Books

Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi

Rating: 4 Stars

The Blurb: In America’s Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota–and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it’s worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life…

In this powerful novel, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers a thrilling, fast-paced adventure set in a vivid and raw, uncertain future.

This book has been on my TBR list forever, but it not what I normally read, so I hesitated to pick it up many, many times. In fact, Haven bought me a copy of this book back in January, and I just read it last month (Sorry Haven!). I went into it worried that it would be a dull, typical dystopian, but was pleasantly surprised that it was much darker, complex, and interesting than I had hoped for.

in Ship Breaker, we’re introduced into a world where resources are scarce, Antarctica has melted, cities are drowned, and strange experiments have been done on people, making them not quite people. Nailer, our main character, strips copper wire off of old, grounded oil tankers for sale to big corporations to be recycled. It’s a grim existence, and Nailer is just hoping to get lucky some day and buy his way into another life; but luckily, he gets a chance to do that when he discovers Nita, the lone survivor of a beached ship and one of the wealthy aristocrats that rule this world.

For one, let me say that Bacigalupi’s world in Ship Breaker stands out among the masses of dystopian novels in the world today. While it doesn’t stand out in extremity (I mean, not all books can be about annual tournaments where kids have to kill each other), it is one of the most realistic depictions of the future I’ve come across. Global warming, poverty, tycoon corporations, they’re all in our world today, and that realism is what makes this book chilling, but also immersive.

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Books, Original Post

The Versatile Blogger Award

Well, this is a wonderful summer surprise! This happens to be our third award since we started our blog back in December, and we’re very happy and thankful to all those made this happen!

First, thanks a bunch to Blaise @ The Book Boulevard for nominating us! 2/3 of our awards have been because of you, thank you so much!

Anyway, here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for this award and include a link to their blog
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this
  • Tell those 15 people the honor they’ve been nominated for

So here are the facts about us! It’s funny, we just did the Creative Blogger Award which required facts about ourselves, looks like we need to become more interesting if we’re going to keep providing facts for you guys! 😛

Anyway, here they are! Sorry about the fact that we actually have 14 facts for you to read, but hey, double the bloggers, double the fun! 😉

Aliza:

1. I used to live in California a few years ago, and I was completely in love with these Jalapeno Cheddar bagels from Panera Bread. Then I moved, and even though Panera Bread is a chain, they only sell those bagels in California, much to my dismay. So, whenever my dad goes there on a business trip, my sister asks him for regular-people stuff, while I ask for bagels. 🙂

2. My biggest non-book obsession is the TV shoe Avatar: The Last Airbender. It’s technically a kid show that many people watched when they were like, eight, but I just discovered it existed last August and am completely in love with it. I literally know exactly what number each episode in each season is, all the dialogue for most of the episodes, and all the actors who play the characters (I did mention I was obsessed, didn’t I?). When I explain this to people with normal obsessions, they usually just look at me weird, but hey, I love it, so I don’t care. 😉

3. My favorite sport is badminton. I’ve mentioned that I’m a terrible athlete, but badminton is something I’ve been playing for years and a lot of fun for me. So whenever someone says that badminton is like tennis, I kind of go into a huge rant-fest about stereotypes and overall make sure no one makes the same mistake in front of me again (This is why some of my best friends are books and not people, hehe).

4. My house is in front of this greenbelt-ish area where a storm drain empties, so there’s this beautiful stream right behind my house. My favorite reading spot is on the edge of this tiny stream with my feet in the water. The only problem is my house kind of has a wasp problem in July, which makes me a couch-potato when I can’t go outside.

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Original Post, YA Fiction

The Creative Blogger Award

This is probably the most we’ve ever procrastinated on something. But I’m extremely glad we finally got to it! We’re extremely honored and proud for this nomination, thanks to Casey @ Inspired by the Page. Thank you so much, Casey! Anyway, here’s the award!

The Rules:

  • Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify all nominees via their social media/blogs
  • Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you (very important)
  • Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers
  • Tell the nominees these rules

So yeah, pretty straightforward. Here are the facts about both of us, but we’ll start with Aliza first.

Aliza:

1. I actually have other hobbies(I know, it’s surprising). In fact, I’ve been going to art lessons for a while, and do some sketching, oil painting, oil pastel drawing, and colored pencil drawing. I hope I’m not too horrible; I’ll show you a few of my art pieces below:

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 11.30.42 AM  Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 11.33.27 AM

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New Releases

New Releases in YA for July 2015

Bored with looking through your current to-read list and not feeling excited by any of the books on it? Well, here are some new releases that might give you a breath of fresh air. Plus, you have more time in the summer to read, so why not?

1. Damage Done, by Amanda Panitch – Coming July 21, 2015

22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, she’s able to begin again. She’s even getting used to the empty bedroom where her brother should be. And her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school, a boy who will do anything to protect her. But when someone much more dangerous also takes notice, Lucy’s forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind.

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . . .

Awesome thriller novel. I hope it has a ton of plot twists, because I’ve been liking those lately. This new-identity stuff has been done before, but I hope Panitch makes it worth our while.

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Books, Original Post, Tag, YA Fiction

The Ultimate Book Tag

Hi peeps, it’s Haven! Today I am back with another book tag, like I promised (a long time ago), and it is called the Ultimate Book Tag. This tag was created by Megan on Goodreads.

Q: Do you get sick while reading in the car?
A: I get sick while reading in the car, but not when reading in the bus. I try to avoid reading in a vehicle entirely, because it’s not good for you, but yeah, it’s pretty weird.

Q: Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you?
A: I usually don’t pay attention to the writing style, but I think Gabrielle Zevin’s style pretty unique. I read All These Things I’ve Done (and reviewed it) a while back, and despite it being a dystopian book, the writing style is surprisingly straightforward and blunt. This is different for me, because usually books set in a fantasy or dystopian world contain more lyrical and flowy writing (does that make sense?).

Q: Harry Potter Series or the Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.
A: I honestly don’t know why everyone compares these two, since they are so different. I haven’t read the Harry Potter series (I’m getting ready for all the tomatoes you’re about to throw at me haha), I’ve started it when I was young but I found it a little boring so I put it aside… and never came back to it. I was just more into realistic fiction when I was younger, so it’s understandable. I was okay with Twilight when I first read it, but after reading more and gaining more insight, I didn’t like it. I’ve read books like Twilight that I’ve hated, so I’m not experiencing Twilight Saga again. So, I guess I would go with Harry Potter. I have to read it eventually. 😀

Q: Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is it in (besides books…)?
A: I need a backpack when I go to school, so yeah. Besides books, I carry 2 binders, one for each day (block schedule), a pencil pouch, headphones, and my lunch.

Q: Do you smell your books?
A: Nope. I’m being completely honest. I’ve only bought a few books (I’m a library person), and all I’ve done is read them. But, the next rare occasion where I buy a book… I might try it. 😀

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Books

The Fill-In Boyfriend, by Kasie West 

   4.25 Stars

The Blurb: When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

If I could describe this book in one word, it would be cute. This is an an adorable novel, with many factors I like in a book, although it was riddled with cliches.

First of all, this is quite a well written novel. While it is a romance, there is plenty of character development and self discovery as well, which is what brought up my overall rating. I’ve read Kasie West’s work in the past; her Pivot Point was an adorable and sweet novel as well. However, I wouldn’t describe Pivot Point-nor The Fill-In Boyfriend- as perfect.

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