Review: The 100 by Kass Morgan

Title: The 100 (The Hundred #1)
Author: Kass Morgan
Publication: September 3rd 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Provided by the kind publisher..

In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland... before it's too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.

-- My Rating --
3/5 Oscars: liked it

-- My Thoughts --

     I received the first and the second book in the series for review. And then I heard that it's also a TV series, so I was definitely intrigued. And thankfully, it was quite good.
     The Colony decided to send their 100 prisoners who are all under 18, back to earth, after many hundreds of years of living in space. Clarke is heartbroken over her recent tragedy and the betrayal of the person she loved the most. Wells just tried to save the girl he loves, and now he would do anything to make sure she is safe. Bellamy wanted to save his sister, but he never knew how much danger he would be putting himself in. Glass wants no one to know why she was convicted or how much she had to give up in order to save the guy she loves.
     The first thing I loved about this book is that there are so many characters, 4 different points of view, but I was never confused. I loved getting into their minds and I felt like all the 4 characters were essential to keep this story interesting. I never lost track of who was who because they were all distinct, three-dimensional characters.
     But that does not mean that I liked them all. Clarke was the kind of girl I connected with. She just reminded me of myself. Even though she made mistakes, she was always trying to do the best for everyone. Wells was definitely not my favorite guy. He was just silly and made many wrong choices and didn't know the extend of his feelings. Bellamy, I loved, even though - like Wells - he had these dump moments where I wanted to just slap him. Glass was definitely my favorite character. She is just the kind of best friend everyone should have. She is so kind and thoughtful and so full-of-love.
     The romance is present in this book, but it does not take the main stage. It is a bit insta-lovey, maybe insta-likey or something. Because I felt like the characters just liked each other instantly. A bit far-stretched for me. But the plot is definitely interesting. The whole getting down to Earth after living in space for so long. Everything was new to these characters. And it was really refreshing and unique.
     The ending is a 50% cliffhanger and I immediately wanted to read the second book. Because there is just TOO MANY unresolved leads in this book. I wanted to know what had happened in the past. But fortunately, I have my second book ready. If you are a fan of dystopia, then you will definitely like this!

Bout of Books 11.0 Wrap Up!

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books 11.0 has finished!
I have to say that I am definitely not used to read-a-thons YET. It feels like every time I join one, I end up reading much less than I would normally do. And this was definitely the case with this read-a-thon. But I think the main problem was the reading slump that I've had lately. It's like, every book I pick up, I got bored immediately with its content. No book can capture my interest. But I am definitely redeeming this slump very soon.

-- My Goals --
Read about 5 books received for review
Read 3 books of your choice that interest you the most
Participate in most of the Twitter Chats
Comment everyday on four (or more) posts from other bloggers who have participated in this read-a-thon

-- My Accomplishments --

I read only three books (The 100 by Kass Morgan, Day 21 by Kass Morgan, Oceanborn by Amalie Howard)
I participated in two Twitter chats (shame, I KNOW, it was so fun, though!)
I commented on one or two posts mostly every day (this is what I am proud of)

I am definitely NOT happy with my progress. Though, I am very happy that I got three review books out of my pile. Altogether, I think I will participate in the NEXT Bout of Books, just to do better!

Review: Where You'll Find Me by Erin Fletcher and Day 6 Updates

Title: Where You'll Find Me
Author:Erin Fletcher
Publication: January 7th 2014 by Entangled: Teen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Owned

When Hanley Helton discovers a boy living in her garage, she knows she should kick him out. But Nate is too charming to be dangerous. He just needs a place to get away, which Hanley understands. Her own escape methods (vodka, black hair dye, and pretending the past didn't happen) are more traditional, but who is she to judge?

Nate doesn't tell her why he's in her garage, and she doesn't tell him what she's running from. Soon, Hanley's trading her late-night escapades for all-night conversations and stolen kisses. But when Nate's recognized as the missing teen from the news, Hanley isn't sure which is worse: that she's harboring a fugitive, or that she's in love with one.

-- My Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really liked it

-- My Thoughts --

     The author is entirely new to me, I didn't even read a review of this book before reading it. But now that I have read a couple of reviews, and they seem almost-negative, I wanted to put out my word on the greatness of this book, to balance it out a bit.
     Hanley's life changed one fateful day and she has never been the same since then. Then one day, she finds out a boy is living in her garage. Nate is nothing like the boys she knows and he is everything she didn't know she needed. But she never knew that by keeping a fugitive in her garage, she would actually give away her heart, too.
     Hanley is a beautiful name, isn't it? I actually loved her name since the first sentence, it's just not something you hear everyday. Original. So is the story. I read a couple of reviews that say Hanley's actions were unrealistic and not forgivable. The girl has been through a lot of trauma in her life, and everyone has a different coping mechanism. Hanley's mechanism is drinking and partying late every night. It's just the way she deals.
     Then, there's her parents. They are, as many reviewers stated, too ignorant. They are so caught up in their own lives that they don't notice their daughter slipping away from them. The author handled this subject really well and instead of showing a perfectly happy family, she made us see what a dysfunctional family is really like and how to treat it. Plus, I loved the interactions between Hanely and her sister, Heather, as they grew closer more and more.
     The romance in this book was at its peak. I loved Nate and Hanley together, they were like two missing puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly. They both grow through a lot of hardship in this book, and you can see their development, individually and together.
     The only thing that irked me a little bit and made me give this book four stars, was the whole hiding a person in the garage thing. Yes, every other aspect I loved, but this one was a bit too unrealistic, there's just NO way that no family member will figure out that there's someone living in their garage. Aside from that, this book is perfect for fans of the romance genre. Ladies, that includes most of us.

-- Day 6 Updates: BOUT OF BOOKS --

Number of pages read: 450 pages
Books read: Oceanborn by Amalie Howard, Day 21 by Kass Morgan
Total number of books read: 3

ARC Review: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld and Day2 Updates

Title: Afterworlds
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publication: September 23rd 2014 by Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Contemporary/YA Paranormal
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings… 

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

-- My Rating --
3/5 Oscars: liked it

-- My Thoughts --

     I've heard about Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series ever since I started blogging. It had a lot of fans, but I never got around to reading it. But when I was given this book for review, I thought it was finally the time to find out what all the hype about the author was.
     Darcy is a writer. She's just written her novel, Afterworlds, and now she is moving to NY to fulfill her dreams. But being an author comes with a lot of expectations and insecurities that Darcy doesn't think she can handle. Lizzy's life changes when she survives a massacre by playing dead. Now, she can see ghosts and wondering things from other planes. It is definitely not what she expected her senior year to be.
     This book is divided into two stories. There is Darcy's story, her normal natural life as an author in NY. And then, there is her novel, Afterworlds, which is told in alternating chapters throughout the novel. So we have Lizzie, the main character in Darcy's novel, and we read her story alongside Darcy's. That was kind of fascinating. Since one chapter, you are in a normal mundane world, then you are transported to a paranormal world filled with spiritual beings.
     The thing is, I found myself liking Darcy's story much more than I did Lizzie's. Which is the reason I gave this book 3 instead of 5. I found myself reading Darcy's story and being intrigued with her. But when it was Lizzie's chapter, I couldn't wait to get it over with. I didn't want Darcy's chapters to finish just so I wouldn't read Lizzie's. And that really stopped me from enjoying this book as much as I hoped I would.
     Another part that I loved was the references to the publishing industry in NY. It felt real, there were all these authors, and these reading parties, and launch parties, and author signings, and debutantes. It was so fascinating reading about all that. But the whole afterworlds and ghosts and paranormal beings didn't intrigue me.
     The romance also plays a huge part in this novel. There is Darcy''s romance with her fellow author, which I am not going to mention. In order not to ruin the story, but the potential love interest was definitely not who I expected. Lizzie's love interest, Yama, was just as shallow as she was. I found their chemistry unbelievable and just plain weird.
     Overall, I found myself really enjoying some parts of this book and despising the others. But I am pretty sure that there are readers out there who absolutely loved Lizzie. Now, I am definitely disappointed for Scott Westerfeld but I will be reading his Uglies series soon.. Although his book won't make it into my favorites, it was still a very enjoyable read.

-- Updates --

And now for my updates of Day 2 of the Bout of Books Read-a-thon:
Number of Pages I've read today: 70
Books read: Oceanborn by Amalie Howard
Total number of books read: 1

Bout of Books: Day 2 Challenges and Update

Bout of Books
There are two really FUN challenges today for the Bout of Books read-a-thon. I am happily participating in both of them, but first, here is my update of Day 1 of the read-a-thon:

Number of pages I've read: 213/213
Books read: The 100 by Kass Morgan
Total number of books read: 1

-- Challenge 1: One True Pairing --

The first challenge is from Infinite Ink.
My favorite One True Pairing (OTP) is definitely Juliette and Warner from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. If you haven't already read this series; it's basically a story about a girl who is too scared of her own powers and she has been locked away for such a long time, then two guys enter her life and everything changes.
I love it that their relationship evolved from hate (from Juliette's perspective) and amusement (from Warner's perspective). It was definitely not insta-love, and I'm incredibly glad for that. The reason I ship them so MUCH is that they have this strange, otherworldly chemistry. When they are together in a room, they ignite it. It was such a pleasure reading their scenes together. I felt like their love was real and nothing could destroy it. And I felt like they were real people, with flaws and insecurities but they completed each other. And that's the reason why they are my absolute favorite couple.

-- Challenge 2: Book Spine Poetry --

This was really fun. You have to write a poem out of the titles of books, as much as you want. I tried and tried and finally this is what I could do:

Make Your Own Luck
in an
Unhallowed Ground
Practically Perfect
The Girl Who Played With Fire
Troubled Waters
A Ruthless Need

How do you think I did in the challenges? And are you participating in any?

Bout of Books: Day 1 Challenges

Bout of Books

There have been two challenges today and I decided to participate in both of them, they sounded like fun :)

The first one is over at Book Monsters and it's a Scavenger Hunt of five books. One of them I didn't have a picture of, so I found one online. The others are all my own.

-- Scavenger Hunt --
1- A book that begins with “B”  (for Bout of Books!)
 Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

2- A book that has been made into a movie/tv show
Love in The Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

3. A series you love
The Lord of The Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

4. An anthology of poems or short stories
Modern British Short Stories

5. A book on your TBR shelf, or your full TBR shelves
Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde

The second challenge is by LuloFangirl, and you have to make a playlist of 5 songs for one of the books you're reading for this read-a-thon. So I chose The 100 by Kass Morgan since I am currently reading it.

-- Playlist --
Demons by Imagine Dragons
Don't Deserve You by Plumb
Team by Lorde
Turning Page by Sleeping At Last
Just a Kiss by Lady Antebellum

Stacking The Shelves #2

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I didn't have much of a haul this week. Because I already had SO MANY books to read and review, I just didn't want to get any more books. But that didn't stop the books I received for review:

-- Received For Review --


-- Owned --

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon: Sign-Up and Goals

Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
I think I participated in one or two read-a-thons over the course of two years. I don't know why I never tried participating anymore, I think I just lost touch with all the amazing read-a-thons out there. But NOW is the time to get back into blogging full-time, and with full-force (as you will see in the nearby future!)

-- My Goals --

  1. Read about 5 books received for review
  2. Read 3 books of your choice that interest you the most
  3. Participate in most of the Twitter Chats
  4. Comment everyday on four (or more) posts from other bloggers who have participated in this read-a-thon
-- Books to Read --
(another random book of my choice)

-- Updates --

Number of books I’ve read today: 
Books read: 
Today #insixwords: 
Things I learned on Twitter: 

Number of books I’ve read today: 
Books read: 
Today #insixwords: 

Number of books I’ve read today: 
Books read: 
Today #insixwords: 
Things I learned on Twitter: 

Number of books I’ve read today: 
Books read: 
Today #insixwords: 

Number of books I’ve read today: 
Books read: 
Today #insixwords: 
Things I learned on Twitter: 

Number of books I’ve read today: 
Books read: 
Today #insixwords: 

Number of books I’ve read today: 
Total number of books I’ve read: 
Books read: 
Today #insixwords: 
Things I learned on Twitter: 
Final Tally:

ARC Review: The Deep by Jen Minkman

Title: The Deep (The Island #3)
Author: Jen Minkman
Publication: June 3rd 2014
Genre: YA Dystopia
Source: Provided by the kind author...

‘The world is never-ending.
I never realized just how much space there is – how far and wide the water around our island stretches out. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I may have believed that a second Wall ran around Tresco, containing the infinite waters so we wouldn't all wash over the edge and plummet down into the depths.’

Leia and Walt are on their way to the Other Side, where the legendary land of Cornwall awaits them. Tony, their new friend, has told them that all wars of the past have been forgotten and the citizens of Bodmin and Dartmoor live in peace. People adhere to the tenets of an old religion that preaches forgiveness and non-violence.
However, Walt and Leia soon discover that even a peace-loving, ideal society like this one may have its flaws. While on a forbidden trip to Exeter, the old city of their ancestors, the two Islanders discover more about the new world than they ever bargained for.

Secrets run dark and passions run deep in this thrilling conclusion to the Island novella series.

-- My Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really liked it

-- My Thoughts --

    I read the first and second book in this series a while ago. And I loved the short way the author describes her surroundings. But I didn't expect the third book to be a long novel, in contrast to the other two, which were novellas.
     Leia and Walt are now on the way away from their island. To an unknown world. The horizons are limitless but there is much danger waiting for them. And the line between enemies and friends is getting more harder to determine. Alisa is one the island, changed after the truths that have been exposed until she meets Saul, the tortured previous-leader of the Unbelievers.
     The world-building is much more prominent in this sequel than the others, because there are different worlds to discover and many more details to be fulfilled. Although it is not as detailed as I hoped it would be, it was still enjoyable. There was a lot of potential and the author definitely took advantage of that and succeeded in it.
     The characters; we have four main characters to keep track of, but it is never confusing. We have Leia, our MC from the first book, and Walt, our MC from the second book. But we also have Alisa and Saul. The strange thing is; i felt like I connected much more with Alisa and Saul than with the other couple. They were so adorable and lovely.
     The romance plays an important part in this story and it's really beautiful. We're already familiar with the Leia and Walt love story. So it was refreshing to see them go farther in this novel. Then, the romance between Alisa and Saul, is so new and with tension. It's really believable and lovely.
     This was a very enjoyable read. I loved reading it and the ending was really fulfilling. No loose ends. I loved that. Finally, if you like a plot-oriented, romantic love story, then this is for you!

ARC Review: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Title: Falling Into Place
Author Amy Zhang
Publication: September 9th 2014 by Greenwillow Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: For review...

On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road. 

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

-- My Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really Liked It

-- My Thoughts --

     I have been hearing a lot about Amy Zhang and her debut novel, Falling into Place. And have you read the blurb? It's so intriguing and I don't know, I just kinda felt like this would be the kind of book I would like and it totally was!
     One day, Liz Emerson decides to die. She plans it. She knows just the right way of dying. But when plans go wrong and life takes different turns, everyone is affected. Liz's best friends with their secrets, Julia and Kennie. And the guy who has been in love with Liz for as long as he remembers, Liam. And most of all, Liz herself.
     The blurb really intrigued me. It's pretty clear that Liz tries to kill herself. But I didn't know if she succeeded (and this book was about the aftermath of her death) or she didn't (and this book was about consequences). It is good if you dive blindly into this book so I am not going to screw this up for the readers.
     This book is told in now and before chapters. We have flashbacks, which are essential to the story. And we have Liz's friends and family in the now. I loved the flashbacks, they make us see Liz in a whole new light and connect with her. Liz is an angry person, she is not a quitter but it seems like she has finally had enough. I could see where she was coming from and all the expectations around her and her will to end it all. But I loved her best friends even more. Complicated, three-dimensional characters. They never failed to add tension and background. Julia was definitely my favorite.
     She is such a great character. A loyal and true friend. Every character had their own puzzle to solve, their own problems and flaws to deal with. They felt real, and that really matters in a contemporary novel. This book is not fast-paced and i didn't think it should be. After all, this is a plot-driven story of loss and redemption and choice, the author needed time to build up the drama and the reasoning and she excelled at it.
     I LOVED the ending. Specially the last chapter. Short and meaningful. Amy Zhang has powerfully expressed herself in the world of contemporary and she is definitely on the list of my authors to look out for in the future.

Review: Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson

Title: Instructions for a Broken Heart
Author: Kim Culbertson
Publication: May 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Owned

Three days before her drama club's trip to Italy, Jessa Gardner discovers her boyfriend in the costume barn with another girl. Jessa is left with a care package from her best friend titled "Top Twenty Reasons He's a Slimy Jerk Bastard," instructing her to do one un-Jessa-like thing each day of the trip. At turns hilarious and heartwrenching, Instructions for a Broken Heart paints a magical Italy in which Jessa learns she must figure out life-and romance-for herself.

-- My Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really Liked It

-- My Thoughts --

     I read this book initially on a whim. I wasn't really expecting much. Just a normal, boring contemporary read. But oh, I was proven wrong. So wrong.
     Jessa is heartbroken after she finds her boyfriend cheating on her. So a trip abroad will be all she needs. And on this journey of self-discovery, her best friend sends her 20 envelopes that she has to open everyday and do the thing that is written inside. And together with her little envelopes, she finds out what friends and love really mean.
     The first thing I loved about this book is the setting. I love books about foreign places, since you can experience all of it through the eyes of the main character. And this book was a gorgeous trip to Italy. I am sure that the author put a lot of work into building such a believable surrounding. It felt beautiful, I could see myself in the streets of Italy, smelling the amazing flavors.
     The characters are this book's strongest suits; Jessa is such a quiet, reserved girl. She reminded me a lot of myself, the way she thought, the way she behaved. But above all that, she is a writer. And that connected me with her on a whole other level. Then, there are the guys. And not all of them are love interests. There is the cheating boyfriend, Sean. There is the sweet, kind best friend Tyler. Then there is the gorgeous Italian Giacomo and the adorable Dylan Thomas. I fell in love with their uniqueness. Every single one of them is a character on his own.
     There is not much romance in this book. Except a little at the end. But still, it is very believable and real. Sweet and kind. The perfect kind of love. This book is about self-discovery. It teaches you valuable life lessons. It teaches you that before you can forgive someone, you have to forgive yourself. To find yourself. I loved all the different references to culture that the author put in this book. They made it even more interesting.
     Finally, the ending was perfect. There is the potential of a hopeful future, with no loose-ends. I love these kind of endings. This book is an enjoyable read with a deeper meaning.

Review: Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Title: Fury (Fury #1)
Author: Elizabeth Miles
Publication: August 30th 2011 by Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Owned

Sometimes sorry isn't enough....

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better—the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay. Em and Chase have been chosen.

-- My Rating --
3/5 Oscars: Liked it

-- My Thoughts --

     I had heard a lot of mixed things about Elizabeth Miles's Fury series. So, I had to cut this curiosity loose and judge it for myself. It was definitely much better than I expected.
     Emily loves her best friend's boyfriend. She knows its wrong but she can't help herself. Chase once did something to humiliate a girl, and now, she's dead. He blames himself. Emily and Chase's life intertwine as three gorgeous, mysterious girls show up in their lives. And they learn that sometimes, sorry is not enough.
     The main factor that I loved about this book is its chilly atmosphere. I never knew that I was such a fan of horror and scary books as I discovered this month. I loved the mysterious vibe of the three Furies; Ty, Meg, and Ali. These three girls make up most of the book and they are creepy. They will give you sweet chills throughout the book, which sped up the plot and made it really hard to stop reading even for one minute.
     There's not a lot of romance in this book and it definitely doesn't take center stage, but it was there. This book is not about the romance, it's about the consequences of the actions you take for the sake of love. And many other things. This is not about one particular thing, as I discovered. It's about how these three Furies think that they can bring justice to people who did something wrong (wrong in their own point of view).
    I loved the author's writing style. It's short and blunt and to-the-point. I'm definitely reading the second book very soon. So, if you're a fan of paranormal mysteries and creepy gorgeous girls trying to kill you, then this book is one you'll enjoy.

Stacking the Shelves #1

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! I figured it is finally the time for me to join this amazing meme by Tynga's Reviews

For Review:

Owned (Borrowed or Bought):

What did YOU get this week? Tell me in the comments!