Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book Review ~ Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) by E. L. James

Title: Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)
Author: E. L. James
Release Date: 2011
Published By: Vintage
Page Amount: 385 pages, ebook

Goodreads Blurb:
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

Sometimes you can only hear so much hype about a book before you finally give in and pick it up. (Or in my case, download it on my nook.) As was the case with this book. Even my friends who didn't read were reading this book and loving it.

Unfortunately I just wasn't impressed.

I don't understand the hype sorrounding this book. I've read books I have enjoyed much MUCH more than this. I really also don't understand why many women say Christian Grey is their dream man. Sure, he's rich and apparently hot, but those are really the two main "appealing" things I see about him. And I don't think that is enough for someone to be your dream man. There wasn't enough information given about him and his past for me to sympathize with him. At least not for me. Maybe there is more information given in later books, but I think there should have been more in this book. Ana also did not seem to want to be a part of a BDSM relationship. As far as I could tell anwyway. It wasn't the BDSM that bothered me. To each their own. But she didn't seem to want to take part in it. That's what I thought reading it.

I also wasn't very impressed with the writing style. It wasn't that marvelous. And honestly, the parts about her "inner goddess" drove me nuts. I just found it annoying and there was way too much reference to it which just made it even more annoying.

I was not impressed. It wasn't living up to the hype at all for me. I gave this 2 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Book Review ~ The Hunger Games Tribute Guide (The Hunger Games Companions) by Emily Seife

Title: The Hunger Games Tribute Guide (The Hunger Games Companions)
Author: Emily Seife
Release Date: February 7th 2012
Published By: Scholastic Press
Page Amount: 128 pages, paperback

Goodreads Blurb:
The New York Times bestselling Hunger Games is now a major motion picture -- and here is the ultimate guide to the all the tributes in the 74th annual Hunger Games!

Here is the ultimate guide to the twenty-four Tributes participating in Panem's 74th annual Hunger Games. Follow the Tributes' journey from the Reaping to the Games, with a look at all the highlights along the way--the Tribute Parade, the stations of the Training Center, the interviews, and more. Get exclusive information about the Tributes' strengths and weaknesses, their weapons of choice, and their experience in the Capitol before entering the arena.

I picked this book up on a trip to Barnes and Noble when I went in looking for something else. This was on a table and I picked it up.

There's really nothing in this book that I didn't already know. If you've read the books and watched the movie (or even if you've only seen the movie) you know everything in this book already. There were some quotes throughout that weren't in the movie. Like quotes from Cinna about Katniss and Peeta's costumes for the Tribute Parade. The book is split up into sections and there are pictures throughout it. There is one section that gives details about each of the Tributes. The book stops right up to when the Tributes are about to go into the arena.

What I actually found really disturbing about this book is that it's written as a behind the scenes account of the Hunger Games for the people of Panem. Like something a citizen of Panem would buy to get a behind the scenes look. And that honestly kind of freaked me out. Because it just reinforces the horror of all of this that in that world someone would buy this for entertainment. That is just absolutely terrifying.

I give this book 3 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Manga Review ~ School Rumble, Volume 1 by Jin Kobayashi, William Flanagan (Translator)

Title: School Rumble, Volume 1
Author: Jin Kobayashi, William Flanagan (Translator)
Release Date: May 16 2003
Published by: Del Rey
Page Amount: 177 pages, paperback

Goodreads Blurb:
SUBTLETY IS FOR WIMPS! a second-year high school student with a single all-consuming question: Will the boy she likes ever really notice her? the school's most notorious juvenile delinquent and he's suddenly come to a shocking realization: He's got a huge crush, and now he must tell her how he feels.

Life-changing obsessions, colossal foul-ups, grand schemes, deep-seated anxieties, and raging hormones--School Rumble portrays high school as it really is: over-the-top comedy!

This was a cute manga. A cute read. It was a nice little something to read inbetween all my other books. Particularly after finishing the entire Hunger Games Trilogy, which is a series with very heavy subject matter. A nice little break is needed after that. At least it was for me.

I used to read manga more often in high school. This one was lent to me by a friend. I enjoyed the ones I read in high school more. In the synopsis it says "School Rumble portrays high school as it really is: over-the -top comedy!" I guess it was just a little too "over-the-top" for me.

I'd say I give this one 2.3 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review ~ Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins SPOILER FREE

Title: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Release Date: January 1st 2010
Published By: Scholastic
Page Amount: 390 pages, ebook

Goodreads Blurb:
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12.

It seems like a lot of people were dissapointed with this book as a wrap up to the series. I wasn't. I thought it wrapped up the series pretty well. Jessica from the booktube channel Chapter Chicks described Mockingjay as "an experience." And I think that is a great way to describe it. It really is an experience. You go through a roller coaster range of emotions reading this book. It got it's claws in me and wouldn't let go.

It's hard to review this without giving something away.There are big events going on in this book. I cried, I smiled, I gasped, I laughed, I got angry, I got scared. I experienced an entire array of emotions.

This book also had an epilogue that wrapped everything up. I thought it was a good wrap up. It left me satisfied. Although there were some questions that weren't answered that I would have really loved to know the answers to. I also have to say that I absolutely adored the very last line of this book.

Again, I have to give this one 5 stars. This trilogy should absolutely be read.

And don't forget to go check out the Chapter Chicks channel! :) 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Book Review ~ Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins SPOILER FREE


Title: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Release Date: January 1st 2009
Published By: Scholastic
Page Amount: 402 pages, ebook

Goodreads Blurb:
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Again, this is incredible. An incredible book. 

I think Suzanne Collins is really an incredible writer. I felt all the emotions that Katniss was feeling in this book. Her relationship with Peeta develops in this book. Also, President Snow has much more of a presence in this installment in the series. He is really a terrifying character if you think about it. I think he is the most villainous villain I've read about since reading about Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series. 

The districts are starting to rebel. (Don't worry, this isn't a spoiler. It says this right in the description of the book.) This is exciting, terrifying and dangerous. One scene in particular stands out in my mind - but I can't tell you here, that would be a spoiler. 

There was also an event in the book that I NEVER saw coming! It was one of the things that made me gasp aloud reading it. And I actually felt gripped by terror when I did. Another event I didn't see coming left me absolutely furious as well as terrified! And the book ends on a major cliff hanger.

I thought this book was terrific. I give it 5 stars. 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book Review ~ The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins SPOILER FREE

Title: The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Released: January 1st 2008
Published By: Scholastic
Page Amount: 267 pages, ebook

Goodreads Blurb:
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 twelve 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, 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.
Honestly, how do I begin to review this book? What can I say that hasn't already been said? I don't know, so I'm just going to go into it. I LOVE this book! It was absolutely incredible. I had been avoiding reading it for a long time. Mainly because of all the hype sorrounding it. Then I finally gave in and read it. And then I understood all the hype.

The concept of this book is amazing and yes, disturbing. Some people came for the romance/love triangle in it. That was a part of it for me. Because I like seeing people's interactions with each other. However, I didn't realize how much social commentary is really in this book. It's definitely evident throughout it. That's probably what I found the most interesting. And I do have to say, if we keep going in the direction we are, I could absolutely see us at this point in 100 years.

This book really was incredible. I got so much more out of it than I expected to. I loved it. I gave it 5 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh