Thursday, June 7, 2012

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi- Book Review

I haven't been on Blogger in a very long time, and hopefully this summer I'm able to blog more. I was very busy with school throughout this year, so I'll be finding the time to blog now that school is over. I recently finished Tahereh Mafi's wonderful book, Shatter Me.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Harper/Harper Collins
Pages: 352
Source: Bought
Series: Shatter Me #1


The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. 

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting asThe Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices,Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel. (summary from Goodreads) 


Absolutely loved Shatter Me. It was wonderfully written and I enjoyed the plot line of this story. This book definitely exceeded all my expectations that I originally had for it, before starting it. Very unique and different and I would recommend it to anybody I know. 

Any books I have ever read cannot compare to Shatter Me. It was so different and I totally adored it. From the minute I opened the book and started it, I couldn't stop reading. It took a lot from me to take my eyes away from the pages and actually get some sleep! I loved how the book didn't start slowly--it was interesting from the beginning. Shatter Me had an intriguing plot line. A girl whose touch is lethal? Who wouldn't to read a story about that? At first, you start to get used to her life in the cell but everything changes quickly. This novel is full of suspense and you won't be able to put it down. You have some action, romance, and a girl whose touch can kill people all rolled into one book. Who wouldn't want to read that? 

The characters were really interesting in this novel. I would have to say my favorite would be Adam because I always seem to like the lead male character in books. But, anyways...this book was flawlessly written. I enjoyed how unique the writing was and I cannot wait for the next book to come out from this series. It was definitely creative and I'm interested to see how the story continues. 

I recommend this to all readers who haven't read this book yet. You won't be able to put it down from the start. 

First Sentence: I've been locked up for 264 days. 

-Rating Analysis-

1. Plot: 20 out of 20 points. 
2. Characters: 14 out of 15 points. 
3. Writing: 20 out of 20 points. 
4. Creativity: 15 out of 15 points. 
5. Originality: 10 out of 10 points. 
6. Ending: 13 out of 15 points. 
7. Cover: 5 out of 5 points. 
Equals: 97. 97-100 is an A+. 

-Parental Book Review- 

Violence- moderate
Mild/Excessive Cursing
Mild/Excessive Sexual Content
Drug/Alcohol Use

-About the Author-

Tahereh Mafi is a girl. She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Orange County, California, where the weather is just a little too perfect for her taste. When unable to find a book, she can be found reading candy wrappers, coupons, and old receipts. SHATTER ME is her first novel. 

(from novel) 

Visit her website:
Find this book on Goodreads

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2012 Reading Challenges!

I decided to do some reading challenges for 2012, because I didn't do any this year. They sound really fun, so I can't wait to get started! I'll start off with a few challenges that I'm entering, and if I enter more I will add them on later.

First, I'm entering the 2012 YA Contemporary Challenge that Reading Angel and Katie's Book Blog are hosting. I wanted to enter this challenge because I love contemporary books, but I don't read enough of them! I'm determined on this one...I'm going to try to read 15 or more contemporary books, or Level 3. The books I chose are:

1. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
2. Don't Breathe A Word by Holly Cupala 
3. In Too Deep by Amanda Grace
4. The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
5. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
6. Where It Began by Anna Redisch Stampler
7. Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
8. The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
9. The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
10. The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond
11. My Life in Black and White by Natasha Friend
12. A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
13. The Thing About the Truth by Lauren Barnholdt 
14. Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown
15. Small Damges by Beth Kephart

Next, I'm entering the 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge because there are definitely a lot of books I would like to read that are in my TBR Pile, so this challenge could help me finish them. I'm starting with 1-10 and move up as I go along if I want to. I'm not going to make a list yet, I will probably just do a wrap-up post.

I'm starting with these challenges and then see what other challenges I want to enter. What challenges are you entering?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Review- Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick 

Release Date: September 14, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 391
Source: Bought
Series: Hush, Hush #1

Rating from A+ to F: A


When Nora Grey and Patch are forced together as lab partners, Nora would rather fall to her death than put up with his elusive answers to this questions, his teasing, and his infuriatingly handsome face and hypnotizing eyes. It seems Patch was put on earth just to drive her crazy. 

But before long, Nora's defenses start to break down as her curiosity about Patch heats up. Why does he always seem to be wherever she is and know exactly what she's thinking? How does he know what to say to both attract her and repulse her? And what is up with those V-shaped scares on his chiseled back? 

As their connection grows stronger, Nora's own life becomes increasingly fragile. Nora needs to decide: Is Patch the one who wants to do her harm or the one who will keep her safe? Has she fallen for one of the fallen? 


I LOVED THIS BOOK! When I first got it, I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not, thinking it might be like all the other paranormal series out there right now, but it wasn't. I had a lot of trouble putting this book down, it sucked me into the plot right away. I had heard a lot of great things about this book from other bloggers and I'm definitely glad I read it!

Plot- The plot in this book was amazing; there weren't any slow moments and I enjoyed every part of the book. I couldn't put it down, it was so addicting. It has the perfect amount of action, romance, and suspense and you will get hooked on it as soon as you start reading it, like I did!

Characters- The characters were pretty good in this novel, I wasn't blown away by them. But, I wasn't terribly disappointed in them either, they were just okay. I felt that Nora's character was a little too safe and cautious at times, but I get where her choices were coming from. I get she was being practical and trying to do what was best for her and her safety, so that wasn't too much of a problem for me. But, Nora's best friend, Vee, was annoying to me. If I was Nora, I would have gotten rid of this girl as my best friend right away. I didn't think she acted like that much of a friend to Nora, and was very self-centered. I loved Patch, even if he was dangerous. He was a great character, but I didn't learn much about him during the plot, so I'm hoping his character is elaborated more in the sequel. I think my least favorite character was Elliot--I didn't like him from the start of the book. I thought he was cocky, and by the middle I absolutely didn't like him. Overall, I thought the characters were pretty good.

Writing- I thought Becca Fitzpatrick's writing was amazing in Hush, Hush. Her descriptions were great and I loved the world she created here. She developed the characters excellently, but I'm hoping she develops Patch's character more in Crescendo. There isn't much for me to say here, except that I loved Becca's writing and that's it.

Cover- The cover is beautiful, it draws me right into the book. I like the colors and how on my copy it's sort of sparkly. This is probably one of my favorite covers on a novel.

I can't wait to get Crescendo, the sequel to Hush, Hush! I loved this book, so I'm hoping that the next one is as good as this one!

First Sentence: Chauncey was with a farmer's daughter on the grassy banks of the Loire River when the storm rolled in, and having let his gelding wander in the meadow, was left to his own two feet to carry him back to the chateau. 

-Rating Analysis-

1. Plot: 20 out of 20 points.
2. Characters: 13 out of 15 points.
3. Writing: 20 out of 20 points.
4. Creativity: 15 out of 15 points.
5. Originality: 9 out of 10 points.
6. Ending: 13 out of 15 points.
7. Cover: 4 out of 5 points.
Equals: 94. 94-96 is an A. 

-Parental Book Review-

Violence- minor parts
Mild/Excessive Cursing
Mild/Excessive Sexual Content
Drug/Alcohol Use

-About the Author-

Becca Fitzpatrick grew up reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden with a flashlight under the covers. She graduated college with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she's most likely prowling sale racks for reject shoes, running, or watching crime dramas on TV. She is the author of the bestselling HUSH, HUSH Saga. HUSH, HUSH and CRESCENDO are in stores everywhere now! SILENCE will be released worldwide on October 4, 2011.

Visit her website:
Check out this book at Goodreads

**Sorry again, I haven't been posting much, but I'm hoping to be posting more now!

Friday, August 5, 2011


Today my 100 Follower Giveaway ends! Thank you to everyone who entered it, and also followed me, I am very appreciative! The winners were chosen on, and I am picking two winners. So, here they are:

The first winner is Felicia C over at A Novel Paradise! She picked Luminous by Dawn Metcalf as her book choice.

The second winner is Katharyn Vela and she chose Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma.

I emailed both winners, and they have 48 hours to reply and if they don't I will pick a new winner! Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway, I am very thankful! I'll be having my 200 Follower Giveaway soon, so look for that!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Friday Blog Hops 8/5

It's Friday, so it's time for the weekly blog hops! Again, I'm really sorry for the lack of blog posts, I'm very busy lately, but I'll try to get more up soon!

Follow Friday is hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's View and Alison at Alison Can Read! This week's question:

Talk about the book that most changed or influenced your life (was it a book that turned you from an average to avid reader, did it help you deal with a particularly difficult situation, does it bring you comfort every time you read it?).

The Harry Potter series definitely influenced me to become an avid reader, it was the first series that I fell in love with. I probably could also say that the Twilight series influenced me even more, but when I read Harry Potter, is where it all started. After I finished reading the series, I read more often which helped me to become an avid reader today. So, I would say the Harry Potter series for me.

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jen over at Crazy-for-Books.

What is the one ARC you would love to get your hands on right now?

Hm, I really want to get The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle. It looks really good, and I have been wanting to read it for some time now. If anyone's read it yet, tell me your thoughts about it in the comments!

Tgif is hosted by Ginger over at GReads! Here's this week's question:

Taking it Personal: Which books have effected you on a personal level and lingered in your mind long after you closed the pages?

I would have to say books like Hold Still by Nina LaCour and Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers, were on my mind long after I finished reading them. Books with these topics always stay in my mind and get a few tears out of me. I just get really emotional when I read books like that, but I'm pretty sure many people do, so I'm not alone!

Thanks to everyone for stopping by, commenting, or following! I really appreciate it! 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Blog Hops 7/29

Sorry for not posting a lot this week, again I have been super busy but I promise you I will be uploading more posts soon! It's Friday, so it's time for the weekly blog hops!

Follow Friday is hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's View and Alison at Alison Can Read. This week's question was:

Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you?

Okay, I know my answer isn't supposed to be about reading, but when I found this t-shirt I thought it described how I'm feeling right now. Ugh, I don't have enough time these days to read as many books as I want to!

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jen over at Crazy-for-Books.

Highlight one book you have received this week (for review, from the library, purchased at the store, etc.) that you can’t wait to dig into!

I'm really excited to start reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I recently bought it, and heard great things about it, so if anyone has read it tell me what you thought about it! I can't wait to start reading this book, it looks really interesting!

Tgif is hosted by Ginger at Greads! Here was this week's question:

Character Envy: If you could be one character from a book, 
who would you choose & why?

Wow, this definitely is a tough question. I'd probably have to choose either Hermione Granger from Harry Potter because I've always wanted to go to school at Hogwarts, or Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games because I really want to be the girl who was on fire! There are a ton more characters that I would probably want to be, but those were my top two picks.

Thank you all for stopping by, commenting, or following my blog! I really appreciate it. If you haven't already, check out my 100 Followers Giveaway, you should! More information is on the sidebar. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Author Interview- Alejandra Aponte

Today, I have on my blog: Alejandra Aponte, a publisher and upcoming author! She is giving us some great tips on publishing and writing in the interview, so here it is!

Tell me a little about yourself. 

My name is Alejandra Aponte, I'm 18 years old, and I'm a writer and publisher. In my spare time I enjoy reading, shopping for books, spending time with my family and friends, and teaching myself new languages. 

What got you started in writing books? 

I've been writing for as long as I can remember; I have stacks of journals from when I was a kid filled with detailed observations of everything going on around me. Also, my family is definitely a "Humanities" family: a lot of us are involved in the arts, so I've always been encouraged to develop my talent.

Did you have any favorite authors as a child that influenced you to begin writing? Do you have any favorite authors now? 

Authors that influenced me as a child include Kay Thompson, author of Eloise; E.L Konisburg, author of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler; and Carolyn Keene, author of the Nancy Drew books. Current favorites include Sarah Dessen, John Green, Truman Capote, and Dashiell Hammett. My favorite books include Breakfast at Tiffany'sThe Thin Man, and Will Grayson Will Grayson

When did you know you wanted to become an author/publisher?

I've always loved writing, but I didn't think I could pursue it as a career until I was about fourteen years old. The publisher bit is really recent; I decided on that about four months ago. I've always wanted to be able to help other writers but I never knew how, and now I have the perfect opportunity to help others get their work out there.

What do you recommend to young writers on starting their career in writing? 

My recommendations for young writers:

a. READ A TON. Read anything you can get your hands on. A $2.99 paperback romance novel; historical fiction; science fiction; tedious nonfiction; memoirs; novels for adults; novels for kids; foreign books; genres you love; genres you hate; mysteries; poetry; the classics; books on get the idea. Always be open to reading new genres and styles, because you never know where you might find your niche. Which leads me to my next point:
b. EXPERIMENT OFTEN. Try writing all kinds of stuff. Poems, plays, short stories, haikus, novels...let yourself try it out on paper, even if it feels silly. It's important to experiment because you never know what might be your niche. I never saw myself reading a mystery novel, but I tried it out on paper and ended up loving it. 
c. IT'S A BUSINESS. The publishing industry has some pretty gnarly secrets (case in point: authors at most big publishing houses only get, on average, 10% of their book's profits), and some aspects that are radically unfair (like the part where big houses won't help you with publicity after your first three months there). You have to always keep in mind that writing is an art, but publishing is a business, and if you decide to query a big house like HarperCollins or Simon and Schuster, it's a lot like applying to an Ivy League school: they don't need you, you need them. Sometimes, having a great idea and a brilliant query letter and an intriguing backstory isn't enough. Which leads me to:
d. YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST ADVOCATE. Big publishers are usually only looking for one thing: dollars. Will your book sell? Will your book bring in profits? That's why the best way to get a publisher's attention is to prove that your book has marketability and selling potential--and who can do that better than you? You know your book better than anyone else. Sell it like you mean it, take charge of your publicity (get on Twitter, start a Facebook page, talk to book bloggers, etc.), and always speak up. Believe in your book, and believe you have a story worth telling. If you don't believe in your work, why should anyone else?
e. FIND A BALANCE. You have to remember that at the end of the day, you're a writer because you have stories to tell, and words to put on paper, and you're doing this for yourself. Not because you want to make buckets of money or be famous the world over. Yes, there's a business side to it, but writing is an art form, and it's all about telling stories and engaging your creativity. The minute it gets to be tedious or annoying or "all about the Benjamins," if you will, is the minute you have to stop and think about why you're in it in the first place.

What inspired you to begin writing your upcoming novel, Murder and Other Madness? 

The inspiration for Murder and Other Madness came from my relationships with my closest friends. I got the idea about a year ago: I wanted to write a book about four interesting, complicated female characters, but as I played around with the idea, I got bored. I wanted something exciting to happen, so I thought, "Oooh, what if they solved a murder?" And that was that.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers on becoming inspired to write their own novel?

I could go on for days but the most important thing is: let the world in. Let everything you experience inspire you. Once, I wrote a short story based on my experiences in the car with my older sister while she was learning to drive; that piece ended up winning a national contest. Let everything you see and hear and remember inspire you: funny things people say, stories you hear about your family, movies you see, places you go, people you's all relevant, and could end up inspiring your best work. 
Also, read Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, and Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg, both beautifully written and full of great advice. 

Is it better to self-publish or use a publishing company? 

The self publishing vs. using a publishing company debate isn't, in my opinion, a discussion that boils down to which one is better than the other. When it comes to choosing a career path, what matters is that you choose what's best for YOU and your situation and your goals. The great thing about self-publishing is that you have complete control over your vision of your book at all times, and no one telling you "no." On the other hand, you have no way of getting into major bookstores (if you're a print book), and you have no expert advice from a professional; you're on your own, and therefore very likely to make mistakes. Also, the stigma surrounding self-publishing makes most people shy away from it. The great thing about a publishing house is that you have professionals taking care of you: your agent (because if you go with a big house you will most likely have an agent representing you), editors and copyeditors and graphic designers and the whole enchilada guiding you if they think your book has selling potential. On the other hand, all those people will tell you what your book should be and possibly compromise the integrity of your you might only get 10% of all it's really up to you. You have to decide what's best for you. Maybe your best bet is to submit your work to a smaller house (like mine, First Fig Press), where you have more control over your work, but also receive one on one attention and guidance throughout the entire process of getting your novel from manuscript to published book. It all depends on how much control you want over your work, and how much guidance you think you need.

Can you give some help to hopeful writers on constructing a good query letter to send to publishers? 

A. Keep it under a page. 
B. Start with a sentence about your book that hooks the reader instantly. 
C. Go to the publishing house/agent's (if your querying a literary agency) website and check out their submission guidelines; then follow them perfectly. 
D. Show that your book is marketable by highlighting what's special about your work, whether it's the clever premise, the complex characters, the plot...
E. Google sample queries and see what's out there. Find out what works and what doesn't. (Heather Brewer's query letter is online. And it's awesome. Check it out! Also, Kristin Nelson literary agency has a blog where they dissect query lettes; be sure to check that out, too).

F. Leave the reader wanting more. Always. 

What is the best way to deal with rejection from publishers? 

The best way to deal with rejection is to remember not to take it personally. DO NOT send an angry e-mail telling whoever rejected you that they're missing out, and that they can stick it where the sun don't shine. Just because an agent or a publisher didn't accept your manuscript doesn't mean you are a terrible writer with no future; it just means that you're not a good fit for them (much like a rejection from a college does not mean you're a terrible person with no future). Agents and publishers get HUNDREDS of submissions a day; they're ruthless because they have to be. So don't take it personally; always remember that it's a business, and there's someone out there who will love your manuscript and consider it a perfect fit for their agency/publishing house. Also: give yourself 24 hours to be sad, angry, and whiny, and to eat anything sugary you can get your hands on. Then the next day, get back to work!

Where do you see yourself in the future as a writer and publisher? 

In the future, I see myself writing more novels; definitely mysteries. I already have two more books in the works right now. As a publisher, I see myself publishing many aspiring authors (so if you've got a manuscript, query me!). There are so many talented writers out there who just need a little attention and a big break; I'm excited to give them that chance.

Thank you for participating in an interview with me Alejandra! It was great to have you on my blog!