“Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlI thought I would love this one because of all the rave reviews I’ve seen and read. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I’m not even sure what the plot is.

Quick summary:

From Goodreads:

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

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“Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins

I plan to collect all three books in the series.
I plan to collect all three books in the series.

I did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I picked it up on a whim. I’d heard about it often and was curious and wanted something else to read. I downloaded a sample on my Nook App, bought it on my Kindle app (random, I know), and was hooked from the moment it began.

Quick summary:

Anna thought that she would spend her senior year of high school getting closer to her crush, who she works with her at a movie theatre in Atlanta, and hanging out with her best friend. But her father surprises her when he announces that she’ll spend her senior year at the School of America…in Paris (SOAP).

At first, Anna dreads what would happen at her boarding school since she’s new to both the school and the country, but she quickly makes friends and just as quickly develops a crush on a cute French boy with an English accent from America, Etienne St. Clair. Unfortunately, St. Clair has a girlfriend, but Anna can’t shake her feelings for him and the more they hang out, the stronger her feelings grow until they become….complicated.

But she has lots to learn in Paris, about the city and herself. Though cautious at first, her friends coax her to venture out in the city, where she finds that she shares a love of films with it. And as her relationships develop and become more difficult, she learns that things aren’t always as she perceives them to be.

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“Talon” by Julie Kagawa

I love the cover, both how it looks and feels.

I had high hopes for this one.

Quick summary:

It’s summer and Ember and her twin brother, Dante, are finally let off Talon’s compound to try at blending in with humans. They are dragons, and in order for them to survive, it’s imperative that they are adept at adapting to human lifestyle while being wary of any threats.

What threats? Those would be attacks from the Order of St. George, a militaristic group of dragon slayers. The Order of St. George has been at war with dragons for years so to strengthen their forces and increase survival rates, the dragons banded together and formed Talon, which is a sort of government that maintains order among dragon populations and ensure the group’s survival.

Ember and Dante are hatchlings, being just teenagers, and each day they train in the mornings to prepare for their placement in Talon’s order, and hang with their friends in the afternoon to improve on their interactions with humans. To strengthen their cover, they are placed with a human couple as their guardians. While hanging with friends one day, Ember meets a rogue dragon called Riley, who tempts her with promises to unveil what Talon really is about. Interacting with a rogue dragon is a crime in Talon and Ember is at first torn about what to do since she’s obligated to report him, yet she wants to know more about Talon. Also, the dragon in her is attracted to the dangerous rogue. Meanwhile, Riley is intent on convincing Ember to leave Talon, which he believes isn’t as good and helpful as it seems.

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“Jinx” by Sage Blackwood

Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.
This cover drew me to the book…

This is a fun story. I wanted to read this book because of its title, Jinx, there’re so many possibilities of how this story could turn out. Of course, it has to involve magic! If not, I wouldn’t have read it. Also, it must involve a character to whom weird things will happen. To say the least, the story turned out almost as I thought it would and almost better.

Quick summary:

Jinx is about an orphan boy who once resided with his stepmother and stepfather until they chose to get rid of him. To do this, his stepfather took him into the forest, the Urwald, and stepped off the path (it’s recommended that one should not step off the path in the forest since bad things could happen: attacked by trolls or werewolves, or tricked by the trees) and tried to leave him in there. However, the stepfather could not find his way back to the path. Luckily, or unluckily, a wizard happened to be about. The wizard, called Simon, happened to be in need of a boy so Jinx’s stepfather sold him to the wizard before being taken off by trolls, which may or may not have been called by the wizard.

Jinx goes off to live with the wizard Simon, tidying the house and such. While there, he meets butter churn-riding witches and travelers who stop by the wizard’s house. After living there for a while, he meets Simon’s wife Sophie, who lives in another part of the world. Apparently, Simon’s house has a portal that can take a person to a land called Samara, which is where Sophie lives. Sophie doesn’t do much except to rile Simon up and treat Jinx like the little boy he is at times. I think her purpose in the story was simply to lure Jinx to Samara and heighten his interest in magic.

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“The Giver” by Lois Lowry

Available at your local bookstore.
Available at your local bookstore.

It’s my second time reading The Giver and again I am quite taken by the story. Here is a society in which every aspect of reality is controlled from the weather, to what people eat, to what they are allowed to think, for the most part.

The story opens with Jon, an observant boy who is about to turn twelve, the age at which he will receive his Assignment. He is anxious about it: Who will he be assigned to become? What role in the community will he be assigned to fulfill?

Opening the story with Jon gives us a sense of the type of society he lives in. Through his eyes, we are able to see how unnaturally structured the community is and how much the people’s lives are controlled by those in charge.

Everyone is expected to act the same and abide by the rules in the community. There is a three-strike policy and if a person breaks a rule a third time, he is “released” from the community. Sameness is of utmost importance and difference is not accepted. Those who may seem different must assimilate to the community’s practices or they will be “released.”

At the community’s Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas receives his assignment as the Receiver of Memory, an honored position in the community. For this position, Jonas will receive all the memories of the community, which is like the history of the community and the human race. Being the Receiver of Memory, Jonas is exempt from Sameness. He is allowed to be different. In being different, he is allowed to feel and experience emotion, something that other members of the community are unable to do. Until this moment, Jonas was unaware that he was prevented from experiencing emotions or being able to choose.

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“The Son of Neptune” by Rick Riordan

The Son of Neptune
The Son of Neptune (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So. I have just completed Rick Riordan‘s new novel, The Son of Neptune, of the The Heroes of Olympus series. I was so excited to read this book. I marked the date on my calendar when this book would be expected in stores and showed up bright and early Tuesday morning (October 4th) to place the book on hold since I did not have any money to buy it at the time (you know, being a broke, unemployed, recent college graduate from a prestigious university and all). Anyways, I was totally excited and couldn’t wait to take a break from George RR Martin’s torture and enjoy some easy-going heroic adventures but I was let down.

Rick Riordan did not write up to my expectations this time. At one point I felt as if I was not reading Riordan’s work. Ok, that’s a bit harsh but I was upset. I decided to stop and re-read The Lost Hero to re-familiarize myself with the trend of the story and Riordan’s writing style. But when I went back to reading The Son of Neptune, I became disappointed again. The plot was great but the characters and pacing of certain scenes did not grab me. I just found the novel a bit rushed. I think that he was pressed for time and was unable to dedicate the time needed to fully develop the story and not make it sound so cheesy (in certain parts).

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