Monthly Archives: March 2013

Guest review by Mochi- H.I.V.E. by Mark Walden

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Otto Malpense is a clever and cunning young genius, but he’s not sure the Higher Institute of Villainous Education- also known as the H.I.V.E. – is for him. The terrifying headmaster, Dr. Nero, wants him to reach full potential as a supervillain full of diabolical deeds, but all Otto wants to do is escape and go back to his own life. As he and his new friend Wing, a martial arts guru with incredible skill, make enemies and stumble on information, plans begin to form. It will take a lot of research, stealth, and friendship to pull off this plot, but Otto thinks he and his team will be able to break out of H.I.V.E.

I give this book 7.15 pens. The writing was well done, if not too advanced, and it kept me excited. I was always interested to see what happened next. However, the ending was one of the worst cliffhangers I’ve ever experienced, ever. For a debut novel, I found it a quick and engaging read, and I sincerely hope there will be a sequel- I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to find out.

~Mochi

Graceling, Bitterblue, and Fire: by Kristen Cashore

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Hi everyone! Ash here, and this time I’m reviewing a whole series! This is the Graceling series, by Kristen Cashore, and it’s just amazing! I’m going to review the books separately, because although it makes more sense if you read them in order, you can read them out of order.


Graceling

This is a wonderful, 9-pen book that tells the story of Katsa, a girl whose eyes are two different colors. She is a Graceling, someone who has an extreme skill. This skill could be anything, from being an amazing cook to being able to jump really high. In all but one kingdom, as soon as a Gracelings’ eyes set, they are the property of the king. Sometimes, the king may give the family their child back–for instance, if their Grace is to lick their eye with their tongue. However, most Gracelings are kept, and they work in the palace, for the king.

Katsa is the king’s niece, so she should be able to live a life of privelege, but since she has been able to kill a person with her bare hands since she was eight–she’s Graced with killing, of all things–she must work as the king’s thug.

When Katsa first meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat, Katsa thinks life will continue as it always has–in fear of the king, her uncle. She never thinks she will become friends with Po, or even fight him for fun. She never expects to learn a new truth about her Grace. And she never expects to learn a frightening truth about a terrible secret that lies hidden, deep beneath treachery in the middle of the peaceful kingdom of Monsea.

Fire

This is another great 9-pen book, taking place in the same world as Graceling, but not the same kingdoms.

In the Dells, there are things known as monsters–normal animals in dazzling colors with an unusual bloodthirstiness. For example, a brown bear is a bear, but a green bear is a monster.

Fire is a human monster, and she can touch others minds as well as read them and change their thoughts, if they aren’t guarded against her and other monsters. Fire has fire-red hair–hence her name–and is literally irresistibly beautiful. She lives a life of apology for her father’s, a ruthless monster who hurt others for pleasure.

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells, for young King Nash and his brother Brigan are trying to protect their kingdom against rebel lords to the north and south who are building up armies in an attempt to unseat him. War is coming, and it is no longer safe for Fire, for strange men with blank minds keep appearing in the forest to try and hurt her.

This book has a whole new cast of characters from Graceling save one–and that one is dangerous.

Bitterblue

Another amazing 9-pen book!

Centered eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now the queen of Monsea. However, the damage and influence of her father, a “violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities,” (amazon.com–couldn’t have said it any better!) lives on. Her advisors, who have been running things since Leck’s death, believe that they should pardon all who committed terrible acts under his reign and forget anything bad ever happened. But Bitterblue knows bad things happened, and so does everyone else.

Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle at night–disguised and alone–to walk the streets of the city, her city, she starts realizing that the kingdom she now calls herself Queen over has been under the 35-year spell of a lunatic, and revisiting the past is the only way to move forward.

Two thieves, who steal only what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold the key to the truth of Leck’s reign, which Bitterblue desperately wants. And one, with a Grace that he doesn’t yet know, holds the key to her heart.

With the help of her two friends, she discovers horrible truths about Leck, who is dead, and close friends, who are alive. The whole story is a mystery–who can she trust, and who is holding back the truth?

Hope you like!

~ Ash

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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Hi everyone! Ash here. It’s about time we reviewed this book, huh? Well, here I am with my review. Hope you liked The Hunger Games, because wanna know where my opinion rests?

Ten pens! That’s right, folks, this incredible book got ten pens! Best. Book. EVER!!!

I even have all 3 books: Hunger Games-paperback. Catching Fire-got for free when I bought my Nook. Mockingjay-hardback.

This book is an amazing book and you probably already know what happens, but I’m going to summarize it anyways.

“In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts.” -books.google.com
Ironically, Panem means ‘bread’ and comes from the Latin phrase “Panem et Circenses,” which means “Bread and circuses,” and that’s what Panem is all about. The rich citizens have a seemingly unlimited food supply, waste their money on parties, and once a year bet on the best entertainment of all: The Hunger Games.

This cruel form of entertainment is, essentially, a slaughterhouse in which the Capitol keeps the districts in line by forcing them to send two tributes, a girl and a boy, between the ages of 12 and 18.

Katniss and her male friend Gale hunt illegally for their families and trade in the illegal black market called the Hob: you can tell that the law enforcers, called Peacekeepers, aren’t enforcing the rules harshly. You can even find the Peacekeepers in the Hob bartering for the meat and plants Katniss and Gale bring back from the forest!

Katniss is protective of her adorable little sister, Prim. Her full name is Primrose, and is learning how to be a healer from their mother. It’s the day of the Reaping, and this one is especially grim because it is Prim’s first. Katniss couldn’t bear to see her sister die on live television–luckily, her name is only in their once, so the odds are in her favor.

The odds are wrong. Prim’s name is picked, and without thinking Katniss volunteers herself for the Games to protect her sister, the first volunteer District 12 has ever seen. Katniss promises Prim she will stay alive, and knows that she can at least fight and forage. However, when the one boy who had saved her life gets picked as male tribute, things get infinitely more difficult. Katniss is thrown into the most violent, ruthless game ever played–in debt to someone she might have to kill.

Anyways, with that happy note, hope you like! I know I sure did–I’ve reread the books trillions of times!

~ Ash

 

Numbers by Rachel Ward

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Hi everyone! Ash here, with a great 8-pens read. Although the cover picture looks a little odd–who wants to read a book about creepy eyeballs?–I assure you, don’t judge this one by its cover.

Numbers is a wonderful tale centered around a someone creepy “What if?” I mean, I’ll bet you all have those once in a while. This one will top all of the creepy ones. Wanna hear it? Here goes: What if, whenever you looked into someones eyes, you could see a number: the date of their death? That’s exactly what afflicts poor Jem, and she can’t tell anyone. What would you do if someone told you when you would die? Off to the hospital, right? Jem knows she’s not crazy, and she knows it’s true, because she predicted the deaths of her parents and is not living as a foster child. With such an awful awareness–what would you do if you saw the death of everyone, just by looking in their eyes?–Jem avoids talking to people, keeping her head down and eyes away from the numbers. Then she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. Jem has never gone on the London Eye, and she and Spider are prepared to do just that. However, Jem is terrified to see that all the eyes of the people in line flash the same number. Today’s number, today’s date–Jem has never seen this many numbers that match up. Is it terrorists? Is it war? All she knows is that she has to run for her life–and her newfound friend Spider’s.

Hope you like! I’m currently reading the third book of the trilogy, 1nf1n1ty (Infinity), which is an Advance Reading Copy at the moment. Let me tell you in advance–you’re going to want to read the rest of the trilogy.

~ Ash

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

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Hey!
So I’m finally all better and working hard! Of course, working hard includes reading a LOT, so I finished a whole book in one day. This sucker, Enclave, is a cross between Uglies, Graceling, and The City of Ember. Personally, this is one of my favorite books. Ever. And I’ve read a TON of books.
Deuce has always lived underground and dreamed of being a Huntress in her society, College. When she gets paired with the mysterious boy Fade, she begins to fall for him. The two of them have to juggle a crumbling society, evil Freaks, and the lack of resources.
I seriously love this book! You all must read it. A perfect 10/10.

-Ginger

Great App: Overdrive

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Hi everyone! Ash here. If you follow our posts, you’ll know that Ginger and I have been sick, and so we’ve been reading–a lot. Ginger already had a bunch of books lined up, but I didn’t, and I didn’t want to buy a bunch of books. Luckily, this app saved me–Overdrive.

This is a great app that I have on my Nook (you can only get this on tablets that support apps, of course, like the Nook Tablet, which is what I have and love!). It’s even free! All you need is a library card to any supported library system–don’t worry, there are lots, and your local library system is probably supported–and you’re ready to go! Some books have holds on them, and I would definitely recommend looking around on BN.com for a book you want so that you can check if your system has it, but it’s much faster than connecting your e-reader to the computer and downloading a book. I’ve only done that a couple of times with my Nook, and it’s really annoying.
I’m so happy that I can get to the exact same library e-book section with only a tap of a finger! Of course, you’ve got to type in your library card and your password, but once that is done, you never have to do it again as long as, when you check out your first book, you check that handy little “remember password” box.

So if you’re sick, in need of something to read, or just plain bored, be sure to take a look at the free app Overdrive.
“Read and listen to eBooks & audiobooks from your library on the go or at home with OverDrive Media Console. The app is available for every major desktop and mobile platform, including Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phones and tablets, Kindle, NOOK, Windows 8 PC and tablet, Blackberry and Windows Phone,” –Overdrive.com

To find more about Overdrive, go to http://www.overdrive.com, and to get the app you can either search in your app store or go to omc.overdrive.com.

Hope you like, and hope I get better! 😉

~ Ash

The Gift by James Patterson

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Hey guys!
Ash and I have both been sick, which gave me a big sliver of time to finish my books, one of the Maximum Ride books (which I will post on later) and The Gift, both of which are by James Patterson. Mr. Patterson happens to be one of my favorite authors, mostly for the artfully written Maximum Ride series, so naturally I was super eager to read this book. I thought it looked great when I picked it up off the shelf, but I didn’t know that it’s the second book in a series. 🙂 Actually, I wasn’t that confused; there was a nice little recap woven into the beginning. So naturally, I’m giving this book a 9.7. Yes. You saw that right. A 9.7.
Wisty and Whit already have huge targets on their backs after defying the New Order in a series of events that included the capturing of their parents and Whit’s crush, Celia. The twins must escape the N.O. and rescue their parents without being killed by an old friend turned enemy and his band of evil mutations. This was one of the best books I’ve ever read. The writing was perfect, and the plot was spot-on. I think all of you have to read this series! It will leave you wanting more.
XO,
Ginger