Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book Review: The Ivy


 Title: The Ivy (The Ivy Series)
Author: (Lauren Kunze w/ Rina Onur)
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: New Adult // Drama
Format: eBook
Source: BN.com (Purchased)


 Congratulations! You have been admitted to the most prestigious university in the world. Now what are you going to do?
Callie Andrews may not have money or connections or the right clothes, and she may have way too many complications in her love life, what with
Gregory
the guy she loves to hate ...
Evan
the guy she'd love to forget ...
Clint
the guy she'd love to love ...
and Matt
the guy she really should love ...
all vying for her attention.
But she has three fantastic roommates (best friends or her worst nightmare?) and a wholesome California-girl reputation (oops) and brains and beauty and big, big dreams.
Will it be enough to help her survive freshman year at Harvard (goodreads)?

I bought this ebook when it was on sale for $3...I think that was a year ago. Yesterday, I finally sat down and started it. 10 hours later, I was looking for the sequel!

Plot: I think your opinion of this book depends on how you approach it. By no means is this a riveting critique on the social cliques of prestigious universities or student substance abuse. It's a fun, easy read about a new girl and her climb to popularity. Callie Andrews is from California, she has blond hair and is starting her freshman year at Harvard University (just like the author, but we'll ignore that). Her roommates are a crazy cast of characters, and her boyfriend just broke up with her -through email. The book takes place over the first three months of school and a lot happens before Thanksgiving Break. The book ends with a pretty scandalous cliffhanger which had me wanting to know more. 

Characters: Callie is our main character, and even though the novel is in the third person, we are basically seeing everything through her eyes. She's not a role model whatsoever; she's just a girl trying to survive her first year away from home and figure boys out. There are a lot of secondary characters that all either add to the drama or are comedic reliefs. I'm a very PC person when it comes to diversity in novels, and while Kunze does include some diversity, I thought she also called unnecessary attention to the characters of color. OK (our Nigerian prince who has an English accent?) is repeatedly characterized by his ebony skin and called a "big black man." We get it, he's black. Let's move on. There is also Fahad, who is from Saudi Arabia and described as wearing a white tuxedo with an ironic purple turban. Why is his turban ironic? ALSO, I don't think Saudi Arabian men even wear turbans. I know I don't know every single Saudi in the world, but I've never seen a turban grace their heads (unless they are religious leaders) so..... 

Moving on from the POC characters, Callie has a list of men who are heads over heels in love with her. I personally love  Gregory. He can be pretty rude, and always sarcastic, but it's clear that he's hiding behind an image. One last thing (I notice I've been rambling). This novel is in the third person and is mostly told from Callie's angle, like 90% of the time. Then there are times where Kunze switches perspectives and it is super confusing as to whose eyes we are seeing a situation through. I think this book would have been better if it were just written in the first person POV. 

Setting: The Ivy takes place at the illustrious Harvard University, and as I have never been to Harvard, I liked hearing them described from an actual Harvard Alumnus.  

Short N Sweet: If you want a cerebral read, keep looking. However, if you are looking for a fun college story along the lines of Gossip Girl, you might want to check this one out!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

[Meme]Waiting on Wednesday [#43]




Title: Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1)
Author: Sara Raasch
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Expected Publication Date: October 14, 2014


A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn't go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own (goodreads).


I've been in a high fantasy mood lately, and I also love stories that deal with a struggling class system! Plus I've heard a LOT of good things about this one from people who read the ARC so I'm excited! 

What are you waiting on? 


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

[Meme]Teaser Tuesday [#27]





A row of nurses in clean aprons and masks all stood neatly posed, with the warden in his spectacles and coat seated in front. Every single one of them stared straight ahead except for the nurse at the far right; her head was cocked unnaturally to the side, as if her neck had been snapped just before the picture was taken.
Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Page 104













Monday, September 15, 2014

Bookish Discussion: Bookstore Confessions


I like going to bookstores, I like being surrounded by books, bookish accessories and people who love to talk about books. Today I want to share with you some of my 

Bookstore Confessions

Image from Tinhouse.com


1. I don't actually SHOP at Barnes and Noble (the physical store). I either sit at the cafe and drink Starbucks-ish beverages while browsing books on my nook OR I scan the barcodes of books that I'm interested in to buy on Amazon or at HPB. 

2. I hate when other people are in the Young Adult section with me! Even though I'm only 26, I feel weird when I'm browsing shelves with a 13 year old. This is probably why I do a lot of online shopping. 

3. I have never been to an actual books signing/Discussion. I've met a few authors at conventions and that was great,  but I've never gone to a place that highlighted one or a few)specific authors. I really want to, but the bookstore that usually has bookish events is about a half an hour driving distant and I lack a car. 

4. Some people can sit at bookstores and read, but I physically CANNOT. I can't concentrate with all the hustle and bustle around me, no matter how much I try. It's just not comfortable. ): 

5. I miss Borders. Like a lot. Nothing can compare to Borders! Half Price Books is a close second, but Borders was just a classic (and their loyalty program was the Bee's Knees). They got ALL of my money. Like all of it (I was a kid and I didn't see anything wrong with spending $100 on manga like every other week. Being an adult sucks). 

6. I feel really sad about leaving a bookstore empty-handed. Sometimes I pick up something random (like a bookmark or SOMETHING) so I feel like the trip wasn't wasted. 



Do you have any bookstore confessions? Can you relate, or am I just crazy? Comment below!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up: Sept 7-13





*Click the images for a link back to Goodreads*

        


     







  


    




So it's Fall you guys! I don't know about you guys, but one day it was 80F, and then it rained and 50F became the new norm. o.O I actually kind of like it because I LOVE Fall. I love fall fashion, I love fall drinks (drinking my pumpkin spice as I type), and I love Halloween themed TV shows. Well, I WOULD love Halloween TV shows if the hubs wasn't hogging the TV. New video game came out so I get the pleasure of looking at the back of his head as he screams into his mic at "n00bs" and kills aliens.  Don't ask me, I don't understand. This is why I play RPG and puzzle games. Which reminds me, I need to finish Professor Layton / Phoenix Wright. Any fans of those two games? They're about the only games I have time for because they're portable and don't take 50 hours of my life. 

So now that it's officially beginning to feel like Halloween, I've been doing a lot of spooky reads and will be participating in a Halloween guest post so I'm excited about that! :) On the topic of my blog, I want to thank everyone who gave me recommendations for a blog design, I'm still looking into it (aka I need money...er a job. Something) but thank you for the recommendations! I also want to liven my blog up a little with some discussion posts and guest posts. If that sounds like something you would be interested in, please email me at amber.dulivre AT gmail DOT com. I'm open to joint projects too! I've been feeling really creative lately, not too sure why. 

Anyway that's enough babbling from my end. Time to go read! 

Much love and Happy Reading!

                                                        


Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Review: Foreplay

Title: Foreplay (The Ivy Chronicles #1)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: New Adult // Contemporary// Romance
Format: eBook
Source: BN.com (Purchased)

Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.
Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.
Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…(goodreads)


This book was unputdownable for me! 

Plot: The story is pretty straightforward, Pepper comes from a dysfunctional family and has been crushing on her best friend's older brother for over 12 years. When he becomes single, Pepper and her friends decide that she needs some more "experience" in order for Hunter to see her as anything more than "my little sister's best friend." In walks Reece, the sexy bartender. I liked the flow of the story, Sophie Jordan gave enough insight about each character to make this love story seem realistic. My only complaint would be the melodramatic ending, but still, it was adorable. 

Characters: Pepper and Reece make my life! They are both 3-dimensional characters with obvious flaws and insecurities. I loved the development of the relationship, from purely sexual to hanging out and getting to know each other. Jordan always introduces us to Pepper's friends who are also the stars of the upcoming Ivy Series novels. 

Setting: Pepper is a university student, but I don't think there is a single time that she was in class! Haha, I swear, she went from the coffee shop right to the bar. The only times I was reminded that Pepper was a 19 year old girl was her talk of Halloween parties and RAs. 

Short N Sweet: Foreplay is a sweet love story regarding insecurities and getting what you need, not what you want. 


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review: Dorothy Must Die


Title: Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA // Retelling // Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: BN.com (Purchased)

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.
What happened? Dorothy.
They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.
My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission (goodreads).
What started off as a jumble of characters attempting to survive in Dorothy's horror story that is Oz, ends up being an action packed adventure that I couldn't put down!
Plot: Amy Gumm is what the other girls call "trailer park trash;" one day while her mom is out getting her fix, Amy and her pet rat, Star, are swept away to the fictional Oz. The beginning of the novel seemed a bit...off. We start off with Amy commenting on her social life and the Queen B of the school, her mom's additions, and then we are in Oz. I kind of felt like I was in a roller coaster with the pacing of this story: one moment we are getting character development, then we are rushing through Oz, and then we have a love story (kind of), then we're at the end of the first installment. Throughout this novel, I was set on a firm 3.5 because of the pacing, but the ending made me reconsider and give it a 4. That being said, Dorothy Must Die is a creative story that isn't afraid to hold back. I love dark and creepy writing, but some of the descriptions of killings and amputations made me grimace. 

Characters: Dorothy Must Die is told from Amy's perspective, this allows us, the reader, to experience Oz firsthand through her eyes, and it is gruesome. Amy is joined by a large cast of characters, like a lot of characters. In the beginning, I thought that too many were being introduced, but they all tied in together in the end. There was a hint regarding romance between Dorothy and a fellow resistance leader, but I wasn't too interested in it. This time, the story trumped the love story which was a good thing because I was more interested in Dorothy's dark and twisted ways. My favorite characters would have to be Dorothy friends: The Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion, and The Tin Man.. Their personalities and appearances were nothing like you remember from the movie. From mauling to sword hands, they are the things my nightmares are made of. 

Setting: The World of Oz gets a five out of five from me. Ms. Paige does an excellent job articulating that this is not your normal Oz; the land is barren and the citizens live in terror. Everything in Oz is described with such vivid imagery that is all thanks to the author's beautiful writing style. 

Short N Sweet: This imaginative "sequel" to The Wizard of Oz will have you hold your breath, grimace, and cringe until the wicked witch is dead. The only thing keeping this novel from being a five-star rating is its pacing in the beginning. 




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

[Meme]Waiting on Wednesday [#42]







Title: Unmade (Lynburn Legacy #3)
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Expected Publication Date: Sept. 23, 2014
Powerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice?
Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.
Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.
This final book in the Lynburn Legacy is a wild, entertaining ride from beginning to shocking end (goodreads). 



THE END IS HERE! I completely ADORE Brennan's small town of Sorry-in-the-Vale along with her great cast of characters! I can't wait for my happy ending - it better be a happy ending! Jared <3

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

[Meme]Teaser Tuesday [#26]


 ,


Idiot. The parka was her fault, a Goodwill refugee with duct tape slapped here and there to mend the holes. The parka's previous owner had been a little girl, barely twelve, named Taylor. You wouldn't think that would be a problem except Taylor's final moments were a jumble of glassy pain and a single clear thought: Daddy, don't hurt me.


White Space by Isla J Bick
Page 71


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up: Aug 31-September 6, 2014


Tuesday: Teaser Tuesday





None this week. I was good! :p



White Space by Isla J. Bick [Goodreads]
The Here and Now by Anna Brashares [Goodreads]
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis [Goodreads]
As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott [Goodreads]
Dead to You by Lisa McMann [Goodreads]
Last Kiss Goodnight by Gena Showalter [Goodreads]


Thank you Wunderpress // Netgalley


Thank you J.J DiBenedetto // Netgalley


     


I'm actually reading Unteachable and listening to After the End already. Unteachable is taking FOREVER to finish because I'm not emotionally invested, and After the End is pretty decent but nothing makes me want to know more. As Halloween is coming up, I thought I'd get started on some spooky reads and White Space seems like the best place to start! :) Hubs and I went to the library over the weekend. This was a big step for me because I haven't been to the library in about two eyars. Our library has overdrive for audiobooks and eBooks, so I've just been using that service, but I decided that I wanted to check out our neighborhood library. So I got many a books! :) Well that's all from me today, the hubs and I are going to the in-laws to celebrate a birthday! :) I hope everyone has a great week!