Thursday, April 24, 2014

Requiem | Lauren Oliver

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past. 

But we are still here. 

And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight. 

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven- pockets of rebellions have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. 

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road. 

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose. 

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

Non-Spoiler Review

Requiem is the third and final book in the Delirium series. If you have read the first two books, I really do recommend finishing the series. If you haven't started the series, you can find more information about the Delirium world in my review of Delirium and my review on Pandemonium

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pandemonium | Lauren Oliver

I’m pushing aside 
the memory of my nightmare, 
pushing aside thoughts of Alex, 
pushing aside thoughts of Hana 
and my old school, 
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Non-Spoiler Review

This book is the sequel to Delirium and I have to say, it's an amazing book. Compared to those from Delirium, I was able to connect more emotionally with the characters from Pandemonium and I was so much more thrilled by the action scenes. The sequel basically picks up from where Delirium leaves off and is told in two separate times: Then and Now, both of which tell different stories. The two stories are woven together so well, I was constantly left on the edge of my seat at the end of each chapter, dying to know what would happen next. If you haven't yet picked up this series, go get it right now, it's action- packed and thought- provoking. If you've only read Delirium and are a bit hesitant to finish the rest of the series, I seriously recommend picking up the sequel, it only gets better. Go read the book and come back for the spoiler section once you're done!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Words With an Author: Meredith Mawr

Hey Fantabulous Readers!

Today I'm going to be interviewing the wonderful Meredith Mawr, author of the Summoner Series. The first book of the series is Summon, which was released at the end of last year. The second book is scheduled to come out later this year. Links to buy the book will be below. I got the privilege to ask Meredith a few questions about her career.

1. How did you get into writing? 

Writing as a career was never on my radar. My background is in interior design and architecture; I taught them on the college level for six years. So, when life happened and I couldn’t do that anymore, I started dabbling in children’s books before launching into Young Adult. I’ve always been creative (art, design, music, photography) so writing, I think, is yet another creative outlet for me.

2. When did you first start writing?

When I was a kid, I would write silly, fake newspapers for my mom but I think that was more to make her laugh than to provide any outlet of self-expression.  I started writing The Summoner Series 3 ½ years ago.

 3. Where did you come up with the idea for Summon? Who’s your inspiration?

LOL  The inspiration for Summon was—now don’t laugh—a dream: yes, I actually dreamed about five or so of the major scenes, including the cliffhanger ending…even what Sam looked like! All I had to do was fill in the gaps—but then, the story grew too big for one book, hence the series.

4. Are any of your characters based on people you actually know? If so, which ones?

I once heard a comedian say that he drew from everyone he knew for his stand-up routines; authors are the same; we draw snippets from those around us. For me, writing is intensely personal; a little bit of me makes its way into all my characters…yes, even the villains! My sister suspected she was the inspiration for Georg von Ruell, Summon’s eclectic art instructor, but she’s wrong ;); Camden’s character is drawn from a friend’s sons. I identify most closely with Elle (bookish,  naïve, slightly neurotic); a few years ago, I lost my father, with whom I was very close, so writing about Elle’s loss and her subsequent search for her identity is very cathartic. Her father is a lot like my Dad J

5. Have you written anything other than Summon? 

Summon is my first published book.

6. If you had to pick only five books from your bookshelf you could keep, what would they be?

In no particular order:
                  1: Persuasion by Jane Austen
                  2: Shakespeare’s Sonnets
                  3: The Bible
                  4: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
                  (And, I’m going to cheat here :)) 5: The entire Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

7. I know you have a sequel to Summon coming out later this year: what can we expect from the sequel?

In Summon, Sam and Elle’s world begins very small—often just the two of them in the school’s isolation. In subsequent books, their world gets bigger, inviting more conflict and more challenges. Having fled Killewycke (slight spoiler!) and under the influence of one of Elle’s dreams—which she now realizes are, in part, true—Sam and Elle return to her hometown to protect her family, knowing the venators won’t be far behind. Elle learns a lot: about Sam, about guardians and about herself and her skill as a summoner (though not nearly as much as she’d like). And, as her relationship with Sam deepens, new complications arise.

8. And how many more books can we expect from the series?

As of now, the series has five or six installments

9. Who is your favorite character from any book and why?

I have lots of favorite characters and one that comes to mind is Harry Potter, because despite his flaws, his bumbling, his personal tragedy, he does the right, selfless, self-sacrificial thing, just because it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes that has to be motivation enough.

10. How long did the writing process take for Summon? From conception of the story to final publication?

Since I never studied writing formally, I’m pretty sure my method is a little unorthodox. I don’t work on one book, complete it and move on to the next in the series; I kind of work on all of them concurrently, so it’s hard to estimate a specific amount of time for Summon—maybe a year and a half total?—including its many, many edits

11. Who are some of your favorite authors?

I love JK Rowling, Jane Austen and Laura Ingalls Wilde

12. What actors/actresses could you see playing the characters of your book?

This one's a toughie: not because I haven't envisioned Summon as a movie (every author has that daydream!) but because it would be most important to have actors who could capture the chemistry and subtleties Elle and Sam share; I think it would be awesome for some newcomers to have breakout roles as Elle and Sam (though I'd love to hear who others think would fit those roles!) As for villains, someone capable of wicked, off-kelter intensity would be a must- maybe someone like Christian Bale??

13. How did you come up with the title and cover of Summon?

 The title, Summon, has a natural association with Elle’s mysterious power; the cover art ties in with the most important locale from this book: Killewycke.

     14. Did you morph the book as you wrote it, or was it fairly constant? 

I think the concepts were pretty constant, although, at some point, I wouldn’t mind to go back and do another cover for Summon—something simpler with more ‘pop’. This cover was a watercolor I painted in about an hour and a half! lol

15. Are you planning to write any other books besides the Summoner series?

Absolutely! Between books 2 and 3 of The Summoner Series, I plan to release a stand-alone novel, a YA paranormal story with a mean streak ;} it’s tentatively called ‘Bell Dweller’. I also have other stand-alone books outlined; nearly all have an element of romance.

16. What would your advice be to someone who’s aspiring to be a writer?

I keep a quote from the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, in my nightstand drawer, so each time I open it, I see these words: “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
Other nuggets of advice for would-be authors:
-Being an author teaches you patience. Nothing in publishing happens as big or as fast as you want it to.
-Take criticism gracefully; you have a lot to learn (whether you know it or not J). Constructive criticism only makes your work better.
-Don’t get caught up in numbers; appreciate every reader.

   17. Finally, just to wrap things up, what’s your favorite color and why?

I like most colors but I guess my favorite is pink—because it reminds me of my daughter :}

Thanks so much to Meredith for taking the time to answer these questions! I can't wait for the next book in the Summoner Series to come out! 
You can buy Summon on Amazon here.
And you can purchase it on Barnes and Nobles here.
This is her Facebook page and her website.
Here's my review if you want more convincing :) 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Delirium | Lauren Oliver

Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn't understand that once love- the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. 
Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she'll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. 
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: she falls in love.

Non-Spoiler Review

This book came out back in 2011 and I read it when it came out and never finished the rest of the series, so I figured why not marathon read the whole series. This book touches on such a strange dystopian world, in which love is considered a disease, and people who are in love are considered infected. The rules within this community are extremely harsh and strict, and even trying to imagine this world is frightening, I can't even fathom having to live in it. Lena's journey throughout the book, although in a completely different world, is so parallel to struggles that teenagers have to go through every day that it's so easy to connect with her and follow along. I completely recommend this book, and I can't wait to jump into the next one. 

The Book Sacrifice Tag

So I've been tagged by The Fangirl Existence to do the Book Sacrifice Tag!
The rules of this tag are:
1. Choose a book you want to sacrifice in each of the scenarios below
2. Once you finish the tag, make sure you tag other people!
DISCLAIMERS: The original tag was created by Ariel Basset on Youtube and this tag was not meant to be offensive to any authors or people who like these books. It's just something fun we're doing :)

Scenario #1:

Imagine you're in a bookstore, casually walking up and down the shelves, browsing, when suddenly zombies begin attacking. An announcement comes over the PA system, saying that the primary weakness of zombies has been found: over-hyped books. What over-hyped book do you run to first to use as a weapon against the zombies?

For this I'd pick The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. I'm a huge fan of Riordan, the PJO series is my all-time favorite series, but I really hated the Red Pyramid. Maybe it's because I'm not a huge fan of Egyptian mythology, but this book was so bland in comparison to the original PJO series. I've heard so much about the rest of this series but I never could bring myself to finish it.

Scenario #2:

You just left the hair salon with perfect hair when bam it starts raining. What sequel do you sacrifice as an umbrella to protect your beautiful hair?

For this one I'm going to have to say Mockingjay. I loved The Hunger Games and I thought Catching Fire was pretty good, so going into the third I had really high expectations which just weren't upheld. Mockingjay was an overall disappointment, characters I liked died, and the ending just wasn't satisfactory for me.

Scenario #3:

Your English teacher is going on and on about how great this classic is. How timeless and universal and symbolistic it is. Everyone in the class seems to be buying into it, but you've read the book and know just how bad it is. Which classic was so stupid that you would risk detention just to throw it at your teacher to make your point?

The classic I'm going to choose is The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. My English teacher gushed about the whole book and the writing style. The writing wasn't bad, but the whole book was so slow, there was literally nothing more than what it says in the title, and it just wasn't for me.

Scenario #4:

You're hanging out at the library when suddenly global warming explodes and Earth has turned into a frozen wasteland. The only way to survive is to keep warm by using a book as fuel. What book do you run to first, knowing that if you burned it, you really wouldn't regret it that much?

My least favorite book of all time is Twilight. I absolutely hated it and honestly it basically ruined vampires for me. The characters are weak and dull, the setting is meh, and the plot is so predictable. Everyone else seems to love this book and I just can't understand why!

Alright that was the book sacrifice tag! I'm going to tag some lovely people to do the same thing:
The YA Nightstand
Zia's Book Wonderland
Book Feels

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Allegiant Movie in Two Parts?

Not even a month after Divergent was released, Lionsgate has made the decision to split the final Allegiant movie into two parts. If you're similar to other book-to-movie adaptations like Harry Potter and Twilight, then this phenomenon isn't new to you. But although it worked in these two books, the question now circulating throughout the community is whether it's necessary for Allegiant.

Using previous patterns from Twilight and Mockingjay, who altogether made $5 billion dollars, I think Lionsgate is simply looking to make an extra dollar. Of course, many fans will hear this and be completely ecstatic because more movies equals more fandom, but the problem many fans are having, including me, is how will this divide work? For Harry Potter and Twilight, there was so much information in the last book, it had to be split into two separate books. Regarding Mockingjay, I'm still a little hesitant about, but because I didn't really enjoy the third book, I have no doubt that the movie will just be better. Allegiant on the other hand is a little different, although a lot does happen during the last book, it's not an overwhelming amount which requires two movies. Lionsgate claims they're going to stretch out the action scenes at the end, which could be a good thing, if done right.

Of course there could always be good consequences of this. One simply being that there's more time for a greater fandom to grow, with a great movie, more people will be motivated to read the books. In addition, more time for more movies could result in a better explanation of the ending.

The great question now is where should the great divide happen? What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers in recognition. I want to give a huge shout out to The YA Nightstand and Spiffy Books for nominating me.

These are the rules: 
Link back and thank the blogger who nominated you in your post.
List 11 facts about yourself. 
Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you. 
Pick 5-10 new bloggers (must have less than 1000 followers) to nominate and ask them 11 new questions. Do not renominate the blogger that nominated you.
Go to each blogger's new site and inform them of their nomination.

11 Facts About Me

I'm an only child. 
I fence for fun. 
I wish I was musically talented. 
One thing on my bucket list is to go skydiving.
When I was little I wanted to be an artist, doctor and teacher...all at the same time.
Unlike the general populous, I hate Twilight.
I'm American-Indian (Not Native America Indian, but India Indian :P)
I'm 16 years old. 
My favorite book series is the Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
I have a guitar yet I have no idea how to play it. 
I hope to study medicine when I go off to college. 

Questions from Emily

1. Why did you start Blogging?

I started blogging because I wanted to share my opinions on books with the book community.

2. What's your favorite quote?

"I'm on a roller coaster that always goes up" ~Augustus Waters, The Fault in Our Stars

3. If you were a main character in a movie what actor/actress would play you?

Jennifer Lawrence all the way!

4. Zombies or Vampires?

Definitely zombies. Twilight has ruined Vampires for me. 

5. The first book you ever read?

I started reading at the age of 4, so I don't remember the exact first book I read, but my first real memory of a book was when I was like 8 or 9, and my dad brought home a pack of the Magic Tree House books.

6. What did you want to be when you were little?

When I was little, I wanted to be a doctor, artist and teacher, all at the same time. 

7. What's your favorite TV show?

My favorite adult TV show is Friends, my favorite kids TV show is Full House, but I love all the old Disney Channel shows. 

8. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

If I could live anywhere in the world, I would live in Paris, because it's such a beautiful city and it just seems like a great place to live.

9. What Hogwarts House would you be in and why?

Probably Ravenclaw.

10. How long have you been blogging?

I've been blogging since October 2013. 

11. Who inspires you?

There no one person that inspires me, for me, inspiration comes from everywhere and everything.

Questions from Sia

1. Where are you from?

I'm from America. 

2. What is your favorite genre to read?

I love reading dystopian novels.

3. Do you read one book at a time or 10 like me? 

I read one book at a time because I don't like getting story-lines mixed up.

4. What novel do you wish is turned into a movie? 

I want the Percy Jackson series to made into a movie that isn't terrible.

5. Do you have any pets? 

I don't have any real pets. But I do have a huge stuffed dog, if that counts. 

6. What hobbies, besides reading, do you have? 

I fence for my local high school team and I used to play tennis.

7. What is the most adventurous thing you have done? 

The most adventurous thing I've ever done is travel to Kansas City with a few of my friends for a competition. 

8. If you could meet anyone from any era, who would it be? 

If I could meet anyone, it'd probably be Jennifer Lawrence, just because I think we'd be pretty good friends

9. What's your favorite book? 

My favorite series is the Percy Jackson Series, but my favorite stand-alone is The Fault in Our Stars.

10. What is your least favorite book? 

Definitely the Twilight Series.

11. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? 

I would take a trip backpacking Europe because that seems like a really fun thing to do and because Europe is a beautiful continent. 

Bloggers I Nominated

1. Book Feels

2. The Fangirl Existence

3. My Addiction: Books

4. The Bookish Owl

Questions for My Nominees
1. When did you start reading? 
2. If you could pick one character to switch lives with, who would it be?
3. If you could only keep one book from your bookshelf, which would it be? 
4. Why do you like to read? 
5. Do you have any cool talents? 
6. What's the coolest place you've traveled to? 
7. What's one thing on your bucket list? 
8. What's your favorite social networking website? 
9. What's the best thing that's ever happened to you? 
10. If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring with you? 
11. What's your favorite color?