Tag Archives: Graceling

Perfect Lies by Keirsten White

17 Oct

mindgames

Book Two in the Mind Games Series

Rating: Three out of Five Stars

**PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE SOME SLIGHT SPOILERS**

To preface before I launch into my review: If you’ve read Mind Games you MUST read Perfect Lies. (just try to brief yourself with all the deets of book one before launching into book two.)

I’m a little bored with my reviews lately so I am going to spice it up by using my helpful friend from Hercules:

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So with Hades as my lovely assistant, let’s get to the dirty shall we?

In general, I liked this book. It was a little more disjointed than Mind Games but that’s to be expected with Fia’s spiraling mental state. White does a great job of exemplifying her struggles, her mental trauma and mental health. That part, I really enjoyed. Besides, the fact that Fia is just an effing badass (Katna from Graceling style) makes her legit.

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My issues lie with Annie. She drove me nuts. She’s boring, slightly selfish, and annoying.

First of all, I don’t want to sound crude. I can appreciate that Annie has a disability, but the way White writes her, I feel like she’s using her blindness as a crutch. It’s not empowering like I feel it should be in a YA novel.

Second of all, and here is my REAL problem, is her damn obsessions with this vision she has of her true love. Gag me. All we hear is “is he the one?” “Is that him?”

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FOR REALS, HADES!

SO the plot progresses and Fia is getting more awesome and Annie is getting more annoying and shit is getting crazy and confusing. And things are like bam bam bam and your neck is getting whip-lashed with all the twists and then…. “is this the guy?” and “is this my love?”
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I did enjoy the ending but that flip flop narrating plus the alternating time flash backs had me confused until I finally got the hang of it. Talk about throwing some time-space continuum shit at me. I would have to constantly flip back and forth between chapters to understand what the hell was going on. And then a chapter with Annie would pop up and it was “OMG are his hands, like, HIS HANDS???”

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But the ending is perfect. It definitely had the suspense and the drama and the dun dun DUN! The conclusion was anything BUT predictable. I seriously don’t think White could have made the ending any better.

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Thanks for joining me today, Hades. You’ve been extremely helpful.

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5 International Covers that are Better than US Covers

11 Sep

It’s not a fact that I am proud of, but it is definitely a fact:

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I honestly can’t help it. I mean, I have a shelf on my Goodreads account called “Cover Porn” because I am obsessed with shiny sparkly pretty bold colored things. So I get kind of snarky when a book I REALLY like comes out with a not-so-great cover *cough* through the ever night *cough*. And it makes me even more upset when the US covers are decent but the international covers are GORGEOUS and I can’t have them because they aren’t sold in the US. And it’s terribly hard to find non-US published books (even on the internet) while you are in the US.

give it to me now

And even  more depressing is when that gorgeous cover is in a different language and even if you DID buy it you wouldn’t understand a thing! So frustrating. So below are my top five favorite international covers that I wish I could have on my US books.

5 International Covers that are Better than their US Covers

1.) Perfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles #1) by Lauren DeStefano

US Cover vs UK Cover

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Umm… is this really even a competition?!?!?! I want to be besties with that redhead. That cover is basically just aching for the book to be read. I went so far as to Tweet Lauren DeStefano and the UK publishing company to ask them how I could get my greedy little hands on a UK version because it’s so damn gorgeous *drool*

2.) The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson

US Cover vs French Cover

10816908La Couronne de Flammes - Rae Carson

Uh, once again. No challenge. As much as I adore The Crown of Embers book (Fire and Thorns is one of my favorite series EVER), the US cover is boring and blase and nothing to write home about. The French cover however,  what a beaut! I mean its a rainbow of colors and a serious head nod to Elisa’s badassry in the book. While I do agree with a few other bloggers that she’s a bit too skinny to be a realistic Elisa, I still think her expression entices me to read this waaaay more than the US cover does.

3.) Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1) by Kiersten White

US Cover vs Italian Cover

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As much as I am anti-this book series because it’s a blast back to my middle-school teeny bopper language time, I don’t hate the US cover. It’s very pretty. Not interesting, but pretty. Bland pretty, like the color pale yellow. But the Italian cover? *sighs wistfully* Now that is an interesting and pretty cover. We’ve still got our pretty little blonde on it with the wind blown hair, but the colors, the body language, and the facial expression completely change the feel of the book. And the lighting on that girl’s face, hot damn.

4.) Fire (Graceling #2) by Kristin Cashore

US Cover vs UK Cover

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Once again, I lurve this series and everything Kristin Cashore related. The US Cover is not ugly by any means but you don’t really grasp the concept of the book with it. It’s just a bow and arrow and for all you know could be about a damn forest fire. But the UK cover gives you much more insight into the story. She obvi has red hair (very important) and with the shading and gorgi girl it makes you think she’s a fierce badass (which she is). It’s just… a lot better. As are ALL the UK covers for the Graceling series. That are all bomb-diggidy and I want them to be blown up into posters, signed, and hung in my room.

5.) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

US Cover vs UK Cover

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Yes, yes I know, these cover are very similar. But they are also very different and the differences between them are obvious once you read the book. You’ll understand why I am enamored with the UK Cover. First of all, I don’t really understand the hand in the US Cover. I mean it kind of makes sense if you stretch it, but it’s way too much symbolism for a cover. Second of all, the red is so much more RED in the UK and makes the cover much more tastey. And finally, it shows that there will be a romance in the book. In the UK cover, with the two figures and the stars on the I’s, everything is just much more complex. It’s much more dynamic and visually pleasing.

Mind Games by Kiersten White

22 Apr

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Book One in the Mind Game Series

Rating: Four out of Five Stars

I had some reservations about this book. Not so much because of what it’s about, more because Keirsten White was writing it. But, thank you Book Gods, my gamble to read this bad boy turned out a winning hand. Now, I will admit, I sound like a totally bitch when I said that. But White’s Paranormalacy series drove me bonkers. As I was reading it, I even went back to see if it was geared towards middle grade and not young adult, but it was def marketed towards YA readers. I mean who names inanimate objects?! You named your tazzer Tazie??

Anywho this is NOT a review about that series but a review about Mind Games. And I am happily reporting, with deep sincerity, that this series is definitely a YA read and a good one at that. White took a step away from the ghostie and goblin side of the paranormal and went down the mind magic path. Sooo much cooler. And more interesting. And different. And wonderful.

White’s whole writing style and profile as an author changed with this book. I was expecting this to still be a little teeny bopper-ish, simply because I was being judgmental, but from the cover to the summary to the subjects discussed, this series is much more advanced. Her characters are so much more developed, the plot is dynamic and intriguing, the switching narratives is engaging and the overall tone and texture of the book is well written. White gets into her characters and deals with very real, very rough and very intense emotions. It’s not frilly like her last series. Her characters are raw and gripping. Well, at least Fia is. Annie is just a selfish bia, but she makes a good contrast to her sister. And I’ve never read an assassin book quite like this. It’s got a modern day Graceling feel to it. And I looooved Graceling.

All that being said, White definitely proved me wrong with this book. She really grew as author in the years between Paranormalacy and Mind Games. The only thing that peeved me with this book is that nothing actually happens in it..? I know that makes zero sense but I could probably write a paragraph and summarizes all the things we learned about our characters. We will have to see how the rest of the series turns out, but this book feels kinda like a prequel rather than the actual first book in the series. We meet our characters, get some background, have a chapter or two of drama and action and then it ends. The constant chapter-long flashbacks kind of restrict us from moving forward with the plot. But that would be my only criticism. Which is pretty awesome for my bitchy, whiny self 😉

To-Read Tuesday – Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

15 Jan

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Book One in the Finishing School Series

Previous Rating:  Nadda – new series!

Release Date: February 5, 2013

Why I Am Excited: First of all, who would NOT want to read this book with a title like that!?! It’s like The Luxe series, Graceling, and The Gemma Doyle series all wrapped up into one book of amazing tied with a giant bow of AWESOME! And since I am slightly obsessed with all things late 18th to early 19th century and badass heroines this book is like a dream come true! And apparently its a Steampunk novel?! *dramatic faint* So steampunk + Victorian era + kickass girls + pretty dresses? Gimme Gimme gimmegimmegimmeeeeeeee MEOW!

What I Hope To See: Since this is the first book in the series and I have never read a Carriger novel, it’s kind of hard to fill out my usual to-read standards. But what I hope to see is lots of manners, a good dose of Victorian societal norms being pushed, a devious villain and some nasty catty girls.

My Predictions: Umm… ditto to above. 🙂

Best Of 2012 – Not just the boring categories!

2 Jan

Hello and Welcome to the year 2013!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! 2013 has some amazing book releases so I am SUPER STOKED for this year. Now, like all book lovers and bloggers, I just had to create a Best of 2012 blog. While most people do one in December, I read lots of books over the holidays so I wanted to wait until the year actually ended before I created my list. You never know what gems you can find in the last weeks of the year! I also wanted to add some variety to the blog so I asked my book soul mate Amy to pick her favorites in each category. You can read her Top Ten Books Read of 2012 here.

Please note that these books are not only the books that were published in 2012. We wanted to included all the books we read so some of them are a few years old. I hope you all enjoy and please add your favorites in each category in the comments!

Favorite Book of 2012

Sydney                     Amy

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The Selection by Kiera Cass     Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Favorite Author of 2012

Sydney               Amy

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Cinda Williams Chima         Neil Gaiman

Best Female Protagonist

Sydney           Amy

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Penryn – Angelfall by Susan Ee          Beatrice – Divergent by Veronica Roth

Best Male Protagonist

Sydney         Amy

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Han – Seven Realms Series        Po – Graceling Realms Series

Best Romance

Sydney         Amy

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America and Maxon, The Selection               Katsa and Po, Graceling

Most Resourceful

Sydney         Amy

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Gaia, Birthmarked  by Caragh M. O’Brien    Viola, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Best “Come to Jesus” Moment

Sydney         Amy

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James, Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater    Katy, Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Most Badass Character

Sydney         Amy

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Deuce, Razorland Series by Ann Aguirre       Katsa, Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Favorite Series

Sydney                Amy

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Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima      Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Best Fantasy Book

Sydney                Amy

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Graceling by Kristin Cashore            Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Best Dystopian Book

Sydney                Amy

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline      Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Best World Building

Sydney                Amy

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Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima         Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

Best Cover

Sydney                Amy

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Angelfall by Susan Ee                   Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Most Looking Forward to Release of 2013

Sydney                Amy

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Prodigy by Marie Lu                       Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

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