Friday, December 31, 2010

Favorite Reads of 2010

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
How did I not hear about this series until this year?!?!?! I don’t know but better late than never I guess. I love this series SO MUCH! Best ever. Enough said.

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
This book is AWESOME. It’s a mystery and I totally didn’t see the ending coming. The story was also told in dual narration, which I absolutely love. And it kept jumping from past events to present events as more and more of the mystery was revealed. If you haven’t picked this one up yet you should! I don’t think its gotten half the recognition it deserves.

The Heist Society by Ally Carter
I love anything by Ally Carter but I think The Heist Society is my favorite of her books. Teenagers + Insane heist job = Awesomeness. The sequel Uncommon Criminals is coming out  in late June and I can hardly wait!

Papertowns by John Green
It took me 2 months and about a million trips to the Library to finally decide to pick this one up. I’m definitely glad I did because I ended up LOVING this book. John Green is now one of my favorite authors.

The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner
I really like this series so far! The plot has had lots of crazy surprises and I can’t wait to see what happens in the final installment The Death Cure. Unfortunately that doesn’t come out until October. The wait is killing me!

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
This book isn't released until February 1st but I was lucky enough to get a digital copy from NetGalley. I. Loved. This. Book. I'm buying it as soon as it comes out so I can read it again. Its changed my whole outlook on love and life. Lauren Oliver is genius.

Ellen Hopkins
I discovered Ellen Hopkins this year and I love everything she has written. The poetry format is what really drew me to her books. My particular favorites of hers are Tricks and Impulse. I can't wait to read more stuff by her!

So those were my favorites of 2010. I can't wait to see what 2011 brings!

Julia :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Book Review: Birthmarked

In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the wall and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. Gaia has always believed it is her duty, with her mother, to hand over a small quota of babies to the Enclave. But when Gaia’s mother and father are arrested by the very people they so dutifully serve, Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught to believe. Gaia’s choice is now simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.

At first the summary of this book didn’t pique my interest enough for me to pick it up. Then one of my friends kept bugging me about reading it so I finally caved and got it from the Library. This book really surprised me. Out of the sea of dystopian fiction that has been coming out this is definitely one of the better, and more original stories. I’m really surprised that it hasn’t gotten more recognition.

Gaia Stone is the best “strong female” character to come around since Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games. She knew what she wanted and she wasn’t going to let anyone stand in her way. I also loved that Gaia showed a real value for human life. She stands up for the life of someone who others would have normally overlooked. Gaia was a fighter in every sense of the word.

One of the most fascinating characters in Birthmarked was Capt. Leon Grey. He started out being totally deplorable. I just hated him! But then more of the truth about the government is revealed and Leon started to change and I started to like him. He wasn’t just a “hot” soldier anymore. He developed a lot of good character qualities. I especially liked that he was able to look past Gaia’s scar and love her for who she truly was, not what she looked like. The only thing that bugs me about him now is his name. I think I read a book once where the villain was named Leon and so now all I can picture is some slimy creeper guy and that’s totally not who Leon is. I definitely need to update my mental image of people named Leon.... Haha.

Birthmarked was a lot more mysterious then I would have ever guessed by the summary. There was code solving, and government secrets, not to mention prison breaks and disguises made out of baked goods. In fact the book doesn’t even explain the true reason for why the Enclave took Gaia’s parents until more than halfway through. Besides the adventure and mystery, there was also a small bit of romance and I thought it was the perfect amount. Just enough to be noticeable, but not enough to take over the whole story.

The concept of babies getting taken from their mothers to get adopted by people inside the Enclave was really sad. Mothers had no say over whether or not their baby got taken. It all depended on when they were born. One thing that kind of bugged me was that it wasn’t really explained how the society had become the way it was. Why was everyone so segregated? Why were some people on the outside, while others were privileged insiders? All the book tells you is that its about 450 years into the future.  Maybe more will be explained about the societies history in the sequel? I hope so!

Overall Birthmarked was an exciting dystopian read. There were lots of unexpected plot twists and I really liked the characters. The cliffhanger ending definitely has me looking forward to the sequels! I give Birthmarked 4 and a half out of 5 ice cream cones!

This is a planned trilogy and I am so curious to see where the story ends up going. I don't know when the next one comes out but hopefully soon because I cannot wait.

Julia :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Words Wednesday [10]

A chance for me to highlight some of my favorite book quotes. This week's quote is from The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall.

"The cuter the boy, the mushier your brain."

Ummmm wow. This not only cracks me up but its undeniably true. Why do you think girls always giggle around cute boys??? That's right! Their brains have gone to mush.

Julia :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Kawaii Monday: Cupcake Key Covers

This weeks Kawaii Monday features Cupcake Key Covers! I love cupcakes and I love key covers (I have owl ones on my keys right now!) so putting them together is totally a winning combination. Check them out!

Not your average cupcakes ehhh? I especially like the pirate cupcake and Sir Cupcake. His mustache is too funny. These cupcake key covers make me wish I had more keys just so I could rationalize buying a pack. Hehe.

If you're interested you can buy them online here. I've also seen for sale at Tillys.

Julia :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!! :D

 "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Charlie Brown Christmas is still my favorite Christmas movie to watch. It always makes me smile everytime..

I hope everyone has a joyous holiday season and a happy new year spent with the people they love! And don't forget to eat lots of Christmas cookies with your hot chocolate!!! :)

I'm going to be going out of town for a few weeks but I do have several posts set up so I won't be totally absent from blogging. Hopefully I'll be able to access some internet to post a few reviews to you guys as well. I've got an author interview and a few giveaways coming up which is super exciting so be on the look out! Thanks for all your comments and blog love! Knowing people enjoy my blog is the best Christmas present of all. :)

My friend posted this amazing and touching clip on Facebook and I just had to share. Its a bit long but totally worth watching.

Makes me wish I could go to New York and fulfill all those Santa letters!!! Merry Christmas everyone!

Julia :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Book Review: The Mockingbirds

Some schools have honor codes. Others have handbooks. Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds. 

Themis Academy is quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way – the Themis way. So when Alex is date-raped during her junior year, she has two options; stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds – a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of the student body. 

This is the first book I've read that deals directly with rape and I think its definitely a valid topic, especially for teen girls nowadays. Daisy Whitney was able to write about a really difficult subject in a manner that was not only engaging, but also not overly creepy or disturbing. I think The Mockingbirds is a must read for girls so they know where they stand if they happen to find themselves in this kind of situation.

All the characters in this book were really great and it was easy to connect with each of them. Well except Carter. Talk about creeper to the max! He was just the epitome of everything gross and disgusting. Which is good because he is the bad guy. Anyway my two favorite characters were Maia and Martin. When Maia was introduced and they explained how she was half Asian I pretty much had a happy freak out session!!! Yay for books with fellow halfies! Haha. Maia was such a great friend to Alex and she was one kick ass lawyer! Then there's Martin. Oh Martin aren't you charming? You and your biology obsessed mind. I pretty much love him. I mean he's obsessed with biology, whats not to love? Oh and he's such a gentleman too. Yeah talk about perfect.

The actual way The Mockingbirds dealt out punishment was really rather fascinating. I was a little irked by the fact that they coerced students into coming to trial by stealing points and cake and stuff like that. It Seemed a little underhanded to me. But hey, Carter was one bad/gross/all around sleazebag guy so I guess he deserved it. I'm not normally into the justice system and stuff like that but I found that aspect of this book surprisingly enjoyable! I may never become a lawyer, but I definitely have a new appreciation for people who do decide to go down that career path.

Because this book does deal with rape there are some slightly disturbing moments. But as far as rape goes it definitely wasn't as freaky as it could have been.

I LOVED this books message. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. Its okay to feel scared, and confused but ultimately you need to speak out. This book empowers girls to stand strong against any type of abuse, be it rape or bullying. I hope to never be in Alex's situation, but if I ever was I would now feel more confident in speaking out about it because I read this book.

Overall the Mockingbirds was just plain AMAZING. I have a feeling I'm going to be recommending this book like crazy because I can already not stop gushing about it. The Mockingbirds gets 5 out of 5 ice cream cones!

Julia :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Words Wednesday [9]

A chance for me to highlight some of my favorite book quotes! This week's quote is from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen.

"Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that's what makes you strong."

Wow this is soooo true. Anyone can lie or be in denial, but it takes true strength to admit the truth.

I love Sarah Dessen! All of her books are brilliant. 

Julia :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Kawaii Monday: Soap Bubble Stationary

This weeks Kawaii Monday features Soap Bubble Stationary! I love these little soap bubble guys. I don't know if they have an exact character name or if they're merely "soap bubbles" but they are adorable regardless. I used to have a lot of penpals when I was younger. Now I only have one but I still love to get adorable stationary! I LOVE this set. :)

Front View
Back View

Way cute right? I think I may succumb to temptation and buy this set once Kawaii Shop Japan opens again after New Years! I mean look at the back there its a cute little game board complete with game pieces and a die you can cut out! How cool is that?

If you're interested you can find this stationary set here.

Julia :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

In My Mailbox [6] in which I won something!!! :D

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted over at the lovely blog The Story Siren. The point is to blog about books that you have somehow procured during the week!

This week I continued my Library book ban and managed to check out NOTHING from the Library! I know its a miracle. So while I did not get anything from the Library (nor did I purchase any books) I did win some books! I won The Hunger Games Trilogy boxset from The Hunger Games Trilogy Fansite! I was so super stoked when I found out that I won this.

I haven't even taken it out of the plastic yet! Haha. When I got it in the mail I pretty much went crazy and started hugging it like a freak. My brother pretty much thought I went insane. What can I say I'm a huge fan. :P

So thats what I got "In My Mailbox" this week! What did you get?

Julia :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Book Review: Graceling

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight - she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. she never expects to learn a truth about her own Grace- or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away.....

Is it just me or does it seem like a lot of book heroines lately have names that can be shortened to Kat? So far this year I've come across three: Katarina Bishop from The Heist Society, Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, and now Katsa from Graceling. Pretty crazy!

Anyway I picked up this book because I've heard so many good things about it since I've entered the blogosphere. No idea why I hadn't heard about it before but better late than never right? Just as a warning this review does contain spoilers!

I had no trouble getting sucked into this book. Katsa may not be your stereotypical heroine but she was still very relatable. Her transformation from a willing pawn, to a girl who wants to live life on her own terms was brilliantly done. I think that the character development was definitely the strongest aspect of Graceling.

I don't think that the plot was the greatest. It was pretty much your run of the mill overthrow the bad guy win back the kingdom kind of story. Thats not a bad thing, but there are just so many other books with similar plot outlines. This was definitely more of a character driven novel, as compared to a plot driven novel.

My favorite character in Graceling would probably have to be Bitterblue. She was wise beyond her years and I loved that she had such an inner strength. I especially liked how her and Katsa ended up developing a sort of student/mentor relationship.

I have one really strong misgiving about this book. Katsa and Po's relationship. Now I know that people just love Katsa and Po together and at first I agreed. Po brought out the best in Katsa and he really helped her realize a lot of truths about herself. But then we got about halfway through the book and their relationship changed from slightly romantic inklings to full on lovers. Which was just really, really, awkward in my opinion. I mean I get that Katsa has issues with letting go of her freedom after being manipulated her whole life but seriously? The only way to reconcile that with their relationship was to have them become lovers?!?!?! That just bugged me and it just seemed really weird. I hoped that by the end of the novel Katsa would finally realize that marrying Po was a good thing but no. They just remained lovers..... ehhhh. That was the one big problem I had with this book.

Overall I thought that Graceling was an okay book. It had good character development, which I really enjoyed, but the storyline was sort of generic. And then there was that whole awkward lovers aspect which totally threw me for a loop. I give Graceling 3 and a half stars out of 5.

Julia :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday [8]

Its time for the weekly Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy For Books and Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee!

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is an opportunity to connect with other book bloggers, to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!  It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! Want to join the Hop? Head on over to Crazy For Books and start hopping!

What do you consider the most important in a story: the plot or the characters?

Wow interesting question. I think both are equally important because you need both elements to make a good story. If you have a bad plot no amount of good characterization is gonna save the story. And if you have bad characters you're not going to really care much about the plot. But I guess if I had to pick the thing I like to be the strongest in the books I read I would have to pick the characters. I love characters with lots of depth! That's what makes the story really come alive!

Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee

What did you study in college, or are currently studying and did it lead to your current 9 to 5 or are you doing something totally different?


Haha I'm still in highschool so this question doesn't really apply to me yet. What I'm planning on studying is animal husbandry/training/biology. So yeah animal stuff. I want to  go to this 2 year program at Moorpark College called EATM (Exotic Animals Training and Management) where the students run a zoo and train the animals. Its pretty cool. I LOVE animals. I'm thinking I'll either become a biology major and study animal behavior or go into animal training for movies and stuff like that. I might also get a minor in literature because I love books so much. :)


If you're a new follower be sure to comment on this post so I can check out your blog too!

Julia :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Words Wednesday [8]

A chance for me to highlight some of my favorite book quotes. This week's quote is from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

"You're about as charming as a dead slug."

Oh man I just love this! Its just too funny. I probably find it even funnier because of the fact that I can totally imagine my sister saying this to me. Or my mom for that matter. Lets just say that Katniss and I have a lot in common. Hehe.

I LOVE The Hunger Games Trilogy. Its pretty much my favorite. If you haven't read it yet you need to. Like RIGHT NOW. You will love them I assure you!

Julia :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

January Potter-Thon!

So Pure Imagination is hosting a Harry Potter read-a-thon in January! As some of you might know I have never read the Harry Potter series. NEVER. I know, its crazy. So when I saw this challenge I knew it would be the perfect motivation to get me to finally read the series! Why haven't I read it until now? Lets just say my parents weren't too hip on the whole wizards and magic thing when I was younger. Anyways I will be attempting to read the entire series this January. So that will be postponing my other reading for awhile. I'm guessing it will take me longer to read the series. Like until February. Especially since I'm going to be on vacation for half of January..... But yeah we'll see how it goes! I am definitely stoked to finally get to read this series! If you want to join in the challenge you can sign up here!

Julia :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Kawaii Monday: Peas in a Pod

This weeks Kawaii Monday features the super adorable Peas in a Pod plush from Toy Story 3! Check out the cuteness:

I love plush toys. Too much. I have a plushie collection that is..... well a bit too extensive for a normal 18 year old. Hehe. So I LOVE this plush! I mean its a pea pod case with 3 little peas inside! How cute can you get? And each pea has its own little facial expression and they all come out of the pod too. My mom just bought this off of eBay and let me tell you it is even cuter in real life! I love their rosy cheeks. When Toy Story 3 first came out these plush were super rare and going for crazy prices on eBay. Like $40-$50. Yeah totally insane. Fortunately the price has gone down since then and you can now find them on for a more affordable $8-$12.

Julia :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Go vote for your favorite Hunger Games cover redesign!!!

So Nicole over at Word for Teens hosted a cover redesign contest for The Hunger Games and it is time to VOTE! Head on over and check out all the awesome covers and don't forget to vote for your favorite! Whats my favorite cover? Well I'm a little biased because I designed it.... Hehe. Check it out below.

This was the first cover redesign I have ever done! It was definitely a test of my meager Photoshopping skills. Overall I thought it turned out pretty good. I got the inspiration for the design because Katniss is the "Girl on Fire."

So if you want to check out all the covers and vote you can here. If you vote for mine that would be awesome! But really just pick whichever one you like best. Voting ends on December 18th.

Julia :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Suggestion Saturday: The Mysterious Benedict Society

For this weeks suggestion Saturday I'm reviewing The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart!

"Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?"
When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they ahve no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all? Welcome to the Mysterious Benedict Society.

There were two things that made me read this book. The cover, (which is terribly intriguing wouldn't you agree?) and the summary. I'm all for brainteasers and solving puzzles so once I read the "test your wits" part I knew that this book would be right up my alley.

A lot of The Mysterious Benedict Society is very inventive and intriguing. I especially like the aspect of being able to solve the mysteries and puzzles right alongside the characters! Who doesn't love a good challenge right? 

The characters are by far my favorite thing about The Mysterious Benedict Society. The four main kids, Constance, Reynie, Kate, and Sticky, are each very unique and they have the most wonderfully quirky personality traits! I especially like Kate and her bucket full of tools. Kate makes me want to carry around a bucket full of useful things like flashlights and screwdrivers! Unfortunately I don't think I would be considered very fashion savvy if I started doing that.....

I will admit that some of the storyline wasn’t the most original. Some aspects reminded me a lot of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. But I wouldn’t let that stop you from picking this book up! It is still definitely worth a read. Especially if you liked the Series of Unfortunate Events. The Mysterious Benedict Society has the same mysterious intriguingness without being super depressing.

Oh and one final aspect to the book that is really cool is that at there is a picture that illustrates the title of each chapter. I absolutely adore the artist who did the cover art and the inside sketches! They capture the essence of the book so perfectly.

I give The Mysterious Benedict Society 4 and a half out of 5 ice cream cones! 

Julia :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Review: Losing Faith

When Brie’s sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie’s world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral further and further off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but. As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don’t line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night….a secret that puts her own life in danger.

Books with a little mystery are always intriguing to me. And Losing Faith was no exception. I devoured this book!

I have an older sister just like Brie, so I could definitely relate to a lot of what she was going through and her thought processes. Fortunately my sister hasn’t died but just thinking that my sister could die mysteriously was scary. I mean, if my sister died would I be able to distinguish whether or not it was a suicide? Could I be 100% certain? Or would I have unanswered questions just like Brie? This book made me look at the relationship I have with my sister in a whole new light. Which is pretty cool! I’ve never had a book do that to me before.

There were definitely some scary and surprisingly dark elements to the plot that I didn’t expect. Seriously some of the stuff in this book FREAKED ME OUT. I don’t want to spoil the ending for you guys so I won’t say anything else but if you read this book be prepared for some creepy stuff!

I have to highlight my favorite character in this book just because I loved her so much. Tessa. She was such a surprising character and to top it off she had the most hilarious dry sense of humor! I loved it! Not to mention the fact that her spying materials were Winnie the Pooh walkie talkies. No joke. If that’s not hilariously amazing I don’t know what is.

Oh and I have to mention another thing I found kind of funny. There was a homeschooled guy in this book and he was actually supposed to be cute. Shocking. Being homeschooled, I’ve met a lot of other homeschooled people and let me tell you cute homeschooled guys are so rare that they’re practically non-existent. It was just weird to me reading a book with a “cute” homeschooled guy. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the book because of it! I just thought it was humorous that the author would choose to have a homeschooled guy be the love interest.

Overall Losing Faith was a great book! It has both humor and mystery and the characters were developed really nicely. I give it 4 and half ice cream cones out of 5!

Julia :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday [7]

Its time for the weekly Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy For Books and Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee!

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is an opportunity to connect with other book bloggers, to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!  It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! Want to join the Hop? Head on over to Crazy For Books and start hopping!

What is the thing you like most about reading book blogs? Is it the reviews, author guest posts, articles, giveaways, or something else entirely?

Ummm all of the above??? Haha. Seriously I love all of it. Finding new books to read is one of my favorite things about book blogs. Reading other peoples thoughts on books I've already read is cool too. But I think that I especially love that when I read other book blogs I don't feel so crazy for loving books because there are other people out there who love the as much as I do! They make me realize that I'm not alone!

Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee

Do you have an under-noticed author that you think we should all know about?

Wow I'll have to think about this one.....Well I don't know if she's under-noticed but I love Justina Chen Headley's books! I loved Nothing But the Half Truth (and a Few White Lies). Its the only book I've ever read that addressed halfies like me!!! In fact that book was what introduced me to the word hapa. And then there's her book North of Beautiful which I ADORE. There's an Asian guy in it. Enough said. And finally Girl: Overboard. Its about a girl. Whose Asian. Who snowboards. Ummm love much??? Learning how to snowboard is like one of my dreams! Haha. Anyway enough gushing on my part. As you can see I love Justina Chen Headley's books. If you haven't read them you really, really should. Especially if you're Asian! Haha.

If you're a new follower be sure to comment on this post so I can check out your blog too!

Julia :)

Book Review: Delirium

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

I. Loved. This. Book. Seriously? It was AMAZING. Other than The Hunger Games Trilogy I think this is my favorite book I have read this year. When I first heard about this book I knew that I had to read it. But I didn’t really know if I was actually going to like it. After all, I’m not a big fan of romance, and Delirium is all about love. But there is way more to Delirium then just the romance aspect. There is also adventure and mystery. And ultimately, Delirium raised some questions about life, and the importance of love, that really made me think.

Lena has to be one of my favorite book characters ever. Why? Because she's short. Okay there are more reasons then that, but I just loved the fact that she was short. I know it sounds silly but really how many books do you read where the characters talk about how short they are? None. I loved it. I definitely felt a sort of "short kinship" with her. Especially in the beginning of the book when she's describing herself and she says: 
I'm not ugly, but I'm not pretty, either. Everything is in between. I have eyes that aren't green or brown but a muddle. I'm not thin, but I'm not fat either. The only thing you could definitely say about me is this: I'm short.
Oh boy can I relate. In fact I read this part aloud to my sister and she said "What? Are you describing yourself or something?" She seriously thought I was describing myself and not reading aloud from a book. It was pretty hilarious. So other than the fact that me and Lena have this whole "short kinship" thing going on I just loved the evolution of her character. Her journey from being this quiet girl who just went along with everything, to this strong person willing to risk her life and challenge the system was great. It was some of the best character development I've ever read.

I'm not going to lie, at first I was a little iffy with Alex. I just didn't get why Lena liked him. Sure, he was mysterious and cute, but what else did he have to offer? Then I got about 2/3rds of the way into the book and I started to get it. Alex was genuinely thoughtful and sweet. And he wasn't overprotective like a lot of other guys in literature these days *cough* Edward Cullen *cough*. But most importantly he taught Lena how to really live. He opened her eyes to a world she never thought possible. I just love his character! He's amazing. 

This book really made me discover importance of love in my life. I'm always thinking that love is just some silly feeling. That its stupid. But there is so much more to love then I ever realized. It connects us to the world and the people around us. Without love we are void of all emotion and opinion. And that can be one of the most dangerous things of all.

Lauren Oliver's writing is pure genius. She is able to conjure's up the most gorgeous imagery with just a few words. If anything you should read this book just because the prose is such perfection.

Overall I give Delirium 5 out of 5 ice cream cones!

I feel like it deserves even more ice cream cones! Its just such an amazing book. All I can say is I'm definitely buying Delirium when it comes out and I can hardly wait for the sequel Pandemonium!

In conclusion I will leave you to ponder this quote from the book:

Love: It will kill you, and save you, both.

Julia :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My poety and its influences

So lately I've been reading a lot of YA books *cough* Matched and Delirium *cough* that talk about poetry. I happen to really like poetry. There is something about it that really speaks to the heart of me. Maybe its the fact that most of the times its not just black and white. You have to unravel it to find the deeper meaning behind the words. Or maybe its that it always seems to be so intensely personal and full of emotion. I don't know. I just LOVE it. And I happen to write poetry in my spare time! I thought I would post a few poems of mine. Get some feedback from you guys. The funny thing about my poetry is that I can go through it and point out the poems that were influenced by different books I was reading at the time I wrote it. The biggest two being The Hunger Games and Ellen Hopkins. Its pretty interesting to see how these things influence my writing. Anyway here are a two of my poems that were influenced by The Hunger Games and Ellen Hopkins. I don't have names for either of them because, quite frankly, I suck at naming these things. I welcome suggestions! But anyway here they are. I hope you enjoy them!

What's the difference really?
Between what they've done
To us
And what we're doing
To them?
Then why do I feel
That its so wrong?
When did we cross
The moral line
And how can I
See it
In the future?
And once I can
See it
How do I make them
See it too?
Because if we
Never stop
To think before we act.
If we lash out
In anger and hate.
We will become
No better
Than the monster
We are fighting against.

(written on 9/23/10)

If you couldn't tell this one was fairly Mockingjay influenced. Pretty much this was me processing the whole Gale situation. Namely his stance on doing whatever it took to help the rebellion win. And I think, like the book illustrates, when you do "whatever it takes" there are hidden consequences. People get hurt and you can morph into the very thing you are fighting to destroy.

Mind is fogged.
Can't think clearly.
My thoughts
Are not my own.
Or are they?
How do you
Tame the mind?
Reign it in
To something less
How do you pull yourself away
From something you
Both like and hate?
Eating you away.
Torture and bliss.
The lines meet.
And suddenly
Right and wrong
Are smudged
And confused
For each other.
The heart deceives.
And yet we are told
Countless times
To listen.
But most often
What our heart desires most
Is for our own demise.

(written on 10/04/10)

Everything is telling us to "listen to our hearts." But seriously? Bad idea. At least in my opinion. I know that so often my heart desires things that aren't healthy. I may want it, but that doesn't mean its good for me to have it. This one was definitely Ellen Hopkins influenced. I'm guessing either Glass or Impulse.

Wow, so this post turned out to be pretty intense. I hope you guys liked it! I would love to hear any feedback you guys might have.

Julia :)

Words Wednesday [7]

A chance for me to highlight some of my favorite book quotes! This week's quote is from The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

"Open your heart. Someone will come. Someone will come for you. But first you must open your heart."

I could probably take a lesson from this. I tend to be closed off to a lot of people. I really need to learn to trust people and open up.

I LOVE this book! And Kate DiCamillo in general. She is a fantastic author.

Julia :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Kawaii Monday: Tofu Charms

This weeks Kawaii Monday features tofu charms! Haha I know what you're thinking. How could tofu possibly be cute? Well not only is it delicious (yes I happen to like tofu!) it also happens to make a very cute phone charm! Check it out:

CUTE TOFU!!! And in a variety of colors no less. I would totally buy one for my cell phone except that I don't actually have a cell phone. (I know an 18 year old without a cell phone. Its a true travesty) I would also have the hardest time picking just one. If it really came down to it I think I would pick the white one with the yellow flower. I just love its little rosy cheeks! You can buy these at the wonderful Kawaii Shop Japan. Warning: If you start browsing their shop you will be sucked in by the major cuteness and it will take great restraint not to break the bank buying everything you see! Anyway I have to say that I am impressed that someone was able to make tofu cute. I mean real tofu isn't exactly "awww" worthy. In any way whatsoever. Its just tan. And square. So the fact that someone could turn that into the adorableness you see up there??? They have got some serious skillz! Haha.

Julia :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

In My Mailbox [5]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted over at the lovely blog The Story Siren. The point is to blog about books that you have somehow procured during the week!

I was given a bunch of books this week from a friend of mine, the wonderful Miss Erin. She has a lovely blog and you should totally check it out! Anyway this is what she gifted me:

  • The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor                               
  • Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev                                            
  • Fallen by Lauren Kate                                                               
  • The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch    
  • Runaway by Meg Cabot                                                            
  • The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu                                         
  • Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson                                          

Thanks so much for all of these Erin!

The Looking Glass Wars
I've been pretty interested in The Looking Glass Wars for awhile now.  I've heard great things about it. Hopefully I'll be able to read it soon now that I have a copy.

Eyes Like Stars
I've never heard of this one before. It looks and sounds pretty interesting. The covers pretty isn't it?

I know that people love this book. But I've heard it compared to Twilight a lot and the premise just doesn't sound all that interesting to me. So I'll definitely be giving this one away. Probably as part of the Follower Love Giveaway Hop in February.

The Name of This Book is Secret
I LOVE this series! It reminds me a lot of The Series of Unfortunate Events. But in a good way! So I'm super psyched to get a copy of this. And not only is it hardcover (I love hardcovers!) but inside there is:

GAHHH!!! A signed book plate! Super awesomeness!!!! I think this is my first signed book. It was such a lovely surprise!

I've already read the whole Airhead trilogy so I'll probably end up using this in a giveaway. What do you guys think? :)

The Shadow Thieves
I've never heard of or seen this book before! It actually sound pretty interesting. A fun fantasy read! I don't know when I'll get around to reading it but it will happen! Eventually......

Scarlett Fever
I have yet to read something by Maureen Johnson but I've heard so many good things about her! This is the sequel to Suite Scarlett so I'll have to read that first before I can read this one. I know me and my craziness about reading things in order! Haha. I remember seeing Suite Scarlett at the Library and every time I saw it I would think of Scarlett Johansson. I debated whether or not to check it out a ton of times by my annoyance towards Scarlett Johansson stopped me every time. I know kind of lame, one should never judge a book by its cover (yeah even the girl on the cover ever so slightly resembles Scarlett Johansson) but I did just that. And I do that a lot. So yeah I'll probably be picking that up sometime soon. When my book pile isn't like 20 books deep......

I also checked out one book from the Library. Thats right ONLY ONE!!!! And its not even a YA book. Its a picture book. About dinosaurs. Hehe.

Those dinos are just too stinkin cute to resist! Its only a picture book but I have to admit that I've had it for almost a week now and I still haven't read it. Yeah that just goes to show how busy I've been lately. I can't even find time to read a picture book. Shame on me! I think I'll read it after I finish writing this.

I also bought two books this week. I've already read them so I'm not adding them to my every growing to read pile! Thank goodness. I bought them both from my Libraries booksale for $1. Yep, only a dollar! For both of them! I guess every Tuesday its buy one get one free day and they just happened to have two books (Hardcover copies!!!!) that I really like! Ironically enough they are both about Asians. Haha. Here they are:

  • Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee
  • Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata             
Millicent Min, Girl Genius
I just LOVE Millicent Min, Girl Genius! Its too funny. So many Asian things I can relate to. I've found that I really enjoy books by Asian authors. Whenever I see a YA book by an Asian author I always HAVE to read it. Like Justina Chen Headley? Love her!

I don't think I ever actually read Kira-Kira but I know I heard an audiobook of it and LOVED it. Definitely excited to own a copy!

This last thing isn't a book but I still wanted to include it in this post because its book related. I bought a Mockingjay pin!!!! Not the one from Hot Topic (though I did consider it) but a super awesome one from an etsy seller. So even though its not "official" Hunger Games merchandise its way better quality and way prettier than the "real" mockingjay pin. At least in my opinion. Plus its one of a kind! Here's a picture:

Gorgeous isn't it? I can't stop fawning over it. Haha. And it was even cheaper than the one at Hot Topic! Unfortunately the Etsy seller isn't planning on making anymore of these. But she still has one necklace and one pin available! So if you want to check those out you can here. And maybe if enough people beg her to make more she will!

Wow sorry this post ended up so long! I hope it wasn't too much of my crazy rambling. So thats what I got "In My Mailbox" this week. What did you get?

Julia :)
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