Thursday, March 28, 2013

ARC Review: Mind Games by Kiersten White

Mind Games (Mind Games, #1)Title: Mind Games by Kiersten White
Source/Format: Goodreads, Bound ARC
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: HarperTeen, February 19, 2013

My Thoughts:

     Mind Games was an okay book, but I didn’t love it. It was considered a psychological thriller and I saw hints of that throughout the book, but it didn’t have me on edge. There were just some things—content wise—that I couldn’t agree with. Like the underage drinking and the suicidal thoughts sprinkled throughout the book.

     Some of the characters were also another issue for me. I just had a hard time liking either of the sisters. I didn’t really like James either, I felt like he was too old for a Fia. Sofia’s love for her sister is utilized to control her. Keane the head of the school uses Annie as collateral to coerce Sofia into doing what he wants. Besides Fia, some of the key characters in Mind Games were Readers who could read minds, Seers who could see the future, and Feelers who knew what others were truly feeling. Fia concealed the truth and did whatever was necessary to keep the ones she loved alive; however, the scenarios still lacked intensity and excitement. The voice of Sofia seemed underdeveloped and there are too many side thoughts and repeated words inserted into her dialogue with other individuals. As a result there is a lack of substance at various points throughout the book. Perhaps the repetition is an attempt to present the character as being mentally unstable. The storyline would benefit from further defining her mental condition and providing a more in-depth description of specific behaviors that reflect her mental illness.

    The general storyline was okay, but Sofia’s character needed more depth. I rate this book 2.5 stars.

ARC was won through Goodreads First Reads and provided by the publisher, thank you.
It was ok. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

ARC Review: The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

The Friday SocietyThe Friday Society (Click title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: Won (Appraising Pages, blog, thank you.), Bound ARC
Age range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Dial, December 6, 2012

My thoughts:
     The Friday Society is a whimsical, wonderful, and quirky novel full of steampunk fun—gadgets and scientific references included.  I loved all of the neat ideas incorporated into the book, which really made it work for me.  Steampunk is a vast genre and there are so many different things you can do with it.  Kress did a fantastic job of weaving the Steampunk elements into the story.
    The characters were lively, brilliant, and I enjoyed reading their story.  Each of the girls came from slightly similar circumstances as children, but where they ended up was completely different.  There was a dynamic to it that really fit with the story and kept it going.  I liked seeing the different backgrounds that Nellie, Cora, and Michiko came from.  The characters were well thought-out, and were in no way generic.  Out of all of the characters, Michiko, and the magician’s bird, Scheherazade, were my favorite.  At some points I was laughing out loud at Scheherazade’s antics. 
    The plot was great, and I was really in the dark until the end.  There were so many pieces to the puzzle that you wouldn’t think fit together, but they do.  The beginning was a little slow, and some of it got a little repetitive and seemed to drag a bit, but that didn’t take away from the overall greatness of the book.  The action really picked up towards the center and kept on going.  The surprise at the end—whoa—the culprit was someone I didn’t even notice, and the conclusion was satisfying.  There were also a few funny moments, but I won’t tell, because that would be too much of a spoiler. If you want to know, go buy The Friday Society.  I recommend it to anyone who enjoys the Steampunk genre. 
I really like it.  I recommend it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review: Unbroken by Paul Morris

Unbroken (Ruined, #2) Title: Unbroken (Click title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: Purchased, Hardback
Age Range: YA
Publisher/ Publication Date: Scholastic Inc., February 1, 2013

My thoughts:

    It was some years ago that I was first introduced to Paula Morris’s work with Ruined.  It was a charming ghost story, with mystery, intrigue, hints of romance, and masterful storytelling.  I’ve reread my copy of Ruined so many times that the cover is now tattered, and I was ecstatic to learn that there was in fact a sequel.

     When my copy finally arrived, it didn’t take me long to read it.  Unbroken was an awesome follow-up to Ruined, and I really enjoyed it.  All of my favorite characters were back in the original setting, New Orleans.  Once again, Rebecca Brown was dealing with another ghost who seemed to need her help.  As a reader, I liked the fact that things weren’t perfect with Anton, Rebecca’s boyfriend, and a former friend of Helena Bowman.  There were a few more new characters, but mostly, I felt like loose ends from the first book were being tied-up.  The ending was really nice, and I look forward to reading future work by Morris.

I like it.  I would recommend it.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Movie Review: The Host

The HostTitle: The Host (2013) (A movie based on a novel written by Stephenie Meyer, for more information about the movie click the title)
Director/ Screenplay by: Andrew Niccol
Music: Antonio Pinto
Rating: PG-13
Release Date: March 29, 2013
For more information about the book, visit the Goodreads page: The Host (Click title for Synopsis)

My Thoughts:

I attended an Open Road's advanced screening of The Host.
     I was pretty excited to see The Host movie early, and after I watched the trailer I had high hopes for the movie.  It’s not that it fell flat, but it was more of a satirical take on a love story.  Right away, the relationships between the characters seemed to take the forefront in the movie.  The plot follows Melanie, who after being caught, is taken over by Wanderer, an alien.  Immediately there is trouble, which leads to Wanderer leaving the comfort and safety of the city after a split-second decision.  This decision takes the two on a journey.  I liked that it dealt with things such as self-discovery in a seemingly idealist, but totalitarian society.  As well as what matters most like life, love, friendship, and family.  Melanie and Wanderer also dealt with inner-conflicts that were often times at odds with each other as the movie progressed.  Still, this was a Sci-Fi movie, as is evident by the aliens who were trying to take over mankind.  Another thing that made this movie different from the others was the premise of how the “souls” assimilated into society.  There were bits and pieces of action placed throughout the movie, but I felt like the pace could have been a little faster.  There were also light and humorous moments that filled some of the void. Overall, I liked the movie and if there’s ever a sequel I might see it.  I also look forward to reading the book to see if some of the plot holes from the movie are explained.   
     What do you think?  Do you plan on seeing the movie?  If so, what are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ARC Review: Mila 2.0

Mila 2.0 (MILA 2.0, #1)Previously posted on my Goodreads page
Title: Mila 2.0 (Click title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: Won, Bound ARC
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Katherine Tegen Books March 12, 2013

My Thoughts:

Debra Driza’s debut YA Novel, Mila 2.0, is a well written adrenaline-charged sci-fi thriller. It’s an original depiction of a teenage android integrated into society who doesn’t realize that she is far from human. The story is told from Mila’s point of view (POV) and Driza does a great job of capturing Mila’s voice. Mila is a strong willed character yet likable because she stands by her convictions. She also has difficulty suppressing her emotions, which is a hint at her imperfections. After there is a turn of events, Mila realizes that she isn’t exactly human. And her behavior leads to a host of problems that puts her and her “mother” in one sticky situation after another as they try to evade the people they’re running from.

There is a light romantic element that involves Mila and Hunter, a student from her high school. Although Hunter seems likable enough-well almost too perfect- I have reservations about him. I just can’t wait for the subsequent books to find out if my suspicions are correct.

Driza’s novel is filled with creative elements and is a great start to the trilogy. I am definitely looking forward to the release of book 2.

I absolutely loved it.  I would recommend it to everyone.
I won an ARC of Mila 2.0 from Thank you.

View all my reviews

ARC Review: The Seven Swords Nils Johnson-Shelton

The Seven SwordsPreviously posted on my Goodreads page
Title: The Seven Swords (Click title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: Goodreads First Reads (Harper Collins Children’s Books) thank you, Bound ARC
Age Range: Middle Grade
Publisher/Publication Date: Harper Collins, January 2, 2013

My Thoughts:

     One word: epic. This book was spontaneous and completely unpredictable. You thought you knew what was going on, and who was on whose side, but that’s not the case. For a middle-grade book, I was more than satisfied. The Seven Swords was the kind of book that I’d like to see as a movie.

As for being new to Johnson-Shelton’s work, I was unsure of what to expect, but my mind was blown. The characters were just fabulous. Erik, by far, was my favorite character, and his antics had me laughing out-loud at some points. I also liked seeing him transition from this meek child to one of Artie’s most valuable assets. And then there was Qwon. Her tactics for gaining her captor’s trust and planning her escape were just downright hilarious. Artie and Kay were also just as interesting. Artie’s loyalty to his friends really showed his noble trait, and made me root for him the entire time.

The storyline was non-stop action. I felt like I knew what was going to happen next just as another curveball was thrown. The shockers that happened throughout the book had me questioning some of the characters motives. I literally did not want to stop reading The Seven Swords. Overall, I really liked this book, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next Otherworld Chronicles novel. Five stars! (I wish it could be six stars.) Now that I’ve read this amazing book, I will definitely read The Invisible Tower, the first book in the Otherworld Chronicles.
I absolutely loved it.  I would recommend it to everyone.

For a summary click the book cover above, which will take you to Goodreads, or the Browse Inside this Book on the widget below.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Review: Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

Time Between Us (Time Between Us, #1)
Title:  Time Between Us (click on the link to read the synopsis)
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Date:  October 2012
Source/Format:  Won/Hardback

Why Time Between Us was Pushed to the Top of My TBR List

       With the cover reveal of Time After Time, I just knew that I had to push reading Time Between Us to the top of my TBR list. I really wanted to understand the differences in the book covers. Where Bennett is in the distance on the first cover, which seems to represents the distance and time between them. Also with his back turned on the first cover, it seems that he’s avoiding her. When I saw the second cover my first reaction was to think that the cover was amazing, but now that I think about it the cover design is brilliant. It captures the synopsis of Time After Time. By placing Anna at the forefront and Bennett facing and closer to her, it reflects the fact that although their relationship has grown, there is still time, distance, and barriers between them. It really makes me anticipate the release of Time After Time, because I wonder if Bennett and Anna can ever be together.

Review: Time Between Us

       Where do I begin? I can’t say anything bad about this beautifully written YA time travel love story. Time Between Us presents an interesting take on time travel in which Bennett travels back in time and meets Anna. The connection between the two is evident almost immediately. This was an easy exhilarating read. Once I started reading Time between Us, I just couldn’t put the book down. It’s an innocent love story in which they can share secrets and special moments together. It was really nice to read a story in which the heroine is not pursuing the bad boy hero. At times I felt that maybe Bennett wasn’t so nice because he avoided Anna. Yet, as I learned more about Bennett, the reason he was so distant at times became evident and made him a more likable character. What I really enjoyed about this love story was the dynamics between Anna and Bennett. Although there were conflicts, they seemed to solve them in a respectful manner. They were also in tune to the others feelings. It had a plot that flowed well from the beginning ‘til the end. The characters were realistic and along the way Bennett and Anna learned a lot about themselves and each other. I think it is great when the characters can grow from the problem at hand. I just loved Bennett who had a soft spot for Anna, and often went against his better judgment just to make her happy. It was easy to get lost in the story as I was rooting for the success of their relationship and I was unsure of how it would end. I could only think, time travel, do-over’s, and a romance across time and space, is it even possible?

       Well , I really don’t want to spoil the story, so if you’re curious, I highly recommend reading Anna and Bennett’s magical journey as they try to overcome the time between them….

I absolutely loved it.  I would recommend it to everyone!

I won Time between Us from the author, Tamara Ireland Stone, on Twitter. Thank you!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)Title: The Diviners (Click title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: Purchased, Hardback
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Little, Brown Books for young readers, September 18, 2012
My Thoughts:
In the words of Evie O’Neill, The Diviners is “pos-i-tut-ly” marvelous!  Not only is the cover art gorgeous, but the story within is just…awe-inspiring.  Libba Bray did an outstanding job weaving key elements that made 1926 part of the Flapper Era into the story.  The Diviners really wowed me.  Sure it was long, but it was written well and there was always something going on, which held my interest.
     Evie really has a mind of her own, something that’s finally gotten her in trouble, and shipped off to New York City.  The thing that her parents didn’t realize is that she couldn’t be happier to go.  Evie did jump headlong into trouble sometimes, but that trait fit with her personality.  The other character that got my attention the most was Jericho, and his story.  Jericho’s history is kind of sad, and you don’t find out until later on why he was with Evie’s uncle.  The other characters each had their own story, and they came from different backgrounds.  I like that The Diviners wasn’t a cookie-cutter book filled with a stale set of YA characters.  
     The mystery surrounding the first girls death was diabolical and yet brilliant.  Bray came up with something that was chilling, but hey, it wouldn’t be an occult book without an otherworldly mystery.  I can’t wait to see what Evie gets into next. 
I absolutely loved it.  I recommend it for everyone.

Review: Cinder & Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #1-2)

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)

Cinder (Click title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: Purchased, Paperback
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Fiewel & Friends, January 3, 2012

Scarlet (Click title for Synopsis)
Source/ Format: Won, Bound ARC
Age Range: YA
Publiser/Publication Date: Fiewel & Friends, February 5, 2013

     I originally started off by reading Scarlet, and I admit that I was a hesitant about starting a series that had a lot of hype surrounding it. But I loved Scarlet so much that I ended up reading Cinder right after. And you know what? I loved both of them. Meyer did a fantastic job of retelling classic stories, by adding new elements into it that gave the tales a fresh voice. I really enjoyed both Scarlet and Cinder, and I look forward to reading Cress.

My Thoughts on Cinder:
     For a story that’s been retold lots of times, I find that I like this one the most. It was imaginative, with a consistent storyline that never allowed for a dull moment. Meyer added details throughout the book that made sense, and wasn't just placed there for added effect. The Lunar Chronicles is now one of my favorite series. Right away, I liked the fact that Cinder was in fact flawed in some way. Already, she was unlike the slew of YA protagonists that are oblivious to the fact that they’re pretty, or flaunt that fact. I liked the way the world was set up, and despite how wrong Adri treated Cinder, I felt like it was a necessary part to the story. And then there was Prince Kai, and although I don’t like how things ended with him, I felt like it was an essential part to the story.

My thoughts on Scarlet:
     Scarlet is a fantastic follow-up to Cinder. It picked up where Cinder ended, and I really enjoyed the fact that the story didn’t jump a few months ahead. Once again, there was a consistent plot that made the book an easy read, as well as tons of action. Meyer once again did a wonderful job at twisting a classic tale into a new one that anyone would enjoy. There are massive changes in Scarlet, and I can’t wait to see where the next book takes things. There were a few new characters, and I liked the subplots that were added. Scarlet was an interesting character with more depth than I originally thought she would have. Wolf, well, he was a surprise, a good one, and I can’t wait to see where things between him and Scarlet go. The ending was a horrible—in a good way—shock, and now I want Cress more than ever. Too bad the wait is so long.

I absolutely loved it.  I would recommend it to everyone


Hello from the Our Thoughts Precisely Team

      Hello and welcome to Our Thoughts Precisely, a site dedicated to just that, our thoughts on books.  On the blog, we’ll post reviews of books from YA and Middle-Grade genres.  But most importantly we’re in it to have fun while sharing our opinions. For more information regarding the blog, please visit our About, FTC, and Review Policy pages. 

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