Friday, April 29, 2011

the hunger games movie casting: effie

Okay, taking a short little break from studying here to announce... *drumroll* ...that the role of Effie Trinket has been scored by...

A Ms. Elizabeth Banks!
At first, I didn't know whether she could pull off our bubbly busybody, Effie, but at second glance, I think she could, with some effort. The only movie I remember her from is The Uninvited, and she played a fairly creepy role in that film. Anyways, just wanted to share for anyone who didn't know.

Back to hittin' those books!

Monday, April 25, 2011

review: The Goddess Test


Sorry for the long interval since my last post; it's finals week! I probably won't post again until next week, when school is all over and done with. For now, I'll leave you guys with this review...

The Goddess Test

Author: Aimée Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 19 April 2011
Pages: 304

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

Luna's Take:

I love this cover! The "Greek-ified" title is cool too, even though sigma isn't actually pronounced with an "e" sound.. But oh well (Sorry, is my status as a college student that obvious now? :p).

Also, I've recently had a penchant for reading books regarding Greek mythology. As summer reading for my senior literature class, we read Edith Hamilton's Mythology, and there my obsession began.

So obviously, I got really wrapped up in The Goddess Test. Carter didn't really overload readers with facts on mythology, but enough was in there to keep fans like me happy. The description of the relationship between Kate and Henry was fairly swoonly, too. I was able to see it foster and grow throughout the book.

Appearances aside, this is not your typical read. One of the underlying plotlines is a murder mystery that remains to be solved. I don't normally read about this theme, but Carter wrote it in a way that drew me in and made me excited to read the subsequent chapter.

Though it wasn't a perfect read - some of the character sketches didn't quite agree with me - I enjoyed The Goddess Test, and recommend it to fellow Greek mythology lovers and to anyone who wants to discover some tidbits about mythology!

Rating: 4/5

Friday, April 22, 2011

follow me friday #1

First off, happy Earth Day, everyone! I always love this often-forgotten holiday. Two years ago, I planted a tree near my high school (named Grubby... long story), and I made sure to take the time to visit him today. Plus, today's the one month mark until my 19th birthday! Though I'm not sure that's a number worth celebrating. What's really special about 19? Last year of teenagedom? Prime number?

Rambling's done, now onto the post subject!

Follow Me Friday is a book meme hosted by Parajunkee. It provides members of the blogosphere to check out some new blogs, meet some cool peeps, and stalk some fellow bloggers (and possibly get some new followers, woot~).

This Week's Question: What is on your current playlist?

So my playlist is a bit all over the place, but that's one of the reasons I love it. :)

"Give Me Strength" by Snow Patrol
"All This Time" by OneRepublic
"Background" by Lecrae
"My Boots" by LIGHTS
"Nothing Left to Lose" by Mat Kearney
"Live Your Life" by T.I.
"Talking to the Moon" by Bruno Mars
"Time is Running Out" by Muse
"Look After You" by The Fray
"The Scientist" by Coldplay
"Someone Like You" by Adele

I've been listening to some of these songs on replay for quite some time, but others are new finds. My favorite genre usually falls in the "alternative" range, but I like to mix it up with some other songs every once in a while.

What have you been listening to recently?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

cover clash: headless ladies

"Cover Clash" is a book meme that highlights how some book covers are truly too similar to one another. While "Cover Clash" is a regular feature, I post it fairly sporadically. Feel free to participate as well, but don't forget to credit me!
 There have been cases where some covers are reused for different books, but then there are those like these...

Things I Know About Love 
by Kate Le Vann
Don't Expect Magic
by Kathy McCullough
I get how it's considered artsy at times when the subjects photographed don't show their heads/faces, giving the picture a mysterious vibe, but really? It's kind of overdone, in my opinion. Don't be afraid to show your faces, ladies! Everyone goes through puberty, a couple of zits shown to the public aren't the worst of your worries. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

review: Wither

Man... It's been a Murphy's Law kind of day. You know, one of those days where it seems like nothing goes right, and everything that could ever possibly go wrong does. Sigh. That darn Murphy.

Sorry for being such a Debbie Downer; hopefully this review will make up for my cloudy mood!

Wither (Chemical Garden #1)

Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: 22 March 2011
Pages: 356

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.

Luna's Take:

Gahh, this book! And the beautimus cover! I'm sure you all have heard the hype. And in my opinion, it's true! But let me elaborate a little.

To start, if I was living in the world of Wither, I would pass away in two years. Two years! Imagine having such a short life; what would you do? And what would I do? I kept pondering this question all throughout my reading, and I came up with only one answer that satisfied me: I would quit school, rack up my (meager) savings from my piggy bank, and backpack all over the world. So basically, nothing but me and what I could carry on my back. And when my time came, I'd want to be relaxed, staring at the myriad colors of a setting sun, or something along those lines. Cheesy, no? Granted, this is considering I that I'd have free will. What if you couldn't choose how to life your truncated life?

This is the sad reality of Rhine's world. The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where an incurable virus runs rampant, killing females at twenty and males at twenty-five. With no antidote at hand, females are forced into servitude at the hand of eligible bachelors desiring campanionship and future offspring.

Rhine is thrust into this position, acting as one of the "sister wives" to Linden. Though we as a society are prone to shun polygamy, the characters in Wither have grown accustomed to such a distasteful practice. Her story is unbelievable yet heartrending, and I felt myself pulled into the story as if I was one of the characters myself. If you know me well, you know I *love* The Hunger Games series, and this first installment to the Chemical Garden provided many dystopian parallels that I loved.

Honestly, this was one of those novels that left me wanting so much more at the end, but in a good way. Hopefully we'll see more of Gabriel next time! Anyone else in the DeStefano fan wagon with me?

Rating: 5/5

Sunday, April 17, 2011

cover clash: peek-a-boo!

Cover Clash is a little segment I want to start that highlights how some book covers are truly too similar to one another. Have you guys ever noticed that? There have been cases where some covers are reused for different books, but then there are those like these...

Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens

Exposure by Therese Fowler

...that make you wonder whether the designers for these book covers were too lazy and decided to semi-plagarize off one another. I had seen the cover of Overprotected first, and when I came upon Exposure, I seriously thought it was the sequel. 

What are your thoughts? Personally, I'm kind of over the whole "peeking eyes" routine. A bit too cliché for my tastes.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

in my mailbox #2

In My Mailbox is a book meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.
The title of this entry is actually a lie (I know, shame on me, blah blah blah). I didn't actually get these books in the mail.
So this weekend, I came back home for a little refresher before going back to school and hitting the books in preparation for FINALS... bleck. Anyways, lucky me, because today happened to be the last day that the Borders near my house stayed in business. Have you guys ever been to a bookstore that was going to close soon? It was like a bibliophile's heaven. Everything was 90% off! Now, I should give the disclaimer that I happened to step into the store 30 minutes before it closed (forever), so everything was dirt cheap. Let me tell you though, it was so competitive in there! I was going to reach for this book when this random woman snatched it right from underneath me! And to add insult to injury, she also swiped ALL the books from the shelf and cradled her victory bundle in her arms. I would have spit at her if it weren't so socially inacceptable... not really... well, maybe.
Okay, that's enough rant time. Now to show off my fruits of the day! I forgot to bring my camera with me, so these were taken with my shotty - yet reliable - webcam. Woo hoo!

Jealousy by Lili St. Crow
Torment by Lauren Kate
Vixen by Jillian Larkin

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
The Line by Teri Hall
Outside the Ordinary World by Dori Ostermiller

White Cat by Holly Black
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
You by Charles Benoit

A Kind of Intimacy by Jenn Ashworth
The Frenzy by Francesca Lia Block
Betrayal by Gillian Shields

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Push by Sapphire
Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
I know these aren't all YA fiction, but I always like to branch out in consideration to my reading range. One thing I should mention, though - I already have my copy of Torment (and am eagerly awaiting the third installment!), so I might just have my newly-bought copy up for grabs! ;)
Happy reading~

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

waiting on wednesday 04.13.11

Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. What future releases are you anxiously waiting for?

Glow (Sky Chasers #1)

Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: 27 September 2011
Pages: 320

First off, I love the cover! It's simple yet elegant, and I'm all for images within O's. Here's a little summary...

What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

Glow is the most riveting series debut since The Hunger Games, and promises to thrill and challenge readers of all ages.

I can't wait! Basically, I'll be into any book that's put in comparison to The Hunger Games, because really, how could I resist? And if the book's already bound for a series deal, it must be worth a read. Only 5+ months to wait... Sigh.

new design giveaway

So I don't know if you all check out Siobian over at The Owl Bookmark Blog, but she's currently hosting a giveaway for a new custom design! One lucky blogger will win a package including:

ê custom header
ê custom background
ê link bar with up to 5 buttons
ê signature
ê blog button with code
ê custom rating system for reviews
ê custom colors to match new design
ê installation

I know I will definitely be participating. My blog needs a revamping! If you guys feel the same way, be sure to check this out!

Siobian's Awesomely Original Design!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

review: Breathing Underwater

Do you guys have an Einstein's near your house? We have one on campus, and I'm completely addicted now. My friend suggested I try the Cookies & Creme Frap, and it's like a mouthful of heaven every time you take a sip... highly recommended!
And now, onto the review.

Breathing Underwater

Author: Alex Flinn
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 1 October 2002
Pages: 263
Like father,
like son

Intelligent, popular, handsome, and wealthy, sixteen-year-old Nick Andreas is pretty much perfect — on the outside, at least. What no one knows — not even his best friend — is the terror that Nick faces every time he is alone with his father. Then he and Caitlin fall in love, and Nick thinks his problems are over. Caitlin is the one person who he can confide in. But when things start to spiral out of control, Nick must face the fact that he's gotten more from his father than green eyes and money.

Luna's Take:

First thing: DON'T be repelled by this book solely because it was first published over 8 years ago and thus considered "ancient" in the ever-progressing bloggosphere. I had read something else of Flinn's, Beastly, over the summer, and I really liked her storyline, so I decided to try out another of her works.

Let me just say, it's a decision I definitely don't regret. Upon the first 50 pages or so, I really thought Nick was a fairly average guy, albeit one with some serious anger management issues. We find that his ex-girlfriend Caitlin put a restraining order on him because he allegedly treated her poorly, although we don't find exactly what that entails until nearly the end of the novel. However, throughout journal entries that Nick writes, I initially deduced that all that happened was him hitting Caitlin. Once.

Not to say I support abusive relationships, because I am 110% against them. It's just that with all that Nick's been through, I sort of understood where his anger came from. He shouldn't have hit his girlfriend, sure, but he really didn't know how to ask for help, who to tell, and so on and so forth. If you think I'm crazy though, don't feel afraid to disagree!

As I read on, I realized there was a bucketload of things readers weren't privy to from the get-go. I personally did not like Caitlin as a character. To me, she seems kind of weak and meager for the majority of the book, someone who can't really speak up for herself when it counts. 

All in all, I suggest picking up a copy of Breathing Underwater for an intense ride.

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, April 9, 2011

in my mailbox #1

In My Mailbox is a book meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Be sure to join in the fun and share your IMM! 

Gahh second post today, I'm on a roll!
Anyways, I figure that since I had such a huge shipment of books that landed on my doorstep the other day, I should share my list with you guys. :)
I would post up a picture of all my fabulous books, but unfortunately, I forgot to do that when I was back home, and now I'm in my dorm again... Sad. Probably won't be going back in a while, so I'll just post up higher-quality images of all the books I received! Here they are...


Hourglass by Claudia Gray

Sleepless by Thomas Fahy

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Inside Out
by Maria V. Snyder

Crash Test Love by Ted Michael

Breathing Underwater
by Alex Flinn

Teach Me by R.A. Nelson

Girl Parts by John M. Cusick


Ruby Unscripted
by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma 
Intertwined by Gena Showalter

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

One Day by David Nicholls

Swoon by Nina Malkin

Taken By Storm
by Angela Morrison

The Maze Runner
 by James Dashner

Infinite Days
by Rebecca Maizel

The Secret Year
by Jennifer R. Hubbard

Falling Under
by Gwen Hayes

Strange Angels
by Lili St. Crow

The Tear Collector
by Patrick Jones

The Trouble With Mr. Darcy
by Sharon Lathan

Sorry for the weird spacing. I'm not... how do you say, "computer-savvy." Anyways, don't they look awesome?! I love getting tons of books all at once, clearly. And I don't feel embarrassed telling you guys, since I know you're all book nerds at heart! Don't deny... I can't even decide which cover is my favorite. Sleepless? Twenty Boy Summer? The Secret Year?
If you all have any suggestions as to which I should attack first, comment away! And also tell
me whether you'd prefer me to review one over the others.

*EDIT 04/10/11
So I went over to my friend's place and was on her computer, checking out my blog (how vain of me, I know). She has a Mac, and I realized how my IMM looks horribly disfigured! Just saying, I have a Dell and this post looks alright on my laptop... So I guess I'm just saying, sorry if this looks really horrible on your Mac! I'll try and gain some computer skills by next time...

wishlist #1

Hey all!
So I don't know if you guys visit Isalys & Vanessa @ Book Soulmates, but each month, they host something called Random Acts of Kindness. I've snatched one of their buttons, so you can go ahead and check it out on the right, but basically, it's where bloggers post up their own wishlists then check out other blogger's lists to see if they can make their dreams come true... in a "random act of kindness!" :)
I think the theory behind this idea is simply brilliant, and I can't wait to participate! Anyways, the following is my current wishlist. Just a disclaimer, this is definitely the shortened version - my original one is wayy too long.
So here goes!

1) Lies (Gone #3) by Michael Grant - paperback
2) City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Insturments #4) by Cassandra Clare
3) Wither (Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano
4) Entwined by Heather Dixon
5) Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer
6) Leap by Jodi Lundgren
7) The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff
8) Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison
9) By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
10) My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares

Good luck to all the other bloggers out there participating in RAK - hope I can help you out, too!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

review: Where I Belong

Hola! Hope everyone's having a nice day so far. As for me, the weather's been great recently! A little cool, but that's the way I like it, really. Nice and crisp. And now, to the review!

Where I Belong

Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 8 February 2011
Pages: 289

Meet Corrinne. She's living every girl's dream in New York City—shopping sprees at Barneys, open access to the best clubs and parties, and her own horse at the country club. Her perfect life is perfectly on track. At least it was. . . .
When Corrinne's father is laid off, her world suddenly falls apart. Instead of heading to boarding school, she's stripped of her credit cards and shipped off to the boonies of Texas to live with her grandparents. On her own in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the life she's supposed to be living. She doesn't care who she stomps on in the process. But when Corrinne makes an unlikely friend and discovers a total hottie at work, she begins to wonder if her life B.R.—before the recession—was as perfect as it seemed.

Luna's Take:

When we first meet Corrinne, she's a total brat. Take all the stereotypes you have about snobby rich girls, multiply it by 3.14159, and you have our main character. When she finds out that her once opulent father lost his job, she completely blows her top. Because, she won't be able to buy designer clothes anymore! Or go to that super snazzy boarding school! And let's not even talk about her having to move all the way to hick-ville Texas in order to accomodate their lack of cash flow.

As we progress through the book, she does mature a bit, but not as much as I would've hoped. In this way, I was disappointed in the book. As a cover-judger, I thought this might've been more amazing, profound, whatever... But my hopes were left in the dust. Sigh. The ending was not red carpet worthy, either.

That's not saying this doesn't make a good light read, because it really does. Just a forewarning though - if you're looking for a book with more meat, don't choose this one.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

the hunger games movie casting: peeta & gale

Hey all!

Sorry I'm a little late on the uptake for this one, school's been pretty killer lately. Anyways, I was surfing the net just now and came upon this little gem: the casting for for Peeta and Gale in The Hunger Games movie has been announced! Let's see our men of the hour...

Josh Hutcherson starring as Peeta Mellark

Liam Hemsworth starring as Gale Hawthorne

What do you guys think? I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when Jennifer Lawrence snatched the role of Katniss. With respect to acting, I do believe she's perfect for the role; her Oscar nomination speaks for itself! But as for appearance-wise, I think she's a little too all-American for my tastes. Personally, I thought Hailee Steinfield parallels Katniss's looks better. Though it might have been her age that impeded her from landing the role, who knows?

Anyways, onto the guys.
Before I get into anything else, let me just mention one thing.
HOW IN THE WORLD did Josh get so smoldering hot?! All I remember of him is from the movie Bridge to Terabithia, which was in 2007, sure, but still. He's grown up so much! No more do rag hairstyle for him! I know, I know, "do rag" makes no sense here. It's just the phrase I use to describe the hair some guys have - you know the type - slightly too long, flippy, with an air of unkemptness. Like JB style, tenfold.

But as for his similarity to Peeta... ? Where are the blonde locks? The bright blue eyes? It may be picky of me to mention, but for once, I'd like casters of a novel-adapted-movie to pick actors who can both act AND look the part. Sigh. Josh does give an air of sensitivity though, at least to me. I feel he can at least act the part.

Now I've never watched The Last Song, but that may just be due to the fact that I don't approve of Miley. So I don't know if Liam can act, AND I don't like his looks, especially when comparing him to intense, passionate Gale. Liam's a bit too pale and light-haired for the part, but who knows? With some sun and a dye job, he may do just fine. At least he's got a cool name going on for him.

Any thoughts from you fellow bloggers?