Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Teaser Tuesday (2)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should be Reading
·         Grab the book your currently reading
·         Open to a random page
·         Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
·         Be careful not to include spoilers
·         Be sure to include the title and author



Dreamland by Allison Noel
Basically I had to observe a whole slew of dreams.  Other people’s dreams- complete strangers’ dreams- not one of whom was even the least bit familiar to me.
Friday, November 18, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Mockingjay Review

Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 2010
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Romance, Death, Hunting, Survival, & Family
Pages: 390
Plot: (From the Dust Jacket)
     “MY NAME IS KATNISS EVERDEEN.  WHY AM I NOT DEAD?  I SHOULD BE DEAD.
     Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed.  Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe.  Peeta has been captured by the Capitol.  District 13 really does exist.  There are new leaders.  A revolution is unfolding.
     It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it.  District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overflow the Capitol.  Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans- except Katniss.
    The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for the countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem.  To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust.  She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay- no matter what the personal cost.”

     CAUTION!  This book is tantalizingly ruthless, absorbingly vindictive, entrancingly manipulative, but altogether alluring!  Each and every book from the Hunger Games trilogy had to be a straight through read for me and Mockingjay was no exception.  After finishing each novel I needed a period of reflection.  I was blown away by every edition; this is a series that truly gets better and better with each book.      
     Suzanne Collins utterly captivated me with Katniss’s struggle for survival and the revolution of Panem.  The tale told is truly masterful as well as legendary.  Just like the first two books in the trilogy, Mockingjay brought out so many emotions that I was snickering along with the characters, balling my eyes out at all the heart wrenching and pain staking moments, and wanting to throw the book in frustration when I wasn’t particularly fond of the situation.
     All the horrific and traumatizing events that led out to this point in the story have definitely changed Katniss.  You can tell right off the bat that she is exhausted and overrun, but she still pushes on to be the symbolic Mockingjay, with all her strength and endurance trying to protect everyone and overcome the capitol.  In fact you can see everyone’s exhaustion taking its toll throughout the novel- Katniss’s losses, Peeta’s tortured soul, Gale’s restlessness, Haymitch’s sobriety, and Finnick’s insanity.  They all factor in for the perfect close of this epic tale.
     This last book in the trilogy honestly deserves an A+++, but my ranking can only honor an A+.  I just can’t stress how great and brilliantly masterful it truly is.  I was left speechless after finishing it; I spent half a day trying to think of words to describe how astonishing, remarkable, and magnificent this story truthfully was.  Honestly, I still feel that I did not capture the immensity this book and series rightfully deserves.

My Rating: 20/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should be Reading
·         Grab the book your currently reading
·         Open to a random page
·         Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
·         Be careful not to include spoilers
·         Be sure to include the title and author

My teaser comes from:


Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

The deep, resonant voice that haunts my dreams begins to speak.  Claudius Templesmith, the official announcer of the Hunger Games, says, “Katniss Everdeen, the girl who was on fire, burns on.”

Catching Fire Review

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 2009
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Death, Survival, Romance, Hunting, & Family
Pages: 391
Plot: (From the Dust Jacket)
     “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 long 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 has 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.
     In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before…and surprising readers at every turn.”

     This book was utterly engrossing, positively cruel, and intriguingly menacing.  I was entrapped after reading the first page and couldn’t stop until the last page as turned.  I was immediately tempted to pick up the third book and start that but I knew if I started I wouldn’t have it in me to stop until that one was finished too.
     Suzanne Collins had a brilliant writing style that ensnares you, holds you captive, and out all the places to leave you, she drops you on a cliffhanger!  With her exceptional story telling skills and vibrant characters, she creates a story that is astoundingly epic. 
     Out of all her remarkable characters there is one, of course, that stands out on her own.  She is Katniss, the symbol of the Mockingjay, which provides the citizens with hope for a better tomorrow and instills the courage needed to start a revolt against the capitol of Panem.  This stubborn and bullheaded girl fascinates me with her stamina, endurance, and bravery to fight for her beliefs.  I found on levels that she is someone I could relate to with her tomboyish abilities but also someone that I would also like to become more like myself.
     I felt I had no choice but to give this main-blowing novel an A+, as I found it gripping, all consuming, and truly riveting.  It was another book that had me laughing, crying, and horrified along with Katniss as her journey continued.  As this series is plowing its way into my favorites list, I hope that others out there pick up these books and give them a read because I’m positive that they will love them too!   

My Rating: 20/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5
Thursday, November 10, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

The Hunger Games Review

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: October 2008
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Romance, Survival, Hunting, Family, & Death
Pages: 374
Plot: (From the Dust Jacket)
     “Could you survive on your own in the wild, with every one out make sure you don’t live to see the morning?
     In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the 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 12 and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
     Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regard it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sisters 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.”

     The Hunger Games was absolutely astonishing, truly a remarkable and transfixing read!  Once I started it I couldn’t put it down, literally I was up all night reading it.  Even though it was printed and released three years ago it still has a lot of hype.  Now I see that all the excitement over these books is rightly worth it. 
      The world Suzanne Collins created is one that is cruel and run down by a tyrant government system.  But really I haven’t read anything that would even equate to The Hunger Games; I feel that this story is one that will stand out on its own for generations to come! 
The plot in this epic tale was one that held suspense that made you sit at the edge of your seat biting your finger nails, romance that compares to star-crossed lovers, and brutal deaths that will make you cry as well as want vengeance. 
     Suzanne Collins couldn’t have created better characters for this story, she painted them out perfectly, and I could imagine each and every single one of them.  Of course I’m sure that I am no different than anyone else when I say that Katniss was my all time favorite.  I don’t know how anyone else could say differently.  She was fierce, strong, stubborn, and stood for what she believed in.  She held her emotions in check, for the most part.  Katniss is sacrificial but also a true survivor.  Then there’s Peeta, the guy who himself continues protect Katniss at all costs throughout the games, even if it could mean forfeiting to her at the end.  I felt that you couldn’t help but love him throughout the story; he just has way too many likeable qualities.
     Overall I gave this wonderfully gripping novel an A+.  I mean, I don’t know how you couldn’t fall in love with these books!  This book had me crying as well as screaming and cursing certain characters for being heartless and bull headed.  If I can get that passionate about a story then I obviously had to care for it.  Again I’m positive that I am right with all Hunger Games fan when I say I can’t wait for the movie to come out next year.  Until then I have to get started on the next book Catching Fire.

My Rating: 20/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5

I want to include the new trailor, it looks amazing!  So I wanted to share...I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Destined Review

Title: Destined
Authors: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: Oct. 25, 2011
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Vampires, Goddesses, Romance, Evil, Magic, Death, & Shape Shifting
Pages: 325
Plot: (From the Dust Jacket)
     “Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet- which would be a whole lot easier if the High Council saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is.  Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, though Nyx’s gift of human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together- if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father’s shadow.
     But there are new forces at work at the House of Night.  An influx of humans, including Lenobia’s handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability.  And then there’s the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more- or possibly less- than human.  Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon.  But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling.  And there’s something strangely familiar about him….
     Will Neferet’s true nature be revealed before she succeeds at extinguishing Light? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox’s humanity in time to protect them all?  Find out what’s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.”

     After finishing Destined I had to put my emotions in check; it was so utterly bewitching that I laughed, I cried, and I had moments of pure frustration so intense that I wanted to throw the book against the wall!  But all the while I feel that is what constitutes a good book, a novel that can extract those strong emotions that make you feel so passionate about the tale they are telling.
     As many readers claim and I am one of them, this series is definitely a guilty pleasure.  It holds too much teenage drama for my liking but for some reason unknown to me I still can’t put it down.  If I had to guess it has something to do with the plot line.  I know it’s very drawn out but it certainly has me hooked.  Every time I start a new House of Night novel I just can’t stop, I want to keep reading until it is finished and then I am stuck pining over the next one until the following year, just like I am now.  Luckily, Lenobia’s Vow comes out at the end of January, so hopefully that will hold me over until the tenth book hits the shelves… but I doubt it.
     I discovered the characters in this book took step backwards in their maturity compared to the rest of the series but I felt that might have had a lot to do with the losses that they were working to overcome.  Because let’s face it the Nerd Herd has lost a lot in the series already- Jack, Heath, Zoey’s Mom; and to top it off we almost lost Stark, Zoey, and Stevie Rae.  Neferet has really worked her evil bidding and without a doubt they have taken the brunt end of it.  But overall this story takes some pretty unexpected twists and I was shocked with the outcome.  Again I was left unhinged with another cliffhanger… the Cast Family really knows how to leave their audience distraught with need for the tenth book.
     I gave this novel an A-; as it was a riveting, gut-wrenching, and coercing read!  I found that I have a love-hate relationship with these books, as I’m quite positive many readers do.  But I will keep reading because I don’t come this far in a series to not see it through to the end….Will there be a new sparks of love? Maybe.  Will an old love spark a new interest? Quite possibly.  Will I be annoyed with Zoey’s confusion between boys?  Most definitely.  But will there be an undefined Evil that Zoey is compelled to dispel? Always!  And will I always pick up the next installment?  For sure!

My Rating: 19/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 4
Writing Style: 5
Tuesday, November 8, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

And the winner is...

First, I wanted to thank everyone for participating in my very first giveaway!  I was so happy to see how many people entered and how excited everyone was over Tempest by Julie Cross!  I really wish that I had more than one to give away, but sadly I don't.  After putting everyone’s entry into a bowl, I drew a name.  I'm thrilled to announce that the copy I have goes to....(drum roll please).... Amanda Hoppe
Saturday, November 5, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Silence Review

Title: Silence
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: October 2011
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Fallen Angels, Romance, Kidnapping, Magic, & Amnesia
Pages: 438
Plot: (From the Dust Jacket)

     "When Silence is all that's left, can the truth finally be heard?
     Nora Grey can't remember the past five months of her life.  After the initial shock of waking up in a cemetery and being told that she has been missing for weeks- with no one knowing where she was or who she was with- she tries to get her life back on track.  Go to school, hang out with her best friend, Vee, and dodge her Mom's creepy new boyfriend.
     But there is this voice in the back of her head, an idea that she can almost reach out and touch.  Visions of angel wings and unearthly creatures that have nothing to do with the life she knows.
     And this unshakeable feeling that a part of her is missing.
     Then Nora crosses paths with a sexy stranger, whom she feels a mesmerizing connection to.  He seems to hold all the answers... and her heart.  Every minute she spends with him grows more and more intense until she realizes she could be falling in love.  Again."

     Becca Fitzpatrick created a wonderful world of mysterious fallen angels and Nephilim that was full of suspense, adventure, and romance that will keep you at the edge of your seat and begging for more!  As I am a huge fan of the Hush, Hush series, I found that Silence wasn’t an exception.  It was brutally transfixing, sadistically gripping, and viciously riveting!  It held everything and more than the beginning of the series.  I seriously can’t wait for the next installment. 
     The Hush, Hush Saga continues to amaze me with an intricately woven plot that twists, turns, and then does a back flip.  I was truly astonished right to the end and then had to take time to reflect upon the story.  This story is genuinely one of its own and I can’t think of anything that is remotely like it!
     Fitzpatrick has a breathtaking way of describing the chemistry of Nora and Patch that is all consuming and sincerely swoon worthy.  I fell in love with her brilliant writing style in Hush, Hush and Cresendo.  I continued my adoration in Silence as well as pining for the fourth installment.
     Nora and Patch have taken their thrilling romance to the next level in this novel!  With Nora having “amnesia” and piecing together the shattered remains of her life; she scours for anything or anyone (Jev aka Patch) that will make her regain those lost memories.  I was pretty upset when I realized that Nora had forgotten Patch but then I realized that I got to relive falling in love with Patch all over again through her and I was enthralled!  I was a big supporter of Nora in Silence as I felt that she really stepped up in this novel.  She took a proactive stand to figure things out, as well as fiercely stand up for herself and her beliefs.  Patch on the other hand continues to be utterly mysterious and protective.  You find that he sacrifices everything but you still want to question whether he is trustworthy.
     I give this remarkable book an A+, as it was absolutely incredible.  If you are interested in paranormal romance then I would strongly suggest giving this series your time!  As I have thoroughly enjoyed it, I’m positive that you find yourself completely engrossed.

My Rating: 20/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5
Thursday, November 3, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

November's Bookshelf

A few of these are still on my list from last month but I read  a few last month that weren't on my list so...

1. Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
2. Destined by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
4. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
5. Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins
6. Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
7. Hades by Alexandra Adornetto
8. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
9. Supernaturally by Kiersten White
10. Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly