Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling


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Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Author: JK Rowling
Series/Standalone: Harry Potter Series (Book #1)
Genre: Classic, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 223
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year Published: 1997
Format: Paperback Copy (Own it)

"Strange things always seem to happen when Harry Potter is around. Things that unsettle his guardians, the Dursleys. They strongly disapprove of strangeness. It's only when a letter arrives, delivered by a shaggy giant of a man called Hagrid, that Harry learns the truth that will transform his entire future: his parents were killed by the evil Lord Voldemort, and he, Harry, is a wizard.

Whisked away to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry discovers a world of enchantments, ghosts, Quidditch, and friends who will stand, throughout everything, by his side. But when Harry hears of a stone with great powers, he finds that his school has its own dark past- and an adventure that will become the stuff of legend begins...."

My Rating: 5/5

This is not my first time reading Harry Potter. For months I was planning to reread this series with my boyfriend and my best friends, so we finally made a plan to start our rereads. I really enjoyed this first book. I think its a great first installment in the series, and as a reread there are things that you definitely pick up on. I also think that I forgot so many things in the years between reading this. 

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Book Review: The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau


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Title: The People of Sparks
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Series/Standalone: Book of Ember (Book #2)
Genre: Middle Grade, Dystopia, Fantasy
Pages: 338
Publisher: Yearling
Year Published: 2004
Format: Audiobook

"When Lina and Doon lead their people up from the underground city of Ember, they discover a surface world of color and life. The people of a small village called Sparks agree to help the Emberites, but the villagers have never had to share their world before. Soon differences between the two groups escalate, and it's up to Lina and Doon to find a way to avoid war!

In the riveting sequel to the highly acclaimed The City of Ember, Jeanne DuPrau explores the nature of conflict and the strength and courage necessary to overcome it."

My Rating: 3/5

I was hoping for something more throughout this story and it just wasn't all I hoped it would be. I certainly wouldn't describe this book as a young adult story. This story would be a great middle-grade read but I wanted something more from it. I think that I will continue this series via audiobook, but I'm not sure if I will continue immediately after listening to this one, or if I will wait for a few months to finish.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver


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Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Series/Standalone: Delirium (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback Copy (Own It)
First Line: "It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure."

"In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn't about to make the same mistake.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the 'Wilds' who lives under the government's radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?"

My Rating: 3.75/5

This book is said to be the best of the series, which makes me more than a little nervous about continuing on. I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of the book. I thought that the characters were well planned out and the world was interesting to read about. I also really appreciated the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I think where this book lost my interest was when there were twists and turns too close together. I'm thinking about listening to the audiobook for the next books over the summer if I should physically read them let me know.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

This concept was so interesting to me, but after hearing overall series reviews I wasn't sure about whether or not to pick up this series. I really thought that this first book was a great entry into the world and the quotes really made a huge impact on the story overall and gave a look into how the world had changed. 
I also appreciated the idea of the Wilds. So excited to see that setting change in the next book.

Characters:
Lena: I think that her fear was totally valid throughout the story. If you had been taught you're a whole life that loving someone was deadly, you would stray far away from caring about anyone. Which is maybe why I was confused by how emotional she was with Hana. Obviously, it was a different love, but it still counts. Excited to see where her life goes, but heart broken about Alex.

Alex: Something has got to give. He has to have some kind of past we don't know about. I also think that we need to be given his perspective. If that's even a thing anymore. Also he has to come back right? Right?

Hana: I hope that she ends up happy. She deserves more than the life she's taking.

Gracie: She is the character that made me feel the most. I think the way she copes is interesting, and also could be a side effect of lack of love and caring as a child.

Rachel: I wonder what would have happened to her if she had never had the procedure.


Moments to Remember:

Final Line: "They cannot take it."

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Review: Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson


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Title: Beware the Kitten Holy
Author and Artists: Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Faith Hicks, Shannon Watters, Brooke Allen
Series/Standalone: Lumberjanes Vol. 1 (Issues 1-4)
Genre: Graphic Novels, Comics, Fantasy
Pages: 128
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Year Published: 2015
Format: Graphic Novel (Library Copy)

"At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together... And they're not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here."

My Rating: 5/5

This is a great graphic novel. It features so many badass young women who are each unique but is building each other up instead of tearing each other down. I also loved the use of a camp setting with these girls, and the director of the camp really made me smile throughout the story. I can't wait to see where this story goes, and how our characters grow. The relationships between characters will hopefully deepen and the mystery will continue.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Book Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu


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Title: Prodigy 
Author: Marie Lu
Series/Standalone: Legend Series (Book #2)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
Pages: 371
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Year Published: 2013
Format: Audiobook

"Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother in an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic's most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots- a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?"

My Rating: 4/5

I think that this book was a serious improvement on the first installment. I loved the audiobook and the narrators chosen for the two main characters. This story really follows the idea of betrayal and what you believe in in the world. Not only to mention the idea that most are morally grey. I really enjoyed the different settings as well as the diverse points of view in this series. I can't wait to continue this series and see where it takes our characters in a different kind of revolution than expected.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: Prodigy by Marie Lu

I was totally prepared to give up on this series based on the use of romance in the first installment but this book just really made me wonder about the world and the characters. I'm curious about where everyone will end up and how the colonies became the way they are. I'm really interested to see how June and Day manage to get through his announcement and how she will find out about his illness.

Characters: 
Day: I liked his story arch more near the end of this novel, mostly because of his super intense emotions that he felt for June. It seemed like his love for her was being forced, it just didn't seem natural at all. It was unfortunate. But the more I read, the more I was ok with how the character's relationship developed. I was disappointed in the way he handled his situation with Tess. 

June: I still think that she's a total badass, but I just couldn't relate to how she didn't understand what it was like to poor. It was like she just opened her mouth and shouted repeatedly "I was rich. I'm rich. RICH!" After she saw how the colonies were, I think that it really opened her eyes, that the grass is rarely greener, if anything it's about the same.

Thomas: His character changes was also something I wasn't ready for. The idea that he was gay and wasn't able to show his love for Metais was heartbreaking. But then seeing that he was ordered to kill his potential lover, damn it hit hard. I'm curious to see if he comes into play again after Day and June switched sides.

Tess: Man that friendzone was pretty rough.

Kaede: I was surprised how upset I was that she died. She gave up everything to save the Patriots and the Republic. To give the people another chance at life.

Razor: He was suspicious but I didn't expect him to be working in conjunction with the Senate. After hearing this though, many of my feelings of suspicion were justified.

Anden: I'm wondering what is going to happen during his reign. Will his affection for June ruin his chance of ruling without feel, or will he turn against the people if she rejects him.


Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Monday, July 2, 2018

Book Review: The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau


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Title: The City of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Series/Standalone: Book of Ember (Book #1)
Genre: Middle Grade, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Pages: 270
Publisher: Yearling Books
Year Published: 2003
Format: Paperback Copy (Own It)
First Line: "When the city of Ember was just built and not yet inhabited, the chief builder and the assistant builder, both of them weary, sat down to speak of the future."

Citizen of Ember shall be assigned work at twelve years of age...
Lina Mayfleet desperately wants to be a messenger. Instead, she draws the dreaded job of Pipeworks labourer, which means she'll be working in damp tunnels deep underground.

Doon Harrow draws messenger- and asks Lina to trade! Doon wants to be underground. That's where the generator is, and Doon has ideas about how to fix it. For as long as anyone can remember, the great lights of Ember have kept the endless darkness at bay. But now the lights are beginning to flicker..."

My Rating: 3.25/5

This is a story that I had read in middle school and had thought about on and off throughout the years. After seeing a copy of this book and the second one in a used bookshop I thought that it was a good time to pick up the series and continue it. But before I could do that I needed to reread where it all started. I really enjoyed the stories interesting setting and the use of darkness throughout. I also appreciated the use of grief and loss throughout the story. I'm excited to continue this series and see where the author takes our characters.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

This is such a popular story from my middle school, and I appreciate it overall. I think that this is one of the first dystopian books I ever read, and it is an easy read that I would suggest for those in middle school, but it is enjoyable for older readers as well. I can't wait to see how the author takes our characters above ground. 

Characters:
Doon:
I think that his need to become a hero is interesting and makes me wonder how he will cope in a new area where no one knows him. And where his finding the exit might be something negative rather than positive.


Lina: I wonder how running in the great outdoors will affect her. And how losing her grandmother so suddenly might have a backlash.

The Mayor: What a guy? I can understand how he did what he did when he believed that there was no hope.

Grandma: Hurts my heart.

Looper: I'd like to think that this wouldn't be a likely trait that people would develop but I wouldn't be surprised if many people took advantage of the system.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Book Review: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

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Title: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Author: Brian Selznick
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, 
Pages: 525
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Year Published: 2007
Format: Hardcover Copy (Own It)
First Line: "From his perch behind the clock, Hugo could see everything."

"Orphan clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery."

My Rating: 3/5

I think that this story has a really interesting idea, and the format is unique for the story. The illustrations really help to tell the story, almost to the point that this book would make a very interesting movie or short film. I do think that I wouldn't have continued reading this story if it weren't for the illustrations, I'm not sure I would have continued the story. It left some questions, unanswered and others left unsatisfactory.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny