Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (audiobook).

Friday, February 17, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

the name of the star

 

  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.

From Goodreads.

Get the audiobook/e-book from: Amazon, B&N, The Book Depository or Kobo.

The cover:

I like this one. It does represent Rory and some place of London.

The storyline:

Well, well. This was an interesting read. The story begins when Rory, the main character, goes to a boarding school in London, she settles there and meets new friends. Then, while she’s settling, a murder happens, what’s so special about it is that it has the same characteristics of the victims of the infamous Jack the Ripper. She starts to fall in love with this boy, Jerome, she met while the murders go on.

Then, on the fourth murder, she suddenly becomes the only witness the police has. After interrogating her, she thinks something weird is happening and that’s when she realizes that she’s seeing the ghost of the ripper, because the ripper is a ghost.

That’s when she gets a new roommate whose later found to be a police woman protecting Rory. They become friends along with other two guys who explain things to her and tell her that she has a special gift.

The ripper shows up again and this time he wants Rory. He goes on threating her and the other two guys until she gives up and go with him. Later on, Boo (the new roommate) sends her “ghost” friend to save Rory. She saves Rory but ends up dead too.

At the end, Rory discovers something new and interesting about herself.

What I liked:

  • The story has some sense in it. I did like how Maureen included Jack the Ripper in this book and how she described every murder very vividly.
  • The main protagonist, Rory, was brave. And very smart at the beginning.
  • The writing style was good. Not great but good.
  • The characters were good.

What I disliked:

  • The pace in the story was killing me. At the beginning, I got very intrigued by the concept of the book, then the flow of the events was going slowly for me.
  • I hated how everything seemed easy to happen or to do in this story.
  • I hated seeing Rory becoming naïve.
  • The ending wasn’t good at all. I expected more in it and thought maybe what didn’t please me in the beginning and the middle of the book will do at the end, I was disappointed.
  • I was disappointed not to find the story horrifying. I was expecting it to scare me to death, unfortunately, it didn’t :(.

Why I went for the audiobook eventually:

I started reading the e-book first, but when things started to bore me, I decided to get the audiobook, but guess what? Even the amazing English accents didn’t cheer me up :s. So, thanks to the audiobook, I devoured the story whole even though I was going to stop reading it.

The characters:

Rory is the main protagonist. She’s from the US but goes to a boarding school in England. She’s smart and brave as well as loving and kind.

Jerome is the nice guy. He’s been mostly kept out of story because he had no idea what was going on.

Jazza is Rory’s first roommate and later best friend. She’s kind, nice and smart too. That’s probably why she and Rory became friends in the first place ^_^.

Boo is super cool. She has this funny and cool British accent that I love. She’s been mysterious but later we found out that she’s as nice and cool as Jazza, almost.

The other worth mentioning characters are: Stephen and Callum.

Conclusion:

This could’ve been a great book with the writing style and the characters. Unfortunately, it disappointed me a lot.

Will I be reading the sequel?

Definitely. The sequel has the potential to be way better and I’m having great expectations about it. Let’s hope I won’t be disappointed again!

3/5

Randa

In My e-Mailbox : n°1

Thursday, February 16, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

IMM

 

 

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and inspired by Alea from Pop Culture Junkie. It gives us, book bloggers, the opportunity to share all the books we bought, borrowed, and received this week whether they are ARCs, paper books or e-books. More info here.
Covers are linked to Goodreads.

So I decided to start doing an IMeM this week Open-mouthed smile. I was waiting for the right moment to start doing this, and when I received my very first review e-Book (an eGalley ?!) via NetGalley, I decided to start the journey!

Now, when this will be is not obvious yet, but I’ll try to do it every week Smile.

Now to the e-books, I have many this week, so brace yourselves ^_^.

e-Books I got/borrowed:

megan-miranda-cover13379936coverThe Body at the Tower by YS Lee

e-Books that were gifted to me:

angelAngel Fire front cover designjacket-762670Unearthly

Picnik collage1

Thank you so very much to my new friend Chantel at Little Miss Bookworm <3 I can’t wait to read them!! Smile.

eBooks from Amazon.com for free:

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And finally, the eGalley I got from Random House Children’s Books:

popopop

I got this one day before it came out, so I need to read it so soon. I’ve also heard great things about it Smile.

This is it for me. What did you get in your mailbox?? Let me know in your comments ^_^.

Randa

UK Cover reveal: Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent.

Monday, February 13, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

I love, correction, adore the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent and I can’t wait to get my hands on Before I Wake!! *_*

Today, Mira Ink introduced the brand new designed UK cover of the latest installment in the series, and if you’ve read my previous reviews on the books, you already know the UK covers are my favorite. So here it is, the UK cover of Before I Wake!!!

 

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So what do you think? Have you read the series before or not? Let me know in your comments or tweets Winking smile.

Randa

Review: Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

n312249

 

  "Str-S-d: I'll begin with Lucy. She is definitely first on the list. You can't believe how it feels to be in the cafeteria and turn around and there she is staring at me likeI'm some disgusting bug or vermin. Does she really think I WANT to be this way? I hate you, Lucy. I really hate you. You are my #1 pick. I wish you were dead."  The day after anonymous blogger Str-S-dwishes the popular girl would die, Lucy vanishes. The students of Soundview High are scared and worried. Especially frightened and wracked with guilt is Madison Archer, Lucy's friend and the last person to see her the night she disappeared.As days pass with no sign of the missing girl, even the attention of Tyler, an attractive new student, is not enough to distract Madison from her growing sense of foreboding. When two more popular students disappear after their names are mentioned on Str-S-d's blog, the residents of Soundview panic.

Meanwhile, Madison receives anonymous notes warning that she could be next. Desperate to solve the mystery before anyone else disappears, Madison turns to Tyler, but can she trust him when it becomes clear that he knows more than he's sharing?The clock is ticking. Madison must uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearances . . . before her name appears in Str-S-d's blog.In the spirit of stories like "I Know What You Did Last Summer," Todd Strasser updates the teen thriller for the techno age with "Wish You Were Dead," the first installment in a new "thrill"-ogy.

From Goodreads.

Get the e-book from: Amazon, B&N, The Book Depository or Kobo.

The cover:

One of two reasons for me deciding to give this book a try was the cover. It looks creepy and indeed the story is too.

One of my favorite covers although it's simple :).

The storyline:

This is where the mystery lies. At first, I had no idea what was going on or who the narrator was. After, almost 50% thru the book, I started getting my grip on the story and the characters and from then, I fell in love with this book.

Just so you know, this book is only suitable for 18+ readers because it contains murder, drinking mentioned, gruesome images and it's so scary, and I mean so scary!

Now back to the book. This read is definitely one of my favorites.

I can't tell you how the story progresses or who the narrator is or the blogger is because I'll be spoiling this review, so I'll just do a bullet list :).

What I loved:

  • The characters were so unusual. They were cruel, rude and mysterious all the time.
  • The story developed from being boring to completely exiting and breath taking.
  • I loved the horror and the gruesome aspect of this story, it kept me on the edge and expecting the worse to happen, guess what? It exceeded my expectations!! *_*
  • The story itself was interesting in so many ways and it was realistic (maybe?!).
  • Tyler and Madison no questions asked!

What I hated (mostly disliked only):

  • The beginning of the story was awkward. When I started reading it at first, I felt lost, there’s no introduction to what’s going on and you find yourself directly in the middle of the story!

The characters:

Str-S-d: The poor girl had no bad intentions, but things end up badly for those she wrote about on her blog. With that being said, she’s a very nice and shy girl :).

Madison: The nicest popular girl in the school. Everybody loves her and think she’s cool. When her best friends start disappearing and two of them die, we find how smart and courageous she is.

Tyler: He’s one new mysterious guy. Madison totally likes him, but is he trustworthy? You’ll find out when you read the book ;).

Favorite quotes:

There are hardly any quotable passages in this book, it’s full of dialogues that would spoil the story or give a hint on who is who.

“No—I mean, yes. It’s just that some of us, the harder we try, the less cool we are. The problem is, if we don’t try, we’re not cool, either. In fact, no matter what we do, we’re not cool.” --- Chapter 15.

“But we all stereotype, don’t we?” Mr. Osmond asked. “How many of you have been in an airport and saw someone who looked Middle Eastern and felt nervous that this person might be a terrorist? Or walked down a block at night and saw a black man approaching? Or saw some guy come to school wearing a long black trench coat?” --- Chapter 18.

“So? Better this than just wait here to die. There’s no way she’s just going to leave us behind.”    “How do you know?”   

“Because they’re called serial killers, not serial leave-victims-behind-to-help-testify-against-them. Keep an eye on the door.” --- Chapter 21.

Conclusion:

This is one of my favorite Horror/Thriller/Mystery books ever. I plan on reading more like this book in the future.

If you’re into serial killers’ stories, horror books or just thrillers, you’ll love this. One more advice, don’t read it at night or you’ll end up checking the doors and windows every 5 minutes ;).

4/5

mevideo

Randa

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (e-book and audiobook).

Monday, February 06, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

Bloodlines-BIG

 

  The first book in Richelle Mead's brand-new teen fiction series - set in the same world as Vampire Academy.

  When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

  Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.

From Goodreads.

Get the e-book from: Amazon, B&N, The Book Depository or Kobo.

The cover:

I’m in love with this one *_*. I definitely can picture the girl on the cover as Sydney because the one starring in the Bloodlines introductory videos is totally nonsense… Anyways, I’m thinking that, maybe, the one on the cover is Eddie… Because I’m sure Adrian is too pretty to be him ;).

The storyline:

So, I’ve been dying to read this book after I finished the Vampire Academy series back in December and I heard both positive and negative reviews on it. But seriously, it was just perfect!

The first thing to notice is that the narrator in this new series is Sydney, the Alchemist we met in VA series and who helped Rose escape the jail and prove her innocence (good times :’)). A lot of fans of the VA series didn’t like her being the narrator because she had a different view on things. For me, it was just as good. Of course there’ll be a difference, she’s a human who’s been her whole life taught to hate vampires and their magic. It was really refreshing to hear her side of the story and have some unanswered questions in Last Sacrifice answered here :).

The story begins with Sydney at home being awakened by her father in the middle of the night to give her her new assignment. Because she’s desperate to prove her loyalty for the Alchemists, after it faltered when she helped escaping Rose back at Court, she takes the job although she’s assigned to work with Keith, an Alchemist who’s totally not a gentlemen. She’s then informed that she’ll be working together with Eddie and Adrian to keep Jill, Queen Lissa’s little sister, safe from moroi attacks who’s been trying to kill her and therefore get Lissa rid out of her title. Along the way, she keeps sharing her feelings and thoughts on everything and she also meets Abe, Rose and new morois. As the story develops; we meet new characters such as Trey, Micah and Laurel and the story gets even more interesting. Also, in this book, we get to know Sydney for real, because there’s a lot going on inside her that is reflecting her past.

Throughout the story, constant mentions of Rose and Dimitri are inevitable <3. Adrian is still hurt by what happened and the only one who can help him is Sydney, although Jill can too…(if you read my status updates on Goodreads, you’ll know what I’m talking about.). Sydney tries to help Adrian and both of them create a funny and crazy friendship that maybe one day it’ll develop to be more ;).

At the end, we’ll find out what Keith has been up to (I’m so glad she got rid of him >_<”) and how things are going to be. Richelle’s way of ending her books is amazing. At first, everything seemed to end in a peaceful way, but then I remembered that the best part of her books was kept for the end, and I was right! So, to spoil this review, I’ll say that this book will end with Sydney fighting and Dimitri coming back XD <333.

The audiobook:

I really wanted the audiobook because I couldn’t stay awake at night reading from my phone’s screen and wake up with a pain in my eyes. But the real surprise hit me when I started listening and found out that the narrator was the same one who impersonalized Rose!!! I was jumping with happiness because I was hearing the same voices with the same accents from VA!!!

Thank you, Emily Shaffer, for narrating Bloodlines too <3.

Characters:

Sydney, the main character, is a normal girl with a difficult past and present. She’s nice, fair and really polite. It’s true she gets on Adrian’s nerves, but he deserves it!! Winking smile.

Jill is the sweetest sister ever! I have no idea how Lissa never even tried to connect with her. The girl is sweet, shy, cool and easygoing. If Lissa was anywhere near me, I’d slap her!

Adrian is Adrian. There’s totally no way to describe him without spoiling this review any further. His attitude gets better and he learns to drink and smoke less thanks to Sydney and his new condition with Jill (and don’t ask me what it is because I’m not telling! You’ll have to read for yourself!).

Lee is the real mystery. I really didn’t like him from the beginning and he looked suspicious all the way from the start. It turns out I was right!

Micah is so nice to Jill, and it’s obvious from the first time he talks to her that he likes her, and although relationships between humans and vampires are hated and almost forbidden, Eddie is the only one who doesn’t mind because Micah looks and acts like Eddie’s diseased best friend and Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Mason.

Keith in one word deserves what he gets at the end and not knowing what it is exactly, it’s not even fair!

Other characters worth mentions are: Abe, Rose’s father and it’s always nice to have him around ^_^. Sydney’s new best friends Kristen and Julia. And Angeline, from the Keepers who ends up being Jill’s new babysitter.

Favorite quotes:

Keith was just bringing the glass to his lips when Adrian said, “Mmm. O positive, my favorite.”            Keith sprayed out the wine he’d just drunk and promptly started coughing. I was relieved that none got on me. Jill burst into giggles, and Clarence stared at his glass wonderingly.           

“Is it? I thought it was a cabernet sauvignon.”           

“So it is,” said Adrian, straight-faced. “My mistake.” --- Chapter 11.

“I just rely on natural talent,” said Adrian, strolling up to the start of the Dragon’s Lair. “When you have such a wealth of it to draw from, the danger comes from having too much.”           

“That makes no sense whatsoever,” said Eddie. --- Chapter 12.

I found myself overanalyzing the comment. What had he meant in saying even he could admit it? That I was cute for a human? Or that I had just met some kind of Adrian hot-girl criteria? Moments later, I had to forcibly stop thinking about it. Let it go, Sydney. It’s a compliment. Accept it. --- Chapter 12.

She took his hand after a moment’s hesitation. “Nice to meet you,” she said in her odd southern accent. She studied him for a few more seconds. “You look too pretty to be useful.” I gasped in spite of myself. Adrian chuckled and shook her hand.          

“Truer words were never spoken,” he said. --- Chapter 27.

“What,” demanded Angeline, “are you guys talking about?”           

“Nothing of interest, I assure you,” said Abe, who was really enjoying this all too much. “Life lessons, character development, unpaid debts. That sort of thing.” --- Chapter 27.

Adrian’s new research partner stepped through the door, and I knew the uneasy peace we’d just established in Palm Springs was about to shatter.           

Dimitri Belikov had arrived. --- Chapter 27.

Conclusion:

If you read and loved the Vampire Academy series, definitely pick this one up. Just don’t expect the same narration style or the same point of view, also, the storyline is totally different and refreshing.

5/5

Randa

Review: The Future of US by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler.

Saturday, February 04, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

futureofus_paperback_0857076078_300

 

  It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.
  Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.
Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.
Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

From Goodreads.

 

 

 

Get the book from: Amazon, B&N, The Book Depository or Kobo.

The cover:

This is the UK cover. I do like the US one too because of it’s geeky aspect, but this one is just my favorite ^_^.

The storyline:

This is the first time I hear about Carolyn Mackler, but from my previous experience with Jay’s writing in Th1rteen R3asons Why, I had a strong feeling this was going to be a great book.

The story is just amazing. It evolves around best friends since childhood Emma and Josh in 1996. Emma receives a computer as a gift from her father while Josh brings her and AOM CD-ROM for internet.

When she first signs up for email and have everything set up and ready, she notices a pop up (Yep, even then they were and issue 0_o) asking her to put in her email address and password. She does that and finds herself in a website called Facebook. She calls Josh and together they discover that Facebook is a website from the future showing them their lives 15 years ahead. Of course, at first they think it’s a hoax or a virus but then they find a definite evidence when Emma discovers a photo on her profile that she hadn’t developed yet.

Discovering her future with many issues in it, Emma decides to make changes that cause ripples in the future, meanwhile, Josh is so happy to find out he’s going to end up with the popular girl at their High School. After many unfortunate tried to change her future into a happy one, Emma decides to keep causing ripples until she finds her future self happy. Then one day, she kisses Josh and they start fighting because he says she’s toying with him, that’s when she decides that messing with the future was a wrong idea and when checks her Facebook later that day, she finds her future self deciding to close her Facebook account permanently and focus more on her life. At the same time, Josh discovers that he and Sydney are very different and that she’s not the one for him, so he ends things with her.

At the end, Josh and Emma are finally together… for now.

What I loved:

  • The pacing was perfect, and each timing was exactly at the perfect time.
  • The characters were so realistic and not flawless.
  • The story being told from both point of views was brilliant. I admired each character’s ways of seeing the events and telling their story.
  • At some part, reading it felt essential. I was so engrossed in it I couldn’t put it down!! (Thank God tomorrow is not a school day xD).
  • The friendships in this book and the funny moments are priceless <3.
  • Then end was a mystery for me…

What I hated:

There’s nothing that bad in this book that I can remember.

What I wanted:

I wished we were told at the end how the future of Josh and Emma shifted 15 years ahead :).

The characters:

Emma is the nice, cool, well behaving girl whose smart. Throughout the book, you get to know her more and find flaws in her that only make her a better person at the end. She can be too naïve at times, but that’s acceptable :).

Josh is…. Josh. <<< Kidding (If you had no idea, that’s a direct quote from the book, Emma keeps saying it even at the end :)). He’s this best friend that every girl would dream of having. He’s nice, calm and thinks before he acts.

Kellan is super cool and totally supportive. She’s the reason Josh and Emma end up together.

Tyson is totally unpredictable but he’s been a really good friend to all of them.

Favorite quotes:

I have soooo many in this book, so I’ll just share three of them ^_^

I’m scrolling through various screensavers when someone rings the doorbell. I let my mom answer it because I still haven’t decided between a shifting brick wall maze and a web of plumber’s pipes. Hopefully it’s not Graham at the door. --- Chapter 1 – Emma.

If you want me to play along, here’s a theory. You know how Vice President Gore calls the Internet the ‘Information Superhighway’? Let’s say everyone’s going the same direction on this superhighway. Time travel would be about finding a way to jump to a different spot. --- Chapter 6 – Josh.

For the past five days, I’ve been trying to understand why this happens to me and how I can tweak things so it won’t happen again. But I’m starting to wonder if it actually has nothing to do with the future. Maybe it has everything to do with what happens now. --- Chapter 56 – Emma.

Conclusion:

I adore this book. It was a real fun read with a lot of meaning behind it, to be more exact, here are two main wise thoughts I got from this book:

  1. Whatever we do, we should always know that our acts has impacts on our future and that of others around us. So, we have to be careful with our choices and actions.
  2. Social networking is cool and fun but we should keep it at that. No need to go around putting personal information and writing things that others might understand them otherwise.

This book is recommended to all YA contemporary fans. It’s clean, it’s fun and it’s a must read.

5/5

mevideo

Randa