Thursday, October 30, 2014

Random Post: Update on Life :)

Hey Everyone!!!

I know, I know!! I have seriously sucked!  No review for about a's pathetic...I know.  But I have had a very good reason...I've been working, going to school, studying for my classes, and also studying for my real estate exam...which I took today, and guess what??!!!


I am officially a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in California!! I'm joining the ranks of so many people ahead of me, and taking the real estate market by storm ;).

Anyway, I am going to try my best to get to reading a good book again.  I've been in a bit of a funk, and so it's been difficult, but all it takes is that great next book!! :)

Hope to write again very soon!!

Love you all!!

The Romance Bookie :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Guest Review from Erin: Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff

Hello!  A review of Fiendish, Brenna Yovanoff's latest book! I was lucky enough this past summer to meet Brenna Yovanoff, along with Maggie Stiefvate and Tessa Gratton! Unfortunately, I had not read her books then, so I didn't fully get to appreciate her being there, but she was so sweet and kind nonetheless! She was also nice enough to give me some of her bookmarks as well as tell me about her books, including Fiendish!  And now...for the review...!

From Goodreads:

Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten.

Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why. 

When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.

Erin's Thoughts:

WOW! Initially, I was a bit wary about reading this book because I know that Brenna Yovanoff typically writes these creepy, horror story type books.  Not that I have anything against stuff like that, but it's just something that I thought about going into the book.  I actually bought this on a whim when I was browsing through Barnes and Noble and happened to see this book.  The cover immediately caught my attention (not to mention Brenna Yovanoff), so I read the book flap, and it sounded so awesome I just had to buy it.

And i know that buying books on a whim doesn't always work out well (you know, where it feels like you've wasted your money), but luckily, in this case, Fiendish was AMAZING!! It was one of those books that took me completely by surprise! I had no expectations of whether it would be good or bad or in between going into the book and I think that worked out very well.  I think I read it in one sitting!! It was that good!

Fiendish has a very interesting premise.  It has this unique magic that is unlike other books I've read.  It's not like witch magic or saying certain spells or anything, but neither does it seem to be something you can clearly control.  And I liked that because it was as if the magic was just inherent to the characters, just part of them.  It was very natural and just there.  I don't know if I'm making sense, but...Hopefully at least a little?

There is also a feud going along between the people with magic and people without magic that creates the main conflict in the story.  While this is a common storyline, the world is very much it's own.  It has a very mid-westerny/southerny feel and I loved the small-town atmosphere of it.  And it's really cool because even though it's based in a contemporary place, there's a really great blend of the magical and the real.

Overall Rating:

It was so good that I immediately bought the rest of Brenna Yovanoff's books in hardback (except The Replacement, which was out of stock, but I plan to buy it very soon) and I am so excited to read them! *SIGH* I am just so in love with Fiendish and Brenna Yovanoff! I highly suggest this book and since Halloween is coming up, what better time to read them, right?? But definitely give this book a try and if you do, I hope you end up loving it as much as I do!! Yay! Thanks for reading!!!

Erin @The Romance Bookie 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Guest Review from Erin: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Hi Everyone! Today I've got a review for We Were Liars, a book that I'd been hearing about a lot over this past summer! I finally got a chance to read it!

From Goodreads:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Erin's Thoughts:

We Were Liars was definitely not what I expected.  Other than reading the book flap, I tried not to learn too much about what the book was about because I heard that the less you know going into the book, the better.  So, of course, if you feel the same way, feel free not to read this review, but I will do my best not to give anything away!

But I'll go on.  I'm not sure exactly what I had in mind, but, like I said, it's not what I thought it would be.  We Were Liars deals with the lives of the rich Sinclair family.  It takes place during the summer and only during the summer, so although years go by, Cadence (the main character) only relays the adventures she's experienced during summer.  The book deals a lot with the politics of rich families -- her mother and her aunt fighting for money, houses, inheritance, her grandfather lording over them and taking advantage of them, her mother using her to get close to her grandfather -- which, I would not have thought interesting, but found myself pretty intrigued by.  And I think a lot of that is that E. Lockhart is a great writer.  Definitely not the style/book I usually read, so I felt it was a bit more eye-opening for me.

There is a HUGE twist toward the end of the book.  And while it certainly was a twist that I didn't see coming, I did not feel amazed by it.  I've been thinking about it for a while and I still can't figure out why I didn't get that WOW feeling.  Instead, when I read it, it was almost as if I was indifferent to it?  More like it was happening, but I didn't feel an emotional connection to it? I'm really curious about this, so I'd love to hear anyone else's reaction and how you guys felt about it.

And kind of random, but one part that sticks with me the most is when Gat (Cadence's friend) is talking about Wuthering Heights and comparing himself to Heathcliff.  I don't know why, but that part struck me and I find myself thinking about it from time to time.  I think it was a great comparison/analogy that really got me thinking and it is very well done; it didn't sound pretentious or preachy when I read it, which sometimes do feel when there are references to literature.

Overall rating:

A lot of that has to do with the fact that I don't find myself particularly interested in these kinds of subjects/books.  We Were Liars is a great book and I think that is well worth reading.  It's also a short book (~250 pages), so it would be very easy to invest in or read within a day if you wanted.  It's definitely a different book than I usually hear about, so give it a try and see how you like it!!

Erin @The Romance Bookie

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

That Is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems (Children's Book Review)

Hey Everyone!

So today's review is a little different from the norm, because it's actually a review of a children's picture book that I read for a project in my Children's Literature Class.  I had to make a puppet representing a character from any children's novel intended for ages 0-5, so I picked That Is Not A Good Idea! by Mo Willems.

This will only be a short review, since it's only a short book, and I don't want to give away too much!

From Goodreads:

That Is Not a Good Idea! is a hilarious, interactive picture book from bestselling author and illustrator Mo Willems, the creator of books likeDon’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, the Knuffle Bunny series, the Elephant and Piggie series, Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, and many other new classics.
Inspired by the evil villains and innocent damsels of silent movies, Willems tells the tale of a hungry fox who invites a plump goose to dinner. As with the beloved Pigeon books, kids will be calling out the signature refrain and begging for repeated readings. The funny details in the full-color illustrations by three-time Caldecott Honoree Mo Willems will bring nonstop laughter to story time.

My Thoughts:

This was such a cute read! It was recommended to me by the librarian at the school I work at, and after I finished reading it, I knew it had to be the book I make my puppet for!

Oh by the way, if you're wondering, this is how it turned out...

I HIGHLY recommend this book! In fact, I want to get it one day when I have kids!

I'm really loving this Children's Literature course, because honestly, I haven't read all that many children's picture books, at least, not since I was in that age where children read them.  So having an excuse to read so many great, award winning ones is so nice!

Overall Rating:

Like I said, I highly recommend this one! It's cute, funny, and has the most unsuspecting ending ever!!  it shocked me and my co-worker, who I gave the book to read afterwards while we were on our breaks in the teachers' lounge.

Definitely check it out if you get the chance.

The Romance Bookie :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Guest Review from Erin: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Hi again!  Plus One is a book that I was super excited for! I mean, check out that cover!! It's beautiful! So, I bought it a while ago and I'm so happy that I finally got to read it! Here's the review!

From Goodreads:

It takes guts to deliberately mutilate your hand while operating a blister-pack sealing machine, but all I had going for me was guts.

Sol Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller in an America rigidly divided between people who wake, live, and work during the hours of darkness and those known as Rays who live and work during daylight. Impulsive, passionate, and brave, Sol deliberately injures herself in order to gain admission to a hospital, where she plans to kidnap her newborn niece—a Ray—in order to bring the baby to visit her dying grandfather. By violating the day-night curfew, Sol is committing a serious crime, and when the kidnap attempt goes awry it starts a chain of events that will put Sol in mortal danger, uncover a government conspiracy to manipulate the Smudge population, and throw her together with D'Arcy BenoĆ®t, the Ray medical apprentice who first treats her, then helps her outrun the authorities—and with whom she is fated to fall impossibly and irrevocably in love.

Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights—and a compelling, rapid-fire romantic adventure story.

Erin's Thoughts:

OMG! I LOVED this book! Ugh, just everything about it was so wonderful! From reading the synopsis, I had thought that this would be a book set in a fantasy-type world (I don't know why, but this seems to happen to me a lot), but it's actually got a very contemporary voice/language.  Plus One is set in an alternate-history world of ours where, it was determine that it would be best for people to separate into lives of night and day.  I loved the premise as soon as I read it and the story, luckily, turned out to be so so gooood -- better than I had hoped for!

I know from the description, it can seem like a dystopia, but that is not the case.  I love dystopias, but I think many are getting tired of reading them (me included).  But while there are elements of dystopia in Plus One, know that it is not one. However, I probably should note that this is based on my own definition of what I think is a dystopia, and some other may argue that this is, in fact, a dystopian novel.  But honestly, I think it's different enough that it shouldn't be a problem for most readers.

The story is also structured with two storylines -- one following present day Sol and the other following her past.  And while a lot of books that do this can really bore me, I was very surprised -- and pleased, to find that I was just as interested in Sol's past memories as with her present-day experiences.  And they are also weaved expertly so that they come together into this awesome awesome conclusion! Ah, so good!!! So well done!

I loved Sol's voice -- she is very tough and sarcastic and there were moments where I was laughing aloud.  I expected her voice to be meek and quiet, but she wasn't, which surprised me in a good way.  D'arcy is also amazing!  First of all, I love the name, but more than that, he is a lovely character! He is a perfect foil for Sol! While they share similar characteristics, D'arcy has this kindness and compassion that Sol (and I) admires.  And, in general, I am a huge fan of hate-to-love romances and this one is a perfect example of one that is done well!

Overall Rating:
I think that Plus One may be a standalone, but I am sincerely hoping we get a sequel/sequels! The ending was definitely open-ended enough to elicit another book, soooooo...Crossing my fingers!! Definitely one of my favorite reads this year and I know that I'll be reading this over and over again! Love so much!!! And I hope that if you do read this, you'll love it just as much!

Thanks for reading!

Erin @The Romance Bookie :)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Guest Review from Erin: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Hello! Today I've got a review for a creepy book I recently read: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.  Kind of funny, I was utterly CONVINCED I had read this book, but every time I read the synopsis, I was so confused because I could not remember a thing about it.  I finally finally figured out I was actually thinking of Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey, which in my defense, has a very similar feel to this book.  Anyways, on to the review!

From Goodreads:

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. 

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back. 

Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

Erin's Thoughts:

Well...I have to say, I'm having trouble summing up my feelings about this book.  I don't feel like I have something definitive to say, so if this review sounds really vague and doesn't really make sense, I'm so sorry! But I'm going to give it my best shot.

So, I thought the book was...weird.  It was pretty creepy, which wasn't what bothered me (and again, I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out what actually is grating on me), but the story in general, I think.  The whole town erupts into chaos after these kids, playing in the cemetery, say they saw the Devil, and to make things worse, a little girl disappears.  And after this happens, these kids (around maybe 10-12 years old) go to the cemetery and take turns watching for the Devil.  And not just playing around, but they're seriously guarding the cemetery with stakes and everything and something about that didn't feel right to me.  And little things like these, I think, may have added up to give me that "weird" feeling.

I'll also mention that I got really bogged down by the backstory, explanations, descriptions, and consequently, I fund myself skimming through those long passages.  As a result, I may or may not have missed some details.  But either way, I was pretty confused about what was going on and why.

Another thing that bothered me were the characters.  Basically all of them.  I did not like any of the characters, and though I didn't hate them, I thought they were all weird and something about all of them were "off".

I thought Violet talked about her grandmother, Freddie, way more than necessary.  I got bored during those paragraphs, and again, would skim over them really quickly.  There were multiple mentions of Violet wearing Freddie's old clothes and after a while, it did annoy me just a tad.

Violet's twin brother, Luke, is portrayed as this playboy, very masculine type character, but to me, it felt forced.  I think it might have been because it was in Violet's point of view, but still...Another thing, Violet and Luke don't get along, as in, Violet say multiple times she hates her brother, and yet, they spend almost all their time together with their friends.  And I just didn't think that made sense that two siblings who hate each other would actually spend that much time together willingly.  Violet also has sort of parental feelings toward Luke, which I completely understand, but I think the balance of love and hate between the two siblings could have been more nuanced.  Oh, and not a super big deal, but it was kind of weird that Luke would call Violet "sister" a lot (haha, does that remind anyone of Arrested Development?).

Sunshine, Violet, and Luke's neighbor, is really flirty and seductive in what I thought was a weird way. Similar to Luke, Sunshine spends a lot of time with Violet, but I didn't eel a true, strong connection between them; she just flitted in and out.

And River -- just didn't click for me.  He is supposed to be very suave and mysterious, but I never really got that feeling from him.  I thought he was weird, slightly creepy, and cruel in almost an intentional way, but other than that, I didn't get a grasp for his character.

The ending was for sure very surprising and unexpected, but I didn't feel amazed or wowed by it because I didn't think there were enough clues pointing in that direction.  So it made the ending seem more out of the blue and unpredictable rather than a cool twist.

Overall Rating:

More accurately, two and a half! I just didn't "get" the book.  I'm sure a lot of people would enjoy this book, but for me personally, it wasn't a favorite.  Overall, it seemed all over the place for me.

The sequel, Between the Spark and the Burn, is out, so I probably will give it a try, just to see if anything changes, but as of now, I kind of doubt it.

Sorry again for the vagueness and thanks for reading!! :D

Erin @ The Romance Bookie :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Random Post #12: Banning it necessary sometimes?

Hey Everyone!

So Banned Book Week was a couple of weeks ago, from September 21st-27th; and so this past week in my Child Literature class our teacher had us bring in a challenged or banned book.  She had preferred them to children's picture books, but said it was okay to bring a Young Adult novel.  Me, being the avid reader, and lover of the YA genre, brought two...Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Now, to be honest, I have read quite a few banned books, not intentionally, because they were banned or challenged, but because I wanted and also sometimes they were part of my English Literature curriculum in high school and Jr. High; but overall, before this past Monday night (when I have my class), I didn't have much of an idea of banning books.  I just always sort of assumed most people were against it, and that all people who were trying to ban books were narrow minded.

Now, I'm not sure if this post will gather some backlash, or if most people also feel this way, but after that class, I sort of realized that actually sometimes it is important to ban a least for in schools, when they are not age appropriate for all students present in that school.

You may remember, a few years ago, I posted a post entitled, The Hunger Games should be BANNED!!.  It got A LOT of feedback!  To date, it's probably my most viewed individual post, with the most comments!  I had some supporters, and some very strong backlash, mostly from people who didn't read the post all the way.

You see, I believe there are definitely certain books that should not be encouraged to be read by a child.  And for one reason:  subject matter.

Should a second grader be reading The Hunger Games or Twilight?  Two books targeted toward ages 14 and up.  Both books contain subject matter not quite appropriate for kids...murdering, fighting, war, vampires in a non-kid sense, sex (in Breaking Dawns case), and certain wording and vocabulary that an average second grader might have trouble understanding.

Now my point is, should a book that is considered to be for ages 14 and up, and even SAYS it in the book jacket!!!, be present in a junior high library? my opinion.

Now, does that mean the book should be overall banned????

NO of course not!

If a parents decides to allow their child to read a book targeted towards 14 and up, and they decide to hand that book to their child, that is completely and totally up to them!  But should a child have the chance to get that type book without their parent's permission...No. I'm sorry, but I don't think so.

NOW, let me further explain something...and I'm sorry if this post gets a little confusing on my viewpoint...but maybe this will clarify it...


My point is...SCHOOLS!!!!!!

I work with elementary school kids, I think I've mentioned this before...and let me just say, that a lot of them are a lot more "grown-up" than they should be.

You should hear the mouths on some of these kids!!!

The back-talking, the eye-rolling, the disrespectful responses towards us! WOW! Completely, unbelievable.  Someone I work with said something the other day, that almost makes sense...Parents today, give their kids too much freedom and encourage their kids almost too much!

Now, I'm all for encouraging your kid!  Trust me! But at the same time, your kid needs to learn how to lose at a game sometimes, or to be told when they are wrong, and not always take the opposing side, just because you feel the need to stick up to your kid!  That isn't how life works, and that kid is going to get a serious reality check in the future!!

Now what does that have to do with this post, you may be asking?  Well, it might not mean much to some of you, but to me I believe some of it has to do with the inappropriate subject matters available for some kids in the world.  And while I know, when the kids are outside of school, it's really up to the parents to make sure their kid isn't exposed to certain things, in a school setting, it can be at least avoided for a child to pick up a book that might not be appropriate for their age group!

Why are 14 and up books available in school where the kids are 11-13?

So, you see, I think, while banning books may mean something else to some people (like in a town where a group of people want to ban Harry Potter because of it's "black magic" altogether and not have it available ANYWHERE in that town, and possibly even outside of that town!) to me it means, doing the necessary censorship just so kids don't have access to certain subject books, unless they are given to their kids outside of school by their parents/guardians.

Does that make sense?

Let me make it clear one more time!!!!!

I DO NOT THINK BOOKS SHOULD BE BANNED, I think schools just need to "censor" and decide which books are age appropriate for their school libraries!!!!

Now, I know that most school libraries do this, but some don't!

I know this post sounds probably somewhat rambly, but overall I just somehow found this past Monday night's class really interesting, because it kind of broadened my outlook on the whole subject of banned books. :)

Thanks everyone!

The Romance Bookie :)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Guest Review from Erin: The Near Witch (The Near Witch #1) by Victoria Schwab

Another witch book! And there are more coming your way!! This one is called The Near Witch and it is very different from House of Ivy and Sorrow, which I read previously.

From Goodreads:

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. 

But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi's need to know-about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab's debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won't soon forget.

Erin's Thoughts:

This book was actually not what I expected.  I assumed that this book was a book that took place in the contemporary world (don't ask me why), but it actually took place in a land of it's own called Near.  I'm having a hard time placing this in a specific world because the way they talked and the language and names suggested more of a contemporary feel, but the town of Near and its culture (i.e. food, clothes, houses) was more historical fiction-y/fantasy-like? So that was one thing that really threw me off.  Again, this could be because I was expecting something different, but the book is a mix of a lot of different things, in my opinion.  It's also very fairytale-line; although it isn't a traditional fairytale, like Cinderella or Rapunzel, nor is it a retelling, it still has this otherworldly quality that is very reminiscent of fairytales.

The Near Witch also really reminded me of the movie, Sailor Moon Super S (OMG! I loved Sailor Moon so much as a kid...And still do!) I know it sounds like a funny comparison, but just the idea of this witch person entrancing these children to come to her were very similar and I think if you read and watch both, you'll see where I'm coming from.  The story and style itself are completely different, but that was the first reaction I got when reading this.

Aaaaand, of course, there is a mysterious stranger that pops into town right as these disappearances are happening -- Cole! Cole is quiet, almost shy, and very mysterious.  He has a certain allure that keeps you wondering about whether he is good or bad.  Either way, I thought he was a very interesting character and I really really liked how he didn't fall into a cliched sort of romantic interest and I think it's safe to say that he was probably my favorite character in the book.

Overall rating:

So not really my favorite read, but not terrible either.  I don't know that I would read it again -- Well, who knows?  Maybe! -- but I can say for certain I don't have the intention of reading it again.

Nevertheless, I think Victoria Schwab is an awesome author and I'm looking forward to reading some of her other books!

Thanks Everyone!

Erin @The Romance Bookie :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Guest Review from Erin: Atlantia by Ally Condie (ARC)

I don't know about you, but I love the Matched series, so naturally I was very excited to hear that Ally Condie was releasing another book! I am such a suck for underwater/mermaid stories, so this one, being one written by Ally Condie, immediately went on my wait list!  I was actually fortunate enough to receive an ARC and read it early!

From Goodreads:

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

Erin's Thoughts:

I love Atlantia! I will definitely be buying a hardcover copy as soon as it comes out! I mean, the cover is so so beautiful -- simplistic, yet it conveys the feel of the story very well (a lot like Matched).  Also, the cover doesn't seem like a very typical YA cover, which is another reason it caught my eye. I can't wait for it to come out!

Atlantia is a standalone novel that takes place in the underwater city of Atlantia.  Most of the book is concentrated on what happens in Rio when her twin sister, Bay, decides to leave Atlantia and live on land.  While Bay isn't present in the book for a significant amount of time, a lot of the book focuses on the relationship between the two stories.  But, no worries, there are also other plot lines that build up the story -- Rio's secret voice, her mother's death, her Siren Aunt, the relationship between land and sea -- so quite enough to be going on!

I should also note that Atlantia isn't a retelling of The Little Mermaid.  Although there are some elements of The Little Mermaid that I recognized in Atlantia, like Rio's desire to go to land, other than that, the story is very unique to itself.

I think that many people will love Atlantia for the same reasons that they loved Matched.  While the stories are completely different, they both have the same writing style -- very lyrical, beautiful, and a quiet, serene, but passionate voice.  That being said, I think that many people will not like the book for the same reason.  Both Matched and Atlantia are written in first-person present and even though there are differences between the characters of Rio and Cassia, I think the differences are pretty subtle and there are enough similarities that this could bother some people.  In fact, a lot of people might argue that it's the same character placed in a different story or whatnot, and while I see the truth in that, I still think that Atlantia is a really beautiful story and totally able to stand on it's own.

There are some dystopia elements in the book as well.  And though it isn't as strong of a presence as Matched, it might be enough to steer people away from liking this book.  It doesn't bother me, but I would keep this in mind if you plan on reading Atlantia and are wary about reading dystopias.

Another reason that I could see people not liking this book is because there isn't a lot of action.  There is a plot and everything, but it's not like The Hunger Games in that there are a ton of exciting and tension-building scenes.  A lot of this inner conflict and struggle.  I loved the book nonetheless, but I fully understand that some others may find the book a bit boring.

Atlantia itself seems like such a cool place and reading about it has made me want to go there! I love the thought that Ally Condie has put into making Atlantia.  I especially love the descriptions of the market, the swimming, oxygen packs, the culture -- the atmosphere in general.  And I just have to say I love the religion that Ally Condie has created for Atlantia -- sacred bats, temples, figurines! Awesome!

I know it seems like I'm giving a bunch of reasons not to like the book, but I truly truly LOVED it.  Ally Condie has this beautiful writing style that I can't get over! I almost want to say it's like poetry or music?  It's just this quiet and peaceful and simple beauty.  And I especially like that even though it's very lyrical, you don't get bogged down by the language -- the story is just as engaging as the writing.

Overall Rating:

Writing this review has seriously made me want to read Atlantia again!  I can't say enough good things about it and even though a standalone means that I don't have to wait for a sequel, I would love to read more about Rio and Atlantia.  Either way, I'm super excited for whatever Ally Condie is writing next and I can't wait to read it! But, luckily, until then, I'll have Matched and Atlantia to hold me over!!

Erin @ The Romance Bookie :)

Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn #1) by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Hey Everyone!!

It's been a while once again, for me to post a review, but FINALLY today I finished a book!!

It was Burn for Burn, the first book in the Burn for Burn Series by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian!

From Goodreads:

Postcard-perfect Jar Island is the kind of place where nobody locks their doors at night, where parents can sleep easy, knowing their daughters are tucked away safe and sound in their beds. 

But bad things can happen, even to good girls . . . and sometimes, the only way to make things right is to do something wrong. 

Lillia used to trust boys, but not anymore. Not after what happened this summer. And she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her little sister from the same fate. 

Kat is over the rumors, the insults, the cruel jokes made at her expense. It all goes back to one person--her ex-best friend. Someone needs to teach her a lesson, and, with Lillia and Mary behind her, Kat feels up to the task.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. Now that she’s got friends who have her back, he's going to be in big trouble.

Three very different girls who come together to make things right. Will they go too far?

My Thoughts:

So in one sense it took me a while to read this because I have been crazy busy with work and school, but a small part of why it took me this long to read it is because this wasn't a book, to be honest, that I got hooked on.  I didn't have trouble putting it down.

That being said, however, this was still a pretty good read!  It had an interesting story line.  While some things were overreacted to, in my opinion, some were definitely revenge worthy.  The teens in this book were...definitely teeny.  They attracted drama, were terrible to each other, and dealt with things that most teenagers deal with.

This is definitely a great book for those 14-17 I would say.  I think quite a few people can relate to the three main characters, because most people deal with drama, being bullied, and even losing their best friends in high school.

Lillia was probably my least favorite character.  I felt she was a HUGE people pleaser.  If I had friends like hers, I would have dropped them long ago.  They were terrible people, who made many people's lives miserable in school, including even hers.

Kat was interesting, I'd really like to know more about her home life in the coming books.  And I hope more is to come between Alex and her.

Mary...probably the most confusing character in this book.  When you find out what REALLY happened to make her seek revenge against one of the boys, Reeve, then you somewhat understand.  But at the same time, I don't understand how someone could have been "friends" with someone outside of school, when they were such a horrible person to them inside of school.  I'm interested to know more about her "powers" in the future books, because I think this series might get a little more paranormal!

Overall rating:

I think, in some senses, the characters in this book were a little young for me.  But overall, it was very well written.  It had a good story line that was fairly easy to follow, and characters that interested me.  I'm definitely looking forward to reading more in this series.  I've got book two, Fire for Fire waiting at home, because I won both the first and second through a contest Simon & Schuster was holding last year.

I hope everyone is having a great week! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Guest Review from Erin: House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

Hi Everyone!! Today I've got a review for you of House of Ivy and Sorrow! I picked up this book because of it's gorgeous title and cover AND synopsis and looked forward to reading this a ton!!

From Goodreads:

Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.

Erin's Thoughts:

House of Ivy and Sorrow is a super super cute book! It has a distinct high school-y feel to it and Jo, the main character, has a very cheerful and positive energy.  That said, I think for me personally, she is a bit too girly and maybe even too young for me.  Not that this is bad in anyway, but she certainly is a very different character and has a different personality from myself.

But probably my favorite thing about the book is the witchy-ness of it all!! I would say that House of Ivy and Sorrow has classic "witch magic" involved.  There are curses, spells, potions and everything that you would think of if someone said the word "Witch".  I love the parts where Jo and her grandmother (or both) would cast spells/brew potions or whatnot; the ingredients and payments were creepy in a very cool way, i.e. teeth, oils, spiders, feathers...

I will admit that it did take me a while to get into this book -- probably about two-thirds of the way in.  I found myself chugging along without any intense emotional need to read -- not exactly forcing myself to read, but I didn't particularly feel like I had to keep reading either.  But no worries! By the time it got to the last third of the book, I was completely invested and did not want to stop reading!!

Overall rating:

Because of the cutesy nature of the book, I think it would have a lot of appeal to younger readers of YA (12-14) and maaaybe even some younger than that, but of course, not to say that this wouldn't be a fun read for older audiences as well.

I've got a few of Natalie Whipple's other books, so I will have to give those a read as well!! But this is it for now!! Thanks a bunch!!!! :)

Erin @ The Romance Bookie :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Book to Movie Giveaway Hop! (US ONLY!)

Hey Everyone!

As a make up for not being very present lately, I'm holding a giveaway in honor of the Book to Movie Giveaway Hop! hosted by Bookhounds and I Am a Reader!

I'm giving away a Hardcover copy of Gayle Forman's If I Stay!

Enter through the rafflecopter! :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Romance Bookie :)