Saturday, February 25, 2012

Article 5: review

Title: Article 5 (Article 5 #1)
Author: Kristen Simmons
Genres: YA dystopian, adventure, survival, romance
Summary: New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow. 

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.

It was okay. Probably won't leave a lasting impression, and I might pick up the next one in a year when it comes out, if I remember.

Usually for books I didn't like that much I rant and rant for paragraphs on why it sucked, what was wrong with like everything. But this one I am kind of indifferent to. It's not a waste of time to read, but there are plenty of better books out there right now. For a debut though, it's pretty well written.

Article 5 reminded me of the setting in Eve, with a school she breaks out of, running from the bounty on her head that part didn't suck, but already seemed familiar. I'm not bashing Eve though! That's where the similarities end.

And the romance aspect was stolen from Shatter Me, and thankfully reformed into something almost GOOD. (Shatter Me just sucked btw. Sorry.) You know, the love interest is who is a childhood-friend-turned-to-unfeeling-soldier thing. So even though it improved, that part bugged me just a little too much, probably why this book lost one of its stars.

The other star is lost because the protag's favorite book is Frankenstein! How can anybody like that book.

Ember, (I keep wanting to call her Amber or Emily. No idea why, it just isn't sticking.) is pretty much on a very long emotional roller coaster throughout the whole novel, and blinded by judgement having to do with her relationship with Chase. So, eye rolls were frequent, and I felt like slapping her a few times. Like, either get over him or just LISTEN to what he has to say, alright? -She didn't seem to hear me though. Overall, she was very annoying.

I liked the morals/ethics that appeared in almost every single chapter. Mostly regarding killing someone. haha...Really though, that had to be the best part. I put myself in Ember's shoes a couple of times, trying to decide if I would pull the trigger.

The cover is very cool, I think. Maybe my main problem was that I didn't actually remember what the summary was when it finally arrived at the library, so opened the book with different expectations. I read the subtitle, Compliance is Mandatory, and assumed that was Article 5 was in the book. When the actual Article 5 is something like...only married women can have children. And Ember's mom is unmarried. The result of that is this whole book.

Hm, I always end up writing more than I think I will.

3 out of 5 stars.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tomorrow, When the War Began: review

Title: Tomorrow, When the War Began (Tomorrow #1)
Author: John Marsden
Genres: science fiction, action, thriller, war, survival
Summary: When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they're leaving their old lives behind forever. Despite a less-than-tragic food shortage and a secret crush or two, everything goes as planned. But a week later, they return home to find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone wrong--horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and the entire town has been captured--including their families and all their friends. Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight.

For such a small book, it's jam packed with action, suspense and plenty of explosions. And I am quite glad all the books came out a while ago, (I will find a way to get the rest from my Aussie contacts if I need to.) because if I had read this when it first came out, the ending would make me squirm with anticipation for a whole year. And each year after for the sequels.

It had a cliffhanger, sort of. But it felt like more of a chapter ending. Enough for me to turn the page and sputter, "That's it?? That's where it is leaving me??" I hope the rest of the series is as awesome as this one was.

One thing I didn't ever figure out was who were the invaders? Did I totally read over that somehow? Because that whole part of the story is cloudy for me. It might be on purpose though, so that you're meant to feel as ignorant as Ellie and her friends are at the moment. Or I totally spaced.

There are a lot of main characters in this book. At first I let them blend slightly together; afraid of keeping track of their personalities, who is with whom, and what their role was in the various missions the group organized. (They split up a lot) It even took me a few chapters to figure out Corrie is a girl. Queue facepalm. Don't worry though, the author does a great job in separating each and every one, and gave opportunities for them all to become heroes in their own time.

My favorite character had to be Homer, I think. So immature but he grows up considerably. Then Fi. Her different upbringing compared to the rest, and naïvety, just cracked me up.

One small thing that almost bugged me in the beginning was the romance. I wish it wasn't in there. By the end it got better, and it's kind of part of the idea of the plot..."In the midst of death we are in life." to quote Ellie. So I am now mostly okay with it.

This being published in Australia, by an Australian author, and set there in the novel, it's kind of pointless to mention there is lots of Aussie lingo in here. I'm pretty familiar with it all, but for people who don't read a lot of it, it can become a little confusing at times. Even I had to look up a word once or twice. But that's a big part of why Tomorrow, When the War Began ROCKS.

The movie is being released here in the US in two days. I hear it's pretty accurate to the book so I am super excited to see it!!

4.6 stars. Don't ya just love decimals? They make life so much more complicated.

Other books similar to this one...I have to think a bit on this one...anyone?


PS, hey, anybody interested in becoming my beta reader?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Finnikin of the Rock: review

Title: Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1)
Author: Melina Marchetta
Genres: high fantasy, adventure, magic, romance
Summary: At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh to save his kingdom. He stands on the rock of the three wonders with his friend Prince Balthazar and Balthazar's cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood to safeguard Lumatere. 

But all safety is shattered during the five days of the unspeakable, when the king and queen and their children are brutally murdered in the palace. An impostor seizes the throne, a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere's walls, and those who escape are left to roam the land as exiles, dying by the thousands in fever camps.

Ten years later, Finnikin is summoned to another rock—to meet Evanjalin, a young novice with a startling claim: Balthazar, heir to the throne of Lumatere, is alive. This arrogant young woman claims she'll lead Finnikin and his mentor, Sir Topher, to the prince. Instead, her leadership points them perilously toward home. Does Finnikin dare believe that Lumatere might one day rise united? Evanjalin is not what she seems, and the startling truth will test Finnikin's faith not only in her but in all he knows to be true about himself and his destiny.

In a bold departure from her acclaimed contemporary novels, Printz Medalist Melina Marchetta has crafted an epic fantasy of ancient magic, feudal intrigue, romance, and bloodshed that will rivet you from the first page.

Looking back, I think I didn't like this book at first because I had no idea in which direction it was going. At my first glance there didn't seem to be a straight path to connect it to, and right off some characters appeared way differently to me than described in the summary. The start was so fast and so slow at the same time, if that's possible. And I can honestly say I was not 'hooked from the first page'. I could tell it had potential though and was excited and in need of another good fantasy series. Two references kept this book open for me: The first: A friend who knows me enough to judge accurately what type of books I would like. And the second: The fact that Kristin Cashore blurbed it! And I worship her. Now this book is ranked just as high as Cashore’s books are on my favorites list. It just took me a little while. I will try to explain.

I'm used to, when reading fantasy, lots of complex political intrigue and titles, characters and places to remember...and unfortunately all of those are usually tornadoed together in my head. As a sort of "oh yeah, that disagreement between the kings is going on somewhere, and i think it connects to the story somehow, but i dont think its worth trying to untangle." Finnikin of the Rock was no exception to the whole web, but amazingly, it actually makes sense because I wanted it to; because so much of the story is focused on that. Who is at war with whom and curses and territories, and segregation by the 'language' you goes on. So it kept my focus!

The first half of this book took me about a week to read. I wasn't even reading anything else in between. And for its size, that's an unusually slow pace for me.  I mean, I liked it a lot, and was obviously not giving up on it, but it almost seemed to drag...or maybe too many things were happening at once to let me fully gather the plot as a whole of the story. Maybe I was just being lazy.
But! The second half took me a few hours. I know exactly the point when I all of the sudden couldn't put it down. The chapter when the POV switches to a new character. A new angle, and it's almost simple in nature. You will know whom I'm talking about. Anyway, when it switches to their point of view, MY whole view changed on the story, because it happened in a VERY pivotal part in the story! All the sudden I was gripping the page and crying out, "Wait! I love these characters! What's happening! I care!" I hadn't realized how attached to the story I had become. Then, after that particularly stressful chapter was over, I loved every bit of Finnikin of the Rock.

The romance in this book is fantastic. It's sooo complicated I had no idea what would happen next regarding Evanjalin and Finnikin. (Sorry, spoiler.) they were so REAL that there were no (or at least very little) clichés or corny lines. In fact I could say that applies to most of the supporting characters as well. All of them felt so lifelike and the decisions they made were not good guy equals good decision and visa versa. Saying that everyone had their own agenda sounds like they are all evil super villains or something, but that’s kind of how it came across for me. In the good way. Each person had his or her own personal reason for contributing to the plot. And you never knew which way it would turn next.

By the end I had unintentionally progressed my reading to my normal super-fast mode and physically had to slow myself down in order for it to last longer...and believe me, in those last few chapters it's hard not to just tear right through.

I usually don't go on this long about books I LIKE. Usually it's ranting the other way. But I just have to say this book WOWED me.

Strong, shining five stars!

(Two weird spelling ticks I couldn’t get over.

1. Evanjalin’s name. No, I never fully pronounced her name correctly in my head. It just didn’t flow nicely like other character names. It’s pretty though! Just kind of a mouthful.

2. Lumatere. 90 percent of the time I said Lutamere. (Lootahmayre) Doesn’t it sound like it could belong in Middle Earth??? It so would. Like Faramir or Cirith Ungol? It’s probably just me. Lutamere…”home of the frightened people”, or something.)

One last thing, I will for sure be reading more of Marchetta's books in the future! The rest of this series as well as some of her contemporary fiction.

I also highly suggest Obernewtyn and Graceling!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood: review

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Genres: YA, ghosts, horror, urban fantasy, paranormal romance
Summary: Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. . . 

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. 

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay. 

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home. 

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

First, two physical aspects about the book that caught my eye. The cover is pretty awesome. All black and white, but Anna's dress is dripping with red. Something is blowing across the page and her hair is wind-blown, but yet her dress is completely still. I could go on but really, the more you look at it, the creepier it gets. The other things is, the font inside the book is blood-red. Honestly, that's what first made me want to read it.

Now, about the actual story. I am not a true fan of ghost stories. They tend to scare the hell out of me, so I avoid them. This one though, I couldn't put down. So even though it's a total page-turner, I was clutching my stomach half the time, and couldn't read it once the sun went down. That’s why it took me almost five days to read it. But for those who aren’t a complete wimp when it comes to gore, you will no doubt love it. That’s the only thing that really bothered me in the book.

I also don't often read books in the POV of a teenage boy. Usually because I can't relate to them, or those books don't have the plots I like. I can't even remember the last YA book I read with a guy's point of view. Anna Dressed in Blood was nice because it gave me a break from the classic:
Boy: "I'm a monster, stay away from me."
Girl: "Oh, you’re not a monster!"
Yeah right.

The roles are reversed. The girl (the sort-of dead love interest) is the monster, and it's more like:
Girl: "I really don't want to kill you, but get out of my house, or I'll have to rip you in half like I did your friend. Got it?"
Boy: "Don't worry, if you try, I'll kill you with my awesome Wiccan knife."
Girl: "Hey, I think we could get along..." 

The supporting characters started out annoying. Just a little. Caramel was a little too nosy and kept getting in the way, so I have to agree with Cas on that angle. But as the story progresses I liked them more, especially Thomas! And Tybalt. He is Cas’s cat, so maybe he doesn’t count.

Imagine me reading through the book, screaming and laughing at the same time. That’s how I read Anna Dressed in Blood. I can’t wait till the second book comes out, Girl of Nightmares.

4.5 out of 5 only because of the amount of goriness. My tolerance levels are low.

You might also like Shattered Souls, or Hereafter. Both ghost stories, but mild in comparison to this...

Always leave the light on,

Fun fact! For those who believe in ghosts...Ectoplasm is a substance that is left behind by a ghost. It can vary in color, size, and texture. It is usually a liquid and has a distinct smell. (<--Runescape, anyone?) -If a spirit was a jerk while living, they will probably still be a jerk while a ghost. (<--lol) -Animals can see or sense spirits, that's why you often see them just staring intensely at what appears to be nothing. (<--My cats have done that a lot...)

Cinder: review

Title: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Scource: ARC provided by Changing Hands bookstore
Genres: YA, science fiction, dystopian, fairytale retellings, steampunk
Summary: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Wow! That was great. But I wish the rest of the series was out already. Such a big climax and ending! 

It's been a few books since encountering a unique book that was hard to put down. Seriously, you just can't stop reading it. Even though it's based off Cinderella, it's so much MORE than that, with layers of politics and science fiction, only now and then are you reminded how it relates to the old fairy tale. But in the good way. Make sense? Because its tied in so intricately. :) 

Also , the romance aspect? SUCH a nice break from all that paranormal crap nowadays. Sure, it's a fairy tale so expect that kind, but really, most of the book is NOT focused on that, which leaves room for creating a wonderful history-future- for Earth instead of swooning and eye descriptions in popular YA books. 

The setting is perfect too. How to make the fairy tale work in a futuristic setting? New Beijing! Brilliant. You have a prince and everything. 

And even though I guessed lots of secrets in the book (like maybe 5 out of the 7. Because there are a LOT of twists.) it didn't make Cinder at all less enjoyable while reading, and still fun to watch the actual characters figure out. :) 

I could write a longer review about this book, but just read it. I'm sure you will love it if you are a fan of sci-fi, steampunk, fairy tales or dystopia, because it's got it all, and then some.

Full 5 stars. It just rocks.

You might also't think of any right now. It is such a mix of everything...Battlestar Galactica?


Fun fact! In a survey conducted in 1988, 13% of those surveyed believed that the moon is made of cheese. When it in fact it is actually occupied by an alien race with magical powers...just kidding. Shh...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Revived: review

Title: Revived
Author: Cat Patrick
Source: ARC provided by Changing Hands bookstore
Genres: YA, science fiction, thought provoking. (Not dystopian.)
Summary: As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life. 

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger — and more sinister — than she ever imagined.

It's really hard NOT to compare this to Cat Patrick's debut novel, Forgotten. That is now one of my favorite books of all time. Though, she set the bar high for herself with it. This one...well let's see if I can describe it.

I enjoyed it pretty well. I think the main problem I had with it was that the "inside-cover flap" summary was oddly misleading. Part of the description is "Daisy takes extraordinary risks..." um, yeah no. She doesn't. The deaths she mentions having in order to test the drug Revive are these: choking on a grape in fifth grade, and getting stung by bees on the school track. I'm not quite sure who decided those are extraordinary risks. Try separating that word and you have the real level of risk.

Daisy is an interesting character, and a little different then some protagonists in recent books I've read. In many reviews I perused before starting Revived, she is described as a 'strong, intelligent young girl'. I personally think she is a very typical fifteen year old who loves shopping for brand name clothes, and drools over hot guys in her class. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But at the same time, she is incredibly kind and has a soft spot for small animals and has a habit of befriending friendless people.

The first half of the book seems to go pretty slowly. I read it fast, but there is basically no action, so the direction the story is going becomes foggy.


One of those WHOA moments. After that "did not see that coming at all!!" sentence, the whole mood of the story changes. Changes for the better! And that isn't really even mentioned on the back.

Unfortunately, I can't really say much for the second half of Revived without giving out too much away. I wish the book (this half) was longer, or stretched, because there is room for expansion in the plot. There are a lot more action scenes, and bad guys, and government conspiracies. It also focuses more on the morals of the drug, and on life in general. It could become one of those books in which some people might cry.

Approximately 3.75 stars out of 5. Only reason it's not higher, is because of what I expected beforehand.

Other books you might enjoy similar to Revived...The Adoration of Jenna Fox, and Inside Out.

Bye for now,

Fun fact(s)! Over 2500 left handed people are killed each year from using products made for right handed people. Also, when Thomas Edison died in 1941; Henry Ford captured his last dying breath in a bottle.

Goliath: review

Title: Goliath (Leviathan #3)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Genres: steampunk, science fiction, historical fiction, action
Summary: Alek and Deryn are on the last leg of their round-the-world quest to end World War I, reclaim Alek’s throne as prince of Austria, and finally fall in love. The first two objectives are complicated by the fact that their ship, the Leviathan, continues to detour farther away from the heart of the war (and crown). And the love thing would be a lot easier if Alek knew Deryn was a girl. (She has to pose as a boy in order to serve in the British Air Service.) And if they weren’t technically enemies. 

The tension thickens as the Leviathan steams toward New York City with a homicidal lunatic on board: secrets suddenly unravel, characters reappear, and nothing is at it seems in this thunderous conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s brilliant trilogy.


Okay, got that out.

Started it in the morning, and finished it (with a lot of unwelcome interruptions throughout the day) just as I was going to sleep. All 550 pages of it. There was never a dull moment, (although with Scott writing it, is there ever one?) and this is a good epic conclusion to the trilogy. The artwork was amazing as usual. And I think that's a huge part in understanding the series, because it really helps you visualize all these fantastical beasties and technologies.

There were some moments, (between Alek and Deryn) that made me smile, and I couldn't STOP, because it was so funny, or sweet. I got a few strange looks. But maybe that was from my uncontrollable chuckle from one of the lories comments. They tended to giggle a lot in here as well. I really need one of those...

It's awesome how lots of the world events happened, in a way, in real life, but are cleverly twisted around to make a great steampunk effect. I learned more history in here about WWI , than in any history textbook I've opened. Though, considering I've never opened's fascinating anyway. He makes learning all the old political history really fun. And easier to understand.

There are quite a few historical figures who make some appearances in Goliath! It's exciting to meet them. Any guesses? ;) 

I might change this after the signing I'm going to. Scott is coming on his tour near me, and my only wish for the event, is for me to remember that it is not socially acceptable to bow in front of him, or faint. So when I get all my FIFTEEN books signed by him, I hope I don't sound like too much of a stalker.

(After the signing update: My life is complete. I can't wait for Shay's Story to come out!)

A full 5 out to 5 stars. Love every second of it.

Other books you might enjoy (besides all of Scott's other books of course) : The Illustrated Steampunk Bible

"Mr. Sharp." *chuckle*

Fun fact! The following words were first used in the trenches of WWI, and are still used today:
Over the Top, Trench Coat, Ace, Buddy, Pushing up the Daisies, Red Tape, Zoom, Sniper, Washout, Cootie,Tune Up, In the Pink, Zero Hour, Zoom, Busted , Guy ticked Off, Put a Sock in it, Hit the Deck, Washout, Rookie, Coffin nail, Seconds, Fed Up, Rise & Shine, Pipe down, Mess up, Get knocked off, Hike, Gadget, Kick the Bucket, Rank & File, Chow Down, Bull, Cushy, Scrounge, Shot(inoculation), Humdinger, Missed the Bus, Basket Case.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dead Beautiful: review

Title: Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful #1)
Author: Yvonne Wood
Genres: YA paranormal, zombies, supernatural, mystery
Summary: On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she'd ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder. 

After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.” 

It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems. 

Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life. 

It is so easy nowadays, for books like Dead Beautiful to fall into these unenjoyable formulaic patterns via plots as well as characters. This is not one of those books. I think the author did a very good job of delivering her own twists and styles in all the aspects of Dead Beautiful. Small similarities (to other supernatural YA books) now and then were completely bearable, and worth it. 

In my opinion, when reading it, it seemed a mash up of three books. Evernight, Die for Me, and Harry Potter. Strange combination, right? But that's what it felt like. And I'm not going to try to explain why those three books (series) come to mind, because if you read it, you'll probably understand! ...Alright. I'll say a tiny bit on why it reminds me of them...Evernight- Setting: centuries old boarding school. And this big underlying suspense that makes it seem like you're missing something big, then the OHH moment. Die for Me- Dead people! haha, and similar lead male characters. Harry Potter- with the whole souls thing...but i can't say too much about that one... 

It doesn't start out slow, but it has a sort of weak, questionable beginning. But after the first 40 pages or so, I really started liking it, and couldn't stop reading. 

In the cover flap summary, it doesn't really explain much about the actual supernaturalness in the book. It's extremely vague. Which helps when reading it, because then you really don't know what to expect. A good thing in this case. :) 

There aren't any vampires, or werewolves, thank the gods. I've had enough of those lately. 

All the characters are likable, and the relationships between the supporting characters are realistic. 

In books, I love, love when they mention the actual title, word for word IN the book, haha. Maybe it's a bit silly, but true! And that did happen. ;) 

Dante is sooo swoonable...mysterious and like, AWESOME. I'd stalk him in a heartbeat, because he is drop-dead amazing (puns intended). Is that a creepy thing to say? Oh well. 

I stumbled across this when I accidentally grabbed the ARC of it's sequel. So I got this one from the library and was pleasantly surprised how much I liked it. And since the ending of Dead Beautiful was sort of confusing and cliffy, I am VERY glad I have access to what happens next! I would say I will start Life Eternal, the next one, right away but since I hear it also has a fast ending, I will wait a while to savour the series more. :) 

It can be creepy at some times because of so much death, but an excellent book!

My overall rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Other books like Dead Beautiful you might enjoy... Shadow Hills, or The Body Finder.

Peace out!

Fun fact! (I'm going to do these until they become bothersome. If you find any cool obscure facts about books, sci fi, or anything really, just message me and I might post it in the future.) Since this book mentions a lot of dead animals and people: The smallest bone in the human body is the stapes or stirrup bone located in the middle ear. It is approximately .11 inches (.28 cm) long. We may owe all our hearing to this little bone shaped like a stirrup, because it transmits sound vibrations through our hearing system.

Greetings...(testing, testing)

   Hello! Welcome to my new blog, Much Ado About Books. I am new to the whole blogging concept...but if you bear with me, I am a quick learner and will get the hang of this! Mostly this post is to check out the sizing/layout etc, so to start with, maybe I should say a little about myself. For my safety on the virtual 'verse, I choose to use my long time nom de plume, Jane Speare, which I created a while back for my account. Most people call me Jane.

   I started writing about four years ago coming up with a novel idea from a dream. Yes, that didn't last very long. And since then I've come up with a number of more stories, but now I have been working on a single one for the past three years. That is fiction though, and I do need more practice with the real world. Reading seems to be the solution to that. found me a year and a half ago, and also opened me to the idea about reviewing all the hundreds of books I spend my day with; the idea stuck.

   At the moment, I review YA books for the indie bookstore, Changing Hands through their Before It's Trendy (BIT) program. I absolutely love it.

   I don't go to school. I'm 17. Unschooled is the term my family prefers to use. The dictionary has two main descriptions to the word unschooled. I think the second one works better for my case: "not affected or artificial; natural and spontaneous." The easiest way to explain my ongoing education is Life. What better way to learn and grow than to experience the world firsthand instead of through a textbook? Traveling the globe, creating things, enjoying every day, and having fun with my's the best upbringing I could possibly wish for.

   This blog will be mostly for book reviews, but I might stick a few other things in here now and then. Stories from my life perhaps, to hone my non-fiction writing skills. Like that one time my dad and I got chased by a bunch of monkeys while on a field trip in Japan...

Oh goodness, is it that late already? And I have fencing class early tomorrow...


Fun fact!-- autodidact, (noun) A self taught person.

And many thanks to my friend, Mal for letting me take her idea. The title Much Ado About Books is all hers! :)