Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish, and is a book blogging meme where every week there is a different ‘top ten’ list of books to make. This week’s list is top ten characters who fit X criteria. I decided to list the top ten characters that I would want on my team if I was to perform a heist and… steal something, I guess. (I’m not a criminal I promise!)

My list didn’t quite make it to ten, but I do feel as if I might be missing someone, so perhaps additions will be made?

  1. Trea from the Jack Blank Adventures
  2. Kat from Heist Society
  3. Day from Legend
  4. Otto from H.I.V.E.
  5. Frankie from The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
  6. Claudia from Warehouse 13 (There’s an official book, so it counts, right?)
  7. Shelby from H.I.V.E.

If I Stay (If I Stay #1)
by Gayle Forman

imageGenre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Speak
Format: Kindle eBook
Source: Library
Rating:  (3/5 Stars)
Synopsis: In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make.

It is no secret that the books I most enjoy contain exciting, plot-driven stories with lots of action. This is not one of those kinds of books.

This book moves slowly, and if anything is a sort of a character study. More than half of the book consists of Mia recounting various memories of herself, her boyfriend, and most importantly, her family. 

On it’s own I didn’t think the book was astounding or amazing, but it did make me think. What would I do if I was in that situation? I have come to the conclusion that I would probably choose to stay, but it really would be a hard choice to make. 

I did really like all the things about music in this book. I could really relate to how Mia said that she didn’t choose the cello, but the cello chose her. I don’t play cello, I play clarinet, but it was a similar situation for me. I never dreamed about clarinet or planned that it would be the instrument I would play. It just sort of… happened.

I am very curious to see what becomes of Mia and Adam and everyone else so I will be picking up Where She Went (The second book) sometime soon.

Quotes: 

"You wouldn’t expect the radio to work afterward. But it does."

"We are like Humpty Dumpty and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men cannot put us together again."

"I shouldn’t have to care. I shouldn’t have to work this hard. I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard."

"My stomach lurched, an appetizer before the full portion of heartache I had a feeling was going to be served at some point soon."

"But seventeen is an inconvenient time to be in love."

"You were both in love with music but then you fell in love with each other."

"It’s not that my life has been perfect. I’ve had disappointments and I’ve been lonely and frustrated and angry and all the crappy stuff everyone feels. But in terms of heartbreak, I’ve been spared. I’ve never toughened up enough to handle if I were to stay."

"But everyone was looking at me so intently, wanting me to join in so much, and I realized that sounding bad wasn’t the worst thing in the world that could happen. So I played."

"I can lose you like that if I don’t lose you today. I’ll let you go. If you stay."

Movie Trailer: (Honestly, the reason I decided to read this book.)

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Vampire Academy + Frostbite
by Richelle Mead

imageGenre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Kindle eBook
Source: Library
Rating:  (4/5 Stars)
Synopsis: St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger…

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

imageGenre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Kindle eBook
Source: Library
Rating:  (3/5 Stars)
Synopsis: It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if handto- hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks…. This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…

I went into the Vampire Academy series with very low expectations, and was pleasantly surprised when I really enjoyed reading the first book. The plot was compelling, I liked the characters, and I kept wanting to know what would happen next.

I found Rose and Lissa to be very pleasing main characters. I like how Rose is very confident about herself and how she looks. I don’t want to say that trait is rare in YA fiction, but it isn’t something I see very often in the narrating characters and it was a refreshing change.

The plot and the universe was very interesting, and fun to get to know. Having vampire subspecies was a lot more fun than just having vampires where most are evil but some decide to be nice and “vegan.”

Frostbite wasn’t as good as the first book, and parts of it were a bit boring. But the last six chapters or so were very exciting. While I hoped that it would be better than it was, it was still an enjoyable read.

Things I Liked:

  • Rose, and Rose and Lissa’s friendship.
  • Rose’s snark. It was great. I love snark.
  • The first book made you wait for answers.
  • While not everything seemed to advance the plot, stuff kept happening.
  • The book did its best to deal with some pretty weighty topics. I’m not going to say whether it dealt with them badly or not, but this stuff happens and it is good to see it in young adult books.
  • Rose’s mother.

Things I Didn’t Like:

  • The Prologue in the second book. I don’t think I’ve ever read through a recap more painful. Also, if I had accidentally picked up the second book first that prologue would have guaranteed me to not read the start of the series.
  • Rose and Dimitri’s romance. Maybe I just have a much more objective view of love, but I kept mentally yelling at them to get over themselves, because their relationship will not work out.
  • As you can probably tell from the above bullet point, and didn’t like the ending of Frostbite.
  • I don’t really like the book covers.

Quotes:

"You got cheap foreign labor to protect Lissa?"

"It burned them and made them want to reach out to the earth and wield their power."

"Most humans could never reach that "ideal" skinniness, just as Moroi girls could never look like me. Everyone wanted what she couldn’t have."

"This was the kind of dress that changed the world. The kind of dress that started religions."

"The greatest and most powerful revolutions often started very quietly, hidden in the shadows."

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

"We can’t stop living because other people are dead. And we have to make sure more people don’t die. That’s why this place is such a great idea."

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish, and is a book blogging meme where every week there is a different ‘top ten’ list of books to make. This week’s list is the top ten seven book related things that you’d like to own. (That aren’t books)

I am listing these in no particular order.

  1. This phone case with a quote from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
  2. This t-shirt with fan art for Good Omens.
  3. This Fault in our Stars phone case, that I unfortunately do not have the right phone for.
  4. Karen Kavett’s “Could Be Buying Books" t-shirt.
  5. The set of “Landscape Posters" for John Green’s books, though especially the one for Looking For Alaska.
  6. This quote collage poster for Paper Towns.
  7. I love everything on the Think Geek Website. It’s not all book related, but i figured there’s enough there to mention it all.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish, and is a book blogging meme where every week there is a different ‘top ten’ list of books to make. This week’s list is books you’ve read that were somehow uniquely written/”different” than other books, or an interesting spin on a genre.

I am listing these in no particular order, with my favorite books starred.

  1. My Favorite Band Does Not Exist by Robert T. Jeschonek
  2. Elemental by Anthony John
  3. The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch
  4. Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson 
  5. Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Martin
  6. Safekeeping by Karen Hesse
  7. The Giver Lois Lowry
  8. The Supernaturalist by Eion Colfer 
  9. The Pendragon Series by D.J. Machale
  10. The Sight by David Clement-Davies

The London Eye Mystery
by Siobhan Dowd

imageGenre: Middle Grade Mystery
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Format: Print, 2010 UK Edition
Source: Bought
Rating:  (3/5 Stars)
Synopsis: Monday, 24 May, 11.32 a.m. Ted and Kat watch their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye. He turns and waves and the pod rises from the ground.

Monday, 24 May, 12.02 p.m. The pod lands and the doors open. People exit in all shapes and sizes – but where is Salim?

Ted and his older sister Kat become sleuthing partners since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain runs on its own unique operating system, to find the key to the mystery.

I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages. AGES. How long, you might ask? Well, I bought this book during my trip to the 2012 Olympics in London, and I just finished reading it yesterday. If you’re one of those people who likes to keep up with what month and year it is, that means this book has been in my to read pile for a little less than to years. That is just too long.

This is one of those books that I think I would’ve liked a lot more had I read it four years ago. The prose was obviously geared towards younger readers, as the narration explained outright a lot of the trickier words and concepts. However, it was still a very enjoyable and entertaining read. 

The mystery in the book was done wonderfully, and it really kept you guessing up until the very end. All the characters in the book were very well written and were very human. The character development in the book was great, and while the book spanned less than a week, you could really see the differences in the characters at the end of the book.

You probably wouldn’t like reading this if you don’t like reading books geared towards younger people. But if you enjoy middle grade mystery, then you should definitely read this book as it was a very well written mystery story.

Quotes:

"That’s when I realized that there are two kinds of knowledge: shallow and deep. You can know something in theory but not know it in practice. You can know a part of something but not all of it. Knowledge can be like the skin on the surface of the water in a pond, or it can go all the way down to the mud. It can be the tiny tip of the iceberg or the whole hundred per cent."

The London Eye Mystery

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