Friday, October 28, 2011

First Giveaway!




For my first giveaway, I will be giving one $25.00 gift card for Barnes & Noble. It’s my first giveaway contest so I’m starting out small. So please click on the link below to enter. Giveaway will end 11/9/11 and a winner will be selected using Random.org. I will email the winner who will have to contact me within 48 hours. Otherwise, I will give to the next winner, Good luck!

                       

                               



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Keep a Look Out!

Zombie Corner: Carrie Ryan's Impeccable Series


I have talked about this series before and wanted to give more in depth thoughts regarding the Carrie Ryan’s books. Because of the movie that is scheduled for release next year, I feel it is always best to read the books first. With Halloween approaching, I think it’s an excellent time to discuss Carrie Ryan’s work.
The Forrest of Hands and Teeth, the first book in the series is a thrilling story depicting what the possibilities would be if the entire world were taken over by zombies. How life would be affected based off the survivors influences, the survivors being the Sisterhood. This is what the lead character Mary’s fate could entail if she is not chosen as someone’s bride. She is in love with Travis but is surprised when his older brother Harry proposes to her instead. She denies Harry’s proposal and is ushered off to the sisterhood. Mary learns about the history of her village and what her role will be in protecting it. When the village is under surprise attack by the unconsecrated, Mary seeks Travis and other loved ones to escape the barriers of the village in hopes of discovering the ocean her mother spoke about with Mary as a young girl.
There is somewhat of a love triangle in this story but it doesn’t completely take over the story. The story mainly takes the group on a journey of survival, and the reality that not everything turns out, as it should. Ryan was able to give an honest portrayal of Mary a young girl who struggles to make the right choices when it comes to her family and her future with Travis. The story is laced with heart-stopping escapes and tearjerker moments that really make you think about what you, as a person would do in Mary’s situation. She is faced with incredibly hard choices and I think Carrie Ryan did a remarkable job telling her story.
Dead tossed Waves is the second book in the series and I have to admit that I almost didn’t read it. When I found out it didn’t leave off where the first book ended, instead telling the story of the daughter that Mary brings up on her own I was dead set against it. BUT, I was yanked into the first chapter full forced and already devoted to one of Ryan’s key characters screaming at my book, “No!” Ryan gave me a shocking first chapter that I can’t even tell you about without spoiling the book.
Gabry is our new lead, with Catcher and Elias forming the typical triangle, but again the triangle is not the major story here. Cira, Gabry’s best friend and the sister of Catcher has been punished by being forced to work as a recruiter, a zombie-fighting soldier, for their village Vista. Catcher and Elias devise a plan for her escape that involves Souler’s. Souler’s are a disturbing group that welcomes the change of turning into a zombie. They are seen sort of as a cult but Ryan is able to describe them with a whisper of humanity. Gabry and the others, including her mother Mary need to escape Vista and are now on the fenced trail of the unconsecrated (zombies) after rescuing Cira. Mary is faced with revisiting her past and Gabry is about to find out some major jaw dropping secrets of her own past. This book had secret after secret and never felt forced. Each character has a story to tell. Ryan gives each of her characters a purpose, and is probably one of the most talented writers that I have come across. Her style really commands emotion from the reader and you take each character with you in the end.
Book three, Dark and Hollow places is also a different story that takes you into someone else’s life. Annah is surprise, Gabry’s twin sister! She is living in the Dark City living on her own waiting to hear word from Elias who has been a childhood friend of hers. She is in the middle of a full on take-over of the Dark City. It’s what would happen as a last resort of a full on zombie infestation, the desperate lengths that humanity would have to go through in order to survive. The recruiters are the villain rather than the unconsecrated. They are a group of mostly men that are entertained by watching zombies turn humans into unconsecrated. The detail of these events leaves a haunting and barbaric taste behind. Honestly, they made me shudder, because the recruiters are ultimately the last hope for survival for anyone who has managed to survive the mass infection.
Now that the unconsecrated outnumber the humans, Annah, Gabry, Catcher, and Elias have sought refuge amongst the recruiters. The recruiters only allow this because Catcher winds up being a unique interest that will benefit the recruiter’s survival. Dark and Hollow Places is a depiction of what last hope could be for humanity in a zombie infested society. Carrie Ryan challenges the reader to think outside the box in regards to her characters. She is successful at setting up a series that narrates a different character each time, but strings them together in the end. First impressions are not always true, and life doesn’t go as planned. The four heroes of the series face unforgettable challenges to survive and have to use any resource no matter how desperate to live to see another day. Ryan as usual does an impressive job telling their story, and I would just like to state that my favorite part of the entire book is Catcher’s introduction. It was amazing, and unforgettable.
Carrie Ryan’s series has intense suspense that allows the reader to travel a flawless journey that we only hope that we never have to encounter. I recommend this series to zombie lovers and anyone who read the Hunger Games, and enjoys a good lengthy series. If you watch shows like Lost, Walking Dead, or like an end of the world dystopian themed movie you will appreciate Carrie Ryan’s three book series. The movies will be talked about and other books will be written with her influence.          
    

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Toonopolis, the latest Hot buy!



I was contacted to review Jeremy Rodden’s book Toonopolis and after reading the summary, I had to read it again. Because there was no way someone was able to write a book about a boy turned into a cartoon, and then dropped into a world of nothing but cartoons, and to be navigated by a talking eggplant, but someone did!

Toonopolis is a cartoon city that is home to the thoughts and ideas of all sentient beings in the universe. As the center of the Tooniverse, it acts as an otherworldly rest stop for these creations.

Gemini is a teenage human boy who is thrust into Toonopolis through his father’s scientific research program. He loses part of himself in the process and immediately begins a quest to regain his lost memories with the help of his Tooniverse guide named Jimbob the Talking Eggplant.

After reading the first few chapters of Jeremy Rodden’s Toonopolis, I was drawn into this unbelievable story. It slowed down a bit but I guess I can understand why. Gemini is a young teenage boy who is dropped into a world with only half of a memory, that’s going to take time to figure out. He goes through the cartoon world with a quest to find Shadowy Figure who is destroying innocent cartoons of the world. Of course, during this quest he is a character much like Dorothy, or Alice who is unknowingly learning more about his identity as a person. He meets many interesting characters along the way who also help in Gemini’s quest.

Jeremy Rodden is a definite lover of all cartoons, which is portrayed in his layout of Tooniverse. Each city is a genre of cartoon. Some examples are Supercity, Grayscale Village, Candy Island, and Anime Town which Wan Wan the metal dog comes from. I particularly appreciated Supercity and the super heroes that dwelled there. I think that for this book it was important to be able to describe the environment as a cartoon. As a reader I was able imagine cartoons as the characters because of the detail that Rodden describes; right down to the streets made of Pez candy.

I can say that I enjoyed the explanation of C- space and how a cartoon can just pull anything out of existence proving useful in a variety of situations and Gravity Effectiveness Displacement, the explanation of the sometimes lack of gravity in a cartoon. The comical dialogue of the characters seemed reminiscent of Monty Python and a combination of morning cartoons. I can say that I did not foresee the ending, it really was an interesting twist and a good way to close out Gemini’s journey, leading into the sequel of the series.

Overall Toonopolis is an original idea, even though a bit long for me it is something that I think a young child or someone young at heart would enjoy reading maybe someone who is into Douglas Adam or down the rabbit-hole type of tales. It’s also a great price of only 99 cents, and a good way to support the imaginative indie writer Jeremy Rodden.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Power of Six



 I was under the impression, like others, that this book was based entirely on the mysterious number six from the Pitticus Lore series. I have been waiting patiently to read about number six, and I was extremely pleased that The Power of Six takes off right where, I Am Number Four ends. The Power of Six is a fuel-filled adventure, never boring, and kept me on the edge of my seat.
So after Jon and Six fought of the Mogadorians, they along with Jon’s best friend Sam leave Paradise, Ohio to hide from being discovered by other Mogadorians. Six helps Jon with his legacies and together they try to find a way to get any information about the other surviving Loric. In the meantime, Marina who is number seven is in Spain trying to keep informed of Jon through the news. She has a strong feeling that he is like her, and wonders if their paths will cross soon. Will they be able to join forces making their fight against the Mogadorians stronger than ever…will they be able to save the world?
The Power of Six was incredibly written. It kept a constant pace full of action, drama, and mystery. When I opened the book I did cringe when I found that I was going to read about number seven, then a couple of chapters later I was dropped into Jon’s story along with Six and Sam. It’s like reading two books in one, and I think that’s why the pace is so fast, yet you get so some much detail to the story that it never feels rushed. Marina/seven back in Spain has her own struggles with her guardian Adelina, who has lost faith in their mission and doesn’t support Marina/seven. Marina has been paying close attention to the internet hoping that the stories that are being posted about Jon and Six in America are somehow connected to her.
Jon, Six and Sam begin a close friendship while on the run from the Mogodorians. They all train together to become stronger if they should run into any enemies. Six tells her story of how her guardian died and how she escaped from the Mogodorians cave. Jon still misses Sarah but he knows that he risks her life by trying to contact her. Sam is just awesome in this book. He really is the only human representation in the story and I think that’s why he holds a special place in the book for me. He is a typical nerdy teenage boy who is determined to find out what happened to his missing father. He is still convinced that he has a part in the Loric mission to save the world. Sam often offers perfect comic timing with the best friend sarcasm to go with it; he also has a crush on Six, which is adorable. Six is a fierce girl who is a resilient fighter and always keeps her mission her priority. She is someone who anyone would want in there corner with a great story to tell. Jon struggles with being on his own without Henry and not many answers to the questions he seeks. He still controlled the story for me as a reader, which is good because with him somehow you see both the human and Loric side of his character.
This book is for anyone, female or male. I say that because I don’t think you have to be a certain age for this book. It really does read like a movie, the detail in the dialogue and the way the author sets up a scene is definitely worthy of another movie, which is too bad since they axed the project. Don't fret, you can still find out what happens by reading The Power of Six, and be left with your jaw open because the ending is so good. Questions are answered from the first book that will lead you into asking BIGGER questions for the third.             

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Right Start to Sarah Dessen




So I wanted to start reading books by Sarah Dessen but had no idea where to start. The consensus was that I read Lock and Key. People that I had asked always said, “Lock and Key without a doubt is the best of her books.” So another great friend of mine lent me her copy.  
Ruby is a girl who is close to turning eighteen and is now living with her older sister Coral who left home for college never to return. Coral left her only sister to be cared for by their alcohol-addicted mother who has recently abandoned Ruby. Ruby’s plan is to stick it out with her disconnected sister Coral and her husband Jamie until she is of legal age to live on her own. That of course is until she meets Nate and finds that life although sometimes tough, throws you in the right direction.
Sarah Dessen is an author who writes the inner thought of her characters the right way. Ruby was a voice that I needed to hear to understand her and her sister's journey, past and present. Flash backs are a tricky thing to read for me, I either look forward to them or am annoyed because I just want to read the now. However, the book wouldn’t have had the same effect on me without the flashbacks. At first, I was annoyed at the introduction of Coral, Ruby’s older sis, she was a bit cold in the beginning, but she opens up and has her own story to tell that ends up helping Ruby in life. Jamie, Coral’s husband is just great. He is the rock in both Ruby and Coral's lives and is extremely humble in his success of his social networking site. Nate the love interest for Ruby is someone who slowly makes his way into the story. His life has a direction and Ruby takes notice. She realizes that things aren’t always as they seem and winds up helping Nate with his own issues in life.
Family is what I took from Lock and Key. It is no longer the cookie cutter version; it’s the effort that goes into it. Realizing that everyone has problems in their life and to accept the help that is given in the purest form and to carry that with you, offering it later in the same way to someone else. Ruby is able to grow as a young woman from her unfortunate experiences with her mom. But after reading Ruby’s story, I don’t feel she would have been the same person. Life throws her off course for a reason and I feel that in Lock and Key, Ruby finds her way back with the help of the new people that she meets, which may have never occurred without moving in with her sister Coral. These people by the way are all extremely unique and never boring…at all. They are each crazy in their own way and dealing with their own life battles. I was attached to most of them, looking forward to listening to each of their stories and never wondering when the book would get back to Ruby or Nate’s problems. Harriet is all that I will say, and that I believe we all have little bit of her traits.
Anyone could pick up this book, it’s for the teen who may have grown up in a rough home, or the person who may know of someone like Ruby or Nate that want to do something to help. If you like to read books that have something to say I would highly recommend Lock and Key. It’s a well-written story that Sarah Dessen put a lot of heart into that reads true to life.