Monday, April 19, 2010

Review: Alice 19th, Volume 1: The Lotis Master

Alice 19th, Volume 1: The Lotis Master by Yuu Watase

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC; Original edition (October 22, 2003)
ISBN-10: 1591162157
ISBN-13: 978-1591162155

Vonze: 4.5 out of 5

Book Description: "Alice Seno seems like a normal girl in high school. She's a bit shy, she has a crush on a boy name Kyo, and she has a pretty older sister, Mayura, who is more popular than she is - especially with Kyou. Pretty normal stuff, until one day when, walking down the street, Alice hears strange voices instructing her to save a rabbit from being run over by a car. Alice's brave act almost costs her life, but the handsome Kyo saves her. Meanwhile, it seems the rabbit is no ordinary bunny, but a magical entity with great powers. Before she can figure out what's going on, the rabbit vanishes, only to reappear as a beam of light with a strange message just for Alice."

I picked up Alice 19th, Volume 1 at Momocon. I'd read good reviews about Alice 19th on and I'd always heard that Yuu Watase was good.

This manga was a lighthearted, quick read for me. I was under the impression that this was a present-day manga version of Alice in Wonderland. However, I was pleasantly surprised that Alice 19th only lightly borrows from Alice in Wonderland. The main character is named Alice and she has a magical bunny that follows her around, but that's it. I'm happy that the plot was more than just a retelling.

In the beginning, Alice is a pretty typical girl. She goes to high school and loves her cell phone. She's sweet and caring, but also seems to be a little naive and very unsure of herself. Her parents let her spoiled, older sister dictate what goes on in their family. Alice, and every girl at her school, including her older sister, has a crush on guy named Kyo. I love how Kyo is drawn, he's so handsome for a manga character.

When Kyo agrees to date Alice's sister, Alice is crushed. However, with the help of a magical bunny that Alice saved in the street, Alice is set to learn the Lotis words and become a Lotis master. The Lotis words are, seemingly, virtues that will help Alice be more confident and better deal with the hearts of others. When Alice's sister is suddenly kidnapped, it's up to Alice and Kyo to become Lotis masters to save her.

I'm currently on Volume 2 and I'm enjoying this series so far. Alice kinda reminds me of myself way back in jr. high.

Review: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire double review!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (September 14, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0439023483
ISBN-13: 978-0439023481

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0439023491
ISBN-13: 978-0439023498

Vonze: 5 out of 5

Wowowowow! I don't know if there are words for how much I enjoyed The Hunger Games and Catching Fire! Harry Potter was forever ago, Twilight is old news, check these books out!

If you asked Oshie, Oshie would tell you that I was glued to these books. I started The Hunger Games March 7th and I had finished Catching Fire by March 21, often staying up all night to read some more, but at the same time wishing it wouldn't end. I hate that Mockingjay doesn't come out until August 24th, because I want to know what happens to the characters and their world so badly.

I don't want to give much away, but let me describe the plot of the books a little.

The main character, Katniss, lives in District 12 with her mom and younger sister. District 12 is a part of the country of Panem, which was formerly the United States of America. However, Panem is a far cry from the United States. The people live within fences and have few rights. At one time, the people tried to overthrow Panem, which lead to the creation of the Hunger Games. In order to display its control over the people, the Capitol of Panem holds a lottery each year and selects one boy and one girl from each district to play in the Hunger Games. Only play is the wrong word. The Hunger Games is a Olympic-ish, Survivor-like, gladiator death match in which only one person can win. That's right, teenagers killing teenagers for sport on live tv.

When Katniss signs up for the Hunger Games in the place of her little sister, I had no idea what was going to happen next. This page turning book left me guessing till the end. It didn't help that she made friends with some of the other players. I kept asking myself, is she really going to kill them?

After I finished Hunger Games, I directly picked Catching Fire up. It is a worthy sequel, just as good as the first and only adds more questions and complications to the plot.

My favorite thing about The Hunger Games and Catching Fire is Katniss' character. She is probably the strongest, yet not overly boy-ish, female character I have ever read. She is one tough cookie. She hunts, she fends for her family and friends and she has a drive to survive.

I also enjoy the romantic subplot. Katniss is a no-nonsense type of girl. She's not swooning over any guy. However, it seems that she slowly develops feelings for two of the guys in her life. One guy, Gale, is her best friend from District 12. Gale helped her hunt and survive before the Hunger Games. The other guy, Peeta, has secretly admired her from afar for years. Peeta has helped motivate her and is determined she will win the Hunger Games. Who she'll really fall for is completely up in the air at this point.

With that said, I cannot wait for Mockingjay!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Top 100 YA Books

Sorry the month of April has been so quiet!! Oshie and I have had a lot of things to focus on, but don't worry, we're still reading and buying books like always. More reviews coming soon.

So, I saw the Top 100 YA Books listed on The Book Cellar and I thought I'd share my thoughts on the top books right quick.

100. Hate List by Jennifer Brown- not familiar with
99. Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix- need to read
98. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly- not familiar with
97. Among The Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix- not familiar with
96. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Claus- seems like I've heard of this
95. Forever by Judy Blume- heard of it
94. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale- not familiar with
93. Tithe by Holly Black- not familiar with
92. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott- not familiar with
91. Wings by Aprillynne Pike- seen in stores, cover is really pretty
90. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green- not familiar with
89. Angus, Thongs And Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison- Been meaning to read for a looonng time
88. Marked by PC And Kristin Cast- need to read sometime
87. Maximum Ride series by James Patterson- just won a copy a few weeks ago
86. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky- Been meaning to read for longer than I'd like to admit
85. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson- need to read
84. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak- not familiar with
83. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli- not familiar with
82. The Mediator series by Meg Cabot- need to read someday
81. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen- need to read
80. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin- not familiar with
79. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald- need to read someday...I'm distantly related to the guy, lol
78. Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen- need to read
77. Evernight by Claudia Gray- need to read
76. If I Stay by Gayle Foreman- need to read
75. Life As We Knew It series by Susan Beth Pfeffer- not familiar with
74. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston- might read sometime
73. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa- need to read
72. Alana: The First Adventure series by Tamora Pierce- not familiar with
71. Stardust by Neil Gaiman- need to read
70. Unwind by Neil Shusterman- not familiar with
69. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech- not familiar with
68. Paper Towns by John Green- not familiar with
67. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles- not familiar with
66. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith- not familiar with
65. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli- might read sometime
64. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time by Mark Haddon-not familiar with
63. The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell- Enjoyed it as a kid
62. Blue Bloods series by Melissa De La Cruz- need to read
61. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous- might read sometime
60. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie- really want to read this
59. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt- might read sometime...saw the movie, kinda know how it ends
58. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen- need to read
57. Eragon by Christopher Paoloni- Really enjoyed it.
56. Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine- need to read
55. The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith- need to read
54. Fallen by Lauren Kate- need to read
53. The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett- Loved it as a kid
52. The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot- Looove it
51. Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke- need to read
50. Number The Stars by Lois Lowry- need to read
49. Lord Of The Flies by William Golding- read some of it, it's okay
48. The Maze Runner by James Dashner- need to read
47. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares- need to read
46. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver- really want to read
45. The Summoning series by Kelley Armstrong- need to read
44. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher- need to read
43. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson- need to read
42. Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card- need to read
41. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones- recently read, enjoyed, and reviewed
40. Wake series by Lisa McMann- need to read
39. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman- need to read
38. Are You There God? It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume- need to read
37. Looking For Alaska by John Green- need to read
36. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett- One of my favs as a kid
35. A Great And Terrible Beauty series by Libba Bray- need to read
34. His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman- read some of as a kid when it was first published, couldn't get into it
33. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte- need to read
32. Romeo And Juliet by William Shakespeare- Classic
31. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain- need to read
30. Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr- need to read
29. Forest of Hands And Teeth by Carrie Ryan- need to read
28. Holes by Louis Sacher- need to read, even though I've seen the movie
27. The Outsiders by SE Hinton- need to read
26. The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger- read some of, need to finish it someday
25. The Princess Bride by William Goldman- Was really slow, I like the movie better
24. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson- need to read
23. The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank- Read it multiple times, I always cry at the end
22.Uglies series by Scott Westerfield- need to read
21. Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia- currently reading
20. Poison Study series by Maria V. Snyder- really enjoyed this one
19. Book Thief by Markus Zusak- need to read, read good things about it
18. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carlson Levine- need to read, love the movie though
17. Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead- need to read
16. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick- need to read
15. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott- I've read it over and over again, one of my favorite books
14. Anne of Green Gables series by LM Montgomery- Anne is awesome
13. The Giver by Lois Lowry- just finished, really good
12. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare- need to read
11. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater- Why isn't this towards the bottom? I didn't enjoy it as much as I wish I had.
10. Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis- read some of, need to finish series
9. A Wrinkle In Time series by Madeline L'engle- need to read
8. Graceling series by Kristin Cashore- need to read
7. Percy Jackson And The Olympians by Rick Riordan- might read, not really a fan of Greek mythology, but I've heard good things
6. Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan- need to read
5. Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen- ...Umm, best book EVER?
4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee- Classic, classic, classic, Atticus, you are my hero
3. Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer- Took me back to my high school days, take me back to 10th grade and I would have been completely gaga over this
2. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling- A legend in it's own time
1. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins- Completely deserves to be here at #1, go out now and BUY THIS!

So, it looks like I have a lot of reading to catch up on! Away I go!


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