Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekly Book Haul (14)

Hey guys! It's time for the weekly book haul! I do not give myself credit for this meme, since it's pretty common among other bloggers. I just couldn't think of a cooler name. ;)

But Weekly Book Haul is where you get to showcase your books (or bookish things) you bought, borrowed from the library, were gifted, etc.
This week I got some AWESOME titles from Netgalley this week, which I am extremely excited about.

Much thanks to Netgalley: Bloomsbury, Egmont, and Disney-Hyperion! You guys are awesome :)

My Reading Pile (April 29-May 5) hosted by Rachel @Fiktshun
I plan to start Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I honestly don't know if I'm ready for this book.
So many rave reviews, I hope I'm not let down! I also want to continue reading The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness. I know I won't be finishing any books this week, since I'll be busy with school.

What books did you haul this week? What it's in your Reading Pile? Leave comments! :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own."

Title: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 272, Hardcover (Read: Library Hardcover, 260 pages)

"I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still." -Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, pg. 182

I'm going to keep this review short & sweet, just because I don't want to bash too much.

Prior to reading Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, I had heard amazing reviews of this book. It was supposedly the perfect, cozy, wintery read, fit for a snowy day. Many of my favorite bloggers enjoyed this one, so I decided to give it a try. Don't get me wrong, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares started out extremely strong; I was engrossed instantly. But as the story progressed, my feelings for it just starting heading downhill.

Let's talk plot, since it was the major issue of the novel for me. The beginning: started out GREAT. I immediately predicted that it was going to be an interesting and fun read. It was a fresh idea that I thought was SO COOL. I was like "dang, this needs to happen in real life." And then as I kept reading… everything just sort of flattened out and got really incredibly boring. Towards the end of the book, the most random event just HAPPENED and my only thought at that moment was, "WTF?" Like, what just happened? Did they really need to include this random event to occur, just to keep the plot interesting and alive? It kind of actually pissed me off.

The characters were alright, on the other hand. Dash & Lily were both pretty enjoyable. I especially like Lily, she was so adorable. And Dash's dorkiness? SO CUTE. Their romance was a little awkward though. I kind of wished they just kept writing to each other, instead of actually meeting.

The only other thing that bothered me was the sarcasm. For example:

"'Well,' said Officer White, who was black…
'We've looked at all the footage closely,' said Officer Black, who was white.." (pg. 221)

I mean, really? REALLY. Is that necessary?! Other things of that nature in this book, I just. Could. NOT. Stand.

But yes, to sum it all up, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares was a disappointment for me. It was disappointing for me because SO MANY people loved it. But do try the book for yourself. It may just be the fact that I read this at the wrong time (I should have read this during winter break).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

"Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?"

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1)
Author: Patrick Ness
Release Date: May 5, 2008
Publisher: Walker
Pages: 496, Hardcover (Read: Kindle Edition)

"And there's yer lesson. There ain't nothing good that don't got real bad waiting to follow it."-The Knife of Never Letting Go, pg. 216

The Knife of Never Letting Go wasn't on my radar until I watched Priscilla from The Readables' video review. After watching the review, I KNEW I had to read The Knife of Never Letting Go. Dystopian, action-packed, a male's POV--and, what? Hardly any romance. You'd think that I would shy away from this book because of the lack of romance, since it's certainly out of my comfort zone. However, something about this different dystopian world caught my eye. Truth be told, The Knife of Never Letting Go certainly did not disappoint.

First off, creativity. THE FREAKING CREATIVITY. Patrick Ness, you are a man of imagination. I believe that this series was published a little before dystopian novels became "the new thing", so it's definitely different than all of the others. In Todd Hewitt's world, their world is named New World. This is the new planet they live on, where as our world, Old World, is destroyed and terrible. Todd Hewitt lives in Prentisstown with Ben and Cillian, his two guardians. The most important things: everyone can hear every living thing's thoughts. The Noise. Todd Hewitt is the last boy (not yet man) in Prentisstown. And there are no women alive in Prentisstown.

When Todd Hewitt finds a "hole" in the Noise, he is suddenly in deep trouble, and is on the run. He is accompanied by Manchee (SO ADORBS. Totally reminds me of the dog from the movie "Up"!). Todd Hewitts meets some different people along the way, and is soon accompanied by Viola, a girl. From there, the story takes off into an action-packed adventure and discovery.

I loved the plot. But at some parts in the story, I found that it became a little repetitive. But that's totally fine, because it hardly bothered me. Each place on New World was different and creative and I LOVED IT. The characters, were PERFECT. Not perfect of course, but very well-developed. The bad guys were perfectly mean and naaasty. Todd, Viola, and Manchee are very cooperative and everything fit very well together, like a puzzle piece. The characters were just simply great.

*There is a pre-short story that is called The New World which is about Viola's time on the ship, before she arrived to New World. I think that it is not necessary to read it, but it definitely gave me a better understanding of Viola's character and personality*

There is something else that is unique about The Knife of Never Letting Go: the language. When I first started reading, I thought they were typos. Haha. Nope, they are the language/spelling of Prentisstown. For example, "station" would be spelled "stayshun". It took awhile to get used to, but after a while you get used to it and it not longer is a nuisance.

I cannot wait to see what's next. The Knife of Never Letting Go kind of left on a cliffhanger, so I'm definitely eager to see what happens in the next installment, The Ask and the Answer. I recommend this to everyone who likes a dystopian that is action-packed with no romance involved. Definitely different (in a good way)!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In My Mailbox (13)

Hey everyone! In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @The Story Siren.

I, thankfully, didn't have anything in my mailbox this week. (Except for a white Kindle cover! IT'S WHITE & GORGEOUS. Love it). I HAVE BEEN SO INSANELY BUSY THIS WEEK. I was suddenly called to learn and compete 2 routines in a week, so yeah, that took up a majority of my time. I finished The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, and my review should be coming up soon. I'm reading Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan now, and I'm loving it! 

Here's my Reading Pile (April 22-28) for this week:

Like I said, I'm reading Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan right now, and I'm not too far in. I'm super busy this week, so I think I may finish that near the end of the week. I want to start Wake by Lisa McMann as well. I know I won't finish it though. For school, we started reading The Odyssey by Homer. Yay. I am excited for the greek mythology though!

So that's it for this week! Did you guys get anything other than nothing in your mailbox? 
What's in your reading pile?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

"It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry to this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story."

Title: Wanderlove
Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Release Date: March 13th, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 338, Hardcover (Read: eARC, and Hardcover)

"I've got an emergency plan. If the hammock breaks, I'll just roll on top of you, so you can break my fall." -Wanderlove, pg. 126

I was extremely excited to start Wanderlove when I got the approval from Netgalley. I must say, I have a (sort of) love-hate relationship with this book, but more love than hate. Some areas in the book just fell flat. On the contrary, others were oh-so-amazingly-beautiful.

First, the plot. The plot was the biggest--and only--problem for me. The reader is introduced to Bria Sandoval, a former artist that isn't so much an artist anymore, because of her ex-boyfriend, Toby. Bria signs up for a guided tour trip of Central America, desperate to start fresh as an independent girl. But the trip turns out to be something she didn't expect. Instead of staying with the group, she runs off with Starling & Rowan, off to a more indirect backpacking trip. From there, the story takes off.

The whole beginning and up until 3/4 of the way through, I wasn't captivated. I was getting quite worried, since I had heard SO MANY AMAZING things about it. I was all, "Is there something wrong with me? WHAT AM I MISSING HERE." Don't get me wrong, the writing was beautiful (AND THE DRAWINGS, you can't forget about the drawings, ugh, gorgeous), but the story line about them going to different places was just kind of… boring me to death. Is anything going to happen? Like, hello? It wasn't until the ending that it got really kind of fantastic and breathtaking.

The character development was phenomenal. Starling, I wish there was more of Starling. She was fun and perky and kept Bria alive. Rowan, oh dear Rowan. I love you. He was the perfect bad boy. But the good bad boy. If that made any sense.

Bria, she was something special. At first I was a little hesitant about whether or not I liked her. As I read further into the story, I learned more and more about her. The more I read, the more I liked Bria. Her perspective does change and she loosens up as she spends more time with Rowan. I really loved her growth.

After finishing the book, I just sat there for a second, thinking. I could tell that Kirsten Hubbard spent a generous amount of time creating the characters and really developing a message that everyone can learn from. Her writing was insightful and thought-provoking, which I think is why I loved this book so much.

Wanderlove is truly beautiful. Sure, the storyline was a little slow in the beginning to middle, but the writing, characters, and illustrations definitely made up for it. My note to you: if it happens to be slow for you too, don't give up on it. You won't regret continuing. Because I certainly didn't.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

In My Mailbox (12)

Hey everyone! In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @The Story Siren

This week, has been absolutely crazy. I had about a million tests and papers to write in school, since progress reports were coming out. Later that week, I was called to help compete in 2 routines with a dance studio (which is happening on the 21st). I gladly accepted since I love to dance. But that meant that my reading time was cutoff a lot. So I hardly read anything. But I did do some extra volunteering hours at the library, and picked up some books, which I need to stop doing, since I clearly have no time to read. I haven't even finished a book for April yet. D: 

But here's what I got this week!

From the library:

I'm still reading the The Knife of Never Letting Go, but I really like it 
so I KNOW I'll want to read the second one! 

Y'all see that award, right? Yeah, I haven't read this one yet.
I'm *supposed* to get really emotional when reading this book.
We'll see if I actually do... I CAN'T WAIT THOUGH!

I first heard about this book from Priscilla from The Readables. 
It looks so great! It's a middle grade. :)

Yeah.. who HASN'T heard of this series? I'm probably the only person
who hasn't read it yet though... -__- I've heard that the first one isn't 
the best, but it gets AMAZING as the series progresses, right?! 

And so now, I'm trying something new. I want to start a "My Reading Pile" meme started by Rachel @Fiktshun. It's an AWESOME blog!

My Reading Pile this week:
I have yet to finish The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, and Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard. I've been reading these two books for more than 2 weeks! I guess I AM still busy. I think I might be only planning to finish Wanderlove, with all of the stuff going on this week. 

So that's it, fellow readers! What did you get in your mailbox? What's in your reading pile? 
Feel free to comment! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

In My Mailbox (11)

Hey y'all! I'm back with an IMM! It's hosted by Kristi @The Story Siren.

Here's what I got this week! (and last week!)

From the library:

I'm so freaking stoked! I loved Before I Fall!

I seriously needed to read this series. 

I got this from Netgalley a couple of months ago, but never really got to it.
Now I will! It actually sounds like a GREAT mystery. :)

Did you know that Siobhan Dowd is dead? That made me so extremely sad.
 I'm reading The Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness right now and 
am LOVING it so I wanted to check out Patrick's other work. This one sounds great!

That's all I got this week in my mailbox! What did you get? 
Feel free to leave links! I'd love to see. :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Did you miss me?

I hope you did, because I missed my followers, dearly. Although I WAS on Twitter like 24/7 for the past month.

I've come to notice that ever since dance team ended, I've been really bored. So what's better than to continue blogging? Yeah, NOTHING. Well, I really did enjoy guest-reviewing on Words Like Silver. Thank you so, so much Grace! Gotta love that girl, she's amazing. On her blog, I reviewed:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Kiss the Morning Star by Elissa Janine Hoole

Go check it out! :)
So here I am! Back with more reviews and such for you all to enjoy. I'm glad to be back!

Follow me on Twitter: @dancingreader

Add me on Goodreads! :)