Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

When people ask me what I’m currently reading or what I’ve just finished, I am eager to tell them. But when I finished Cinder and someone asked what I read that day, I felt embarrassed to say and started laughing. I finished Cinder, which if you couldn’t guess, is a retelling of Cinderella. Once I told them the title, they smiled and nodded, suppressing their desire to judge. What is it about? They asked. It’s much better than it sounds, I assured them. They just had to listen.

Synopsis
Cinder is set in the future in a city called New Beijing. In addition to humans, there are androids and cyborgs; half android half humans. The plague, which claims the lives of nearly everyone diagnosed with it, is rampant. When Cinder, a cyborg,  is with her sister in the market, a strain of the plague breaks out, and Peony falls ill. Cinder is blamed for Peony’s illness by her stepmother. On top of this, Prince Kai comes to Cinder asking for help with his android. Cinder, being a cyborg, knows a thing or two about mechanics. She has a stall in the market where she fixes androids in need of repair. But she discovers she is not just repairing any android; she has now involved herself in an “intergalactic” war between the Lunar peoples and Earth.

So… Does it sound better than the Cinderella story that comes to mind? I thought so.

However, that doesn’t mean I think this book is one of my favorites. It is the first book of the Lunar Chronicles series, but I’m not sure if I’m going to continue on. You see, Cinder is a strong character, which I love, but it took so long for anything interesting to happen. The first 200 pages I struggled to keep reading, thinking I’d abandon the book. But once I got through those pages, the pace picked up and I couldn’t put it down. So, I wonder if the sequel will be faster as the world is already set up, or if every book will be like this. Interestingly enough, each book is based off of a different fairytale.

I definitely recommend it; its just a test of patience until you get to the point where things start to happen. Plus, it has garnered a 4.1 rating on goodreads from 100,000 reviews! (Not to mention that each book after it has a higher rating than the previous book.)

Rating
Finishing the book: 1/2 stars
The book started out glacially slow for me. Then, it picked up and I couldn’t stop reading. But I can’t say I didn’t contemplate returning it before that point.
Originality: 2/2 stars
Who would’ve thought to make Cinderella a computer/human mechanic in futuristic China? Marissa Meyer did.
Entertainment: 1.5/2 stars
It was really entertaining after the beginning!
Connecting with the characters: 1.5/2 stars
It’s not easy to connect with a cyborg but I felt like I knew her.
Writing Quality: 2/2 stars
The writing wasn’t anything that literary but Marissa Meyer can definitely write. I’m curious to see what else she cooks up in the future after this series!

Verdict: 7/10 stars!

Already read Cinder? Try the books that follow it and tell me what you think.

How do I Find Books I Want to Read? (Part 1)

As you may have noticed, I tend to check out several books at once. But how did I pick them?

1) Goodreads
I’ve used Goodreads for years and I love it. I can track what I read, set goals for myself, and get recommendations for books I haven’t read based on books that I have. Your friends can also recommend you books. Listopia allows you to vote up books within lists but also to browse lists. For example, a list titled Best Books of 2014 is going to contain books that real people have nominated and voted on to be the best books of the year. Not only can I help one of my favorite books out, I can look through the list for books I haven’t read and read about them. Best of all, both the app and the site are free!

2) Booktube
This is a recent discovery of mine. I’ve been subscribed to dozens of beauty gurus and listened to their recommendations. However, it never occurred to me that there was a similar sort of thing for books! Here are real people that seem almost like your virtual friends recommending you books (or telling you ones they don’t recommend) and making you really want to read them. TBR videos, for example, are where these booktubers show you what they want to read and tell you what the book is supposedly about. When watching these videos there’s usually a lot of books you never would’ve thought to read but now want to give a chance. And the best part about booktubers over beauty gurus is that to try these books, there is no cost. You don’t have to run to a store and buy something you may not like. Libraries exist! (Who doesn’t love free books?)

Read my post on favorite book tubers if you are interested in watching a few of them 🙂

3) Browsing the library
When people in town think of me, they probably associate me with the library. So it is no surprise that I’m advocating libraries to you yet again, but I strongly feel that libraries are not used enough. Think about it; while all these people are paying for books you read once, you could just go to a library for the exact same books and pay nothing for them! Libraries also have free programs, and some offer online services (ancestry.com, Rocket languages, free music, etc,) and even admissions to local attractions. Peruse your library and see what they offer! Better yet, if your library doesn’t have, say the movie you want, they can put it on hold for you and it’ll arrive free of cost in a matter of days depending on the item.

I’ve found so many great books just by walking around and seeing what jumps out at me. Some libraries have special sections with staff recommendations, but if yours doesn’t, just ask a librarian! People ask me all the time about books I’d recommend. (I work at my library). If they work at a library, it’s part of their job to give you information about books!

How do you find books to read? Do you use Goodreads? Let me know in the comments!

Ally Condie’s writing a new book??

So I wandered over to my local Barnes and Noble today. Keep in mind, I’m a library junkie. I really don’t go to bookstores too often. But I went today, and saw a small huddled mass around a table. I figured there had to be something worth checking out over there, so I checked. I realized why everyone was over there; there was a display with entry forms to win a cash prize and a table full of excerpts of not-yet-published books, like this one:

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Can you hear Atlantia breathing?
For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamed of the sand and sky Above- of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantis. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister,Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self- and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden- she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a strange and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to the increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny and a complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea . Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long hidden truths.

This looks very different from the matched trilogy so I’m excited to see what this book has to offer! This pamphlet contains the first three chapters.

There were probably a dozen different books like this, plus little goodies like this temporary tattoo.

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Hm, wonder how I’ll use that.

Anyway, Barnes and Noble did not contact me to make this post and I am in no way affiliated with them. I literally just walked into Barnes and Noble and thought I’d share this book with you.

Have a great day! What do you think of this new Ally Condie book blurb? Would you read it?

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I’ve decided to save reviewing My Life Next Door for another week in favor of publishing my review of Obsidian.

My summary
Moving to new places is hard. Especially for Kat when she moves to the lovely state of West Virginia, where she discovers she has an out-of-this-world attractive neighbor Daemon and his sister Dee next door. Literally. Turns out they are aliens, as are most people in this town. And these aliens have enemies that prey on humans and kill them to steal the abilities of the Luxen like Daemon. It’s a thrilling story of forbidden love and the fight to save those you care about. There is no return to normalcy for Kat.

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I loved this. I was on my toes the entire time that I read it. I feared for everyone’s lives just as I’m sure Jennifer Armentrout hoped for. If this book sounds like your cup of tea, you should read it.

By the way, Obsidian is the first book in Lux series.

I also found it really cool to read the bonus scenes included at the end of the book. They are chapters in the book told from Daemons perspective rather than Kat’s.

Now the complaints.

There was a little too much back and forth between Kat and Daemon. I get he was torn about do I love you, can I love you, should I be an ass to you, should I be nice? But it happened way too much. There were several scenes that were almost replicas of each other; Daemon acting really arrogant and condescending but then saying, Kat I like you! And then she gets mad because you can’t act like that to her and then say you like her. And then they like each other. And then he’s an ass again.

I like how the cover has the storm brewing in the background and dark colors all around. This replicates the feeling you get in the book. What I don’t love is Daemon. I don’t fall for the creepy Daemon on the cover. You fall for the Daemon in the book.

But, I loved the book as a whole. Its very different than Don’t Look Back so if you don’t like one of the two, try the other.

Rating time!
Finishing the book: 2/2 stars
Every time I saw the book, I couldn’t wait to continue reading it. I didn’t read it in one sitting, but that was my own fault.
Originality: 1.5/2 stars
Forbidden love is not new. But I’ve never read a book with a human falling for an alien/human in a town of alien/humans.
Entertainment: 2/2 stars
Kat dumps spaghetti on Daemon in the cafeteria. Well played, Kat.
Connecting with the characters: 2/2 stars
This was one of those books that when you finish them you feel like you just got off the plane from a far away vacation. You don’t feel the same after living in the world in the book.
Writing quality: 1.5/2 stars
I enjoyed Don’t  Look Back’s writing style more but I can’t complain. It was a really good book.

Total: 9/10 stars!
Verdict: Read it.

Favorite Booktubers!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the wonderful world of BookTube, it’s a community of book loving people on YouTube. A booktuber is someone who runs a YouTube channel mainly about books. It is essentially a book blog in video form, and so many bookubers are also bloggers.

Here’s a few of my favorite Book tubers!

Sasha @ ABookUtopia

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She’s funny and relatable and recommends some really good books. Think of her sort of as the Bethany Mota of the book tube world, in a way.

Regan @ Peruse Project

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I realize I’m now going to be redundant and call every booktuber funny and relatable but its true! Regan is older than Sasha so she tends to recommend both YA and Adult books, which is nice.

Katy @ Little Book Owl

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Love her recommendations and her hair color.

Last but not least, BooksandQuills

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She is the booktuber who got me into booktube. For those of you familiar with beauty gurus, since she lives in London, she did a video on EssieButton’s channel and I was hooked. I checked out her channel and since then I’ve fallen in love with BookTube.

Who are your favorite book tubers and bloggers? (Besides me of course… Kidding..) Tell me in the comments!

P.S the words BookTube and Booktuber are impossible to type on the android keyboard. I can’t tell you how many times this post said, “bootube”, “bokktube”, ” book tuber”, and *children close your eyes* boobtube. I mean really? Im trying to keep things pg here people. *sigh*

Currently Reading/ A Quick Discussion on Covers

What am I reading right now?

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Not that I didn’t think main character Daemon was kind of creepy, but the picture of him on the cover is frightening! So far, he’s been described as super attractive and obviously not humanlike but that’s not the first impression I’m getting from the cover. But hey, I get alien. Don’t judge a book by its cover, right?