Monday, May 28, 2012


Recentlyish...I discovered a new Korean/Chinese boy band. One group split into two. They sing the same songs, but one group sings them in Korean (Exo-K) and the other sings them in Mandarin (Exo-M). Check out these amazing videos. I love how they dance...

(Exo-K "Mama")

(Exo-K "History")

(Exo-M "What is Love")

Also...besides their obvious talent for singing, dancing, and certain ninja-like skills, Exo (K and M) has a certain ideal quality I find irresistable in men. BONUS...
"But what's that quality?", you might be wondering. My answer: If it's not obvious (cause it should be), I find them highly attractive.

Sidenote: In my dictionary, attractive right now is, "A man, possibly Asian, fashion conscious (dresses well), a dash of pretty (or a double recipe...two dashes of pretty), has beautiful hair (what? yes, i love hair), dimples wouldn't hurt (neither would an accent), and a full set of lips" Oh, and did I mention fit, cause I can't resist some nice shoulder-blades.
Am I asking for too much? Heck no! Have you seen the videos above? That's 12 counts of yes in my dictionary.

Do you like Exo-K/M?    

-Hope your day is bright
Olive juice  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Vampire Diaries: Season 4 ponderings with Season 3 spoilers

okay. so it's been like a week or so since i've talked about the Vampire Diaries. Let me just take a moment to silently grieve....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
*still grieving.
(you're probably wondering why I chose this picture of Nina Dobrev. Answer: it's ambiguous. Enjoy the mystery.)

Alright. Let's talk.
It's official. I dislike evil Alaric so much. More so than I did a few weeks back. This is the kind of dislike that won't go away.

sidenote: why am I saying dislike? well, hate is such a strong word. I don't want to stoop to evil Alaric's level, so dislike it is.

Anywho...*sigh...what can possibly happen in season 4?! I have some ideas, so if you don't want to be spoiled by my thoughts STOP READING.

Season 4 (maybes?):
 1. Elena will become a vampire.......who would kill off the main character in the first episode of the fourth season? you're right, no one would. But....I do think she'll (Elena will) fuss about transitioning or dieing for at least an episode. You never know, Damon might slip her some blood based juice. And I guess Stephen will be all for her choosing to die (in the I-support-your-decision-but-I-don't-want-you-to-make-it kind of way).
I think the big question is, who is Elena going to drink from? Blood bag. Jeremy. Bonnie. Matt? oooo...Matt. Wouldn't that be interesting?

2. Tyler is Klaus...Klaus is Tyler. Not sure. There was one thing I had a hard time understanding. If Damon, Stephen and everyone else connected to their bloodline was supposedly linked to Klaus (cause both Elijah and Rebecca said they didn't create that line), then how are they still alive?
Things I do understand: Bonnie did a spell. Tyler is now hosting Klaus. Klaus' body is a burnt marshmallow. Stephen, Damon, Caroline, Tyler, and Abby are still alive.
The thing I don't get: if Klaus' body is audios, then how are the others still alive? Is it only because his soul is still alive in Tyler? Can his body be brought back to life? Uncharred?  If Klaus decides to let Tyler have his body back will Stephen, Damon, and the others die?

3. Tyler a.k.a. Klaus is going to make out with Caroline. He might even sleep with her. She'll discover he (Tyler) is still alive and be so happy, they'll wind up entwined.
Post entwining, Klaus (as Tyler) will feel bad about deceiving her and tell her the truth. Cue Caroline's shock, anger, disappointment, denial, grief, joy (?).

4. Tyler (as Klaus) won't make a move on Caroline (or maybe he will), but Caroline will be smart enough to figure it out. Since Tyler (Michael Trevino) does "Klaus" really well, how is Klaus going to hide himself? Can Michael pull a Nina and pretend to be Tyler taken over by Klaus acting as Tyler? I think yes.

5. Elena will have a new excuse not to be with Stephen or Damon. A new vampire needs some time to figure things out. She's got forever now, and they aren't going anywhere.

Quick question: Where's Katherine? Wouldn't that be a hoot for her and vampire Elena to meet up?

6. Bonnie and Jeremy will get back together.

Another quick question: Will Jeremy go insane like Alaric?

7. new villian.....who? Elena? someone from the past we haven't met yet?

8. Poor Matt. He's so alone in this paranormal world. Wait! we don't know what happened to Matt after Stephen pulled him from the truck. Was Stephen able to resuscitate him? Did he die?! Oh that's sad.

9. The sheriff and the mayor might lose their positions on the council. Or.....coin flip, they'll out Alaric (not like he has much to lose anyway).

and 10. (I like even numbers) Elena and Rebecca will, at some point, have a vampire showdown.

One last quick question: What's going to happen with those blood bags full of Elena's human doppelganger blood? Was it perchance that Klaus tried to drain Elena? Or will those bags come in handy??? I'm sensing an army being born.

-Hope your day is bright
Olive Juice        


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ghosts redo!

I feel horrible. How could I forget the most awesome ghost series? I'm ashamed to call myself a Meg Cabot fan. I'm sorry Meg!!!!

Anyway. I must correct my recommendation (not that I don't agree with the two other series I previously recommended. Still do. You should read them). But....there is a series that is chock-full of ghosts and I love it! I don't normally read a series more than once, but I think I've read this series three times.

The Mediator series by (you guessed it) Meg Cabot.
Don't let these sweet, colorful covers fool you. This series is amazing!

Description (book 1): "There's a hot guy in Susannah Simon's bedroom. Too bad he's a ghost.
Suze is a mediator-a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won't leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn't seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations.
But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it's not that easy. There's a ghost with revenge on her mind.and Suze happens to be in the way."

Recommendation: YES! Shadowland is the first book I ever read by Meg Cabot (she's the author of The Princess Diaries). The main character Suze is so witty, rebellious, snarky, fashionable, and she kicks butt. I think if I were to be any character in a book series, I'd want to be Suze. Her life is super hectic, what with all the ghosts haunting her, moving in with a new family on the opposite side of the country, and dealing with the dead guy in her room. Wouldn't you be stressed out? 
The upside is that Jesse (said ghost) is so ideal (for Suze of course. who did you think I was talking about?). He has that certain thing guys sometimes have (especially in YA books) where they are the epitome of calm and maturity. So basically guys who have been around a long time. a.k.a elves, faeries, immortals, and ghosts. What teenage girl doesn't dream of finding a super hot, youthful, mature guy...with an accent. Did I mention his accent. It's like butter. 
But besides Jesse...he's not the only reason I like this series. Is that what you thought? Shame.
Anyway, each book is centered around Suze, as she tries to adjust to her new life and family, while simultaneously trying to solve a new mystery that inevitably involves ghosts. They're everywhere! She's a heroine for sure with lots of attitude. This series is fun to read, sort of Nancy Drewish in the solving mysteries (and some murders) department. There's lots of action, some romance, the ever popular "trying to fit in", and teenage angst. Who doesn't love a dose of teenage angst? 
If you've ever read a Meg Cabot book, you'll love this series. READ IT! 

Here's me with Meg Cabot. I went to a signing of hers a while back for her (adult paranormal) book Overbite. She signed my copy of Shadowland, which I will cherish forever. 

Go here to read the first chapter of Shadowland

-Hope your day is bright
Olive juice

YA sub genre rec tag! 7-9

I'm back for more!
7. Fae/Faerie: soooooo...I have a bunch of books about faeries. I'll recommend them all, but the main one I'll talk about, is Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr.
Description (book 1): "Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.
Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.
Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.
Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.
Faerie intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning 21st century faery tale."

Recommendation: Dark dark dark...No matter how many times I read about faeries, the ones that intrigue me the most are the dark foreboding kind. They'll kill you in your sleep, have you as an afternoon snack, pretend to be your friend one minute and make you their eternal slave the next. This is how Marr portrays the faeries in her series. I loved the struggles Aislinn goes through in order to stay away from faeries. I also like how each book focuses on a different character in Aislinn's life. So many view points, so many faeries. The line between betrayal and alliance is very fine. I think it's safe to say my inner goth loves these books.

sidenote: You should also read the Wonderous Strange Trilogy by Lesley Livingston (amazing cover art), the Wings series by Aprilynne Pike, the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, the Need series by Carrie Jones (seriously creepy pixies), the Faerie Walker series by Jenna Black, and the Paranormalcy series by Kiersten White (also gorgeous covers).
Want to read: I think The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton sounds really intriguing.

8. Fantasy: I must choose two. Firstly, the Théâtre Illuminata: Act 1, 2, & 3 by Lisa Mantchev.

(the three images above are the cover art for each book in the series. Jason Chan is the artist. I love to just stare at them. Aren't they gorgeous???)

Description (book 1)
"All her world’s a stage
Enter Stage Right
Beatrice Shakespeare Smith (Bertie): Our heroine.
Nate: A dashing pirate who will do anything to protect Bertie.
Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed, and Peaseblossom: Four tiny, mischievous fairies, and Bertie’s loyal sidekicks.
Ariel: A seductive air spirit. Disaster follows in his wake, but Bertie simply cannot resist him.
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the characters of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. The actors are bound to the Théâtre by The Book, an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of the actors, but they are her family. And she is about to lose them all because The Book has been threatened, and along with it the Théâtre. It’s the only home Bertie has ever known, and she has to find a way to save it. But first, there’s the small problem of two handsome men, both vying for her attention. The course of true love never did run smooth. . . ."

Recommendation: This series is super fun, especially if you love Shakespeare and going to plays. Beatrice is a great female protagonist, clever to no end and has amazing hair. It's a fun interpretation of so many characters from plays like The Little Mermaid, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Each character's speech and tone is written very well. It took me a bit to understand the layout of the théâtre (think magical instead of literal and it will make sense), I really enjoyed walking alonside Bertie, the faeries, and her crazy hot love interests (Ariel all the way).

Secondly, I would have to recommend The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.
(I seriously love these covers)

Description (book1): "When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end."

Recommendation: yes! read it. (I remember thinking the concept of shadowhunters sounded kind of strange when i first read the description. Shadowhunters are seriously anything but strange. They're awesome!). These books are really intriguing, lots of mystery (it left me guessing with slack jaw many times). The characters are all loveable, the villians are hateable (is that a word?), and each book leaves you wanting more. And if you love vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts, faeries, warlocks, angels, magical warriors, and other assorted characters (like humans), then you'll love it.

Want to read: I can't wait to get my hands on City of Lost Souls (book 5 in the Mortal Instruments series) by Cassandra Clare.

9. Ghosts: Okay, so this is slightly sad. I don't have much on ghosts. I do have a couple of book series where ghosts aren't the center of the story but they do pop up now and then. First is the Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong.

 I love these covers. They are very sumptuous in color saturation and shadows.

Description (book 1): "Chloe Saunders sees dead people. Yes, like in the films. The problem is, in real life saying you see ghosts gets you a one-way ticket to the psych ward. And at 15, all Chloe wants to do is fit in at school and maybe get a boy to notice her. But when a particularly violent ghost haunts her, she gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Her seemingly crazed behaviour earns her a trip to Lyle House, a centre for disturbed teens.
At first Chloe is determined to keep her head down. But then her room mate disappears after confessing she has a poltergeist, and some of the other patients also seem to be manifesting paranormal behaviour. Could that be a coincidence? Or is Lyle House not quite what it seems…? Chloe realizes that if she doesn’t uncover the truth, she could be destined for a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Or could her fate be even worse…? Can she trust her fellow students, and does she dare reveal her dark secret?"

Recommendation: This series is full of nearly non-stop excitement. The character voice of the teenagers is really believable so all the emotions they experience and the extreme situations they go through (cause who sees dead people) are really heightened and exciting. There's a little bit of romance but it doesn't take center stage. It felt like just the right amount and was also a refreshing balance for all Chloe's horrific encounters. Armstrong is really good at describing each scene, especially (spoiler) when describing a werewolf's transformation. Generally I loved how creeped out I got, how each character accepted their unique abilities or lack there of, and the results of their decisions. Plus, the villians...hate them SO much. (don't you just love to hate the bad guy?)

Secondly, is the Evernight series by Claudia Gray.
Description (book 1): "The Evernight series, four books from HarperCollins beginning in May 2008, follows the story of Bianca Olivier. When the story begins in Evernight, Bianca has just left the small town where she's spent her whole life. She's a new student at Evernight Academy, a creepily Gothic boarding school where her classmates are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.
Then she meets Lucas, another loner, who seems fiercely determined not to be the "Evernight type." There's a connection between Bianca and Lucas that can't be denied. She would risk anything to be with him—but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart... and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed to be true."

Recommendation: I love a good forbidden romance. This series has just that. Bianca and Lucas aren't really supposed to be together, but you know nothing is going to stop young love. I don't want to ruin the general premise by giving away any spoilers, but I will say this series is full of paranormal characters. And as far as ghosts go, there are wraiths in Gray's story. But like I mentioned before, they aren't the main focus (at least not in the first book or two). I really enjoyed the budding romance between Lucas and Bianca. I enjoyed Bianca's journey in learning who she really is, beyond the expectations of who her parents, teachers, and friends thinks she is. This series also takes a good look at overcoming prejudices, though they be paranormal prejudices. Overall, an enjoyable read.

Want to Read: Not

So that's it for now. Next on my list I'll be talking about: Gothic, Historical Romance, and Mythology books. oooooooo.....Happy reading!

-Hope your day is bright
Olive juice 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

YA Sub Genre Rec Tag! 4-6

Next in the list of sub genres...
4. Contemporary Realism: It's kind of sad, but I honestly don't think I have anything to recommend for this genre. Does anyone have anything to recommend to me?

5. Dragons: *sigh...okay, so I have to recommend two different series. First, The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.
 Description (book 1): "Fifteen-year-old Eragon believes that he is merely a poor farm boy—until his destiny as a Dragon Rider is revealed. Gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller, Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save—or destroy—the Empire."

Recommendation: This book is right up there with all the tales about epic glory. Paolini weaves a beautiful tapestry about a boy and his dragon and how they figure out their destiny. There's dwarves, urgals, elves, werecats, kings, queens, magicians, and more. There's new languages, a map of Alagaesia (so you'll never get lost), dragon lore, and some teen angst to keep things fresh. Paolini's vast world of Alagaesia is rich with backstory, so much so, that I don't think all of it is even told to the reader.  The books get seriously dense, so be prepared to read a lot! It's completely worth it though.

sidenote: If you haven't seen the movie, but you still want to, don't watch it before reading all of the books. If you have seen the movie, and as a result, are opposed to read the books, trust me. You won't regret it.

Secondly, I want to recommend Firelight by Sophie Jordan.
isn't that cover gorgeous???

Description (book 1):  
"A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.
With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness forces her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is the gorgeous, elusive Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.
Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide."

Recommendation: From the first chapter, I was hooked. The concept of the draki is so unique, I would recommend this series for that alone. But I also enjoyed the romance between Jacinda and Will, and her journey in trusting him as a person, rather than only seeing him as a threat. Jordan's descriptions of the change that Jacinda (and the other draki) go through in order to let her (their) draki side out is amazing. Plus, the covers for each book are so lush.....  

Want to read: Definitely looking forward to reading Hidden by Sophie Jordan. Do you have any good dragon recommendations?

6. Dystopian: For this genre I'm going to choose Wither by Lauren DeStefano.
Description: "By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.
When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape—before her time runs out?
Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?"

Recommendation: I'd definitely recommend this series. The concept seems very plausible to me, but weirdly, I like it even more because of that. Yet it's even scarier to think something like this could actually happen. Anyway, DeStefano is a master at pulling emotions out of her characters and soldering them into her reader's mind. Just as Rhine feels trapped in her new life with Linden, I too felt an overwhelming desire to break free from his mansion. Yet, it's a double sided coin. Events occur within Rhine's new home that compel her to stay, and so it's an intense emotional ride. The book is gritty, numbing, sometimes creepy, and irresistible. It's filled with descriptions galore and captures all the senses.

Want to read:  I really want to get The Pledge by Kimberly Derting.

So that's all for today. So many good books. Let me know if you've read any of the books above and what you thought about them.

and on a little sidenote: Is anyone looking forward to Vampire Diaries tomorrow??? I wish it wasn't the last episode of the season, but (spoiler ahead)......................I'm really looking forward to seeing Elena's parents for the first time. And we get to see Aunt Jenna and Elijah again! Yay for flashbacks. Speaking of, I wonder what Katherine is up to...

-Hope your day is bright
Olive juice

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

YA Sub Genre Rec Tag!

First, I have to say...

Klaus!!! Why?! I am sad...

Anyway! So, recently I've been watching Daniel (Danny) Marks' YouTube channel...he vlogs. super funny. He talks 99.9% of the time about books: book reviews, bookshelf invasions, book hauls (I need money), small readings of books, writing/being a writer (and all that goes with it), and more! So if you like these topics go check him out here:

sidenote: he's darkly humorous and has a "slight" obsession with anything related to that topic. sort of an upbeat sombre attitude if you will. my inner goth appreciates him (she comes out on Halloween).

Back to recently. Danny posted a video tag quite some time ago about YA sub genres. He made an alphabetical list of all the sub genres he could think of and gave examples of books he enjoyed from each one. I loved it, so I wanted to do the same; I'll include books I've read and books I want to read.

Here goes:

1. Angels:
I haven't read a whole lot of books about Angels, but I did enjoy Fallen by Lauren Kate
I love the book cover. It's dreamy and dark, yeah? 

Description (book 1): "There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her."

Recommendation: This book is part of a series, which I like, because in YA you don't always get a really detailed description of the world and characters; but with a series, I feel like I get to delve just a little deeper. On the whole, I really enjoyed this book. I didn't know that angels were going be major characters, so that was a surprise (sorry if I ruined that for you). There are a lot of fun characters and each one is unique. Plus it has a dark tone, which excites my inner goth. 

wait wait wait!!!! How could I forget?! The Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson. 
 I love this series. Max, the main character (took me forever to figure out she's a girl), is super witty and a smart-aleck (that's so not me, but I wish I could be like that, so I love it). I never know who to really trust in this series, so I like the element of mystery. This book is a twisted version on science experiments gone wrong, but it's also a coming of age story that goes back and forth between the main character's perspectives. A great read for girls and boys of all ages. If you're wondering, "What about angels? You didn't mention angels". Good question. This book is quasi angel based. Think of it as rebellious science experiments with wings. It still counts in my book.

Want to read: maybe Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. Have you read it? Did you like it?

2. Apocalyptic: Most would go for The Hunger Games, which in most cases I would recommend (I still do. You should read it. Broaden your horizons.), but I think the most appropriate book to choose is The Host by Stephanie Meyer.
Descritption: "Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away.
Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.
When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves—Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love."

Recommendation: ooooo....from the beginning, this book grabbed me by the heels, dug into my brain like a tick, and I didn't even mind. Sort of Body Snatchers-esque, but completely unique. By far, I think this is Stephanie's best writing. It's gritty, moves gracefully between fast paced action and Melanie/Wanderer's inner dialogue (I think Danny Marks calls them "asides"), and shows a new interpretation on alien invasion. Who knew they could be so "peaceful". 

sidenote: if you don't like sci-fi, I'd still recommend you read this. It's about so much more than aliens, and I've heard many people say they were surprised they liked the book so much since they abhor sci-fi. Basically, if you boil it down, this book is more about acceptance, fighting for what's right, and working together (and it has romance, which I always love). Also, there's about two handfuls, maybe three handfuls of characters to get to know. It's a really thick book; but the more the merrier, right?

P.S. sidenote:  I will also recommend Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, because it's exciting, kind of a science-y-the-atmosphere-could-wreak-havoc-and-humans-could-separate-into-two-groups-of-people-who-do-not-trust-one-another-but-have-adapted-in-special-ways-in-order-to-survive-the-elements kind of a way. I mean, it could happen, right?

Description: "EXILED from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland--known as The Death Shop--are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild--a savage--and her only hope of staying alive.

A HUNTER for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile--everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must learn to accept one another to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky."

Want to read: I've heard good things from Danny Marks about the Gone Series by Michael Grant. Also, I've lingered over The Maze Runner a few times, but I'm not sure how scary it is (I can't handle horror). I generally like thriller/suspense, but if it's super graphic/violent........not so much.
3. Contemporary Romance: This one is kind of hard, since I don't tend to read books set in reality. But from the ones that I have read, I generally like the "cotton-candy" type books. Those are everywhere though, so I'm going to say (I really can't believe I'm saying this, but) The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen.

Description (book 1): "Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.
Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions.
White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.
This is Manhattan, 1899.
Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.
With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...
In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent."

Recommendation: This one is super hard for me to recommend, but if you want to expand your book horizons, then I'd say go for it. It's full of old history gossip, luxurious parties, hidden trysts, envy, betrayal, heart-brake, forbidden romance, and finding yourself. Godbersen really knows how to sink deep into the world, so you feel as though you are in 19th century New York. Each book is centered on a different girl (and one guy), but goes back and forth between all of their POVs.   

Want to read: hmmm...I read the first two books in the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles a while back. I enjoyed them, but haven't gotten around to buying Chain Reaction yet. I don't really have anything else in mind for this genre. Is there anything you can recommend to me???

Endnote: This tag is officially long. It's going to take me a little while to get through each sub genre, so I've decided to post 3 or 4 recommendations at a time. Feel free to share your recommendations in the comment section. I'd love to know what you guys enjoy reading. Until next time...

-Hope your day is bright (mine sure is)
Olive juice

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Twitter and vampires

I just did the unthinkable...

I joined Twitter. *cue shock

Yes, I know I said it was stupid, but I joined for a good cause: A book giveaway for Foretold, an anthology of 14 stories from authors like Meg Cabot and Richelle Mead. If you want to enter, click here:

Okay, it was a selfish reason to join twitter, but I wanted an extra entry! I mean, this book contains a story about Rose and Dimitri's journey to Russia (for those who don't know these characters, please start reading the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. It's better than Twilight.)
Here's a description of the series: "St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever."

I loved this series so much. Words almost can't describe how much I loved these books. Once I picked them up, I devoured them. Rose, the main protagonist, is way kick butt, and a humorous, sarcastic, warrior. She rocks the socks off almost any female book character in the YA genre. You won't ever see her go down without a good tongue lashing, roundhouse kick, punch, stab, smack, etc...and the world of vampires is so unique. I've never heard of different vampire races existing in one book. Have you?
If you're looking for an adventure, comedy, romance (aka...Dimitri), action, mystery, and a thrillingly good time, you must read this series. If I could, I would brainwash you to start reading them....their tantalizingly good.

Speaking of vampires!
sidenote: Vampire Diaries is on tonight! Yay! (spoiler alert)...I never thought I'd say this, but, I want Alaric to die. I just hope Klaus is safe...
Let me know what you think about this week's episode.

And check out this parody by The Hillywood Show. Love them!

-Hope your day is bright  
Olive juice

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Harry Potter

IT'S OFFICIAL. I'm going to start reading Harry Potter...

Yes, I know. You're probably thinking, "How have you not read Harry Potter yet?!"

The reason is...well, I've never really been interested. It's a lame excuse, I know; but it's the truth (but I have seen all of the movies and loved them). I think another main reason I've been holding back for so long, was because I heard from various people that you have to push through the first two (or was it first three?) books to start enjoying the series. Supposedly, this is because the first books were written for twelve year-olds. I'm way beyond twelve years old, and I'm not a teenager anymore either, yet I love the YA genre. Who knows? Maybe I'll enjoy the series.

Have you read the Harry Potter series? If so, did you enjoy them?

On a sort of bunny trail sidenote: check out this parody of Harry Potter by the Hillywood Show. It's very clever and fun.

-Hope your day is bright
Olive juice