Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (29)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where bloggers get to show what makes the hands all grabby.

This week's pick:

Hungry by H.A Swain
Expected Publication: June 3rd, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

In the future, food is no longer necessary—until Thalia begins to feel something unfamiliar and uncomfortable. She’s hungry.
In Thalia’s world, there is no need for food—everyone takes medication (or “inocs”) to ward off hunger. It should mean there is no more famine, no more obesity, no more food-related illnesses, and no more war. At least that's what her parents, who work for the company that developed the inocs, say. But when Thalia meets a boy who is part of an underground movement to bring food back, she realizes that most people live a life much different from hers. Worse, Thalia is starting to feel hunger, and so is he—the inocs aren’t working. Together they set out to find the only thing that will quell their hunger: real food.
H. A. Swain delivers an adventure that is both epic and fast-paced. Get ready to be Hungry.

Doesn't this sound interesting? It's a different concept and I can't even imagine what it's like to live without eating food. I'm curious to see what this book is all about.

What is everyone else waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Death Sworn by Leah Cypess

Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
Genre: YA Fantasy
Expected Publication: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow
Page Count: 352

When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.
But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher*

I've never read any of Cypress's books before, but this one really caught my eye. Just look at that cover! It screams everything that I live for in fantasy. I was excited to read this book. Even the premise of the story sounds interesting. Except . . . after reading it, I have no idea what to think of it. There were certain things that made me enjoy the novel . . . and then there were other things that made me literally cringe.

To begin with, while I didn't feel as close to Ileni as I could, I liked her. Her flaw was that she made stupid decisions because she thinks very rashly, but that's okay. I could deal with that. You know, I've got to give her some kudos, though. She walks into this assassin mountain hovel and isn't as afraid as to be expected by others. I'm pretty sure, in her situation, without magic, a home, and stuck with a bunch of killers, I'd be a catatonic ball of hair and clothing on the floor while a pool of tears surrounds me. Also, she doesn't let other people push her around. She sticks to her ideas (however, dangerous and ill-planned) and follows them through.

While her stubbornness is a great quality for a character to have, sometimes I was left thinking 'Are you kidding me? Come onnnn.' Throughout the novel, her rash thinking and other various actions left to some mild annoyance on my side and had me not caring occasionally.

The biggest problem that I had with the novel was its romance. Alright, so I can deal with a forbidden and dangerous love fest between an assassin and a former sorceress. Sweet deal, if you ask me. However, the hot and cold feelings between the two of them was giving me mental whiplash. Sometimes, you could tell that there was some attraction, and within about .2 seconds (not even joking!) they're heatedly fighting with each other and hate one another, and I'm wondering how they could possibly end up liking one another because this didn't even look like a healthy relationship even to YA standards (and there are some pretty unhealthy relationships there). So obviously, there's this side of me that wants them to get all smoochy-smoochy and then in the next, I'm rolling my eyes.

Another thing that irked me (that mostly involves said romantic relationship) was the inconsistent characterization. I don't expect an assassin to have a really mushy and gentle side at the turn of a switch, so when he did, I was literally cringing at the book. Ileni also had some inconsistent characterization towards the end of the book that came out of nowhere and left me a little confused, but I won't divulge that here.

But in all, the plot interested me. Death Sworn has such a good idea for it and I am left wondering what will happen next. However, there were plenty of things that bothered me to no end. I was tired of the romance and the characters. At the end of the book, I just wanted some answers. Yet, I can't help thinking about this book. And this where I come full circle and once again state that I have no idea what to think of this book in the end. I can see that others have deeply enjoyed this novel and hope that others will too.

A confused and hesitant 2.5 Splashes

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic by Lauren Oliver
Genre: YA Contemporary
Expected Publication: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 416

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.
Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.
Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.
For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

 *A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher*

I've only ever read two of Lauren Oliver's books (Delirium and Pandemonium) and I truly did enjoy her writing. If there's one thing that stands out with her books, it is her writing. Seeing that she wrote this book, I was pretty excited to start reading it, thinking that I would just as thoroughly enjoy it as I have her other books, but sadly, Panic didn't reach my expectations.

The book is told in the points of view of Heather and Dodge, two newly high school graduates that decide to join in the dangerous game of Panic for their own secretive reasons. For a while, I didn't care about either of them. I'd say it wasn't until about half way through that I found myself interested in Heather's story. For some reason, they didn't connect with me. I found Dodge to be very one-sided and I only found Heather to be interesting once a lot of her character growth had gone by. At first, I thought Heather to be very . . . immature in some aspects, and her decisions would annoy me (like joining Panic).

I was very confused by the first few chapters of the book for some reason. I don't know, maybe I read through them too fast and missed something, but it was difficult at first to keep track with what was going on. Heather was going to do the Jump for some reason and some person's thoughts were running through her head and a bit of the rules of Panic were kind of mentioned. It was all very jumbled and everywhere, in my opinion, and I think all that mess slowed down the plot at first.

Speaking of plot, another thing that really bogged it down was Lauren Oliver's writing, I think. I remember reading Delirium and just finding these passages of pure brilliance. Her writing truly is something lovely. However, she's got Panic, this high-stakes game where kids could die and there are illegal happenings, and I felt as if her beautiful writing didn't fit with the story. And especially with Dodge, I didn't feel as if it would be part of his character to go off on these long internal dialogues of the beauty or the ugliness of the world. 

My last qualm with Panic was Panic itself. Yes, this sounded like such a cool idea. I read the Panic events and was very into what was happening, but a game like this just didn't seem likely to happen with a bunch of teenagers in today's kind of setting. From what I read, I don't believe it was dystopian, so I'm just going to go with a present day setting for this book. I found it very unlikely that a bunch of teenagers running this game each and every summer wouldn't have been caught and the game shut down by now. Where were the angry parents? Also, with some of these events, they were too cruel and dangerous (and illegal) for a bunch of teenagers to come up with and play.

Panic seems like such a good premise for a book. I see that other people really enjoyed this book, but I couldn't get into it as much as other people did. The events that happened in the game just seemed too unlikely and I would just get plain old bored during some parts of the book. I didn't care for the characters as much as I would have liked, either. Sadly, this book wasn't for me. In the end, this book just earned itself three stars.

3 Splashes

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I Can Explain

So, if you haven't noticed yet, I haven't posted in just about a month on here. Isn't that just terrible??? I've been a terrible blogger! I mean, I guess I could say I've been busy with school work and I picked up the Harry Potter books for the first time in forever (yes, I know. I am ashamed of this fact) and those are the reasons why I haven't been blogging, but I still feel bad anyway. I love blogging!

Anyway, hopefully that'll change because I want to go back to blogging whether it kills me or not. I miss talking with all you book and twitter friends! Hopefully soon my blog will be busy with posts and memes.

Love you all,
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