Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Young Elites by Marie Lu
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Putnam Books for Young Readers, 336 pages
Expected Publication
: October 7, 2014
Source: Publisher via First To Read
Format: eARC
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

QUICK THOUGHTS

1. Marie Lu + Fantasy = Magical

Marie Lu has officially made my "authors I'll read anything from" list. She is absolutely fantastic at creative world building.  

2. Dark Story

What I loved most about The Young Elites was the darkness of the story. This story gets DARK. The morals in this world were borderline terrifying after I thought about them. The Dagger Society, a branch of the Young Elites, would talk about murder in the most casual way. As they justified the "sacrifices" I would nod along and think, "yes, I completely understand." Which we can all agree is pretty crazy.

3. Characters 

I loved that the line between hero and villain blurred. Lu wrote characters who weren't easily placed in category A or B. Honestly, ALL the characters were a tad bit sketchy. Every character had a fleshed out back story that made it difficult to hate them even when their actions were questionable. It was refreshing reading about characters who are unpredictable.

4. Unpredictable... everything

I've prided myself on being able to predict stories, but I was stumped by The Young Elites. It's a nice change in pace to be reading a story that could go anywhere. 


FINAL THOUGHTS

It was refreshing to read an unpredictable fantasy with such a dark plot. My only problems was that I had a difficult time emotionally bonding with the characters. As much as I loved their stories, I have yet to feel anything for any of the characters. But The Young Elites is a strong start to this series, and I can't wait to see how the story continues. 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mini Instagram Reviews | Round Up #1

Friday, August 22, 2014
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Recently (any by recent I mean a month ago) I posted about my new project, MINI REVIEWS ON INSTAGRAM. It was about time I tried something new. A recap for those who missed it, I started another instagram for the sole purpose of posting mini book reviews. About every two weeks or more I'll post a round up of my "reviews" on the blog. I might even expand upon a few into full reviews later.

When I said mini reviews and I really meant mini. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to write such short "reviews" which were more like my rambling thoughts than anything coherent. It'll get better people. I'm working on it. 

*click on the instagram logo above the image to see the original picture*


SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE by Morgan Matson

Summary: "You are your friends", but who're we without them? Emily faces the challenge when her best friend, Sloane, disappears with only a random to-do list as a goodbye. [goodreads]

What I Loved: 1) THE LIST- So creative! Tasks include ride a horse, steal something, kiss a stranger, and more! Such a fun story to read.
2) UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIPS - I live for these. They're the ones who make life interesting. Emily meets up with some unlikely people (LOVE THEM ALL) to help w/the list.
3) SUBTLE ROMANCE - Love that its not in your face.
4) FRANK PORTER- Everyone needs to read this just to meet Frank. Trust me.

RATING: 5 out of 5



THE PROGRAM & THE TREATMENT by Suzanne Young

Summary: "In Sloane's world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, & the only solution is The Program" [goodreads]

Thoughts: This is the series that finally got me out of a weird reading slump. Fast paced and incredibly interesting, Young creates a frightening realistic world in the not-so distant future.

What I Loved: 1) SLOANE & JAMES - I love that their relationship began before the story.
2) ORIGINAL STORY.
3) ALL THE CHARACTERS- This was one of those books where I found  EVERYONE to be interesting.
4 )AMAZING SERIES CONCLUSION - It drives me nuts when I invest in a series and the ending is less than satisfying. But Young is fantastic with tying up every loose ends.

SERIES RATING: 5 out of 5



SPIRIT & DUST by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Summary: "Daisy Goodnight can speak to the dead. And she's really good at it. Good enough to help the police & FBI solve the occasional homicide"[goodreads]

Thoughts: Don't let that cover fool. This book is hilarious w/Daisy's witty & sarcastic remarks. Although the subject matter is dark, the author succeeds in keeping this is a light & enjoyable read.

What I loved: 1)WITTY CHARACTERS -wish I could think of comebacks that quick.
2)GOOD MYSTERY

RATING: 4 out of 5
*this ARC has a different cover than the finalized copies* 




TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE by Jenny Han


Summary: "Lara Jean has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, & hid it in a box under her bed. But one day she discovers that her secret box of letters has been mailed" [goodreads]

What I loved: 1) LARA JEAN- Love her to pieces. Such a great narrator. Many moments when I realized we were one. Let's be awkward together, Lara Jean.
2) THE BOYS - Love the confrontations and reactions to the letters.
3) LETTERS - So creatively done. Simply amazing.
4) FAMILY- absolutely love how important they are in her life.
5) NOT WHAT I EXPECTED. In a good way.

RATING: 4.5 out of 5
So much love for this book! But a warning that THIS IS A SERIES. Learned this the hard way.



Check out VysBooks on instagram for more pictures!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

We all have those midnight ideas that sometimes lead us to question our sanity. Then there are those ideas that actually aren't that bad.

After I published the post about movies, I ended up thinking about my reluctance to finish those 50+ drafts. Jen (Books and Other Happy Ever Afters) and I later had a discussion about the weird lag in blogging. We both agreed that we want to keep on being bloggers, but we just want something new

Later that night, I started thinking of new ways to make blogging more interesting. Complete failures they are, but there was one idea that actually wasn't that bad. I thought, why not do something on instagram since I'm scrolling through there so often. I'm going to try posting mini reviews on instagram. Why mini reviews? I've read 400+ books and I've reviewed maybe 70 of those books. This allows a chance to briefly talk about all of those books I've neglected. 

I'm not 100% how this will all work out or if this will even be a good idea, but why not just let this run and see what happens. Although I'll be posting on instagram, I will also be incorporating it with the blog. I'll do a monthly round up, and also write full reviews for a few of the books along with the mini reviews.

If anyone is interested in seeing where this goes, please follow me on instagram (vysbooks).



Let me know if you're also on instagram! I have another account where I post personal and bookish pics, too. 




Many thanks to Jen (Books and Other Happy Ever Afters) for letting me talk through this idea, and even encouraging me to try. Also, I know this isn't an original idea, so let me know if you're also posting mini reviews. Would love to follow you!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I honestly didn't plan on going on a long hiatus. I thought it'd be a short break to finish up school related things, but as usual, I ended up leaving for a couple months. I've been meaning to get back into blogging, but we all know how that usually works.There are about 50 drafted posts that I have yet to finish. For some strange reason I can't bring myself to finish a review. I was in a weird reading and blogging slump for a while. It wasn't until recently read The Program by Suzanne Young that I finally got over that weird slump.

Now I'm slowly getting myself back into the blogging rhythm with some new changes, like occasionally blogging about things other than books. I'm starting a new series unoriginally called "Instead of Blogging, I've Been" to fill in my breaks instead of just drifting off for a few months. This is also another way to be more personal. I love reading posts from bloggers about life outside of blogging and thought I'd do the same. 


I absolutely LOVE watching movies, but lately I've been using it to avoid responsibilities. Every time I open my laptop with the intention to blog, I always ended up watching a movie instead.  The past few months have been reserved for catching up on all the movies I've been missing out on in life. I usually watch movies with my dad and brother, so we can all see how this affected my summer movie marathon. 



I guess it's understandable why I haven't watched The Breakfast Club and The Princess Bride considering they released in the 1980s, but I feel as though EVERYONE has already seen them.  Enjoyed both of those movies! And I finally watched 500 Days of Summer after putting it off for so long. I can't tell if I loved or hated the movie yet because there are still a lot of angry emotions from watching this movie.


Does anyone else end up watching something because you see the movie gifs on tumblr? 

Say this one?


or this one?


As for the Sydney White movies, I just wanted to watch something with Amanda Bynes in her glory days. 



You can't go wrong with laughing at your laptop screen at 1am by yourself.


I LOVE watching romantic comedies. JUST LOVE THEM. I can watch them forever. Since the titles are a bit difficult to read, movies included He's Just Not That Into You, Something Borrowed, and How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days


 Flipped and Stuck In Love are actually re-watches (is that a word?), but they are two are my FAVORITE MOVIES. I've watched both at least three times. If you haven't watched either of them then I HIGHLY recommend you go watch both. 

Also I finally watched 10 Things I Hate About You. LOVE THIS MOVIE. I figured I should watch the movie after seeing this multiple times: 



And that concludes what I've watched so far. Have you watched any of these movies? Probably though since they're old releases. Now what should I watch next? What are some of your favorite movies?


Monday, March 3, 2014

Recommend An: Underrated Book

Monday, March 3, 2014
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Be sure to check out future prompts here as well as more info on this feature. Want to join in?
All you have to do is answer the week's prompt and leave a link to your post down below

This week's prompt:
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Recommend an Underrated Book
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(suggested by YA Book Lover & Lets Evaluate)

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
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Random House Children's Book, 264 pages
Release Date: February 14, 2012
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Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she's going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He's out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy's stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she's managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they're suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can't see is the one thing that's right before her eyes

I loved this book SO MUCH. I loved the colorful and descriptive writing. I loved the flawed characters with their smart mouths and fascinating histories. And most of all, I loved that the entire story occurred within 24 hours. Graffiti Moon is one of my all time favorite reads.

I know that Graffiti Moon has won many awards and has been praised by all, but I felt that not many people I personally knew have read this yet. If you haven't read Graffiti Moon yet then DO IT. I highly recommend this.


Don't forget to enter your link!





Which underrated book would you recommend? Join me next week for
Recommend a book with a character who plays a sport.

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