Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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I read Cinder a long time ago and remember that I absolutely loved it and could not wait for the sequel. Knowing that Scarlet had come out, I re-read Cinder so I was sure to remember every last detail and then Launched into Scarlet immediately. I think I read them both in four days. 

Cinder – I fell in love with Cinder immediately, both the book and the title character. I loved that she was a renowned mechanic and that the Prince liked her immediately. Her relationship with Iko was so interesting. Really, the mere idea of Iko was awesome. I was also really impressed with Cinder’s relationship with Peony. I was neat to see what Meyer did to make slight changes to the original Cinderella tale and also what she kept the same. I was really impressed with the fact that I could clearly see the ties to the classic tale, but it did not feel like I was reading a retelling. After reading “Splintered”, I was worried that maybe when I revisited “Cinder” I would feel a similar disappointment, but I did not. I loved it as much as the first time. 

Scarlet – I actually liked Scarlet even more than Cinder. At the very beginning of the book, when Scarlett was being introduced, I was worried that the entire book would be dedicated to new characters and my beloved Cinder and Kai would be ignored. I need not have worried. Meyer masterfully kept Cinder involved in the story while still taking the time to paint a perfect picture of Scarlet and Wolf. Again, the ties to the classic story of Little Red Riding Hood were there, but were not overwhelming and still allowed the story to stand on its own. In the end, Cinder and Scarlet were perfectly integrated with each other and their stories were set up perfectly to continue on together.  

These books are definite must reads… but beware… having to wait another entire year to see what happens next is going to be VERY difficult!

 

ADVENTURES WITH MAX & LOUISE by @EllynOaksmith GIVE-AWAY!!!

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Check this out!!!

Originally posted on BOOK MAVEN'S PICKS:

Today is a very exciting day because author Ellyn Oaksmith will be giving out copies of her novel Adventures With Max And Louise.  You can increase your chances of winning by entering the contest everyday.  This give-away contest starts today and ends on May 10 so you have plenty of time–3 weeks–to accumulate as many entries as you can.  I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you win.

ADVENTURES WITH MAX AND LOUISE by Ellyn Oaksmith

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CLICK HERE TO ENTER CONTEST!!!

Give-away Rules for Adventures With Max And Louise by Ellyn Oaksmith:

  • Enter for a chance to win 1 paperback copy OR 1 in 3 e-books.
  • Paperback copy give-away open to US and Canada only (courtesy of HarperCollins).
  • E-book give-away open Worldwide (courtesy of author Ellyn Oaksmith).
  • A working email address OR a facebook account is required to…

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Growing up, I would spent multiple hours throughout the day watching my brother play video games. There were only certain games I enjoyed watching, however, as some were just not interesting. The games I enjoyed were games that had a storyline. I liked watching things unfold. I liked helping him on quests. From Zelda to Super Mario Brothers to Final Fantasy Seven. For me, it was like watching a movie that I could help shape. I could help my brother find items and tell him to look out when he was about to be pulverized by a Koopa. If you are anything like me, you will love this book.

Ready Player One is an incredibly well written book. My favorite part about it is that you know the ending before it begins. The first chapter tells you who will prevail in this battle of good versus evil. This takes some of the stress out of reading the book, yet somehow I was still on the edge of my seat throughout. The idea of video gaming progressing to the point where people can spend almost their entire lives inside a game is chillingly realistic. Somehow, Cline managed to paint a perfect picture of the dilapidated real world as well as the virtual world in which most people spend their time. I never once had any difficulty visualizing either of the two settings in this book. The characters were perfect and when they all met in real life… wow. Awesome. I definitely recommend this book. It was really fun to read and I loved every minute of it!

Splintered by A. G. Howard

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When I first heard about this book I thought, wow, what an awesome idea. A new twist on one of my absolute favorite books of all time. I could not wait to read it. 

I was so disappointed. It took me a long time to pinpoint why I was not enjoying it. The storyline was not bad. The characters were interesting. Still, I found myself distracted and had a hard time getting through it. Then, it finally occurred to me what the problem was… I couldn’t picture it. In my opinion, there just was not enough description of any of the settings in the story. I have a pretty good imagination and read ALOT so I don’t usually have this problem. I was constantly trying to imagine where the characters were and what they were doing. I had a really hard time with this. I will probably still read the sequel because I can’t stand not reading sequels but I will not be rushing out to get it!

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

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This book is one of the very few books that I have ever read AFTER seeing the movie. Although, I saw the movie a couple of years ago and didn’t entirely remember the story line so it was difficult to compare. I enjoyed the movie but I loved the book.

Halfway through the book, I was googling to find out whether or not it was based on a true story. It was so vivid, so detailed and believable that I could not imagine someone just making it up. I discovered that Sara Gruen had done a lot of research on the circus in general but had not based the book on any actual events that took place. Wow. She created a world that was entirely believable. Sometimes horrifying, but definitely believable. 

The main character was captivating, both as his younger self and when he was older. His experience in the nursing home was heartbreaking as I am sure there are many people out there at this exact moment that are in the exact same situation as him. When his family did not show up, I felt my heart break.

I loved so many of the characters and hated so many others, but all were expertly crafted. The settings made me feel like I was there; on the train,in the tents, in the speakeasy. I thought this book was magical… I most definitely recommend it. 

Delirium, Pandemonium and Requiem by Lauren Oliver

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I started this series when it first came out. The third book was just released so I re-read the first two again to make sure I remembered every single detail.

After the first chapter of Delirium, I was hooked. The idea that in the future Love is seen as a disease is incredibly intriguing. Its really interesting to think of a world where is is common place for people to undergo an operation so that they are unable to love. It is not completely crazy to imagine a world in which this is the case. I really enjoyed the characters but I especially liked the various aspects of the setting. I think Oliver did a fantastic job describing Lena’s world. I also think Oliver did a fantastic job of keeping me on the edge of my seat. The ending of this book was fabulous!

I didn’t love Pandemonium quite as much as I loved Delirium, but it was still excellent. I think the reason I wasn’t quite as enraptured was because there was no Alex throughout the book. I really liked Alex so I felt a bit of a loss not having him around for this book. I also found myself feeling sad for Julian a lot of the time. I did like that I learned about the DFA and that they were working with the scavengers. I did like that Lena got to see her mom (even though it was a fleeting moment). Again, I loved her descriptions of all the settings. And, of course, THE ENDING! Possibly the most cliff hanger of an ending I’ve ever read. I think I actually gasped out loud!

 

I was thrilled when I finally got to read the last installment of this fantastic trilogy. I thought it was the perfect ending. Lena’s struggle to decide between Alex and Julian was very realistic. I loved that she got to see her mom again and fight next to her. I also loved that I finally got to hear Hanna’s perspective. Not just because it was Hana but because it was the perspective of a cured. I read a lot of reviews of this book and a lot of people were angry about the ending. They felt it wasn’t “wrapped up” and there were a lot of questions unanswered. I, for one, enjoyed this about the book. I thought it wrapped up most loose ends and the ones left to my imagination allowed me to envision where the characters ended up. All in all, a great trilogy!

The Ask and the Answer AND Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

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I absolutely loved book two and three of this trilogy. The women of “The Answer” were badass and I love that they managed to go undetected for so long. The fact that Viola and Todd were split up for so long made the story much more interesting as it allowed them to grow differently and have different influences. Mayor Prentiss was one of the most interesting characters out there. I found myself hating him, yet feeling sorry for him, which is ridiculous after everything he did. In book three, having the Spackle point of view was awesome. It really made the entire idea of the Spackle make much more sense. I really enjoyed the addition of the scouts from Violas homeland as well. All in all a great series. Very well done Mr. Ness!