December 30, 2013

14 Books to Look Forward to for 2014

14 Books to Look Forward to for 2014

A huge part of the book community is patience. The problem is that we read faster than authors can write. It takes a couple days to read a book, but it an author takes over ONE YEAR to publish their next book. This is extremely difficult to deal with, so we invented coping methods. The most common one is fangirling. Obsessing over every detail of a book until the next one comes out is an accepted practice. To help with your fangirling experience, I have composed a list of the most anticipated books to be published in 2014.

November 22, 2013

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Hey everybody! Cassia here! So, the Catching Fire movie came out last night, so I thought I would review The Hunger Games. I did not go last night, but I am going tomorrow, opening weekend again like the first movie. ;) Without further ado, here's the review!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen is disgusted by her society. Not necessarily the people, but the way it’s run: everyone is poor, taken advantage of, the favorites are treated special, and the Hunger Games. Every year, one male and one female from the ages of 12 to 18 are forced to compete in a fight to the death. On live TV. What could possibly be more horrific? The people of the Capitol enjoy it. It is accepted as a fact, but for people like Katniss, people that fight just to survive, who are starving, it is the worst possible fate, especially if you’re from District 12. When her sister Prim is picked to basically go to her death, Katniss volunteers to save her. Does Katniss have the heart to kill 23 other teenagers, in self defense or not?

Alright, everyone’s heard of this book. Or the movie. Or something. However, I am still going to keep it spoiler-free. Now, I have read better books, but something about Collins’ style and storytelling drew me in.

November 3, 2013

Unwind by Neal Shusterman


Author: Neal Shusterman
Series: Unwind Dystology #1
Release Date: November 6, 2007
Pages: 335
Review by: Max

“You can't change laws without first changing human nature.”

“You can't change human nature without first changing the law.”

It's after the Second Civil war and a heck of a lot has changed.

Unwinding: A completely LEGAL procedure targeting thirteen to eighteen year-olds that basically takes out all of their organs and spreads them out to people who 'need' them.
Storking: Leaving your baby on someone else's front steps. Completely legal as long as the house owner doesn't catch you.

In case you can't tell, Neal Shusterman's future is Fudged. Up.

At least, Connor, Risa, and Lev think so.

October 19, 2013

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Hey everybody! Cassia here! Umm I don't really have an intro for today, so here's another review for you all!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Puck and her brothers live alone.  Their parents are dead, and for money, they do odd jobs--painting teacups, fixing things, anything to get food on the table.  When the Scorpio Races come around, Puck realizes that this is her chance to save her family.  But is she brave enough to ride one of the wild, carnivorous capaill uisce?

Sean Kendrick is known all over the island of Thisby as the boy whose father died in the Races, who has an incredible connection with all horses, and has won the Scorpio Races five times.  When he sees a girl on his beach, he has to know why.

October 14, 2013

Upcoming Release: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

On October 22nd the last book in the Divergent series will be released! Ever since Insurgent came out I could not wait to read the last book, Allegiant! I know it is going to be epic. According to Veronica herself this book will be in both Four's and Tris's perspectives. I am ecstatic about this and all of you who read Free Four probably are too. If you haven't read Free Four click here to read it.  

The spoilers start here, so those of you who have not read Insurgent please stop reading now.

Just in case you fourgot, (See what I did there?) Roth left us with a gut-wrenching cliffhanger in the last book. Apparently their whole city is just part of a plot to save mankind from themselves. Now they have to go out into the world and try to change human nature. I have no idea how they are going to do it, but I have faith.

October 10, 2013

The Man Painter by Melissa Turner Lee

Hey everybody! I know it's a little soon to be putting up a review of a sequel, but I couldn't help it and right now it's the only review I've got. I recently went to read Insurgent by Veronica Roth, but then I totally forgot what happened in Divergent. So I'm re-reading that now, and I forget who claimed it to review, but it's not me. Might be Max, actually. Without further ado, here's another review for you all!

The Man Painter by Melissa Turner Lee

 WARNING: This is the second book in the Painter Series. If you have not read the first book, The Earth Painter (click here for a review), I advise that you STOP READING NOW. Thank you!

It’s been two years since the old Chesnee high school blew up. And since Holly saw Theo. She’s tried to keep him out of her mind, and has even tried to move on, and even though she’s mostly succeeded, he’s still working his way into her thoughts. When Holly hears about ancient paintings of dinosaurs, she knows it has to be him. Who else could it be? Why would he be drawing attention to himself, anyway? He knows he’s not allowed to do that…

WARNING: This book contains sexual content. While it is not graphic, there are very clear suggestions of it.

October 1, 2013

The Earth Painter by Melissa Turner Lee

Hey everybody! Cassia here! A couple months ago, I received an ebook from someone on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review, and I finally got to reading it. I just finished it last night, so here's the review:

The Earth Painter by Melissa Turner Lee

***I received this as an ebook in exchange for an honest review***
Thank you again!

Holly’s mom wants her to be perfect. No, demands it. All to make Holly’s mom look good. When Theo pays attention to her, makes her feel loved, she can’t help but be drawn to him when no one else has ever looked at her like that. But when she finds out what he really is, and that he’s incapable of love, things get complicated, and she has no idea what to think. Does Theo love her? Or is it really impossible that he could ever love her?

Wow. That’s all I have to say. I started reading this, thinking it would be good. Boy, was I wrong. It was great! One of the best fantasy books I’ve read in a while.

September 25, 2013

Tarnish by Katherine Longshore


Picture courtesy of Goodreads

Author: Katherine Longshore
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Pages: 448
Review by: Tessa

This is Longshore's second book about the wives of Henry VII. This one focuses on Anne Boleyn, his second wife and most famous wife.

Just for background knowledge Anne will be the mother of Queen Elizabeth I, but this is the story of her life before being royal.
Anne has been banned from court after a horrible incident that disgraced herself and her family, but by some miracle her father calls her back to court. There is only one problem, no one wants her back, not even her own brother. But ambitious Anne wants to catch the eye of the king. To do that Anne must erase all memory of her mistakes, so she calls in help from the infamous Thomas Wyatt. He agrees to help Anne if she will do something for him. Anne's plan is perfect but at court people rarely forget and they never forgive.

September 20, 2013

Favorites Friday 9/20/13

Hey everybody! Can you believe it's almost been a year since we started this blog? We're still trying to make our blog better, so if you have any suggestions, feel free to comment! Alright, I don't know about Max, but I'm going to try to get Favorites Friday going again. So, here's what we've been reading for the past, um, I don't know how long...

Tessa's favorite book she read recently is White Cat by Holly Black. She says she loved it because Black tells the story from a criminal's point of view. This is definitely one I have to read. She also says that the plot was complicated and had enough mystery to keep her entertained. And she's promising a review!

My favorite book I read recently is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, as I've been reading it for more than two months. If you need reasons, please refer to the review that I posted yesterday.

Max hasn't had a whole lot of time to read, but currently, she's reading Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

Well, that's what we've been up to! Feel free to comment!
Goodbye for now,

September 19, 2013

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Hey everybody! Cassia here! I finally finished it! Now, I talk about a lot in this review, and with the uprising, I didn't talk about that a whole lot, but it's a HUGE part in the book. Like, climax. I didn't say everything, but I did say a lot, and I kind of regret not giving the uprising more attention, so I figured I'd put that here. Anyway, here it is.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Jean Valjean is a convict. Labeled for life as a “very dangerous man” with a yellow passport. He broke a window and stole a loaf of bread to save his sister and her seven children, and was sentenced to five years of hard labor in prison. Desperate to get out, he attempted escape four times, and even made it out, but was brought back and in total spent 19 years in prison. He worked every day of his life, and was never a bad man. But prison hardened him, made him horrible. When he breaks parole and a bishop saves his soul, he vows to dedicate his life to helping the poor. When policeman Javert, who knew him from the chain gangs in Toulon, learns of it, he dedicates his life to putting him behind bars. Now Valjean must live an honest life while dodging the law...

Alright, let me say this now: I literally just finished the book five minutes ago, so I may sound a little crazy. Fair warning, so here it goes.

September 17, 2013

Upcoming Book Releases: Maggie Stiefvater

Hey everybody! First of all, more reviews will come! You know, as soon as I finish the book, and all the other books I have to reread 'cause I totally forget what happened, and all the other books in the world that are waiting for me. And then I have to write the review! Could be awhile. ;)

Second of all, I got that email from Goodreads that keeps you up-to-date on blogs of the authors you follow. For me, one of those authors is Maggie Stiefvater. Before I get to the post, I just want you all to know that the second book of her series The Raven Cycle is now out! It's called The Dream Thieves, and here's the cover and the synopsis from Goodreads:

 The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

 Alright. Now...to her blog post! So, you all know that her Shiver trilogy is one of my favorite trilogies ever, and that Cole St. Clair is my favorite character of the trilogy. Well guess what?!?!?! She wrote a companion novel about Cole and Isabel!!! It's called Sinner, to be published in July, 2014. Why does it have to be so far away???? I don't think there's a cover yet, but she has the synopsis on her blog. You can view the post here.

I'm really excited to read both of these! What do you all think?
Goodbye for now,

September 7, 2013

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Hey everybody! Cassia here! I've finally got another review! Yes, I know, I've promised you all a Les Mis review, but I've got a little less than 200 pages left. It's a long book, okay? But very very good. :D Anyway, here's a review of Just Listen by Sarah Dessen:

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Annabel’s got it all: a model at the local modeling agency, and two older sisters who have done the same. But there’s a lot more going on in her life that makes the modeling barely matter. Her “best friend” Sophie thinks she had sex with her boyfriend and turned against her, and her real best friend stopped talking to her because she ditched her for Sophie. And now the whole school’s against her, and she’s got nobody to turn to. Then she meets the Angriest Boy in School, Owen Armstrong. He’s music-obsessed and quiet, but soon he and Annabel start opening up to each other, when they can’t to anyone else…

August 22, 2013

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

1295102Lock and Key

Author: Sarah Dessen
Series: N/A
Release Date: April 22, 2008
Pages: 422
Review by: Max

"Ruby, where is your Mother?"

Ruby has dreaded these words for as long as she can remember. Okay, not really. But ever since her mom left her, she's been on her own and as long as no one finds out she'll be fine.
She'll turn eighteen, live in the rented yellow house, and everything will be okay.

Unless she hears those words.

Guess what? She does.

August 15, 2013

Review | Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy

Author: Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin #1
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Pages: 549
Review by: Max

"Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?"

Basically, this book is Brittany, France plus assassin nun spies plus medieval court life.
Really....what more could you want?

Ismae's only seventeen, but in seventeen years, a lot can happen. For instance, you can be abused by your father AND your husband, join a convent, and fall in love with someone you're assigned to kill.

All in less than two decades. Pretty good, huh?

Anyway, it all started when Ismae (does anyone know how to pronounce this, by the way? I go with Is-may) was born. Since her father is Death, you can safely assume that this was the start of her problems.

After an unsuccessful wedding, Ismae is carted away to a convent that she knows nothing about. She's just grateful to get away.
However, it turns out that she's not at some ordinary convent; she's at a convent of St. Mortain, the patron saint of Death. And the nuns there? They're Death's handmaidens, and they do whatever he wants them to.

I loved basically everything about this book.

August 14, 2013

Entwined by Heather Dixon

Hey everybody! Cassia here! Umm I don't really have an introduction today, so...here's another review!

Entwined by Heather Dixon

Azalea and her sisters are living their dream: dancing every night, for hours, as long as they want. After their mother died, they were in mourning; they couldn’t dance. When the King seems to never lift the mourning, Azalea gets desperate. She knows her mother would never want this for them. When she finds a secret passage to a place where they can dance, she’s thrilled. It’s so magical she can hardly believe it’s true. Along with the place, she discovers the magic hidden in the castle...and something hidden that no one was ever supposed to find...

August 11, 2013

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

An Abundance of Katherines

Author: John Green
Release Date: September 21, 2006
Pages: 226
Review by: Tessa

Colin has a thing for Katherines. Katherines have a thing for dumping Colin. Some people may call this an obsession, but Colin thinks it is perfectly normal. But Colin is also thinks that he can fix his relationship issues by solving math problems.
When Katherine XIX (for those of you who don't know Roman numerals, that is nineteen) breaks Colin's heart, he is done with Katherines. He decided to go on a impromptu road trip with his sarcastic best friend. Colin never does anything spontaneous, so this is all new to him. They end up in Gunpoint, Tennesse with no Katherines in sight, but there is a Lindsay who might be Katherine material. Green creates a puzzle of a plot that involves hog hunting, a dead Archduke, and multiple trips to Hardy's. Will Colin ever get the girl? Will her name be Katherine?

Flash Point by Nancy Kress

Hey everybody! Cassia here! Summer is winding down, so I'm trying to get more reviews in before fall, and trying to finish Les Mis. It's really good and I don't want it to end, but I want to finish it before fall. Enjoy the rest of the summer, and here's another review!

Flash Point by Nancy Kress

Amy is the only one who provides for her grandmother and her sister. Amy would be in school, but she can’t afford it. She can barely afford her own food now. Before, she could have done anything she wanted: gone to college, had all the clothes she could ever need. Not now, though. Now, she’s struggling to find a well-paying job with family health benefits. When she finally gets one, though, she’s not so sure she wants it anymore...

When I first heard about this book, I was sure it was going to be great. It was good, but it wasn’t great. It didn’t pull me in like others, and to me, that’s what makes a great book.

August 8, 2013

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

Hey everybody! Cassia here! Ugh, summer's almost over. Hope you all had a great summer of reading! That's basically what I did all summer. ;) Anyway, my friend just introduced me to manga, so I'll be reading that, too. Here's another review for you all!

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

Sophie and Josh have always had normal lives as twins. As normal as they can get, anyway, being twins and all. Until Josh got a job at a bookstore. Nick Fleming is nice, but there’s something off about him. When a small man that smells like rotten eggs enters the bookstore and starts throwing...light at Nick, Josh knows there’s something more than off about the Flemings. He runs to his twin, Sophie (who just so happens to work across the street at a coffee shop), and tells her, but she doesn’t believe him. She does, though, when he shows her the wreckage. Nick tells them to follow him, and they’ll be safe from the odorous man. But will they?

August 2, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars

Author: John Green
Series: N/A
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Pages: 318
Review by: Max

Reading the beginning of this review, you're probably (No guarantees here. I'm definitely not a mind reader.) thinking one of three things. You could A: be excited because TFiOS is one of your favorite books or you're dying to hear someone's opinions on it B: Roll your eyes and stop reading approximately...here because you think this book is over-hyped or it's too mainstream for you or maybe you're just a little skeptical about reading it or C: Have no idea who the heck John Green and you've never heard of TFiOS.

This review is directed towards all of you.

July 28, 2013

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Hey everybody! Cassia here! Recently, I was introduced to the music of Les Miserables. I automatically loved it. Not only are the songs great, but they are extremely catchy. I was trying to sleep one night, and all I heard was "Look down, look down..." I love the songs, so I didn't really care. :) This led to me watching the movie. Now, as you know, I don't cry for movies and books. For this movie, though, I had tears in my eyes (aka VERY close to crying). Finally, this led to me buying the book on Amazon. It's 1400 pages. I'm about 500 pages in, and it's very good so far, and a review will come! Here's a review of The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan:

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Mary’s life has always been sheltered from the Unconsecrated. The only thing separating the living from the Unconsecrated is the fence. However, if one strays too close, they can be bitten, becoming Infected, destined to either die before it kills them, or die from it and Return as Unconsecrated. The Sisterhood says that the people in Mary’s village are the only humans left in the world. To keep the population up, marriage is about breeding; not love. Only few have ever found love in marriage, and Mary is determined to be one of them. But can she break a man’s heart to marry his brother?

Note: I apologize in advance for my ranting. It is my opinion, and if yours is different, I respect that, so please respect mine. I'm sorry if it sounds mean, but I am being honest, and you won't hear a whole lot of meanness from me. Thank you!

Okay, so I picked up this book not really knowing that it was about zombies. I didn’t mind it, and I think I’ll read the next book, but I don’t know if I would choose to read about zombies again.

July 19, 2013

Review | The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Archived

Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: The Archived #1
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Pages: 328
Review by: Max

"Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books."

Mackenzie Bishop is stuck.
Both her Da (her grandfather, not her dad) and her little brother Ben have died recently, and frankly, it sucks.
To cope, her mom has picked up her family, or, well, what's left of it, and they've moved to a new home, an old hotel now sold as apartments, so Mac's stuck there, without her best friend or anyone she knows.
Mackenzie is also stuck with a job. A scary one.
Really, her was her Da's job, but he had to pass it on to someone. And that someone is Mackenzie.
Her Da would tell her stories, all about the world that wasn't theirs. Where Histories, the dead who hold the stories of the lives they've led, sleep in the Archive, where only Librarians can read them and the Keepers can hear them.

But sometimes, these Histories wake up and try to escape. And that's where Mackenzie comes in.
Her job as a Keeper is simple (well, as simple as it gets when one's dealing with a  secret world filled with rogue dead people that are kind of like ghosts). She finds the Histories that have woken up, and sends them back to the Archive, where they belong. Simple enough, right?

July 16, 2013

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

My Sister's Keeper

Author: Jodi Picoult
Release Date: February 1, 2005
Pages: 423
Review by: Tessa

*WARNING* If you watched this movie and now you want to read the book you might be disappointed. The ending and some other parts of the book are VERY different from the movie. So if you liked the happy ending in the movie, don't read the book!

We all know that humans will do anything to survive, but is there a line that we can't cross?

This is ultimately a book about morals and ethics. The question the book revolves around seems like it has a simple answer, but when you see the situation from everyone's point of view it becomes less clear.

July 6, 2013

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports
A Maximum Ride Adventure
By: James Patterson
Review by: Max
Maximum Ride #3: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson
Hey guys! Max here, with a review from the very series I was named after!

Warning: This book is the third in a series! You could probably get by with reading this book alone, but really, guys, it takes away from the whole experience.

This book was when the Maximum Ride series started going downhill. After this one, the rest just kind of...stunk.

Once again, this book is a series, and this book picks up where School's Out-Forever left off. The Flock (Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gazzy and Angel) has a mission; save the world from the evil company, Itex. While Max strives to complete her life goal, basically, to save the world, Fang her 'advisor' in a way, wants to just step back, live on some tropical island, and let somebody else do all of the work.

As you might be able to guess, that doesn't exactly go over well.
This book tells the tale of the Flock's struggle to stay together, Max and Fang's relationship struggles, and  the Flock's struggle to keep the evil company Itex from 're-populating'
the world.
And if they fail the last one, they'll have a hard time fixing the other two.

This book sounds good, doesn't it?

July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth!

Happy 4th of July!!!
Today is actually America's 237th birthday. We are celebrating over 200 years of independence and freedom. Try to imagine how hard it would be to create a new country. Our founding fathers (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, etc.) created our country, but we are the ones that keep it strong. Today is a day to celebrate, but also a day to remember how many of our soldiers are still fighting for our freedom. I hope everyone has a happy 4th, filled with fireworks, hamburgers, and apple pie.
Some good books to read today are:
 David McCullough1776 book cover.jpgThe President's Daughter (2008 Revision)
Happy belated Canada Day to our neighbors to the north! Canada Day was on July 1st, but I have been too busy to post anything lately. Canada is a great country and we love your maple syrup!


July 2, 2013

Review | Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr

Hey everybody! Cassia here! A couple days ago, I discovered my weakness for Books-a-Million (BAM). Let's put it this way: I walked in with $40. I came out with: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen, Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen, Until I Die by Amy Plum, and The Selection by Kiera Cass. As soon as I walked in I thought, "Crap. I'm gonna walk out of here with a book, aren't I?" More like four. The anthology I'm reviewing today was also there, along with the whole Wicked Lovely series, which I was happy to see. Here's a review of Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr:

Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr

This is an anthology, which means it’s made up of short stories that may or may not be related to each other. Five are in the Wicked Lovely world, which I loved! So I did a little mini-review for each short story.
Where Nightmares Walk
This one is from an anthology titled Half-Minute Horrors.  Literally.  It's only about one page, so you really can read it in 30 seconds.

July 1, 2013

Edit to Ender's Game Review

Hey everybody! Cassia here! So, I was just thinking about the Ender's Game movie, and which songs I think should be on the soundtrack. Well, actually, it's just one. Anyway, I'm adding on to my review of Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I'm putting it on the bottom, but I wanted people to see it, so I'm putting it here and on the review as well. Just wanted to let you all know that. Here's the edit:

P. S.  You wanna know a really good song for this book? "Know Your Enemy" by Green Day. Good song, and it really shows the theme of the book: know your enemy. If you don't know your enemy, then you can't pinpoint their weaknesses, and then use those weaknesses to your advantage. If you can't do that, well...good luck. Also, maybe you think you know who the enemy is, but you might be wrong. Those are two main themes of the book, all wrapped up in one song, and one phrase: "Know your enemy." This should be on the movie soundtrack, in my opinion. It's kind of repetitive, but a good song nonetheless. I would post a lyric video, but he doesn't mumble too much and it's easy to understand. Instead, I'm posting a link to the lyrics and a link to the music video so you can check it out.

"Know Your Enemy" Lyrics

"Know Your Enemy" Music Video

Goodbye for now,

June 28, 2013

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Hey everybody! Cassia here! Happy summer! I love the summer. I can spend my days reading. Now that we have a blog, I can also rant talk about these books to you all whether you care or not. Anyway, here's another review for you all! I have the Kindle edition, so that's the cover I have here, plus I think it represents the book perfectly. It's a classic, and spoilers are marked.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Lucy Manette's father has finally been found! Well, her financial guardian, Mr. Lorry, knew, but kept it from her to guard her heart. When she finally meets with him above a wine shop, he is mad. His mind is set on making shoes, and he will not rest. When he catches sight of his daughter, he gets slightly better, and eventually, with much coaxing, Lucy--and only Lucy--brings him out of his madness. They help in the trial of Charles Darnay, who is accused of treason. Little do they know that Sydney Carton is the one really running the trial. Lucy is taken on a journey through the bloody French Revolution. Secrets are revealed, and when Lucy was just trying to find peace between the two cities, she is brought into the heart of the Revolution.

June 16, 2013

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Picture courtesy of Goodreads
The Selection

Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Release Date: April 24, 2013
Pages: 336
Review by: Tessa

       After World War III, America (the country) decides to change its way of running things, so we go back to a monarchy. There are eight castes, with One being royalty and Eight being a beggar on the streets. The monarchy is headed by a King with a Queen at his side. Everything is normal until they need a new queen. Thirty-five girls compete against each other to marry Prince Maxon and become queen. This doesn't sound dangerous, but add in an army of country rebels and some good old-fashioned cat fights and the book gets interesting. America (a girl, not the country) is persuaded by her low caste family to join the competition. She reluctantly agrees, but only because her secret boyfriend Aspen breaks up with her.
       Did you know that the best way to get over a break up is to hook up with the prince? At first America refuses to do anything with the prince, but she soon realizes that even though he is a prince and she is only a musician, they can fall in love. So sappy, right? But it turns out that Aspen isn't done messing with America's life. Will America crack under all of the pressure?

May 29, 2013

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Hey everybody! I finally have another review for y'all today. Max says she'll be doing a music picks thing, too, but I don't know about Tessa. Anyway, here's a review of Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card:

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender hasn’t really had much of a life yet; he’s six, after all. He does go to school, though, where he’s bullied for being a Third, all the while being tested for something he doesn’t know, but knows it’s important. Turns out he passed, when his siblings didn’t. And his brother Peter resents him for it. When Ender gets to the Battle School to train to fight the buggers, an alien race that has already attacked humankind twice, he is again hated on for being so intelligent, but he excels, and everyone notices. In the Battle Room, Ender is a genius, knowing how to defeat his enemies even though his commander won’t let him even step inside the room. Nobody else seems to understand how to think in zero gravity...

May 27, 2013

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Picture courtesy of Goodreads

This Is What Happy Looks Like

Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Pages: 416
Review by: Tessa

       Graham and Ellie are pen pals, but they don't even know each other's names. Graham is an international superstar, but Ellie is just a small town girl with a past she would like to forget. They start emailing each other when Graham accidently sends Ellie a message about his pet pig. She is intrigued and they start talking about everything, except for who they are. When Graham's new movie conveniently takes him to Ellie's small Maine town the fairytale really begins.
      Graham hunts for his princess, but all his princess wants to do is hide. With a plot full of mistaken identities, lost pasts, and paparazzi anything can happen. They figure out that emailing each other is very different from meeting face-to-face.

May 24, 2013

Cassia's Top Music Picks

Hey everybody!  I don't have a review today, but I do have some of my top music picks!  I have no idea if Tessa or Max are doing this, just to let you know.  Anyway, here's some of my top genres, artists, albums, and songs, and a little bit about why they're on my top lists.

Top 5 Genres:
1.) Country--This is just about all I've listened to.  I grew up with it, and it will forever be my favorite genre.
2.) Rock--Same with this one. I grew up with it, but I've grown to love it more over the past two years.
3.) Classical--I play a viola, so this is all I've ever played and I love it: the emotion and just everything about it.
4.) Pop--Any popular music, and it's played so much on the radio I can't help but like it.
5.) some Alternative, depending on what you put in that category--Another version of rock that I've grown to love.

May 11, 2013

Review | Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Picture courtesy of Goodreads
Clockwork Angel

Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #1
Release Date: August 31, 2012
Pages: 479
Review by: Tessa

*Disclaimer* Nothing I can say will fully describe how amazing this book is. It is literally beyond words. 
       It's 1878 in London and everything is normal, Jessamine is walking in the park, Charlotte is writing letters, and Will and Jem are fighting demons. Yep. If any of you have read The Mortal Instruments you are already familiar with this world of angels and demons. But if you haven't read them I strongly suggest reading them first and then coming back to this review.
      Clockwork Angel is the same premise as TMI, demons are getting loose and someone has to fight them. Enter the Shadowhunters. They were chosen by the Angel himself to fight demons and deal with the drama that comes with them. Every one of them as markings on their bodies called runes. They signify different powers, such as healing, night vision, and strength. Shadowhunters are trained from a young age to fight demons because their job is so important. They protect not only other Shadowhunters, but also the whole mortal world from demons. Now, the plot. Tessa suddenly enters the Shadowhunters' lives when they rescue her from the Dark Sisters (I think their name explains who they are). Tessa turns out to be an important piece in a case that is puzzling the Shadowhunters. The quest begins to find who kidnapped Tessa and find out who she really is. While all this is going on, a mystery is unfolding when clockwork machines randomly appear to fight the Shadowhunters. Does this have anything to do with Tessa?

May 6, 2013

Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Hey everybody! Sorry we haven't been posting a lot lately. Right now we're working on a new system to our reviews. I'm not sure if we're posting on assigned days or not, but we're picking what books/series we're reviewing to make it fair. Here's another review for you all, and I'm planning to post another within the next week if not the next couple days.

Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Auden is a straight-A student. Her parents are divorced, their fights were horrible, and ever since, she’s been an insomniac. She’s ready for college, her whole life is in order, her parents expect nothing less than 110%, she has to study during the summer, and she is not happy with her life at all. Her life has been protected with school and hardly any friends, and all she’s ever known is studying. When she moves to shore-side town Colby, North Carolina for the summer to spend time with her father and his new wife, she comes across three girls that are just the type she steers clear of: happy, carefree, and...girly. She also meets another boy like her--Eli. He is also an insomniac, but his night life is totally different from Auden’s. Her parents want her to go to college, but what if she just wants to have fun?

This is the second of Dessen’s books that I’ve read so far. I fell in love with the first one I read of hers (The Truth About Forever) and I automatically picked up this one.

April 20, 2013

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium, #1)Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Review by Max

Lena's grown up being positive of one thing and one thing only: Don't fall in love.
Not only is love dangerous, it's disease, and if you catch it, well, you're basically screwed.

With ninety-five days until she gets the cure, Lena couldn't be any more excited. She'll finally be normal, like everyone else. She'll finally be safe.
And then, Lena does the unthinkable.
She falls in love.

April 9, 2013

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Picture courtesy of Goodreads
Immortal Beloved

Author: Cate Tiernan
Series: Immortal Beloved #1
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Pages: 407
Review by: Tessa

       Have you ever wondered what it would be like to never die? Let me tell you that it isn't all charm and happy endings.
       Nastasya (Nasty for short) is immortal, but she is tired of it. Living for hundreds of years is exhausting! She decides to lay low for a couple decades, but she quickly runs into the wrong crowd. She spends her days drinking, partying, and just being a spoiled rich girl. This all changes when her best friend for the past hundred years tortures a human. Nasty realizes that she needs to get help now. She goes into rehab for immortals at a secluded farm in Massachusetts. Living a farm girl life is harder than Nasty expected, especially when you live with a guy who acts (and looks like) a Norse god. But no one expected what would happen when Nasty's past catches up with her.

April 5, 2013

Favorites Friday 4/5/13 and The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Hey everybody! Cassia here! Sorry I haven't been keeping up with Favs Fri lately. :'( On the bright side, April is Camp NaNoWriMo! Both Max and I are doing it. She's writing one called "Lucky Me," and I'm writing one titled "The Effect." We might post our summaries later, but--at least for me--it's still early, and the summary might change. So, here's our favorites from the past...long time, and a review of The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross.

Max's favorite she recently read is Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. It's the second book in the Lunar Chronicles, and she gives it five stars! Apparently--and coincidentally--she wrote the first book in the series during NaNoWriMo 2008. See what good things can come out of forcing yourself to write a novel in a month? ;)

My favorite I read recently is the book you'll see the review for in a minute, The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross. It was pretty good, and I loved Griff. :D Lots of action and romance all blended together very nicely. Four stars! Oh, wait, besides Clockwork Princess. But I don't count that, because you already saw my reaction to it. So, Clockwork Princess first, The Girl in the Steel Corset next.

Tessa's favorite she read recently is Flash Point by Nancy Kress. She says it's about a reality TV show gone wrong. Ooooh, I have to read that. (Go on www.merryfates.com and read "Rain Maker" by Maggie Stiefvater. That reminds me of it.) Of course, I'm going to make the same exception of Clockwork Princess for her, too.

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

There has always been something...wild about Finley. A rebellious streak that shows itself more than she likes. And she can’t control it, no matter how hard she tries. When she meets Griffin King, though, that might be able to change. Then there’s also Jack Dandy. For all his felonies, he is charming, and accepts her for who she is. The darkness in her is growing stronger--and she must choose between two equally attractive young men.