Published: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen (Harper)
Page Count: 487 pages
Series: Divergent, #1
Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.
I know. I am probably the last person to read DIVERGENT. But I’m so glad I waited. Want to know why? Because I can’t wait any longer for INSURGENT. That ending was so awesome, but such a cliffhanger!
DIVERGENT is a masterpiece. I read this almost-500-page novel in two days. This book sucked me into the story within in no time, and I found myself already caring for Tris and what might happen to her by chapter two. That is so hard for that to happen to me in a book.
And let’s talk about the characters. Tris has become one of my favorite characters of all time. I love how she gets what she wants and doesn’t whine over herself if she does something wrong. This line really stood out to me:
“I want to feel guilty for what I did. I don’t.”
I love her. And Four is perfect for Tris. He challenges her and pushes her to the limit in training, but out of the arena, the reader can clearly tell that sparks are flying. And you have no idea how much I hate Peter. And I can’t believe he did that to Edward! (if you’ve read DIVERGENT, you know what I’m talking about.)
If I lived in this dystopian world, I would choose Amity, the peaceful, as my faction. We don’t get to learn much about Amity in DIVERGENT, but we might in book two.
Overall, DIVERGENT is brilliant with fantastic characters and pacing like you’ve never seen before. Can May 1st just come already?
DIE FOR ME:
Published: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen
Page Count: 341 pages
Series: Revenants, #1
First Line: "The first time I had seen the statue in the fountain, I had no idea what Vincent was."
In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity. When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent. Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.
*I will be re-reading DIE FOR ME and re-reviewing it soon because I want to jump back into the world of the Revenants before I read book two!*
DIE FOR ME is an electric love story that had me wondering what would happen to the characters!
The writing style in DIE FOR ME was excellent. Amy Plum made me feel as if I was in France, roaming the streets and searching for a cafe. While the beginning was pretty slow, Amy Plum hooked me into the story with the tragic accident of Kate’s parents. And I loved Kate and Georgia (the two sisters) in DIE FOR ME. They had a special, sisterly relationship that shined throughout the book. And when Kate met Vincent, I could tell that Amy Plum was setting us up for something awesome and epic later in the story!
And speaking of Kate, our beloved main character, she had fell for dark and mysterious Vincent soon within the book. Amy Plum made all these characters seem realistic in their dialogue and movement. And I love the background history for all of the characters! Amy Plum put creative and mysterious histories in the lives of all these character, and I applaud her for that!
The setting of France was my absolute favorite part of DIE FOR ME. Amy Plum described this country so well, and I applaud her for that. And that ending knocked me off of my feet! I need to get my hands on a copy of book two when it comes out!
Overall, DIE FOR ME was a great paranormal romance novel!
THE SECRET ME BOOK:
Published: April 1, 2012
Page Count: 208 pages
Discover what makes you, you... What makes you tick and hum? What quirks and habits are yours and yours alone? who do you wish you could be? who are you now? The answers make up your "secret me," your soul's fingerprint. Packed with creative and quirky prompts, ideas, and activities, The Secret Me Book gives you an inspiring way to get to know this core part of you. Scribble thoughts, make lists, paste pictures, and doodle—all tapping into the real you. What would you do if you won the lottery? Is there a movie that defines you? What's your secret talent? Here's your secret me book—it's time to celebrate what you're made of.
THE SECRET ME BOOK is a very thought-provoking journal that asks great questions that can make you think about yourself and the world around you.
THE SECRET ME BOOK is a fun journal that makes you want to laugh out loud and tell your deepest secrets. Rachel Kempster and Meg Leder did a fantastic job crafting together this book of hidden treasures, and I applaud them for that.
One of my favorite things from THE SECRET ME BOOK is how the time passes by as you work through the journal. In no time, I had completed several pages without realizing how much time and effort I put into this. This is a great book to keep for memory-sake and to look back on yourself later in the future. I highly recommend THE SECRET ME BOOK if you want a journal that makes you think and explore yourself. I think the tagline says it best: "A journal to celebrate what makes you, you."
I think something could have been improved though with THE SECRET ME BOOK; the cover. I won't lie; I had the hardest time getting past the cover with me being a guy. It just looks very feminine from my point of view. I know we're not suppose to judge books by their covers, but I think that this book would have been even greater if the reader could doodle and draw on the cover themselves. I mean, it's a book all about you. Why not create the cover yourself?
Overall, THE SECRET ME BOOK is a fun book that has memories locked inside of it. If you're looking for something inspirational and has great questions, this is a must have.
Published: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (Harper Collins)
Page Count: 447 pages
Series: Gone, #3
First Line: "Obscene graffiti."
It's been seven months since all the adults disappeared. Gone.
It happens in one night. A girl who died now walks among the living; Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach; and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most: Drake. But Drake is dead. Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness--or so they thought.
As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake, who is back from the dead and ready to finish where he and Sam left off. And all the while deadly rumors are raging like the fire itself, spread by the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza. They say that death is a way to escape the FAYZ. Conditions are worse than ever and kids are desperate to get out. But are they desperate enough to believe that death will set them free?
Michael Grant did a fantastic job with this one, but the first three books now feel like one big book.
I’m not bashing LIES, but the first three books now feel like one big story. The problems are still the same and only a few characters mature and grew in LIES. But all the crazy action and major plot twists in the story always make up for any flaws in this series.
Beside that one flaw, LIES was perfectly done. With any Michael Grant book, we have tons of action and loads of suspension. And the Darkness inside the book really creeps me to death. Michael Grant’s writing style is the most intricate and powerful writing style I have ever read. If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend you do so.
The characters don’t grow that much in LIES. Sam does mature a lot in this book; he accepts his role as a leader and is ready to overcome in anything that might take him down in the FAYZ. And stupid Caine: I can’t stand him. He is the worst fictional character I have ever read (he surpasses Voldemort for me!). And we get to see an entire new side of Little Petey in LIES that shocked me beyond belief.
Overall, the third book in the Gone series, LIES, was perfectly done, but the storyline is starting to feel the same. Hopefully, somethings will change in PLAGUE.
Published: April 26, 2011
Page Count: 304 pages
Series: Abandon, #1
First Line: "Anything can happen in the blink of an eye."
SHE KNOWS WHAT IT'S LIKE TO DIE. NOW DEATH WANTS HER BACK.
Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back. But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid. Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most. But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.
ABANDON is another Hades and Peresphone re-telling. I’ve noticed more YA re-tellings of this myth nowadays: The Goddess Test, Everneath, etc. ABANDON was a great novel, but the flashbacks in the book were just too confusing.
I adored Meg Cabot’s writing style. She hooked me into the story on the first page, and I couldn’t set the book down. She made her characters seem realistic beyond belief. No wonder everybody loves Meg Cabot! I now have to read all of her books.
But Pierce, the main character, was a bit crazy and immature in somethings she would say. Some sentences didn’t flow well together because of Pierce’s dialogue, and that really turned me off from the story. I loved hearing about John the most. He is such an interesting and dark character, and it made me want to read more about him and his background. And Seth’s ego behind him made me cringe.
And the flashbacks are just too confusing. I would be reading a part in the book that was present tense, and the next sentence would be a flashback. These flashbacks aren’t italicized, nor is there a break in the paragraph. This was my main issue with ABANDON.
But other than those two complaints, ABANDON was just epic. It was loaded with action-packed scenes, and the suspense in this novel was so crazy. One character in this book isn’t who they say they are, and when I found out who the character was, I was so shocked that I had to put the book down.
Published: May 26, 2009
Publisher: Harper Teen
Page Count: 590 pages
Series: Gone, #2
It's been three months since everyone under the age of fifteen became trapped in the bubble known as the FAYZ. Three months since all the adults disappeared. Gone. Food ran out weeks ago. Everyone is starving, but no one wants to figure out a solution. And each day, more and more kids are evolving, developing supernatural abilities that set them apart from the kids without powers. Tension rises and chaos is descending upon the town. It's the normal kids against the mutants. Each kid is out for himself, and even the good ones turn murderous. But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them. The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry.
HUNGER is electric and magnificent. Michael Grant did another fantastic job, and I thought that this book was even better than its predecessor!
The imagination Michael Grant possess is just incredible. The FAYZ is dark and twisted, but the kids living inside this enormous dome are determined to survive. Grant has created realistic characters that have to deal with frightening problems.
As if the title doesn’t give it away, hunger is now threatening Perdido Beach. I couldn’t help myself but keep turning pages into the early hours of the morning. HUNGER kept me on the edge of my seat and my fingers crossed that nothing bad would come of some of the characters. But with Michael Grant, you never know what will happen next.
And I liked HUNGER so much more than GONE! If you haven’t seen my review of GONE, I stated that the ending was too cliche, and I was totally let down from the ending. That’s not the case with this book. Everything was paced perfectly, and the characters grow and mature so much in this book.
Also, the zekes in this book are so creepy. It’s not a spoiler, but lots of mutations are now coming into the FAYZ, and the zekes creep and frighten me the most. The way that Michael Grant describes them makes me shiver!
Overall, HUNGER was a great sequel, and I can’t recommend this series enough. Go pick these books up!
Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered. Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body. Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane. Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.
SLIDE is a creepy and enthralling debut that is one of the most suspenseful novels I’ve read this year!
The whole story idea of SLIDE is just so elegant, freaky and scary. I would hate to see the world through other people’s eyes, especially if those people are people who have done horrible things. Jill Hathaway has crafted together a strong and potential protagonist that I absolutely loved reading about.
I must talk about the suspense in SLIDE. I was literally on the edge of my seat, wondering who the killer was. Jill Hathaway has made these side characters seem nice and sweet on the surface, but hints and clues that they could be fatal and vicious inside. I have never seen an author do that to me before, so props to Jill Hathaway!
The writing style was fantastic. Perfectly paced, with very little slow parts thrown into the book where they were needed. I’m not going to lie; I was skeptical going into this book. I had heard some mixed reviews of SLIDE, but in the end, I really enjoyed it! Jill Hathaway’s writing style sucked me into the story and held me prisoner inside the pages until I finished the book. And I read SLIDE in one day. One. Day.
The only problem I had with SLIDE is the annoying side characters. Amber? Hated her. Mattie? Hated her. Scotch? I wanted to throw him off of a bridge! But still, there were more characters that I loved than didn't, and I want to thank Jill Hathaway for crafting together a wonderful and awesome novel.
Overall, SLIDE was an excellent debut from a very promising author. Can’t wait for book two!
Published: June 24, 2008
Publisher: Harper Teen
Page Count: 558 pages
Series: Gone, #1
In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.
Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.
Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.
It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else...
This is the way the world ends.
GONE is a gripping and enticing novel that brought me into the story head first, shook me around, and left me hanging on one of the biggest cliffhangers I have ever read.
Michael Grant is a utter genius. I read BZRK by him in early March and loved it. His writing style is a captivating writing style that makes me crave reading it. His creative story ideas contain action and suspense, and GONE is one of the most original books I’ve ever read. Brilliance is what this book is.
The characters are so realistic. Sam is one of those characters that you’re excited to root for. You cheer him on while he goes throughout this crazy life inside the dome of the FAYZ. And Caine is so wicked and despicable, you want to throw him off a cliff. Yeah. It’s that bad.
And let’s just talk about the FAYZ for a moment. Craziness and darkness lurk inside this enormous dome. The bullies rule and all the kids of Perdido Beach are always in a constant state of fear. Grant can describe any scene perfectly and always makes me want to know what will happen next.
And the suspension in this story is just pure awesomeness. I would cringe anytime something happened to one of our beloved characters, and Michael Grant always kept me on the edge of my seat. But I felt that the ending of GONE was really cliche. Ever since page 300, they had been planning this huge thing, and then they just drop it like it's nothing in the end. That was the part that made me super upset about GONE.
Overall, GONE is action-packed with a master novelist telling the story. I highly recommend you go pick this up!