Friday, June 28, 2013

Canada Day Blog Hop

I may still be on my blogging break, but Canada Day is coming up ... and for the third year in a row, I'll be participating The Canada Day Blog Hop being hosted by Aislynn from Stitch - Read - Cook, Chrystal from Snowdrop Dreams of Books and Carmel from Rabid Reads

For the hop, I'll be giving away any book of your choice written by a Canadian author and worth up to $10 CDN from The Book Depository. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mini Blogging Break

It’s been pretty quiet here lately, and that’s because I’ve been busy attending weddings and birthday parties. Things should be back to normal by the end of next week. So, I probably won’t be posting or leaving comments until then. My apologies in advance!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Reviews: Pivot Point by Kasie West and Parallel by Lauren Miller

Thoughts on the Novels: The theme of parallel universes/alternate realities seems to be a growing trend in YA. So much so, that HarperTeen released both of the debuts that I recently read – Kasie West’s Pivot Point and Lauren Miller’s Parallel. As such, rather than reviewing them separately, I’ve decided to a compare and contrast type of review.

My Rating: 4 hearts 

Set up of Plot: As a Divergent, Addie has the ability to Search how two options presented to her can affect her life on a day-to-day basis for however long she chooses. When her parents tell her they’re divorcing and her dad will be leaving the Compound to live in the Normal world, Addie decides to Search which parent she should live with. Chapters therefore alternate between how Addie’s life would be like were she to live with her mom versus if she were to live with her dad. Essentially, it’s like reading two stories at once, with some common events between the two. 

Protagonist: Addie is someone I can totally picture being friends with! She loves to read, is organized, doesn’t care about popularity, and prefers hanging out with a smaller group of close friends than going to something like a party. 

Worldbuilding: In Pivot Point, the Para-community does its best to ensure that its existence is kept a secret from the Normal world. They hardly interact with Norms, and appear to be mentally and technologically more advanced. 

Romance: Since I thought Trevor, Addie’s Norm friend, was sweet, and disliked Duke, Addie’s romantic interest in the Compound; I hoped that Addie would opt to live in the Normal world because it seemed like her decision would ultimately be based around a guy. So, I was pleasantly surprised that Addie’s choice wasn’t influenced by a guy in the end. 

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Set up of Plot: In Parallel, two universes collide, with the alternate universe being a year behind in time of the present one’s. As a result, alternating chapters reveal how the older Abby’s current circumstances are affected by her younger alternate’s decisions every day. Like the older Abby, I was constantly confused as to what was going on in the beginning because details of her reality kept changing. But, I liked how Miller showed that even a small choice can change a person’s course of life dramatically. 

Protagonist: I was never able to form a connection with the older Abby. Meanwhile, alternate Abby was sort of nosy and seemed kind of dumb. Who thinks it’s a good idea to walk around barefoot in a construction zone?! Also, both versions of Abby seemed to develop crushes very easily. 

Worldbuilding: By far the best part of Parallel was the theory behind alternate universes because Miller explains the physics in such a simplistic manner. 

Romance: I didn’t really care which guy older Abby ended up with because neither captivated me. There was also lots of talk about soul mates, a concept I don’t believe in. 

Overall Comparisons: Despite the fact that both Pivot Point and Parallel have very romance-centric plots, it’s a lot more obvious in Parallel. That, combined with West’s engaging writing and my preference for Addie over Abby means that I’m more likely to recommend Pivot Point over Parallel. Where Parallel wins though is definitely the worldbuilding. 

In exchange for an honest review, Parallel was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss.    

Monday, June 03, 2013

Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

From Goodreads: Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning - New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally. Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

My Rating: 4 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Although I enjoyed Julie Kagawa’s The Immortal Rules last year, it took me quite a while to get into the story because I found the first half kind of slow, especially when Allie was on the run by herself. Thankfully, it didn’t take that long for things to become interesting in The Eternity Cure.

While I continued to like both Allie and Kanin in The Eternity Cure, I also found myself viewing Zeke more favourably. I think it’s because he stopped seeming like such a goody-goody in this book.

Another character for whom my feelings changed was Jackal. Before beginning The Eternity Cure, I vaguely remembered him as the villain from the previous book. After having Allie spend so much time with him in this novel, I definitely consider him a memorable character now due to his sarcastic, witty banter.

I also liked how instead of just hearing about the vampire hierarchy and politics, we finally get to see it in action. When Allie goes into the Inner City to rescue Kanin, her experience illuminates how different the life of those living in the Fringe is compared to that of the vampires and their pets. I’m hoping we get to see the same in the next novel, using the free humans of Eden as the measure of comparison.

The Eternity Cure was released by Harlequin Teen in April 2013.  

Comments About the Cover: I’m not sure how this cover relates to the story. It also doesn’t match the cover of The Immortal Rules. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Harlequin Teen) for free via NetGalley.