Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: Anomaly by Tonya Kuper





Title: Anomaly
  Author: Tonya Kuper
  Publisher: Entangled Teen
  Publication Date: November 25, 2014
  Page Count: 400
Genre: Paranormal
Age Range: 12+

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it… 

Worst. Birthday. Ever. 

My first boyfriend dumped me—happy birthday, Josie!—my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…

Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.

When hottily-hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…
My Thoughts:

Alright so I am half and half on this one. I really liked the idea of the book and the characters, but I wanted a little more. I know I talked about this for The Impossible Knife of Memory, and it is the same thing. I do think that I liked this one a little bit more.

The book starts off with a girl named Josie. She is a complete sci-fi nerd who tends to stay to herself and her best friend Hannah. Her mother is very strict and she does not have any idea where her father is since he left four months ago. Then, a boy (Reid) on a motorcycle comes into her life  and changes everything she has ever known. She finds out that she has an ability to change reality. She can "push" and "retract" objects into reality. To give an example: Let us say that we really wanted a new bed. Josie would be able to think this, and there would be a new bed right there. That is the kind of ability she has. She is called an anomaly because she can Push and Retract.

So, she finds out that her parents are the founding members of the Resistance that are fighting against an organization that is controlling these people too much. So, Josie goes into training with Reid in order for her to become part of the Resistance. Her first task is to transport a vial of serum to the Vice President while she is getting an award.

 I loved the idea of the story. I thought it was really creative and well thought through. The author, Tonya Kuper, did a great job at making the book entertaining the whole time. I always wanted to read more, and it was very easy to just sit for hours at a time reading. She has a very smooth writing that flows well.

My favorite part of this book was the characters. Josie is just plain awesome. She is a complete nerd! Every time she would make a Star Wars reference, I would laugh to myself. She is also very strong- willed and kind. However, I did not get the "typical teen girl" from a book though. She had her faults but she fought through them. I also loved Reid. **swoon** I mean, lets be honest, every time he would think about Josie I just got happy. He really cared about her, but he want not scared to literally throw her in a huge hole so she could train. He did not take it easy on her and I thought that was awesome.

When I finished the book, I was a tad disappointing. It was soo good until the very end. I wish Kuper added more to the end or made it so I would want to read the sequel. I was not fulfilled for some reason, and I just wanted more.

Overall, I thought that Anomaly was a good, short read. It had a great plot and entertaining characters, but the ending made it hard for me to love the whole book as a whole. 

My Rating: ***/*
Cover Rating: Its okay 
Recommendations:
1. Echo Boy by Matt Haig 
2. Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
3. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Grey
Now on to your thoughts, what do you think?

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Inside and Out Book Tag

Hey guys! So a couple years ago I saw this awesome book tag on some of the blogs I followed. Now, since I have my own blog I thought I would try it out! I think this is a great way to learn to know me and I hope you comment your answers!


Inside flap / Back of the book summaries: Too much or Too little information?
Hmm... I think that it is the perfect amount! I get to understand the plot and the characters just enough so I can make a decision on whether or not I want to read the book.

New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: audio book, e-book, paperback, or hardcover?
Paperback, hands down. I am not a fan or e-books because I get headaches looking at the screen. I cannot stand audio books because I like to actually read. So that leaves paperback or hardcover. I like paperbacks more because they are not as hard and they are cheaper.


Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean?

I wouldn't dare write in my books! I am so OCD about my books. I keep them all on one book shelf and they have to be in perfect order. I cannot even dog-ear the page because it looks bad. So, it needs to be clean clean clean!

 In your best voice, read for us your favorite first sentence from a book.

Oh my gosh this is so hard. Let me think....oh wow.  Im going to cheat and use two sentences. Okay, ready? "My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die. I counted"- Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

 Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book?
It really makes no difference to me. Some of my favorite books are written by both males and females.

Ever read ahead? Or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?

Oh I am sooo guilty to this. I have read ahead in so many books. Sometimes I just need to know what is going to happen RIGHT AWAY and I cannot wait for one more second. It is a problem.

Organized bookshelves, or outrageous bookshelves?
Organized to the max! I have my bookshelves organized alphabetically by author's last name. Again, I am crazy OCD about my books.

Under oath: have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?
ALLOF THE TIME! It is one of the components of my book search because I have to make sure it looks good on my book shelf. I am so guilty of this.

Take it outside to read, or stay in?
Definitely stay in because I like to wear my pajamas while I read. Im weird, I know.

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Monday, December 22, 2014

Review: More Than This by Richard Ness


Title: More Than This
  Author: Patrick Ness
  Publisher: Walker Books
  Publication Date: May 1st, 2014
  Page Count: 480
Genre: Contemporary 
Age Range: 14+
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.

Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive.

How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?

As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?

From multi-award-winning Patrick Ness comes one of the most provocative and moving novels of our time.
My Thoughts:
Let me just start by saying that I HATED the beginning of the book. I could barely get myself to finish it. The first 75 pages I had to literally force myself to open the pages of the book. My oh my was it AMAZING!! The book took a literal 360 and was pure gold.

The book starts off with a boy named Seth waking up in his old town in England, in a coffin connected to tubes and weird masking tape. He has no idea why he is there because the last place he was, was drowning in an ocean in America. There is no one else around and there is not a single noise. He thinks he is in hell because last time he was in this town, his brother was abducted and injured by an escaped prisoner.

He soon finds two other people in the area and together they find out the reason why they are in this place. I will not explain why they were there because that is a MAJOR spoiler alert. But, let me tell you that the reason they are there will blow your mind. It made me think about reality and what we think to be real and true, so completely differently. The author, Patrick Ness, did a great job with the plot. It was new and unique (something that I have never read before).

I loved the characters as well. Each one had their faults but they were strong-willed and fit together perfectly. There were three characters that were major parts of the book. Seth (the main character), Regine (a side kick) and Tomasz (the other side kick). Seth was a great main character. There were some times when I thought was too dramatic and needed to take a step back and evaluate his life, but towards the end I thought he was the perfect hero for the story. Regine was another great character. She went through a lot of crap during her life and that made her rough around the edges. But when you could break through her walls she was a softie. Lastly, my favorite. Tomasz is an eleven year old boy from Poland. He was so cute. He was caring, tough and so just awesome. He literally saved their lives like a million times.

After getting through those first 75 pages, the book started getting more intense. The characters were being chased by super-human machines and they were trying to figure out their lives and if they were real. I was flipping the pages so hard because it was so suspenseful.

Overall, I thought that More Than This was a great read. It was deep, thought- provoking and really made me want to read more.

My Rating: ****/*
Cover Rating: Don't like it
Recommendations:
1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
2. Reality Boy by A.S King
3. Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
Now on to your thoughts, what do you think?

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Riddle of Fate Book Tour


Riddle of Fate by Tania Johansson
She wasn’t meant to survive. He wasn’t meant to save her. Now, they are determined to correct his mistake. 



Title: Riddle of Fate 

Author: Tania Johansson
Publication Date: May 28, 2014
Page Count: 273
Genre: Paranormal
Age Range: 12+



Links: 
Amazon US Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KN940V8
Synopsis:
Khaya’s life, a life the Order say was never meant to be, is thrown into turmoil when she discovers she has a second ability. The Company who employs people like her – with rare and special abilities – insists that having more than one inevitably leads down a dark spiral into madness. So they are watching and waiting, ready to terminate her at the first sign of trouble.

Now, on the run from the Company’s agents while trying to prove her sanity, Khaya realises they are not the only ones she should fear. Angels are working towards her demise as well.

The question that haunts her is this: What did she do that was terrible enough to elicit the wrath of angels? And can she trust the mysterious Derrin, or is he the cause of all her tribulations?



Ready for an excerpt?!?!


The urge to run was like a prickle down Khaya’s back. It soon became an itch and she had to fight to calm herself enough to keep at a reasonable pace. All she wanted to do was break in to a full tilt run. Her stomach lurched when a guard outside turned and looked directly at her. She took a deep breath and kept walking. She watched him from the corner of her eye until he turned away again, apparently unaware of who she was.
Her jaw started aching and she realised she was clenching her teeth. Relief flooded through her when she pushed the door open to exit the hallway.
She gasped.
The lawman who had arrested her in the foyer turned to face her. He was three feet from her and from the look on his face, he recognised her immediately. He paled and launched himself at her. He pressed her against the wall, his forearm squeezing against her throat.
Then he yelped as Derrin wrenched him off her. Grabbing him by the collar and belt, Derrin threw the man to the ground. Eyes wild, the guard looked around for his assailant. Seeing no one else, his gaze settled back on Khaya. He opened his mouth to call for backup. Derrin’s fist connected with his mouth before he could get a sound out.
The guard skidded across the floor and lay still when he stopped. Rubbing her throat, Khaya walked over to him. Blood trickled down from his nose and the corner of his mouth. “Is he dead?” Khaya asked.
“No,” Derrin said.
She looked at his chest. Was he breathing? “How do you know?”
“If he was dead, there would be a Collector here by now. Come.” Derrin led her out by a side door. Woods bordered the building and Khaya sighed with relief once they were under the cover of the trees.
“How were you able to do that anyway?” Khaya asked. “Hit him, I mean.”
Derrin snorted. “I said I was an angel, not a ghost.”  



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Top 10 Book to Movie Adaptations


Hello everyone! Today I will be ranking my top 10 book to movie adaptations. These are not necessarily my favorite books, just the ones that I thought made good movies. Enjoy and comment if you agree/disagree!!
10.Inkheart- I liked the book but I thought the movie was just as good. It really portrayed the book well and the set for the movie was amazing.
9. I am Number Four- I just love Alex Pettyfer. So...Yeah. But really, they did a great job with makeup in that movie (I mean the Mogadorians looked so real!)
8. City of Ember- I read this book so many years before the movie came out and I did not remember anything when I saw the movie. Either way, I thought that it was really good.
7. If I Stay- This movie was amazing. I did not like the book but the thing I saw on screen was spectacular. It almost made me cry, and I do not cry at movies.
6. Divergent- I think I am one of the only ones who actually really liked the movie. I loved the books and I think they did a great job with the movies. And the guy who played Four was gorgeous.
5. Beautiful Creatures- I loved these books and the movie. The movie never became too popular but I have it at home and I can watch it over and over again. I do not agree 100% with the casting but I still think it was great.
4. Perk of Being of Wallflower- I love Perks. I love the book and I loved the movie. I thought there could have been some changes in casting but I think they did a great job getting the point across.
3. Narnia- I have never been a big fan of the books, but I did love the movies. The plot and descriptions in the book came to light wonderfully in the movies.
2. Lord of the Rings- Another one of my favorite nerdy things. Lord of the Rings is amazing. Like Harry Potter, the casting and set was done perfectly. The movie people really did a great job making those movies.
1. Harry Potter- Duh, I mean these movies were AMAZING. The casting was perfect and the set was spectacular. I could watch those over and over and over again (and I have). You all know how much I love Harry Potter so this cannot be much of a surprise.

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Monday, December 15, 2014

Review: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson


Title: The Impossible Knife of Memory
  Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
  Publisher: Viking Juvenile
  Publication Date: January 7th, 2014
  Page Count: 391
Genre: Contemporary 
Age Range: 12+
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
For the past five years, Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down
My Thoughts:
The Impossible Knife of Memory was very interesting to say the least. It was not exactly what I was expecting, but then again I had no idea what I expecting (if that makes any sense at all).

However, let me just say that Laurie Halse Anderson is an amazing author. She got the voice of a teenage girl down pat. There were some parts of the book where I literally said to myself "wow, I say that all of the time" or "Jeez, I pull that move." It was really refreshing to read a book that I could connect to the character so much.

Now to the nitty gritty. So, the book revolves around Hayley, the daughter of an Iraq veteran. Her whole lifetime, she has traveled cross coutnry with him and stayed with her dad's ex-girlfriend. Now, they are settling down for real. She has to get used to public school as well as her dad's PTSD after coming home from Iraq.

One thing I really liked about this book was the fact that I could really understand what Andy (her dad) was going through. Anderson made it so real and understandable. At some points I just wanted Hayley to run and at others I was proud of him because I thought he was getting better. I do not personally know any veterans who had PTSD but I am thinking that this is a pretty good representation of it.

I think one of the reasons I was iffy on this book after I read it was because I was expecting more. I loved the plot and the characters but when I finished it I was still waiting for something extra to make me put it on my extra special bookcase. I think it is because I am so used to reading books jam packed with action. There were a couple really great suspenseful scenes, but none that got me super excited.

Overall, I thought that The Impossible Knife of Memory was a really touching story that had characters that I could connect to. Although I was hoping for more, I did really enjoy this.
My Rating: ***/*
Cover Rating: Its okay I guess...
Recommendations:
1. Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
2. The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner
3. Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
Now on to your thoughts, what do you think?

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Top 10 Harry Potter Quotes

Hey everyone, so today I have a quick Top 10. I just wanted to rank my top 10 favorite Harry Potter quotes. Recently, I had to pick my senior year yearbook quotes. I knew I wanted to do a Harry Potter one, I just had to narrow down my list. So, here is the narrowed down list... enjoy!

10. “One can never have enough socks' -Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 
9."Just because you've got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn't mean we all have"-Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 
8.“Yeh don’ have ter be ashamed of what yeh are.” -Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
7. “Longbottom, if brains were gold, you'd be poorer than Weasley, and that's saying something.” - Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 
6. “You're just as sane as I am.” ― Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 
5. “Turn to page three hundred and ninety-four.”- Severus Snape, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
4.“Just because it’s taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn't mean no one else has spotted I'm a girl!” - Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 
3.“You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!” - Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 
2.“She needs to sort out her priorities”  - Ron Weasley, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 
1. "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good" - Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Sincerely, 
a Book Nerd 




Monday, December 8, 2014

Review: Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer

Title: Trust Me, I'm Lying
  Author: Mary Elizabeth Summer
  Publisher: Delacorte Press
  Publication Date: October 14, 2014
  Page Count: 336
Genre: Contemporary 
Age Range: 12+
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Fans of Ally Carter, especially her Heist Society readers, will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.

Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.

My Thoughts:
I had high expectations for Trust Me, I'm Lying. I love any sort of spy or criminal mastermind book. I don't know why, probably because I wish I could do what the characters do? Anyway, I was expecting something fast paced that would keep me on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately, this did not do this for me. I found it slow and hard to keep picking up at some points.

So, the book started off with the Julep, a grifter (she tells lies), who is working odd jobs at her high school. When her father goes missing she enlists the help of her best friend, Sam, and a new boy named Tyler. She has to use the clues that he mysteriously hid to find out if he was taken by the mob. Her father was a con man but usually stayed away from the mob business, but she had a feeling that he was sucked in before he disappeared.

I liked Julep. She was sassy and did what she wanted. Also, I was kind of jealous of her because she was a grifter (I mean, how awesome would that be?). Towards the end, she was being a little stupid and making careless mistakes but I guess if you thought your dad was dead and you were in the middle of mob problems you would not be thinking completely straight either.

On the other hand, I did not like Sam or Tyler. They both just seemed so fake and I knew exactly what they were going to say and how their characters would turn out. Although, I am still sad about Tyler's unfortunate ending.

Now for the plot. I thought that it was a very interesting idea, one that could have been expanded and interpreted in many different ways. However, I thought that Summer spent too much  time on the little details and did not get to the meat of the book. I was waiting for some kick-ass action scenes but only got a relatively short one.

Overall, I thought Trust Me,  I'm Lying was an interesting read that had some good foundations but did not go all the way I was expecting it to.

My Rating: ***
Cover Rating: its okay I guess
Recommendations:
1. Heist Society by Ally Carter 
2. Runaway by Meg Cabot
3. Also Known As by Robin Benway
Now on to your thoughts, what do you think?

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Book Haul 12/6

Hello everyone! Here is another book haul because I cannot stop buying books...its a problem.

1. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
So this is about a girl who has traveled around the country with her father, a veteran. He is having PTSD and she practically has to take care of him. They finally settle down to his home town and it is about her living her life there with her father. I am excited to read this because I feel like it is so different from any other book I have read.

2. More Than This by Patrick Ness
A boy named Seth drowns and wakes up in what he thinks may be his personal hell or an afterlife. I was recommended this by a friend and it looks very good. Maybe a little strange, but I think it will turn out to be one of my favorites. Lets cross our fingers. 

3. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson 
Lennie's sister just died and she is trying to get through life without her while being stuck between two guys. For me, this could either be reallyyyy good or realllyyy bad. I'm hoping it is the first one!

4. Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer 
Julep Depree is a grifter, a con artist. She tells lies, just like her father. So when her father goes missing she has to use the clues that he left her to attempt to find him. This is another one I am super excited for because it sounds like a Heist Society kind of thing. 

5. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
This is about a girl who is possibly a criminal mastermind by the age of 16. This book won an award and was written by E. Lockhart so I am assuming it will be wonderful. 


Sincerely, 
a Book Nerd

Monday, December 1, 2014

Review: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks




Title: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend
  Author: Matthew Dicks
  Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  Publication Date: May 7th, 2013
  Page Count: 336
Genre: Contemporary 
Age Range: 12+
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He's been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear.

Max is different from other children. Some people say he has Asperger’s, but most just say he’s “on the spectrum.” None of this matters to Budo, who loves Max unconditionally and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can’t protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, a teacher in the Learning Center who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy.
When Mrs. Patterson does the unthinkable, it is up to Budo and a team of imaginary friends to save Max—and Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max’s happiness or his own existence. Matthew Dicks' Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend is a triumph of courage and imagination that touches on the truths of life, love, and friendship as it races to a heartwarming . . . and heartbreaking conclusion.
 
My Thoughts:
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend was a surprise to me. I was expecting a cute little book about a young imaginary friend who loves his human friend. I was not expecting some sort of action/ thriller. It was so exciting and suspenseful! I was so nervous towards the end of it that I was ripping the pages to find out what happened to Max.

So, the book started off with the Budo telling the readers about his friend, Max who is on the verse of autism. Max is in elementary school and Budo is his imaginary friend. He understands Max and will do anything for him. When Max gets kidnapped by one of his teachers, Max has to decide if he will put his life on hold to find Max and save him. Budo has to use other imaginary friends and his resources to find Max.

I loved Budo. He was sweet and cared about Max. He understood him so deeply like any friend would, but his whole life depended on Max. Max was an interesting character as well. He had a very organized, rule oriented life. In the beginning of the novel, he relied on Budo, his teachers and parents. Towards the end, he could depend on himself and get himself out of stressful situations.

Lets just talk about Ms. Patterson. She was crazy. Like "lets check her into a mental institution" crazy. I mean, who just kidnaps a kid from school then goes BACK and pretends she is innocent? a CRAZY person. Jeez, and then when she goes to the airport where she keeps her van to take Max across the country? Ugh, crazy person.

Anyway, I thought the writing was interesting as well. Matthew Dicks makes Budo sound like a little kid with an air of wisdom. It was interesting to read something so serious through the eyes of a young narrator. I thought it was strange since I am so used to reading books with teenage narrators but it was surprisingly refreshing.

Overall, I thought that Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend was exciting and thrilling with a great moral. I was reading so fast that I could not stop. The writing was just as exciting and interesting as the plot.
So good!
 
My Rating: ****
Cover Rating: Eh
Recommendations:
1. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
2. A Grown- Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
3. Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff
Now on to your thoughts, what do you think?

Sincerely,
a Book Nerd