A blog for young adult book lovers

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Synopsis: My name is Katniss Everdeen.
Why am I not dead?
I should be dead.

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans--except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay--no matter what the personal cost.

Release Date: August 24th, 2010
Number of pages: 390

My review: What is life right now. I'm at a complete loss of words. 

I ended up finishing this in a little under 3 hours. I just could NOT put it down. I've had sort of a weird run through with The Hunger Games series. When I read the first one I didn't like it that much (namely because a lot of my friends were pressuring me to read it). But then I read Catching Fire and absolutely LOVED it (and loved the movie!) and Katniss really began to grow on me as a character. 

Mockingjay, to me, was like the perfect ending. A lot of people said they didn't like it, but I think it was amazing. It wasn't a typical perfect storybook ending, it was a Hunger Games ending where there was enough happiness and destruction to make it feel real.

Katniss has definitely become my all-time favorite heroine. She is simply amazing. Of course, she has her blunders here and there but what she goes through is incredible for someone her age and the fact that she can rise against everything and become this symbol for her people shows an immense amount of strength and adversity.

Anyways, Mockingjay had it all! Suspense, plot twists, and the not so perfect ending that turned out to be perfect after all. Everything just worked for me. Well, not everything because there were certainly some moments where I got a little teary eyed. 

I am sad to see the series end, but I look forward to the Mockingjay movies with bated breath. Hopefully, they will be as amazing as Catching Fire was. Go Katniss!

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Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things, #1)Synopsis: The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: Flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star....

Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined — and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for...and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is ­Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the ­illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall — together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of THE LUXE comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

Release Date: October 12th, 2010
Number of pages: 389

My review: I have read Anna Godbersen's other series The Luxe, and was completely enthralled by that one so when I saw that she had written a series set in the 1920's I was immediately drawn in.

Our story follows three main girls, Cordelia, Letty, and Astrid. Cordelia and Letty are best friends who wish to move to New York in order to "find themselves" and make it in the big city. Anna Godbersen does an excellent job once again of setting up the scene and switching from the different points of views of the characters without it being confusing or annoying. Just when you get too much of one character she moves you onto the next and let's you see into their life for awhile.

Typical of Anna Godbersen's books there is a lot of mystery and intrigue that float beneath the surface of the glitz and glamour of these girls' fabulous lives. She definitely keeps you guessing and wanting more, more, more! I read half this book in one day because I was so captivated by her writing!

Often I was reminded of The Great Gatsby, and I could tell that she pulled a few components from Fitzgerald's novel such as magnificent parties, riches being thrown around, and lot's of fancy women and dresses (and illegal alcohol! Remember this is during prohibition...)

The ending, of course, left me wanting more and I have ordered the second novel so that I can continue on with reading what happens next with these girls. Anna Godbersen always has something up her sleeve and I'm always following along wanting to know what it is! This also interests me in other types of YA novels written during this time period so I will have to definitely find more!

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Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game (Movie Tie-In)
Synopsis: THE HUGO AND NEBULA AWARD WINNING NOVEL Orson Scott Card’s beloved classic Ender’s Game is now a major motion picture. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate.  Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast. “Orson Scott Card makes a strong case for being the best writer science fiction has to offer.” —The Houston Post This movie tie-in edition features cover art from the Summit Entertainment film starring Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, and Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin.

Release Date: 1985
Number of pages: 324

My review: I was first heard about this series when the trailer came out for the book and then recently my friend told me that I had to read it. I have to admit I had some trouble getting into the story. I was a bit confused about the world and there was a lot that wasn't explained. It's one of those stories that I sometimes feel I'm entering into way too late, and that a prequel would be extremely helpful in understanding certain components of the story.

Nevertheless, I did learn more and more about the world Ender was in as the story progressed and what his purpose was for the entire universe. I liked the sci-fi world that surrounded Ender (that which was explained to me). 

I found Ender to be an...interesting character. I didn't dislike him, but he could get on my nerves sometimes. I understood that he was just a kid growing up in this world where he wanted to be no part of, but he could have chosen not to go to the intergalactic school! Obviously, as a young boy he had a lot of problems with being picked on, which was something else I couldn't really relate too.

I wish there had been a dual-focus on the other side of what was happening. Of course we saw what was happening up at the school with Ender, but I wish we could have learned more about what was going on down on Earth with the rest of civilization, especially with people like Ender's siblings, who were also trying to make a difference in the world like Ender.

Overall, the ending (no pun intended) really saved this book for me. If the end wasn't as good as it had been I probably would have rated this at least a three star. Nevertheless, four stars from me, but I don't think I'll be continuing on the series.

Sidenote: I don't normally like movie tie-in covers but I absolutely love this one!
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Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)Synopsis: The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand. 

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

Release Date: August 14th, 2012
Number of pages: 416

My review: I loved this book! I loved the intense romance between Abby (Pidge) and Travis. Travis just seems so dreamy, albeit he is a little intense at times like when he gets into fights over the simplest things and goes a little overboard in certain situations (I can't say cause duh spoilers!).

Abby also seems like a bit of a pushover when it comes to Travis, but hello! who wouldn't be with that gorgeous bod and sexy tattoos. But to each their own.

I loved how the college they went to totally reminded me of the one I was currently in, and it seemed very realistic so the setting was set up flawlessly. The supporting characters were also pretty awesome and the occasional appearance of Abby's sarcastic roommate always made me giggle.

Overall, I'd say it was a really good New Adult book though I do think the ending was a bit unrealistic. I liked unweaving the characters stories while reading through the book, but the ending was a bit off putting for me. It just seemed like a bit of a let down compared to the rest of the book. Build up was amazing though and this is one of those books that will get you hooked from the very beginning. 

I would recommend this for girls who are currently in college, but maybe not any younger since there are some steamy situations!
P.S. I despise this cover. It makes absolutely no sense to the book and it looks like a stock image that has been severely altered. 

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The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski

The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never, #2)
Synopsis: Five months ago, Camryn and Andrew, both dealing with personal hardships, met on a Greyhound bus. They fell in love and proved that when two people are meant to be together, fate will find a way to make it happen.
Now, in the highly anticipated sequel to The Edge of Never, Camryn and Andrew are pursuing their love for music and living life to the fullest as they always swore to do. But when tragedy befalls them, their relationship is put to the ultimate test. As Camryn tries to numb her pain, Andrew makes a bold decision: To get their life back on track, they'll set out on another cross-country road trip. Together they find excitement, passion, adventure-and challenges they never could have anticipated.

Release Date: January 14th, 2014
Number of pages: 464

My review: When I found out that I had been granted permission to read and review and advanced copy of this on NetGalley I was so excited! I loved the first book, The Edge of Never, and this one also did not disappoint! 

While The Edge of Never was filled with romance and passion with a smidge of heartbreak, The Edge of Always rivaled all that by throwing in deeper emotions of love and loss. I genuinely felt sad for Camryn and Andrew and all that they went through in these 400 some pages. When they triumphed and overcame an obstacle I was cheering along with them, and when they sank down and felt defeated, I mourned with them as well.

There was a few times towards the end where I felt like the book was dragging on a bit much, and I was relating less to the characters and what they were saying, but I still think this was a fulfilling sequel. A bit lengthy? Yes. Necessary? Maybe...

I think it's really up to each individual reader to decide whether or not this was as good as the first book. I for one thought The Edge of Never was better, but this one was a good ending for Camryn and Andrew's trials, tribulations, and travels. 

So, if you disregard that the ending was a little bland, the beginning and middle of the book more than make up for what the ending was trying to accomplish (closure, I guess? The author was just giving way too many over the top descriptions of love, even for me to handle). 

Overall, a wonderful ending to the duology and was something that I greatly anticipated to read and now am glad that I have finished it!

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The Paige-Turner's 2014 Bookish Resolutions

Often times at the end of the year I think about what I did this year through blogging, reading, or overall social media interaction and develop a plan for the new year.

Yeah you're all thinking, "Don't we all!?"

But I'm going to take it seriously this time. So, I have complied a list that I will reference and cross off things that I have done throughout the new year. Here we go!

  • Read a book outside my comfort zone
  • Read at least 12 classics (one for each month)
  • Read more New Adult books
  • Don't slack off on reviews or reading (this was a huge problem for me this year. I need to find that right balance)
  • Finish at least a third of my TBR shelf
  • Limit how many books I buy (unless I finish more on my TBR)
  • And, as usual I have pledged to read 100 books in 2014 (I surpassed this in 2013 and read a total of 121 books!)
What are your resolutions? I'd love to hear some!
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