Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Review: The Revenge of Seven - Pittacus Lore

The Revenge of Seven (Lorien Legacies, #5)
The worst was supposed to be over.  We were reunited after a decade apart.  We were discovering the truth of our past.  We were training and getting stronger every day.  We were even happy...

We never imagined the Mogadorians could turn one of our own against us.  We were fools for trusting Five.  And now Eight is lost forever.  I would do anything to bring him back, but that's impossible.  Instead I will do whatever it takes to destroy every last one of them.

I've spent my entire life hiding from them, and they've stolen everything away from me.  But that stops now.  We're going to take the battle to them.  We have a new ally who knows their weaknesses.  And I finally have the power to fight back.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.

Number Two in England.

Number Three in Kenya.

And Number Eight in Florida.

They killed them all.

 I am Number Seven.

I will make them pay.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
This book was told from the point of view of Six, John Smith and Ella.  I really liked that they were all fighting the Mogadorians.  I especially like that Adam (the good Mogadorian) has become such a large part of the Loriens.  Also fighting along side them is humans like Sarah, Sam and Mark.  There were so many things going on with all the characters.  I also learned to hate Setrakus Ra even more.  Although we do learn a little background on who he really is.  And also there was a lack of BK in this book, I missed the little guy.  I can't wait to read the next book.


Thursday, September 04, 2014

Book Review: Girl in Translation - Jean Kwok

Girl in Translation
When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings.  Disguising the more difficult truths of her life-like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family's future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition-Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.

Through Kimberly's story, author Jean Kwok, who also emigrated from Hong Kong as a young girl, brings to the page the lives of countless immigrants who are caught between the pressure to succeed in America, their duty to their family, and their own personal desires, exposing a world that we rarely hear about.  Written in an indelible voice that dramatizes the tensions of an immigrant girl growing up between two cultures, surrounded by a language and world only half understood, Girl in Translation  is an unforgettable and classic American immigrant novel-a moving tale of hardship and triumph, heartbreak and love, and all that gets lost in translation.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I really enjoyed how this story begins with Kimberly as a young girl coming to America to a young woman that has adapted in America.  Her story made me think of my own story of coming to the U.S. and all the things you have to go through, especially in school to fit in.  I came to the U.S. from Central America when I was 9 years old not speaking any English.  Like Kimberly I was put in a normal classroom where I did not understand any of the students and teachers,  I didn't dress how they dressed and I just didn't fit it.  Although my financial situation was better off than hers.  But her mother's superstitions reminded me of my mom.  I really enjoyed the book, although I was not too happy about the ending.

Book Review: The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith

The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2)
When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike.  At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days--as he has done before--and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes.  The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.  If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives--meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before...

3/5 stars (liked it)
This was good but I don't think as good as the first book.  Although we learned more about Cormoran and also Robin.  Also we learned a little bit about Cormoran's ex-fiance.  The killer at the end was not someone I even thought of.  I love how Cormoran figured out who it was and how he explained things.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Book Review: Where There is Smoke - Jodi Picoult

Where There is Smoke - Jodi Picoult
Where There's Smoke
Even as a child, Serenity Jones knew she possessed unusual psychic gifts.  Now, decades later, she's an acclaimed medium and host of her own widely viewed TV show, where she delivers messages to the living from loved ones who have passed.  Lately, though, her efforts to boost ratings and garner fame have compromised her clairvoyant instincts.  When Serenity books a young war widow to appear as a guest, the episode quickly unravels, stirring a troubling controversy.  And as she tries to undo the damage-to both her reputation and her show-Serenity finds that pride comes at a high price.

3/5 stars (liked it)
It is a short story that is introducing the character of Serenity.  I liked her from the beginning when we see her as a child, but felt she needed to be taught a lesson.  She is using her psychic gifts, not to help other people but to help herself.  She has spirit guides who have told her as much and in the end she gets taught a very important lesson.  I feel that I learned some much of the character in a such a short book.


Book Review: After the End - Amy Plum

After the End (After the End #1)
She's searching for answers to her past.  They're hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation.  A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness.  They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being  one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them.  Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war.  Cities were never destroyed.  The world is intact.  Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed.  But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her.  Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

3/5 stars (liked it)
The whole idea of this book intrigued me.  It isn't a dystopian society book but there is a twist.  This book is told from the point of view of Juneau and a boy named Miles.  While Juneau has grown up knowing how to hunt and take care of herself, Miles has always had everything he could ever need.  I loved seeing how Juneau learns how to fit in, in a world she thought did not exist, while also on the run from the people that took her clan and are looking for her.  One of the people looking for her is Miles's dad, and in turn Miles goes looking for her.  But he learns so much from Juneau.  After reading the end, I was glad to see that this was the first book in the series.  Although we are given many answers for things, there are still many answers I would like to find out.  Can't wait to read more.

Book Review: I Am Number Four: The Lost Files - Hidden Enemy - Pittacus Lore

I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Hidden Enemy (Lorien Legacies: The Lost Files, #7-9)
Five's Legacy tells the story of Five's early years on Earth when he was just a young teen on the run, discovering his abilities and making the wrong kind of friends.

Return to Paradise picks up in the aftermath of the Mog attack on Ohio and follows Mark James as he struggles between returning to a normal life and helping John Smith and the others.

Five's Betrayal is the exhilarating continuation of Five's story, in which he joins the Mogadorian ranks and must demonstrate his allegiance to them by helping destroy the other Lorien survivors.

You know the truth about the Mogadorians' invasion of Earth and the Garde who will do anything to defeat them--yet there is still so much to learn.  The stories in Hidden Enemy will help you get the answers you seek, but they will not help you stop the coming war.  Only the Garde can save our planet.

3/5 stars (liked it)
It was nice to see why Five betrayed the Lorien.  In the two short stories we see what it was like for him to grow up and what happened to him after his Cepan died.  Also we see how the Mogadorian's got to him and were able to convince him to betray the Lorien.  I also really liked to see what life in Paradise was like after what happened at the school with Four (John) and how the FBI found out that he was back in Paradise.  This is all told from the point of view of Mark James.  It was nice to see a new perspective on things.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Book Review: Silver Shadows - Richelle Mead

Silver Shadows - Richelle Mead
Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5)
In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other.  But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves.  Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him...

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

5/5 stars (loved it)
Wow, where to begin, I absolutely loved this book.  I didn't think I could love a couple as much as I loved Rose and Dmitri but I was so wrong.  Sydney and Adrian are perfect!  I even love their little "child" Hopper.  This book had Sydney at the Alchemist's rehabilitation facility.  It sure made me hate the Alchemists even more.  Also had the void that Sydney's disappearance left in Adrian's life.  His struggle to find out where Sydney was taken to.  I love his determination even when we thought he had given up.  Oh and the end just makes me want to know what is going to happen next.

Book Review: The Forever Contract - Avery Sawyer


 The Forever Contract - Avery Sawyer
The Forever Contract
In the very near future, the country is plunged into drought and unrest.  Scarce resources and constant heat are making life completely miserable.  Casey doesn't think she can stand slugging back another gel pack or working one more shift at the wells.  Fortunately, there's a solution: anyone over the age of seventeen can sign the Forever Contract and enter a utopian paradise.  While people's minds take a permanent vacation, their bodies get warehoused and hooked up to a complex array of sensors and feeding tubes.  As Casey's brother says, "You upload your consciousness to the system and you're free to live as long as you want, however you want.  No more pain, no more heat, no more awful dust, no more work.  Just pure thought.  It's what our species has always been meant for.  Suffering is for philosophers.  Not for me."

Casey's ready to sign--a permanent vacation is just what she needs.  There's only one problem: her boyfriend James doesn't trust it.

Would you sign the contract?

3/5 stars (liked it)
I liked the whole concept of this book and scarily enough I could see something like this really happening.  However, I think it was just too short.  I could see this being a book trilogy rather than a Novella.  It seems like we hardly got to know the characters and everything seemed so rushed.  Overall a good book though.