Waiting on Wednesday #1

So we've decided to try out another of those weekly events, like the Top Ten Tuesday. This one's called Waiting on Wednesday...

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event meant to showcase the not-yet-released books that we are eagerly awaiting.

The Unfailing Light by Robing Bridges (Katerina Trilogy #2)

Having had no choice but to use her power has a necromancer to save Russia from dark forces, Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, now wants to forget that she ever used her special powers. She's about to set off to pursue her lifelong dream of attending medical school when she discovers that Russia's arch nemesis--who she thought she'd destroyed--is still alive. So on imperial orders, Katerina remains at her old finishing school. She'll be safe there, because the empress has cast a potent spell to protect it against the vampires and revenants who are bent on toppling the tsar and using Katerina for their own gains. But to Katerina's horror, the spell unleashes a vengeful ghost within the school, a ghost more dangerous than any creature trying to get in.

Release date: October 9th, 2012



Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

       In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue- Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful) and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is- she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 
       During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are- and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help save those she loves...or it might destroy her. 

I really loved this book. I'm just going to say that right off the bat. It had hooked me right at the first sentence. (Way to go, Veronica Roth!) Well, actually I think I might have been pretty much sold right as soon as I saw the cover of the book. I know, I know, never judge a book by it's cover, but this one just really drew me in. I remember seeing the cover on a page in a magazine, and it literally JUMPED out at me. Like that was all I saw. It sounds weird, but it's true. I saw it, and in my head said: "I have to read that book! I have to go to Chapters right now, and buy that book!" So if I recall correctly, that is exactly what I did. 

And my spontaneity was most definitely not in vain! This book really delivered in terms of excellent characters, an intriguing plot, and a very interesting setting

First off, you better know that I am drawn to books with a strong, dominant female character. (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, you get the picture) Independence, strong will and drive are three traits that main character Tris Prior possesses, which I find very admirable. It is always a sign of good characterization when you, as the reader, look up to the main character in awe, and wish you could have qualities such as the ones they have. 

I also loved Four as a character. He was the mysterious, thoughtful, older guy that I would probably fall for too. (He actually reminds me of someone I know in real life... so that added a bit of depth for me.) At first, when you originally meet Four, he seems reserved, and a bit cold and unlikable, but as you continue through the course of the story, he opens up slowly, and you get to see him in a new light. 

Other minor characters in the background of the overall plot, such as Christina, Al, Peter, Uriah, Will and Tori also added interest. A lot of the time, minor characters in books are kind of flat and boring, just there to be friends with the main character, or give them some bit of advice that will help them later on. But I felt that these characters each had a whole story behind them. You could see a little bit into their backgrounds, and even imagine a book being written about their lives. I really noticed development of all the characters. Not just the major ones. 

The I wish I had thought of this idea. In some ways, it was like every other dystopian-type book I've read, (The Hunger Games, Matched, Delirium, etc.) but in other ways, not at all. When you first read the little blurb on the dustcover, you think, "oh okay, another society that is completely controlled by a corrupt government to "protect" them from themselves." But once I read more, I noticed something different about it. In all those other books, the people were being forced to do something, or be a certain way. And that may be true, a little bit in Divergent, in fact it is true to some extent, but for the most part, the people get to choose. They choose which faction they want to live in, evidently choosing which way of life best fits them. What do they believe? The choice is up to them. Though the options are limited, I found that this fact set Divergent apart from other dystopian novels. (Hopefully that made sense! :P) 

One last point I would like to bring up, is the fabulous setting and description. Veronica Roth really has a way with words, that pulls you into her world entirely. You can experience the dystopian Chicago that Tris is experiencing, right along with her. It was kind of magical to read. 

Okay, I'll stop rambling now and let you go read the book! Because you know you want to... 

The Good: characters, plot
The Bad: there was violence described, so if that's not your cup of tea, maybe steer clear of this book. 
The Verdict: 5 out of a possible 5 Mars Bars. Mmmm... Mars Bars... 

keep readin' it write!


Top Ten Tuesday #5

Top Ten Tuesday is  weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten list for that topic. 

This week's topic is: Top Ten Bookish Confessions (Anything! You dog ear, you hated a book but said you loved it, you have $500 library fines...anything goes!)

So, in no particular we go!

1. I (Megan) am TOO careful with my books... 
If that's even possible...I am a little bit paranoid though. All of my books are in pristine condition. I NEVER dog ear, and even one crack in the spine would probably kill me... A few weeks ago I lent a book to my brother, and I distinctly remember saying to him in a particularly stern voice: "This book better look brand new by the time I get it back, or else someone is going to be buying me a new one..." Yeah... I'm a nice sister aren't I? Ha ha... But this way, my books last forever! And they look so pretty on my bookshelf....

2. I (Megan) read too fast.
Sometimes, when I am reading a particularly good book, (ie: Divergent, Harry Potter, etc.) I read pretty fast. I want to know what happens next SO bad, that I sometimes might skim over a few of the drier paragraphs, in order to get to the good stuff. This is usually a bad idea, because it means later on in the book when the plot doesn't make a sliver of sense, I had to go back and read what I missed anyways. It seems like a good idea at the time to skip it, but in the long run, reading it then would be much easier, and smarter!  

3. I (Megan) can never actually picture character's faces. (Rachel can second this one)
This seems a little bit weird to me, does it happen to anybody else? When I read a book, I can NEVER, ever picture what the character's face would look like. (Unless of course, the author goes into full detail about the contour of the character's nose, and exactly how many freckles they have, which unfortunately does not happen too often..) I can picture their body, (height, weight, hair, even mannerisms, etc.) but they are always just a faceless figure. No matter how hard I try, I can never imagine what their facial features would be. Anyone else have this problem? Or am I the only weird one here...? Ha ha.. :P 

4. I (Megan) use random pieces of paper as bookmarks.
Even though I have a collection of about 70 or so nice, fancy bookmarks, I rarely actually use them to, well, mark books... You'll often find me sticking a movie ticket stub or a transit pass into my book instead of the lovely embossed Gryffindor House bookmark, with the gold tassel and Hogwarts crest charm on the end. I try to remember to use them, but I always forget! 

5. I (Megan) secretly hope that ebooks don't get too popular...(not too much of a secret now I guess...)
Don't get me wrong, I do understand and support the idea of saving paper and helping the environment and all that with virtual books, (I do read some ebooks on my iPad) but that means that they are, well virtual books... There's just something about actually holding the physical book, the fresh smell of cracking it open for the first time, and physically flipping the page. Not to mention the satisfying crinkle noise that flipping the page makes... Ahhh... And if ebooks took over the literature industry, that beautiful experience would be torn away from us... So sad... 

6. I (Megan) have started reading Eragon by Christopher Paolini two times...and never finished it... oopsies! 
I just could never get into it! I want to read it, and want to like it, but I just couldn't get myself to read very much farther than the first few chapters... It just didn't hook me in I guess... 

7. Sometimes if I (Megan) come across a new word I don't know the meaning of, I skip over it, and don't look up the definition.
I admit it! I'm just too lazy sometimes! Ha ha.. And plus, if it's a good book, I usually don't want to stop reading to do something as measly as looking up the definition of a word, that might not even mean much to the story. I should probably change that... 

8. Sometimes, if there's a book that I (Rachel) am reading, and it's not super duper fantastical, then I'll put it off.
I'll read magazines, self-published books on my ipod, fanfiction, you name it. I have to force myself to read proper books sometimes, even thought once I do I wouldn't have rather spent my time any other way.

9. I (Rachel) read more then I should at the wrong times.
I'll admit it, if I show up at school looking particularly tired one morning, it's cause I didn't get as much sleep as I should've. Sometimes books are just too good to pass up for sleeping!

10. You should never judge a book by it's cover, but sometimes I (Rachel) do.
Did you know that in the first tenth of a second (or some milliscule amount of time like that...) the first time you see a person, your brain automatically makes a first impression? And did you know that that first impression is almost always true? Well, happens to me with books sometimes. Except the being true part, since covers can be completely misleading. But seriously, if a cover looks boring, there's less of a chance I'll actually pick it up to read the back. I don't mean to, I swear! It's an unconscious thing. 

So there you have it, now you all know our deepest, darkest, bookish secrets (or at least some of them)...what are yours? 

keep readin' it write!
Megan and Rachel


A Quick Bookish Survey

This is a little survey I found on The Broke and Bookish this morning while surfing my usual websites. I thought I'd do my own since it looked like fun. 

1. The book I'm currently reading: Insurgent by Veronica Roth
I absolutely loved Divergent, (review coming soon!) it was one of those books that you pick up, and can't physically put down until you've read your way through all of its 487 pages. So naturally Insurgent would be a must read! So far the sequel really is just as good, if not better than Divergent, so I'm pretty happy!

2. The last book I finished: The Luxe by Anna Godberson
This book was somewhat of a letdown for me. As I said in this review, it didn't really feel like a cohesive story, but more like a documentary of a bunch of different people's lives. It just didn't sit particularly well with me. 

3. The next book I want to read: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I've been wanting to read this book for a while now, (hello, CYBORGS!) but haven't gotten around to picking it up. Luckily the other day while I was at Chapters, my dad pointed it out to me on the bargain book table. It was only 6 bucks! I couldn't leave without it. I'm very excited to read this. 

4. The last book I bought: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Well, to be honest, I bought this book at the same time as I bought Cinder, but I figured it would be cheating if I used the same book for two questions... :) But I am equally as excited about this book as I am about Cinder. Neil Gaiman is completely amazing. I am a huge fan of his, especially since he wrote one of my all time favourite episodes of Doctor Who.... 

5. The last book I was given-err, lent: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
This question was really, REALLY hard... I can't actually remember the last book I was given to keep, like a gift, mine forever sort of thing... The last few times I have gotten books they have been from a little friend called Me-Myself-and-I. But my brother lent me Incarceron a little while ago. He said it was a really good book and recommended that I read it. Which, of course I haven't gotten around to yet. Oh, the pains of life...too many books and not enough time to read them all. Sometimes I wish I had four eyes, and two brains or something, so I could read two books at the same time... hmmmm, that's a slightly creepy thought now isn't it... 

Well that was fun! I should post survey-ish things more often...Anybody read any of these books? 

keep readin' it write!


Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . . Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

Right from the get-go, this book was an instant winner. Why it took me so long to read, I dunno, but I'm glad I did.

It's fast paced and exciting, with some witty humour and just the tiniest bit of romance, a whole ton of action and lots of fantasy. It had the kind of plot that I really like, the kind when the author includes something- a name, an object, a person, something odd, etc- early on that later is a key in the plot but completely unexpected. I don't know if you would call it foreshadowing, exactly, but it might be. Harry Potter is a really good example of this. At the end, everything just slides right into place, no loose ends left- except those left to be solved in the next book, of course.

All of the main characters in this book first seemed mostly one-dimensional and flat, but slowly the reader finds out that there is much, much more to all of them. No one is as they seem to start, whether they know it or not.

This is one of those books that you just gotta read yourself. There's not much that I can say that won't give something away, really, all I can do is just continue on raving about it.

I have the rest of that stack of books that I got to read, but I'm tempted to just ignore those and just buy the next book in this series instead. It had such a good ending, I want to find out what happens next!

The City of Bones is in the pre-production stages of becoming a movie, and they are mostly through casting, I think. You can find most of the cast on For the most part, I think that they have cast the characters well. I can't wait to see this as a movie!

Just a warning, though. After I wrote this review, I went to Goodreads to grab the book blurb and I skimmed other people's reviews quickly at the same time. It seems as if people either love it or hate it. I got caught up so quickly that I read the book really fast, and nothing bothered me enough for me to notice. So there are many different opinions on this book. 

The Good: Everything, but mostly the plot and the world.
The Bad: I actually can't think of anything I didn't like about this book.
The Verdict: 4.5/5
I would recommend this book to: Anybody who likes YA books. 



Top Ten Tuesday #4

Top Ten Tuesday is  weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten list for that topic. 

This week's topic is Top Ten Books I've Read During the Lifetime of our Blog

Except, since our blog hasn't been around for very long and we haven't read a ton of books to choose ten from, we'll just choose a few favourites. This post is written by both Megan and Rachel. 

1. Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
This book just drew me (Rachel) right into a story unlike anything I've ever read. 

2. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
I (Rachel) didn't review this one, Megan did, but I did read it after her and I loved it too! Can't wait till I can get a chance to read the next one. 

3. Wolves of Mercy Falls Series by Maggie Stiefvater
It is a trilogy, but I (Rachel) thought it would be kind of cheating to list all three, haha. Once I started with this series, I couldn't let it go till I was finished! Amazing.

4. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
This is the last book I (Rachel) finished. No review yet, but it's almost ready to go! I loved the fast-pace action-ness of this book. It was so much fun and I can't wait to get the next one!

5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I (Megan) loved this book! It was completely different from anything I had ever read before, and it was amazing because of that. It was kind of like a futuristic version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, jam-packed with pop-culture references from the eighties! It was just a ton of fun. 

6. The Selection by Kiera Cass
This book was fascinating, because of the whole scenario and concept. A contest to see who gets to become queen? That's a different approach than we usually see with royalty! I (Megan) found it very intriguing! 

7. Divergent/Insurgent by Veronica Roth
I (Megan) haven't actually written a review for Divergent yet, but I finished reading it near the time when we started this blog, and I am about halfway through Insurgent, so I figured I could get away with squishing them into one. Divergent for me, was one of those books that you start reading, and after about the first three lines, you can't possibly put it down. It was that good. I promise I will post a review of it soon! (I better do that before I finish reading Insurgent, eh? :P) And speaking of Insurgent, so far it is very good as well, Veronica Roth is doing a good job of developing her characters and giving them more depth, so I'm excited to see how the story unfolds! 

So those are the ones that stand out for us the most. Have you read any of these?

-Rachel and Megan


Review: The Luxe by Anna Godberson

Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.
Irresistible boys with sly smiles and dangerous intentions.
White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.
This is Manhattan, 1899.

Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone - from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud - threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.

With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear....

In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.

I had high hopes for this book. It kept popping up everywhere, so I finally decided to pick it up from the library, and give it a go. But unfortunately, I have to didn't really live up to my expectations. 

First off, it was confusing. Now this may have been due to the fact that Ms. Godberson decided to write it using many different POV's, (as Rachel and I have mentioned before, it doesn't always work too is a hard literary device to pull off) or it could have been just the overall storyline. Or both. Whatever it was, it was a tad hard to follow. But despite my ocasional confusion, I kept on trucking through. 

Another thing I didn't really like was the plot. Or lack thereof... I felt that this book was more of a documentary of a bunch of people's lives than it was a story. It wasn't obvious what the main conflict was until very late in the book. For this reason, I found it pretty boring to read. There wasn't anything pulling me in. No big questions that I needed to know the answer to. I almost had to force myself to read it. And that's not good. 

On a lighter note, I did think the characterization was pretty good. Especially that of Lina Broud. She was a very interesting character to read. I looked forward to reading the chapters that were written in her perspective. I also enjoyed reading Diana Holland's chapters. Both Lina and Diana were a bit reckless, and spontaneous, which lightened the mood of the book a little bit. I also found that Penelope Hayes was a good "villain" in the story. Her personality and thoughts made her very easy to hate. 

I wasn't very fond of Elizabeth Holland, but that's not saying she was a badly developed character, I just wasn't all that fond of her personality and choices. Henry Schoonmaker was interesting, but a bit weird in my opinion. His chapters were a bit confusing to read. 

Another aspect that I thought was executed well was description. The setting was very vivid in my mind, as well as the clothing and scenery that was described. Which was a major plus for this book, since it is set in a very intriguing time period. 

The last few chapters of this book were very good, but the rest of the book was kind of blah. Beige, boring, dry. Whatever you want to call it. It's unfortunate that the story didn't "hook" me earlier on. 

The Good: Description and characterization. 
The Bad: Plot and "hook"
The Verdict: 2/5 smiley marshmallows.

keep readin' it write!


Top Ten Tuesday #3

Top Ten Tuesday is  weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten list for that topic. 

This week's topic is Top Ten Book Romances that Would Make It in the Real World

1. Sam and Grace from Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater
I dunno, but for whatever reason, this was the first couple that popped into my head when I thought about this topic. Other then the whole werewolf thing, they are a pretty real couple that deal with real problems in the books, and stick together. It just made sense to have them on this list.

2. Bill and Fleur from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Again, I dunno why, but they just seem so right for each other!

highlight if you want to read it.
Alanna and George 
Their lifestyles matched up, their priorities matched up, and they were just always there for each other when the other needed it the most.

4. Ginny and Harry from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
They just seem like two people that are so real and right

And then this is where I completely ran out of ideas, but I think that J.K. Rowling did a really good job with all of the people she stuck together, so I'm just going to list all the best ones, kay?

5. Remus and Tonks

6. Molly and Arthur

7. James and Lily

As you may or may not have guessed, I was completely and utterly stumped with this one and also didn't have a lot of time to do it. Naw, that's a lie. I did, I just couldn't think of anything xD

Also, you might or might not have noticed that there wasn't a Top Ten Tuesday last week, and that's because it was one that I didn't feel our blog was old enough to be able to properly list things for. So we will continue on like normal from now.


Review: Pegasus by Robin McKinley

"A gorgeously-written fantasy about the friendship between a princess and her pegasus."
Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication.
But it’s different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close—so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo—and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.

After trying to get a hold of this book for the longest time, I finally found and read it. The main reason for me reading it was the pegasus part. Horse crazy inner me just would not let me pass it up. And I'm really glad I did read it. It wasn't what I'm used to, and it's different. It's more of a tale, really, then a novel. If that makes sense... It's because there didn't seem to be a huge conflict in the book. I would have a hard time pin-pointing what exactly they were fighting against, at least until the very end. It does set up very well for a large amount of conflict and some pretty good challenges for the characters in the next book, though. But does this lack of conflict mean it was a bad book? No, I don't think so. It was more like reading about some life that I wish I had. It told the story of Sylvi and Ebon's friendship and their world. It made me envious of their lives. It was nice to read, and a happy feel-good kind of story.

What was your favourite scene in this book?
The scenes when Sylvi and Ebon had conversations were by far my favourite. Just the way they talk to each other and the way Ebon sees the world differently then Sylvi, were highly entertaining.

Do you think this book would make a good movie?
No, it wouldn't. Not because the story is bad, but because it just isn't cut out for it. It's not very fast, it's a rather slow story, and is more of a fairytale then a story with lots of conflict and action.

I'm looking forwards to the next book, it's set up for lots of action and conflict and it just might be very exciting!

The Good: Imagery, characters, setting, concept
The Bad: More of a fairytale then a complex story, but that's only a bad thing if you look at it the wrong way.
The Verdict: 4/5
Who I would recommend this too: People who like fairytales or mythical creatures or princesses.



Review: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.

An evil presence is growing within Europe's royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina's strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar's standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina's help to safeguard Russia, even if he's repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.

The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?

Firstly, it's set in Russia. In the late 1800's. The main character is over the upper class, she's a duchess. COOL, RIGHT? No way I could resist this book. There's a bit in the beginning about the Russian names that are used, and I just love saying them outloud. They sound so pretty and elegant! The main character is Katerina Alexandrovna- say it out loud, and then tell me that's not pretty.

So now that I'm done being a word-nerd...
Combine the facts that it's set in the late 1800's (there's that time period me and Megan love) is historical fiction, has the fancy balls of the Victorian courts, as well as some magic and supernatural-ness, (Ok, a lot of the supernatural-ness) and you've got one pretty amazing book.

One thing that I found really cool about this book was the way fantasy, magic and the supertnatural were mixed in. It wasn't just willy-nilly random, it had a point. All of the creatures and the way the magic worked and everything was actually from Russian myths and legends. Pretty much, the author turned what was Russian myths into the real history of this world. It was vampires and the undead like I've never read them before. (that's a compliment, not like how the vampires in Twilight were just completely re-invented to be all sparkly and immortal)

Being a bit more technical, the characters were all very well-thought out. Katerina the main character, is another one of those female heroines that would be among the best kind of heroines- Hermione, Katniss, Tamora Pierces' heroines- the kick-ass kind. If Katerina didn't like something, she went out and fixed it, quite literally. When she had to get to a doctor to help a friend, she snuck out of her boarding school at night and walked through the streets of Oldenburg to get to a hospital, risking suspension or expulsion from her school. The only thing that I didn't like so much about her was that some of her decisions or logic didn't make a lot of sense.

Other characters that I really liked were George Alexandrovich, one of the grand-dukes, Daryia, Katiya's cousin, Petya, Katiya's brother, Katiya's parents, the doctor. This book also had those bad characters that you love to hate, just like Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter.

Also, the way Robin Bridges wrote about character relationships was really vivid. Katiya and her family, her friends, her enemies, they are all very easy to relate to even if you have never had a relationship like that. Robing Bridges created tension, attraction, friendship, hostility, irritation and so many other things in such a way that you could feel it yourself, as if you were Katerina.

I only had two problems with this book. The first was that, because the names aren't ones I'm familiar with (as in, they aren't names that I know and aren't commonly found in English) it made it harder for me to keep track of some of the minor characters, especially at the beginning when many people were introduced. (There did seem to be too many characters at times.) After that, it just took a bit of double-checking sometimes. 

The other problem is that the synopsis hinted at more romance then there was. Now, I'm perfectly fine with the amount that it did have, it just always irks me when the synopsis is misleading. It's possibly one of my biggest pet peeves.

The Good: The setting, the plot, the characters. Plus George.
The Bad: Slight synopsis slip-up. Say that five times fast!
The Verdict: 5/5
I would recommend this to: Anyone who likes the supernatural, historical fiction, girl-power girls, European settings, darker fantasy,

And now excuse me while I go back to staring out the window at this freak summer lightning storm + absolute downpour of rain. Really, the thunder is so loud I can actually feel it. Freaky stuff. It's been about an hour and a half so far, and still going strong. Cross your fingers I don't get struck by lightning! Knock on wood...



Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Right off the bat I'll tell you that this was not my favourite book in the world. It wasn't the best display of fiction I have ever read, but it also wasn't torturous to read through it. :) The concept was interesting, (as most dystopian book's settings are) but I'm not totally sure the execution was as good as it could have been. Well, at least not totally was I was hoping it would be. 

I found the characterization in this book a bit lack-luster. Cassia is an okay character, but she is also a bit indecisive. Which can be a bit frustrating to read at times. I found Xander to be probably the best character. He had a consistent, strong and likeable personality. It's too bad there wasn't more of him in the story...Then there is Ky... Ky I didn't understand at all. He was pretty quiet at the beginning, so you think "Okay, mysterious dude. We'll probably find out more about him later in the book. Cool." but no. Even when he started talking to Cassia more and you found out more about him, I found it very confusing and hard to understand him. And other points brought up in the book by other characters make it even more difficult to puzzle him out. 

On a lighter note, I think the overall story arc has good potential for the future. I will probably read the sequel to find out how this slightly confusing debut continues. Don't get me wrong here, the story itself is an interesting one, it's just the characters I was not all that fond of. I guess I just didn't really connect with any of them on a personal level. Which is often part of what makes a book good in my opinion, that close-to-home, "I-know-exactly-how-you-are-feeling" connection you get from good characterization.  

If your family was made up of characters from Matched, who would you NOT want to be related to? 
Xander, because I would probably have a crush on him. ;) Hahaha... 

Who was your favourite character? 
Xander, because I would probably have a crush on him. 

What book did this book remind you of? 
Xander, because I would probably have a crush on him... AHAHA I guess I can't get away with the same answer for this one, can I? Okay, okay...hmmmm... I guess this book kind of reminded me of Across the Universe by Beth Revis. Both stories have a very controlling government, that even controls food intake and activities the people partake in. The settings felt very similar. (Even though one is on Earth, and the other in the middle of outer space!)  

The Good: Setting, description, overall story/idea
The Bad: Characterization. If you didn't get that from all my rambling up there^^
The Verdict: I give this book 3 out of a possible 5 Maltesers. Maltesers are good. 

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