Saturday, December 1, 2012

Once by Morris Gleitzman - Review

Once by Morris Gleitzman
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: March 30, 2010
Source: Library Book
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Felix, a Jewish boy in Poland in 1942, is hiding from the Nazis in a Catholic orphanage. The only problem is that he doesn't know anything about the war, and thinks he's only in the orphanage while his parents travel and try to salvage their bookselling business. And when he thinks his parents are in danger, Felix sets off to warn them--straight into the heart of Nazi-occupied Poland. To Felix, everything is a story: Why did he get a whole carrot in his soup? It must be sign that his parents are coming to get him. Why are the Nazis burning books? They must be foreign librarians sent to clean out the orphanage's outdated library. But as Felix's journey gets increasingly dangerous, he begins to see horrors that not even stories can explain. Despite his grim suroundings, Felix never loses hope. Morris Gleitzman takes a painful subject and expertly turns it into a story filled with love, friendship, and even humor."

"I got you the boots because everybody deserves to have something good in their life at least once."

This book is both very harsh and real, and the reader receives it straightforwardly and without misconceptions. It touches a subject that almost all of us are familiar with or know about, but it sheds a new light more specifically on the thoughts and grievances of the children during the time. I wouldn't say the story is unique or very "special", but it is absolute.

Our main character, Felix, has one very severe weakness, and it is this weakness that causes him to make mistakes about what is happening around him and to his parents. Felix is extremely apt to making assumptions. And these aren't even educational guesses, these are full-on ignorant, naive explanations for the horrors occurring to him and his family. He is so familiar with storytelling that he treats life as one big story and makes up and imagines the things that happen as if it was his own story. Felix puts up walls around him and accepts only what he tells himself. He believes what he wants to believe, which adds a very immature, childish quality to him (we do not know how old Felix is).

Something I thought to be peculiar was how the chapters began. Each chapter began with the word "Once", followed with the usage of past tense in the first paragraph, then switching to present tense. It gave the feeling that Felix was telling us his story from the past and that he turns out to be okay.

I did not like the ending. It was very abrupt and there was no final tie. There was so much build-up and suspense and curiosity about what was going to happen, and then it ends. It had me thinking, "That's it??". Luckily, this is part of a series and I will be looking forward to reading the sequel, "Then".

One more thing...

What I thought was interesting was the friendly Nazi soldier. Why was he so warm towards Felix? Did he know that Felix was Jewish? Did he care? How could someone who could do so much damage to so many people become so acceptable towards a boy who tells funny stories?


Once is an exhilarating and very short read. It reflects on the Holocaust and the traumatizing experiences that the adults and especially children had to go through. We might not ever experience what these people did, or even half as much the horror they went through either. All we can do is hope that it never happens to us. We have to tell ourselves that it'll all be okay and maybe, hopefully, it will.

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth - Mini-Review

Pubisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: May 3rd 2011
Source: Library Book
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"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. "

Btw, everyone knows and read this book already, so why did I even have to put the summary up there lol. Who knows. And that's also the reason why this is so short. This is going to be short because nothing I can say will give this book justice. Btw, I read this for 6 hours straight yesterday. I NEVER read that long of a time for a book. I was hooked.

Even though I DID give this book 5 stars, the abrupt ending and the revealing of Four's name took off points in my book (haha get That name just ruined him for me, lol. No offense to people who have that name.

My favorite part was the ziplining part. It was described so perfectly and you could actually feel the dystopian feel in that scene.

Some parts were unnecessary and were just fillers, even though they are great and fun to read fillers. Some parts were just plain gory and violent. In the last 75 pages or so there is just one tragedy after another coming up so abruptly that you don't even get prepped for it.

All in all, an imaginative story and a great plot. At first I did find many similarities at the beginning to you-know-what when I was first getting into it, but as the story progressed it branched out into it's own unique novel, and those similarities didn't matter at all anymore. Can't wait to read Insurgent.

NOTE: I really feel like all the negative things I mentioned should deduce at least one star, but I couldn't bring myself to give this any less than 5 stars. If I'm right, then the stars represent how much you like the book and it will be reference to those who want to read it. So even through all these flaws, this book still remains close to my heart and it's unforgettable for me.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hourglass by Myra McEntire - Review

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Source: Library Book
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back. So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

First of all, I want to apologize for not being active for a full week! I'm so sorry, but school has been hectic and I haven't been able to do much reading this week. I promise you I'm back and stronger than ever :). Onto the review!!

Hourglass is definitely an interesting book. The first few pages pull you in when our MC Emerson (no offense, but what's with all these strange names? Hudson, Hadley, and now Emerson) is confronted by a lady who appears to be dressed in 19th century attire. Emerson then proceeds to thrust her hand through this woman to open the door, which causes the woman to disappear. Interesting. However, the pace goes downhill from there. Or should I say uphill, because its so. Freaking. Slow. I found myself just reading 5 pages at a time then getting bored so I would go do something else.

The first half of the book is just about Emerson "coincidentally" bumping into love interest Michael like literally everyday in the most random places (when jogging, or at a coffeehouse). It seemed forced really. There's no way one could bump into someone that many times in a week. What's worse is that said love interest isn't allowed to have an intimate relationship with Em, because he works for her older brother. So no romance..yet. Sigh.

This book is about time travel, which I found was a creative idea among all the other paranormals that are about vampires and witches. However, you could tell that McEntire was heavily influenced by Twilight when she was writing this book. Not as bad as say, Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, but I definitely had my eyes rolling at some parts. I know that all authors' main goal is to be as successful as Twilight or THG, but its not going to happen if you rip it off of them. THG came out after Twilight, and its not about vampires or werewolves, yet it proved to be a huge hit. It's not like Twilight in any way at all, but it was widely successful. So please authors, come up with your own stuff. Yes, that includes little details like having nightmares in your sleep and then being woken up and comforted by your male relative. :)

Sorry for rambling. Okay, now for the plot. Emerson somehow got this ability to see "ripples", which are people from a different era (not exactly ghosts, but similar), around her after her parents died in an accident. When she touches them, they go poof. She has a hard time deciphering who's real and who's not unless their clothing is definitely from another era. Emerson's brother hires an agent from a company called the Hourglass to help her with her ability and a bunch of crazy stuff goes down.

Although the beginning was turtle slow, the second half balances it all out because it was AMAZING. I literally could not put the book down. It was exciting and exhilirating. The ending was definitely unexpected for me. Characters who seemed good turned out bad and characters who seemed bad turned out good.

There were some people and things that I felt weren't touched on enough and whose stories felt incomplete. For example, Lily, Em's best friend, was only talked about for maybe a total of 15 pages, and then we didn't hear much about her at the end. One thing I loved though, was that McEntire handled her description very maturely. Only by her description and last name would you infer that Lily was Hispanic. I loved how she wasn't described by her race, and how you would have to guess that she was Hispanic. That made me appreciate McEntire in a whole new way. (I am in no way saying that being Hispanic is bad. I just hate how nowadays characters are described by race as if that really factored in who they are as a person. Tis all :))

Sorry for the long ass review. Although I had a lot of problems with this book, the creativity and emotion set in it outweighs all the negative aspects. I can't bring myself to give it 5 stars, but it does deserve at least 4. Great debut, now onto the sequel :).

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday {6}

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and it features the top ten books that comes to your mind under a certain category announced each week. This week's category is:

Top Ten Sites I Read That Aren't Book-Related

This is a fairly simple TTT this week! Here's ten other sites I visit that aren't about books:

1. Facebook - Almost everyone has a Facebook! Although I will say I haven't been using it

much lately.

2. AOL - I use AOL to read news and for checking my personal e-mail. :b

3. Live/MSN - I use this to check more news and check my book blog e-mail.

4. Tumblr - An amazing site with gorgeous quotes and pictures. A must for me!

5. omgpop - I'm embarrassed to say that I do play games on when I feel like relaxing. :)

6. Furry-Paws - As most of you know, I am obsessed with dogs so it only makes sense to come on here once in a while.

7. Twitter - A lot of people tweet almost 10 or 15 times a day, but I never know what to say in my tweets, lol!

8. Youtube - Another go-to place when I want to unwind and watch funny videos.

9. Etsy - Used to look around for great items, as well as try to sell my own. :)

10. - I love all the amazing looks and fashion on this website. For my girlier side :b

What's your TTT? Comment below!

Don't forget to join my various giveaways!!
Goosebumps Galore (Ends 5/30)
The Babysitter's Club (Ends 5/30)

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Stacking the Shelves {3}

Hey Everyone! I'm here today with another Stacking the Shelves, hosted at Tynga's Reviews. This is where we share what we bought, received, or borrowed each week :).

I actually only received one book this week, along with a signed Breathless tours poster I won. Slow week I suppose :).

For Review:

Changing Worlds by Donald E. Dambois


Danielle Walkerman and her family are looking to spend quality time together at a log cabin in the woods, only to get disrupted when alone in the hills, she discovers a pale girl with white hair lying unconscious on the ground. When they find out she's homeless, Danielle convinces her dad to let the girl, named Dharalyn, return home with them.

Danielle begins to notice strange things about Dharalyn. She continues to lose the color in her face and appears sicklier every day. When she catches Dharalyn drinking blood from Danielle's grandmother, the young girl, believing her grandmother had been attacked, throws her houseguest out. After learning the truth, Danielle struggles to overcome her prejudices. Realizing that Dharalyn needs blood to survive and that their bond is stronger than her fears, she finds Dharalyn and convinces her to return home.

Upon discovery that Danielle's family may lose their ranch, Dharalyn offers her most prized-possession, a pair of diamond bracelets. When the two girls travel to the city to pawn the diamonds from the bracelets, they meet with businessman Michael Moretti, a suspected mob boss who manages to swindle them. Dharalyn takes drastic measures to get the full amount of money from the crooked boss in order to help her new friends.

But that's not the end of the mob boss for the two girls. Michael Moretti sends a group of his henchmen to the girls' school after his suspicions are confirmed that one of the girls is not who she seems. When the men arrive at the school, the new friends face a dangerous fight for their lives.

I received this in the mail from the author, Donald E. Dambois via Bostick Communications. It sounds mysterious C:. Comment below telling me what you received on your shelves this week!

Don't forget to check out my 2 giveaways that are ending in 10 days!

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TBR Pile Reading Challenge 2012

The 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge is a challenge where you try and read all or most of the books that have been sitting on your shelves for a long time! This is so that you can clean up your bookshelf and say that you read all the books on it! :) There's also some prizes!

Only books released in 2011 and earlier! NO ARCs and 2012 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!

I am going for Level 3: A Sweet Kiss, which is 21-30 books. I will be posting a wrap-up post at the end of every month with the books I've read that month.

These are the hosts for the challenge:

Evie from Bookish - @SeoEvie
Nicole from All I Ever Read - @Nicoleabouttown
Bonnie from Hands and Home - @HandsHomeBlog
Donna from Book Passion For Life - @BookPforLife
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading - @caitlingss
Rie from Mission To Read - @missiontoread
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea - @alouetteuette
Christa from Hooked On Books - @ChristasBooks
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction - @fansoffiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision - @mermaidvisions

More info can be found here. I hope you all can join the challenge! I will be posting my reviews on here. (You can see my list on Goodreads!)

Here's the button:

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Thursday, May 17, 2012


Hey everyone! Next week is the last three days of school for me!! I can't wait! Unfortunately, that means that finals are coming up. I'm going to be studying really hard, so I have absolutely no time to read or blog. Because of this, I will be on a very very short hiatus, until May 23rd. I will try my best to get in at least one or two memes until then, but no reviews! ): I promise everything will be back to normal starting the 23rd!

Thank you all for being loyal followers... I can't believe I'm already almost to 150 followers! I love you all.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teaser Tuesday {1}

Hey everyone! I've been wanting to do Teaser Tuesday for a long time but have never gotten around to it. I'm not really interested in doing this week's TTT, so I figured I would start Teasure Tuesday. :)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

For this week, I'm going to pick the teasers from:

by Ilsa J. Bick

"How dumb was it, me believing that Mr. Anderson was doing anything other than just being nice to the whacko new kid. He had to be thinking about what my dad had said: that I'd been on a psych ward and had problems." -page 160

Show me yours below! Thanks for stopping by!

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith - Review

Publisher: Poppy/Little Brown
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Source: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

“Is it better to have had a good thing and lost it, or never to have had it?”

Sometimes things will go in a direction that you don't want them to. You don't have any power to stop it, and you can't change its direction or its course. The end might even be inevitable, and as much as you try, you can't do anything about it. You might think that it's the worst possible thing that could ever happen, but sometimes it might even be the best thing for everyone.

That is what Hadley Sullivan is dealing with when she arrives at the airport, about to board the plane that will lead to the worst day of her life. She's dreading every moment she has to be with her traitor of a father and his soon-to-be-wife, who she's never met. What's worse is that she misses her flight by 4 minutes. However, if it weren't for her missed flight, she would have never met the boy who changed her life.

The characters were very likable, and I felt like I was there with them. The relationship between Hadley and Oliver is very epic and amazing and just ... witty. I love their light conversations and sarcastic comments between each other. It brought the book to life. Although, I wouldn't say that they were really in love. At least, it didn't feel like that to me when I was reading it. They just seemed like the best of friends, despite only having known each other for a couple of hours.

Oliver is amazing. He's such a gentleman (he carries Hadley's suitcase for her all the way to the plane!), and he is very caring and understanding. He seems like a really carefree, outgoing guy. However, later in the story we realize that there's much more to him than just jokes and teasing. He also has problems, which seem magnified compared to Hadley's complication. What's more amazing is that he managed to direct his attention to Hadley for the most part of the trip to London, while he had to go through such a difficult situation privately. He is probably the dream guy for most of the people I know.

I was surprised that Hadley & Oliver's relationship was not the main focus of the book. It only lasts about 100 pages, and then Hadley has to deal with the silent fight between her and her dad. I felt that Hadley forgiving her father was what the book was all about. We didn't really see much of Oliver after they parted in London. However, I really enjoyed reading about how Hadley was coming to terms with her father's abandonment. She realizes that it is for the best, and that no matter what she does, she can't make everyone happy at once.

The story in general didn't really make me cry, but I will share with you the passage where I did start to tear up. It's near the end, when Hadley goes to see Oliver:

"Back home in Connecticut, there's a bird bath just outside her kitchen window, which Hadley used to look out at while doing the dishes. The most frequent visitors were a pair of sparrows who used to fight for their turn, one hopping around the edge and chirping loudly as the other bathed, and then vice versa. . . although they generally spent the entire time squabbling, they always arrived together, and they always left together."
"One morning she was surprised to see only one of the birds. It landed lightly on the stone lip of the bath and danced around the edge without touching the water, rotating its rounded head this way and that with a sense of bewilderment so pitiful that Hadley had leaned to the window and peered up at the sky, though she knew it would be empty."

TSPOLAFS is a fantastic love story. Although it didn't exactly blow me away, it was still very true and very realistic. I have never been a fan of 3rd person, but it worked for me anyway, although sometimes I got confused when there were two "she"'s. It is probably one of the shortest books I've ever read, and it seems even shorter since its occurring during an exact 24-hour time period. However, don't pass up on it! :)

Don't forget to check out my 2 giveaways going on right now! They end May 30th.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stacking the Shelves {2}

Hey Everyone! I'm here today with another Stacking the Shelves, hosted at Tynga's Reviews. This is where we share what we bought, received, or borrowed each week :).

(Sorry about the obnoxious glare!)

From the Library:
I didn't receive that much this week, but I did receive Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross! I'm excited to read that one c:. I'm also going to go get Hourglass tomorrow so that's why it's not in the pic ^^.

I never win anything. So you probably know how I felt when I was told I won a contest held by Rachel Caine herself! Although this was last year, I just got my present, which was a signed copy of Black Dawn along with some swag and a gift card, which I received last year. It's possible that I will giveaway the signed Black Dawn... :). I also won a comment contest and received a copy of Wither, which I haven't read yet and am stoked to! :)

For Review:

I received this pre-teen girl book called the Starlettes from this company called Bostick Communications and was asked to review it by the author. It looks so cute! I would have definitely been obsessed with this series 5 years ago.

I also received Timepiece from NetGalley for review (excited!!!)

Timepiece (Hourglass, #2)

Thanks for reading! Comment below telling me what you received on your shelves this week!
Don't forget to check out my 3 giveaways going on! (One is ending tomorrow!)

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