Archives for November 2011

Matched (Matched Trilogy Series #1) by Ally Condie

Matched (Matched Trilogy Series #1)
written by Ally Condie             
published by Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated


Why did I pick this book: My sister-in-law recommended this book to me…so, I’m now reading it.



Did I enjoy this book: I really did. I wasn’t sure if I would like it but I really, really did. It kept me entertained and it was one that I read every free chance I had.


The Society was believable. It didn’t seem too far-fetched. It was kind of scary, though, to think that a government could control so much and that the people just go along with it. Believable, but scary.  


Although the protagonist is only 17 years old, she grows up rather quickly throughout the course of this book. She learns to think for herself for the first time. As her grandfather told her, remember that “it’s all right to wonder.” 


I enjoyed the Dylan Thomas poem, Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night, that is used throughout the book. It’s a perfect choice for this story. 


You want to like all of the characters…even some of the Officials. You want Cassia to end up with the right boy…the right boy for her. You want there to be a rebellion. You want them to wake up and see the light. You want to finish this book as quickly as you can because you want to know what happens.


Would I recommend it: Yes, I would recommend it.


Will I read it again: More than likely.


About the book – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS: The book starts with 17 year old Cassia on her way to her Matching Banquet. 


The Matching Banquet is for all children of the Society who have turned 17 years old and who have selected to be Matched.  The two people Matched will be married at the age of 21 and then will have a few years to have children. They are Matched by the government of this dystopian society to create the healthiest offspring. All members of the Society are given specific clothes to wear, food to eat, and jobs to perform. The Officials of the Society are the rule-makers and rule-enforcers. Not too many people question the Society.


At her Matching Banquet, a rare event occurs…Cassia is Matched with someone from her own Borough, her best friend, Xander. However, when Cassia looks at her microcard that contains information regarding her Match, she learns of another Match that is suited for her, Ky Markham. However, Ky is an Aberration and the supposed Match is a glitch according to the Society.


Although Cassia loves Xander, she is intrigued by Ky and takes steps to get closer to him. As they get closer, the questioning of the Society deepens as well. The Society is watching Cassia and what she decides to do. Cassia and Ky fall in love but is love enough to help them break free of the Society?




If you have read it, let me know what you think!!!

Breaking Dawn (Twilight Saga Series #4) by Stephenie Meyer

Breaking Dawn (Twilight Saga Series #4)
written by Stephenie Meyer             
published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Why did I pick this book: As with the first three and a half books in this series, I read these books at least once a year. Especially when a new movie is coming out. And since the new movie that is coming out is Breaking Dawn, Part 1, I “had” to read this book. And I read the last few chapters twice. 



Did I enjoy this book: Yes.  This is my second favorite book of the series. (My favorite is the first book.) 


My favorite part of this book is the climax at the end between the Cullens, their friends, and the Volturi. I know some people think that it is anticlimactic but I disagree. I found it very good, nerve-racking, and it has me on the edge of my seat every time I read it. 


The rest of the book is good…I liked the different perspectives during the first half of the book. It’s nice to hear the story from Jacob’s point of view…especially since he has a bigger role in this book. (The bigger role I think was great. He stepped up and it worked in the story.)


Would I recommend it: Yes. 


Will I read it again: Yes. Yes. Yes.


About the book – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS: We begin with Bella and Edward’s wedding followed by an eventful honeymoon. 


Then Bella finds that she is pregnant with Edward’s child. Of course, it is a very difficult pregnancy that puts Bella, Edward, and Jacob through a rough ordeal. Bella is madly in love with her child (as any expectant mom is) but she also wants Jacob around along with Edward. This becomes confusing for everyone. Bella also has a new ally — Rosalie.


During this time, Jacob breaks off from Sam’s pack and takes his rightful place as the Alpha. He is soon joined by others and protect the Cullen family…especially Bella.


Once Bella gives birth, she almost doesn’t survive. Edward gets permission and transforms Bella into a vampire. Then we are treated to how Bella adapts to life as a vampire and a new mom. 


Later, the Volturi come to punish, destroy, and acquire. But will they succeed??? Who will survive??? How will it end???




If you have read it, let me know what you think!!!

The Short Second LIfe of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella (Twilight Saga Series #3 1/2) by Stephenie Meyer

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella (Twilight Saga Series #3 1/2)
written by Stephenie Meyer             
published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Why did I pick this book: As with the first three books in this series, I read these books at least once a year. 



Did I enjoy this book: Yes. This was a short book but really helped to explain the third book, Eclipse. 


I felt that parts of this book would have helped Eclipse a lot, especially the exchane at the end of Eclipse between Edward and Jane. 


It was good to see the motivation, the driving force, behind the newborn army. The fact that the army was created with a specific purpose that none of its members knew, or had even questioned (with the exception of Bree, Diego, and Fred) why they were told the things they were, like that they will burn up if they go out into the sun. These lies were all a way to keep the newborns in Riley’s control and not allow them to live their lives out in the open. Of course, the newborns weren’t told the rules either – such as, keep their existence as vampires a secret. They aren’t as “civilized” as most vampires, most unlike the Cullens. 


Would I recommend it: Yes. It really helps understand the movement against Bella by those newborn vampires. 


Will I read it again: Yes.


About the book – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS: This is the story of Bree Tanner and her life as a  vampire. 


The newborns are destructive and conspicuous with their actions. Riley cannot control them as well as he would like or is expected. His creator is stringing him along and feeding him lies. 


Bree and Diego form a close friendship when she starts to trust him. However, that friendship is short-lived…especially when Diego questions Riley’s instructions and demands. But then Diego does not return. The army sets out to hunt Bella, though they are told they are hunting the Cullen Clan because they control the city and all of the blood. 


The battle is the same as in Eclipse except from Bree’s perspective. But the end of this novella is good and makes it worth the quick read.




If you have read it, let me know what you think!!!

Eclipse (Twilight Saga Series #3) by Stephenie Meyer

Eclipse (Twilight Saga Series #3)
written by Stephenie Meyer             
published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Why did I pick this book: As with the first two books in this series, I read these books at least once a year. Especially when a new movie is coming out. 



Did I enjoy this book: Yes. But the plot is the least memorable to me. Before you jump on me and ask how I can enjoy it if it is not memorable, please understand that I cannot remember books that well. (Which is great because I truly enjoy reading books over and over again….because I forget them…well, parts of them. I’ll remember the big picture, but forget the details. Or I’ll remember snippets, but forget the big picture. It’s just what I do.)


This book is much more enjoyable than New Moon…not so much depression. Edward and Bella are together. Jake is still a wolf. There’s action in the form of a newborn army all wanting Bella’s blood. Good stuff.


I really enjoyed learning more about Jasper’s back story. It is very interesting and helps explain Jasper. As well as learning the Quileute legends. Those were good and provided a good background for Bella’s part later in the story.


My favorite part of this book is the scene in the tent between Jacob and Edward. (Found in Chapter 22 “Fire and Ice.” The heart-to-heart — or should I say mind-to-mind — between the two guys is great. It brings them closer together, yet reminds them why they are so-called enemies. 


Would I recommend it: Yes, you have to find out what happens next to these characters.


Will I read it again: Yes. Absolutely. 


About the book – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS: This book picks up after Bella’s trip to Italy to save Edward from having the Volturi kill him. They are back together and happy enjoying their last year of high school. (The first graduation for Bella. Another one of many graduations for Edward.)


Meanwhile, Seatlle is being attacked. There are murders and destruction that is baffling the police. However, the Cullen family knows what it is…newborns. Not newborn humans, newborn vampires that are out of control and blood thirsty. But what are they after? Well, our leading lady of course! What kind of series would this be if our heroine  wasn’t in some kind of danger that wasn’t of her own making. 


Bella still keeps company with Jacob and his pack of wolves while loving Edward. It is nice to see these likely foes – the wolves and the vampires – come together and cooperate. They learn to fight and coexist. 




If you have read it, let me know what you think!!!

New Moon (Twilight Saga Series #2) by Stephenie Meyer

New Moon (Twilight Saga Series #2)
written by Stephenie Meyer             
published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Why did I pick this book: This a series that I read at least once a year. I am reading it now because of the new movie, Breaking Dawn Part 1, that is being released in a few short weeks. 



Did I enjoy this book: Yes. However, it is my least favorite of the series. The break-up aftermath is almost unbearable. The four chapters – well, blank pages – simply titled “October”, “November”, “December”, and “January” are excellent representations of Bella’s deep, dark depression. That is until, in chapter 4 “Waking Up,” Bella starts hanging out with Jacob Black, her childhood from from the local tribe of Quileutes at the La Push Reservation. Then, she leads Jacob on terribly even though her heart belongs to Edward. However, she does have some fun adventures that are both exhilarating and dangerous and a welcome change, or maybe enhancement, to her personality.


The climax at the end is worth the read through all of the depression. It was exciting and heart-stopping and always has me on the edge….will she get there in time?


Would I recommend it: Yes, especially if you read the first book and will read the remaining books.


Will I read it again: Yes…at least once a year. =)


About the book – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS: This book picks up shortly after Twilight lets off. Bella and Edward are still a couple, entering their senior year of high school. Bella turns 18 years old and starts to have an age breakdown that most women don’t have until they hit 30. Anyway…


After a disastrous birthday party where Bella was almost attacked by Jasper, Edward decides that enough is enough. He believes that Bella would be better off without him. So, Edward does the inexplicable, he leaves Bella. To make matters worse, he makes it as if he never existed. The entire Cullen family moved away as well and ceased all contact with Bella. Thus, the depression begins and Bella is about worthless for a few months. 


Then, life starts to begin again. Bella and Jacob become close while he rebuilds two beat up motorcycles for Bella’s new-found fondness for all things reckless. This fondness is only because it recalls Edward’s perfect voice back to her mind at every reckless step she takes. That voice helps her keep moving forward even though she is still clinging to the past.


A wave of influenza hits Forks, and seemingly, Jacob gets sick. However, when he doesn’t call or come to see Bella, she is immediately worried. Worried that he has gotten in to Sam Uley’s gang. Jacob does become a part of Sam’s pack…pack of wolves, the legends of the Quileute tribe are true and Jacob is a direct descendant of that legendary first wolf warrior. The problem — the wolves are designed to kill their one true enemy…the vampire. Uh-oh. What a predicament for our heroine!


Then there is the inevitable miscommunication that leads Edward doing the unthinkable…going to the Volturi to end his existence. The thrilling race against the clock part is here.


Of course, as with all great love stories, all is well at the end. Sort of…




If you have read it, let me know what you think!!!

Twilight (Twilight Saga Series #1) by Stephenie Meyer

Twilight (Twilight Saga Series #1)
written by Stephenie Meyer             
published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Why did I pick this book: This a series that I read at least once a year. I am reading it now because of the new movie, Breaking Dawn Part 1, that is being released in a few short weeks. 



Did I enjoy this book: Yes. This is a book that I read every free chance I get. This reading…which was my fourth or fifth…occurred while I was unpacking after a move, at the grocery store, in my car in the drive-thru, just about anywhere. When I read this series, I can’t put it down until it is finished. 


One of the reasons that I like this book, and series for that matter, is because it is an easy read that lets me enter into a fantasy world that doesn’t read as a fantasy. It reads as if it were the “real” world and we just don’t know what all the aspects of our “real” world there are out there. 


Some people do not enjoy this book because of the crazy teenage angst and obsessive vampire love…but come on….who can’t enjoy that. Every girl wants a boyfriend who is absolutely unconditionally in love with her and would do anything to protect her. He is also old-fashioned in his manners and respect for her. Also, there is no sex in this book which is kind of nice for a change…and, no, I’m not a prude. I just think that not every book, especially books that are geared towards teens and young adults, needs raunchy sex scenes.


Would I recommend it: Absolutely. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to let go and read an easy read that is a good story that pulls you in and allows you to live in that world of “what if it were true”. If you are a literary “snob”, then I would not recommend this book because it is by no means the next great literary piece of art but I find it entertaining and fun to read.


Will I read it again: Yes, I will. Definitely before Breaking Dawn Part 2 is released in the theaters.


About the book – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS: Isabella Swan moves to a small town near Seattle, Washington called Forks. She moved there to live with her dad, Charlie, who is the town’s police chief. On her first day of school, she meets Edward Cullen who has a seemingly adverse reaction to her. 


After a week or so, Edward warms up to Bella and the infatuation, on both individual’s parts as well as a few other boys in Bella’s class, begins. Bella soon learns that Edward and his family are vampires, “vegetarian” vampires to be more specific. “Vegetarian” in that they do not drink human blood, only the blood of animals. 


Of course, as with all good romantic paranormal teen books, Bella’s life is threatened by another nomadic vampire. Edward, and his family, has to come to her rescue. 




If you have read it, let me know what you think!!!