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Monday, April 30, 2012

Classic Monday: 1984 by George Orwell

1949
326 pages

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

Big Brother is watching. I'm pretty sure that even if you haven't read this book you've definitely heard of it. Predicting what the future world would be like couldn't be easy but it is shockingly accurate. This is one of the original dystopian books that actually proved itself true. This book isn't only prophetic, its also a warning of what can happen when the government takes too much power and control. I really hope kids in high school still have to read this.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Releases This Week




Six awesome books all released on Tuesday, May 1st!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The 2012 Debut Author Challenge: Completed



Ms. Book Queen is participating in the 2012 Debut Author Challenge over at http://thestorysiren.com

The objective: To read & review a minimum of twelve young adult or middle grade debut novels between the dates of January 1, 2012 - January 31, 2013.

The deadline to join is May 31, 2012.

The books I have read and reviewed are linked:

  1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  3. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
  4. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
  5. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
  6. The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker
  7. Candlewax by C. Bailey Sims
  8. Above World by Jenn Reese
  9. Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper
  10. The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards
  11. Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
  12. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
I've actually read more than the ones on this list if you're keeping up with my reviews :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Elemental Review

260 pages
Release date: May 1st, 2012

Just because Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn't mean she should. But she wants to. For ten years—ever since she was a small child—Ella has been held prisoner. Now that she has escaped, she needs answers. Who is she? Why was she taken? And who is the boy with the beautiful green eyes who haunts her memories? Is Ella the prophesied Destructor… or will she be the one who's destroyed?

Review (ARC):
I really really really wanted to like this book. I tried so hard, but something about this story just fell flat with me. There was a lot of different things going on in this book that just seemed a bit confusing at times. Ella was a character I didn't fully connect with because she seemed to throw herself into danger and problems in a weak way. There was a lot of action in this novel that made the book readable. At times I would feel interested in the story again when a lot of action was taking place. However, sometimes it seemed that there was too much moving from place to place with no solid explanation on how they got there. The ending definitely was a bit of a shock but I didn't really understand parts of it especially with what Emily was seeing and experiencing. I am curious to see where Emily's journey takes her in the next novel and hopefully she grows more as a character. While I wasn't the biggest fan of this book others might like it so if you like science fiction novels mixed with some fantasy you might want to check this out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Darkness Falls Review

286 pages

When the disease spread through the world, people had no choice but to go into hiding. The Colony is hidden deep underground, far away from the vampires—humans that were transformed by the disease. The vampires are hideous, starving, and they will kill any human they come across.Seventeen-year-old Kayla is a Bellator, a warrior that protects The Colony. In order to survive, there are three rules she must follow:
Rule #1—Never go out after dark.
Rule #2—Always carry a weapon.
Rule #3—No matter what, never EVER get bit.
But what happens when the rules Kayla has always lived by can no longer apply? The Highers run The Colony and accept nothing less than perfection. One slip up can mean death. Kayla has always worked hard to follow the rules and strive for perfection. But during a moment of weakness, she lets her imperfections show. Her punishment is worse than death. She is chosen for The Gathering and is thrown out into a world full of starving vampires. No one has ever survived The Gathering, at least that’s what Kayla’s been told. But when she runs into a group who insist they were once part of The Gathering, Kayla discovers the Highers have been keeping secrets. Secrets that could lead to a cure.

Review:
This book left me feeling slightly confused (but in a good way) yet hungry for the next one in the series. This is a world where vampires have basically taken over and to be human means something else entirely. Kayla is a strong heroine with exceptional fighting abilities. For a good part of the book you're left in the dark about who she really is and the other secrets and lies that surround her. This doesn't make the story any less intriguing especially as the secrets begin to unravel. The vampires in this book are different from most, a result of the disease that changed them. I really enjoyed all of the action and twists and turns that occurred in this novel. There are a lot of moments where things happen that change your whole perspective of the world in this story and the characters. There are quite a few characters that Kayla meets along the way that help her learn more about herself but also reveal more about the world around them. The ending leaves you in a bit of a cliffhanger but also anticipating the next book in the series. I definitely recommend this novel to those who like dystopian and vampire novels.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Glitch Review

320 pages
Release date: August 7th, 2012

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network. When Zoe starts to malfunction (or "glitch"), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers. As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

Review (ARC):
People being imbedded with computer chips that control them is a frightening future and this novel reflects the danger but also adaptations of the human mind. Zoe seems to have potential to be a strong character but she hasn't reached that yet when she starts to glitch. I thought it was interesting how hard it was for Zoe to control her emotions but it makes sense when considering she never had them before. I love the powers that the other characters develop and the ways they start to use them. Adrien and Max are the romantic interests in this novel and they are also two completely different characters. One is caring and compassionate and does things to help others and the other is mean, a bit scary, and obsessive. I enjoyed finding out with Zoe what was really going on in the Community and that there was more to life than she originally thought. There are a few surprises in this novel that you don't see coming and that makes this novel even more exciting. The end had a lot of action and this story definitely ends on a high note. I definitely recommend this to those who like dystopian fiction and characters with cool powers.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Classic Monday: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

1950
179 pages

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires. And he enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs or the joy of watching pages consumed by flames, never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid. Then Guy met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. And Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do..

Burning books? The horror! This novel is about so much more than that though. Technology has a habit of creating separation between people and this novel reflects that. It also shows what happens when people think for themselves instead of listening to what may be considered societies norm. I think its also interesting how much the author got right about the direction society is heading in. This isn't a preachy novel but it does reflect caution. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Upcoming Reviews

ARC:
Crimson Rising by Nick James
Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky
Elemental by Emily White
Skylark by Meagan Spooner
Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

Bought:
Darkness Falls by Jessica Sorensen

Friday, April 20, 2012

Redemption Review

360 pages
Release date: September 2012

Guillaume: For five hundred years I've existed as a gargoyle. Perched atop an old Montreal church, I've watched idly as humanity wanders by. With the witch Marguerite gone, there is no one left to protect, nothing to care about. I never planned to feel again. But then a girl released me from my stone restraints, allowing me to return as a seventeen-year-old human boy. I must find out all I can about this girl's power . . . Aude: Getting attacked twice in as many days is strange in itself, but even stranger is the intriguing guy I keep running into. There's something so familiar about him, like a primal drum rhythm from my dreams. But spending time together only raises more question-about my heritage, a native Mohawk prophecy . . . and an unearthly magic threatening our city..

Review (ARC):
This book was definitely a different concept than I'm used to reading. I haven't thought much about gargoyles since I used to watch the tv show. A lot of this book was pretty slow but it picked up when it got closer to the end. Aude didn't really impress me as a character because she seemed too stubborn most of the time and afraid of change. I liked Guillaume even though he could be kind of a jerk at times. I liked the romance between them even though I felt that Aude seemed to protest a little bit too much when it came to Guillaume. The story itself was pretty interesting especially when the origins of gargoyles were explained. There was quite a bit of action when the novel progressed to the end. I am interested to see where the story goes if there is a next book. All in all this wasn't a terrible novel but it was a pretty decent one. Its worth a read and I would recommend it to anyone who likes supernatural novels with magic, witches, and gargoyles.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Arena One Review


300 pages

New York. 2120. American has been decimated, wiped out from the second Civil War. In this post-apocalyptic world, survivors are far and few between. And most of those who do survive are members of the violent gangs, predators who live in the big cities. They patrol the countryside looking for slaves, for fresh victims to bring back into the city for their favorite death sport: Arena One. The death stadium where opponents are made to fight to the death, in the most barbaric of ways. There is only one rule to the arena: no one survives. Ever. Deep in the wilderness, high up in the Catskill Mountains, 17 year old Brooke Moore manages to survive, hiding out with her younger sister, Bree. They are careful to avoid the gangs of slaverunners who patrol the countryside. But one day, Brooke is not as careful as she can be, and Bree is captured. The slaverunners take her away, heading to the city, and to what will be a certain death. Brooke, a Marine’s daughter, was raised to be tough, to never back down from a fight. When her sister is taken, Brooke mobilizes, uses everything at her disposal to chase down the slaverunners and get her sister back. Along the way she runs into Ben, 17, another survivor like her, whose brother was taken. Together, they team up on their rescue mission. What follows is a post-apocalyptic, action-packed thriller, as the two of them pursue the slaverunners on the most dangerous ride of their lives, following them deep into the heart of New York. Along the way, if they are to survive, they will have to make some of the hardest choices and sacrifices of their lives, encountering obstacles neither of them had expected—including their unexpected feelings for each other. Will they rescue their siblings? Will they make it back? And will they, themselves, have to fight in the arena?

Review:
This novel had nonstop action from beginning to end and I couldn't put it down! Brooke is the main character who may not have nature survival skills but she is one hell of a fighter. I liked that Brooke was trying to make a life for herself and her sister but I hated how she ignored her instincts most of the time. The only thing I really didn't like is that some of the fighting scenes seemed very repetitive. I wish that the author had switched up the fighting especially in the arena and come up with new ways for the characters to fight. I really liked the love triangle between Brooke and the two guys she meets along the way. I'm curious to see where those relationships end up in the next novel. I would also hope that the characters gain a bit more depth to them in the next novel as well because while I enjoyed them I didn't really connect to them. I would recommend this novel to those who like dystopian novels and a strong fighter for a heroine.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Working Stiff Review


306 pages

Bryn Davis was killed on the job after discovering her bosses were selling a drug designed to resurrect the dead. Now, revived by that same drug, she becomes an undead soldier in a corporate war to take down the very pharmaceutical company responsible for her new condition...

Review:
This novel was actually better than I thought it would be. For a zombie mystery novel it has a lot of action and a pretty original storyline. I liked Bryn as a character because even though she is a tough and determined character she also has a softer side. I also liked that although Bryn was considered to be "supernatural" she wasn't instantly able to defeat everyone she fought even though you'd think she would. The idea of a drug bringing people back to life helps to create an intriguing story. I especially enjoyed the mystery aspect and that there was more to the story than I originally thought. I especially enjoyed the unexpected twists and turns that occurred in this novel. This is definitely worth a read and I recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery/zombie novel.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Classic Monday: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

1960
376 pages

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

This is a wonderfully deep and educational novel that teaches a lot about kindness, prejudice, and general human dignity. There is a lot to learn and take away from reading this just about being a better human being as a whole.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Back from Vacation

So I'm back from my 2 week vacation! As you may have noticed I managed to make some posts in that time using an app on my iPad called BlogPress. Its an amazing app to use when making blog posts on the go. Definitely recommend that if you have an iPad.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cloaked Review

341 pages
I’m not your average hero. I actually wasn’t your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all. It all started with the curse. And the frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission. There wasn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I’ve ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Everglades. Don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either. But you’ll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got CLOAKED.

Review:
This novel is a delightful mix of traditional not so well known fairy tales. I love fairy tale retellings and this one was pretty good. Sometimes the mix of fairy tales seemed a bit much but they all played in well with the story. This book was very entertaining with a few chuckle moments. The main character Johnny is a hardworking guy who thinks money will fix his life. However, he eventually comes to the realization that there may be more important things than money. The whole story goes by pretty quickly with a lot of different adventures. It's a modern fairy tale retelling so be prepared for a mix of the modern world with the magical one. I would recommend this novel to those who like fairy tales and enjoy a quick and fun novel.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Storybound Review


416 pages

In the land of Story, children go to school to learn to be characters: a perfect Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Villain. They take classes on Outdoor Experiential Questing and Backstory, while adults search for full-time character work in stories written just for them. In our world, twelve-year-old Una Fairchild has always felt invisible. But all that changes when she stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, opens the cover, and suddenly finds herself transported to the magical land of Story. But Story is not a perfect fairy tale. Una’s new friend Peter warns her about the grave danger she could face if anyone discovers her true identity. The devious Tale Keeper watches her every move. And there are whispers of a deadly secret that seems to revolve around Una herself....

Review:
I liked the concept of this book but I feel like the writing style could have been a bit better. I loved the world building and the idea of a school where you go to learn to play a type of character. There seemed to be a lot of plot twists and action that made the story interesting. However, I failed to really get to know most of the characters. Even connecting with Una was a little difficult. Una is a very brave and young main character who has a few mysteries about her that reveal themselves in exciting ways. I think that it was hard to see many of Una's inner emotions which didn't make her seem real. Other than that I think there could have been a better description of the school and the people to make it more interesting. The story itself was good and the action itself picks up by the end of the book. There is a slight cliffhanger at the end so it will be interesting to read the next novel when it comes out. I recommend this novel to those who like fantasy and magical adventure novels.



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Vote for the Independent Book Blogger Awards!

Voting is now open for Ms Book Queen on Goodreads for the Independent Book Blogger Awards!



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- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Trinidad & Tobago



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, April 9, 2012

Classic Monday: The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights by Richard Burton

1898
1049 pages

Full of mischief, valor, ribaldry, and romance, The Arabian Nights has enthralled readers for centuries. These are the tales that saved the life of Shahrazad, whose husband, the king, executed each of his wives after a single night of marriage. Beginning an enchanting story each evening, Shahrazad always withheld the ending: A thousand and one nights later, her life was spared forever.

I love books full of entertaining short tales and this is no exception. Stories that we have all heard like Aladdin, Sinbad, The Forty Thieves, etc. are all included in this amazing novel.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Upcoming Reviews

ARC:
Exiled by J.R. Wagner
Hippocampus by Tom Tancin
Elemental by Emily White
Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky

Bought:
X-Isle by Steve Augarde
The Emerald Table by P.J. Hoover
Storybound by Marissa Burt


Friday, April 6, 2012

Independent Book Blogger Awards

Vote for Ms Book Queen on Goodreads for the Independent Book Blogger Awards on Tuesday April 10th!



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- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Trinidad & Tobago

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fear Review


509 pages

It's been one year since all the adults disappeared. Gone. Despite the hunger and the lies, even despite the plague, the kids of Perdido Beach are determined to survive. Creeping into the tenuous new world they've built, though, is perhaps the worst incarnation yet of the enemy known as the Darkness: fear. Within the FAYZ, life breaks down while the Darkness takes over, literally—turning the dome-world of the FAYZ entirely black. In darkness, the worst fears of all emerge, and the cruelest of intentions are carried out. But even in their darkest moments, the inhabitants of the FAYZ maintain a will to survive and a desire to take care of the others in their ravaged band that endures, no matter what the cost.

Review:
The Gone series is amazing and freaky and exciting and this latest novel is no exception. The story continues with all of the kids living in the FAYZ in two different communities trying to have a close to normal life. Of course things start to break down and old enemies come back which causes a lot of chaos. There is the usual amounts of danger and gruesome descriptions of deaths. Honestly when reading these novels sometimes I forget that the main characters are kids since they now have to deal with so many adult problems. A lot of fears are brought to life in this story and the kids are once again thrown into a world that they aren't prepared for. If you like mutants and action and don't mind frighteningly descriptive scenes, I definitely recommend reading this novel. But you should read the whole series first.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pure Review

329 pages

There is need. And then there is Fate... Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon... and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude... or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

Review:
I loved Half-Blood so much that I was exceptionally excited to read Pure. I wasn't disappointed. I love Alex because she is such a determined and strong character who does what she wants to do no matter the consequence. The love triangle between Alex, Seth and Aiden adds a lot of extra spice to this novel. Aiden is the classic good guy with a slightly bad side and Seth is the dark, bad, sexy guy who is all kinds of dangerous. I'm still not sure who I want Alex to end up with since I like both guys. The mythology in this book works really well with the story without being redundant. This novel is packed with action and all kinds of awesome fighting scenes. For the most part I was kept guessing until the end. There are quite a few twists that will leave you shocked and ready to read the next novel which I honestly can't wait to read. I definitely recommend reading this book but make sure you read Half-Blood first.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Classic Monday: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

1899
239 pages

Weary of her storybook, one "without pictures or conversations," the young and imaginative Alice follows a hasty hare underground -- to come face-to-face with some of the strangest adventures and most fantastic characters in all of literature. The Ugly Duchess, the Mad Hatter, the weeping Mock Turtle, the diabolical Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat -- each more eccentric than the last -- could only have come from that master of sublime nonsense, Lewis Carroll. In penning this brilliant burlesque of children's literature, this farcical satire of rigid Victorian society, this arresting parody of the fears, anxieties, and complexities of growing up, Carroll was one of the few adult writers to enter successfully the children's world of make-believe, where the impossible becomes possible, the unreal, real, and where the heights of adventure are limited only by the depths of imagination.

Is there anything more classic than Alice in Wonderland? This story is weird in a good way and a delightful story that will entertain those of all ages. The characters are entertaining and different from most and the adventure in this story is one that cannot be forgotten.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vacation!

I'm leaving on vacation today for two weeks until April 15th. Hopefully I can update my reviews where I am and I will definitely be reading!