~

Author: Megan Miranda

Release Day: January 17th, 2012

Source: Publisher ARC

Summary: (back of book) A lot can happen in eleven minutes. Decker can run two miles easily in eleven minutes. I once wrote an English essay in ten. No lie. And God knows Carson Levine can talk a girl out of her clothes in half that time.

Eleven minutes might as well be an eternity under water. It only takes three minutes without air for loss of consciousness. Permanent brain damage begins at four minutes. And then, when the oxygen runs out,full cardiac arrest occurs. Death is possible at five minutes.Probably at seven. Definite at ten.

Decker pulled me out at eleven.

Review: I love this book. I shy away from stories of grief because I find they can burden me with passivity and reflections which convey the message perfectly alright, but leaves me feeling heavy when I finish. Fracture manages to be full of action while retaining the theme of dealing with loss and the difficulty of healing emotionally from traumatic events.

Delaney Maxwell is an intriguing main character. Written, she is very much alive and the unique star of an action-y whirlwind of a story. Her voice is clear. Her actions are realistically precise. And her flaws are subtle. As a person, Delaney is inherently "good". But her choices can be questioned. She does get some lee-way because she is technically supposed to have a malfunctioning brain, but there are some things you just shouldn't do.

Like kissing three different boys. And not really regretting or making much of scene out of it. Delaney also shouldn't have gone back to the scene of where she almost died. Her addled brain seemed to make her feel more in control this time around, but Delaney makes questionable choices throughout the novel.

In the end, it isn't as much growth in maturity that I find in her as a person, but more of an acceptance that there are some things that cannot be changed in the world. Delaney was strong, willfully confident in herself when she needed to be and sometimes when she should have checked herself. The story makes her such a believable character!

Megan Miranda had me justifying Delaney's irrational decisions because of her story. Delaney wasn't supposed to be alive. There was bound to be damage. She was manifesting weird paranormal symptoms after her meeting with Death. So as a character, everything worked for me.

Throughout the book, there is uncertainty, a tad sense of Delaney's "crazy". highs of emotion and plenty of plot to make a story of grief into something more. Enjoy!

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters Book Trailer

Hey, awesome readers!

It has recently come to my attention that Putnam Juvenile is releasing Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin in March of this year. It sounds funny! And this book trailer is so much fun! I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did and let us look forward to March together. I love the trailer. Love it. Absolutely xD

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Viola in Reel Life

Author: Adriana Trigiani

Source: Library

Summary: (goodreads) When fourteen-year-old Viola is sent from her beloved Brooklyn to boarding school in Indiana for ninth grade, she overcomes her initial reservations as she makes friends with her roommates, goes on a real date, and uses the unsettling ghost she keeps seeing as the subject of a short film her first.

Review: I forgot how immature 14 year olds can be, but taking her age into account, Viola was very aware of her flaws. I was impressed with her ability to take constructive criticism positively and also follow sound advice. Her initial attitude wasn't very endearing, but her growth as an integral part of a society bigger than her made me root for her.

All of the characters are very strong in this novel. Her roommates at boarding school are very defined as was Jared. The boy she liked. Her grandmother was a quirky person. And Viola herself was snark-y, vulnerable and sheepish when she got reprimanded, but she was even tempered.

The story kind of had something pulling it together, but overall I felt that Viola's movie-making was put on the back burner while the book concentrated more on her experiences at boarding school and opening up to others. It was a cute book with a cute heroine. What I love those awesome yellow shoes. I WANT! :D Hehe. Give it a try if you like theatre or movie-making in your books. It's a nice read!

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5