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If You Lived Here, You'd Be Perfect By Now: The Unofficial Guide to Sweet Valley High
Robin Hardwick
Progress: 14 %
Jessica's Secret Diary: Volume III
Francine Pascal, Kate William
The 48 Laws of Power
Joost Elffers, Robert Greene
The Film Director's Intuition: Script Analysis and Rehearsal Techniques
Judith Weston
The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx
Alex Callinicos
The Eternity Cure
Julie Kagawa
City of Bones
Cassandra Clare
The Road - Cormac McCarthy I had been wanting to read this book for awhile now, but I never got around to it. But just last week my dad bought it for me, which I'm glad he did because I really enjoyed this book.

Some people might not like it because the entire book pretty much consists of a father and a son walking throughout the country, trying to get to where an ocean is. But it was actually interesting and kept my attention. It's interesting to think about a post apocalyptic world where the only person you have for company is a child. How do you deal with this? How do you survive? What is the point of surviving? Because it's not only that you have to find food and shelter, but on top of that you need to take care of someone. How do you keep from just saying: Screw this let me just kill myself and my child because the earth is a barren wasteland and living like this is not living at all? What is the point of hoping when it seems there really isn't anything left of the world? Who wants to live in a place where you have to always travel and hide from people because you can't trust people anymore?

Even though this is a post apocalyptic world, there is actually very little information about what happened, why people left their homes, why the earth is now a barren wasteland, etc. But even so this doesn't take away from the story. It's still very compelling, seeing the relationship between father and son. Seeing them walking and walking to some uncertain future.

After the End: Recent Apocalypses - Carrie Vaughn, Bruce Sterling, Cory Doctorow, Margo Lanagan, Paolo Bacigalupi, Nnedi Okorafor, Paula Guran I definitely want to read this because of Paolo Bacigalupi. :D
A Dance with Darkness - Courtney Allison Moulton This novella is one of my favorite stories that I have read so far this year. :D I've been following this series for awhile now. Before the first book came out. Something about [a:Courtney Allison Moulton|3220024|Courtney Allison Moulton|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1267468265p2/3220024.jpg]'s blog told me that I would like this series and I was right. Can't wait for the last book to arrive in the mail.

This novella was pretty short, but enjoyable. I liked learning about Madeleine and Bastian, who are Will's parents. I know their love was insta-love, but whatever, I still liked it. :P I also liked that we got to learn a bit more about Nathaniel. I didn't expect him to be in love with Madeleine. I thought that was interesting. Or did I completely miss that in the other books? Maybe I don't remember. Anyway, I enjoyed this story. It got me hooked into this world again and can't wait to read the last book of the series.

Can't really say much else since it's pretty short and because I don't want to spoil this for people. But if you are fans of the Angelfire series, definitely read this. I think you will like it.
UnStrung - Neal Shusterman, Michelle Knowlden This was the first thing I read this new year so I figured I should write a review about it. I'm a big fan of the Unwind series so this was a good way to start the new year.

This novella was good. I wished it was longer though because the ending felt abrupt for me. I expected it to be longer with the way the story was going. It's like all this stuff happens and then this happens for an ending and it's like.... That's it? I wanted more. I expected more. I think a few pages more would have helped make this story stronger. That's the only part that left me a bit unsatisfied, but other than that the story overall was enjoyable.

I also liked that we got to learn about the Native Americans in this story and the way they live since they don't follow the Unwind Accord. They never wanted to sign it so they aren't bound by it. I actually wasn't expecting this novella to focus on the Native Americans so that was a nice surprise.

I can't really say much else since this was pretty short. But if you are a fan of the Unwind series you should definitely read this.
Radiant - Cynthia Hand I liked this novella a lot. :D I liked that we got to learn more about Angela and that this was set in Italy. I think I might like Angela better than Clara. She always seemed a bit more interesting to me in the the series, but it's probably because I could relate to her more than I could relate to Clara.

I know some people might see this story as pointless because it seems like doesn't add anything to the whole series. We don't learn anything important about Clara or her visions. But that didn't matter to me. I liked learning more about Angela and the guy she is in love with. Who happens to be an angel. The same angel that explained to Angela about quarter angels and other things. I thought it was interesting that he wasn't either good or bad like all angels seem to be. And for some reason I think he'll be important in some way in the last book. I thought who Angela is in love with and their story was interesting. I wasn't expecting it at all. I liked it. I'm actually hoping that Angela's love interest shows up in the last book because I want to learn more about him.

Anyone who is a fan of the Unearthly series should read this. I think you'll like it.
The Sweet Life - Francine Pascal I didn't know this e-serial existed until very recently. But then again I wasn't really looking forward to other Sweet Valley books after having read Sweet Valley Confidential. The book wasn't that great and the only reason I rated it three stars was because even though I thought it was pretty bad and ridiculous and I hated the ending, it still made me laugh because of how awful it was. You know how some things are just so bad, they just make you laugh because you can't believe what you're reading? That book was like that.

The Sweet Life on the other hand, I actually enjoyed. This felt more like the Sweet Valley books I remember reading when I was younger. Which even though it was filled with tons of drama and could be ridiculous at times, still held a certain charm to it, which is why I was addicted to the series. The Sweet Life reminded me of those books and it is definitely so much better than Sweet Valley Confidential. The characters felt like their younger selves just grown up, which in SVC, they didn't really feel that way.

I recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the Sweet Valley series. Unlike Sweet Valley Confidential, this is worth the read. If even just for the nostalgia.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox - Mary E. Pearson "A bit for someone here. A bit there. And sometimes they don't add up to anything whole. But you are so busy dancing. Delivering. You don't have time to notice. Or are afraid to notice. And then one day you have to look. And it's true. All of your pieces fill up other people's holes. But they don't fill your own."

I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I had heard about it before, but was never really compelled to read it until a few days ago. Not really sure why, but I'm really glad I did. This book left me like this:


Which was a good thing because I always enjoy books that make me think, books that make an emphasis on the complexities of life. I like exploring these subjects and I feel people need to read more books like these to reflect a bit more on life and learn. The bad thing of all this thinking that the book made me do, was that it led to thoughts reaching beyond the confines of the story. I started thinking about my own life, my own decisions, my own way of living. Too many questions and thoughts started floating around my head. I lost a lot of sleep because of this, which was not good. X_X But because of this alone I recommend the book. I feel it's pretty powerful and well executed. And I love that the characters aren't black and white. They're grey just like in the real world.

Anyway, what I liked about this book is the thought provoking questions that it raised throughout the story. For example, what is ethically correct in the medical field? Is there a point where advancement in medicine, technology, etc. is too much? Is there a point where we need to say stop, no more? Is there sometimes just progress for the sake of progress? Is advancement always beneficial?

I also liked the questions that it raised in regards to what makes you, what makes your identity. The main character has woken up and finds that she has no memories, no recollections of her life. So what makes her Jenna Fox? Or is she not Jenna Fox anymore? Physically her body is pretty much the same, but is that enough to say that she's Jenna Fox? Or can she only be Jenna Fox when all her memories come back? What makes you who you are? How do you even determine that? How much free will do you have? Do you even have any free will?

I wish I could say more about this book, but it's hard to say more without giving some things away. I want people to enjoy this book as much as I did.

The only reason why I didn't give this book 5 stars was because I felt the ending was a bit rushed. I think if it had been longer, it would have been a lot better.

Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James I decided to read this book because I was dismayed that this book was sold out at Barnes and Noble. I had read bad reviews about it and I knew it was fan fiction, so I was wondering who was willingly buying this and enjoying it. Oh boy...

There isn't much that I can say about this book that already hasn't been said. You should check out this review. It was one of my favorites and it expresses my own sentiments. http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/340740106

This book took me awhile to get through because it was pretty bad and it was so boring. The characters are terrible. Why is this a bestseller?! Why are people in love with Christian Grey? The only thing he has going for him is his looks and money! Seriously, he is a controlling douchebag. Can people not see this? Why don't people see this? I don't care about his "sad side", he is still a controlling douchebag. Having had a hard life doesn't excuse you from being an awful person. You might think: Ok I get why you act this way. But... It doesn't make your bad behavior ok. It just doesn't. And since when is stalking attractive? People can't do things the old fashion way anymore? Like going on dates to get to know someone?

Oh and Ana... She is one of the dumbest characters ever. She's so in love with this guy who she doesn't know much about. Only thing she is really familiar with about this guy is his body since all they pretty much do is have sex. And that makes her be in love? She even says at one point that she will do anything for him. So... Just for sex alone you will do anything for him? Uh no. I think someone with some sense will want more than good sex as a requisite for love. And for some dumb reason she thinks Christian actually cares about her? Why Ana, why? Because he wants to control everything about you? And why Christian thinks she's so fascinating is beyond me. She's so lame and dumb. He might want to get a brain transplant. But then again, they deserve each other.


One thing that really irked me was the constant emails that they sent to each other. I know he was at meetings at some points of the book, but haven't they heard of texting? Who constantly emails when they could constantly text?

I was reading this on the Kindle for PC and I kept highlighting so many things and taking notes. It seemed like the only thing I kept saying as I was reading this was:

I said that out loud so many times that my brothers kept asking me why I was even reading this. When I said it was because I was planning to get through it, they just shook their heads at me.

It makes me sad to think that there are much better books out there that don't get as much exposure as this crap. And I think that is why publishers and other people will not put that much effort into actually giving the world a good quality book. Instead crap like this gets mass produced and sold. Granted a lot of books are made for the money, but I think if people actually saw beyond crap like this, we could possibly get better quality books.


And if anyone is interested, someone made a trailer for this book. As much as I don't like this book, this trailer was well done.

Revealing Eden - Victoria Foyt Because this book has become so controversial, I'm going to read it. Pretty sure I'm going to agree with what people have been saying though. >.>
Insurgent (Divergent, #2) - Veronica Roth I didn't like this book at all. I thought it was so boring and that it dragged on for much too long. There really wasn't anything going on. This book could have definitely been cut in half. And even then it might have been too long. I gave the first book 3 stars because even though it was kinda dumb, I was still able to enjoy it and it didn't take me a long time to read. This book was not good. It sort of reminded me of some telenovelas (spanish soap operas) where most of the time, when the main dilemmas have been presented, all the characters do is talk, contemplate, and lament what has happened, but nothing actually is ever done about the situation until what seems like a very long time. But even then, those telenovelas are more entertaining than this book because we know that's their format. We know all this stuff is supposed to happen to the main characters, we know that after problems arise, it's followed by a period of nothing really going on to keep the suspense going. But there are other character story lines to follow and there are hot guys to look at. haha. But this book dragged on far too long with not enough going on and no hot guys to actually look at. My imagination wasn't enough this time around.

I'm not sure why this book is so highly rated. It actually makes me kinda sad because there are better books out there that don't get enough attention. And also because I know some people have said it's because Veronia Roth is young, so you can't expect some extremely well written book, but I think that's a cop out. Age may be a factor, but it doesn't mean you can't write well. And it seems like hype seems to cloud people's judgment about this book. I'm not saying you can't enjoy this book because like I said I enjoyed the first book even when I didn't think it was that great, but sometimes it seems some people can't see flaws a book may have. It reminded me of this pic a bit.


Another thing that really bothered me were the characters. They are so bland, two dimensional, and they all seemed to blend together. I honestly forgot most of their names. And I know we were supposed to feel for these characters because of the things they were going through, like some of their loved ones dying, but I really could care less. I think part of the reason is that I was spoiled by Paolo Bacigalupi's The Drowned Cities which I was reading at the same time as this. Now that book I could feel for what the characters were going through.

I think the biggest thing that bothered me was that these characters were so stupid. I mean, I know Tris was supposed to be smarter than most people, but they just seemed super dumb, even those in Erudite. And most of the stuff that she said that was supposed to be smart, was more of common sense, for example, thinking situations through and coming to a conclusion. Which most people should automatically do, it's not a scientific process which almost no one can figure out. Or at least it shouldn't be. I know some people lack common sense, but for most of the characters to lack this? O_o I didn't even think Tris was smart.


I have to say though that I will be reading the next book because I would like to know where Roth goes with it. And because the cliffhanger at the end got to me.
FISH TANK:  A Fable for Our Times - Scott Bischke I received an autographed copy of this book to review. :D I feel so special that an author would like to know my thoughts on a book they've written. :D

I liked this book. I was so into this book while I was on the train that I got lost on the way home, which shouldn't have even happened because I travel weekly. O_o I got back home really late. I'm glad I made it home because I had no idea where I was and unfortunately for me there were no people around when I finally realized I was lost and got off the train. There wasn't even anyone at the ticket booth and the train stop was in a forest area that made me think of serial killers.

Anyway, this book was well done and it reminded me a of Animal Farm, which is another book I enjoyed and another one of my favorites. I like that this book was easy to read and thus it's accessible to all readers of different ages. But it's simplicity doesn't mean that there isn't a message underneath. That's what I liked most about the book. The parallels that it draws to our the state of our world and how people react when presented with how our world is.


For example, our world is going through global warming, yet there are people who are in denial of this, despite all the evidence at hand. Like some of the characters in the book, some people tend they explain it away, they think it isn't a big deal, etc. It is a big deal and people need to wake up and see this and try to do something about it. Though as in the book, it is probably too late to change some things, but we can always try. I got frustrated with some of the characters in the book because they reminded me of some people in real life. People who don't see what's there, don't care, don't want to acknowledge it, or don't do enough to change things.

One of the characters that frustrated me the most was the goatfish named Hansom aka Doc. He knew what was going on with the environmental changes in their aquarium, but I felt he wasn't as helpful as he should have been. What is the point of having knowledge if you aren't going to use it to change things? I know there were some fish and other creatures that didn't believe, but he could have been more active. Everyone respected him and knew him as intelligent, he could have taken action. Like for example, he could have supervised when they were growing food, swam throughout the aquarium to see how things were running, etc. Instead, he just gave his input about what was going to happen/what was happening and didn't do anything else and that's why the crabs took over pretty easily. It really bothered me. Especially because I see so many people in the real world just sitting around and not doing anything. Not just in regards to climate change, but in other things as well. There is no point in having knowledge if you aren't going to do anything with it. I don't know how Doc was ok with that. He's as much to blame for what happened as Augustus (the person who was supposed to take care of the aquarium while the owner, Professor Brown went away) and as the crabs and as everyone else.

This book was that is reminded me of how our global economic structure works. The scene that really reminded me of this and got to me was when the crabs decided to turn up the thermometer to have food grow faster, so that they could eat more, despite that this was going to make some creatures sick. And when they got sick, they could care less because they were well fed. This actually happens in our world. Corporations set up factories in other countries and not only do the people not get paid well, but they are exposed to harmful toxins because of the lack of sanitation and because of the materials that are used to make certain products (like PVC plastic) and the corporations don't care as long as they are making money.

I also liked that this book showed how some fish and other animals were just accepting what the crabs were telling them, without investigating or taking time to think about the situation. This is something that happens in our world too. I know we get false information at times or don't get any information, but I feel like we need to investigate as much as we can. We can't just blindly trust in what we are being told or shown.

I recommend this book to everyone. It's an easy read and it might make it easier for some people to see how the world actually runs.
The Drowned Cities - Paolo Bacigalupi O_O This book was amazing. Horrifying, realistic, and intense. I totally see this happening to us. Review to come. Ah, now I'm even happier that my book is autographed. :D
Quidditch Through the Ages - J.K. Rowling, Kennilworthy Whisp This book was a quick and fun read, so there isn't much to say about it. I wish it was longer because it was pretty entertaining and I really love J.K. Rowling's world so much. This is just another proof that J.K. Rowling can definitely write well and that she definitely planned this world out extensively. This book goes right with the Harry Potter series. I'm really glad she wrote it because I never get tired of this world and I got a bit more insight to the Harry Potter world because of it. It was really great.

This book gives us some of the history and the evolution of Quidditch. Quidditch as we know it in the Harry Potter books. For example, it tells us the early forms of Quidditch, the names it had before it was called Quidditch, it tells us how the Golden Snitch came to be, it tells us about teams, etc. Not only that but it tells us about the evolution of broomsticks and the broomstick companies that came to be throughout the years.

I recommend this book to anyone who is a Harry Potter fan. You'll enjoy getting to know more about the world. My only problem with this book is that it wasn't longer. I wish J.K. Rowling would write more books like this. A book about the Dark Arts would be awesome. :D


Fury - Rebecca Lim This will suffice for now.


The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and our Health—and a Vision for Change - Annie Leonard This book is one of my favorites of the year. Anything that makes me think deeply automatically gets an extra star from me. I am very glad I read this book because I learned so much from it.

This book is very well written, thought provoking, and depressing, with research done to support the points that the author is trying to make throughout the book. Also, it is a pretty easy read and not at all confusing so that anyone can understand the points brought up. A book like Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective (which is also one of my favorites) is a good book to read, but it might be confusing to some people who don't really understand things like what the WTO is or who don't really know much about sociology. Annie Leonard mentions things like the WTO in her book, but she explains things simply so that anyone can understand what these things are and how they work in our world.

Basically and what I liked about this book is that she is trying to show us how the way our global economy works is extremely harmful to our planet and to also ourselves. Most people just assume that the way we live is the correct way, is the best way, and don't take time to consider the effects that this way of living can bring and are bringing. What if things were different? What is the actual value of living in this planet? What is the value of ourselves? Is constantly shopping, consuming, having a lot of material things, etc. really the best way to live? What makes us important? Is this way of living really the most important thing in the world? Is economic success what we should all strive for?


No, it's not. The way our system works is essentially destroying us and unfortunately it has caused a lot of damage to our planet already. Damage that either can't be fixed quickly enough or that simply can't be fixed at all. A lot of the damage done has been directly linked to the way we produce and consume things. We, who live in the U.S. might not see this damage at all or right away, but if you go around the world, you will see how many people are affected by our global economy. You will see how they suffer simply because our self worth, our happiness in life has been placed on the consumption of a lot of stuff. We have been made to feel like outsiders if, for example, we don't wear clothes that are in fashion or have the latest technology. With advertisements and other forms of media, we are made to think that this is the most important thing and the we absolutely need to get new clothes, new gadgets, etc. when we actually don't. This is known as perceived obsolescence. And this was actually planned by corporations because for a lot of them, the most important thing is to keep the economy going, to keep you buying things so that they can keep making money, without regard to how the production of these things is harmful to you and to other people throughout the world.

For example, those who work in factories in some parts of the world are exposed to a lot of harmful chemicals that not only damage their health, but also because these toxins cling on to their clothes and things, they bring these toxins home which also harms their families. Most corporations know this and don't really care. And is that wasn't enough, most of the time, the garbage that we produce is taken to other countries and dumped there. Which contaminates their water, their air, and seriously damages their health.


Another thing I liked about this book, is that Annie Leonard tells us some things we can do to make a change. So even though this book is depressing in a lot of ways, at least we know that not all hope is lost. We can make some change, if we look for it and we fight for it. We don't have to keep living this way. As she says, it doesn't make sense to live this way, when there are more important things in life, like the relationships we establish with people, the experiences we live. So why should we keep up this crazy, consumer lifestyle?


I recommend that everyone and anyone that can, read this book because ultimately it has to do with our planet and our lives. Something that is worth so much more than the amount of stuff we have. This book will open your eyes and inform you. And if you don't have time to read it, you can always watch the short film. Here's the link: http://youtu.be/9GorqroigqM
The Unwanteds - Lisa McMann I have always enjoyed reading books about fantasy and kids particularly because it takes me to different places, which are usually more fun than the real world and because my childhood kinda sucked a lot so I enjoy reading about what I missed. Particularly in the friendship aspect. So when I saw this book, something in me told me to get it to read. I actually didn't get the book though, lol, I made a business deal with someone and this book was part of my payment. :D I have to say though I got the better end of the deal being that I'm not sure why this person wanted my help to begin with because they seemed to already have the advice that they needed. I pretty much just confirmed for them what they already thought of doing. Not sure this person even realized that they really paid me for no reason. @_@ But that's a whole different issue and anyway a deal is a deal. lol.

Anyway, I didn't love this book as I had hoped, but I did like it nonetheless. Kept me entertained on my train rides, which is where I do most of my reading. I have no idea why they described this as The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter because it wasn't like that at all. I mean, the similarities with Harry Potter was that it was fantasy and that it had magic. As for The Hunger Games, the only thing I saw was that it is dystopian. But I guess it was more for marketing purposes than anything else.

One of the things that I enjoyed about this book was the fantasy aspects of it. Thought it was pretty original. I really liked the idea of the kids' creativity used as offensive and defensive weapons. For example, you can paint yourself invisible with a paintbrush and a soliloquy can stun a person. Thought this was neat and I would like to have magic like that. :D Doesn't beat wands though. :P I also enjoyed the characters found in the story, like Mr. Today and Simber. Simber was awesome. :D He's a stone cheetah with huge wings and who I would like to have in my living room. lol. I felt though that some of the characters could have been better developed. They felt a bit generic to me at times and overall I didn't care for them too much.

I thought this book was going to be pretty predictable and in some ways it was, but even so I still found myself surprised in a few occasions. I didn't expect certain revelations that happened, which made me enjoy the book a bit more. I thought the fighting sequence could have been better. I felt it was a bit anti climatic.

Overall, I would recommend this book to people who like kids books and fantasy. Not so much recommended for dystopian lovers, especially if you love The Hunger Games. It's not really like it at all. And most likely, you will be disappointed if you are expecting it to be that way.