Hey guys I've decided to change things up here at The Bursting Bookshelf! For the start of 2011 I've decided on a theme change for the blog, but I need your guys help to choose the one you guys like best. So here's how it goes: take a look at the logos below and then vote for your favorite one! Voting closes on January 15, 2011. Simple right?
Title: Dark Visions (The Strange Power, The Possessed, The Passion) Author: LJ Smith Publisher: Simon & Schuster Release: September 3, 2009 Rating:5/5 Pages: 730 Series: Dark Visions Series Synopsis: GIFTED AND CURSED
Kaitlyn Fairchild has always felt like an outsider. Her haunting eyes and prophetic drawings have earned her a reputation as a witch. But Kait's not a witch: she's psychic. Tired of being shunned, Kait accepts an invitation to attend the Zetes Institute, where she can study with other psychic teens and have a fresh start.
As Kaitlyn learns to hone her abilities with four other gifted students, she starts to discover the intensity of her power - and the joy of having true friends. But those friendships quickly become complicated when Kait finds herself torn between two irresistible guys. Rob is a healer - kind and gentle, he's surrounded by good energy, while Gabriel is aggressive and mysterious - a telepath concealing his true nature.
Together, Rob and Gabriel's opposing forces start to threaten the group's stability, and when an experiment traps the five teens in a psychic link - a link that threatens their sanity and their lives - Kaitlyn must decide who to trust and who to love...
Review: First off, if you've ever read an LJ Smith book, you know how great her writing is. And The Dark Visions series is no exception. When you start the book you meet Kaitlyn Fairchild who has be isolated, as those around her consider her a freak, but things take a turn when she's told that there are others like her and that the Zetes Institue can help her harness her powers: little does she know that things are about to take a turn for the ugly. Through out this fast paced book, you are introduced to Kaitlyn's psychic peers who, like her, have been written off as freaks. As the book(s) progress though, there is a lot of romance and action: two of my favorite things in books. The books also explore a lot of different settings that are real and vividly described. Also Dark Visions is very similar to Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers Series, and I would recommend Dark Visions to any Darkest Powers fan.
Overall this book earns a well deserved 5/5 for great writing, value (as you get the whole series in a fantastic bind up), and being a altogether great read that leaves you hoping for a sequel.
PS: What do you guys think of the short-ish review? Please let me know if you like this short or the longer reviews.
For this week's New In The World Of... I chose Richelle Mead. She recently just announced the spin-off series that she'll be releasing to go with her hugely popular Vampire Academy series. That's all for now and I certainly won't keep you guys reading as it's Christmastoday!
Title: Fallen Author: Lauren Kate Publisher: Delacorte Press Release: December 8, 2009 Rating:4/5 Pages: 452 Series: Fallen #1 Synopsis: There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.
Review: Hey, before I get started, I would just like to point something out. Right around this time of the year, I've noticed that some book bloggers tend to lean towards reading Christmas-y books as it is the holidays after all. Now I know not everyone does this, but I would just like to point out that even though I'm not reading traditional holiday books, Fallen could count as a holiday-ish book. I mean it's got angels in it, right? And that's the only Christmas-y factor in the whole book, but I stand by my point. Just because it doesn't look like I'm reading Christmas books, I kind of am.
Now that I've defended myself, let's start the review. The cover of Fallen was gorgeous. And when I say gorgeous, I mean: it's a dark cover that draws readers attentions and interests immediately at first sight. When I saw this book it was in early October, just after the sequel, Torment, had come out. I saw both the covers, picked them up and checked out immediately. They are the perfect eye candy for readers, a beautiful back drop with an intriguing model pose and an eerie glow to boot. The text is also good for the cover as well. It's a little feminine but it's also spooky looking as this book's contents are. And my absolute favorite part about this cover is how in the book there's a link to the cover that most books don't have. It's pretty unique and you'll know what I'm talking about once you've read the book.
The characters in this book were very interesting. Interesting in a good way, not a bad way. Though my favorite was definitely Arrianne. She was such a total BA but she took Luce under her wing and showed her the ropes of Sword & Cross. Another character that was intriguing to me was Daniel. He was constantly changing and even when he turned her down you knew how hard it was for him. And I just loved the progression that you experience in the relationship between Luce and Daniel. It was so romantic. The one character that I never liked in the least was Cam. He was just too pushy and too easily aggravated by others.
The writing in this book is very descriptive. Reading Fallen was like being in the world of the story. It was very easy to make mental pictures of what the setting would have been like. The story is where I hit a bit of a speed bump. I didn't particularly like how long the story took to get where it was going. It felt a little drawn out, in my opinion. Though the story did end with a killer ending that made me cry a little bit and it also was a tad bit of a cliff hanger.
After reading Fallen, I can't wait to sink my teeth into Torment. But until then, Fallen gets a deserved 4/5.
Hey guys! I would just like to thank all of you for reading my blogging and following it too. I really appreciate your support. It's kind of crazy to think that 3 months ago I just made my blog without knowing anything about Blogger and barely anything about book blogs in general. And now, 3 months later, I have 48 followers and can say that I do now know how to use Blogger. And that's all thanks to you guys! So thanks again!
Did you guys hear about that really cool contest they're having over at A Little of This & That? Well you're about to find out!
Erin from A Little of This & That was lucky enough to get to go to a Richelle Mead book signing! And while she was there, she got some awesome signed books and swag that she's now giving away on her blog. For more of the details and story click here to go to the blog post with the contest. There is a set of rules, but it's open to international readers!!!
So go check out her blog and enter the contest. Oh yeah, did I mention it closes on the 23 of this month? So hurry if you want a shot at winning the swag or books!
Title: Graceling Author: Kristin Cashore Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books Release: October 1, 2008 Rating: 5/5 Pages: 471 Series: The Seven Kingdoms #1 Synopsis: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight — she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme, and in her case horrifying, skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.
She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace — or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away... a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
I got this book a while back and didn't think much of it. I hadn't really heard of it too much and I hadn't read the summary. But the more I started to look into it, the more excited I became. when I actually read it, I finished it in three days and loved every second of it.
The cover of Graceling really represents the time era that is used well. With the sword and the partial reflection of Katsa's face, it really shows how fighting is a big thing in Katsa's life. When we first meet Katsa, her world totally revolves around fighting and doing the king's orders. And I think the picture of Katsa looking into the sword might have something to do with her thinking about what the king makes her do and whether she will follow him anymore. I also just love the font for the title. It looks so script-ish. And the flowers in the background and stains really give this book an old look to it.
The characters in Graceling really brought the story together for me. They were perfect for the world they lived in. Never once would you catch Po being like a guy today, or would you find any of them slipping up and using slang or speaking in modern tongue. They also were so in depth! When you read about any character, you felt like you had this real relationship with them; not just that you were reading about them from a book.
This book truly had me hooked from the very first page. I started reading and was intrigued by the writing style of the author. It drew me in where other books usually are all description. But Kristin had this way of filling in the blanks on the go, so you never had to wait for the story to pick up the pace or get going at all. And the storyline was just so perfect! The way something was always happening whether it be minuscule or book changing, something was always happening. I also loved the way the writing was so well put together and how it took these sharp turns, plot wise, and it never failed to amuse with it's brief flashes of humour.
If someone were to ask me for a book recommendation, this would definitely be one of my highest recommendation for any age range. And once you read it, I'm sure you'll understand why it got a 5/5 in my opinion.
Hey guys! For this weeks New In The World Of... I chose Sara Shepard. 'What's new in Sara's world?' you may ask but hey, I'll tell you! The exciting news was dropped a short time ago: there will be four more books to the Pretty Little Liars book series! The newest one drops in July 2011! Not that far away right? And they have also announced the name: Twisted. I don't know about you guys but I'm stoked for this release!
Hey guys! Covers are just popping up all over the place! This cover, though, is the newest cover for the The Hollow Series. The book is called The Hidden and it's set for release on September 6th, 2011 so we have a while to wait for this one but at least we can stare in awe of this gorgeous cover! As for the series, I have read and reviewed The Hollow, but I have to still get my hands on The Haunted yet. What do you guys think?
Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy For Books made to help showcase your blog to other bloggers out there with the same interests!
"What do you consider the most important in a story: the plot or the characters?"
Both! As you guys can probably tell from reviews, I evaluate both the plot and the characters while reading/ writing a review. Just because you have good characters, it doesn't mean the plot's good enough to keep my attention.
Title: Mockingjay Author: Suzanne Collins Publisher: Scholastic Press Release: August 24, 2010 Rating: 5/5 Pages: 398 Series: The Hunger Games Trilogy #3 Synopsis: My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans -- except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what the personal cost.
Review: Wow. Just wow. Just when I thought that this series couldn't get any better- it did. I, personally was counting down for this book with some of my friends. We knew exactly how many days there was until Mockingjay came out. And I got it the first day. And I read it slowly (as in it took me a week) as I knew it was going to be the last Hunger Games book and I wanted to make the most of it.
As with the two preceding books it follows the same mockingjay pin theme except on the cover of Mockingjay, the mockingjay has taken up most of the cover as to show the importance of The Mockingjay in this final book. So my personal break down of the cover is this: I believe that the reason that the mockingjay has taken up the majority of the cover is because of how huge a role the mockingjay plays in this particular book. Another thing that I noticed about this cover is that the standard Hunger Games design in the background, that reminds me of circuitry, has been broken on this cover. I find that it probably means to interpret that there is a rebellion happening and people are breaking out of the Capitol's control after many years of being under it. The other element to the cover that I find important to the book is how the mockingjay has full color now that it's not just a pin anymore. I think it was trying to show that the mockingjay was more than just the pin anymore, it was the icon of the rebellion; it was to, ultimately, represent Katniss as the spark and leader of the rebellion in Panem.
Over this whole series, I just can't believe the growth that occurred in these characters. Katniss started out as the provider of her family who would jump the fence to hunt a bit and talk with Gale while out. She was always brave with everything from getting extra rations by entering her name multiple times for the reaping, going past the fence even though it was illegal just to provide food and then going to sell her extra portions to The Hob for profit. That was in the beginning though when her life was simpler, then she saved her sister by volunteering to take Prim's place in the Hunger Games where she survived twice and lied to an entire nation. And in the end, she became a national icon by leading a revolution in an impossible dictatorship and she came out alive. That's a big jump from going past the fence for food to leading a successful revolution to overturn a terrible dictatorship. And then there's Peeta. When the first book started, we didn't know anything of Peeta or who he really was. Then he pulled many game changing moves in both the Hunger Games and in their tours after. But it wasn't until Mockingjay that I really fell in love with him. From his bravery to his love for Katniss, he was the perfect character for this book and an even perfecter (new word!) love interest for Katniss.
Though Mockingjay took a while to get into, once you did you were strapped in for the rest of the book. There was just as much action as the first two, even without the Hunger Games to help the story along. Along the way we also meet some beautifully introduced characters that can only be the handiwork of Suzanne Collins. The writing and story in this book were truly something to be in awe of. After getting into the book, there were few dull moments and even fewer times that the writing didn't make you feel something. The story was just as great as the writing. But I really just loved the darkness of the story that it didn't try and sugar coat what was happening in the book. She was out right with everything and she didn't tip-toe around death. And the ending. It will make anyone one cry. ANYONE. It just killed me what happened and it just crushed me into tears and extreme sadness. I was thinking about that ending for days and how devastated I was (in the best way possible).
In my oh-so-humble opinion, this was one of the best series I have ever read and this, by far, is also one of the best conclusions to a series that I have ever read. There is something for everyone in this series and I believe that everyone needs to read this book if not for the story, for the message behind it. That's why this book gets/ deserves a 5/5. In fact it deserves a 100000000000/5, but that's unfortunately not possible.
Title: Catching Fire Author: Suzanne Collins Publisher: Scholastic Press Release: September 1, 2009 Rating:5/5 Pages: 391 Series: The Hunger Games Trilogy #2 Synopsis: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
Review: See? Even the synopsis sounds epic! When I first got this book, it was at the same time I got the first one as well. I got them because of many people liking them plus a friend's recommendation. And when I got it, I read Catching Fire in a day. I just had to keep reading to find out what happened next.
The cover of this book is great. It is very similar to the first with several slight differences. For starters, the background is red and yellow, almost like fire. I think it was to demonstrate the fire Katniss had as well as to be symbolic to her being The Girl On Fire. And then there's the bird. On this cover the bird is darker and slightly metal looking, perhaps symbolising the growing darkness in Panem and the story. And lastly; instead on the bird being set into a pin like on The Hunger Games, this time it's in a target. Now that could mean any number of things, but my favorite theory is that it's the way that the Capitol and President Snow are targeting her for stunt in her Hunger Games with Peeta.
The writing of all three Hunger Games books is just beautiful. Though in Catching Fire it was hugely important that she wrote it just as well as the first so it wouldn't fall under the 'Second Books Always Suck' stereotype. She did it. Catching Fire was every bit as entertaining whether it be in characters or story line or writing. In this amazing sequel, Suzanne topped her last book with even more drama than the first, a story line that had you hooked from the first page and wicked cliff hanger ending that simply made it torturous to wait for Mockingjay until it came out this summer.
In the end, this book turned out to be just as good, if not better, than the first. And the Hunger Games set the bar pretty darn high for this amazing sequel. And because of Catching Fire's ability to keep the tension and excitement up, as one would expect from the first book, I have no doubt in my mind that Catching Fire will go on to be a classic with the Hunger Games as well.
Title: I Am Number Four Author: Pittacus Lore (James Frey and Jobie Hughes) Publisher: Harper Collins Release: August 3, 2010 Rating:4.5/5 Pages: 440 Series: Lorien Legacies #1 Synopsis: In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now.
The Nine had to separate and go into hiding. The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.
I AM NUMBER FOUR is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.
I AM NUMBER FOUR.
I AM NEXT.
I got this book a couple weeks back and I couldn't wait to read it. I had started it but I then put it on the back burner as it was at a slow part and I wanted to read other things. When I went back to it a few days ago, I was hooked immediately. I don't understand how I could have let that one little slow part stop me from reading the rest of this amazing book.
The cover of this book is just plain intriguing. For the time I was reading a lot, and I mean a lot, of people asked me what book I was reading and if they could read the back cover. It was that eye grabbing, jumping off the shelf, wowing cover. I really like the font though. It's very military or stenciled looking. And the pattern in the background and how in looks white hot and burned in. Personally, I think it represents circular scars that all the Lorien Legacies get when one of the nine dies. What do you guys think?
The characters in this book are great. I love Henri and how nice, supportive and dad-like he was to John (aka number four). Sarah was a great love interest who was truly in love with John, and she made a great love interest for such a unique book. And then John. He was a character that I found grew throughout the entire book into his destiny. And then the characters that cropped up along the way were great and funny and unexpected. I just adored the characters in this book.
The writing and story in this book were wicked. The writing was fun, entertaining and serious all at the same time. And my only problem about this whole book was at times it got slow. But other than that, the story progressed at a great rate. It never rushed and only rarely did it slow down. The ending was also great! The ending was not so much a cliff hanger, but it also left me yearning for the next book.
In the end, I would recommend this book to anyone, whether they are a big reader or not. That's why I Am Number Four deserves a 4.5/5 with no doubt.
Title: Linger Author: Maggie Stiefvater Publisher: Scholastic Press Release: July 13, 2010 Rating:3/5 Pages: 362 Series: Wolves of Mercy Falls #2 Synopsis: 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.
Linger is the sequel to Shiver. Shiver was OK and I wanted to know what happened next so I picked up Linger right away. I started Linger. I read 18 pages. I stopped Linger. I went back two months later to finish it and did so successfully. And that's my story of how I got Linger.
The cover of Linger is my favorite part of the whole book. It's following the same theme as the first with the all green colour scheme in the text inside and on the cover, but the cover has a slightly different picture. I really like the font for the title that's used, as I said about Shiver. I also like the little blood splat that dots the 'i' of the title. It also stays consistent with the first book in that way as well.
The writing in this book, and the first one for that matter, are just too poetic and lyrical for my tastes. I really didn't care for the way that Sam was always coming up with bits and pieces of songs about Grace all the time. It just threw me off a little bit and I didn't really care for it that much. That kind of writing is actually one of my least favorites unfortunately. I really have never cared for poetry at all and this book was getting a little too close to poetry for my liking. But the story in this book was interesting and it does make me want to read the last book, Forever, when it comes out. And the ending really was something. It built up from the start of the book just to have a cliffhanger of equal value to the one at the end of Shiver.
The characters in this book did stay pretty much the same as how they were in the first book other than some growth in relationships and introducing of new characters. Though this story was told from four different points of view instead of the two that were used in Shiver. At times the multiple points of view did make the story a little choppy, but for the most part it didn't really take away from the story all that much.
So overall the cover and the storyline were my favorite parts of this book. I will be reading Forever when it comes out but until then, linger got a 3/5 in my opinion.
On My Wishlist is a weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. This week I have chosen the book Fire by Kristin Cashore.
I am very excited about this book as I own the first and I am reading/ loving it right now. I can't wait to go out and pick up this book as I love the world in Graceling and I can't wait to read it from a different perspective.
I know that I'm enormously late, but I really wanted to do this meme this week! Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event held by Jill over at Breaking The Spine! It's all about those books you just can't wait for and are counting down the days till they come out.
This week for WoW I have chosen...
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong!
I am so, so, so excited for this book to be released as it sounds so different than her Darkest Powers Series but so similar at the same time! I absolutely loved the Darkest Powers series and now we're so close to having the next part to the series! AHHHH!
Title: Shadow Souls Author: LJ Smith Publisher: Harper Teen Release: March 1, 2010 Rating:4/5 Pages: 599 Series: Vampire Diaries: The Return #1 Synopsis:
On the run . . .
Elena Gilbert's love, the vampire Stefan Salvatore, has been captured and imprisoned by demonic spirits who are wreaking havoc in Fell's Church. While her friends Bonnie and Meredith explore the evil that has taken over their town, Elena goes in search of Stefan.
In order to find him, she entrusts her life to Stefan's brother, Damon Salvatore, the handsome but deadly vampire who wants Elena, body and soul. Along with her childhood friend Matt, they set out for the slums of the Dark Dimension, where Stefan is being held captive. It is rumored to be a world where vampires and demons roam free, but humans must live enslaved to their supernatural masters. . . .
Elena will stop at nothing to free Stefan. Yet with each passing day the tension between Elena and Damon grows, and she is faced with a terrible decision: Which brother does she really want?
Back in Fell's Church, Bonnie and Meredith have made some dire discoveries. They hastily try to follow Elena and warn her—only to be caught up in Elena's most dangerous adventure yet.
I got this book only a little while ago, aka a really unusual amount of time after it's release date for me. Usually when a book comes out, I'll have it in the first month at least, but this one I had it several months later. So when I finally got it I read it for a while but then got to a slow part and put it down for a while. After I read a few other books, I got back to Shadow Souls and I then got to where I was 42 pages from the end and stopped again for like three weeks. Then I eventually finished the last 42 pages and here we are.
Now for me, this book is actually somewhere in between a 3.5 and a 4/5 for me. The reasons for my feelings on shadow souls is this: the writing and story telling. Now don't get me wrong! It wasn't horrible or anything, my problems with the writing and the storytelling is that they feel so different from how LJ usually writes. The style in this book is just not my taste as it's very odd. I have no specific example of it, but I just didn't particularly enjoy the writing style in this book. Though it might have something to do with the fact that I'm just so used to the differences in the TV show vs. the books that I tend to like the TV show better than the books. The story was just a little odd in this book as she jumps from kitsunes to vampires to demons and such. Though I do enjoy a little variety in creatures, all the different ones used in Shadow Souls were an odd mash-up that took me a while to digest, but once I had gotten used to the idea, it wasn't that bad.
The way I now picture the characters of The Vampire Diaries books now utterly revolves around who plays who in the TV series. When I read Damon, I picture Ian Somerhalder. When I read Elena, I see Nina Dobrev even though LJ was very clear that Elena was actually blond. Oh well. But the characters I have found that they have stayed steady throughout all the books in the series. The traits in the characters have progressed and grown but the bases stay the same. And what I mean by that is they didn't become totally different characters throughout all the books which was nice.
The covers of the Vampire Diaries books, for me, are kind of bland. I mean don't get me wrong, they're not all that bad either, but they just don't jump out at me. When I walk into a bookstore or if I'm shopping online, the book I always reach for first is the one with the beautiful, lively, crazy or just plain cool cover. That's my opinion, and I don't know whether other people are like me, but that's how I feel.
Overall, this book did win me over in the end I now I can't wait to read the conclusion to The Return Trilogy and later yet, the new series as well (the new Vampire Diaries Series that LJ just announced).
This week for New In The World Of... I have chosen Pittacus Lore. I chose Pittacus as I am currently reading his book I Am Number Four and I'm loving it! So the new news in Pittacus's world is that the second Lorien Legacies book will be coming out next June! It will be called The Power Of Six. What do you guys think? is it a play on words?