Review: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

28187 Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: March 1, 2006 by Disney Hyperion
Series: #1 (Percy Jackson and the Olympians)
Length: 377 pages
Source: bought

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

review

This book was such a fun read! I was hooked on from start to finish because of the adventures and plot twists. I have seen the movie before I read the book (which I don’t normally do) and when I read Lightning Thief, I realized they left out so many details in the movie! If you have seen the movie and have not read the book, I recommend you reading it because there is a lot more to the story! It is told in 1st person point of view of Percy Jackson, the protagonist of this book.

Percy is such a kick ass character. Although he is still a kid, he is so brave and smart. He does not back out from fights and missions which made me admire him more. I also like how he loves and cares about his mother so much! It is so cute seeing Percy protecting his mother from his step father who treats them like they are useless. Another character that I liked in this book is Grover, Percy’s best friend. I think out of all the characters in this book, he is the one who will show a big character development. Grover starts out as being shy, worried, and negative (“I-can’t-do-this-I’m-not-good-enough” kind of negative). But as the story goes on, he breaks out from his shy personality a little bit and starts cracking jokes. I think Grover is what really made this book a fun read. The other protagonist in this book is Annabeth, another demigod whom Percy meets in Camp Half Blood. I love how she is so intelligent and sassy! Although she is still young like Percy, she is so independent and responsible.

Riordan was very descriptive of the places Percy and his friends venture off to which I appreciated. I enjoyed imagining the different settings the story took place which were New York, Las Vegas, Camp Half Blood, and the Underworld to name a few. Overall this book was such a blast. The book was so unpredictable and just filled with adventure. It is easy to get your nose glued in this book so make sure you have a lot of time before you read this.

4 of 5

Review: Forbidden by Kimberly Griffiths Little

18889290 Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Published: November 4, 2014 by HarperCollins
Length: 397 pages
Source: HarperCollins (ARC)

In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.”

review

What I loved most about Forbidden was the author’s descriptions of the Mesopotamian desert. While I was reading the book, I felt like I was with the main character, Jayden, and her family, traveling across the desert. Sometimes the author could be very descriptive though. Her writing style was really good because her words flowed smoothly, but at times, there were awkward sentences, or there were scenes that are self explanatory yet she explains them which makes it redundant. I thought I was going to be bored with this book, but there were quite a lot of suspense here and there which kept me reading.

The characters were very realistic. Jayden starts out as weak, but as the story progressed, she slowly gains confidence and determination. She values what her mother has taught her which is to not worship any idols. On the other hand, her sister Leila, is tired of being a desert girl, and instead wants to live the life of a priestess which means worshipping different idols and dancing in front of many men which is frowned upon by her family’s tribe. The character that I hated the most was Horeb, Jayden’s betrothed and future leader of their tribe. He is hungry for power and would do anything to achieve it. Although I despised his character, I am amazed because if I was able to feel so much hatred for him, then that means the author did a very well job writing his character. Kadesh, Jayden’s other love interest, was too perfect. I liked how he was very caring, strong, and true to his word, but the author made him flawless which was kind of disappointing.

There is a love triangle here, but it worked! The author pulled it off and I actually enjoyed the romance. I really like the scenes where Kadesh and Jayden were together because they were just so cute! What I also like about this book was how it was rich with culture. I loved learning about the tribes’ beliefs, their differences, and where the different tribes were located. Overall it was a great story and I recommend it if you are looking for a unique read with forbidden love.

3.5 of 5

Review: Fables, Vol.2: Animal Farm (Fables #2) by Bill Willingham

167010

Genre: Comics, Fantasy
Published: August 1, 2003 by Vertigo
Series: #2 (Fables)
Length: 112 pages
Source: bought

Ever since they were driven from their homelands by the Adversary, the non-human Fables have been living on the Farm—a vast property in upstate New York that keeps them hidden from the prying eyes of the mundane world. But now, after hundreds of years of isolation, the Farm is seething with revolution, fanned by the inflammatory rhetoric of Goldilocks and the Three Little Pigs. And when Snow White and her sister Rose Red stumble upon their plan to liberate the Homelands, the commissars of the Farm are ready to silence them—by any means necessary!

review

I think this is my first comic book read and I am happy to say it won’t be the last. At first I thought it was just a re-telling of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, but there was more to it! Willingham took a lot of different fairy tale characters and completely changed their appearance and personality. What definitely stood out for me was the creativity the author put into this book. Snow White is not a damsel-in-distress anymore, but is actually a mayor in New York. It is up to her and her sister Rose Red to end the revolution at the Farm that Goldilocks and the three little pigs have started due to inequality and unfairness. Wow! Who knew Goldilocks could be a villain?!

Snow White was an okay character. She started as a kick-ass character, but as the story went on, we got to know her more and she definitely does not have the kick-ass personality she seemed to have at the beginning. I thought she was weak and she was so slow to catch up on what was going on in the Farm. Her sister, Rose Red, was my favorite character. She is smart and is always one step ahead of everybody else. The three little pigs were so different in this book! Their faces looked always tired, and their eyebrows were always furrowed. Their personalities changed from weak to brave, and they did not show fear. Goldilocks was just a crazy antagonist in this book. She showed no mercy and that she is the boss.

Overall I enjoyed reading Fables: Animal Farm. It was a fast and action-packed read. It was kind of weird reading a book with pictures though because I have not read a book with pictures for a very long time. The artwork in this comic book was really good though! I recommend it and I am looking forward into reading more comic books from Willingham.

3.5 of 5

Review: Made for You by Melissa Marr

20419003 Genre: YA Mystery
Published: September 16, 2014 by HarperCollins
Length: 368 pages
Source: HarperCollins (ARC)

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.”

review

This book is such a perfect read for Halloween! Made For You is told in three different perspectives which are: Eva’s, the killer’s, and Eva’s best friend, Grace. If you are not a big fan of multiple perspective, I don’t think you’ll have trouble with this one though because the characters sound very distinct from each other. This book was intriguing from the very start, and it was a page-turner. It was so fast paced since you’ll be eager to know who this mysterious, obsessed killer is.

What I loved about this book is reading the killer’s perspective. It was so creepy yet fascinating because the killer’s mind is so twisted and obscure. It may sound weird, but I sympathized for him/her the most because it is not his/her fault that he/she acts that way. I’m saying he/she because I do not want to spoil you whether the killer is a male or a female. The killer is actually not revealed until a couple chapters from the end. I also like how whenever someone has physical contact with Eva, she will able to see the person’s death. I thought that was really creative, and adds more suspense to the story.

There is a sort of insta-love but the story is so focused on the mystery that it just made me overlook at the romance. The supporting characters were okay. I didn’t think they were memorable, but I thought they were realistic. Overall I recommend this book to everyone, especially if you love mystery books!

4 of 5

A Perspective on Binge-Reading {Discuss #18}

discuss

Honestly, I feel a bit jealous when other readers say “oh, the final book is coming out! Now I can just binge read the series!” Some people make it sounds so easy, but binge reading is very difficult for me because no matter how good the book is (i.e. Harry Potter) it is almost impossible for me to binge read a series because after reading a book from that series, I want to just take a break from that world and read a different book. No matter how awesome the world is, I just want to step back and experience another setting.

I wish I was one of those readers who can easily binge read a series. I think binge-reading is good because after reading the first book, you can read the sequel without forgetting important information from the first book.

—WHAT ABOUT YOU?—

I’d like to know your thoughts on binge-reading! Do you like it? Do you have trouble binge-reading? If so, why?

Review: Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

16090645 Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: March 11, 2014 by Harper Teen
Length: 336 pages
Source: HarperTeen (ARC)

Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there’s only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.

Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother’s best friend really be?

Tails: The theater geek…with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart’s interests–even if he wants to share all his feelings?

Heart’s simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all…”

review

What a fun read! I was honestly not expecting this book to be such a fun and enjoyable read. I thought this book consisted all of the clichés and stereotypes one could think of but the characters were so real! There were a few clichés here and there, but I know some people who are like that back in high school so it was realistic for me. Ask Again Later is about Heart, the main character, who has less than 2 weeks to choose who to go to prom with. She has a hard time choosing because she does not want to hurt the other person, so she decides to flip a coin and let it choose for her.

The author’s writing style is really good. The chapters switch back and forth to ‘Heads’ and ‘Tails’ where in heads, it shows the outcome if she chose her brother’s friend (Troy) as her prom date and in tails, it shows the outcome if she chose her friend, Ryan, as her date. I was totally not expecting for the writing style to be like that; I thought it was just going to be a book full of drama and her falling for either Troy or Ryan. I was so wrong! This book is filled with adventure, disaster, friendships, and a cute romance.

I especially liked the ‘tails’ scenes more than the heads although they are very similar because the stuff that happens to Heart is much more horrible in ‘heads’ than in ‘tails’. I also did not like how Phil, Heart’s brother, acted in the entire book. He is the definition of a douche. I love Heart’s friends though; they are just so fun to be with and I like how they got Heart’s back.

Overall I recommend this to anyone who is in the mood for a light and fast read. This book will not fail to make you laugh, and if you’re missing high school (like me lol) then you should definitely read it!

4 of 5

Stacking the Shelves #10

bookhaul

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. You basically just show your books that you bought, received, or borrowed whether they are physical books, ebooks, ARCs, etc. You can create a blog post or upload a video showcasing the books you received this week.

Wow..I find it funny how all the second and third books in the series are being released soon!

18297655225588421865732722494087224030511618230822539894223285331880319422663320

For Review
Willowgrove (Hemlock #3) by Kathleen Peacock
Pretty Wanted (Pretty Crooked #3) by Elisa Ludwig
Transcendent (Starling #3) by Lesley Livingston
King (The Dragon King Chronicles #3) by Ellen Oh
Quake (Pulse #3) by Patrick Carman
A Cold Legacy (The Madman’s Daughter #3) by Megan Shepherd
Etherworld (Elusion #2) by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam
All That Burns (All That Glows #2) by Ryan Graudin
Death Marked (Death Sworn #2) by Leah Cypess
The Pretty App by Katie Sise
Thank you so much HarperCollins!

Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

20801166 Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: August 26, 2014 by Swoon Reads
Length: 272 pages
Source: bought (at Target)

The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship.

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together….

review

Honestly, I have mixed feelings for this book and I’m still deciding whether I want to give it a 3.5 stars or 4 stars rating. What I love about this book is how the romance is not told by the two main characters. The people and even animals around the couple tells the story of how these two characters, Lea and Gabe, fall in love. I have never read anything like that and I think that is what makes this book unique. If it were told by the two main characters though, I think this book would be very boring because it would probably consist of Lea and Gabe just telling the readers whether they should make a move or not. It was interesting to read how their friends, the bench, a squirrel, Starbucks baristas, and their English professor view Lea and Gabe. I also love how all of the characters were so realistic and different from one another which made it easier to differentiate and remember each characters.

What annoyed me though is Lea and Gabe obviously like each other (it was so obvious that even a squirrel could tell) but they do not talk to each other. Every time they see each other, they just wave. At times, I just wanted to smack both of their heads.

Overall it was a great and fluffy read . I would definitely recommend it because it was funny at times and was such an easy read. You can breeze through it in one sitting, and I think it’s best to read this during the fall/winter.

4 of 5

Stacking the Shelves #9

bookhaul

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. You basically just show your books that you bought, received, or borrowed whether they are physical books, ebooks, ARCs, etc. You can create a blog post or upload a video showcasing the books you received this week.

Wow I haven’t done a book haul in a long time. I think the last book haul that I’ve done was April of this year.

bh1

For Review

The 52nd by Dela
The Jewel (The Lone City #1) by Amy Ewing
The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows
How to Win at High School by Owen Matthews
Solitaire by Alice Oseman
Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff
The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer
Lies I Told by Michelle Zink
The Memory Key by Liana Liu
Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor
Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass
No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss
Twisted Fate by Norah Olson
Polaris (Avalon #2) by Mindee Arnett
The Prey (The Hatchery #1) by Tom Isbell
My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Geek Girl (Geek Girl #1) by Holly Smale
Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes
The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard
A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay
Little Peach by Peggy Kern
Guardians (Wasteland #3) by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan
Top Ten Clues You’re Clueluess by Liz Czukas
No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown
Crashland (Twinmaker #2) by Sean Williams
Empire of Shadows (Bhinian Empire #2) by Miriam Forster
Catalyst (Insignia #3) by S.J. Kincaid
Made for You by Melissa Marr
Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little
On the Edge by Allison van Diepen

thank you so much to author Dela and Harper Collins for the advance copies.

Bought
A Little Something Different by Sandy Hal
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rolling

Won
Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1) by Nikki Kelly
The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

thank you so much Stacee!

Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

15790873 Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: December 24, 2013 by Poppy
Length: 407 pages
Source: bought (at Barnes & Noble)

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?”

review

This Is What Happy Looks Like is such a cute book! It is written in 3rd person point of view and alternates between Ellie’s and Graham’s perspective. The story begins when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an e-mail instead of sending it to someone who will babysit his pet pig, Wilbur. I really like the two main characters because they are so believable. Ellie’s life is simple; she goes to work at Sprinkles (an icecream parlor) and uses the money she earns to fulfill her dream. Graham on the other hand just wants people to see him for who he is. He is tired of people, especially girls, treating him “extra special” just because he is a celebrity. There are also a couple of Charlotte’s Web references which made me smile because it is one of my all time favorite children’s book.

The story takes place in Maine, and the way the author describes the setting felt like I was there. She uses a lot of descriptions but not too much that it will make you bored. I can easily imagine the beach scenes, Graham and Ellie’s dates and their adventures, where Ellie works, etc.

Family and friendship is also significant in this book. The two main characters help each other out to resolve their family conflicts which I really loved because it shows that these characters are compassionate and caring. I really recommend reading this book because it was a light, fluffy read and it was easy to just dive into the story. At times it was a bit unrealistic and hard to believe but overall  I enjoyed it.

4 of 5


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