BBW: Virtual Read-Out [The Hunger Games]

September 30, 2011

Banned Books Week; 24 Septmber - 1 October, 2011.

For more information, check out the Banned Books Week and ALA websites.

If you have a virtual read-out, please send me a link! I would love to watch :)

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither by Lauren Destefano
Released: May 3, 2011
Series: The Chemical Garden Series [Book One]
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 358
Source: Purchased
Buy it: Book Depository (free shipping) | Amazon

In our brave new future, DNA engineering has resulted in a terrible genetic flaw. Women die at the age of 20, men at 25. Young girls are being abducted and forces to breed in a desperate attempt to keep humanity ahead of the disease that threatens to eradicate it.
16-year-old Rhine Ellery is kidnapped and sold as a bride to Linden, a rich young man with a dying wide. Even though he is kind to her, Rhine is desperate to escape her gilded cade - and Linden's cruel father. With the help of Gabriel, a servant he is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free in what little time she has left. 

Wither is a beautifully written novel. The emotions conveyed and the world created by DeStefano are all so vivid. The story is heart-wrenching and tear-jerking, the characters leave you with an aching heart, and the dystopian world is so tragically disturbing. I cannot conjure up the right words to appropriately express how talented Lauren DeStefano is. The way that she writes and her ability to simultaneously infuse beauty and horror is just indescribable.

The pace of the story was quite slow and calm. This gave way to the character development and world building which was magnificently done. The plot focuses on Rhine's journey to build trust with Linden and his father, as she attempts to undermine them and ultimately escape from the life she has been thrust into. There are plenty of emotional moments, as Rhine develops strong relationships with her sister brides as well as Linden's dying wife.

Rhine is an admirable character. Her strength and dedication does not falter one bit, from the moment she is kidnapped. She wants out and that is the only option she will accept. She was so incredibly brave and strong.

I will admit, that I didn't like Cecily toward the beginning of the book. She began to grow on me as the story went on but she let of a childish and immature vibe that really frustrated me. On the other hand, I loved Jen the whole way through. Her reaction to her situation was not what I expected from her, but I still liked her personality. She brought out a lot of emotion in me when it came down to some intense scenes.

This is really hard to write. I just can't put into words how beautiful the story was. The story itself was quite horrifying, but DeStefano's writing was gorgeous and perfect for this type of dystopian book. She managed to combine these two elements so well.

Banned Books Week 2011

September 29, 2011

Hello all! Sorry for the mass of video posts this past week. I promise, I will be posting a written review later on! I am just getting the hang of this whole BookTubing thing and I am having a lot of fun.

So ANYWAY. Banned Books Week; 24 Septmber - 1 October, 2011.

For more information, check out the Banned Books Week and ALA websites.

This video is about my opinions on banned books, those I have read, and those that I hope to read in the future. Please show your support! This year, is hosting a Virtual Read-out, so why not make your own video, where you read from one of your favourite banned or challenged books? I will be back later this week with my virtual read-out from one of the books mentioned in my video below.

Books read:

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - religious, violence, sexually explicit
Crank by Ellen Hopkins - drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit
Harry Potter by JK Rowling - occult/satanism, violence, religious viewpoint, antifamily
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - sexually explicit, violence, unsuited to age group
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson - occult/satanism, offensive language, violence
TTYL by Lauren Myracle - drugs, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

To Read:

The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbowsky
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Shermen Alexie
Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Share your thoughts on banned books and Banned Books Week. What do you think? Are you for or against the banning of books?

Book Blogger Hop (3)

September 25, 2011

Book Blogger Hop
Hosted by Crazy for Books

"As a blog reader, what information (besides the book review) do you like to see in other bloggers’ reviews of books? (For example – Author bio, social media links, book synopsis from Amazon/Goodreads or one written by the blogger, page count, ISBN number, link to purchase, etc.)"

Generally, the main pieces of information I look for are;

+ Book synopsis from Amazon or Goodreads, so that I know what the book is about
+ Social media links, at least the authors website

Other information about the book is nice as well, including;

+ Page count
+ Release date
+ Whether or not is is a part of a series

What about you? What kind of information do you look for in a book review?

September Book Haul

September 24, 2011

Well, technically, this is a collective book haul from the last couple of months. But since it is September, I just decided to name it appropriately for the month.

I have read all but one book at the moment, and some of which I have reviews posted already. I will be working on reviews for the rest during these next few weeks, where I am FREE (holidays, oh yes).

All of the books:

- Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
- Crank by Ellen Hopkins
- Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
- Paper Towns by John Green
- Wither by Lauren DeStefano
- Forgotten by Cat Patrick
- Hourglass by Myra McEntire
- The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
- Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
- Passion by Lauren Kate
- The Dead of the Night by John Marsden
- Ever Lasting by Alyson Noel
- Across the Universe by Beth Revis
- The Maze Runner by James Dasher

BookTube, Here I Come!

September 23, 2011

So, I decided that I would start book vlogging. Not only would it let you guys get to know me a little better, but I think it will be a fun way for me to post about different bookish things. I will still post written reviews here, along with some video reviews, book hauls, tags etc. on my youtube channel. I will of course, embed all of those videos here for you guys to see!

Anyway, here is just my little hello video, if you are interested in taking a look.

I will be back later on with a new book review! See you all later.

Book Blogger Hop (2)

September 16, 2011

Book Blogger Hop
Hosted by Crazy for Books

“As a book blogger, how do you introduce yourself in your profile?”

I took a very long time making my profile. It may not look like it, but I did. I detest creating online profiles, and this was no different. I just seem to have trouble writing about myself.

Anyway, my profile has a little information about the blog, and why I started it. There is also a little information about my interests and reading preferences, as well as a picture of me. I didn't want to bore everyone, so I tried to give enough information for readers to get a vague idea of who I am.

What about you guys? How do you introduce yourself on the interwebs?

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Released: September 14, 2008
Series: The Hunger Games [Book One]
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 454 (2009 Paperback)
Source: Purchased
Buy it: Book Depository (free shipping) | Amazon

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

The Hunger Games would have to be my favourite book I have read this year. Amazing. Incredible. Just awesome. I don't know how to express my love for this book - this is probably the hardest review I have done yet. It's almost impossible to find the right words to truly express how I feel about it. When I finished I was in some sort of shock. I just lay there and stared off into space thinking about the book and the characters and what would happen next!

I could not put this book down. Collins created a such a dramatic, chaotic world that completely drew me in. The futuristic and post-apocalyptic was intriguing, along with all of the elements created by Collins. The contrast between the lifestyles of different districts, the technological advances, the futuristic fashions and the frightening mutated creatures that the tributes engage with, are only some of the aspects which just captivate you even more.

Katniss Everdeen. An incredibly well crafted protagonist. Her strength was immensely valuable to the whole story, and I don't think The Hunger Games would have been as magnificent from the perspective of any other personality or character. Katniss' passion and love for her sister, Prim, is inspirational and truly reflects her inner strength - she goes to the extreme to protect her. Her strength and bravery really shines through when in the arena, and you begin to truly understand the hardships she has had to endure.

The supporting characters were effectively and appropriately developed, and the relationships between some of the characters and Katniss are so vivid; you feel as if you really know them. As a result of some of these relationships, there are some really emotional scenes. There is so much loss and pain.

In particular, the relationship and romance between Katniss and Peeta (male tribute for their district) makes me all bubbly inside, and my stomach flutters a little. Their relationship is controlled a lot by their situation in the Games, and they are forced to be very affectionate to win over their audience, but I love them nonetheless. The romance was expertly intertwined throughout the novel, adding a layer of softness to the story and it sure made the Games all the more entertaining.

My only issue is the cliff hanger at the end. The most annoying ending I have come across yet, because I didn't have the second book and it would take me a while to get it.. The wait was torture! I couldn't stop thinking about Katniss, Peeta, Gale, the arena and what on earth could happen next!

This book deserves all of the hype it can possibly get. Truly amazing, terrifying, heart wrenching and full of action. If you have not read this.. you are insane! Go and buy the whole trilogy. You won't regret it.

Top 100 Most Popular YA Books

September 6, 2011

I came across this interesting list over at Death Books and Tea, who in turn found it at The Book Swarm. I have backtracked a little, from the blogs along this chain, and I along with everyone else have no idea where this originated. But anyway, following is a list of the supposed top 100 young adult books!

I have highlighted those that I have read, and underlined those that I own but have gotten around to reading yet.

1. Alex Finn – Beastly
2. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
3. Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
4. Ally Condie – Matched
5. Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
6. Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
7. Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
8. Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
9. Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
10. Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
11. Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3, 4)
12. Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2, 3, 4)
13. Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
14. Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
15. Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
16. Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
17. Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3, 4)
18. Christopher Paolini – Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
19. Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
20. Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2, 3)
21. Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
22. Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
23. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
24. Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
25. Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
26. Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
27. Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
28. Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
29. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
30. James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2, 3)
31. James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
32. Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
33. Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
34. Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
35. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
36. John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
37. John Green – Looking for Alaska
38. John Green – Paper Towns
39. Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
40. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4)
41. Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
42. Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2, 3)
43. Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3, 4,)
44. Lemony Snicket – Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
45. Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
46. Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
47. Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
48. M.T. Anderson – Feed
49. Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2, 3)
50. Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
51. Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
52. Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
53. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
54. Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
55. Mary Ting – Crossroads
56. Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
57. Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
58. Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
59. Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
60. Meg Rosoff – How I live now
61. Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
62. Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
63. Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
64. Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
65. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
66. Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
67. Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
68. Neal Shusterman – Unwind
69. Neil Gaiman – Coraline
70. Neil Gaiman – Stardust
71. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
72. P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
73. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
74. Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
75. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
76. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
77. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
78. Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
79. S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
80. Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
81. Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
82. Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
83. Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
84. Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
85. Scott Westerfeld – Leviathan (1, 2)
86. Scott Westerfeld – Uglies (1, 2, 3)
87. Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
88. Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
89. Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
90. Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
91. Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
92. Stephanie Meyer – The Host
93. Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
94. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
95. Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
96. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
97. Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
98. Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
99. Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
100. Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

I am obviously REALLY far behind on these.

Why don't you post this list and share which ones you have read?

Lauren DeStefano's Giveaway!

I would highly recommend you ALL go over to the blog of the amazing Lauren DeStefano, author of Wither. She is giving away TWELVE personalised and signed jackets for Fever, the second novel in the 'Chemical Romance' series.


And it is open internationally, so seriously guys, go and enter!

Onto further Little Book Owl news, I have a bunch of books that I am going to be reviewing, so I will get onto those as soon as possible. Later this week, I will be posting a Hunger Games review, so look out for that!



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