Because who can afford books in this economy?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren!

This week I got a few bookish things for my birthday:
From my friend Andrea I got:
Maximum Ride, The Manga, #1
Maximum Ride, The Manga, #2
Yay! I've been wanting these forever!
From my parents:
$50 Borders giftcard, that I am going to use to pre-order some books!

Not a bad birthday, huh?

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Maze Runner by James Dashner


Summary (from
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is black. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls.
 Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as they could remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, they’ve closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the maze after dark. 
 The Gladers were expecting Thomas’s arrival. But the next day, a girl springs up—the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might be able to find their way home . . . wherever that may be. But it’s looking more and more as if the maze is unsolvable. 
And something about the girl’s arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers—if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.

This book was different than I expected. I expected it to be more...exciting. Instead it was mostly puzzling with dashes of exciting thrown in. Not that it wasn't good, it was, just not in the way I expected. From the moment you read the first sentence there are questions, and as the book progresses, more questions arise. Some questions you get answers to, others you don't. And let me tell you, it's FRUSTRATING. Sometimes I just wanted to rip my hair out because I wanted answers and I wasn't getting any. But that's okay because it all adds to the suspense and makes you want to keep reading.

I really liked the characterization in this book. Thomas was a good main character, but I was drawn to Newt. Seeing the way all of the characters reacted to things was really interesting. It felt real, like how someone would react if that were really happening, not in a book. And I hated the Creators, even though they were mostly just spoken of, I wanted to throttle them the whole time for what they were putting these poor guys (and girl) through. I wasn't a fan of the pacing. It was a bit slow for my taste, even though I can't really figure out how it could have been any faster. The imaging was great though and I could clearly picture everything that was described. 

Overall: The book was a bit slow, but really interesting. I was really frustrated through most of it, but it was in a good way. 4 Stars!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: Before I Fall

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

My WoW this week is:

Summary (from
What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined

 Does this book look good or what? I've been pining for this one ever since I first read this summary a few months ago. I can't wait for it to come out! What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

P.S: Today's my birthday! Which means that I'll probably be getting some book giftcards in the near future! I might just have to preorder this one...

Peter and the Sword of Mercy by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry

Summary (from The year is 1901--it's been twenty-three years since Peter and the Lost Boys returned from Rundoon. Since then, nobody on the island has grown a day older, and the Lost Boys continue their friendship with the Mollusk tribe, and their rivalry with Captain Hook. Meanwhile in London, Molly has married George Darling and is raising three children: Wendy, Michael, and John. One night a visitor appears at her door; it's James, one of Peter's original Lost Boys. He is now working for Scotland Yard and suspects that the heir to England's throne, Prince Albert Edward, is under the influence of shadow creatures. These shadow creatures are determined to find a secret cache of startstuff which fell to London many centuries ago. The starstuff is hidden in an underground vault which has only one key: the Sword of Mercy, a legendary weapon kept with the Crown Jewels. Molly is determined to help, but when she suddenly goes missing, it is up to her eleven-year-old daughter, Wendy, to keep the starstuff out of the Others' clutches. She has heard her mother's stories of a flying boy named Peter Pan, and he may be her only hope in saving the world from a shadowy doom... 

Let me start out by saying how happy I was when I stumbled across this in my library. "What's this?" I asked myself, "A FOURTH Peter and the Starcatchers book?!" I had to restrain myself or I would have started jumping up and down. I was so surprised because it was originally a trilogy, and it hadn't even crossed my mind that there would be a fourth one. Kind of like Uglies and Extras. The first three books are prequels to Peter Pan and explain things like why Peter can fly and how Hook lost his hand. This one is more of a retelling of sorts, set over twenty years after the trilogy ended.

I must say that I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first three, but it was still very good. Where as originally we had three books to get to know and love the characters this time there was only one, which made it much harder to get to know them. I found myself sympathizing with the secondary familiar characters more than with the new main characters. The main villain in this book is the original villain, which I liked. There was also a nice little side story set on the island, where the main story was in London. The writing is seamless and it jumps from character to character with ease. It's one of those books where it gives you a glimpse of what the bad guy is thinking every once in a while, which really heightens the urgency.

This series is one of my favorites. They're great if you want a clever, funny, and exciting action book to read. There isn't much romance because the main characters are only twelve-ish, but everything else makes up for it. I definitely enjoyed reuniting with old characters in this one, because they're some of my favorite characters from a book series. I just didn't connect with the new ones.

Overall: This book was a nice addition to the series, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first three. 4 Stars!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Summary (From

Choose: A quick death and hell or slow poison and hell.
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear.

I'm not really sure whether this book is classified as Adult or Young Adult, but either way it's really good. I was instantly drawn into the strange world that Yelena lives in, and wasn't bored in it for a second. Yelena is a very likable protagonist and I had no trouble connecting with her. The story wove seamlessly and the action was never forced. It was exciting and romantic and completely took me away from reality. It had all of the parts of an excellent fantasy.

Yet, there were just a few things that kept it from reaching its full potential. One was the sometimes lack of description. I dont' think that I properly pictured Valek (one of the main characters) until halfway through the book, when I looked back on the first chapter and saw the description of his hair that I had overlooked the first time. It was also around the halfway point that we were given and estimate of his age. Before that he could have been anywhere from 20 to 50. The other thing was the lack of setting description. I suppose that she did a good job describing a room the first time Yelena was in it, but after that there was virtually none. These small things made it hard to picture what was happening and, in the case of Valek, to correctly guess character relationships.

Overall: Great story, I just wish that I had been able to picture things clearer: 4.5 stars!

In My Mailbox (1)

My first meme! Yay! In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Okay, this week I got all of my books from the library:






Well, these should last me at least two weeks. I'm going to try and review most of them, but I might not get to them all.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Summary (From All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far... and almost doesn't make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge - and over...
This book was fanstastic. It completely blew me away. I was not expecting such a powerful story out of such a small book-by my standards anyway. Meg and John shouldn't work, but somehow they do, and it completely defies all logic. She's a juvinile delinquent who just wants to get out of her town, he's a cop who just wants to stay there. But somehow they are just so right for each other.
The best parts of the book were when they were alone talking to each other. Well, most of the time they argued and pushed each others buttons, but it's still considered talking. The chemistry was palpable throughout the book, and it was so hot! The whole time I was wondering when they would finally take that next step, and then the next one, and then the next one.
This was a great book, and I'm really happy that I read it. It might sound like it would be boring, but it's definitely not. It's one of the best books I've read it a while, and I'm going to lend it to all of my friends.
Overall: I loved it- 5 stars!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Summary (From

Cameron Smith, 16, is slumming through high school, overshadowed by a sister “pre-majoring in perfection,” while working (ineptly) at the Buddha Burger. Then something happens to make him the focus of his family's attention: he contracts mad cow disease. What takes place after he is hospitalized is either that a gorgeous angel persuades him to search for a cure that will also save the world, or that he has a vivid hallucination brought on by the disease. Either way, what readers have is an absurdist comedy in which Cameron, Gonzo (a neurotic dwarf) and Balder (a Norse god cursed to appear as a yard gnome) go on a quixotic road trip during which they learn about string theory, wormholes and true love en route to Disney World. Bray's surreal humor may surprise fans of her historical fantasies about Gemma Doyle, as she trains her satirical eye on modern education, American materialism and religious cults (the smoothie-drinking members of the Church of Everlasting Satisfaction and Snack 'N' Bowl). Offer this to fans of Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy seeking more inspired lunacy.

Wow, this was one interesting read. I can definitely say that I've never read anything quite like it before....It was laugh out loud funny in some places and heart breaking in others. The way Libba Bray got into Cameron's head was amazing. I would never have guessed that it was woman writing it.

The whole plot was Cameron trying to find this mysterious Dr. X who he was told could cure him of mad cow disease, while dodging a wizard who was following him, and staying incognito because he had a bounty on his head. He brings his germophobic dwarf friend Gonzo with him and on the way encounters a yard gnome who insists that he's Balder, the son of Odin. Put them all together and you have one weird trio of friends. But I connected with all of them. And even though the things that occured on their road trip were strange, to say the least, their reactions made them totally real.

Now, there were definitely some confusing parts. Like when Cameron was in and out of his "dreams." Some times it just got a little bit too confusing. I also though that the end was a bit rushed. It didn't clearly explain things and happened in this long sequence of strange events that confused me. But the characterization definitely made this a worthwhile read. I would recommend this to my guy friends especially, but I think that anyone who reads it can connect with it.

Overall: I liked it a lot, but not enough to love it. 4 Stars!

My First Post!

Wow, I don't really know how to start. I guess telling about myself might be a good idea...

I'm Taylor. I love to read YA and some adult. I've been reading book blogs for months and have been toying with the idea of starting one of my own for a while now. I get most of my books from the library, but I'll occasionally buy books. Especially around this time of year, with Christmas and my birthday. I have a nice stack of bought books waiting for me right now, but I like to savor them before I read them =D

I'm not sure how often I'll post reviews, or what meme's I'll do yet. It can take me anywhere from a few hours to a week to read a book, depending on my schedule, so that should give you an idea of how random the posts will be. Wow, I'm excited to get started! I guess I'll stop doing this so I can post my first review! Oh, and thanks for reading!
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