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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review: A Million Suns - Beth Revis

Rating: 5/5
Summary: Amy and Elder continue their adventure aboard Godspeed and Elder begins to take on his role as leader of the ship. Things begin to spin out of control when the community is taken off the drug Phydus and they start to rebel. Elder has very little control when murder, riots and crime begin to emerge on the ship and Amy finds herself on a mystery adventure of her own.
Review: FANTASTIC! I loved the first book in this series, Across the Universe, and I couldn't wait for this sequel. Now I have to wait forever for the third one! The characters are even better developed this time, and the plot seriously thickens. I love the mystery thrown in to this story and the realistic approach that Revis takes on Amy's true feelings for Elder. Truly, I have zero complaints about this book except that the third in the series can't come fast enough. This is the next Hunger Games/Twilight obsession, I'm sure of it. If you haven't read Across the Universe yet, you need to go grab both of these and get on it!

Buy it here: A Million Suns: An Across the Universe Novel

Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: Uglies - Scott Westerfield

Rating: 3/5
Summary: Tally lives in a future America where when someone turns 16 they get to undergo an operation that makes turns them from an "ugly" to a "pretty." Everyone has the operation, except those rebellious ones who run away to a rumored place called "the smoke." Tally can't imagine not being a "pretty" until her friend Shea tells her about the place and then leaves for it, without her, leaving Tally in a difficult predicament.
Review: I enjoyed this book after getting into it. I found it really difficult to get past the oh-so-literal names of "Prettytown" and "Uglyville," but the plot and conflict itself was pretty good. Especially when you start taking the storyline a little less literally and think more about how it applies to our current civilization. The characters were enjoyable, if not completely captivating. I probably won't read the rest of the series though, I was a little disappointed with the first book to continue.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: Everlost - Neil Shusterman

Rating: 4/5
Summary: Nick and Allie are two young teenagers who die in a car accident and end up in sort of a middle-world. They find that the many other children live in this world have all gotten lost on their way to "where they are going." Along with other children, Allie and Nick encounter monsters, get stuck in some unusual places and learn what "skinjacking" is.
Review: I really enjoyed this book as a YA genre to its core. Allie and Nick are fantastic characters and are very believable in that their thoughts are immature and not overly adult like you typically get from authors writing in this perspective. The adventure they embark on is also a greatly unique story and I was constantly wanting to know what happened next. Definitely a must read for anyone who enjoys YA and the fairy-tale fiction style.

Buy it here: 
Everlost (The Skinjacker Trilogy)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Review: Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater

Rating: 3/5
Summary: In a world where werewolves are real Grace finds herself in love with a boy who just happens to be one. When Grace realizes she herself is not wholly human, more problems surface than just the fact that this is the last year her love Sam will be able to change back in to a human form.
Review: While incredibly slow, this book had an interesting concept. I didn't really enjoy it though as there were no really well defined plot climaxes and the characters seemed unrealistic and unbelievable. I won't be reading the 2nd and 3rd books in this trilogy because I didn't find the first one enough of a page-turner to keep my interest in the first place. A younger teen may enjoy this, but I like a little more suspense and intensity.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ender's Game movie in 2013

I just saw that there is an Ender's Game movie in production with Harrison Ford and Abigail Breslyn as some of the stars! Can't wait!!!
Check it out here on IMDB.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Boston Cream Cupcakes.... mmmmm!

I got me a shiny, new, cherry-red Kitchenaid Stand Mixer for Christmas and have put it to good use since! I decided to make "Boston Cream Cupcakes" from my new Taste of Home Baking cookbook and substituted the ganache frosting with the "Silky Creamy Frosting." I also didn't have vanilla pudding so I used chocolate. Um... all I can say is the cupcakes were AWESOME and the frosting was being eaten by the spoon post decoration. This really was the best freaking icing I've ever had. Not too sweet, not to thick or rich, just right! Also, the cupcakes were perfectly moist and again, not too sweet. I might have to brag that this was the most delicious item I've ever made in my entire life. Thank goodness I had to share them. Since my little girl's first birthday is coming up, I also decided to practice my icing skills with my new Betty Crocker Decorating Kitthat I also received for Christmas. Look how cute they turned out!

P.S. I had extra icing, even after cutting the recipe in half, so I used it to frost my extra pudding!