Book Review: Divergent By Veronica Roth

13335037Title: Divergent

Author: Veronica Roth

Series #: Book 1 of the Divergent Trilogy

Publisher/ Date Published: Katherine Tegen Books @  February 28, 2012.

Source: Bought

# of Pages: 487

Summary: ( Goodreads )

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

d1a88-addtogoodreadsblackpurpledotsMy Thoughts

Holy cricket!!! NOW I finally see what it is about this book that people are raving about. I must admit I really wasn’t expecting much going into this book. I expected something similar to The Hunger Games, but man, did this book prove me wrong. This book is so ridiculously action packed, from the first page to the last. There wasn’t a single dull moment in this book! I absolutely love reading and if I absolutely had nothing to do, I could probably devour this 400, nearly 500- page book in a single sitting. It is that awesome!!!

One of my favorite aspects of the book would have to be the characters. Beginning with Tris, or Beatrice as she first started out as. I found her to be a pretty strong, well- written character. And I love Veronica Roth for being so consistent with Tris’ character development. Same goes for Four. They are absolutely awesome! Tris is very strong willed at heart and could be very spontaneous which I don’t see very often in female protagonist centered novels. And Four! This guy made me swoon from time to time. I found him to be pretty balanced as a masculine character. What I mean by that is, he’s not so testosterone- dauntless fueled all the time. No. He has his dauntless- masculine moments and he also has those other moments that shed another light on him that reveals a more softer side of him. In addition to Tris and Four, I absolutely loved Christina as a character! She’s pretty spunky, if you ask me. The whole attitude that she has makes her a pretty interesting character and so much fun to read.

The plot and the world building is very well developed. I really, really enjoyed reading about this whole new world and I definitely enjoyed reading about the many different factions! ( I actually have the pages tabbed!). I think that Veronica Roth really brought something new to the Dystopian pool and did set the bar even higher! This book had me glued to my seat (at least when I did get time to actually sit down and read!) and it’s pages are filled with action! It’s cray!

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I can’t wait to pick up a copy of the next installment and get to reading it!

My Rating:

BIC Rating System5

Would I recommend this book?: Hell Yeah! Now, get up and grab your copy!

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Book Review: Cruel Beauty By Rosamund Hodge

15839984Title: Cruel Beauty

Author: Rosamund Hodge

Publisher/ Date Published: Balzer + Bray @ January 28, 2014

Source: Gift

# of Pages: 346

Summary: (Goodreads)

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

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My Thoughts

This is by far the most difficult review that I had ever had to write. Cruel Beauty is Rosamund Hodge’s debut novel and because it was advertised as a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, a personal favorite fairytale of mine, I had high expectations for this novel. I’m sad to say that I feel a little let down by this novel. I guess it was because it was over- hyped that my expectations of this book jumped sky high and that this was supposed to be a retelling of Beauty and the Beast that I had expected it to go down the same road, which it didn’t. In addition to being somewhat of a retelling, the plot also included so many different elements that the world building became too complicated for me to follow. There was a lot of high fantasy elements going on with some greek mythology mixed in as well as the sci- fi version of Beauty and the Beast going on. So with all that… I just got so confused.

But enough with all this, moving on to the stuff that I liked.

I really enjoyed Nyx as a character because she wasn’t that Mary- Sue kind of character as Belle was in the original fairy- tale. She felt like a real character to me because all the emotions that she experienced throughout the book. It made her such a complex and interesting character that it made me want to read on to find out what she’ll do. In addition, I really liked the Gentle Lord more than Shade. I found him to be a lot more romantic and I feel that his character goes along with Nyx’s character.

Overall, I think that this was an ok read. I think my only problem was the many different elements being put all into one story. It made the plot and world building a little too hard to follow. On the other hand, most of the characters were lovable and interesting.

My Rating:

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Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes. 

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Friday Favorites (5)

Friday Favorites 01

Hey Everyone and welcome to Friday Favorites! This is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa’s Wishful Endings that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog etc. Basically, anything and everything bookish to show some love, recommend and want to tell others about.

This week’s Friday Favorite is

Fangirl By Rainbow Rowell

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Summary: (Goodreads)

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

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I think that this book is so awesome! I love it so, so much that it totally deserves a Friday Favorite spot! This is book is about my life- well not really… but I could totally relate to the whole fingerling part as I used to write Harry Potter fan fiction. YES! I used to write Harry Potter fan fiction. Anyways, like I said that book is an awesome one. If you have a hankering for some contemporary books, this should be first on the list. Fangirl is definitely a coming of age story, but not like those that we have seen before. It has so many unique elements that make it stand out. Rainbow Rowell did an amazing job with the plot, the character developments and her writing style is just so amazing. Please check out this book when you can! I promise you that you won’t be disappointed! 

Want to know more about what I thought about this book? Check out my book review here.

Book Review: Fangirl By Rainbow Rowell

17286849Title: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Series #: Book 1

Publisher: St. Marin’s Griffin;  September 10, 2013

# of Pages: 438

Source: Bought

Summary: (Goodreads)

A coming-of-age tale of fanfiction, family, and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…. But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fanfiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend; a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world; a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words…and she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

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My Thoughts

I absolutely adore this book! Everything about this book is absolutely fabulous! This was the first Rainbow Rowell book that I’ve read (yes, I have not read Eleanor and Park… please don’t hate me! ) so I honestly did not know what to expect in terms of plot content and writing style. Basically, I did not know what to expect period and the only thing I have going for me were all of the ah- mazing things people were saying about this book. I can honestly say that I was pretty impressed, relieved and satisfied with this book. I was impressed by how Fangirl turned out, plot line and character development wise, relieved that it did not suck, and satisfied with the general content.

The plot line was awesome as it focused on Cath and everything that she goes through as she transitions into a new stage in life. It was happy, funny, sad, and  infuriating at some times. This book had everything and I loved that! Cath was such an amazing character. She was very relate-able too because I used to write Harry Potter fan fiction! Also, you can clearly see the changes within Cath as the book progresses. Although she was a little to introverted, I still enjoyed reading about this character. In addition, I thought that Levi and Reagan were written really well. They were the spice to the plot line. Their lines were so funny. Reagan said a couple of stuff that were kind of mean but it was funny at the same time. 

Overall, Fangirl is such a fun book to read. It’s awesomely well- written and I think that a lot of people can relate to Cath especially those fangirls out there. I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing! It’s original and totally entertaining. I am looking forward to reading her other two novels, Eleanor and Park as well as Attachments! 

My Rating:

BIC Rating System5

Would I Recommend this Book?: YES! Go get it NOW! 

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Book Review: Shatter Me

13455782Title: Shatter Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Series #: Book 1 of the Shatter Me Trilogy

Date Published: November 15, 2011

Publisher: Harper

# of Pages: 338

Summary: (Goodreads)

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

e6e72-addtogoodreadsblackpurpledotsMy Thoughts
I have seen this book at my local bookstore for awhile now and have recently decided to pick it up. Why Elyssa? Why only now?! I know, I know! I’m probably the last book blogger on the planet that has not read this book. I’m sorry! But hey, I finally got around to it right? Right? OK! So prior to reading this book, I have heard nothing but awesome things about it. And honestly, I was not disappointed! I absolutely loved this book. I think that it’s a great way to start a trilogy, despite a few areas where I feel are somewhat lacking. Nevertheless, it is an awesome book!

To specifically start off, I’d like to acknowledge the writing style. The writing style in Shatter Me is really, really unique as it uses a lot and I mean, A LOT of metaphors! And it has a lot of sentences that were striked- through, like this that I thought were pretty cool.  I personally enjoyed most of the metaphors used to describe several of the main characters, particularly Adam. However, some were a bit much.  If you read other reviews on this book, I’m pretty sure somewhere along the line they will mention the writing style. They will! It was just so unique to this book and it I thought that it contributed to the book’s appeal.

As I said, going into this book I kinda already knew what to expect in terms of the quality of the story and I was not disappointed but I didn’t feel fully satisfied either. I felt like there were some things missing or incomplete. The world building though was off to a pretty good start. I was able to build a vivid picture of how their world looked like from the environment to the absence of wild life and greenery; yes, I’d say that it was off to a pretty good start.

Just like the plot, the characters did not disappoint me either. However! I am expecting a lot more in the next installment in terms of character development as well as relationship development. Personally, I don’t really see Juliette as a very independent or even a strong character. She was depending a bit much on Adam and I didn’t really like that. As for Adam being her love interest and their insta-love, I was a bit skeptic about it at first but after reading their back story, I thought that it could be possible that Adam’s feelings toward Juliette are legit. My gut is telling me otherwise though. I have a feeling that there’s more to Adam’s feelings toward Juliette than he let’s on. And Warner! OMG, Warner… now he’s a complex character! I can start to see all the hype about this Warner character. He’s very…complicated. He’s a bad guy but a bad guy with a heart. Read it! And you will find out! If there’s one person that I am looking forward to on reading, it would be this guy! He’s- …

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Overall, Tahereh Mafi did such an amazing job on this book. She introduces her audience to this new dystopian world that is unlike any other and introduces us to exciting and potentially swoon worthy characters 😀 

My Rating:

BIC Rating System4

Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes! Go get it NOW! 

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Book Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer

16108212Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Series #: Book 2 of the Mara Dyer series

Date Published: October 23, 2012

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

# of Pages: 527

Summary: ( Goodreads )

Mara Dyer knows she isn’t crazy. She knows that she can kill with her mind, and that Noah can heal with his. Mara also knows that somehow, Jude is not a hallucination. He is alive. Unfortunately, convincing her family and doctors that she’s not unstable and doesn’t need to be hospitalized isn’t easy. The only person who actually believes her is Noah. But being with Noah is dangerous and Mara is in constant fear that she might hurt him. She needs to learn how to control her power, and fast! Together, Mara and Noah must try and figure out exactly how Jude survived when the asylum collapsed, and how he knows so much about her strange ability…before anyone else ends up dead!

8314c-addtogoodreadsblackpurpledotsMy Thoughts

The Evolution of Mara Dyer is the second installment of the Mara Dyer series. This book picks up immediately after the ending of the first book and may I say I found this second installment more intriguing than the first. Michelle Hodkin did such an amazing job with this book. Although there were some parts that felt a bit, just a tad bit slow, it almost always eventually picked up.

In this installment, Mara Dyer is faced, yet again, with the horrendous consequences of her powers as well as her hallucinations of her supposedly deceased ex. Could anything possibly get any worse for her? If you answer yes, you definitely got that right! Because her parents become more involved in this installment and you gotta read to find out how. Just a warning, it will definitely mess with your feels! In addition to that, Noah Shaw seems to be hiding more secrets that he lets on. And as I said, you must read this book to find out! And like the first the surprises and revelations in this book will keep you at the edge of your seat!!!

I honestly am not such a big fan of Mara Dyer. I thought she was an okay character from the beginning of the first book and I was hoping that I might come around to liking her more in this second book, but I still feel the same way about her. I guess I was expecting her to be stronger than how she actually is and not so much depend on Noah or Daniel. My favorite characters in this book would definitely have to be Noah and Daniel. Noah was pretty much Mara’s rock throughout both books and I just absolutely adore how he was written. I love his lines and his personality. He has a touch of mystery in him and he’s always making me come back for more. As Mara’s older brother, Daniel tries his best to understand what she goes through and despite all the craziness, he always sticks by his sister’s side or he’d always get her out of tight situations and I absolutely loved that about him. Oh and Jamie! I love him! I absolutely love him! He’s such a great character and the things he says made me LOL on multiple occasions! Love that guy!

Overall, I definitely enjoyed reading this book and always kept me wanting more. I can’t wait for the final installment to the trilogy 😀

My Rating:

BIC Rating System4

Would I recommend this Book?: Yes.

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