Category Archives: Sparkly Books

STARTERS: Survival is just the beginning…

I know a bunch of you LURVED the HUNGER GAMES (as much as I did) so I’m sharing a book that’s getting some great buzz. Word on the street is, Lissa Price has created something REALLY special with her YA futuristic thriller debut, STARTERS.

The tagline alone makes me salivate like a rabid animal. God HELP the UPS man if I don’t have it by Tuesday morning. Speaking of that…it’s coming out TOMORROW!!! Wheee! You should grab a copy and read it with me, then we can make tea, and braid each others hair, and everything.

Here’s the book blurb to whet your appetite:

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie’s only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie’s head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator’s grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined.

Video credit: RandomBooks Youtube Channel

Top Ten Books of 2011

Hey 2012, you look all fancy-like and wonderful – I don’t care what the doomsday-ers say, I see nothing but good things in your future. Seriously, I hope you guys had a great holiday week/weekend! To ease into the shiny new year, I’ve decided to share a top ten list.

Here are my FAVORITE books of 2011 and OMG I’m salivating for MORE, MORE, MORE in 2012. The books are listed in no particular order, because they’re ALL SUPER AWESOME. <3

1. DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth

2. WITHER by Lauren DeStefano

3. HOURGLASS by Myra McEntire

4. THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin

5. ALL THESE THINGS I’VE DONE by Gabrielle Zevin

6. ASHES by Ilsa J. Bick

7. AWAKEN by Katie Kacvinsky

8. LEGEND by Marie Lu

9. MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs

10. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis

Aside from the sequels to the books mentioned above, here are some debuts I’m SUPER EXCITED for in 2012: Apocalypsies FTW!

SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard

STARTERS by Lissa Price

THE VINDICO by Wesley King

FALSE MEMORY by Dan Krokos

INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows

WHAT’S LEFT OF ME by Kat Zhang

What was YOUR favorite book of 2011?

OMG – A Book-Mas Tree!!!

I posted this on twitter a couple of days ago, but HAD to share it with you! I heart this book tree SO MUCH. Enjoy the photo, my fellow bibliophiles <333333

**I’m not sure where the pic originated from, since it’s been floating around the interwebs – but all credit belongs to the individual who  created it.

Wishing you a very inspiring day! <33333

 

Book Review: ASHES by Ilsa J. Bick

Rating: 5 stars

Over the weekend I read Ilsa J. Bick’s post apocalyptic/thriller/horror mash-up, ASHES. I’m normally not the HUGEST fan of third person narratives, finding it hard to really get into the main character’s head, but Bick did it right. Her writing is the perfect balance of giving the reader a clear picture of setting/emotion/ without slamming them over the head with weighty details. It’s easy to get sucked into the story. REALLY EASY. I enjoyed the action/suspense and overall creep factor A LOT, A LOT.

I loves me some creepy things. LOVES LOVES LOVES. Ahem. Sorry.

The middle of the book did take a turn. I’m NOT saying for the worse, I’m just saying shiz gets weird. But still, as a reader, you can’t stop reading – if only for the simple fact of NEEDING to know where Bick is taking you. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, BAM! You’re wrong. The ending is not at all what I expected, which isn’t a bad thing, but it definitely left me unsatisfied…at first.

When I closed the book I sort of sat there all huh, WTF. While I’m never a huge fan of ending a book on a cliffhanger, in this instance (after throwing things and drinking things and smashing things..okay, not REALLY but I thought about doing those things) it worked. ASHES is book one in a trilogy and the second installment (currently called SHADOWS) is due out in the fall of 2012.

Overall I have to say the more I think about it, the more I REALLY enjoyed this crazy ride of a read. Will I be in line for the second book? YOU BET. I can’t wait to see what Bick has in store for the kick-butt heroine or any of the other characters you’ll come to know and love. If you enjoy stories that keep you guessing, make you swear like a sailor, cower under your sheets, sleep with the lights on, and keep turning the page, then this book is SO for you.

Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite:

“IT COULD HAPPEN TOMORROW….

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushed her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom–a young soldier–and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.”

Go out and buy a copy IMMEDIATELY so we can gush together. Then we can break things and smash things and scream together about how far away fall of 2012 feels. BRING ON SHADOWS!!! Ahem. *puts patience cap on*

Read any good books lately? I’m open to some good suggestions. <3333

And the winner is….

First I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who entered! I had a lot of fun with this contest, and will definitely be holding another giveaway REALLY, REALLY soon. Okay, and now for the two BIG WINNERS!

The first name chosen via the random.org gods is: DRUM ROLLLLLLLL

zoe h (yayayayayyayay!) 

Congrats zoe you won Sparkly Prize Pack A: SHATTER ME and GLOW! An email has been sent to the address you provided when you followed the blog. (Thank you!)

And now for our next BIG WINNER! The second person chosen via random.org is: DRUM ROLLLLLLLLLL

Amanda G (Yayayayayayayayay!)

Congrats Amanda you won Sparkly Prize Pack B: CROSSED and THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER! An email has been sent to the address you provided when you followed the blog. (Thank you!)

Happy Holidays!!!! <333333

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer: Video

This was such a good read. SUCH A GOOD READ!!! I pre-ordered it and am so glad I did. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s a little visual stimuli. Happy reading, and happy Wednesday <33333’s.

Here’s the book blurb followed by the video: 

“Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

VIDEO CREDIT: Simon & Schuster’s Youtube (SimonSchusterVideos)

Book Review: AWAKEN by Katie Kacvinsky

Recently I picked up a copy of Katie Kacvinsky’s debut, AWAKEN. And holy BEJESUS I loved it. She created a world that really isn’t that different from how we live today. It’s chilling, and amazing.

My sister and I were discussing how strange it is to actually pick up the phone and call someone. Which made us incredibly SAD. When did texting, and g-chat, and IM, and email replace our basic human communications?

How did we not see it unraveling?

Our own mother was shocked to discover most of our communication is done via some electronic device. AND WE LIVE UNDER HER ROOF.

The digital times, they are a-changin’ and if you want to have your mind blown, I suggest adding AWAKEN to your reading pile. It’s an eye-opener. Here’s the blurb for good measure:

“Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether going to school or on a date, no one ever leaves home. There’s really no need. And, for the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life–until she meets Justin.

Justin likes being with people. He likes physical closeness and face-to-face conversations. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.

Maddie is beginning to believe him. Maybe there is a different, better way to live, and perhaps Justin will be the one to help her start living it.”

Overall I give it 4 out of 5 stars. The only thing that *almost* was overdone was Justin’s one-track preachy nature. BUT that’s kind of an accurate portrayal, since he’s been brainwashed into his own preferred (read: “programmed”) existence. Kacvinsky demonstrated holes in his belief system perfectly. (Even if they make you want to shake him sometimes!:))

I thoroughly enjoyed it, and can’t WAIT to read the second one when it comes out next year. The author created a world so real, it doesn’t feel dystopian at all.

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Click image for Author's website

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

OKAY OKAY OKAY OKAY. I have no excuses, so I’ll just flat out admit it. I’m seriously late to the Divergent party, but I have one thing to say:  DAUNTLESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, fine, maybe two things: FOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I promise to not yell anymore (Actually, I’m not sure I can keep that promise, and it’s more of a SQUEEE if we’re getting technical). But…if you haven’t picked up Veronica Roth’s AWESOME debut, stop everything you’re doing and go get it.

I’m. Not. Kidding. It’s THAT good. Holy cow, it’s so good I read it TWICE in one day. (Please note I’m a ninja when it comes to reading.) Each time I found new things I loved about it even more. *cough, Four, cough*

Here’s the blurb:

“In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves…or it might destroy her.”

There’s so much I want to say, but if you haven’t read it yet I don’t want to give too much away. I’ll just say this: it’s filled with page turning action scenes, and Roth has a really smooth writer’s voice that makes for a super easy read. Which, as Nathaniel Hawthorne has pointed out, is “damn hard writing.”

Go get a copy, then read it so we can gush together. <33333

Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Book Review: Catching Fire

Author: Suzanne Collins

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Press Photo

Back of book blurb: Sparks are igniting. Flames are spreading. And the Capitol wants revenge. Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol — a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel victory tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

Review: I might have come to the Hunger Games party fashionably late, but this book sealed the deal for me. After reading book one, I couldn’t wait to run out and grab my copy to see what would become of the star-crossed lovers in the much anticipated sequel. Would the Capitol kill them? Would Katniss finally fall for Peeta? And what about Gale? So much drama, so expertly crafted. So worth reading. Collins was able to pull off a fantastic continuation of Katniss Everdeen’s story. Dare I say, flawless even?

Collins masterfully combines suspense and science fiction with a touch of romance that leaves you wanting for more. I had doubts as to whether I’d be disappointed with the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, but was pleasantly surprised with how it played out. It kept me up, turning the pages all night. In fact, I went ahead and bought book three, Mockingjay. Guess what? I loved that book too.

QOTD: So what do you think about the casting choices for Peeta & Katniss? Feel free to weigh in in the comments, or @reply me (@ScribeQuotes for any blog newbies). #thehungergames

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Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Book Review: The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Photo The Hunger Games Cover Shot (Press)

Back of book blurb: in the ruins of a place once known as North America lies a nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before–and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Review: Everyone I run across keeps GUSHING about this book, and by everyone I’m talking about EVERYONE. So I picked up a copy to see what the buzz is about, and I’ve got to say, in the beginning I wasn’t feeling it. Honestly, I didn’t like it at all, but the important thing is, I kept reading.

I didn’t keep reading because of the agents, or publishers, or anyone else that’s talked about the novel. I kept reading because the author sucked me in with the characters, I HAD to find out what happened to Katniss & Peeta next. Would they survive? Would they die? I couldn’t put the damn book down.

I didn’t like Katniss. I didn’t like Panem. The whole idea of it repulsed me, but I kept reading, and pulling for her to win. By the time I hit page thirty I was completely hooked. During the rest of the novel, I felt my heart pounding along with Katniss, felt the love she had for her sister, and the anger she felt towards her mother, her confusion towards Peeta and her desire to survive. The resentment and rebellion they both felt towards a government that could kill innocent kids for the sake of instilling fear against rebel Districts was palpable.

Suzanne Collins created a world, likable or not, that was not only believable, but probably more real than we’d like to admit. The suspense was genuine, as were all the emotions Collins filled the characters with.

The author told a great freaking story. In fact, I’m going to stop writing a little earlier today so I can go to the bookstore and pick up the next book in the series, Catching Fire.