Top Ten Highly Anticipated Books of 2014

Standard

And by highly anticipated, we mean the biting our nails, unable to sit still kind..  So any ARCs you want to swing our way will be immediately devoured and reviewed honestly and fairly and quite happily.  MMMk?

10.

jodi meadowsInfinite (Newsoul #3) by Jodi Meadows

9.

amy plum

After The End (After The End #1) by Amy Plum

8.

everneath ya fiction series

Evertrue (Everneath #3) by Brodi Ashton

7.

anna and the french kiss stephanie perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna And The French Kiss #3) by Stephanie Perkins

6.

leigh bardugo the grisha seriesRuin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo

5.

lauren oliver ya author

Panic by Lauren Oliver

4.

shatter me ya series

3.

NO COVER YET!

The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu

2.

under the never sky

Into The Still Blue (Under The Never Sky #3) Veronica Rossi

1.

marissa meyer young adult fiction

Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

Apparently 2014 is the year of the threes….so many exciting books coming out.  Also some really great starts, we’re hoping we are swept away by another great year of excellent writing and stories that take us to new worlds, into memories, and outside of ourselves.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth >> Readdicted Review

Standard

young adult book review

Title: Allegiant (Divergent #3)

Author: Veronica Roth

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

Goodreads Book Summary:  

One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Rating: 3 Stars

MY REVIEW:

Oh my lands ho this book took me on a roller coaster ride.  Even though I wasn’t entirely pleased with Insurgent, I couldn’t help but dive right into Allegiant.  I wanted to know what was going to happen, and how on earth the whole series could end with one book.

I was sorely disappointed.

It seems my biggest problem with Insurgent (spoiler-ish: a disproportional number of Tris’s friends and acquaintances die horrible deaths) continues throughout Allegiant, even though there aren’t many people left.  Okay, definitely not as many people die, but if you talk percentages…it all seems quite pointless.  Maybe that’s the point.  But it’s just not that kind of book.

I felt a little like Ms. Roth wanted to one-up the ending of Mockingjay by Ms. Collins.  Well, if that’s her goal, then success.  She definitely took it a step farther.  Except…

Except no feelings were invoked.  Instead of being full of wrath or sadness or even joy, I had already become numb to the book.  I was reading quickly because I wanted to know how it would end, but I was already left disconnected by the setting changes and the point-of-view switching.

Speaking of…

The first two books are from Tris’s point of view, first person.  So when Four is suddenly thrown into the mix, but they are still interacting, I found myself confused often when reading from Four’s perspective.  I’d be halfway through a chapter of his before realizing it had switched.  It disrupted my reading experience, it did not enhance it.  But it is imperative that she does this in order to end the book in the way that she chose….and I will say no more.

So.  While the writing is engaging and well-done and the characters are interesting, I found myself very disappointed that the series went in this direction.  If you have read the first two, of course you will want to read this book to finish the series.  It’s not that bad.  But.

I would not recommend this series to a friend.  I’d tell them to pass it by.  There are enough interesting YA books out there to pass this one up.  And the movie will just be a movie to them.  They won’t have to get mad at the details left out.  Instead they can just enjoy it for what it is, and leave it at that.  Invest your time and love elsewhere.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore >> Readdicted Review by Katie

Standard

Graceling young adult fantasy book

Title: Graceling

(Graceling Realm #1)

Author: Kristin Cashore

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Goodreads Book Summary:  In the Seven Kingdoms, people born with an extreme skill, “Grace”, are feared and exploited. Katsa herself despises hers, killing. Her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, commands her to punish and torture his enemies. Prince Po, with combat skills, becomes her friend, and she learns terrible truths about her Grace and a secret hidden far away that could destroy the realm.

Rating: 4 Stars

MY REVIEW:

This book was quite the switch-up from the Under the Never Sky series. I have to say that Kristin Cashore is an incredibly talented writer. I was pulled into this story, despite it’s zoomed out point of view, and couldn’t put it down. The plot-line is intriguing and complex. I loved not knowing exactly what would happen. The characters are rich and well-thought out and they stay true to themselves, even in their growth.

I would recommend this book to readers ages 15+. There are a few things, violent and sexual, that is inappropriate for younger readers, and it surprises me how much this book is marketed as a children’s book because of that. Well, that and I don’t really see children enjoying it much.

Also, there’s a map, and I love maps in books! LOVE them!

Our main character is quite different from most, she isn’t relatable.  She’s hard on herself, but not emotional.  She is highly skilled, and it takes a long time for us to see her true character.  I like that she changed as the book went along, she grew and matured, but at the same time, she never broke character.  She never acted outside herself.  She was Katsa, through and through.  The adventures she goes through keep you reading from page one through the end.

Oh yeah, and I’m pretty sure you’ll love Po.  He’s the kind of male character I find myself drooling over, and then wiping the book clean.  Oops.

This book is the first in a trilogy of sorts.  It’s thrilling and the world Kristin Cashore creates is believable and real.  It kind of reminds me of a middle-earth type world, like something that could possibly be very far in our past, if you let yourself pretend.

Book Haul >> Katie’s January Reads

Standard

I read nothing.  Literally nothing.

There is nothing in my January book haul.  For someone who reads an average of, oh about 9 or 10 books a month, while writing her own YA books AND being a full-time mom, well…this is a shocking thing folks!

I had no inspiration.  I struggled all of December to finish Beautiful Chaos and The Scorpio Races, which I know are definitely NOT horrible books.  But I just couldn’t!  I felt like I didn’t enjoy reading anymore.  And that there was something wrong within my brain.  So when things change and feel differently like that, when a part of you changes, it feels like it will always be that way.  A new way of life, where all of the things have changed, and nothing will change back again.

Okay…I may have been a little melodramatic, but I really couldn’t finish anything I started.  I couldn’t force myself to do it.  And I had other books lined up after, but my OCD would not let me move on without finishing.  Finally, in order to save my sanity and my literary loving soul, I took a break.

And I read nothing.

For the entire month of January.

I got caught up on HIMYM and discovered Dr. Who……but read nothing.

Turns out, that was just what I needed.  Because now, I’m reading up a storm and will have a plethora of reviews to post very soon.  A plethora, people!

Hooray!  I have it back!

So here’s to a new season of Readdicted Reviewers.  The time between my mental constipation and Connie’s graduation (when she can finally be free to read and write to her heart’s content)…so here’s to a fun and crazy time!  Until then, I raise my ereader, and say huzzah!

 

And, of course, Allons-y!

Readdicted Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Standard

Title: Article 5

Author: Kristen Simmons

Genre: YA Dystopian Fiction

Goodreads Book 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.

Rating:  4 Stars

REVIEW

This is yet another dystopian fiction young adult book, destined to be a series.  Probably a trilogy.  But you know what?  I am TOTALLY okay with that.  The world the author creates is not the same, despite definitely following the rules for a dystopian society.  Ember and Chase are the two main characters.  The story is told from Ember’s point of view.  The story gets going right away, without giving the reader a chance to get to know the characters.  Because of this, I didn’t feel like I understood what was going on with Chase in this opening scene, and why it was important.  There were other characters that seemed like they might come up again, but too many to keep track of because I still didn’t know my main characters yet.  However, I loved how the author unfolded the love story between the two, going between their past and the present.  She started the series right in the middle of their story.

The layout of the book is different, both in how and when action occurs, and how often.  What happens is a surprise and you end up having no idea what will happen next because of this.  Also, the author jumps right in to the story, as though she is skipping a lot of boring stuff that she can detail later throughout the book.  I liked that a lot.  It takes place all over the eastern part of a future U.S. right after a World War III.

Mostly I really liked this book.  But I never became emotionally connected with it, unlike Connie (read her review here), and so for me the book was just okay.  I’m not sure how much I love the characters or what happens.  It all just seemed to go by in a blur.  It is a quick paced book, which is really good.  The setting changed so much that the reader doesn’t really get that stability.  Which is ok, because they characters are traveling.  While the backstory is wonderful and the characters did seem real to me, I still felt like they could have used more work and that the dialogue could have drawn me in better.  All in all, this is a great read and I definitely recommend it.  Especially for lovers of: The Matched Trilogy; The Hunger Games Trilogy; and Delirium and Pandemonium.

COVER

I really like this cover.  Totally head over heals in like with it.  It’s not pretty, but it’s not supposed to be.  So it works.  And HELLO FLANNEL!  I love flannel.  That’s seriously the first thing that drew me to this book.  And at least 72% of why I read it.  The other 28% was Connie not leaving me alone until I read it because she loved it oh so much.

FUN STUFF

Book #2, Breaking Point, will be released on Feb. 2, 2013.  Check out the synopsis on Goodreads here, and make sure you check out Connie’s review which links to the Moral Statutes from the book.  And of course, here’s a link to a book trailer.  Gotta love those!

Read for a Cause

Standard

Better World Books is an awesome company that started with three guys who love books, and turned into a book-loving cycle.  When you buy a book from them, you are supporting literacy and a love for the written word on an international level.  The books are cheap, and shipping is always free.  And green and all earth-friendly-like.

I came across their website while searching for some used books.  I found out that not only does a good portion of the profit of each sale go toward non-profit literacy causes, but they also have dropboxes all across the eastern U.S. and in Texas where you can drop off unwanted books so they can find a new home.  It’s the idea that books are meant to be loved and read put into practice to help others.

I love this website, I love their selection.  I hope that they will continue to expand because….well the more books the better!  And because I have a lot of books I would drop off if they were anywhere near my location.  They take part in college and library book drives and large-scale donations and use the money they make to support a wide range of literacy organizations.  The average price for good used books that I’ve seen is under $4 and like I said, shipping is always free.

Check out these stats:

  • 6,801,997 books have been donated
  • 95,699,749 books have been reused or recycled
  • $13,204,413.39 has been raised for literacy and libraries.

Not only are these numbers staggering, they are always increasing.  So go check them out, buy and donate books, and take advantage of what this great organization has to offer while supporting literacy worldwide.  Click the link below to visit!

Better World Books

Book Haul >> Katie’s December Reads

Standard

Wow.  I’m not going to apologize straight up for deserting the blog for a few months.  Life happens.  Connie was pretty clear that her accelerated nursing school program is so intense that she wouldn’t be around until her next break.  She has no time to read.  I, on the other hand, do have time to read.  So what on earth have I been doing?

Let me tell you a little about myself.  I tend to pour myself into things.  I spend hours on one thing a time.  What this means is when I have photography sessions, I ignore everything else until that session is done.  Except my kids.  Probably.  Sometimes.  This month I have been participating in NaNoWriMo.  Not only did I write a novel (while I’m still working on the last few thousand words to hit 50,000…..I had to start on the next in the series because I finished the first draft of book one), I wrote another half of a novel at the same time, and mapped out another series.  When my brain turns on, it can’t be stopped.  I have to wring out all the creative juices possible to get everything I can because I know that after an insane amount of awesome pouring out, I always have a dry spell.  My dry spell actually started last week, right around Thanksgiving, and coincided with a lot of sickness and my little brother getting hospitalized after Thanksgiving dinner when his bowels shut down.  No lie.  Can’t make this stuff up.

In October, I was in the ultimate dry spell.  Nothing happened for me.  I couldn’t bring myself to get on here and write crappy reviews for all of the great books I’ve been reading.  I can’t stand to do half of anything.  But now I feel like I owe it to our followers to put stuff out there.  So I am committing myself to doing that.  For you guys.  Aw.

 

Here’s what I’m planning on reading in December:

 

YA Fiction Reviewers

Reached by Ally Condie

Readdicted Reviewers

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Readdicted Reviewers

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Readdicted Reviewers YA Book Reviews

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Readdicted Reviewers

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Readdicted Reviewers YA Book Reviews

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak