November 20, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (7)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's WOW is inspired by my current English course! We've been reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen all semester. And I mean all semester. I'm pretty sure I've analyzed and reanalyzed it in a million different ways. But it's still interesting! And I'm not just saying that because my English professor reads this...

Anyway, for those of you who haven't read Pride and Prejudice, Mary is the middle Bennet sister. She is portrayed as the typical middle child; she's quiet and often overlooked by her family. Her role in the book, arguably, is minimal. So it caught my eye to see that Mary got a book of her own.

The Pursuit of Mary Bennet: A Pride & Prejudice Novel by Pamela Mingle

Expected Publishing Date: November 26, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Format: Paperback, 240 pages

Age Range: Young Adult/Adult

Goodreads Summary:
With warmth, wit, and infinite charm Pamela Mingle brings to the page Pride and Prejudice's reserved and awkward Mary Bennet and proves that there is always room for another Austen spin-off when it's this good For most of her life Mary Bennet has been an object of ridicule. With a notable absence of the social graces, she has been an embarrassment to her family on more than one occasion. But lately, Mary has changed. She's matured and attained a respectable, if somewhat unpolished, decorum. But her peace and contentment are shattered when her sister Lydia turns up-very pregnant and separated from Wickham. Mary and Kitty are bustled off to stay with Jane and her husband. It is there that Mary meets Henry Walsh, whose attentions confound her. Unschooled in the game of love, her heart and her future are at risk. Is she worthy of love or should she take the safer path? In her journey of self-acceptance, she discovers the answer.
So what are you waiting on this Wednesday?

November 19, 2013

Review: Insurgent & Allegiant

Title: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth

Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Published: May 1st, 2012
Pages: 525
Format: Hardcover

Summary from Veronica Roth's blog:
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

My  Mini-Review:

My theory that the second book is never as good continues.

Starting off where Divergent left of, Tris and Tobias are on the run from the Erudite traitors to Amity and other stuff happens and then they're in trouble again and yeah. Okay I can't even put a lot of effort into this because I just didn't really like the story.

There was a lot of arguing and Tris and Tobias fighting. And Tris feeling guilty. I swear a lot of this book can come down to this:

Tris: I'm going to do the thing. It's obviously the right thing.
Tobias: Don't do the thing. Don't be dauntless.
Tris: *promises doesn't do the thing*
Tris: *does the thing anyway*
Tobias: Why did you do the thing?
Tobias: We should have done the thing. But I don't trust you.
Tris: You have to trust me where together
Tobias: You're a human being and therefore do things that make me not trust you, like keep things to yourself.
Tris: Look. I love you. But I'm going to do this thing you don't want me to do because I feel guilty about the things, even though they were the right things, of my past. But you should trust me anyway because you keep secrets to.

I feel like that's what the book was. I just couldn't get into it. I kept finding myself skipping sections where nothing was happening, forcing myself to go back and read them and then being like, yep nothing happened.

And then you have the Factionless which kind of have numbers that came from nowhere and you know they're the child you keep locked in the closet during a dinner party because they're just going to cause trouble. (HMU if you got that reference)

Also there were so many people that did not need to die in this book! Oh my gosh no Veronica Roth. You cannot be trigger happy, literally. Stop it. We get it, guns kill people.

I was so glad to have that done with. I also changed my mind. I don't want to be Amity. I think I would choose Eurdite.

Rating: 2/5


Title: Allegiant
Author: Veronica Roth

Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books/ Harper Collins
Published: October 22, 2013
Pages: 544
Format: Hardcover

Goodreads Summary:
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent

My Rant (w/Insurgent Spoilers):

It was so much better than the second one, yet also tiresome to read.

Told in two perspectives, Tris and Tobias, Allegiant goes forward with the story by going back. Back to the roots of how their world came to be.

So first you know that the Factionless are taking over the city and aren't letting anyone leave. And there is this group that arises called the Allegiant, and they're now the rebel group of the city. They want to leave/return to the ways of the faction. Tris and the gang join the Allegiant and make it out of the city. That's basically the last time you hear about the Allegiant until the end of the book.

Then you find out that it's all a genetic experiment. And that the Divergent as basically the chosen ones/genetically superior. And you finally, officially, know that they're in Chicago. But that just sets up the stage for a really social problems book. There as so many connections you can make from this book to today's society, too many. I actually had to stop because it kept repeating the social issue.

I also had to stop because I couldn't remember who was narrating the chapter. Tris and Tobias tell a similar story, because they're living the same events. So it's tiresome to have to read the same thing more than once in a different point of view. They also have semi-similar voices so that just confused the issue.

I also had to stop because they trigger happiness continued! SHE KILLED MY  FAVORITE CHARACTER! I am not going to say who it was, because I'm trying to keep this spoiler free. But I did not see the point of my character's death. I really didn't help the plot move forward. It just sent other characters into depression. Not necessary/character developing depressions either.

I would just like to take this time and appreciate the ending of the this book. At first, I was like the rest of the fandom; so angry and confused because I didn't understand what had just happened. But then, after some relaxation exercises, I came to this conclusion: Veronica Roth is one brave woman. I've always wanted a book to end they way it did, and she fulfilled my dream! She did it because she knew it was a fitting end for the character, not what the fans were expecting. In a way, she was writing for herself, not to make money and I think that is such a brave thing. Bravo Veronica Roth. Bravo.

Overall, I think it was a decent ending to the series. The ending of the book itself was excellent, but the rest of the book leads to a lower score.

Rating: 3.5/5

I'm sorry these may not be as coherent as I hoped, but I just really needed to get these done with and out there.

November 10, 2013

Review: Divergent + Movie Trailer Thoughts

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Published: April 25, 2011

Format: Paperback
Pages: 487

Goodreads Summary:
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, 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 alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating 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 unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

My Thoughts:

I actually put of reading this book for a very long time. It was up and coming, the new biggest hit. Then it was going to be made into a movie and I couldn't help but think by how it was going to be the next The Hunger Games, or worse, the next Beautiful Creatures. Don't get me wrong, The Hunger Games was an excellent novel to film adaptation that not only satisfied the movie critiques but also the loyal "tributes" (the name The Hunger Games fans call themselves). Whereas the same couldn't be said for Beautiful Creatures. The point I'm trying, and failing, to make is that I didn't want to read another popular book. I didn't want to read another book one of four in a series.

But there are even times when a college students finds themselves with nothing to do (or avoiding actual work) and roommate's book. And then in a flash, five hours of your life are gone and you're in front of your laptop having feels moments and shipping.

I'm not going to lie, Veronica Roth's Divergent wasn't totally new and exciting. I found myself being able to predict upcoming plot points. Whether I've finally fulfilled my dream of being an oracle, or I'm getting better at picking up on the clues the author leaves, the fact remains that I did find myself skimming over a section and having to force myself to go back and read it. But Roth has excellent writing skills because I did find myself viewing the plot like a movie. So much so that when I got up to do quick things, I had a moment where I would wonder what TV show I had just been watching before returning to the book.

There is a beautiful moment in the book when the protagonist, Tris, and Four are having an intimate moment. It goes back to how I love it when writers make their characters real rather than perfect.

Tris: "Don't pretend," I say breathily. "You know I'm not. I'm not ugly, but I am certainly not pretty." (page 103 of my ebook version)

I won't spoil the rest of it for you, but I really find this one line very truthful. Everyone has this expectation to be pretty, to have pretty features. Yet, some people just don't. Their prettiness comes from the personality, their mind, not their facial structure. And Tris understands that. She's not trying to get compliments by shooting herself down. And I love it! These are the kind of female literary heroines we need to see more of.

Long story short, I really like this book. The idea is intriguing and it captivates the reader. It's not too complicated but it's not just a simple read. Reading it closely, you can see the mirror struggles we face in society now as they face in the book. It's relatable and the characters have a slow development that will no doubt keep occurring through out the rest of the novels.

Rating: 3.92/5

Oh wait, there's more!

As mentioned above, Divergent is being made into a movie, set to release March 21, 2014. Here's the teaser trailer if you  haven't seen it yet.

Can I just say that I don't like it? These are definitely not the characters I imagined in my head. Shailene Woodley just isn't the Tris I envision. From the short parts we did see her act, she just didn't give that Tris-esque vibe I got from reading the book. She seemed more, complacent.

What are your thoughts on the movie? What are your thought on the book? What fraction do you think you belong to ? (I personally see myself living as an Amity or an Erudite in a different time.)

November 8, 2013

Followers Friday! (1)

It's Friday! And I'd like to take this moment to appreciate all of our followers.

You may remember us doing something similar before, where we posted our top visiting countries and such.

We'll I'm about to attempt to bring that back.

And this is our audience for the month of October!

Who would have thought we had such an international fan base? You guys rock! And we do apologize for the lack of giveaways to international addresses. One day we'll host one, and it'll totally be worth the wait.

But I would just like to point out that there 834 page views in the last month. And you know what else we posted in the last month? Our giveaway. And how many entries do we have so far? 13.

That means that only 0.016 of you who view the page actually participated. And that's just a little sad. Who doesn't want to win a free book? Okay so it's only the third one. So? It's a signed third book. That's pretty cool guys. That's pretty cool.

But thanks to everyone who has ever visited Book Away! Whether you've been here since the beginning (08) or just joined, I would love to give you all a big virtual hug and thank you! Thank you for visiting and putting up with us and our long hiatus.

We hope to see you around!

November 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
On an irrelevant note, I'm sorry for the lack of reviews in the past couple of months. As you may have heard from our other posts, we have been very hectic. Also, April has decided to step down for now. And even though she won't be publishing anything in the near future, she's still a part of the Book Away family so her info will still be kept up. That just means that I have twice as much work no, but bear with me!  Hopefully I'll be back on track soon!

I thought we'd get back into the swing of things by doing a Waiting on Wednesday. What am I waiting for you ask? I'm waiting for The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead. It's the 4th installment to the Bloodlines series.

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) by Richelle Mead

Expected Publishing Date: November 19, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Hardcover, 438 pages

Age Range: Young Adult
Series: Bloodlines

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Richelle Mead

Summary from Goodreads:

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this thrilling fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2
So I'm kind of excited for this! A part of the book will be from Adrian's POV. And I have always been Team Adrian so I am definitely excited for this book!

I've included the excerpts available from Richelle Mead's website.

Also, if you pre-order your copy of The Fiery Heart through the link above, the one that says Richelle Mead, it will take you to her page where you can read about getting a signed copy.

So, what are you waiting on this Wednesday? Did this make your list?

November 3, 2013

You Know:

You know when you're blog is dead when out of your 391 followers,  only 4 have entered to win a free, signed copy of Ally Carter's 3rd Gallagher Girl book, Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover.

Giveaway ends November 22, 2013. Find the post, enter to win.

11/4 Edit: Yeah so I realize that seems kind of whinny. What I wrote. But I would just like to say that the last time we gave away an Ally Carter book, we had 103 entries. Before that we gave away Terrier by Tamora Pierce and that had 151 entries.

But now we're at 12 last time I checked! Woohoo! Except I guess now you're chances to win have been lowered. Whoops.