Review: Wither (Chemical Garden, #1)

Title: Wither

Author: Lauren Destefano

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Pages: 358

Date Read: February 22, 2013

 

In the not-too-distant future, genetic engineering has turned every newborn into a ticking time bomb: Males die at age twenty-five, and females die at age twenty. While scientists seek a miracle antidote, young girls are routinely kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When sixteen-year-old Rhine is taken, she enters a world of wealth and privilege that both entices and terrifies her. She has everything she ever wanted– except freedom.

Soon it becomes clear that not everyone at her new husband’s home is how they appear. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to escape… before her time runs out.

 

Characters: 

Rhine- As the little blurb on the back says, Rhine is sixteen. She also happens to be a twin, and heterochromatic. For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s when someone has two different color eyes. Rhine and her brother are orphans trying to live their short lives in peace in NYC. I think Rhine is awesome. She is extremely determined and always inquisitive. For her situation, being inquisitive is both a blessing and a curse. She loves without meaning to, and forms attachments with almost everyone she comes in contact with- whether she likes it or not.

Linden- Linden is Rhine’s new husband. He is an architect meant for another world. I say this because he doesn’t fit into this new world. He draws up plans for houses with pies in the windows, and tire swings hanging from the tree in the front yard- he’s a sensitive dreamer. This is all well and good, but it means that he is practically blind to what is happening right in front of him, and too naive to try and puzzle it out. This all sucks fro Rhine.

Vaughn- This guy is creep-tastic. And also Linden’s dad. Throughout the novel, we don’t know exactly how bad he is, but we just know he is baaaaaaaaaaad.

Cecily- This tiny red-head is one of Rhine’s sister wives. She is annoying, and meddlesome, and rarely pleasant to be around. However, she brings out a side of Rhine that is sort of motherly, and I think it helps her grow. Cecily also changes quite a bit, and she is the only sister wife that really wants to be a sister wife.

Jenna- In the world of Wither, there are things called scarlet districts. These are basically just whole districts of whore houses. It sucks, but this is where Jenna is from. She is sort of steely for a while, but she is a lot more friendly and ten times more complicated than she seems on the outside. She knows more than she lets on, and she helps Rhine hold onto who she is while also growing.

Gabriel- He is a servant in the house where Rhine now lives. The relationship between Rhine and Gabriel is founded on hope. They are both attached to what the world used to be, and because they are the only two that really think this way, they are drawn to one another. However, him being a servant and her being a sister wife throws a kink into the grand scheme of things.

Conflict: Rhine needs to get back to her brother. Beyond that, the conflict really just revolves around an antidote. I can’t really give away too much without giving away the whole book, but the conflict is good enough to keep the book going strong. I mean, I read it in a day. That’s how good this book is.

Things I Liked: Ummm, all of it? The book is great. I passed it quite a few times before I decided to actually buy it, and even then it was because I friend recommended it. I am so glad she did. It really is awesome. I loved the characters and the concept (this was the first arranged marriage type novel I have read), and it was a very enjoyable read.

Things I Didn’t Like: Let’s be realistic here, whatever I put here would just be me reaching anyway. Why don’t you read it and tell me what you didn’t like!

Cover Art: I really like the cover art, it is mysterious and slightly creepy.

Overall: Love. I would definitely recommend this to anyone. It was a nice read and it was complex enough to keep my attention for a few hours straight. It also isn’t just a big love fest like a lot of YA books these days.

Rating: 5 stars.

Feeling The Love

I just wanted to thank you guys for showing my blog so much love these past few days. I guess people like to read your blog a little more when you actually post on it! I like interacting with my new blog friends, and making even more blog friends! I have learned that the book blogging community is a close-knit one, and it is my pleasure to be a part of it.

Also, I have finally found/created a theme that I really like and that seems to fit with the type of blog I have.

What do you guys think? Do you love this new theme as much as I do?

As I have also mentioned (I think), I am just about to dive in to Clockwork Princess. I was hoping to do that tonight, but I had to work until just a little bit ago and I am pretty sleepy as I type this. But, tomorrow is a new day- a day off even!- and it will be filled with books and Doctor Who. I kinda hope it rains just so I won’t feel guilty for staying in! 😉

Review: Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)

Title: Beautiful Creatures

Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Pages: 563

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps , and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Characters:

Ethan- When I first started reading this book, I though it was going to be from the point of view of Lena, not Ethan. So, when I finally figured out that it was a boy’s head I was in, I was a little excited. Not only do I hardly ever read books told from the point of view of a male, but I hardly ever read supernatural books from the point of view of the non-supernatural. So, I was pretty pumped for this! Reading from Ethan’s POV was nice since he knows the area. However, I was a little worried for a second that he was going to start talking with a deep Southern accent. I was worried that it was going to be like reading Huckleberry Finn in high school- I had to read most of that one out loud to myself so that I could understand the dialect. But, I was pleasantly surprised with this one, and they even gave an explanation as to why he doesn’t speak that way- his parents were both professors and were always correcting him when he dropped a “g.” I love that. Ethan is a gentleman and he isn’t an idiot, and he loves genuinely. And he is most of he reason that I liked this book.

Lena- I think that everyone has a certain section of the supernatural genre that they like the most- mine is witches. I love reading about witches. Maybe it stems from my deep connection with Hermione from Harry Potter, who knows, I just love reading about witches. Lena is pretty much a witch. Her formal title is Caster, but she is pretty much a witch. I liked that Lena was one of those characters that doesn’t try to fit in. She isn’t really defiant or angsty about it, she just does not change herself to suit others. I LOVE THAT. Too often I read books where the main character moves to a new school and spends most of her time trying really hard to fit in, or to not fit in. Lena just takes her own road. She is sometimes a little too moody for me, but if you read the book you will realize that she kind of has an excuse for all of her moodiness.

Amma- Amma is Ethan’s sort of live-in nanny/housekeeper. She has been around his whole life, and for most of his father’s, too. She seems to act as the mother figure for Ethan since his mother passed away, but I really like that she doesn’t try to be anything like his mother. She just keeps on being Amma- just a little bit stricter. But, Amma has some secrets. It’s nice when all of the secrets don’t fall to one main character, I think it makes the story a lot richer when you find out little secrets along the way that might change the way you feel about some of the characters. Amma is one of those people. At first she is just Amma, and then I was like “Oh, Amma is up to something!” and then I was mad at Amma for butting in, and then I was back to loving Amma. She’s a strong lady, and books need strong ladies.

Macon- Macon Melchizedek Ravenwood is the mysterious owner of Ravenwood Manor, which is believed to be cursed. Macon is also Lena’s uncle. He is also the one person in the world that Lena loves most, and for that reason, we have to love him. Because honestly, that guy is creeeeeepy for most of this book. You don’t know if he is some crazy magic man, or if he is just eccentric, and it takes a while to figure it out. However, I love when books have creepy parts every so often. If an author can creep you out or make you nervous, or give you butterflies just with words- then you’re reading the right book. Every book should do this to you at some point (hopefully several).

These are the main characters, but there are a couple important almost main characters but not quite minor characters:

Link- Wesley Jefferson Lincoln is Ethan’s best friend. His mother is the head of the DAR, and one of the biggest Lena haters in town. But, what I love about Link is his fierce loyalty. Every person deserves a friend as loyal as Link. Link is also really goofy and most of the time really annoying, but we can’t have everything!

Ridley- Ridley is Lena’s cousin, but she is a Dark Caster. She has the power of persuasion (she is a Siren) and she isn’t afraid to use it. Unfortunately, people with that power usually aren’t the most trustworthy.

Conflict: This book is pretty long, so naturally there is a lot of conflict. The initial conflict is just Ethan trying to figure out who Lena is and why she seems to be so important to him, and her being difficult and not letting him in. But a lot of the conflict surrounds Lena’s condition and how everyone in town is reacting to her. A lot of this makes you angry, because people can be really mean. I don’t mean insults mean, but we-hate-everything-that-isn’t-us mean. There are a lot of Caster issues, and an equal number of Mortal issues that plague these two.

Things I Liked: I was a big fan of the characters. I loved that they were imperfect, but believable. They have strong qualities, and weak qualities, but they aren’t shallow characters. You get to know these guys. I loved that parts of this gave me butterflies. I loved that it was told from a boy’s POV, and that that boy was smart. I also liked how intricate the conflict was, and that there were many unsuspecting people involved, and that those people were selfless and concerned.

Things I Didn’t Like: I didn’t like that the book took a little while to pick up. After reading the second one, I think it might be a recurring thing in this series. However, once they pick up, you’re hooked. I think that things are a little slow to start because there is so much that needs to be set up ahead of time for the conflict to be as intricate as it is. But, I’m alright with that.

Overall: Usually when I read a book and look back, I don’t like it quite as much as I did right after I finished it. This book was the opposite for me. As I am writing this review, I am remembering things that I really liked about it and I am not lingering on the stuff I didn’t like. It was a solid book and a great start to a series.

Cover Art: I usually like to get the original cover of the book, but this time I happened to pick up the movie-cover copy. I’m not always a big fan of the movie covers, but I think I like the mover cover better than the original cover for this book. It is more exciting, but I think only because the other is so plain.

Rating: 4 stars

The Mindy Project

So, I think I might start giving my opinions on things other than books as well. I am hoping to make this blog a little window into my life, and I think I am going to start sharing more aspects of my life with you guys! Sooooooo, I am going to chat with you guys about one of my new favorite shows!

THE MINDY PROJECT.

This show is very funny, and quirky, and lovely. Dr. Mindy Lahiri is of course played by Mindy Kaling (you might know her as Kelly Kapur from The Office.) Dr. Lahiri is ab OB/GYN practicing in NYC. She works with two other male doctors and a bunch of fun office staff. Throughout The Mindy Project, you get to see what it is like being a single, successful, 31-year-old Indian woman in NYC. It’s everything I am not, and so therefore quite entertaining to watch! I think it is on right after New Girl on Tuesday nights on Fox. (I’m sorry, I can’t really help you out too much with times, I watch my shows on HuluPlus.)

Here is the little blurb from IMDB:

A young Ob/Gyn doctor balances her personal and professional life, surrounded by quirky co-workers in a small office.

Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri

Chris Messina as Daniel Castellano

Ed Weeks as Jeremy Reed

Ike Barinholtz as Morgan Tookers

 

There are obviously other characters, but those are the main ones, and also my favorites. There have also been guest appearances by B.J Novak, Ed Helms, and Ellie Kemper, who are all actors/actresses from The Office.

Anyway, Just watch it! It’s fun!

 

I’m A Little Wishy-Washy

Hey guys, I am just here to update you on my current state of wishy-washy-ness. I know that in my last post I promised that I would get to reviewing soon, and by now you can obviously see that I haven’t. I have still been reading, and I am currently caught up in the whirlwind that is the Shatter Me series (SO GOOD). But, now that I have a pretty severe stack of books waiting to be reviewed, I am going to have to start to make a dent in it. I realize that I am sounding like I am not looking forward to it, and why would I start this book review blog if I didn’t like reviewing books? But, I am one of those people that likes doing something, and then when it becomes tiresome and tedious, I like to do it less. I really do like reviewing books, I like it best when I read a book and then review it soon after when it is still fresh in my mind. But, I didn’t do that for oh, the last 10-12 books I have read. This all makes my to-review pile look even more daunting. But, I will triumph! And alas, you will get your reviews soon!

In other news, my husband and I are taking a mini-vacation in a few days. My sister’s husband is in the Navy, and he has recently been stationed in Newport, Rhode Island. So, this Sunday, Chris and I will leave (after I get out of work at 11pm) for Rhode Island! We are going to help my sister and her family move in and get all unpacked. Oh, and we get to spend some time with my nieces! The oldest is Tatum, and she will be 2 in June. And then there is Paige, who is just over a month old! We are really looking forward to some quality time with my sister and her family. Before this, she lived in Virginia and I only saw her a couple times a year.

Yesterday, we took Tatum to the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY. We were a little worried that she would be a handful, since we have never really had her for very long without her mom close by. However, despite not getting a very good nights sleep, she was AWESOME. She was so excited to see all of the exhibits at the Museum and she didn’t cry or throw a fit at all. She was an angel. Her favorite part of the museum was the Butterfly Conservatory. She loved seeing all of the butterflies and the turtles, tortoises, and birds that were also a part of the exhibit. Since she loved it so much, my husband and I bought her a little bracelet with a small plush butterfly on it. She loved it! In the car, I would ask Tatum “Where are the butterflies,Tatum?” and she would look wistfully out the window and say “Shushy, where are youuu?” It was so adorable, it’s ridiculous how many times I have told people about it. She was a doll. Oh, “shushy” is Tatum-speak for butterfly.

Anyway, thank you for stopping by, and I hope your Easter holiday goes well! (I will be at work- blah).