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February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday ● #2

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It features books that you are currently anticipating releases of. 

Title: the Calling (Darkness Rising #2)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publication: April, 2012 by HarperCollins

Summary: Maya and her friends--all of whom have supernatural powers--have been kidnapped after fleeing from a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set, and after a terrifying helicopter crash they find themselves pursued by evildoers in the Vancouver Island wilderness.

Vivi Talks: While I was enjoying "the Gathering" (and swooning over Rafe), I noticed this second book on Goodreads. Little did I know that it is yet to be released! Nooo!! But this one, I'd definitely want to check out because unlike "the Summoning", I actually thought "the Gathering" was decent, and I'm dying to read the sequel. I also think there are rumours of Ms. Armstrong making Chloe from Darkest Powers to meet Maya from Darkness Rising..(my, these are some confusing series names!) . hmmm. Unlike Maya, I'm not a fan of Chloe, frankly. 

What are you waiting on this lovely Leap Year Wednesday? :)
Feel free to post a link in the comments for me!


February 28, 2012

:,。★゚: Cover Reveal : "Taste", by Kate Evangelista ・。☆ ゚

For Vivaciously, Vivian's very first Cover Reveal event, I've been given the great honour by the lovely author Ms. Kate Evangelista to participate in the cover reveal of her upcoming release, "Taste"! And wow. Is it a stunning cover or what! I am completely in love with the eery and haunting nuances of this cover! This one is honestly (truly, I'm serious) going to be ranked quite high in my YA covers list!

Title: Taste
Author: Kate Evangelista
Publication Date: To be announced
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance
Cover art by (also quite worth mentioning, I think!): Liliana Sanches

Summary: At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing.

Visit Kate here!  

February 27, 2012

[White Pine 2012] "The Way It Is" by Donalda Reid

White Pine Book #3! For now, this will be the book that I'll be rooting for during the voting period. In my opinion, this book needs way more recognition. I've gone back to my formal/serious review style, haha! Nevertheless, I hope, dear reader, that you'll take some time to read this honest and heart-felt review, and consider checking this book out!

Title: The Way It Is
Author: Donalda Reid
Publication: 2010, Second Story Press

Summary: To Ellen Manery, a brilliant, introverted, socially isolated fifteen-year-old, there is nothing good about the summer of 1967, especially when her parents decide to move to a small town in the interior of British Columbia. All the big ideas of the 1960s--the civil rights movement, the sexual revolution, women's rights--have not had much of an effect on this small community. Ellen has always been more interested in studying than a social life, but that begins to change when she meets Tony Paul, an eighteen-year-old who belongs to the Shuswap Indians and lives on the nearby reserve. When school starts it is Tony's friendship that gives Ellen the strength to endure the loneliness, racism, discrimination, and antifeminism she must face during her last year in high school. As Tony and Ellen's friendship turns into something deeper, they must decide if they can break free of society's rules and forge their own future....Goodreads

Review: Ms. Reid's first book is one of an absolutely wonderful, bittersweet taste. The gorgeous phrasing and the picturesque descriptiveness of this novel brings an incredibly down-to-earth, yet heart-wrenchingly soulful tale. Although Ellen may seem unattractive at first glimpse, she gracefully unfolds into the stunning silhouette of a full-grown butterfly by the last page. Created with love, determination, and compelling courage, this seemingly simple female protagonist is far from simple, and she will unexpectedly win over your heart to an amazing extent. 

Along Ellen's side, Tony is an equally established and impressive character, adding vibrant and realistic tones to the Aboriginal portion of the painting. Ms. Reid lets words soar and dance to portray reflective and touching images of a tasteful and particularly emotional story that will take readers on a time-travel back to another time in Canada's rich history. 

Invoking strong themes including racism, discrimination, and inequality, this novel holds many heavy stones together, surrounded by a shimmering and sophisticated ribbon of a nostalgically familiar plot outline. Dashed with charming brushes of life as a teenager, "The Way It Is" will hit many a right note and nuance. Ms. Reid's delicate and intricate prose, combined with a tugging and throbbing young romance will bring tears to the reader's eyes and ultimately sway one's emotions due to the grown and undying affection one would feel for the characters of this praise-worthy first novel.

Rating: ✿✿✿✿ 4 Blossoms
Final Notes: This book made me cry at the very end. It wasn't a few sniffs; I sobbed. I remember a point when I was crying, when I stopped for a moment to reflect on what I was feeling. My heart sincerely ached for the characters, and that is why I feel so strongly about this book. I'd like to say, "Now, THIS is a BOOK!" and I really, truly hope that the award goes to this book.


February 26, 2012

[White Pine 2012] "Beat the Band" by Don Calame

Book #... HEY! What happened to my Book #3?! O_O
-racks brains- Oh my, I cannot believe I haven't posted my review for "The Way It Is" yet. I will definitely do that this week, and just want to say, that it is one that I will be highly recommending.

On to this review, then! Sorry for the wrong order, but here's Book #4 out of 10 of this year's White Pine 2012 Selection!! Goodreads list for the nominations HERE

 Title: Beat the Band
Author: Don Calame
Publication: 2010, Candlewick Press

Summary: In this hilarious sequel to Swim the Fly, told from Coop’s point of view, it’s the beginning of the school year, and the tenth-grade health class must work in pairs on semester-long projects. Matt and Sean get partnered up (the jerks), but Coop is matched with the infamous “Hot Dog” Helen for a presentation on safe sex. Everybody’s laughing, except for Coop, who’s convinced that the only way to escape this social death sentence is to win “The Battle of the Bands” with their group, Arnold Murphy’s Bologna Dare....read more

Review: This was a hilarious book. Usually, an average book makes me chuckle, or grin idiotically a couple times, but I was definitely shaking with laughter way more than that. From absolutely, ridiculously, tremendously funny scenarios, to the funniest conversations, "Beat the Band" will crack you up good!

If this is how an average teenage boy really is, then I'm a bit scared. However, Mr. Calame does a decent job with the characterization of his main boys, Coop, Sean, and Matt. Although Coop may seem a bit of a perverted "jerk" at first (hey, this is coming from a high school girl's point of view), he will definitely win you over as you'll see that he is soft and kind-hearted below all that, as well as perfectly able to learn his lesson and stand up for his friends (and love). I'm happy for Coop that he definitely did some maturing in this second book. 

The one thing that I didn't find too appealing as a reader, and mind you, this is quite a personal opinion, is the style of writing. Yes, there's quite the big impact of these hilarious moments in black ink, but I feel like Coop and his friends should have been a movie instead. The writing itself is almost all conversation, and therefore, besides (very) light reading, I couldn't seem to be able to take it seriously enough. 

Other than that, an okay plot, some pretty classic laughs packed in there that you'll definitely remember, and an overall good feeling by the end of it all. Good for some light reading on a lazy day. 

Rating: ✰✰✰ 3 Hilarious Hoots

Final Notes:Thanks, Mr. Calame, for making me laugh so much! I haven't read a book that's made me laugh so hard in quite a while!


February 25, 2012

In My Mailbox ● #2

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi @ The Story Siren where you share your books haul, whether the books be bought, received for review, or from the library!

My second IMM, as promised, on a Saturday! This week has been super great, I've read so many reviews and visited some really awesome community blogs as well. Also, thank you for all the lovely comments on my last IMM! This week's not much, besides another advancement in my White Pine reading, and another addition to my reading list from the public library.

"Beat the Band" by Don Calame
White Pine Awards Reading Program 2012 Nomination
From School Library ; Goodreads

Here's my next pick on my WP line-up. This one's supposed to be the sequel to Swim the Fly, which, last year, was the comic relief representative of White Pine 2011. I thought the first book was...decent...sure, "kamikaze curls" made me laugh-out-loud quite a bit, but overall, it was average. I'm expecting a bit of mild entertainment here, but I'm 99.9% sure it won't be containing anything that will make me consider my vote for it.

"13 to Life" by Shannon Delany
From Public Library ; Goodreads

OLD! Haha, yes, this series is already on it's 5th book...I think. but after seeing it sitting on the shelf, I decided to pick it up and give it a shot. Interesting cover, too. Yet another supernatural sort of book. Maybe I'll find another good series. Have any of you read this one? What did you think of it? I'd be happy to hear any opinions of it :)

February 24, 2012

Dusty Reads ● #1

Dusty Reads is a weekly meme created by Giselle @ .Xpresso Reads. It features a book that has been sitting on your shelf, unread.

I just recently discovered Giselle's lovely book blog, .Xpresso Reads, and I really loved her Dusty Reads weekly posts. So here's my Dusty Read for this week!

Title: Unforgettable
Author: Anonymous author, series created by Cecily von Ziegesar
Series: It Girl
Source: the local BMW

I LOVE this series!! In all of the Gossip-Girl-ish teen series, this one is close to the top of my list! I really wish I knew who the real author behind these books are... Anyway, I picked this one up at the local BMW store (saw it hiding under a bunch of Pretty Little Liars, and I JUMPED at it, haha), but after temporarily placing it on my bookshelf ("for now
, I said), I never got around to reading it.

Also, I think this is the last out of the 10 books in this awesome series that I haven't read yet, so maybe it's due to the feeling that I'm "saving" this one...hoping to savour it little by little to make it last longer..?


February 23, 2012

"Prophecy of the Sisters" by Michelle Zink

Title: Prophecy of the Sisters
Author: Michelle Zink
Publication: 2009, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Summary: An ancient prophecy divides two sisters-
One good...
One evil...
Who will prevail?

Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' ...read more

Review:  A dark, haunting, and mesmerizing work! Set in the 1800's, "Prophecy of the Sisters" pull off ancient myths, magic down a darker road, and wonderfully poetic and moving dictation. The main setting itself does not falter through this tense story, but Zink balances most of it out with switch ups to locations not far from home. Characters include an admirable protagonist, a chilling and compelling antagonist (whom Zink carved out exquisitely and extremely artistically), and many pawns and bishops, all laid out strategically on the game board. This is a book that seeks the reader's attention to a far broader statement than what is seemingly and simply presented in the adventure. While overlooking the slightly uneven pace of the open concept ending, as well as not much action, one should appreciate the gorgeous sophistication of the writing, and the occasionally mentioned morals of love, friendship, trust and family. What grabbed at me the strongest was Zink's effortless, yet powerful manipulation of an impressively vast selection of complex, human emotions. Stirred in with the other tasteful bits of magical characterization and plot, this work melts into a wonderfully eery, yet heart-warming concoction that will both provoke and soothe your heart.

Rating: ✿✿✿ 3.5 Blossoms
Final Notes: This is a book to slowly sip, not gulp. Enjoy all the subtle nuances in the writing, and this book will prove to be very enjoyable. I'm currently reading the second book of the series ^_^


February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday ● #1

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It features books that you are currently anticipating releases of.

I only recently found out about the sequel to "Princess Academy" by Shannon Hale. There's no cover for this one yet, but it's going to be titled "Palace of Stone". Definitely waiting upon it's August 21st, 2012 publication!!! I'm dying to read it already! "Princess Academy" was so mesmerizing a work, I honestly did not even consider the idea of a possible sequel! But wow... truly very excited to buy this one and read it and add it to my Shannon Hale collection.

Not surprisingly, it is also #1 of most-anticipated releases of this year! Goodreads Link

February 21, 2012

[White Pine 2012] "The Gathering" by Kelley Armstrong

Book #2 out of 10! I'm making progress! ^o^ Okay...maybe not quite as fast as last year, but that's only because I've been reading a non-WP book in between my WP books ^^;

 Title: The Gathering
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publication: 2011, HarperCollins

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island....read more

Review: A heart-thumping start to a great new series! Ms. Armstrong pulls from a strictly Canadian setting a mythical-meets-modern tale with a strong protagonist, addictive teen romance, and wonderfully fast-paced action. Maya is not too original a lead, but nevertheless vibrant enough to pull the reader along her story. One will find oneself scampering after the energetic characters of this book without missing a step. The mystery itself was well drawn out, revealing gasp-worthy snippets in the right places. Ms. Armstrong took advantage of a neatly created small town, where she pulled all pieces of the game up close to the reader. That being said, it added even more satisfaction in the surprises. The narration transitions effectively through present-time, dreams, and other visions, creating a couple layers of depth to the fantasy and mystery elements. Although not of a more artistic telling, the story itself is an enjoyable one, and will leave readers attached to the characters enough to go searching for the sequel.

Rating: ✿✿✿ 3 Blossoms
Final Notes: The author erased most of the bad memories from The Summoning for me and I seriously enjoyed this one! Addicting and thrilling, and the romance is just AWWWW!!! I love Rafe!!!! >_< -squeals- Guess the reason why I want to continue with the sequel is out, haha, but yes, definitely worth the read this time, especially if you're a fan of this popular author. I also found that she did a great job balancing myth and facts, so this was actually very, very believable.


Top Ten Tuesday ● #1

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish where you share a top ten list!

Omigod, I love, love, LOVE lists! *o* This is one of my favourite memes to read about, and I'm super excited about my first Top Ten Tuesday XD

Of course, my first week for this meme will HAVE to be my absolute favourite books. The topic is Top Ten Books I'd Quickly Save If My House Was Going To Be Abducted By Aliens (or some sort of natural disaster). Hmmm....-ponders- This isn't going to be easy =_=

  1. The Life and Death of Chopin by Kazimierz Wierzyski (I weeped, WEEPED after this one, going "Noooo!!! Chopin!!! Don't diiiiiieeee~!!!")
  2. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (has to be my favourite childhood classic. hands down.)
  3. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (I love this one to death as well. Actually, I'll take my whole collection box.)
  4. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (I will NOT leave my Shannon Hale books!)
  5. Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone by J.K.Rowling (nor this one. modern classic.)
  6. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (yes..another Shannon Hale one...)
  7. Sphinx's Queen by Esther Friesnar (when you need to read about a courageous female lead. gorgeous diction and incredibly inspiring)
  8. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (I love this one too... absolutely beautiful)
  9. Little Women by L.M. Alcott (some of the best life lessons ever. maybe second when compared to dear Anne Shirley-turned-Blythe, but close...)
  10. Halo by Alexandra Adornetto (a modern touch from Heaven itself. I'm really in love with this one...more than most people XD)
 Phew~ There! I'm quite happy with this list, though honestly, I'd save all my Shannon Hale books if I could, and there are many more classics that I'd definitely want to haul too, but I like this balance ^^ How did you find my list? Were there any you could relate to?

❤ Vivian

February 20, 2012

In My Mailbox ● #1

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi @ The Story Siren where you share your books haul, whether the books be bought, received for review, or from the library!

Hourray! My first IMM! Although today is a Monday, and I was originally hoping to make my IMM posts maybe biweekly on Saturdays, I was too excited to wait another week ^^; Maybe I'll make Monday a meme day for another meme, since Mondays sure are sluggish, it'd be a fun thing to cheer up the atmosphere!

"The Gathering" by Kelley Armstrong
White Pine Awards Reading Program 2012 Nomination
From School Library ; Goodreads

My second WP2012 book! I've already started on this one, but only recently checked it out at the end of the week. I have also read Kelley Armstrong's "The Summoning", and truth be told, I flat-out hated it. So yes, I was quite wary after, shockingly enough, realized this book had the same author. However, that'd be quite unfair to Ms. Armstrong, so I did my best to read this without bias... and I like it! So far, anyway.

"Guardian of the Gate" by Michelle Zink
From Public Library ; Goodreads

This is the second book to the "Prophecy of the Sisters" series. After enjoying the first book, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't a stand-alone, haha! Of course, I should have known as the ending wasn't exactly conclusion-like... super, super excited to read this since my hold has finally arrived!!! Michelle Zink really did wonders to the reader's emotions with the first.

"Wicked Girls" by Stephanie Hemphill
From Public Library ; Goodreads

 I love my historical fiction, so the Salem Witch trials plot completely drew me to this one. Quite excited to read this one as well, though I'm saving it for after "Guardian of the Gate". I've actually never read a historical fiction novel based on the witch trials, so very curious about how this one's going to turn out. That doesn't mean I don't know my facts, though XD

February 18, 2012

"Another Faust" by Daniel & Dina Nayeri

Title: Another Faust
Author: Daniel & Dina Nayeri
Publication: 2009, Candlewick Press

Summary: One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish — only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary "gifts." But as the students claw their way up — reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty — they start to suffer the sideeffects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins....read more

Review: Exploring the richness and chilling depth of this tastefully devilish book proved to be haunting and compelling. The shimmering spider web of a plot is densely yet surprisingly tactfully woven. "Another Faust" presents itself in a labyrinth-like form; each chapter holds at least 2-3 contrasting scenes, each mysterious and delightful in its own way. Clever connections to pieces of history add a sophisticated layer of icing atop this dark, chocolate-like treat. This book boasts a wonderful concoction of both artistic narrative and exciting dialogue in healthy doses, something to be highly praised in a Young Adult read. Balance is expertly handled in the diligently created characters, although not so much in terms of morals. Not recommended for younger readers. I suggest you sort out the clear line between "right" and "wrong" yourself before diving in. Scenarios are painted exceedingly well, however, and the folding and unfolding of each is done spectacularly. Links in plot lines are unable to be deciphered, and even then, there are spikes and surprises around every twist and turn. Puzzle pieces lock together perfectly to usher forth an insightful and intellectual final snapshot that will pave way gracefully for an elegant exit. Filled with enchanting darkness, readers will find "Another Faust" to be a twisted journey like one never experienced before.

Ratings: ✿✿✿ 3.5 Blossoms
Final Notes: I loved this. Although not the most entertaining, this is one of the most intellectual YA reads for me. It is NOT a lazy day book, as I've tried to comprehend some of the italic passages, and with no luck. Even so, I was surprised by the sophistication of this book. Also, while I was reading this, almost every single person peering at the cover got the impression of a vampire book XD I personally really love the cover as well. It depicts the characters truthfully, yet without breaking your personal imagination. 


February 15, 2012

"Halo" by Alexandra Adornetto

Title: Halo
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Publication:2010, Feiwel & Friends

Summary: Three angels – Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human – are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They must work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.
Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods
...read more

Review: An ethereal love story, achingly beautiful in both the poise of the writing and the weaving of the storyline. For a hopeless romantic such as myself, you'd fall head over heels in love with this divine offering. As cliche as the angles theme may get, there is no denying that Adornetto makes it work wonders in a compelling and hypnotizing way. Easily liked characters for every person to pick a team contribute to a lovely, yet intense and radiating tale. What surprised me was the near absolute perfection of Adornetto's dictation of "Halo", in which it soaks the reader in a warm and sweet cloud of magic, while still successfully moving the pace of the storyline. Never a dull moment, you crave and you get. You feel ecstatic, then crestfallen in beat to Bethany. You feel completely satisfied by the exquisite love story, yet you still gasp for more. To fully enjoy this heartwrenching first book of this trilogy, one must give away all stubbornness, and let the romance spread its wings in full flight and carry you airborne. Then all that's left is to savour each and every moment of it.

Ratings: ✿✿✿✿ 4 Blossoms
Final Notes: I found out that the author wrote "Halo" in her last year of high school. Which is amazing. Honestly, why I loved this book so, so much is because of how much in sync it is with my own fantasies of angels. It truly clicks with my imagination to an extent like never before. Perhaps this review is slightly, personally biased, as I've heard how you either love or hate this book, but I sincerely hope you'll have as good an experience with it as I did. I bought this one! 


February 13, 2012

"Ruined" by Paula Morris

Title: Ruined
Author: Paula Morris
Publication: 2009, Point

Summary: Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She's staying in a creepy old house with her Aunt Claudia, who reads Tarot cards for a living. And at the snooty prep school, a pack of filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey ...read more

Review: The story unfolds nicely with enough baits dropped to keep the story flowing. Nice playing of racial themes, hierarchy, and historical happenings. Sometimes unclear, however. Characters at times need bits more development. Overall, a stunning story that brings you to a spine-chilling climax and ending, and wrapped up by a satisfying and tasteful epilogue. 

Ratings: ✿✿✿ 3.5 Blossoms
Final Notes: One of my first official YA book reviews. I remember this book quite clearly because it created such vivid imagery for me, and honestly, the build up to the climax was quite amazing. I still really love this book. If you're looking for a chilly ghost story, this one I'll definitely recommend.


February 12, 2012

"Deception" by Lee Nichols

Title: Deception
Author: Lee Nichols
Publication: 2010, Bloomsbury

Summary: When Emma Vaile's parents leave on mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. Throw some parties, get a tattoo (or maybe just a piercing), and enjoy the first few weeks of her junior year. Then her best friend stops talking to her, the cops crash her party, and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian ...read more

Review:  Despite a somewhat unpromising beginning and a slightly awkward attempt at "teen language", "Deception" soon unfolds into an addicting, juicy, and highly-entertaining read that ultimately calls for rereads and the craving for a sequel. With school-life, romance, and supernatural rolled into one satisfying book, the first of the "Haunting Emma" series would keep you hooked for a seemingly perfectly-lengthed-yet-not-enough experience. Do not be deceived by the cliche and overused ghost theme as Nichols spins up an impressively appealing world for her characters that you would find yourself eagerly following and swooning over. The characters are absolutely charming and develops nicely as well. There is much action and twists and turns with clever surprises tucked in here and there. Such a compelling read that ends with a half-frustrating, half-stunning cliff hanger end calls for the craving for a sequel, which by the way, does not disappoint either. (Sequel, see "Betrayal")

Rating: ✿✿✿✿ 4 Blossoms
Final Notes:  I seriously enjoyed this book and gulped it down in quick, hungry bites. I even purchased the sequel for myself shortly after.

リボン   Vivian

[White Pine 2012] "Ashes, Ashes" by Jo Treggiari

The Ontario-wide White Pine Award reading program has started again for 2012! Not many nominees has caught my interest this year, but I'm hoping to give all 10 books a shot, like last year, and make a fair vote.

Also, I've switched up my rating criteria and system a bit, so numbers may look scary, but I'm rating as fairly and as unbiased as possible, following many certain definitions of each rating.to compare to. Here's my review for my first book for this year, just finished this morning ^^

P.S. Hey, just noticed! Lucy, in this cover below, is wearing a hoodie, but on the cover of my copy, she's just wearing a tank with her curly hair in the wind XD

Title: Ashes, Ashes
Author: Jo Treggiari
Publication: 2011, Scholastic

Summary: A thrilling tale of adventure, romance, and one girl's unyielding courage through the darkest of nightmares.
Epidemics, floods, droughts--for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds ...read more

"Ashes, Ashes" quite clearly draws from a 2012, 'end of the world', apocalyptic theme. The diction has a pattern that can be compared to the state of the occurring natural catastrophes that is constant throughout the book. That is to say, the first one-fifth of the whole book was clearly a time of painful waiting, and then one is hit with a medium-strengthed wave of plot advancement. From then, "Ashes, Ashes" proceeds much more effectively with a stronger storyline change. However, if one does not push through the dense, seemingly hopeless opening, then the fruit will never be tasted. The first 4 chapters was understood to be a painting of the setting and an introduction to Lucy, the protagonist, however that is not excuse for the repetition of short statements of Lucy's every single movement over such a long length of pages. I appreciate the similarity of the waiting period to that of the dull and tense period before disaster, but I was seriously going to put the book down. In addition, Lucy is an unrefined main character, and she, along with all the other characters, undergo minimal development through the book. Treggiari also used 3rd person in this work; that, paired with realistic, yet plainly average characters, it was hard to feel any personal connection to the characters. There were also notable places where the pronouns were confusing and unclear. On a brighter note, the faster-paced sections, along with the change-up in setting moved the story to a slightly more enjoyable level. The spurts of action had considerable power and were well-timed toward the end. Points for descriptively gory nuances and for the major shudders-factor. The conclusion was mediocre and unevenly paced, but other than that, decently well-rounded.

Rating:1.5 Blossoms
Final Notes: I liked parts of this, I really did. There was just too much unevenness in the plot and it was way too predictable for it to have an impact on me as a reader. Also, I think the better half of the book starts half way through, and it did not quite make up for the really weak beginning.


February 10, 2012


Welcome to my baby book-tastic blog that has yet to start talking! I'm Vivian, high school Junior, piano student, addicted reader of all books (well, maybe not science textbooks...), and enthusiastic book reviewer.

Due to time restraints, I have not had the time to properly bring this new blog to life yet. However, I have tons of reviews on paper, it's only just a bit more time before I will be posting them up here in a single archive ^^ In the meantime, I have a couple of book reviews on my personal blog already, so feel free to check out some of them and leave a message in my CBox ~

Thank you for stopping by here ❤