Sunday, June 27, 2010

In Our Mailbox!

Hello! It's Sunday again and we all know what that means: IMM started by The Story Siren! Unfortunately, I was unable to snag any new books this week :( But Okapi on the other hand was able to obtain some good picks:

Okapi's Mailbox-

Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Numbers by Rachel Ward
The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas by John Boyne
The Long Wait for Tomorow by Joaquin Dorfman

What did you get this week?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Book Blogger HOP!

Welcome to The Smarty Owl!

Remember to enter our YA Giveaway HERE.

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books, and if you'd like to sign your own book blog up, click HERE!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Genre: Paranormal romance
Target Audience: Teen girls
Length: Hardcover - 291 pages

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. 

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life. - Summary from Goodreads

After the endless hype, I expected Hush, Hush to be phenomenal. Lured by the beautiful, haunting cover art, I snagged this book with promise in my heart. Unfortunately, this paranormal romance only wasted my time, and left me feeling disappointed and annoyed. Throughout the novel, I noticed strong similarities to Twilight: the two main characters meet in biology (what's so romantic about biology, anyway? The bonding activity of dissecting an onion?), the klutzy girl falls in love with a dangerous angel/vampire, and paranormal forces won't let them be together. However, Hush, Hush is nothing more than a watered down, annoying version of Twilight, and I'm not even a fan of Twilight in the first place.

The romance between Patch and Nora is flat and unconvincing. Though Patch claims to be in love with Nora, it's hard to believe it when he sexually harasses her, frequently makes her feel uncomfortable, and even downright asks if she sleeps naked. His behavior displays lust, not love. Nora makes their relationship even more unbelievable by foolishly running into Patch's arms; she doesn't trust him, knows he's dangerous, and is very suspicious of him, yet she continues to “love” him. It is impossible to follow and root for their relationship when it's based off lust instead of love. The author tries to portray Patch as a bad boy, though I only see him as annoying and arrogant. Under different circumstances, Patch could be a strong, excellently sly character, but the author proudly brandishes him using the wrong plot.

The storyline centers around Patch and Nora's flimsy romance, with a few lazy side plots thrown in at seemingly last minute. Instead of building suspense and mystery, the obscure bandit plot line is weak and concluded poorly, featuring a handful of the least menacing villains I have ever read about. Also, what worsens the plot even further is that two-thirds of the book feature Nora pondering over Patch, musing her suspicions that something about him is awry, and leading investigations, while readers know all along that he is an angel. This slows down the book considerably. Saturated with unfulfilled potential, this book wastes too much time showing Nora brooding over Patch, while it could have featured more paranormal elements – the whole fallen angel concept is fascinating. When the author finally chooses to reveal Patch's true identity, she does so brashly and does not bother to explain the heaps of angel lore she includes, leaving me confused and unsuccessfully attempting to puzzle the pieces together myself.

Though I really wanted to like this book, it was very hard for me to, and in the end, I was nothing more than mildly entertained. I'll probably read Crescendo when it releases, only because Hush, Hush contains unused potential that could possibly be fulfilled in its sequel. Though many people will adore this book, it left a bad impression upon me.

Cover: 4.5/5 – This cover is haunting, eye catching, and (falsely) promises a mysterious paranormal romance.

2 hoots

Source: Local library

Waiting on Wednesday: Matched

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release Date: November 30, 2010

Goodreads summary: In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.

Why I want this: I love dystopian fiction - it, along with fantasy, is my favorite genre. When I saw the summary, I knew this was a must-read. Matched looks fresh and amazing!! The cover is also very pretty, meaningful, and simple; I love the image of the girl trapped in the bubble, which corresponds metaphorically to the summary. Aggh November is so far away! I cannot wait...I'm going to go on a rampage for an ARC :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Teaser Tuesday x2

Hello everyone! Though it's a brilliant day over here in our part of the country and we shouldn't waste it by being indoors, we deliver yet another Teaser Tuesday. Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. And now, your beloved teasers:

Okapi is currently reading Gone, the conclusion to Lisa McMann's Wake trilogy. (By the way, have you heard that Miley Cyrus might star in the movie version?! Okapi is not overly partial to Miley Cyrus)
"The hearing. The truth coming out. Reliving Durbin's party in front of a judge and the three bastards themselves, staring her down. Cameras following her around the second she steps outside the courtroom. Exposed as a narc, all of Fieldridge talking about it. Talking about her." - Gone by Lisa McMann , page 1

Rica Eat World is currently reading Sisters Red, the newest novel by Jackson Pearce (it came out on June 7, my birthday :]. ) Anyway, thanks a bunch to Jackson Pearce for kindly giving me a signed book plate!

"The wolf opened his wide, long jaws, rows of teeth and bloodstained tongue stretching for her. A thought locked itself in Scarlett's mind, and she repeated it over and over until it became a chant, a prayer: I am the only one left to fight, so now i must kill you."
-Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce, page 8

Enjoy :)

-- Okapi & Rica Eat World

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Body Finder
Author: Kimberly Derting
Genre: Paranormal/ Romance/ Suspense
Target Audience: Teens - Adults
Number of Pages: Hardcover- 327 pages

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies- or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she was felt the echoes of the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murder and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself. - From the inside Flap Jacket

I had finished this book in about 2 days, and considering the fact that I am an incredibly slow reader, me finishing a book in that amount of time is saying something. You can assume that this book is one I didn't want to put down. It was the cause of my exhaustion on Monday morning when I had to get up to go to school, after staying up well into the night reading this book. Kimberly Derting entwines suspense with romance and the two elements mingle flawlessly, thus creating a richer and more complex novel.

This book held me in since the beginning with the adorable romance and captured my attention with the bone-chilling suspense. The love between Jay and Violet will make you smile in your seat, while the lurking serial killer forces you to jolt up and gasp. On the outside, Violet is just your average teenager- one who goes to school, hangs out with her friends, and crushes on boys. But behind the scenes, she is anything but ordinary. Her unique knack of uncovering murdered bodies thrusts her into adventure...and trouble. Readers follow Violet on her drive to stop the man threatening her suburban home and Jay's determination to keep Violet safe.

Derting tells the story from two points of view. One voice is Violet's, and the other is the murderer's, which is written in italics. I remember when flipping through The Body Finder at nighttime, I would always dread reading the italicized chapters, for they never failed to send shivers down my spine. However, reading about Violet's accounts were always a treat for me. I was able to witness the brave and shy, happy but scared, mature yet growing, qualities in Violet which all come together to make up her persona. I was also able to get a glimpse of the killer's mind. It was an interesting experience, for when readers scan their eyes along the italicized lines, they are able to learn about his motives, purposes, and his thinking process.

Her writing was fair. It was not the best I have read, but the sentences flowed easily enough. My one concern was her over use of ellipsis. They appeared quite often, yet it wasn't so major and bothersome to the point where I couldn't stand it. Another theme I discovered when reading, was her repetitive vocabulary. I noted how the same words would show up more than once. Don't get me wrong, I am not judging her on little words like 'the' or 'and', but rather more memorable words and phrases like the adjective, 'no-nonsense.' The phrase had been featured over two times. These are minor flaws and they didn't overshadow or make a large impact on the overall effect of the novel.

Though her writing is not spectacular, the strong and alluring plot overpowers it. This is definitely a novel that I would read over and over again, so if you are in for a thrilling love story, go snag a copy of The Body Finder!

Cover: 3.5/5 - The cover is pure, pretty and very majestic, but I'm not sure what it is, or is supposed to be. Maybe it is an echo? I don't know. The blue contrasts with the black and it is appealing, but it could definitely be more clear on what it is. From the cover, readers don't really know anything about the book. Just by judging the cover however, I would probably pick it up at the store.

4 Hoots

Source: Public Library

Friday, June 18, 2010

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Realistic Fiction (some fantasy elements)
Target Audience: Teens - Adults
Number of Pages: Hardcover - 480 pages

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all--looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it's her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined. - Summary from Goodreads

When Samantha Kingston unexpectedly gets killed in a car crash, she awakes alive in her own bed the next morning. Given the chance to relive her last day seven times, she realizes how being a good person leads to a more fulfilling, happy life. Despite the sometimes annoying sexual innuendo, Before I Fall strikingly captures modern teen life. Inspiring readers to become better people, this novel is too meaty and powerful to slip out of one's brain, unlike the many other forgettable novels that reside in the realm of YA fiction.

It took a couple hundred pages to slip into the groove of this book. At the start, I hated the protagonist of Samantha Kingston, a popular mean girl with even meaner friends. She was bratty, obnoxious, shallow, and annoying, and I wondered how I would be able to tolerate the rest of the book while she was the main character. Since she annoyed me, and the beginning of the novel's plot was wishy-washy, I put the book down and decided to read other material. However, I could not have been more wrong about this book; two weeks later, bracing myself for a dreary trudge through a tedious and annoying tale, I buried my nose amidst the pages once more, only to witness the character of Samantha Kingston evolve into a real, lovable person. Before I Fall contains beautifully structured character development. Throughout the novel, Samantha journeys away from her vapid, cruel self and heads towards being a good person with moral values.

Driven by Sam's actions and reactions, the plot cascades over the pages, intertwines itself from beginning to end, and composes a hearty novel that I will remember forever. I enjoyed the concept of Sam living the same day seven times, though it seemed too repetitive in the beginning. However, once the novel picked up momentum, it glued itself to my fingers and hollered at me if I attempted to discard it on the table. Though Sam changed dramatically during the novel, the people around her remained the same. It was as though each time she relived her last day, she wrote on the sandy shore of a beach, leaving imprints only on herself and not on the people around her, because the tide of the ocean would roar in and obliterate any trace of Sam's changes, so the next time she relived, the shore of the beach would be smooth and unmarked. This was frustrating, because I feel as though on her last day, when her changes truly mattered, Sam should have confronted her friends and their cruel actions.

The ending flavored the book bittersweet, wrapped it up in an unpredicted manner, and left me with a sense of feeling as though I had to change my own life like how Sam changed hers. An emotional journey for all readers, Before I Fall captures heartbreak, anger, sadness, and friendship. This compelling novel emblazoned the true meaning of being good onto my mind, and is a must-read for all those who have the time for a long and thoughtful novel.

Cover: 3/5 -- This cover is eye catching, haunting, but nothing special. I really like the placement and font of the title.

4 hoots

Source: Won a giveaway at Erika @ Moonlight Book Reviews. Thank'ye so much!!!!

Book Blogger HOP!

Welcome to The Smarty Owl!

Remember to enter our YA Giveaway HERE.

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books, and if you'd like to sign your own book blog up, click HERE!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

In Our Mailboxes x2!

IMM was started by The Story Siren! From book sales, to contests, to the good ol' library, our IMMs have sprouted. So many stories!

Rica Eat World's Mailbox

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting (Okapi is jealous)
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Numbers by Rachel Ward

After by Booksalen

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Random Buzzers:
Folly by Marthe Jocelyn  

Okapi's Mailbox

Library - (I had to put half of them back since I couldn't carry them!)
The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzparick
Soulless by Gail Carriger - not shown
Changeless by Gail Carriger - not shown
Leviathan by Scott West
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Gone by Lisa McMann
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Falling Sideways by Tom Holt

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce - (So excited for this! Purchased with Rica Eat World :) )

Random Buzzers:
Folly by Marthe Jocelyn  - not shown
Fallen by Lauren Kate

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott (I don't know who sent this to me! It just came! Whoever it was, thank you so much!)
A *signed* copy of The Dark Divine by Bree Despain (Thank you Red House Books!)

If you were one of  us, which book would you read first? What's in your mailbox?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

50 Followers/Blogoversary/Rica's Birthday Bonanza GIVEAWAY!!

UPDATE: This contest is now *CLOSED*, but no worries. There will be other opportunities to enter different contests in the future :) So keep checking back!
Love, Rica et Okapi

Greetings followers! We have so much to celebrate! A few days ago, on June 7, was a very momentous occasion. Actually it was a series of momentous occasions - it was Rica Eat World's birthday, our one month blogoversary, and the date when we finally achieved fifty followers! In celebration of these events, we're hosting this giveaway! Since we're so excited, we'll be giving out a book of choice from the list below to two lucky winners!


(all books are paperback except for Marley and Me)

Click Here for a review of Walking Backward
Click Here for a review of Graceling


While nosing around among piles of books at our local library book sale, Rica managed to find a diamond in the rough; a signed hardcover copy of Princess in Love by Meg Cabot!

~ Rules ~
  • You must be 13 or over to enter
  • Since we're honoring our followers, you must be one!
  • Two winning entrants will get to pick one book from the list above. Winners will be picked using or hat!
  • Contest limited to the United States (sorry, but our piggybanks are slightly emaciated. However, if you're international, enter if the Book Depositary ships to you, but be aware that the prize list might be limited)
  • Contest ends July 9 at midnight EST.

To enter, please leave a comment!

  • Name and email
  • Old follower +2
  • OR new follower +1
  • Add up entries +1

  • Follow on twitter? (@thesmartyowl) Leave your username + 2
  • Tweeted? Leave link. +2
  • Post contest on sidebar? Leave link. +2
  • Blog post? Leave link.+5
  • Vote on poll in right sidebar? +1

Good luck!

Note: To all those who previously entered using the Google form, you should know that we abandoned that method due to technical difficulties. However, do not worry, for WE HAVE ENTERED YOUR INFORMATION! There's no need to enter again in the comments :)

~ Okapi and Rica Eat World ~


Teaser Tuesday (Wednesday) x2!

Rica Eat World and Okapi present you with another teaser packed Tuesday! Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading..

is currently reading the paranormal story, Hush Hush.
And now, here's your teaser!

"Scared?" he murmured.
My pulse edged up a degree. "I'm not scared of you."
-Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, page 125

On the other end of the spectrum, Rica Eat World is reading the science fiction novel, The House of the Scorpion.

"When the day came, Eduardo received the newborn inot his hands as though it were his own child. His eyes blurred as he laid it in a crib and reached for the needle that would blunt its intelligence. "Don't fix that one," said Lisa, hastily catching his arm. "It's a Matteo Alacran. They're always left intact."
Have I done you a favor? thought Eduardo as he watched the baby turn its head toward the bustling nurses in their starched, white uniforms. Will you thank me for it later?" - The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, page 4

There you have it, two great snippets from two great books. Be sure to check them out and keep checking back for reviews of these books once we finish them. So far, they're great!

Happy Wednesday and keep reading!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Target Audience: Teens - Adults
Number of Pages: Hardcover - 374 pages

" When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is black. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as they could remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, they’ve closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the maze after dark.

The Gladers were expecting Thomas’s arrival. But the next day, a girl springs up—the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might be able to find their way home . . . wherever that may be. But it’s looking more and more as if the maze is unsolvable. And something about the girl’s arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers—if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind. "
- Summary from Good Reads

This book has earned its spot on the top rung of my bookshelf. I had set high expectations for this book after seeing all the hype, and in my opinion, it delivered itself splendidly. Compile heaps of action, prolific amounts of suspense, an original plot, a dash of romance, a cliffhanger and you get The Maze Runner.

The overall writing was decent, and the sentence fluency was acceptable and readable. However, some snippets that I encountered were a little repetitive. Dashner had overly restated things like: “Thomas could remember performing certain activities, but he couldn’t remember whom he did them with.” The first and second times he mentioned it were necessary for introduction. Personally, I thought the third time wasn’t really needed, but I brushed it off nonetheless. After the fourth time, it was starting to get a little annoying. At points, I wanted to tell the pages that I get the point already! But overall, the thrilling and exhilarating plot evens out the writing part.

What I love about this original plot is its many twists and turns. It’s a pretty unpredictable book, and I can always count on Dashner to reveal another new turning point at the end of each chapter. The chapters are short, but not choppy, forcing the readers to keep flipping to find out what happens next. This fast past read made me sad when I ran out of pages, and I am highly anticipating the second of the Maze Runner trilogy, The Scorch Trials.

An excerpt from The Maze Runner just for you:
"Harsh sounds of chains and pulleys, like the workings of an ancient steel factory, echoed through the room, bouncing off the walls with a hollow, tinny whine. The lightless elevator swayed back and forth a
s it ascended, turning the boy's stomach sour with nausea; a smell like burnt oil invaded his senses, making him feel worse. He wanted to cry, but no tears came; he could only sit there, alone, waiting.
My name is Thomas, he thought.
That...that was the only thing he could remember about his life." - Page 1

Cover: 4/5 - I personally love the cover art. The picture of the high, vine covered, maze walls is relevant, and it provides insight about the book to the reader. It is also taken in an artistic manner and it sends chills down the spines of readers, just like how the book makes you shake. Just from the cover, you can tell it is a book that contains a lot of action and thrills.

source: The School Library

Rating: 4.5 Hoots

Monday, June 7, 2010

Walking Backward by Catherine Austen

Title: Walking Backward
Author: Catherine Austen
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Everybody 8+
Number of Pages: Paperback – 167 pages

“Once your mother dies, you’re either unhappy because your mother died, or you’re happy but you think you shouldn’t be because your mother just died, or you’re happy and not thinking about it until other people look at you like you’re a freak for being happy when your mother just died. Any way you look at it, it’s not happy.”

After his mom dies due to discovering a snake in the car and veering into a tree, twelve-year-old Josh is left with a father who is building a time machine in the basement and a little brother who talks to a toy Power Ranger as if it is his dead mother. With no faith to guide him, Josh makes death his summer research project. He collects facts, interviews suspects, compares religious rituals and feels guilty when he enjoys playing soccer or winning computer games. Isolated by grief in a home where every day is pajama day, Josh waits for life to feel normal, for death to make sense and for his father to start acting like a father. – From back of book

Walking Backward is an extremely sad novel, and while I usually never cry during books, this one caused me to fetch the box of tissues. The author does a fantastic job with developing her characters; the voice of young Josh is dark, doleful, and realistic for a twelve year old boy; his little brother Sammy is every bit as crazy and innocent as a four-year-old can be; his reclusive, slightly apathetic dad is beautifully written. Josh’s voice tells of his family members’ different ways of mourning the loss of a loved one. Sammy is confused and traumatized, seeking comfort in his Power Ranger, which he pretends to be his mother. His dad holes himself up in the basement all day, working on a time machine to bring his wife back. Every page of this short novel contains Josh’s interesting musings about death, loss, and life in general. Direct and to the point, Josh virtually covers all the dark and happy thoughts of a boy recovering from loss.

Overall, this quiet read provokes thoughts about the way to mourn loss, move on, and begin to live life again. This book does not contain much of a plot, but it is driven on by the inner journey of Josh and his family. Despite its lack of action, I recommend this touching novel that will entice tears out of everybody’s eyes.

To get a taste of this book - My favorite quotes:

“Napoleon Bonaparte, the famous French general, was ailurophobic, which means afraid of cats. If all those people he conquered had let out their house cats, maybe he’d have run away. I can picture Charlie and Cleo chasing Napoleon back to his ship, with his crazy hat falling off his head as he ran, and the two cats all fierce and proud of living up to their names at last.” – page 109 (After reading this quote, I did some research to find out that Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and Hitler were also all possible ailurophobes. Then, to get even more off track, I found a website called Cats That Look Like Hitler.)

“…Sam has developed a new habit of walking backward everywhere he goes. He says he wants to see people as he leaves them so that if they die, he’ll remember their faces. This is a weird new habit on top of his other weird habits.” – page 44

Cover: 3.5/5 – I like the color scheme. The orange and red snake vividly contrasts with the lime green background, and I enjoy the handwritten font. However, the snake could be a little more snakish, which would possibly make the cover more distinguished.

Rating: 4 hoots

Source: Library

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In Our Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is a meme started by The Story Siren :)

Okapi's Mailbox--

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
White Cat by Holly Black
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Not Shown:
The Book of 1000 Days by Shannon Hale
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Rica Eat World's Mailbox--

Sorry for the blurry picture. My camera phone is incapable when it comes to the task of capturing pictures.

And so because of that, you probably need a little clarification:
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
For One More Day by Mitch Albom
The Boy in Stripped Pajamas by John Boyne
Ash by Malinda Lo
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Push by Sapphire
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Happy Sunday!

~ Love, Okapi and Rica Eat World ~

Our Peculiar Reading Habits

Everybody has strange habits and rituals when they read. We've compiled a list of our own...

Rica Eat World

- I tend to read the last sentence of the chapter first, then revisit the first page of the chapter
and start from there
- I constantly check how many chapters there are to mark my progress with the book - for
example, in Harry Potter I always count the chapters, I don't want to run out of them!
- I can only concentrate if I read either in my mother's bed, or at the dining table
- While reading, I usually eat without really realizing it. But rest assured, I don't get the pages dirty
- I never assign facial features for characters of books that are not made into movies. Their faces
just end up blurry. Sometimes while I'm in the world of the book I read, I think I picture faces,
but when I try to recall them, I can't


- Whenever I close a book, I always make sure that the bookmark lines up with the pages at the top. If the bookmark sticks out, I get mad.
- If I'm reading a hardcover book that I bought, I have to take the jacket off since I hate wrinkles and dents
- Sometimes I prefer library books because they're more robust and I don't have to worry about damaging them
- I hate reading while I'm eating food since I usually get some on the pages
- When I read about a character drinking a beverage, I get really thirsty and have to fetch a glass of water
- My absuloute favorite place to read is at a quiet study hall in school
- I always speed up when reading the end because I become impatient
- Whenver the author describes a characters house, I always picture it as the house of somebody I know

Do you have any strange reading habits? Tell us in the comments!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!

Time for another 'round of blogger hop. *Hops from page to page* Woo-hoo! Book Blogger Hop was started at Crazy for Books! 

Enter HERE!

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Title: I Am the Messenger
Author: Markus Zusak
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: All Ages
Number of Pages: Paperback - 357

I Am the Messenger is a beautifully told realistic fiction novel by Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief. At age 19, Ed has not accomplished anything worthy to be proud of and possesses no promises, prospects, or potential. Ed is just plain old Ed - underage cab driver by day, caring dog owner and card player by night. He lives in a cramped shack, is constantly put down by his own mother, and is completely and utterly in love with his best friend Audrey, who rejects love and refuses to let it enter her heart. All this is routine until Ed inadvertently stops a bank robbery. Following his heroic act, Ed receives a mysterious playing card in the mail - the Ace of Diamonds. Inscribed on the surface were three addresses. Unsure of who sent him the card and unsure of what to do, Ed decides to visit the three addresses, discovering a new problem at each location. He realizes that he must help these lost people, and delivering the messages they desperately need, Ed becomes the messenger.

Once again, Zusak has delivered us yet another slew of characters to fall in love with. This time, the author presents Ed Kennedy- the protagonist that both of us became fond of. Despite Ed’s lower class status and his some-what lazy ways, we were won over by the humor and good nature Ed possesses. Ed goes around sacrificing his own time to help the troubled people he meets at each place the cards send him to go. Each card that gets mailed to Ed becomes more challenging and forces Ed to put on his thinking cap. The first card Ed receives was much more direct, with three addresses. As he progresses however, the cards give hints or clues instead in which Ed must decipher. Ed must also observe (stalk) the people he must deliver messages to, to find out exactly what they need their wake-up call on. Ed gives hope to complete strangers and he has inspired us to do the same.

Despite Zusak’s masterful storytelling, this book lacks the action and suspense that I personally enjoy. Though quite engaging, this novel fails to build a prominent climax. This novel is perfect if you’re looking for an adorable, heart-warming read.

Apart from the joy Ed brings us, our favorite character remains to be the Doorman. The Doorman is the character that makes us smile the most. Apart from the lazy and ravenous behavior he demonstrates, he is a loving, caring dog that is always by Ed’s side. This dog is always waiting at home for Ed to return after the missions the cards send him. We wish we had a dog like the Doorman, despite the dog’s strong odor that was described in the book.

This touching story about the power of random acts of kindness will warm the hearts of readers of all ages and provide insight on the goodness in people.

Cover: 3.894133/ 5 - Though this cover is interesting and bold, it fails to correspond with the book. Besides the obvious card on the front, nothing here relates to the plot; the angry man with the erect red nose and stiletto boots holding a goofy Joker staff has absolutely nothing to do with this book.

 4.5 Hoots


Rica Eat World: The weathered ole' trooper from ye library. 

Okapi: Audiobook from - The Australian accented narrator lulled me into a hypnotic stupor. His croons masterfully told the tale of Ed Kennedy.

Reviewed by Okapi & Rica Eat World