Tag Archive: Science Fiction


Birthday Book Haul + Book Club

A little late on posting my birthday book haul since my birthday was on November 5th, but today I had some time to do a post. I’ve already read both Saga volumes, and I have to say that the fourth one cannot be published fast enough. I need it in my life because I have to know what happens next. The anticipation will be the death of me.

*All descriptions taken from Goodreads, and all pictures link to their respective Goodreads pages.

Saga, Vol. 2 – Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist)
Genre – Science Fiction/Graphic Novel

From award-winning writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN (Pride of Baghdad, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist FIONA STAPLES (Mystery Society, Done to Death), SAGA is sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Thanks to her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana, newborn baby Hazel has already survived lethal assassins, rampaging armies, and horrific monsters, but in the cold vastness of outer space, the little girl encounters her strangest adventure yet… grandparents.

Collects Saga issues #7-12.

 

 

Saga, Vol. 3 – Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist)
Genre – Science Fiction/Graphic Novel

From the Hugo Award-winning duo of Brian K. Vaughan (The Private Eye, Y: The Last Man) and Fiona Staples (North 40, Red Sonja), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Searching for their literary hero, new parents Marko and Alana travel to a cosmic lighthouse on the planet Quietus, while the couple’s multiple pursuers finally close in on their targets.

Collects issues 13-18.

 

 

Long Lankin – Lindsey Barraclough
Genre – Young Adult/Horror

Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the moss. . . .When Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdon, they receive a less than warm welcome. Auntie Ida is eccentric and rigid, and the girls are desperate to go back to London. But what they don’t know is that their aunt’s life was devastated the last time two young sisters were at Guerdon Hall, and she is determined to protect her nieces from an evil that has lain hidden for years. Along with Roger and Peter, two village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries — before it’s too late for little Mimi. Riveting and intensely atmospheric, this stunning debut will hold readers in its spell long after the last page is turned.

 


 

On to the book club portion of this post. I’ve been wanting to join a book club, but I haven’t found any that consistently pick books that I will enjoy. So, I decided that I wanted to start my own, in a sense. My book club members will consist of just Chad and myself. 🙂 This way I will be able to pick books that I know I will like while having someone to read and discuss with. Of course Chad picks out books he likes too, and we go through and decide which of our choices we would both like.

If you would like to “join” this unofficial book club, just let me know in the comments. I would love to have discussions on these books, and I’m always up for buddy reads.

Our first choices for this month include the following:

It – Stephen King
Genre – Horror

The story follows the exploits of seven children as they are terrorized by an eponymous being, which exploits the fears and phobias of its victims in order to disguise itself while hunting its prey. “It” primarily appears in the form of a clown in order to attract its preferred prey of young children. The novel is told through narratives alternating between two time periods, and is largely told in the third-person omniscient mode. It deals with themes which would eventually become King staples: the power of memory, childhood trauma, and the ugliness lurking behind a façade of traditional small-town values.

 

 

Shadow’s Edge (#2)- Brent Weeks
Genre – Fantasy

Kylar Stern has rejected the assassin’s life. The Godking’s successful coup has left Kylar’s master, Durzo, and his best friend, Logan, dead. He is starting over: new city, new friends, and new profession.

But when he learns that Logan might actually be alive and in hiding, Kylar is faced with an agonizing choice: will he give up the way of shadows forever and live in peace with his new family, or will he risk everything by taking on the ultimate hit?

 

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is new series that I want to start reading. This top ten will focus on recently published (around 1 to 2 years) series that I want to read. Of course there are tons of new series that I want to start, but I picked the ones I’m most excited to read. These are all published in 2013 or 2014, and they are in no particular order.

Written in Red by Anne Bishop (The Others) – I’ve heard some really great things about this series, and honestly, I’m not sure why I haven’t started it yet because I’ve been wanting to read it for a while.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (The Winner’s Trilogy) – I just bought this book, and I can’t wait to start reading it. I’ve heard good things about it, and it sounds like something I would enjoy.

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (Firebird) – The description sounds amazing, and the cover definitely caught my attention. It’s gorgeous, and I want to find out what happens with this story.

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis (Not a Drop to Drink) –  I really enjoy dystopian stories most of the time, and this one sounds pretty unique. I’m really interested to see where this books goes.

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (The School for Good and Evil) – I’m a big fan of anime, and for some reason this book reminds me of some of the shows I’ve watched, so I’m all for it. Obviously it won’t be like anime, but it sounds really intriguing.

The Program by Suzanne Young (The Program) – I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while now. I just need to either buy it or borrow it from the library. I’m sure I’ll end up buying it though.

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie (Shattered Sea) – This is another one that I have heard great things about. I want to be engrossed in another high fantasy story, and see how the main character is able to overcome his physical disabilities.

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason (Stoker & Holmes) – Fictional relatives of a famous author and a detective come together to solve a mystery. This sounds amazing, and I want to know how the story plays out.

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett (The Arkwell Academy) – I’m interested to see where this goes. I’ve never read a book where the main character is a nightmare, so this should be fun.

Cursed by Lizzy Ford (Voodoo Nights) – I really love this cover. I know you shouldn’t judge a book that way, but it just looks so pretty, and the story sounds really good.

October 2014 Book Haul

Bookoutlet strikes again! I did make it a whole month and a half without buying any books, but I’m sure this haul made up for it. I got everything from Bookoutlet except for the last three books which I got at the book fair. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought or if you want to read any of them.

*All descriptions taken from Goodreads, and all pictures link to their respective Goodreads pages.

The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

 

Split Second – Kasie West
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

 

Cruel Beauty – Rosamund Hodge
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

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.

 

The Hiding Place – David J. Bell
Genre – Mystery

Sometimes it’s easier to believe a lie.

Twenty-five-years ago, the disappearance of four-year-old Justin Manning rocked the small town of Dove Point, Ohio. After his body was found in a shallow grave in the woods two months later, the repercussions were felt for years.

Janet Manning has been haunted by the murder since the day she lost sight of her brother in the park. Now, with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Justin’s death looming, a detective and a newspaper reporter have started to ask questions, opening old wounds and raising new suspicions. Could the man convicted of the murder — who spent more than two decades in prison — really be innocent? Janet’s childhood friend and high school crush, who was in the park with her that day, has returned to Dove Point, where he is wrestling with his own conflicted memories of the events. And a strange man appears at Janet’s door in the middle of the night, claiming to know the truth.

Soon, years of deceit will be swept away, and the truth about what happened to Janet’s brother will be revealed. And the answers that Janet has sought may be found much closer to home than she ever could have imagined.

 

The Killing Hour – Paul Cleave
Genre – Thriller

“They come for me as I sleep. Their pale faces stare at me, their soft voices tell me to wake, to wake. They come to remind me of the night, to remind me of what I have done.”

Only Charlie doesn’t know what he has done. His shorts are covered in blood, there’s a bump on his forehead and on the news it says the two young women he was with the night before were brutally murdered. Charlie knows Cyris is the murderer – except the police don’t believe Cyris exists. Nor does Jo, Charlie’s ex-wife, to whom he goes for help. He desperately wants her to believe in him, and when she doesn’t, he knows he must force her. As Charlie goes on the run with Jo bound and gagged in the car boot, he tries to figure out whether Cyris is real or imagined, while the killing hour approaches yet again…

As gripping as his first powerful novel, THE CLEANER, this fantastic story keeps you guessing until the last page.

 

Friends with Boys – Faith Erin Hicks
Genre – Graphic Novel/Young Adult

After years of homeschooling, Maggie is starting high school. It’s pretty terrifying.

Maggie’s big brothers are there to watch her back, but ever since Mom left it just hasn’t been the same.

Besides her brothers, Maggie’s never had any real friends before. Lucy and Alistair don’t have lots of friends either. But they eat lunch with her at school and bring her along on their small-town adventures.

Missing mothers…distant brothers…high school…new friends… It’s a lot to deal with. But there’s just one more thing.

MAGGIE IS HAUNTED.

 

Don’t Turn Around – Michelle Gagnon
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery

In Michelle Gagnon’s debut YA thriller, Don’t Turn Around, computer hacker Noa Torson is as smart, tough, and complex as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Lisbeth Salander.

The first in a trilogy, Don’t Turn Around’s intricate plot and heart-pounding action will leave readers desperate for book two.

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been a victim of the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses her hacking skills to stay anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in a warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.

Enter Peter Gregory. A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa’s talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation threatens his life in no uncertain terms. But what Noa and Peter don’t realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who’d stop at nothing to silence her for good.

 

Not a Drop to Drink – Mindy McGinnis
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

 

The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

In this first book, readers are introduced to the unfortunate Baudelaire children — 14-year-old Violet, 12-year-old Klaus, and their infant sister, Sunny — when they learn they’ve just been orphaned by a terrible house fire.

The executor of the Baudelaire estate — a phlegm-plagued banker named Mr. Poe – sends the children to live with a distant relative: a conniving and dastardly villain named Count Olaf, who has designs on the Baudelaire fortune. Count Olaf uses the children as slave labor, provides horrid accommodations for them, and makes them cook huge meals for him and his acting troupe, a bunch of odd-looking, renegade good-for-nothings. When the children are commandeered to appear in Count Olaf’s new play, they grow suspicious and soon learn that the play is not the innocent performance it seems but rather a scheme cooked up by Olaf to help him gain control of the children’s millions.

All this bad luck does provide for both great fun and great learning opportunities, however. Violet is a budding McGyver whose inventions help the children in their quest, Klaus possesses a great deal of book smarts, and Sunny — whose only real ability is an incredibly strong bite — provides moral support and frequent comedy relief. Then there are the many amusing word definitions, colloquialisms, clichés, hackneyed phrases, and other snippets of language provided by the narrator (a character in his own right) that can’t help but expand readers’ vocabularies. Though the Baudelaire children suffer myriad hardships and setbacks, in the end they do manage to outsmart and expose Olaf’s devious ways. But of course, with luck like theirs, it’s a given that Olaf will escape and return to torment them again some day. If only misery was always this much fun.

 

Saving Francesca – Melina Marchetta
Genre – Young Adult/Contemporary

A compelling story of romance, family, and friendship with humor and heart, perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Lauren Myracle.

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastian’s, a boys’ school that pretends it’s coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas, who specializes in musical burping, to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can’t seem to stop thinking about.

Then there’s Francesca’s mother, who always thinks she knows what’s best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling of who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.

 

Wildwood Dancing – Juliet Marillier
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It’s an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle’s hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.

But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he’s there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena’s sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom—an impossible union it’s up to Jena to stop.

When Cezar’s grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can’t imagine—tests of trust, strength, and true love.

 

The Accidental Mother – Rowan Coleman
Genre – Fiction/Chick Lit.

Sophie and Carrie were childhood best friends, but in the last few years they’ve lost touch. While Carrie chose motherhood in a small town, Sophie is powering up the London career track. She’s a corporate manager poised for her next promotion. Sure, she doesn’t have much time for men, but she has a great shoe collection and a cat who’s never going to let her down.

And then Sophie is told that Carrie has died, with nobody left to care for her two daughters, Bella and Izzy, aged six and three. Their father, who left before Carrie’s death, is nowhere to be found; their grandmother is moving into assisted living. Sophie once promised Carrie she would take care of her children if the worst ever happened…and now that day has come.

Witty, wise, and filled with genuinely powerful emotion, The Accidental Mother is the heartwarming, heartbreaking story of a woman who is woefully under-equipped to be suddenly thrown into motherhood, but who through the eyes of two little girls learns more about loss, commitment, and true love than she had ever realized existed.

 

Danse Macabre – Stephen King
Genre – Horror/Non-Fiction

Stephen King explores the phenomenon of horror in a century of film, television, radio, and literature. Who better than King to investigate what terrifies his fans?

“One of the best books on American popular culture in the late 20th century.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

 

 

 

Pretties – Scott Westerfeld
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

 

Vampires: Back in Time to the First Darkness – The Original Stories – Watkins Publishing
Genre – Paranormal/Short Stories

Here come the creatures of the night, in eight timeless tales of horror that have terrified generations and inspired the recent flowering of vampire literature. Discover classics of the genre, such as John Polidori’s The Vampyre (written by Lord Byron’s physician) and Carmilla, the novella that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula and provoked a scandal with its lesbian undercurrent. This fascinating collection also features Johann Ludwig Tieck, Sheridan LeFanu, Guy de Maupssant, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (and his beloved detective, Sherlock Holmes), E.F. Benson, and Stoker himself, with “Dracula’s Guest”–believed to be the original first chapter of his novel, excised by the publisher.

 

Dragon’s Keep – Janet Lee Carey
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

Far away on Wilde Island, Princess Rosalind is born with a dragon claw where her ring finger should be. To hide this secret, the queen forces her to wear gloves at all times until a cure can be found, and Rosalind can fulfill the prophecy that will restore her family to its rightful throne. But Rosalind’s flaw cannot be separated from her fate. When she is carried off by the dragon, everything she thought she knew falls apart. . . .

 

 

Montmorency’s Revenge – Eleanor Updale
Genre – Young Adult/Historical Fiction

A dark tale of vengeance and madness takes Montmorency on his next crusade….

As Queen Victoria lies dying, Montmorency and his friends are already in mourning, and determined to track down the killers who have wrecked their lives. It’s personal obsession, but Montmorency has public duties too, and when the two collide, he must decide which comes first.
Can he stop Doctor Farcett’s slide into insanity? And how can he teach a new generation to forgive when the lust for revenge is eating away at his own soul?

The fourth Montmorency adventure takes him on a race across the globe with a mission of revenge for the death of his dearest friend Lord George Fox Selwyn.

 

Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses – Ron Koertge
Genre – Young Adult/Poetry

Yes it’s blue and Yes it tickles and Yes
he’s had a lot of wives
and nobody knows what happened to them

but he’s fun at the party and omigod
that castle!

Once upon a time, a strung-out match girl sold CDs to stoners. Twelve impetuous sisters escaped Daddy’s clutches to jiggle and cavort and wear out their shoes. Bluebeard’s latest wife discovered she’d married a serial killer. And Little Red Riding Hood confessed that she kind of wanted to know what it’s like to be swallowed whole.

You see, Ron Koertge knows what really happened to all those wolves and maidens, ogres and orphans, kings and piglets of fairy tales, and he knows about the Ever After. So come closer–he wants to whisper in your ear.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is places books have made me want to visit. This can include places that are real or fictional. They’re listed in no particular order.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Battle School) – The biggest reason I would want to go to the Battle School is to experience the Battle Room. It’s laser tag without gravity. What could be cooler than that?

Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling (Hogwarts) – I want to see what the castle would be like. It seems like there is always something exciting going on and an adventure around every corner. However, I’ll be avoiding the Forbidden Forest. I can’t handle any giant spiders.

Vicious by V. E. Schwab (Merit) – I would mostly want to go to Merit because of the superpowers. There’s isn’t much memorable about the place, but it’s a world that has superpowers. I know I’m just visiting, but I’m taking my powers with me when I leave. Plus, I really need to meet Victor … for science, of course.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Oasis) – I need this in my life. Being the video game nerd that I am, I would love this virtual world. I’m sure I would never get anything done though, so maybe it’s a good thing it doesn’t exist.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Gatsby’s Mansion) – I want to go to a Gatsby party. I’m not normally an overly social person, but there ain’t no party like a Gatsby party.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Wonderland) – It’s seems like a crazy, fun place full of interesting characters. I want to meet the Cheshire Cat as well. If cats could talk, I feel like that is exactly how they would act.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab (The Archive) – The archive is described as “a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.” It would be interesting to see how everything is set up because it’s such a unique concept.

Dreams of the Dead by Thomas Randall (Japan) – While this is a horror story, I would still want to go to Japan based on how it’s described in this book. I’ve always wanted to go because I think Japanese culture is fascinating.

Pivot Point by Kasie West (Compound) – This is another place I want to go because of the powers they have. While I wont get any powers, it would be cool to see how everything operates. They probably won’t let me in though since I’m just a “Norm.” 😦

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Paris) – Another place I have always wanted to go. This book just made me want to go even more. It seems like a beautiful place.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. I’ve decided that I want to participate in the Top Ten weekly posts. While I might not post every week, I will as often as I can.

This week’s topic is books that you’ve had a difficult time reading for one reason or another. They’re in no particular order.

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams – This was an incredibly hard book to read because of the subject matter. It’s very sad, and the whole time you want to somehow help this poor girl out of her horrible situation. I started this book at night and didn’t put it down until I was done at four in the morning. It’s a hard story to put down because you want to know what happens next and emotional because you’ll be sad, frustrated, angry, and happy all within a few chapters.

Shizuko’s Daughter by Kyoko Mori – This is another emotional read but for different reasons. Yuki is left all alone when her mother commits suicide. Her dad doesn’t seem to love her, and her stepmother treats her terribly. She is easy to become attached to and you want to be able to help her. It’s told through different perspectives, and during certain ones, you feel extremely sorry for Yuki and what she has to deal with. A great story about a girl dealing with the death of a parent and having to move on with her life.  Full Review

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – This is a beautifully told story dealing with serious issues. You’re empathetic with Melinda and her situation because as she’s struggling with this difficult problem, everyone seems to be turning against her. There are plenty of times I wanted her to speak up for herself, but it’s understandable why she would stay silent for so long. Honestly, I think everyone should read this story. Especially high school students because I feel the story has a special way of teaching about empowerment and speaking up for yourself, while also showing how the victim feels.

A Fair Maiden by Joyce Carol Oates – Cringeworthy would be a great word to describe this book. It deals with the relationship between a 16 year old girl and an 80 year old man. There are plenty of disturbing moments that make your skin crawl. It’s as if you’re watching a horror movie and screaming at the characters to stop and run the other way. I have never felt so much pity for a character at the end of a novel like I did this one. It’s a really interesting story, but I know it won’t be for everyone. Full Review

My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland – While this was a very interesting concept, it wasn’t quite what I expected. There were some boring moments, and the main character repeated herself so much, it got kind of old. It was a bit hard to relate to her since she has an addiction to pills, but she’s a unique character, and I did like her personality. I liked the overall story, but it was difficult to get through at certain points.

The Fever by Megan Abbott – I thought this would be more of a mystery, but it’s mostly about teenagers and how they act. It had a few boring moments during the middle of the book. There were a lot of red herrings, and the ending was not as great as I was expecting. This book just wasn’t for me. Full Review

Trapped by Michael Northrop – Honestly, I didn’t really like anything about this book. This is one of those books that just didn’t work for me. There were no surprises, the characters were boring and flat, and the ending was unsatisfying. It was difficult for me to finish this novel.

Slated by Teri Terry –  I really wanted to like this book, but the characters weren’t great, and while the plot had potential, it didn’t quite work for me. Full Review

Zombie Blondes by Brian James – I accidentally read it twice because I had forgotten I had read it before. This was way before I discovered Goodreads where I could track all of my read books. I didn’t enjoy this story as much as I had hoped. The main character is judgmental, the father is incompetent when it comes to his daughter, and the plot is predictable. However, the ending had a new twist that I liked.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – I was prepared to really enjoy this novel because of all the hype, but the hype sort of killed it for me. I did like it, but I had trouble getting through this book at certain parts. As I was reading, I kept picking up similarities to Lord of the Flies, so I did some research and found out that Lord of the Flies inspired The Maze Runner. I often like when books are inspired by my favorites, however, it did ruin a scene during the ending for me because it was almost exactly from Lord of the Flies.

I bought all of these at the end of August, but since the haul is going up on September 1st, I’m just going to consider it a September haul. I got most of these books at my local book fair, but I did end up getting one bargain book at Books-A-Million because they were having a sale. Chad and I bought most of the movies from one of our local pawn shops. I’m all about bargains and sales. It’s a bit of an obsession, but I love getting cheap books and movies. Anyway, here are the books and movies:

*All descriptions for books taken from Goodreads and all descriptions for movies taken from IMDb.

Falling Kingdoms – Morgan Rhodes
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword….

 

Rebel Belle – Rachel Hawkins
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.

 

The Book of Spells – Kate Brian
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

The year is 1915 when sixteen-year-old Eliza Williams arrives at the Billings School for Girls in Easton, Connecticut. Her parents expect her to learn the qualities of a graceful, dutiful wife. But Eliza and her housemates have a dangerous secret: They’re witches. After finding a dusty, leather bound spell book, the Billings Girls form a secret coven. Bonded in sisterhood, they cast spells–cursing their headmistress with laryngitis, brewing potions to bolster their courage before dances, and conjuring beautiful dresses out of old rags. The girls taste freedom and power for the first time, but what starts out as innocent fun turns sinister when one of the spells has an unexpected-and deadly-consequence. Magic could bring Eliza everything she’s ever wanted…but it could also destroy everything she holds dear.

 

Red Glove – Holly Black
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

After rescuing his brothers from Zacharov’s retribution, Cassel is trying to reestablish some kind of normalcy in his life.

That was never going to be easy for someone from a worker family that’s tied to one of the big crime families—and whose mother’s cons get more reckless by the day. But Cassel is coming to terms with what it means to be a worker, and he’s figuring out how to have friends.

Except normal doesn’t last very long. Soon Cassel is being courted by both sides of the law and is forced to confront his past—a past he remembers only in scattered fragments, and one that could destroy his family and his future. Cassel will have to decide whose side he wants to be on, because neutrality is not an option. And then he will have to pull off his biggest con ever to survive….

 

Minders – Michele Jaffe
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

A high concept, cinematic read with a surprising twist, MINDERS asks the question: who is really watching whom?

Q: If the boy you love commits a crime, would you turn him in?

Sadie Ames is a type-A teenager from the wealthy suburbs. She’s been accepted to the prestigious Mind Corps Fellowship program, where she’ll spend six weeks as an observer inside the head of Ford, a troubled boy with a passion for the crumbling architecture of the inner city. There’s just one problem: Sadie’s fallen in love with him.

Q: What if the crime is murder?

Ford Winters is haunted by the murder of his older brother, James. As Sadie falls deeper into his world, dazzled by the shimmering pinpricks of color that form images in his mind, she begins to think she knows him. Then Ford does something unthinkable.

Q: What if you saw it happen from inside his mind?

Back in her own body, Sadie is faced with the ultimate dilemma. With Ford’s life in her hands, she must decide what is right and what is wrong. And how well she can really ever know someone, even someone she loves.

 

The Name of the Star – Maureen Johnson
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

 

21 Jump Street
Rating – R

A pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring.

Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Writers: Michael Bacall (screenplay), Michael Bacall (story)

Stars: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube

 

 

Killers
Rating – PG-13

A vacationing woman meets her ideal man, leading to a swift marriage. Back at home, however, their idyllic life is upset when they discover their neighbors could be assassins who have been contracted to kill the couple.

Director: Robert Luketic

Writers: Bob DeRosa (screenplay), Ted Griffin (screenplay)

Stars: Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Tom Selleck

 

 

Resident Evil: Degeneration
Rating – R

A warrior seeking revenge unleashes a deadly virus in Harvardville. Responding to the threat are former special forces members Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, who look to bring down a mutated monster before history repeats itself.

Director: Makoto Kamiya

Writer: Shotaro Suga (screenplay)

Stars: Paul Mercier, Alyson Court, Laura Bailey

 

The Great Gatsby
Rating – PG-13

A Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor.

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Writers: Baz Luhrmann (screenplay), Craig Pearce (screenplay)

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton

 

 

 

I have finished reading Dreams of the Dead by Thomas Randall and The Murder Farm by Andrea Maria Schenkel. These were both good books, and I enjoyed reading them. I’ll have reviews for them up on my August Wrap-Up, if not sooner. Here are the books I will be reading next:

Scarlet – Marissa Meyer
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

 

Red Rising – Pierce Brown
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.

 

*Descriptions taken from Goodreads.

I won Scarlet in a giveaway from Stephanie at Stephanie’s Book Reviews a little while ago, so I felt it was time to read it. I really enjoyed Cinder, and I’m excited to continue on with the series because I hear it only gets better. I received Red Rising from Netgalley when it was available to everyone for the Bank Holiday. From the description is sounds interesting, and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Let me know what you’re currently reading or what you just finished reading.

 

August 2014 Book Haul

I will probably have to take a break from buying books. I seem to have run out of room on my shelves. Of course, I could get another bookshelf . . . no, no, I will behave and not buy any books. For now. Let me know if you have read any of these books and what you thought or if you want to read any of them.

*All descriptions taken from Goodreads.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making – Catherynne M. Valente
Genre – Young Adult/Middle Grade/Fantasy

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.

With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.

 

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There – Catherynne M. Valente
Genre – Young Adult/Middle Grade/Fantasy

September has longed to return to Fairyland after her first adventure there. And when she finally does, she learns that its inhabitants have been losing their shadows—and their magic—to the world of Fairyland Below. This underworld has a new ruler: Halloween, the Hollow Queen, who is September’s shadow. And Halloween does not want to give Fairyland’s shadows back.

Fans of Valente’s bestselling, first Fairyland book will revel in the lush setting, characters, and language of September’s journey, all brought to life by fine artist Ana Juan. Readers will also welcome back good friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. But in Fairyland Below, even the best of friends aren’t always what they seem. . . .

 

Dreams of the Dead – Thomas Randall
Genre – Young Adult/Horror

Kara’s afraid to go to sleep—until the nightmares come when she’s awake . . . .

Sixteen-year-old Kara Foster is an outsider in Japan, but is doing her best to fit at the private school where her father is teaching English for the year. Fortunately she’s befriended by Sakura, a fellow outsider struggling to make sense of her sister’s unsolved murder some months ago. No one seems to care about the beautiful girl who was so brutally murdered, and the other students go on as if nothing has happened. Unfortunately, the calm doesn’t last for long. Kara begins to have nightmares, and soon other students in the school turn up dead, viciously attacked by someone . . . or something. Is Sakura getting back at those she thinks are responsible for her sister’s death? Or has her dead sister come back to take revenge for herself?

 

Spirits of the Noh – Thomas Randall
Genre – Young Adult/Horror

Kara Foster is finally starting to fit in at her boarding school in Japan-after all, nothing bonds you with your classmates like having an ancient demon put a curse on you. Hoping life can go back to normal now that the monster has been laid to rest, Kara joins her friends Sakura and Miho in putting on a play for the Noh drama club. It’s the story of the Hannya, a snake demon who inhabits the body of a beautiful woman. When a few members of the Noh club go missing, Kara fears that the real Hannya has been awakened by the curse. Then Miho is abducted, and Kara must find her before the Hannya exacts her terrible revenge. But the demon is wily and may be hidden in the last place anyone would think to look.

 

Path of Fate – Diana Pharaoh Francis
Genre – Fantasy

In the land of Kodu Riik, it is an honor to be selected by the Lady to become an ahalad-kaaslane-to have your soul bonded with one of Her blessed animals, and roam the land serving Her will. But Riesil refuses to bow to fate-a decision that may have repercussions across the realm…

 

 

 

 

The Shining – Stephen King
Genre – Horror

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine…

 

I Am Legend – Richard Matheson
Genre – Horror/Science Fiction

Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth… but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville’s blood.

By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.

How long can one man survive like this?

 

 

Shutter Island – Dennis Lehane
Genre – Mystery/Thriller

The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new ­partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple-murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades—with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is remotely what it seems.

 

The East End Murders: A Family Affair / End of the Line – Anne Cassidy
Genre – Mystery

A bind up of two stories: The body of a young kidnap victim is found lying soaked in petrol in a derelict London house. And Patsy Kelly can’t help feeling it’s partly her fault: and the police have just caught the Railway Killer when his last victim is found. Five girls all strangled.

 

 

 

 

Breathe – Sarah Crossan
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labelled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die. Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, what or who are they protecting the trees from? A dystopian thriller about courage and freedom, with a love story at its heart.

 

Breed – Chase Novak
Genre – Horror

Alex and Leslie Twisden told each other they would do anything to have children. The price didn’t matter. But the experimental procedure they found had costs they couldn’t foresee.

Adam and Alice Twisden’s lives seem perfectly normal. Except that, every night, without fail, their parents lock them into their rooms.

And the twins know that the sounds they can hear are not just their imagination. They’re real. And they’re getting louder…

From a new name in horror, Breed is a stunning thriller in the vein of Rosemary’s Baby, brilliantly written, daring, and unforgettable.

 

Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone – Stefan Kiesbye
Genre – Horror/Short Stories

The village of Hemmersmoor is a place untouched by time and shrouded in superstition: There is the grand manor house whose occupants despise the villagers, the small pub whose regulars talk of revenants, the old mill no one dares to mention. This is where four young friends come of age—in an atmosphere thick with fear and suspicion. Their innocent games soon bring them face-to-face with the village’s darkest secrets in this eerily dispassionate, astonishingly assured novel, evocative of Stephen King’s classic short story “Children of the Corn” and infused with the spirit of the Brothers Grimm.

 

The Night She Disappeared – April Henry
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery

Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.

July 2014 Book Haul

Finally, I’m slowly getting back on track with my posts. I’m still working on the monthly wrap-ups, but I should have them all up next month if I’m lucky and don’t procrastinate. I’ll have some reviews up too. Probably after the Under-Hyped Readathon when I don’t have to focus on reading as much. Plus, I have a book giveaway that I’m planning to do. So much to do, so little time. I’ll keep you updated as I go. So while we all wait for me to get my stuff in order, here is a book haul to ease me back into the motions of blogging.

*All descriptions taken from Goodreads.

Looking for JJ – Anne Cassidy
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery

Three children walked away from the cottages on the edge of town toward Berwick Waters. Later that day, only two of them came back. . . .  Alice Tully knows exactly what happened that spring day six years ago, though it’s still hard for her to believe it. She’ll never be able to forget, even though she’s trying to lead a normal life–she has a job, friends, and a boyfriend whom she adores. But Alice’s past is dangerous, and violent, and sad . . . and it’s about to rip her new life apart. A gripping and emotionally searing novel by accomplished British author Anne Cassidy, Looking for JJ infuses a terrifying subject with humanity and hope.

 

Black City – Elizabeth Richards
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-old Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

 

Charm & Strange – Stephanie Kuehn
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . .

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable.

Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present.

Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.

 

Into the Darkest Corner – Elizabeth Haynes
Genre – Thriller

When young, pretty Catherine Bailey meets Lee Brightman, she can’t believe her luck. Gorgeous, charismatic, and a bit mysterious, Lee seems almost too perfect to be true.

But what begins as flattering attention and spontaneous, passionate sex transforms into raging jealousy, and Catherine soon discovers that Lee’s dazzling blue eyes and blond good looks hide a dark, violent nature. Disturbed by his increasingly erratic, controlling behavior, she tries to break it off; turning to her friends for support, she’s stunned to find they don’t believe her. Increasingly isolated and driven into the darkest corner of her world, a desperate Catherine plans a meticulous escape.

Four years later, Lee is behind bars and Catherine—now Cathy—is trying to build a new life in a new city. Though her body has healed, the trauma of the past still haunts her. Then Stuart Richardson, her attractive new neighbor, moves in. Encouraging her to confront her fears, he sparks unexpected hope and the possibility of love and a normal life.

Until the day the phone rings . . .

 

Wereling – Steve Feasey
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

Fourteen-year-old Trey Laporte is not a kid anymore. Not after the day he wakes up in agony—retina-splitting, vomit-inducing agony. His clothes are torn. His room is trashed.

Enter Lucien Charron, the mysterious, long-lost “uncle” with freakish fire-flecked eyes and skin that blisters in the sun. Suddenly, Trey finds himself living in a luxury penthouse at the heart of a strange and sinister empire built on the powers of the Netherworld—vampires, demons, sorcerers, and djinn.

And there is a girl—Alexa Charron—who is half vampire, half human, and insanely pretty, with powers all of her own. Trey is falling for her.

Trey is training night and day to control the newly discovered power lurking inside him. Now, demons are closing in on every side, and the most psychopathic bloodsucker to rock the Netherworld wants to destroy him. Above all, he must face one terrifying question:

Is he a boy . . . or is he a beast?

What’s Left of Me – Kat Zhang
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

I should not exist. But I do.

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

 

Dangerous Girls – Abigail Haas
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery

It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations.

As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

As she awaits the judge’s decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine…

 

The End Games – T. Michael Martin
Genre – Young Adult/Horror

It happened on Halloween.

The world ended.

And a dangerous Game brought it back to life.

Seventeen-year-old Michael and his five-year-old brother, Patrick, have been battling monsters in The Game for weeks.

In the rural mountains of West Virginia, armed with only their rifle and their love for each other, the brothers follow Instructions from the mysterious Game Master. They spend their days searching for survivors, their nights fighting endless hordes of “Bellows”—creatures that roam the dark, roaring for flesh. And at this Game, Michael and Patrick are very good.

But The Game is changing.

The Bellows are evolving.

The Game Master is leading Michael and Patrick to other survivors—survivors who don’t play by the rules.

And the brothers will never be the same.

 

Wolves – Shaun Ellis
Genre – Non-Fiction/Animals

This book offers a tantalizing glimpse into the private life of the wolf, a symbol of the spirit of wildness that is now in such short supply in our modern world.

More than 200 stunning and inspirational photographs of wolves, coupled with detailed observations of their behavior, dispel many of the myths that surround these powerful animals and form an impression of the true nature of the wolf.

Written and illustrated by two wolf experts who have spent hours tracking and watching wolves, Wolves portrays the complexities and wonders of wolf society and inspires a deep respect for an animal that has long held a fascination for humans.

All the Truth That’s in Me – Julie Berry
Genre – Young Adult/Historical Fiction

Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.

 

Room – Emma Donoghue
Genre – Contemporary

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

Godzilla (2014) Review

Rating: PG-13

Godzilla was released in May 2014 and was directed by Gareth Edwards. It’s a science fiction monster movie for obvious reasons. The movie stars Ken Watanabe, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Juliette Binoche, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, and Bryan Cranston. I have to say that I was incredibly excited to watch this movie, and even though my only experience with Godzilla leading up to this was the 1998 version, I was still optimistic about this new installment.

Two scientists Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) discover unusual objects within a strip mine. Meanwhile, a nuclear plant supervisor Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) are at work when a disastrous event occurs, destroying the plant and rendering the surrounding area under quarantine. Years after these events, Joe Brody believes the disaster was not natural and that the government is covering it up. When Joe finds evidence, his son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) becomes involved as well. Ishiro Serizawa is still researching the objects that were found years before. All of their stories intertwine when disaster strikes yet again.

I went into this expecting to see giant monsters fight, and I got that and much more. There’s a great plot with intriguing characters, and there’s plenty of action to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. The tone of this movie is much more realistic and serious than previous versions. Godzilla is set up in a way that makes it seem plausible. Instead of a mindless beast destroying the city, it’s much deeper and far more complex. The creatures in this movie are more animal like than monster. They are driven by instinct, and they’re trying to live in a world populated by humans. It’s interesting to see them with animal instincts rather than just destroying everything around them just because they can.

There are many engaging characters in Godzilla. Joe Brody’s character is by far the most interesting and well-rounded. He’s believable as a person and reacts in ways that are expected, and as a result, he is my favorite character. The only complaint I have is that I wish he had more screen time. Ishiro Serizawa is also well-developed. He’s the voice of caution, and he wants nature to take it’s course without human intervention. Even the secondary characters are enjoyable to watch, and they contribute to the plot in interesting ways. Ford, on the other hand, is the weakest character and comes off a bit flat. He’s likable and it’s easy to root for him, but he lacks charisma.

Godzilla is a great summer movie. If you were worried about seeing this because of previous versions, don’t be because Godzilla has been redeemed in this movie. It’s the perfect blend of action and suspense and contains great acting and special effects. Of course, I wanted to see more Godzilla, but it makes it more enjoyable when he is onscreen. I’ve read that there’s a possibility of this becoming a trilogy. I’m excited for future installments and hope to see Godzilla in all his glory.

My Rating: ★★★★½