Monthly Archives: July 2012

Triple Book Review!

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, guys! This has been a super-crazy-busy week for me. But I’ve still been reading like mad (as always) and have got 3 awesome books to recommend today!

Chances are, you’ve heard of this series. Actually, chances are you’ve read this series. I feel like I am the only one who hasn’t, actually! I went into this book very wary of it because of the EXTREMELY strong fan base (talk about rabid fans), and I felt like my opinion was already in favor of the book even before I read it, which is very unusual.

I can’t exactly describe this book. But it is a very good fantasy novel, with angels and demons and love triangles and soap opera style plot twists! I highly recommend it! I do understand why the series is so hyped up. It’s got all the makings of a huge series- hot guys, awesome action, and a little mystery. I loved it, and I’m pretty sure most people would too! My only complaint is that there is a huge wrench thrown in the plot towards the end, and those tear me apart. It does make for an interesting read, though, and I can’t wait to read the next ones!

I didn’t like this book quite as much as City of Bones, but it was still awesome! Another book full of angels and demons and stuff. It kept me reading non-stop until I had finished! It is really romantic, mostly just because the love interest Patch is very awesome and cute! It got a little confusing at times, because the sub-plot with angels and stuff was so complicated. But still overall enjoyable. Can’t wait to read the second and third books in the series, and the fourth when it comes out! This won’t be one of my favorites, but it was worth the time spent reading it!

My favorite out of the three! I just realized that all of these are about fallen angels and specifically Nephilim. I totally didn’t plan that. Well anyway, this book is awesome! It added a little something to the other angel stories, and made it much more interesting. This might be my favorite romance ever. Second only to Adam and Juliette from Shatter Me. Not just another case of star-crossed love… it’s totally fresh and new! The only disappointing thing is that the end isn’t as happy as I would like, and surely you know I have issues with non-happy endings. I’ve decided that I’m going to write my own ending. I wouldn’t go to the trouble, but this book was written as part of a trilogy, and the second book hasn’t been purchased by a published yet! So my heartbreak will last until a published gets their act together and buys the sequel!

Hope you guys enjoyed it! You should definitely pick these books up if you haven’t already.

Happy Reading!

Olivia

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Filed under Fiction, Modern Fiction, Romance, Uncategorized

Book Review- Timepiece

Remember how I said Timepiece couldn’t possibly be better than Hourglass? Well, it wasn’t better, but it totally matched my love for Hourglass! I read it in, like, a day. Yesterday morning I was walking through Target bumping into things because I was reading and walking at the same time. (Yes. I’m that girl.)

I think I can summarize this one without giving too much away. This sequel is narrated from Kaleb’s point of view, unlike Hourglass, which was told from the point of view of Emerson. The Hourglass thinks there is something wrong with time. Now everyone with the time gene can see rips, and they aren’t limited to just people anymore either. An ultimatum is issued for the Hourglass- find Jack or time will start to unravel.

A lot of times, I have issues with the second book in a trilogy. Not all the time, thank goodness. But have you noticed how often, authors get so excited about writing the third and no doubt thrilling final showdown to their series, and then the second book just isn’t that good? Sometimes the middle books ends up being just a bridge, where almost nothing happens and it just connects the beginning and the finale into one big round triple book package? As impressed as I was with Hourglass, I was still scared it would happen with this series. BUT NO! Timepiece was just as impressive, action-y, adorable, romantic, funny, and heartbreaking as the first in the series! I am so thrilled!

Hearing the story told from Kaleb’s point of view was so cool. Of course he was awesome and kick-butt in Hourglass, but in Timepiece, you find out that Kaleb is deep, and emotional, and sweet! And obviously, seeing everyone’s emotions through his eyes is a neat experience. I think Michael is still the one I would fall for in the end, but I could totally settle for Kaleb. Totally. 😉

Seeing Emerson and Michael’s romance from an outsider’s point of view was pretty awesome. And slightly torturous, because I wanted to be inside Emerson’s head very badly. Like I said, I have a crush on Michael. But seeing them the way everyone else does was neat, and I appreciate that approach more now. Kaleb has a romance of his own, by the way, and it’s super adorable. With someone we all know and love. 😛

This book took me on a wonderful emotional roller coaster ride. I am SUPER HOLY MEGA excited for Infinityglass, and the answer to everyone’s biggest question, (if by everyone you mean me), who will be narrating it!?!

If you haven’t already, get your hands on Hourglass or Timepiece! Don’t forget, Hourglass is only like 1.76 (or something like that) on Kindle! You have no excuse!

Talk to you later, guys!

Olivia

P.S. Voting has ended and the Book Friends will be reading The Selection by Kiera Cass in August! Post here!

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Book Review: Lips Touch: Three Times

Once again, Laini Taylor did not disappoint! As you probably know, I LOVED Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and it left me very impatient to get the sequel, or at least some more of the lovely writing! Molly (here’s her blog) suggested I try Lips Touch: Three Times. I’m so glad she suggested it! I probably wouldn’t have picked it up on my own, given the strange-ish cover. But now you guys know not to judge this book by it’s cover!

I’m actually going to use the Goodreads summary on this one, because I can’t think how to describe it.

Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers’ souls:
Goblin Fruit: In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today’s savvy girls?
Spicy Little Curses: A demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test her curse.
Hatchling: Six days before Esme’s fourteenth birthday, her left eye turns from brown to blue. She little suspects what the change heralds, but her small safe life begins to unravel at once. What does the beautiful, fanged man want with her, and how is her fate connected to a mysterious race of demons?

Wacky summary, right? That’s probably because this isn’t your average book. Not only are there 3 short-ish stories, but they each have that cool, quirky style that I love so much about Laini Taylor. It sort of reminds me of John Greene (I’m not his biggest fan, but I do enjoy his books) and how every one of his books has a little bit of his weirdness in it. This book is especially great for anyone who liked Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and if the summary on this one didn’t catch you, check that one out. It’s a lot less weird, but just as awesome.

It also has awesome illustrations by her husband Jim Di Bartolo. They are even more amazing after you read the stories!

The stories are the perfect length to read, because even though they leave you wanting more, it is easier to stop and sleep (in my case) than a chapter book that keeps you hooked until the end. The writing was just as beautiful as that in DSB, almost more because she got to explain settings and characters 3 times more than the other! (if that makes sense…) They were a little strange, because they are meant to be a type of legend. But that’s what makes them so great, you’ve never read anything like this before. I know people who groan and sigh when you say “Well, it’s a short story collection..” but even if you don’t like short stories, you’d enjoy this. If I had to choose my favorite story (so hard!) I’d choose Spicy Little Curses. I just think it’s so heartbreaking and sweet. Goblin Fruit is awesome as well!

I just thought I’d tell you guys about this before I go! My friend Alice and I were talking about this book, and she told me that the Amazon synopsis began with: “In the style of Stephanie Meyer,…” and I couldn’t believe it! But sure enough, that’s what it says. I just find this so funny, because Laini Taylor’s stories and books could not be farther from Stephanie Meyers’. It’s crazy.

I hope everyone checks this book out! (though I recommend reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone first!)

Olivia

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Book Review- Hourglass

After a few days of reading mediocre-type books, I finally got my hands on something fantastic. This book was so great, and I connected with the story and the characters so well, it was like they were my real friends. (you’ve read a book like that before, right?)

Emerson Cole thinks she is crazy. Her life is all about avoiding ghosts of the past, and she’s the only one that sees them. She feels all alone, until she meets Michael Weaver. He understands, because he sees the ghosts too. And when he offers her a place at Hourglass, the choice seems clear. She has finally found a place where she is normal compared to those around her. But as her abilities come to light, so does an odd and fascinating connection with Michael.

SO GOOD, GUYS. Just be glad I’m not telling you that it is JKFNJNJSkjKSFKSNksfhuieaoJKSNJKLA. I can form words, mostly. I was so blown away by this! I expected it to be good, because it was strongly recommended to me by Gaby, who I trust entirely with book suggestions. But this! It was another late-night read, I’ll tell you that much.

Since it’s been about 16 hours since I finished this, I’ve finally got an idea of what exactly I loved about this book. Emerson is a great character. I heard someone on Goodreads call her too sad (she is depressed sometimes, and speaks of having been depressed in the past. But she has WAY more reason to be sad than you realize.) but I don’t think that is fair, because A) she has more than enough reason to be sad B) she doesn’t make it bad for those around her, she directs it inward to spare her brother and his wife C) the author made it feel real. It wasn’t excessive (one example that comes to mind is Bella moping around in New Moon), it made Emerson feel like a real, true character with a wide array of emotions. I wouldn’t have liked a character who was all sunshine, butterflies, and rainbows because that isn’t real.

The book plays out in a well paced way, enticing you enough with the characters to satisfy moments without as much action. The writing is perfectly balanced, beautiful, and reminds me of a less hardcore version of Laini Taylor. Michael is my new favorite fictional guy crush. He is so amazing and sweet and flawed and AHHH I just can’t explain it! I even love Kaleb, who was also totally swoon worthy. I am a little disappointed that the second book, Timepiece, isn’t from Emerson’s perspective, because I like her. Or Michael’s. 😦 BUT I am so excited to see what Myra McEntire does with Kaleb’s perspective. (I’ve been told Timepiece is even better than Hourglass, but I find that hard to believe.) We’ll see though, won’t we?

EDIT: This book costs 1.69 for your Kindle. I’d much rather have this book than a cup of Starbucks coffee. 😉

My verdict: I don’t want to go all fangirl on you, so I’m keeping my gushing inside for now. BUT OMG GUYS GO READ IT. *swoons*

And I’m done fangirling for now, I swear. As long as you read it. Pretty please.

Happy Reading!

Olivia

P.S. I won an ARC yesterday from Ari Susu-Mago’s blog the Fuzzy Mango. I am going to receive a SIGNED copy of Breathe by Sarah Crossan. I’m VERY excited. VERY.

P.P.S.- and as I mentioned before, Gaby recommended this to me. Any regular reader of my blog would love Sara and Gabys’ as well. They are both so full of personality and obviously great book recommendations as well. Thanks a million times again, Gaby. 😀 (blog)

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Book Review- Between the Lines

Hey guys! Sorry I haven’t posted a book review in a while. I’ve been busy with life, and another blog, actually! Me and some friends of mine from Twitter decided to create a book club blog! We’ve noticed that while there isn’t a very good place to read a book along with others who love books as much as you do! Today, we posted to introduce ourselves and the concept. Also, there is a poll up to decide which book we are reading first! I would love to have some of my readers involved in this, so I hope you follow and vote in the poll! Here’s the link. For the next book club, our choices are

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

The more votes we have, the better! 🙂

And now on to the real review.

I liked this book. It was not a LOVE book, and it isn’t going on my favorites list, but it was good. It was sweet and pure, and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys fairy tales!

What would happen if you were a character in a fairy tale, but you were trapped? That’s Oliver’s problem. He plays a dashing prince who goes off to rescue a beautiful woman (who he in fact does not like at all) and he dreams of escaping the pages of Between the Lines to Otherworld. He’s tried everything to get out, but he can’t, and it feels futile when it seems everyone around him is content with having their lives written for them. When he discovers he can talk to one particular Reader, Delilah, they plot together to help him escape. Oliver, because he hates living the same life over and over every day. Delilah, because she believes he is the prince of her dreams. But how can a relationship work when you live in two different worlds?

Like I said, adorable. Something I never thought about before (because generally, the books I read don’t have pictures), the possibility that the characters in a book might not actually want to be there. This could have been a really thought provoking, intuitive, and serious book. But it was written to be a story about impossible love, with all of the characteristics of a fairy tale (princes, trolls, pirates, fairies, and mermaids). It could have been better, even though it was good. Oliver certainly was swoon-worthy. Very. I just found it falling flat sometimes. The sections that were written of the actual fairy tale were nice and cute, and I wish I could have that book! But I found the rest of the story repetitive sometimes. I understood that Oliver was trying everything possible to escape, but it seemed like he was doing the same thing every time. Which was annoying.

I believe this would have been better as a novella. I know that they don’t sell as well as normal length books do, but it’s not like Jodi Picoult isn’t an established author. It just felt too drawn out and long-ish.

My recommendation of this one comes with strings attached. 🙂 I would especially recommend this to younger readers (it’s very pure) or those looking for something simple-ish to read on the beach. If you have better books handy, skip over this one. But if you don’t, and you have this available, go for it!

Happy Reading, y’all!

Olivia

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I went to France for Bastille Day!

I went to France for Bastille Day!

Seriously.

First, I went to breakfast at the patisserie on the corner near my hotel. I ate warm sugary French things that I don’t know the names for. They were delicious. After breakfast, I walked along the Seine river until I got the Eiffel Tower. I took the elevator all the way 1063 feet into the air and saw the city like a bird does. I ate lunch at the Cafe Constant, staring right at the Eiffel Tower through my meal. I rented a bike and rode to the Champs-Elysees (chahnz-eleezay), and window shopped for hours. I stood under the Arc de Triomphe and thought about Napoleon and his adorable shortness. And then, after dinner, I took a taxi to to Bastille, where I stood next to what is left of it, and remembered the things that had happened there 223 years ago.

OK, so that is a little bit of an exaggeration.

I didn’t really go to to Paris today. Well, not physically. Consider this a sort of advertisement for my latest book-obsession. As if I needed another. 😉

Travel guides.

Those who follow me on Twitter might remember me Tweeting a few days ago about reading Fodor’s 2012 guide to Paris. And I definitely am! Cover to cover, even the page numbers!

Do y’all remember my latest awards post, when I told you I’m travel-crazy? Well, it’s true. Except I’ve never even been out of the country. You may have also noticed I’m hungry for information. I actually LIKE school. I learn all I possibly can. And when I read Time Between Us, and I heard the main character taking comfort from reading travel guides, I decided to try it myself. So when I went to the library, I picked up Fodor’s guide to Paris 2012 and Rick Steve’s Rome, 2011. It was all I could do not to take them all.

Travel guides are full of extremely useful information, especially if you are actually traveling. But if you are like me, and you desperately wish you could be in France this instant, they are amazing. Reading a travel guide is like actually going to Paris, or Rome, or Barcelona. Fiction books do this too, but sometimes they don’t take me to the real world places I wish they could, like Italy. Travel guides do this. Almost everything you read in that top paragraph, I learned from this book. How to dress like a Parisian, where to eat, what kind of foods they have, where to go, and how to get there. All about the local culture. And everything else you could possibly be curious about when it comes to Paris.

I hope you don’t think it sounds pathetic to read a travel guide. It really isn’t. You might get questions from strangers, but if you want to travel to a foreign country and be back in time for dinner, this is the way to go.

I highly recommend Fodor’s as a travel guide. His books are full of colorful pictures, maps, and helpful tips. Rick Steve’s are in black and white, which is much less amazing.

I hope you pick up a travel guide (or two, or three, or….) and travel somewhere. I really do.

Happy Bastille Day!

Olivia

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Changes and Non-Changes

Is that title proper grammar? I have no clue. But I’m using it anyway. It has a nice ring to it. Anyway, this is going to be a pretty short post. Basically, things are changing around here, and I’m trying to keep you updated!

Changing:

  • I’m working on getting my own specific header! The one I’m using now comes with the theme, and that bothers me. If you have any suggestions for the banner, please let me know!
  • I have two sidebars now. Minor change, I know. But I like it better this way.
  • I now have two more tabs on the top bar. The Poem of the Week section is gone, replaced by My Wishlist and Policies sections. As you probably know, I recently received my first ARC. I know one ARC doesn’t mean much, but now I am prepared to receive more (perhaps!) as my blog continues to grow. My Wishlist has books I’d love to receive but that haven’t been released yet. Policies tells you the basics on how to donate a book, what I’ll accept, and what a typical review has. Just to be clear, I DON’T expect to receive more ARC’s. I want to be prepared for that some time in the future.
  • Ok, so this hardly counts, but Olivia’s Opinions is growing! I talked a little bit about this in my last review. I now have 103 followers (!!!!) and that number is steadily growing. This excites me to no end!

Not Changing:

  • Even though I am starting to become more professional about the way I blog, I am still making bad jokes, occasionally ranting, and writing my own summaries. I am also totally winging the way I write reviews, because that is what seems to work for me!
  • I am not straying from the general YA fiction genre that I love. At least not much.
  • Even if I review the occasional ARC, I like to review books that you can get your hands on RIGHT NOW.
  • This kind of goes along with the first point. I refuse to change who I am. My personality always comes out in my reviews. I see no reason to stop reviewing like I always do and become boring and objective.
  • If you are on Twitter, or are otherwise integrated into the book blogging community, you will have noticed some of the hate on book bloggers lately. People take sides, say things they don’t really mean, and all around start a huge argument that makes no one look good. It all started because one blogger wrote a very negative review of a book on Goodreads, and the author got involved. I refuse to take sides on the matter, because like I said, in this fight, no one comes out on top. Everyone who participates looks bad. The point is, when you write book reviews, sometimes they are negative. I promise all of my readers that I would never post a review that wasn’t truthful to my real opinion. Negative opinions are a sizable part of what I post, because I tell the truth. A negative review often saves someone precious reading time that could be better spent elsewhere. I always try to present the truth in a nice way (so an author wouldn’t get offended if they read it) and I never hate on the author personally. (what is the point in that, really? It’s just rude.) The point is, I will continue posting my real opinions. Period.

The end!I know this post was unnecessary, as some of you have probably noticed these changes (at least the physical ones), but I like to explain it myself! 🙂

Hope your week is going beautifully!

Olivia

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