Saturday, June 25, 2011

So Close...

It's halfway through the year and I'm so close to completing two of the challenges I signed up for. My eBook Challenge and YA Challenge has been going so well so far but my 2011 book Bloggers Recommendation Challenge is not going so well at all. I think if I stopped buying books and read the books that I have I would be able to get through some of the list. I know I have July through December to finish the challenge but there are so many books I want to read. What to do, what to do...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Uglies - Scott Westerfield

About the book
Uglies Series #1 - Scott Westerfield
Publishing Date: May 2006
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Nook Book

Synopsis from
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.
My Thoughts:
When I first read the synopsis for Uglies, I thought about how similar it is to what young kids today think about themselves because of society. It's amazing how our culture has led us to think looking a certain way is considered beauty and if you don't look that way then you are ugly. 
In Uglies, Scott Westerfield has written a story about a futuristic world where when teenagers turn 16 they go through an operation that basically rebuilds them to make them go from "ugly" to "pretty". From the years between the age of 12 and their 16th birthday, these kids constantly dream of becoming pretty and living in New Pretty Town where everyone is beautiful. Once they've had the surgery, they no longer look back at Uglyville and their friends. They think everything outside of New Pretty Town is just hideous.
Tally Youngblood has been dreaming about the day she turns 16 and becomes "pretty". She can't stand to be ugly. Now that her best friend Peris, who turns 16 before she does and becomes pretty is gone, she's not only ugly but also lonely; until the night she sneaks into New Pretty Town to see Peris and has to bungee float back to Uglyville in order not to get caught. This is when she meets Shay, her new best friend who will turn 16 on the same day Tally does. To Tally this means, she will not be lonely anymore and not only that, she will have someone to share the experience of planning her day of surgery with together and become pretty together. 
Shay, however has a different idea. Shay doesn't believe that you have to change yourself and doesn't want to go through the surgery. Right before her 16th birthday Shay decides to run away to the "Smokes" and leaves a cryptic message for Tally telling her how to get there if she decides to join her. This is where the story becomes fast paced. Tally has decisions to make, to stay ugly forever or to betray her friend and bring her back to Uglyville to have the surgery. What will Tally do? Whatever decision she makes will change her life forever.

DISCLAIMER: I was in no way compensated to review this book. These are my opinions of a book in which I purchased on my own.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Assassins Village by Faith Mortimer

About the book:
The Assassin's Village by Faith Mortimer
Format: Kindle
Lending: Enabled

Bound and gagged, the shocked and terrified victim recognises his assailant. Days later, another body is discovered. How many assassins stalk the village?

In a picturesque Cypriot village an expatriate theatrical group gather to discuss their next play; but when the curtain rises it’ll be murder.
A blackmailer stalks the cast – a group riven with jealousies, rivalry, sexual tension and illicit affairs.

Unbeknownst to each other they all attempt to find solutions to their problems. Some believe it lies in murder. Can they find the blackmailer? And can they find that all important ‘little black book’ – the chronicle of their misdeeds.

When a body is discovered, Diana, a cast member, turns detective to draw up a suspects list. After the police get involved one of the suspects is found hanged - another murder or the suicide of a guilty person?

A visit to a villager’s home uncovers an ancient assassin’s weapon. Could this be the murder weapon? Is it possible that an assassin lives at the heart of this formerly peaceful and idyllic village?

Love, hate, murder and high drama all feature in this classic historical detective story. With a long list of suspects, some dramatic twists and the odd red herring, the reader is left guessing until the final curtain falls.

My Thoughts:
The Assassin's Village begins with a very thrilling and frightening scene. When I read it, I thought of the hunter is now caught by the hunted. The scene was captivating and left me wanting to read more. The rest of the book did not disappoint. It seems that throughout the book I kept wondering and guessing 'who did it. Is it this person, I bet it's that person.' It seemed there was always a reason why anyone of the characters would or could have been the killer but the story was never predictable. By the end of each chapter I was almost convinced the killer was the person focused on the most in that chapter but then the realization hit that I will not know who the killer is until I finish the book.

The author wrote a well developed story with wonderful imagery and well developed characters. I especially enjoyed each quote from Macbeth at the beginning of each chapter. This story was a fascinating story and I hope to be able to read more by this author.


DISCLAIMER: I was in no way compensated to review this book. These are my opinions of a book in which I purchased on my own.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Rot & Ruin - Jonathan Maberry

About the Book:
Rot & Ruin - Johnathan Maberry
Format: Nook Book
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult

In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

My Thoughts:

Rot and Ruin is my first official zombie book. I've watched zombie movies and have always found them funny because of the moaning and just how ridiculous some of the movies are. When I decided to read Rot and Ruin for my Book Bloggers 2011 challenge, I wasn't sure what to expect but I did read good and bad reviews about the book. I however, thought this book was nothing like the movies and was wonderfully written.
Benny Imura is a 15 year old boy, living in Mountainside, a community of survivors of First Night. First Night was the night that the world was taken over by zombies. The dead basically rose and when they bit you, you became one of them. If you died and weren't quieted, you rose from the dead.

At 15, Benny has to find a job in order to keep his full ration. He and his friend Chong tries to apprentice with a number of people in the community. Benny's older brother Tom, who he thinks is a big coward happens to be a well respected zombie hunter. Tom is the last person on Earth or in zombie-land Benny wants to apprentice with. Benny, thinks Tom is nothing like the other zombie hunters in town, Motor City Hammer and Charlie Pink-Eye, who all the kids enjoyed listening to when they talk about their excursions. Benny's most vivid memory of Tom on First Night is taking him and running. Running away and leaving his mom to be "chomped" on by his dad who had become one of the living dead. Unfortunately for Benny, he either has to work with Tom due to him not being able to or wanting to do any of the other jobs, or he has have his rations cut in half.

Unwillingly Benny decides to apprentice with Tom. Their first day out was a bit rough, but once Benny spent the day with his big brother learning what he does, he becomes a little less hateful towards him. Learning that these zombies aren't choosing the way they are and that they were people too and someone's family member has created some understanding and yet some confusion in Benny's mind. He then sees some other zombie hunters being down right cruel to some zombies and realize there are good zombie hunters and bad zombie hunters. The turning point in Benny's day was when he saw how Tom did his job and learning why he does it the way he does.

While out in the Ruin, Benny learns the difference between good and evil and man and monster. He also learns more about what happened in the past and comes to realize that there may be more out there than his little town of Mountainside.

Rot and Ruin was a very well written book. There were touching moments and there were a few tearful moments. There was action and sometimes a little scare here and there. Jonathan Maberry did an excellent job writing a book with well developed characters and setting. Readers will definitely get lost in the world of the Rot and Ruin. This is definitely a book I would suggest to friends.


DISCLAIMER: I was in no way compensated to review this book. These are my opinions of a book in which I purchased on my own.