Wednesday, June 22, 2011

XVI by Julia Karr

Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world—even the most predatory of men—that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past—one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.

All I have to say about this book is wow.  It surprised me how much I loved this book. I've only read a few Dystopian books and this one is definitely my favorite. Well, not only in the dystopian genre but in general, it's one of my favorite books.  The whole idea was really creative but simple at the same time, in a good way. I don't like the fact that dystopian movies/books sometimes overdo what the future might be like: everything destroyed, mankind slowly dying, all that scary s**t that scares all of us. Well this one took an actual world, and changed a few things. But there's one thing that remains true, that is not something that will happen in the future, but something that's happening today. Most of the people, especially teens, are ruled by whatever media says. And this book emphasizes on that point, that we all see but never really think about. I think a lot of us can relate to the main character, especially teens. Today we are pressured by media, and how we're supposed to act and look, and at what age we should have sex. The main character knows she doesn't have to act according to the government and society, but to what feels right. I liked the fact that there wasn't something supernatural or over the top included, it was pretty concrete and, well, normal. Another thing I loved and was missing in  other books. A good villain. Ed was an excellent villain and he's one of the things that made me want to keep on reading. Was he a demon? No. A vampire? Hell, no. A fairy? Those make good villains, but no. He was just a person, and a scary one at that. Julia Karr did an excellent job creating an antagonist and really brought me to the point of hating him. So, in conclusion, this is a really original, realistic and amazing book that will keep you hooked and will open your eyes to a world we do have today.

How many stars?
5 stars (with standing ovation)
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Little Something About Weirdness

So the other day there was this contest on goodreads in which you had to write the weirdest thing, so I thought: Why not write about being weird since I'm so good at it (at being weird :D) So here it is, a monologue about weirdness

You know when people say weird, what exactly does that mean. Yeah, sure, everyone can give you a definition for weird. Hell, even Paris Hilton can give you that definition. And I’ll recite it for you in a dialogue kind of way. 

You: Hey you! 
Random person: Who me? 
You: No dude, I’m talking to the wombat standing next to you, yes you! 
Random person: Dude, you’re so weird. 
You: Is that so?!? (you raise your eyebrows in a daring way) Give me a definition. 
Random person: Of what? 
You: Of weird idiot. What’s weird? 
Random person: (Gives you a ‘seriously?’ look ) Weird is someone or something who is not normal. 
You: Give me a definition of normal. 
Random person: :s :o :I 

And there you have it, no one knows what the definition of normal is, so by default, everybody in this sick and judgmental world is weird. Yeah eve you, person who is reading this and is thinking ‘pshh, I’m not weird’. Yeah, you are! You are freakn’ weird and you know it. 

Everyone’s weird in a way. Because normal doesn’t exist. People feed themselves this concept that they’re normal. But the truth is that we’re not weird. We’re special. Okay now, if your psychiatrist tells you you’re special then it’s a bad thing, stay away from the white jackets and blue pills. Those people do not want to help you, no matter what they say. Anyway, I mean special in a good way. And sure when I say special, I do mean weird. It’s just so that people who tend to get offended easily cope with the fact that they’re not normal. 

Anyway, every single person in this world has that one thing (or many things) that make him/her weird. Let’s call this the weird factor. Laughing randomly when you have a good memory: Not that weird. Record hyper videos and upload then to YouTube: Yeah, it’s pretty weird. Dressing your pets: now that’s just downright ridiculous. No offense to those who dress their pets, but they are, after all, pets. But we are all weird no matter what. 

The cruel reality of our existence is that normal does not exist. Why? Because we’re all different and can never agree on anything. I mean, isn’t that what has been causing all wars? Because people can’t agree because we’re all different, in conclusion, we can’t be normal. As an example, I’ll narrate this as specific as I can. 

You are walking through the hallways of the torture chamber everyone calls high school. People are behaving as animals as usual, and then you see the usual kid in the trash can and think, “Poor kid, when will he ever learn he need karate classes.” Then you enter your classroom and sit on your usual place where Barbie and her three wannabes are talking, playing with their hair, thinking if Brian will ask them to homecoming, same old shit. You tell them to move away and sit down. They look down at your outfit, let’s pretend that day you accidentally wore different shoes on each foot and colorful socks while wearing a bright yellow hoodie. That being said, let’s continue with the story. Barbie looks at you, her eyes practically scan every single part of your outfit. Barbie rolls her eyes, gives you a modest smile and turns to her wannabes saying ‘What a weirdo!’ And they all laugh as if that was the joke of the year. And somehow, she thinks you’re deaf, cause she’s said it loud enough for you to hear and obviously they think you didn’t. So you turn around and look at them the same way they look at you. And then you see Barbie’s blond hair and think ‘She’s a weirdo too. I bet people in Ethiopia would consider her weird because people there have no blond hair. You look at the sunglasses wannabe #1 is wearing and you think that people in Forks (yes, I’m using a Twilight reference, I am actually ashamed of myself) would consider her weird cause there is no sun there. And you see wannabe #2, wearing a mini skirt. And you think, ‘poor freak, they would probably cut her in half in some part of Saudi Arabia, because a girl wearing a mini skirt would be considered weird there. 

And you can always go on and on finding a ‘but’ in the way everyone looks or dresses and find reasons why those people aren’t normal. But why would you want to be normal? When you’re a kid don’t you love it when your mommy tell you you’re special (again, not in psychiatrist way, remember kids, say no to the blue pills). You know you do. And some of us really want to be unique in every possible way, and get called weird because of it. And you know what? Hell yeah I’m weird. Say it to the world! Hello, my name is (fill in the blank) and I’m a weirdo because (fill in with unusual life situation). When you’re walking down the streets, just being hyper and being you, and people say ‘Gosh you’re weird.’ Just smile, flip them off and say, ‘Yeah, I get that a lot.’ And accept the fact that you’re never going to be normal, ever. And I’m gonna go a little cheesy on this, but love yourself the way you are. Because normal doesn’t exist, and the sooner you accept that, the better. And remember if a psychologist or any other type of doctor says you’re weird, say no to the blue pills. 
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

I've been dying to read a good greek-mythology book. I've tried Percy Jackson, Abandon and other books but so far this was the one that I liked the most. I liked the pace of the book, it was perfect. It wasn't slow enough that I got bored or fast enough, each event in this book went at its own perfect pace and made the book entertaining since page one. The main character was pretty realistic, it's one of the only books I've read in which the main character doesn't actually believe what the hot guy says he is until she gets concrete proof. Believe me, it's pretty unrealistic when a guy goes: "Hey, guess what, I'm a god!" And the girl's like: "Okay, cool!" It's not real, no person in their right mind would believe it. Henry is a bad boy, and I know I say this a lot, but I'm a sucker for bad boys. But this one was different. He didn't fall head over heels for the main character until later in the book, which was also pretty original considering that in most YA books it's the other way around. The girl always plays hard-to-get while the boy chases her around like a lost puppy. The ending was extremely surprising, which is something that I have been missing in other books either. They were getting too predictable for me, but not this one, not at all. In the end, you're as confused as the main character is. So in general, this book was unpredictable, with an unexpected ending and believable characters. Sounds confusing? Just a little. Should you read it? Yeah, you should. 

How many stars? 
5 stars
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