Tag Archives: Debut Authors

Divergent by Veronica Roth

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  Divergent by Veronica Roth

Own Signed Copy.

★★★★★ 5/5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):  In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Holy wow.

This may be the best dystopian novel I have read since The Hunger Games series. Veronica Roth is an amazing writer. Period.

I felt like I really connected with all of these characters in the sense that I could feel what they felt. Everything about this book was beautifully written. Beatrice is a wonderful heroine who really proved herself over and over throughout the book. She is an entirely new person by the end of the novel.

The characters have to choose whether to stay with their original faction or go into a new faction once they reach a certain age. They then have to go through the factions initiation in order to officially join that faction. Veronica Roth does a wonderful job of showing how not every character is going to make it through the initiation with all of the same effects. She shows how some miss their original factions, how some can’t handle initiation, and how others do really well in initiation.

If you haven’t picked this book up yet, I highly recommend you do soon!! I can’t wait for the next one!

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Angelfire

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  Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Own a signed copy.

Summary (from Goodreads): When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers – monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell – she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie’s powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her – an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie’s soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian’s most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives – including truths that may be too frightening to remember.

I don’t know what it was about this book, but I had a hard time with it and honestly still haven’t finished it. First off, I have had a stressful two weeks so maybe my judgment is slightly clouded. Second, I had literally JUST finished City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare and was seeing a few things in Angelfire that reminded me of CoFA, which also threw me off a little.

I felt like the main character, Ellie, asked way to many questions. To the point where I found it annoying. She would ask the same questions, maybe worded differently, but they all seemed to be about the same thing over and over. My book club read this book and the others said that they didn’t notice the questions quite as much as I did. Ellie’s guardian, Will, has to keep reminding her of what she is, and what her purpose is. I think that after the second time he tells you, it should stick a little in your head.

With Ellie asking so many questions, you would think you would get some answers, but I found Will brushing them off by answering with something like, “Irrelevant.” “It will come to you.” “That doesn’t matter.” Clearly the main character is not remembering, so could you help her out? Maybe even a little?

Maybe my stressful two weeks has me nit-picking a little too bad on those points, but the few things that reminded me of CoFA? The main characters in CoFA have black swirling tattoo’s that normal humans can’t see. The MC Will, in Angelfire, has black swirling tattoos that Ellie didn’t notice before her powers were awakened. CoFA mentions a demon named Lilith, and so does Angelfire. After about 184ish pages, I didn’t really want to finish the book. I may pick it up again this summer and give it another shot, but as for now it will sit on my shelf unfinished.

I don’t feel like Ellie grew much as a character either. She just seems to have accepted the fact that she has to kill reapers but she still want’s to live her old normal life as if nothing has changed. And maybe she is a little over sensitive about what her dad thinks. At one point in the book, she goes flying through a window of her house and her dad calls her a moron and she seemed completely heart broken. If I broke a window in my house my dad would call me a moron too! If not with more colorful wording.

For those of you who have read it, finished or not, what did you think?

Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

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Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

★★★★☆ 4/5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads): “When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York–and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn’t think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari’s family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.

When misfortune befalls Blake’s family, he pulls away, and Ari’s world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?”

I liked this book a lot! Although I found the very beginning a little slow, Lorraine does a fantastic job of writing and it flows really well. I had friends like Summer, always had a boyfriend and some of them seemed more like arm candy than real relationships. I went all of my High School years without a boyfriend, so Ari got me beat there! Ari does get so wrapped up in Blake that she forgets about her other friends. I have felt left out by some of my friends when they get that wrapped up in their boyfriends, but then I am the friend who picks them up, and Ari didn’t seem to have a friend who would do that for her. Not having that friend to pick her up made her struggle with the breakup even more, and forced her to become more dependent on herself when she finally decided it was time to move on.

Ari’s relationship with her mother reminds me a lot of my relationship with my mom. In the sense that it is good, but talking to her about certain things, I just can’t do. I also relate myself to Ari in the sense that I often keep things to myself even if other people tell me to talk about it and to not bottle it up. It was nice to see her open up to someone after months of refusing to.

Ari’s sister Evelyn I can also relate to one of my cousins. She had a child before she was married, and had a rough time for a while. She now has three kids and is working on her second marriage. She is doing a lot better than previous years, as is Evelyn in this story. I loved watching all of these relationships unfold into something better, even through their rough spots. (Clearly I relate character’s in books to people in my personal life a lot.)

I would definitely recommend this book to a lot of teens. Maybe they would see that your first love, while unforgettable, may not be the right one.

In My Mailbox (3)

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In My Mailbox is an internet meme hosted by The Story Siren. It is a way for book blogger’s to show off what they got throughout the week.

This week I went to the book store and got Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann. My Book Club and I just finished reading the Dream Catcher series (Wake, Fade, and Gone) and I am really excited to read Cryer’s Cross!! I had to get it as soon as possible!

I also got Vesper by Jeff Sampson while at the book store. I wanted to read this, but wanted to read it even more after I read the blog post Students Want to Know: Jeff Sampson. It was really to cool to read his answers and get a little more insight on his book than Goodreads gives.


That was all I bought this week, but I did come home to some awesome mail! I got two signed bookmarks from Amy Dominy author of OyMG due out in May. Aren’t they super cute bookmarks?!?!?

That’s all I got this week! What did you get in your mailbox?

In My Mailbox (1)

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This is my first In My Mailbox. I decided last month that I was going to attempt it this year….so here we go.

For those of you who don’t know, In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren. All of my books were bought from the store this week. I am also currently very distracted so I am going to keep it short and simple.

On Monday this week, I received a postcard for Like Mandarin from Kirsten Hubbard.  On the back she wrote “Never stop searching for beauty!” I was super excited when I got it in the mail!! The book Like Mandarin comes out on March 8th, 2011. I’m pretty excited to read it. 🙂

Tuesday I went to the bookstore and bought Across the Universe by Beth Revis. I have heard really good things about this debut and can’t wait to dive into it! On top of that I got Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, which has a very pretty cover! The third one I got was The D.U.F.F. by Kody Keplinger. I have also heard great things about this one and meant to buy it a while back. The last book I bought was XVI by Julia Karr. This is also on my debut author challenge list!!

On the fantastic Friday (while at book club) I got Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal, and Gone by Lisa McMann. Other Words for Love is on my debut list also, and Gone is what my book club is reading.

In reality, I am excited to read all of these and hope that I can get through them quickly because my list of to-read’s just keeps getting longer and longer!

Updated 2011 DAC

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The first time I made my DAC list, I had 15 books on the list. After reading several reviews and seeing what some of my Goodreads friends have added, the list has almost doubled. So, here is the updated list.

  1. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  2. Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
  3. Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
  4. Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris
  5. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
  6. Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
  7. Broken Wings by Helen Landalf
  8. The Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
  9. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
  10. Die For Me by Amy Plum
  11. Enclave by Ann Aguirre
  12. Exposed by Kimberly Marcus
  13. Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
  14. Fetching by Kiera Stewart
  15. Haven by Kristi Cook
  16. Mistress of the Storm by Melanie Welsh
  17. Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic
  18. Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
  19. OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy
  20. The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner
  21. Rival by Sarah Bennett Wealer
  22. Sister Mischief by Laura Goode
  23. An Uncommon Crusade by Caron Guillo*
  24. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
  25. Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
  26. Warped by Maurissa Guibord
  27. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
  28. XVI by Julia Karr

*Is not on The Story Sirens list of debuts but it is a debut book.

Do you have any of the same titles in your to-read pile?

Bookies

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I have been trying to decide what to post this blog about, and I think I decided on books. Again. Yeah well they’re cool so Pfft at the rest of you. Anyways, I still can’t wait for the 2011 DAC to begin. I’m hoping there are more awesome books coming out this year and that I am able to get in more books next year than I was this year. Granted for just starting reading this year, I did get a whole bunch in! On top of just starting this year I am in a book club, now have a blog, (clearly) have a signed book, and am receiving an ARC (that has not yet made it through the mail I might add.)
Since this year is almost over, I think I should share my favorites of 2010.

The first one that trumps all the others is ♥Nightshade♥ by Andrea Cremer. Definitely left me in awe and DYING for the next one. Must I wait until July?!?!? I got my cousin to read this and she loved it and is out to buy her own copy. 🙂

In second I think would have to be… Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. Also left me wanting the next one asap. This is next to send over to my cousin, I hope she likes this one too.

Third and fourth are tight and cannot decide if it is Unwind by Neil Shusterman or The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Sorry Twilight but you just don’t make the cut on my list, I still think you are amazing though. There is so much more to the book/blogging world than I ever originally thought. Both BEA and the conventions people go to make me want to minor in teaching so I can go, or post many more reviews on books so I can at least make it to BEA. That may take me awhile though, especially considering some of the die hard dedicated people out there. I definitely love to read The Story Siren‘s and YA Love‘s posts. You can just tell they love reading!! Their love for it is definitely contagious.

Also, more recently added to my 2011 DAC list is Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic.