Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication 'can't-wait-to-read' selection is:

Title: Golden Son (Red Rising #2)
Author: Pierce Brown
Release Date: 13th January 2015
Publisher: Del Rey (Random House)
Find on: Goodreads


With shades of The Hunger GamesEnder’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within. A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.


Genre-defying? Check. Epic? Check. A sensation? Check. Red Rising was definitely all those. I really can't wait to see what the author brings us in Golden Son, as I was very impressed with how Pierce Brown created his own ground in the dystopian genre. Even the cover looks promising! Fingers crossed!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Teaser Tuesday #8























Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Today my teaser will be from a novella, called This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. It's set between These Broken Stars and This Shattered World. If you haven't read These Broken Stars, go read it!!! You can find my review for it HERE.

And here's the snippet:

"Nice to meet you," she manages, still shaky as she starts working at my bindings.

"You too," I say with a hint of a smile I don't expect. 



Review: Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

Title: Red Rising (Red Rising #1)
Author: Pierce Brown
Release Date: 28th January 2014
Publisher: Del Rey (Random House)
Find on: Goodreads

Quick ReviewThe 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

Detailed Review: *I received an e-galley of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review* (This is not an ARC)

I believe I have just found the newest breakthrough in dystopia.

Let's face it, there are plenty of authors who write about dystopian worlds, the most obvious being Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth and many more.

Red Rising is different. 

Of course, some things still need to be kept the same, because it's still a dystopian book- there's a hierarchy of people, and the main character is always in the lowest level. A rebellion is essential for the plot to progress. It needs a purpose.

These things still exist in the book, but Brown decided to have a different take. The reversal of roles is not very common in dystopian books. That is, you seldom find the main character immediately becoming someone who possesses power by becoming a person of high class. Usually the main character becomes famous through an act of rebellion.

In Red Rising, Darrow is a LowRed, a miner who drills for the resources that are needed to terraform the planet of Mars. His wife, Eo, is also like him- but she makes a living by creating silk. 

The hierarchy is basically divided into colours- a Red being the lowest and a Gold the highest. Each Colour has their own role within the society.

Then, a life-changing event causes him to join the rebellion which his wife was so passionate about. His status changes from that of a peasant to the highest level- a Gold, as he tries to infiltrate the class of people whom he has grown to hate, destroying them from within. 

The Academy's layout was one I liked; it was reminiscent of Harry Potter, where there were different houses, like the one Darrow joins, House Mars. Others included Minerva, Jupiter, Apollo, Pluto and many more.

My favourite character throughout the book is a Gold named Sevro. There will always be levels within levels, and in the Gold society, he is considered weak. And yet, he proved himself to be worthy and became Darrow's sidekick as he navigated the battlefield that is the Academy. Sevro has got to be one of the best sidekicks I've ever read about.

Red Rising was a very character-driven book. Darrow's voice, along with those with him, are what drives the plot and the twists in the book. The characters were each fulfilling in their roles and also engaging with their unique personalities.  They balanced each other out really well, creating an atmosphere of palpable tension and mouth-watering action.

Darrow's transformation into a Gold was easily the best part in the book, because it was miraculous to watch someone transform before your very eyes. Also, the reality of not trying to change into the society you are cast into proves to be engaging as Darrow tries to keep his old self as he plays a new role.

Another thing I liked was how the author depicted Golds. There were two sides- one where they were nasty and cruel, and the other where some were not. It's a challenge which Darrow has to face most of the time. 

I also sensed a new love interest- another Gold who has an unexpected family background which Darrow didn't learn about until the very end. Her nickname is Mustang, but her real name is Virginia, and it appears that she is the daughter of the ArchGovernor, the very man who changed Darrow's life. 

I shall leave it to you to figure out what happens in the end. The ending was not decidedly a cliffhanger, but it certainly promised more...

Warning: Plot twists are pretty common in this book. (I don't think it can be considered as one, is it? Anyway, happy reading!)

Brief Review: In a genre that's growing competitive with many mainstream ideas, Pierce Brown isn't afraid to take a leap of faith and jump in with a completely new idea that will satisfy all the restless readers out there. Crafting a complex world where nothing is as it seems- where even if you are the best, you must still try harder- the author also weaves a tale of sacrifice and love as a teenage boy is forced to acknowledge the cruelty of the world which he lives in, and fight back.

Final Rating: 5/5 'Totally Amazing!!!











QUOTE

This certainly describes Darrow's motivation in fulfilling his role in the rebellion,

Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness---Napoleon Hill

Your Reviewer:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma






Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication 'can't-wait-to-read' selection is:

Title: The Walls Around Us
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: 24th March 2015
Find on: Goodreads

“Ori’s dead because of what happened out behind the theater, in the tunnel made out of trees. She’s dead because she got sent to that place upstate, locked up with those monsters. And she got sent there because of me.”


The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one long dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries.

We hear Amber’s story and Violet’s, and through them Orianna’s, first from one angle, then from another, until gradually we begin to get the whole picture—which is not necessarily the one that either Amber or Violet wants us to see.
Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other.


These types of creepy stories are my favourite because they definitely don't bore me and I'd definitely like to see how the author manages to tell the story from the POV of a dead girl. I heard she does it quite well :p Did I mention the cover is beautiful? I believe it really captures the book's overall atmosphere!! This will be my first Nova Ren Suma book and I can't wait! P.S. I got approved for an e-galley of this book on NetGalley and can't wait to dig in!!!



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Teaser Tuesday #7


Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

It's been a while since I've done a teaser!!! Here's one, taken from Invisible by Dawn Metcalf, which is the second book in a series called the Twixt. I'm currently enjoying it so far!!! :) Please share the links to your teasers in the comments below, or if you don't have a blog, just your teaser.

'There was no use trying to deny it. Joy blew the blade clean, just like Ink, watching the tiny droplets of red lift and disappear under her breath- pg117

Friday, October 10, 2014

ARC Review: Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

Title: Love and Other Unkown Variables
Author: Shannon Lee Alexander
Release Date: 7th October 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Find on: Goodreads

Quick ReviewCharlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswered questions. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck. 

The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy at the donut shop—until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. But, in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy. 

By the time he learns she's ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second squared).

Detailed ReviewDetailed Review: <<I received an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for my honest feedback>>

Sorry for the really delayed review! Apologies to the publisher and author. I've been so busy nowadays that I can hardly find time to blog! 

Love and Other Unknown Variables was pretty much a book for John Green fans. It was a cross between The Fault in our Stars and Looking for Alaska. And a bit of Am Abundance of Katherines as well. And if you're wondering, I have read every John Green book except Let It Snow.

So you have this really smart and logical guy and this mysterious girl who is terminally ill? Instant sparks and then a love story. And considerably very John Green-ish. 

Oh, but it's so much more than that. It's not JUST a love story, it's a story of a logical person's perception of love. It tells a story about love shaking your world to its very core, causing you to lose certainty of your life and future. In the end, it doesn't even matter.

I didn't even realise the effect this book had on me until one particular part that linked to the very first chapter. Here's an idea of how it was like. The chapter headers weren't common ones like Chapter 1. It was more of a logical idea, like Charlie's personality. 

I will give you a taste of the first chapter.

1.0

Beginnings are tricky things. I've been staring at this blank page for forty-seven minutes. It is infinite with possibilities. Once I begin, they diminish.

Scientifically, I know beginnings don't exist. The world is made of energy, which is neither created nor destroyed. Everything she is was here before me. Everything she was will always remain. Her existence touches both my past and future at one point- infinity.

Lifelines aren't lines at all. They're more like circles.

It's safe to start anywhere and the story will curve its way back to the starting point. Eventually.

In other words, it doesn't matter where I begin. It doesn't change the end.

And so it begins, from 1.0 on the circle up to 1.0 again. It really does happen in the book, when the circle reaches 0.0. I just lost it then. And no, it wasn't the beginning. Is there really any real beginning in a circle? You won't understand, but if you read this book, you will. 

My favourite character wasn't Charlie or Charlotte; it was a character who, although didn't appear as often as the main characters, played a vital role in the book and liven it up. She is Mrs Dunwitty, whose garden Charlie ran over in his car when he was daydreaming about Charlotte. This means that he has to come back every afternoon after school to repair the garden until its whole again. The old woman was like a reminder to me that it was ok to stand out in the crowd, with her house door painted flamingo-ass pink, and her own species of roses, the Harvest Moon. She definitely wins an award for best supporting character. Greta comes a close second. Friendship is as important as romance in this book.

The plot, was not how John Green would have structured it, so it did have a sense of originality I liked. It was ordinary, primarily, but it didn't play down the love Charlie and Charlotte had for each other. I believe it did the exact opposite. The story instead augmented their love. I liked the fact that it showed the power of first love, and how it was its own force, independent of any variables- except for Charlotte's sickness, of course, but does it even matter if she's sick? I don't think so. I believe it would be the same thing even if Charlotte wasn't sick.

Finally, the pairing couldn't have been more perfect. Charlie is a logical person, anchored by his planned future. Charlotte was more like drifter, drifting from one place to another and finding solace and herself in art. And as they say, opposites attract.

There was one part where there was a painting in Charlotte's house of a barn with holes. A girl was looking through it. The girl was Charlotte's sister, Jo and the barn was Charlotte. 

Get it ? GET IT? 

Oh lord, another book of metaphors. Another person has risen up to continue John Green's legacy. But I don't mind. I really don't mind.

Brief Review: In Love And Other Unknown Variables, we see Charlie's perspective of love firsthand, mixed in with biological references of reactions to love. With characters like Charlie and Charlotte, sparks will instantly fly between the both of them. This book shows the power of first love and how it defies even science and logic, mixed in with new friendships and life lessons. It certainly shines as bright as a John Green book, or possibly even brighter!

Final Rating: 5/5 'Totally Amazing!'









QUOTE:

 I'm going to use a quote featured in the book, which I believe highlights the theme in the book so well,

How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?--- Albert Einstein


Your Reviewer:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand





Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication 'can't-wait-to-read' selection is:

Title: The Last Time We Say Goodbye
Author: Cynthia Hand
Release Date: 10th February 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Find on: Goodreads

There's death all around us.
We just don't pay attention.
Until we do.


The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.


Why do I want to read this book? Pfft, Cynthia Hand is writing this book! I love her so so so much because Unearthly was beautiful and amazing. I'd love to see how Hand's first contemporary comes out!