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Delirium (Delirium #1)

*Update: I am going to be away on vacation, so my friend Olivia is going to be guest posting for the next week…starting with this post.*

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Before I begin, let me start by warning anyone who has placed this book on their To-Read Shelf: Do not plan on accomplishing anything productive for approximately 24 hours after starting the book. You have been warned. And for anyone who did not read this warning in time, you are more than welcome to join my sleep-deprived sob fest. If only I knew what I was getting myself into when I first picked up the book.

For the past sixty-four years, love was considered a disease which impaired reason and posed a threat to society. A cure was established to protect United States citizens from the debilitating effects of the illness. At the age of 18, each person is required to undergo a procedure, permanently curing them from the sickness. The story follows 18-year-old Lena Haloway, who grew up in Portland, Maine with her aunt and uncle. Lena anxiously counts down the days until her procedure, anticipating the moment she can join the other “cureds” with excitement. This excitement quickly fades as Lena herself succumbs to the disease, becoming hopelessly entangled in a forbidden romance.

I have to admire Oliver for the creative spin she placed on American society when establishing this dystopian world. She managed to create a plausible universe in which love had been almost completely eradicated. I felt a pang of sorrow each time Oliver highlighted the emotionless shell of a community in which parents exhibited no compassion for their children and married couples exchanged no signs of affection for one another. Such examples reveal the underlying theme: a life without love is not worth living.

More importantly, Oliver’s writing was flawless. She vividly described each scene, allowing readers to visualise each event as it occurred. Through her writing, Oliver also evokes a vast array of emotions from her readers. When Lena is enraged, readers are fuming. When she breaks down, crying hysterically, readers are right there, sobbing along with her. Her feelings of love, betrayal, and loss transcend all boundaries, lodging themselves in the hearts of readers around the world.

Lena’s characterization, although less than stellar at times, does have its perks. Above all, Lena treasures her family and friends. She is terrified at the thought of losing her best friend, Hana, after her procedure. Lena, like the rest of society, was convinced that love was dangerous and potentially life threatening. After experiencing the effects of the disease firsthand, she comes to the startling realization that love is harmless. Lena was determined to discover the truth, no matter how heartbreaking the truth may be.

On the other hand, Lena is not the epitome of perfection – no properly characterized protagonist should be. She struggles to move on from her past, particularly her mother’s suicide. Her mother gave up her life for the ones she loved, and Lena is more than willing to do the same. But she continues to visualize her mother leaping from a cliff and slowly falling into the tumultuous waters below (a rather frequently mentioned event throughout the book). Additionally, Lena compares herself to a princess who is waiting for her prince to save her. Yes, she outright states this comparison and is not ashamed to do so. Unfortunately, the concept of a damsel in distress does not appeal to the majority of teens in this day and age, myself included. They would prefer to read about a strong, independent, female protagonist who does not rely on others to come to her rescue. I think we’ve all outgrown Disney movies at this point.

Lastly, there was the slightly overwhelming ending that left me shaking and speechless. My mother was only slightly concerned when she found me sitting on the floor, rocking back and forth and suffering from mild shock. To avoid giving away the ending, let’s just say it was … unexpected. Life changing. Devastating. Shall I continue, or let you form your own opinion?

“Love, the deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.”

 

-Olivia

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6767471-olivia-mccloskey

Tumblr: http://brewingupbooks.tumblr.com/

The Book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11614718-delirium?ac=1

 

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The Gift of Charms (The Land of Dragor #1)

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Author: Julia Suzuki

Publisher: John Blake Publishing

Release Date: 9/4/14

Rating:

four stars

*I was sent this book for review from the author*

Quote I liked: 

“If you are willing to train hard there is almost no end to what you can achieve.”

Goodreads Synopsis:

This epic novel, first in the Land of Dragor series, is aimed primarily at eight to twelve year-olds but with appeal for all ages. It transports the reader to the magical Land of Dragor, where seven dragon clans live hidden from man having beaten off the evil dragsaur beasts. Their great war is over and the dragons live peacefully among the smoking mud pools and around The Fire Which Must Never Go Out, but the terrible years when they were enslaved by humans have left a lasting scar and they are told they can never soar above the mountains and leave their safe haven to explore the outside world. There is unease in the air of their mist-filled valley, and the coming of a strange egg heralds a new era. Unlike the normal delicate lilac, this shell is multi-coloured like the contents of a treasure chest. The newborn hatchling is called Yoshiko, but he is immediately treated with suspicion by the elders, and is lucky to survive. The last time a coloured egg was laid, legendary warrior leader Surion was born from a red shell, and with his gift of fire the dragons went to battle with the humans. Will Yoshiko bring a blessing to the clans, or a curse? Could Dragor be about to meet its saviour, or its destroyer?
Chameleon-like Yoshiko is bullied and tormented as he grows up, taunted at fire school as he struggles to produce a jet of flame. Desperate to hide his colour changes, he flees from school one day and finds himself on the fabled mountain of Cattlewick Cave, home to the mysterious and reclusive elder Guya. This chance meeting changes Yoshiko’s life, and as he develops from hatchling to youngling, he is inspired to spread his wings and venture outside Dragor. He returns with magic gifts – but only time will tell if they heal or harm Dragor.

My thoughts:

        This book was really well written! The author used great word choice and had beautiful language. The main character Yoshiko was adorable, and I absolutely loved him. I also thought that Suzuki did a wonderful job in terms of description. She had a knack for describing things in such a way that the novel did not drag on, but was still very good. This book was really refreshing to me because I had not read a middle-grade book for quite a while. I am liking this book more and more as I write this review! I do wish that  felt more connected to the book and to the plot. I had a bit of a difficult time getting myself engaged with it.

         Overall, this was a very pleasant read. I would recommend this to any age in terms of content.

-Kathy

The Book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20750318-the-gift-of-charms

 

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Disney Princess Book Tag

If you know me, you would know that I love Disney movies-especially Disney princess movies! So, when I saw this tag I knew I had to do it! It was originally created by Turtle Sympathy on YouTube. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW-3JwTbp5Q

Let’s begin!

1. Anna and Elsa—A book involving siblings.

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I chose Second Star because the whole premise of the book revolves around Wendy seeking to find her brothers.

2. Rapunzel—A book that made you emotional.

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While reading this book, I’m pretty sure I felt every emotion in existence.

3. Merida—A book featuring a female warrior.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

For this, I chose City of Bones for the characters of Isabelle and Clary.

4. Tiana—A book that features realistic struggles.

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I feel like most, if not all, of Sarah Dessen’s books could be applied here.

5. Belle—A literary book or classic.

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This is by far my favorite classic. If you have not read this yet, I would highly recommend it.
6. Pocahontas—A nature-themed book or book by a naturalist.

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This was a book I was sent to review a while ago. It reminds me of nature because of the cover and many of the poems inside of it.
7. Jasmine—A book about the desire to be free.

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This book centers around the desire for freedom from their government.
8. Mulan—A book featuring war or battles.

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This book is FULL of battles.

9. Ariel—A book featuring curiosity or learning.

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This contains many life lessons.
10. Cinderella—A book featuring manual labor.

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In this book, manual labor is shown in a positive light.
11. Sleeping Beauty—A book featuring sleep.

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I had some difficulty finding a book featuring sleep. In these books, the camp has expanded to include minor gods, including the children of the god (or goddess, I can’t recall) of seep.

12. Snow White—A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins.

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Gluttony

13. Alice—A book featuring nonsense or a book featuring unusual other worlds.

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That’s all! I did remove a few princesses because I had some trouble finding books for them. Who is your favorite Disney princess? Mine is princess Jasmine!  🙂

-Kathy

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Legend (Legend #1)

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Author: Marie Lu

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Release Date: 11/29/11

Rating:

three stars

Quote I liked:

“‘Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.'”

Goodreads Synopsis:

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

My Thoughts:

This book was a pretty good read. Let us begin with the positive, shall we? I really enjoyed the characters in this book. The author provided great depth with each character and had excellently executed imagery throughout the book as well. While Lu’s writing style was not particularly unique or out of the ordinary, she did have some beautiful quotes that I enjoyed reading. The novel was well planned out, and I was extremely amazed at how detailed the author was with the world that she had created. I really liked the chemistry that existed between June and Day, but I did feel as if it was a bit lacking.

There were a few flaws in this book. I found it to be very slow in pacing, or at least not what I was expecting. There was one point in the novel, where the author claimed that something would happen in a certain amount of days, but it seemed as if way more time had passed than was supposed to (sorry about how vague that was-I’m trying to refrain from spoilers). I was not very engaged by the book and had to make myself pick it up. The end was very good, but the majority of the book was a bit bland. I actually was not sure if I was going to read the second book, but because I did overall like Legend I’ll give it a try. I have heard a ton of hype about this book, so I had very high expectations which could have potentially been my problem.

This is a great book for those who are coming into the YA genre. It was clean in content, if not a bit violent, but most dystopians are. I would recommend this to ages 14 or 15 and up. This book generally has stellar reviews, so if the synopsis interests you, I would say to read it. I did like the book, but I was just a tad disappointed.

-Kathy

The Book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9275658-legend

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Birthday Book Haul

Recently, I had a birthday party-even though my birthday was in, erm, January. I got a few books that I’m SUPER excited to read!

1. Vampire Academy-I am ashamed to say that I saw the movie, but did not read the book *facepalm.* One of my friends in particular LOVED this book, and recommended it to me about twenty times over. She got me this and I am psyched to read it because I’ve heard amazing things about this.

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2. Clockwork Angel-I adore Cassandra Clare books, and loved The Mortal Instruments series and now I finally own this and have already started to read it!

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)

3. Delirium-The same awesome friend who gave me Clockwork Angel gave me Delirium as well. She has been raving about this book for ages and thought it was great. I finally get to read it, and can fan girl about it with her! I am thrilled I can read this now!

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3. Invisible Girl-I have never heard of this book before, so when my friend got it for me I looked up the description. Oh man, does this book look great! I feel like this could be a book that plays with one’s emotions. She said that it was an amazing book and I cannot wait to delve into this!

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Those are the books I received for my birthday, but I also got some gift cards to Barnes and Noble *drool.* So I can’t wait to buy books with those!

Also, not part of my birthday book haul, but my sister was at Barnes and Noble and picked this book up. It was so nice of her to get The Music Lesson for me. Besides reading and writing, music is also one of my passions, so this book looks really interesting and I am excited to read it! I think the whole idea of what this book is about looks like something I would really enjoy.

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Have a wonderful day!

-Kathy