A Book Review: Fairest – Gail Carson Levine


Goodreads synopsis:

In the kingdom of Ayortha, who is the fairest of them all? Certainly not Aza. She is thoroughly convinced that she is ugly. What she may lack in looks, though, she makes up for with a kind heart, and with something no one else has-a magical voice. Her vocal talents captivate all who hear them, and in Ontio Castle they attract the attention of a handsome prince – and a dangerous new queen. In this masterful novel filled with humour, adventure, romance, and song, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine invites you to join Aza as she discovers how exquisite she truly is.

 Last week I read this book. I was not going to read it but one of my roommates told me that she absolutely loves this book, so I decided to pick it up. It seemed like a fast read and it seemed ok so I decided to follow her advice.

So this book is a retelling of Snow White. It is set in this kingdom where beauty and music are the most important things, and you have to have both to be desirable. Aza (our main character) is one of the best singers of the kingdom, but she isn’t beautiful. She’s super pale, her hair is very dark and her lips are too red (sounds familiar?). She lives with her family, who have an inn (or something similar), until one day she is asked by a duchess to go to the palace with her (because her maid is sick, I think) to the royal wedding that is taking place. Aza is mesmerized by everything she sees and experiences. The new queen is very nice to Aza and asks her to become her lady-in-waiting, to which Aza agrees. She has a fun time in the palace, until the queen asks her to sing for her (as is Aza sings and the queen lip-sings). Aza is so nervous about it, but shew agrees to it because the queen threatens her family.

All of a sudden the queen appears to be crazy and Aza starts to find out things about herself that she never knew, and starts to feel things that she had never done before…

The rating:

I gave this book a 4/5

It is a sweet book, very cute and a very fast read, but at the same time it isn’t anything exceptional. It’s not a book where I say OMGOSH GO PICK IT UP RIGHT NOW. If you are in the mood for a fun quick read, and you have nothing else to read, do it.

Have a great week =D

Favorite Books of 2012


We have another new video up of our Favorite Books of 2012

including: The Hunger Games, Shiver, The Mortal Instruments, and more!

Be sure to check it out!

Also, don’t forget that our Giveaway is still going on.

Once we get to 100 likes, we will be selecting one lucky winner to win a book and a small gift. 🙂

Books Read in 2012 -Emily


The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins:

1. The Hunger Games

2. Catching Fire

3. Mockingly

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These books were LIFE-CHANGING to me!

I had not read a single book in over two year before these books.

As you can see, these books sparked my love for books all over again.

Overall Rating: Infinity/5

Divergent series by Veronica Roth

4. Divergent

5. Insurgent

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Want to find an addicting, heart-racing, different book? Then Divergent is for you.

I read this book in one day. Insurgent was a little slower, but equally as good.

The ending is a cliff-hanger as well, so look out. The third book is expected to be released this year as well.

Overall Rating: 5/5

6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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This book will make you laugh and make you cry uncontrollably…or at least it did for me.

John Green’s writing style is very realistic. It’s as though you are reading a typical teens diary.

The Fault in Our Stars is a love story about two cancer-ridden teens. It is similar to A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks.

Overall Rating: 5/5

7. Matched by Ally Condie

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Oh, this one…hmph. I want to say I liked this book, I really do, but I can’t.

The cover art and summary made it sound good, but it just wasn’t what I thought it’d be.

The story was slow and dragged on and was predictable.

Most people might like it, I guess I’m just not one of them.

Proceed reading this book with caution.

Overall Rating: 1.5/5

The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield

8. The Uglies

9. The Pretties

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LOVE LOVE LOVE these books!!

This was my third time reading this series, but I only read the first two this time around.

This is one of the first Dystopian books I read, even before I knew I loved this genre.

Based in a society where everyone goes “under the knife” at 16 to become “Pretty”,

Tally Youngblood has to make the choice to become Pretty and join her best friend, Paris,

or run away to the mysterious Smoke with her newfound friend, Shay.

Overall Rating: 5/5

 The Mortal Instrument Series by Cassandra Clare:

10.City of Bones

11.City of Ashes

12.City of Glass

13.City of Fallen Angels

14. City of Lost Souls

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I heard about this series for years and was skeptical about reading them.

Shadowhunters (half-angel warriors), Werewolves, Vampires, Warlocks, Faeries…it was all to much to take in.

With a movie of the first book around the corner and a huge praise from my book-loving friends, I took a 6 months plunge to read them.

READ these if you plan on seeing the movie, or else you WILL be confused.

The first three books are the best and I recommend reading those.

The other ones are enjoyable, but not as important.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5s

15. Paper Towns by John Green

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This was my own fault.

I chose it as our book to read for the book club I’m in, seeing as it is a John Green book.

John Green, you let me down with this one.

It took me forever to read because I was busy with school.

But, when I actually sat down and read it, it just wasn’t worth it.

It’s hilarious in the beginning, but the overall story can be summed up quicker than 200 pages.

Overall Rating: 1.5/5

16. Stand for the Family by Sharon Slater

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I had to read this one for one of my class, but i’m still including it in my list.

This is a great book for an older audience, especially those who are parents.

It is filled with facts about the decline of traditional families and I enjoyed it more than I expected for a “research book”.

Overall Rating: 4/5

17. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

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I always wanted to read this classic and apparently missed it in high school that one year I was an exchange student.

Baz Luhrmann (Director of  Moulin Rouge and Romeo+Juliet) is releasing a film adaption of this classic in May, so I had to read it.

The storyline is horrible in the sense that everyone just has affairs with everyone else. It was a quick read, but I fail to see how it’s a classic.

It’ll be perfect for a Baz Luhrmann film and I love his title, so even though the book didn’t do much for me, I look forward to the movie.

Overall Rating: 2/5 

18. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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I stumbled across the movie trailer for this and thought it looked interesting,

so when I found it for $5 at the bookstore, I was like “what the heck, I’ll try it out.”

Little did I know that it’d be so ADDICTING!! It is now one of my favorite books of all time.

It is a mixture of Harry Potter (witches)/ Vampire Diaries (sleepy Southern town that has hidden secrets)/ and a tad Twilight (but don’t cringe just yet).

The story is written from the male lead point of view, which was refreshing as well and I loved the Civil War flashbacks.

Can’t wait for the movie!

Overall Rating: 10/5

19. The Host by Stephanie Meyer

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Finally, after years of trying to get through this book, I did it!

But, was it worth all that time and effort? My reputation to finish books say “yes”, but storyline wise “heck no!”

The story was slow and not at all how I expected it. It was anti-climatic and there were a lot of loose-ends left, and not in a good way.

Glad its over and done with, now I can say I’ve finally finished it.

And with that, those are all of the books I have read this year. From not reading any books in two years, I think 19 (22 if you count reading The Hunger Games series twice) books are a HUGE improvement. It’s been a good year and I love that I have rekindled my love for books again. I’m excited to reach my reading goal for next year and embarking of this journey.

The Wolves of Mercy Falls: A series review


Hi everyone, today I am writing a series review on ‘The wolves of Mercy Falls’ by Maggie Stiefvater. It is a three book trilogy set in a small town in Minnesota. Grace Brisbane is a young high-schooler, sort of neglected by her parents, who was bit by wolves when she was a little girl and has felt a special connection to them ever since. She is especially attracted to this yellow-eyed wolf that watches her all the time. One day she finds a naked boy in the woods behind her house, and she is very shocked when she recognizes the yellow eyes. Sam Roth is a human in the summer and a wolf in the colder months. They both fall in love and thus starts the hunt for a cure, that would allow both lovers to spend all their lives together. However, it isn’t this easy. In fact, the citizens of Mercy Falls have been paying special attention to the wolves since the death of Jack Culpeper, who was ‘killed’ by them. Grace and Sam have to find a way to stay together without attracting any attention to the young boy, and unexpected people…

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American Version

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British Version

Shiver

Rating: 5/5

I really loved Shiver. This was the first supernatural book I have ever read and I thought it was good. I went in thinking: “ Hmmmm not sure if I am going to like this whole werewolf thing,” but I ended up reading it super-fast. It was pretty straight forward with the right amount of tension and no useless fluff. Stiefvater does like to describe every single detail, but it wasn’t disturbing at all. All in all, I really liked this book.

Explanation:

“For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf–her wolf–is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again. Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human–or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.”

Linger

Rating: 4/5

Linger was still a good book, but it was much slower than Shiver. It took me forever to get into it (mainly because I was in college), but when I did it only took me 2 days (still going to classes and everything) to finish it. I really liked the new character Cole. At first I was annoyed by him, but as the book went on I started liking him a lot more. I liked the book, but not as much as I liked Shiver.

Explanation:

“In Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.”

Forever

Rating: 4/5

I don’t even know where to start… Well… First of all, I liked this book a lot. I think it was better than ‘Linger’, because we are actually expecting something. Linger dragged on and we were wondering when the heck Grace was going to shift. In ‘Forever’ we were waiting for something but not in a ‘OMGosh how long is this going to last’ kind of way. I liked the tension and the ending of the story (not the ending of the book). The ending of the book is bitter-sweet. First because it is always sad to end a trilogy or a series, so it is always bitter-sweet, but it gave me that feeling because it just ends and i literally threw my hands up in the air and said ‘what the crap-sandwich’. I loved the book but i wanted to know more.

Explanation:

then.

When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their loved moved from curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.

now.

That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be kill in one final, spectacular hunt.

forever.

Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment – a moment of death or life, farewell or forever”

Do I recommend this series?

Yes, I do. I think it is a good series for girls who like some fantasy or who want to try it out. That is what I did. I refused to read Twilight so I read The Wolves of Mercy Falls series instead, and I loved it. I was a bit disappointed by Linger, because it just dragged on, but I really liked Shiver and Forever. If I were to rate the series I would give it a 4/5 and I would totally recommend it.

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So as I was googling pictures for this post, I found out that they are planning to make a movie out of these books. I am not sure if it is true, but I found a poster that says that Emma Watson would be the actress that would be Grace in the movie. So we will see what happens.

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Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson


Hey everyone, here comes our very first book review and it is Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. The story is set in England in the 19th century, and it is about a young girl called Marianne who has been separated from her older sister at her mother’s death. Cecilie has been spending time in London, being presented to society, and spending time with rich and noble people. Her sister Marianne has spent time with her aunt in a small town in England and is excited when she gets an invitation from her sister to go to Edenbrooke. Cecilie had been writing exciting things about that place and the family, especially the oldest son. On her way to Edenbrooke, Marianne gets attacked and has to spend the night in a hostel, where she meets a very charming young man, whom she thinks she will never see again…

The back of the book:

“Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will she be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.”

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Do I recomment it?

Yes, I do. I read this book in a day. I loved it a lot. It was a nice change from all the distopian books I have been reading. It is a true romance, as it says on the cover, but it isn’t overly cheesy… Marianne can be a little bit annoying sometimes, because she must be the most oblivious person in the whole wide world. Other than that i absolutely loved this book. If you like Jane Austen, I’d say you would love this book.

Rating:

5/5

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