Friday, December 31, 2010


In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.


I wish I could review this book without all the hype that's surrounded it, but I can't. Doing so would be impossible and I can't accomplish the impossible. I always try to give books an appropriate review based upon what I've read and what I've thought, but, because of the hype surrounding Matched, that will be hard to do.

I picked up this book before it was even out, through an ARC from a Penguin Representative, picking it up simply because of all the Waiting on Wednesday posts surrounding it. Dystopian, totally my thing. Romance, yes, also my thing. So I decided, what the heck, might as well pick it up.

I mentioned it would be hard to avoid the hype because here it is. Because of the hype surrounding the book, I expected the book to be great and, well, it's wasn't. Don't get me wrong, Matched is a good book, but not a great one.

Let me begin with the plot. The set up starts all Romeo and Juliet where she can't be with him yet they pine endlessly for each other. Yes, flashbacks were a new twist I enjoyed, but there wasn't much more other than this. Some books are driven by their characters but, to me, Matched seemed driven by the need for romance which didn't appeal to me.

Another thing. The plot, revolving around the romance, though it starts strong and plunges the reader directly into the novel, a great thing, slows down. I found myself wondering where the breathless feeling accomplished in the beginning was going to show up again. It did, several times, but in order for a book to be great, that feeling needs to last throughout the entire book, not just during important scenes.

Second, the world. Okay, I have to admit, the world was really cool, resounding like Orwell's 1984 with the feeling of Big Brother watching your every move. Condie sets the place up nicely, hinting at deeper things, such as the mysterious red pill everyone carries around, but not fully explaining them until the time is needed, though the reader forms their own opinions and ideas about what these things mean. I can't point any bad fingers at the world Condie forms because, to put it simply, the world is different from others I've read and interesting to read.

But here's an important thing. Because Condie crafts her own world and drops the reader into it by slowly feeding them information, you really need to see and feel and taste the world around you, which I did. So many authors create their own worlds and don't divulge enough detail for these worlds to become fully formed, but Condie isn't one of them. Her world takes on a life of it's own that seems tangible.

On the other hand, the characters. To be honest, I read Matched a while ago and none of the characters stand out to me still. I wasn't left with a lasting impression of any of them. They remained on the page for me.

Overall, Matched was a fun read that probably would have been better enjoyed had it not been for the hype surrounding it. Expectations are a harmful thing. My expectations for Matched were high and they came folding around me as I read, despite the fact that the book was good.

Rating: B

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Staying Far For Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
From page 89

I think I detect the fleeting shadow of a sneer across Sarah Byrnes's lip as I slip onto the seat beside her, but I know if must be my imagination, and I can't help thinking back to what Dale Thornton said that day.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Music Monday ~ Eric Stanley

So there are many unheard of people on youtube who deserve a huge shout out, and Eric Stanley is one of them. His violin has taken him far on youtube. You're welcome to take a listen to his cover of Airplanes below.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Aliens aren't what we think. To borrow a quote from Mr. Pittacus Lore, Other civilizations do exist. Some seek to destroy you. Take this as your warning.

Things I've Learned Thursday

Anything that connects your brain to the Internet is a bad thing. When you suddenly can't stop playing or have thoughts you know aren't your own, stop. Just stop. If you can.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Music Monday ~ Tiesto

One new song that's been stuck in my head lately is Tiesto ft. CC Sheffield, Escape Me. You can take a listen below.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Avery Hood is reeling from the loss of her parents--and the fact that she can't remember what happened to them even though she was there.

She's struggling to adjust to life without them, and to living with her grandmother, when she meets Ben, who isn't like any guy she's ever met before.

It turns out there's a reason why, and Ben's secret may hold the key to Avery finding out what happened to her parents...

But what if that secret changes everything she knows about--and feels for--Ben?


So I hate comparing one book to another, but have to in order to make this point. For all of those out there who've read Twilight, you started reading the book knowing that Edward was the immortal person and that Bella would fall in love with him, right? So that's how you begin Low Red Moon. You start out knowing that Ben is paranormal and knowing that Avery is going to fall in love with him.

To be honest, this took away a lot of the story. It was obvious from the beginning that something was up with Ben. And since the story is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, you can guess what he is. And besides, lots of the details surrounding him point a huge hairy finger at what he is, but in case you don't get that from knowing what it's about, I won't mention it any further in my review.

Before straying too far away from the topic of Twilight (and I promise this will be my final mention of it in the review), the book has some hysterical parallels to Twilight, whether Devlin intended them or not. For example, there's a How old are you? Seventeen. How long have you been seventeen? scene in the book that made me laugh aloud. A+ for humor.

But that, unfortunately, is the only A+ I can give. The book's plot is sketchy throughout the entire novel, and events are predictable. And since it was released at about the same time another retelling of Little Red Riding Hood was released, I did have high expectations, and the book crashed them.

On the plus side, Low Red Moon has a great opening. If you haven't yet, pick up the book and read the first line. It will make you keep reading. The pace starts quickly, but then the rest of the novel falls short.

Even though I feel as though this review is jumping around everywhere, another thing I have to mention is the book's design. I love it. The foil cover is beautiful and, on the inside, the bottom of each page has a red image of a tree line and every time the word moon is referenced, it's written in red ink. Very creative.

Unfortunately, we can't judge books based upon their covers. The book's an alright read, but I wouldn't reread it. It's a one time through in order to review.

Rating: C


Here it is, something we've all been waiting for. Bree Despain released her book trailer for The Lost Saint! You can watch it below, but, be warned, if you haven't read the first book, The Dark Divine, this trailer may contain spoilers. For those of you who've read the series, let me know what you think of the trailer! Can't wait to read this one.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

If it doesn't have a good beginning, and the middle is slow, the ending will probably be no different. Just saying.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Too Much of a Good Thing?

For a while now, it's been said that there are no new stories, simply retellings and new voices. Over the past couple months, it's become increasingly obvious that this is true. What am I talking about, you ask? What I'm talking about is a simple fairy tale all children know that's hitting the works and is hitting it hard. One about a little girl with a red cloak and a wolf.

Yep, you've guessed it. Little Red Riding Hood. And if you haven't been paying much attention, you may have missed the numerous hits it's had lately. First published is Jackson Pearce's Sister's Red which is a twist on the Little Red Riding Hood story in which werewolves are hunted by axe wielding girls. If you haven't read it yet, I would highly recommend it.

Then comes out Ivy Devlin's Low Red Moon, a different twist on the story which takes place in modern times in which a girl's family is murdered by a wolf and she's left to live without them when a new boy suddenly comes to town. It's a paranormal romance and a mystery, but still based of Little Red Riding Hood.

Then there's Sarah Blakley-Cartwright and David Leslie Johnson's upcoming Red Riding Hood which is a darker, more Gothic version of the story in which a girl is killed by the wolf.

Similarly, now there's a movie entitled "Red Riding Hood" that premieres in March of next year which is a Gothic retellling that appears to be a love triangle within a thriller/chiller movie. You can watch the trailer for the movie at the bottom of this post.

I've always been a fan of Little Red Riding Hood and, in fact, wrote a short retelling of it for my Creative Writing class at the beginning of this year, proving that I am not immune to the craze for it, but how much is too much? It seems to me that there is too much Red Riding Hood here, but I want to hear what other readers have to say. Leave a comment with you thoughts on the matter and let me know what you think about all this.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Music Monday ~ DJ Earworm

In case you've never discovered DJ Earworm, they create great remixes of popular songs on youtube, the most popular being the end of the years remix of the top hits from that year. Take a listen to the newest remix called "Like OMG Baby" below.

Friday, December 3, 2010


An undercover mission leads to danger, adventure and an impossible choice...

After siphoning her own blood magic in the showdown at Hubal, Opal Cowan has lost her powers. She can no longer create glass magic. More, she's immune to the effects of magic. Opal is an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference in the world.

Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makes flash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that someone has stolen some of her blood - and that finding it might let her regain her powers. Or know it could be they are lost forever...


WARNING: If you haven't read the rest of the Glass series by Maria V. Snyder, this review will contain spoilers. I'll keep the review short because it is the final book in this series, but if you plan on reading the series but haven't yet, I wouldn't recommend reading this review.

I've loved Opal as a character from the beginning. She has great personality and a great power of creating her glass messengers. At the end of the second book, Sea Glass, when she lost her powers, I felt put out, lost as she was, unable to recognize her as the character I thought she was because she'd lost this great power that I'd always defined her with.

Though the beginning of this book starts out slow, it's to be expected because of the whole losing-her-powers thing. Opal isn't who she thought she was. She's a changed person. She's not only lost her sister, but now she's lost the powers she loved. Things have changed drastically, and her family, through this book, plays a huge role in getting her back on track.

To all those love triangle fans, lovers of Kade or Devlin, prepare yourselves. The love triangle hinted at in the first two books takes full bloom in this one and you'll find yourself struggling to keep up with who Opal's focused on and who you want her to be focused on. Honestly, I love a good love triangle and Mara V. Snyder gives a great one in Spy Glass.

Despite all this, I thought it took too long to get back to the magic readers of Snyder's works are used to, but when it gets there, it really, truly gets there. The story takes off with the signature strong female character and action packed story line without pointless action, one of the things I truly love about her books. Though at times the plot is rocky, taking too much time to get to one place, the book comes through strong with an ending to the series much like that of the Study series that will leave readers satisfied in a way only Snyder can perform.

Rating: A

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Things I've Learned Thursday

Authors love to have confused readers. They love to scheme and plot about how to confuse you. Good authors will clear things up very well and all loose ends will be tied and everything will make sense. Great authors will clear nearly everything up yet leave just enough loose ends to keep you thinking about the book long after you're put it down.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lovely Loves

One thing that I love about most YA authors is their interaction with their readers. It's one thing that sets this genra apart from others. The authors. I spoke a while back about author blogs that I love. Now let me spend some time talking about author vlogs that I love.

In case you don't know, vlogs are video blogs that some authors do in place of blog or as well as blogs. These authors run their vlogs on youtube and I'll share a couple authors who's vlogs I love.

Jackson Pearce
By far the funniest author I've found. I met her a couple months ago during the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour, and she was hysterical then, and, unlike some people who are great in person but not in videos, she's a riot in videos to. She talks about everything from writing to juggling and you can check it all out on her youtube channel by clicking this link.

Maggie Stievater
(Who's name I still can't spell correctly without looking it up). To be honest, I'd forgotten she had a blog until, just recently, she posted a vlog about what some reader just sent in their fan mail to her. I always love seeing authors do vlogs because, to be, it proves they're real people with real lives. Maggie embodies that, so check out her vlog if you're interested by clicking here.

Elizabeth Scott
Is it any big surprise she made it on this list? I love Elizabeth Scott and her vlogs are no exception. Though she hasn't made a vlog in quite some time, when she does, she talks about giveaways and what it's like to be an author which is great to hear aloud, especially if you're like me and don't live anywhere near her and can't go to any of her author events. Check out her vlog here.