Monday, April 21, 2014

REVIEW: "After The End" by Amy Plum

After The End (After The End #1)
Author: Amy Plum
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic, Romance
Expected Release Date: May 6, 2014
Review Written: January 7, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there. At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past. 

First Sentences: I crouch low to the ground, pressing my back to the ancient spruce tree, and raise my crossbow in one hand. Keeping my eye on the precious shard of mirror embedded in my weapon, I inch it out from behind the tree. In the reflection, I spot something moving behind a cedar across the snowy clearing
My Thoughts:
THAT ENDING! WHAT?! Oh my goodness. This was a great book. It had the perfect ending, as well. Right after finishing, I immediately got onto Goodreads to see when the sequel was expected to be released and remembered that it was an ARC that I'd just read and wouldn't be released for 4 months, so why would they have a sequel release planned already? I'm just so ANXIOUS!
There was no war. I still can't believe we were so close to this city, yet we knew nothing. How could my father and the other elders have been so mistaken? There's no way they could know what happened, I realize. They've been isolating themselves for thirty years. (ebook 14%)
This story was well written, in my opinion (I saw some repetitiveness, but I'm sure that will all be worked out by the time the finished copy is published). I really like how Amy Plum wrote this story in two points of view, from Juneau and Miles. I personally think that this was the best way to go about writing this book, because of how the story is plotted, I don't see having only one point of view giving us all the information needed to make the story complete. I really loved how Miles's and Juneau's life events were intertwined. And, for those of you that hate obvious romance in dystopian and fantasy, this is the book for you. I'm sort of a romance buff. I will root for love every single time. And, man will I tell you I was rooting hard through this book. But, Amy Plum did something right. She found a way to successfully push the romance aside as much as possible to truly focus on the main plot. I applaud her for this.

All in all, this was a pretty great story. I loved the premise of a clan that's isolated themselves in Alaska without realizing that a war they ran away from 30 years ago had never even happened. The lies. The deceit. This is such an amazing story. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads and, in my opinion, it earned every single one of those stars.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Feature & Follow (6)

Feature and Follow is a weekly post hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

"The goal is to increase followers and make new friends."

Follow the 2 hosts.
Follow the 2 features.
Hop around and follow others who are participating, leaving a comment to let them know.

Who is your blogger BFF? Tell us a little bit about him/her. If not tell us why you need or don't need a blogger BFF.

Weeelllll, I don't have a blogger BFF. I guess that's my own fault since I don't really reach out to others. But, I'd really love to have one. I'm not sure why. I just want to have someone to talk books with and send bookish gifts to, and trade with. I just think it'd be a lot of fun!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 Readathon: DAYS 4&5

Uggghhhhh. Guys. I'm sorry. The end of my week has been way more productive than I thought it'd be, so I literally didn't read much the past couple days.

For Day 4, I did finish "Ask The Passengers" by A.S. King (I didn't write my review yet as not only have I been busy, but I'm still processing this story). I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads. I literally cannot stop thinking about this book! I absolutely loved it, but if ever there comes a day where we are able to literally jump into a book and become part of it's story, I would choose this book on my worst day and just go on a murdering spree. All those ignorant bigots just..ASDFGHKL!! Any who, by finishing this book, I read 203 pages.

Guys, I didn't read at ALL for Day 5. I know, shame on me..

Total Pages Read: 203

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 Readathon: DAY 3

Hey, everyone! How is everyone doing in the readathon as of Day 3? I'll be honest with you guys. I didn't get much reading done today. My mom doesn't understand my obsession with Harry Potter, so since she really doesn't care to read, I'm making her watch the whole Harry Potter movie series with me. A movie every day. Today was The Goblet of Fire, which she enjoyed THIS MUCH

I slept in until 3:30 today. Then had to watch my recording of the Pretty Little Liars season premiere and a ton of stuff, so I didn't really read at all.

I picked up "Ask The Passengers" by A.S. King because so many people love her books and recommend this story as a good start to her writing. I got 31% into it today, which is the equivalent of 101 pages. I'm REALLY enjoying this story so far, guys. I will definitely be finishing it tomorrow.

Total Pages Read Today: 101

How is everyone else doing? Link me to your progress updates in the comments below!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 Readathon: DAY 2

Hey, everyone! How is everyone's progress looking so far? Mine is actually going along very well! I only have "Ask The Passengers" by A.S. King and my re-read of "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs left of my readathon TBR!

On the first day of the readathon, after finishing "Allegiant" by Veronica Roth (read my review), I started to read my digital ARC of "After The End" by Amy Plum. Today, I finished it (at like 5 in the morning) and was pretty upset to see that there is yet to be any information out about a sequel, which isn't weird since this book doesn't even come out for another 4 months. I also wrote a review for this one, but have scheduled it to be posted on April 21 as it won't be released until May 6. The amount of pages read from this book for Day 2 is 184.

Another one of my goals was to finally finish a book that I started a while back which is "45 Pounds" by K.A. Barson. I did end up finishing it and I really enjoyed it (read my review)! My page count for this book is 145.

Total Pages Read Today: 329

I personally think I'm doing great for the start of the week. How is everyone else doing? Link me to your progress updates in the comments below!

REVIEW: "45 Pounds" by K.A. Barson

45 Pounds (More or Less)
Author: K.A. Barson
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Issues
Release Date: July 11, 2013
Publisher: Viking Press
Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother. 

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

First Sentences: I long for the roof to cave in at Keehn's darpartment store. For a bomb threat. Or even for a simple power outage. Anything to stop the torture of swimsuit shopping with my mother. "What about this one?" Mom holds up a tiny orange polka dot bikini. Skimpy. They are all skimpy.
My Thoughts:
This was a book I definitely needed to read. It's a book EVERYONE needs to read. K.A. Barson does an amazing job educating readers on what it's like to be an overweight teenage girl. We get to see what it's like to be this way and be taunted by weight loss infomercials and fast food ads on a daily basis. The pressure to be 'thin', 'sexy', 'popular'..WANTED. It's taking over the lives of not only women, but men now, too! This novel is a must read, and not just for teenagers. It touches on how not only the media, but our relationships with people we're closest to, can mess with our minds in the worst of ways.
Two-or is it three- drinks later, "Thriller" comes on. Shrill screams from the Knees practically burst my eardrum. Or is that me screaming? I'm not sure. I'm not sure about anything right now, except that I can't feel my nose. It's numb. I keep touching it to see if it's still there. I feel warm all over. And it's amazing how much I don't care about anything. I don't care about the wedding. Or dresses. Or diets. I don't care about Courtney. Or Naomi. Or dickhead dads. I don't care about not caring. I love it. Maybe I'll start drinking every day. Screw the calories. (ebook 63%)
The main characters were very easy to feel for right away, especially Ann. There's something very lovable about her. She's quirky, down-to-earth, and only wants to be accepted. I love how genuine she is. She tries so hard between her father pushing her away and losing her best friend. She tries to fit in, but others just shoot her down. I feel like anyone can relate to her at some point in their life.

This is a great, fast-paced book. It's family. It's friendship. It's love. It's reality. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. Loved it!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 Readathon: DAY 1

Hey, everyone! Alright, sooooo Day 1 of the Bout of Books 9.0 Readathon is officially complete for those of us in Central Standard Time. I personally think I got onto a great start for the week! 

My first goal was to finish "Allegiant" by Veronica Roth in which I was reading up to midnight last night and then started tracking my pages for the readathon. I had 135 pages left at that point in which I finished AND reviewed before going to bed (click to read my review).

After waking up, I started reading my digital ARC of "After The End" by Amy Plum (which is a pretty kick ass story so far) and read that on and off through out the day until my alarm went off at midnight. I managed to read up to the 48% mark (which would be about 168 pages).

Total Pages Read: 303

Friends keep asking me to hang out with them and be what normal people call "social". Ewwww. Plus, it's -43 degrees here. You expect me to leave the comfort of my confines? I guess I can't keep blaming the weather. I'll just have to take my book with me to these events..