Saturday, June 16, 2018

Review: Confluence (Death Note Vol. 2) by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata


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Title: Confluence
Author: Tsugumi Ohba
Illustrator: Takeshi Obata
Series: Death Note (Vol #2)
Genre: Manga, Fantasy
Pages: 197
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Year Published: 2005
Format: Library Copy

"Light thinks he's put an end to his troubles with the FBI- by using the Death Note to kill off the FBI agents working the case in Japan! But one of the agents has a fiancee who used to work in the Bureau, and now she's uncovered information that could lead to Light's capture. To make matters worse, L has emerged from the shadows to work directly with the task force headed by Light's father. With people pursuing him from every direction, will Light get caught in the conflux?"

My Rating: 3.75/5

I was so glad to see how the story continued and to see L in person. I was excited to see how the illustrator and author worked together to bring the story to life. I also enjoyed the different perspectives we got in this book. I enjoyed the progression of character development, and can't wait to read more in the next instalment.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Friday, June 15, 2018

Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman


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Title: Scythe
Author: Neal Shusterman
Series/Standalone: Arc of a Scythe (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Pages: 435
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Year Published: 2016
Format: Hardcover (Own It)
First Line: "We must, by law, keep a record of the innocents we kill."

"Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life- and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe- a role that neither wants. These teens must master the 'art' of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own."

My Rating: 3.5/5

I always thought that I had a similar taste to that of Puruse Project on booktube, but the more I read the more I find that my enjoyment of certain books and her enjoyment of these same books just does not line up. I think that the concept in this novel is interesting and what really holds the story together. The characters are interesting and I'm sure to have a background that we will learn more about in the coming books, that being said, I wasn't a huge fan of some of the plot points in the story. I also found with such a vast world to write in that the characters could have been more diverse (at least in sexuality, if you could live forever you might experiment at least a little). Overall I enjoyed the story, and by the end was reading rather quickly. I plan to continue the series and hope to post more reviews for this author's work soon.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny


Spoiler: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

I've heard so many amazing things about this book on booktube, but I wonder how much of that is due to paid promotion with other publishers. I think that this is definitely for some people but I did have some issues here and there. During the first plot twist, while I was surprised I didn't feel as heartbroken as I think I was supposed to. I also have been getting very annoyed with unnecessary love interests. All that being said, I am still really interested in the world and the way things are run. I also loved the format with the journal entries in between.

Characters:
Citra: I liked her character but I didn't love her. I think that she was stubborn in a good way and willing to stand up for the right thing. I can't wait to see how her granted immunity will work out for Rowan.

Rowan: I think that his experience is important to note. It was shocking to see that someone who was so into "gleaning" had made their way into this society and was in control of such a vast group. It broke my heart to see him lose Volta and those around him.

Scythe Farraday: I liked the way that he gleaned and did it based on past statistics but in some sense that was slightly less compassionate than others.

Scythe Currie: Her method made the most sense to me. After an eternity of living there must be a time where you feel like you are done and ready to move on with your life.

Scythe Goddard: He was a scary reality. That if this happened there might not be a way to weed out the people who are killers and take joy in taking lives. His methods were frightening, to say the least.

Xenocrates: I'm curious about his past, as well as how he chose Goddard as a Scythe and allowed him to be ordained into this world.

Moments to Remember:

Final Line: "The way he once did."

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Book Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin


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Title: The Walled City
Author: Ryan Graudin
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, 
Pages: 424
Publisher: Little, Brown
Year Published: 2014
Format: Audiobook

"730. That's how many days I've been trapped.
18. That's how many days I have left to find a way out.

DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible...

JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister...

MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She's about to give up when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window...

In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out."

My Rating: 3.5/5

This story was certainly entertaining, and I'm curious about the setting, to say the least. Due to the author note, I was able to better understand the setting and the use of names. I was happy to see that the author did her research and portrayed a story that was similar to some historical events. I enjoyed the characters overall but found that the romance seemed to take over a book that didn't particularly need romance. I really enjoyed the writing style and the dark ideas throughout and would read work from the author again. 

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

When I started to listen to this audiobook I was really enjoying the dark twists and turns in the setting as well as the characters lives. Unfortunately, after renewing my audiobook I found the last 3 hours to be less entertaining than the first half of this story. I was a little disappointed in the development of the romance, especially with the love at first sight into that the two characters get.
I was happy to hear that the author did research on the original "Walled City" and the way people lived within its borders. I was grateful that she had done research so she could tell a story that was similar to the original while taking creative license to make her own story.

Characters:
Jin Ling: I thought that her devotion to her sister was so beautiful and well written. I could clearly understand her motivation and her needs to find her sister. I also liked that while she has had to grow a thick skin, she still has adopted a cat to take in. I also enjoyed her blossoming friendship with Dai and her stubbornness.

Dai: I loved his character more before we knew why he thought he was a bad guy. I know it's wrong to hope that someone who says they are not good, to actually not be good, but I just like a good evil character who has done wrong but changes. I also loved his ability to stick up for himself with the Brotherhood.

Mei Yee: I think that she might be the strongest out of all our characters. She stays strong even though she is expected to take men to her bed regardless. And yes she's "lucky" that she only has to take one, but at the same point, it's not consented by her for him to touch her.

Sing: Her death hit me hard, but in the real walled city she would have been one of many. 

Mama Son: I understand her fear of moving on, and not believing that she belonged anywhere but her cage. I wonder about her backstory.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Monday, May 21, 2018

Book Review: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller


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Title: Daughter of the Pirate King
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Series/Standalone: Daughter of the Pirate King (Book #1)
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Pirates
Pages: 311
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Year Published: 2017
Format: Audiobook

"There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I've gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map- the key to a legendary treasure trove- seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King."

My Rating: 4.5/5

I really loved this book and was glad to be able to get a copy of it through OverDrive for the Scally-Wag-A-Thon. I loved the concept, but the story itself blew me away. The use of mythological creatures and pirate fantasy was incredible to listen and the narrator blew the story out of the water (haha). I loved the use of pirate language and the different accents that are added to the audiobook and would definitely recommend listening to this story if you haven't already read it. I'm excited to read the second book and see where our story goes.
Overall, loved it!

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Hey guys, so I'm doing a thing this week. A thing called the Scally-Wag-A-Thon readathon. And while originally my TBR for this week-long read-a-thon did not have any pirate books, I was able to get a copy of this just in time for the reading to begin. 
I loved this story. The plot, the characters, the setting all of it was incredible to me. The use of accents in the audiobook and the change of pace that was adopted in this addition as well.
This book was a quick listen and I was addicted after the first sentence. I will certainly be reading the second book in this series (? Duology?) as soon as it's available in Overdrive from my library.

Characters:
Alosa: She is bad ass and she knows it. She's not afraid to stand up for what she believes in and her crew. I loved that her crew was mostly female badasses who were willing to do anything for their captain. Her childhood would have been rough though, especially with her dad loving her under condition.

Riden: I loved his attitude towards Alosa and the way that he respected her even though she was a prisoner. Ok, maybe a little more than respect. I think that this book just really instilled the hot pirate stereotype. And I did not mind.

Draxen: This sick dude was a lot to handle. I wonder how he will deal with being locked in the brig and under Alosa's control. 


Vordan: He's smarter than he looks. The way he uses one of his crewmates to intimidate him and experiment on Alosa. That was a crazy smart move.

The Pirate King: I hope we see more of him in the coming book and his relationship with Alosa's mother. He was brave (or stupid) to give into her as a siren queen but in the end he was granted a daughter/heir.


Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Book Review: Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Title: Restore Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series/Standalone: Shatter Me Series (Book #4)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 448
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year Published: 2018
Format: Hardcover Copy (Own It)
First Line: "I don't wake up screaming anymore."

"Juliette Ferrars thought she won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander, and now has Warner by her side. But she's still the girl with the ability to kill with a single touch- and now she's got the whole world in the palm of her hand. When tragedy hits, who will she become? Will she be able to control the power she wields and use it for good?"

My Rating: 5/5

I was prepared to be utterly disappointed with the second part of this series, especially since this series was originally released as a trilogy. And I was happy with the way the trilogy wrapped up. I understood how the author could use the storyline to create more in this world, but I was ok with it left off as well. I was impressed with the use of the knowledge we gained in the past books and the change of power in this book. I loved so much about this continuation and while I've heard others say that the first part of the story drags on, I didn't find it to drag at all. That being said, I finished the first half of this series recently which helped me to continue the series without a pause.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

This book was everything I wanted and more. Tahereh Mafi knows how to write a good love scene in a YA book without getting explicit. I also loved her writing style and her strange characters. I also loved the way this book switched perspectives. My love for Warner is so strong and it continued on in this series. I also enjoyed the addition of characters and the change of pace in this story. I can't wait to continue on with this series.

Characters:
Juliette: I understand her huge confusion and Warner knowing that the people who abused her were not her real parents, but let's think about this for a moment. Her biological parents gave her up for an experiment and let their oldest daughter be tortured so she couldn't be used as a weapon. I wonder how she will escape her current predicament.

Warner: I loved him even more in this book than I did in Ignite Me. I really enjoyed the way the series was based on the understanding of his character. And the way that he tries to be there for Juliette but doesn't know how after he has to reveal the truth he finds. It hurts my heart to see them breaking up. But I also wonder how he didn't remember I childhood where she existed in one of the families.

Castle: I was the most frustrated with him. How dare he wait until now to have Warner tell Juliette about her past. And what about what else he might know? Did he survive?

Oceania: Not exactly the motherly type.

Kenji: I still think he's one of the best characters in this story. He is heartwarming and his past is heart-wrenching. I loved that he was willing to tell those around him what he thought whether they wanted to hear it or not.

Nazeera: I wonder about her childhood with Ella/Juliette. What made her turn on the Reestablishment overall. Was it the loss of childhood friends, or something more?


Moments to Remember:
Pg. 275

"Before? When Juliette couldn't decide between myself and Kent? That pain? That was child's play.
But this.
This is suffering. This is full, unadulterated torture."

Final Line: "The world goes black."

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Book Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury


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Title: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Classics, Science Fiction
Pages: 227
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Year Published: 1953
Format: Hardback Copy (Library Copy)
First Line: "It was a pleasure to burn."

"The terrifying prophetic novel of a post-literature future.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is a discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books."

My Rating: 2/5

Based on how much I enjoyed the first part of this book I was excited to see an unusual dystopian. The start of this book was interesting to me but the more I read the more I dreaded having started this story. It was frustrating to see how the world had turned. But I also found the writing hard to read, and it seemed to drag on throughout the short 150 pages. I would not read other works by this author and did not read the other short stories in the back of this book. Overall, this book seemed to put me in a slump, and therefore I'm taking a break from classics next month.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny