just a girl who loves ya books

Hello, my name is Tori, and I'm fourteen years old! I love to read, especially YA books. I have a book blog with my best friend, Lindsay. 



Review: The Diviners (The Diviners #1) by Libba Bray

The Diviners - Libba Bray

Check out my blog YA Book Queens!


This was the book that I bought with the money that I got after returning Unwind back to Barnes & Noble since my copy was inconveniently missing the last 50 pages. I intended on buying Unwind again, but then I saw The Diviners and I figured, "What's the point in buying Unwind again when I've already read it? Why not just buy a whole new book that I can enjoy? I can always buy Unwind later when I plan on rereading it if I ever do!" So yeah. Long story short, The Diviners has been added to my collection of books.


For buying this book, I wanted to enjoy this a lot more than a did. And not just because I paid a good twelve bucks for this fat book (not that I'm complaining... Okay, I am a bit. Just a bit), but also because so many Booktubers and reviewers I like loved this book and gave it either four or five stars, and when I read it and didn't really like it, I felt so bad. It didn't even take me the entire book to feel bad. It took me the first hundred pages. I wouldn't say I had to force myself to finish The Diviners, because I didn't. I could just say that it took a lot longer than it should have. If I liked it, it would've taken me a week or so. Instead, it took me two weeks. And the only reason--the only reason--that I persevered the first 300 pages was because two of my teachers give us 30-60 minutes a day to read, which is where I get a lot of my daily reading done (okay, four-days-a-week reading, because I only go to school four days a week). But still. It shouldn't have had to take my school hours to finish a book. I should get home and still want to read it, which sadly, I didn't want to do.


Anyway, onto why I didn't really like this book all that much. As my first Libba Bray book, I didn't really know what to expect other than what others told me, so you can imagine my shock (or irritation?) when the first murder--the first interesting plot point--didn't even occur until around page 70 or 80. Yes, it took that long for something interesting to happen. That's not good. In regular books that are 300-400 pages, the first interesting thing happens in the first 1-40 pages. I once read this quote from James Dashner, and he said that if your plot doesn't start on page one, then you don't have a story. I don't completely agree with this, because you do need a starting point, but I agree somewhat. I think it's more like either chapter one or two. Sure, "chapter one" of The Diviners had the ouiji board and all, but other than that, it took 10-15 "chapters" to get the plot rolling.


And let's not even talk about pages 100-400. Nothing. Happened. Pages 400 through the end is where everything happens and reels you in until you finished it. I'm surprised I didn't have to force myself to read to page 400 like I had for The Book Thief.


I don't want to make this review too long and excruciating, but there are a couple of things I need to point out before I end this. I'll number them for you.


1. Memphis. I literally didn't even know that Memphis was black until around page 350-400 when Memphis showed up with a white chick and his friend Gabe admonished him for that. I'm not saying that Memphis being black is bad, I'm just saying that this fact shouldn't been made apparent within the first time we meet Memphis. The other thing about Memphis is that I don't even know why he's in this book. The Diviners is written in third person, and so Bray can have a bunch of different perspectives. But come on. Memphis had no real place in the overall plot.


2. Evie. I liked her, but she was a bit boring. I think Jericho would've been a better main character as for his big secret in the end. I think this aspect of the book should be explored more in the second book. That will definitely make it more intriguing to me!


3. It was too long. The story could've been told in 300-maybe 400 pages rather than almost 600.


4. The entire book seemed more like a gigantic prologue to a bigger, better book rather than a book on its own. Also, Diviners were barely talked about. In the book. Called The Diviners. There's something wrong with that.


5. This book wasn't even creepy. In all the reviews I've seen or read, the reviewer says that this book scares them and it creepy. Yeah, no. I'm literally so scared of horror movies so you can't say that I'm not easily scared. And you can come up from behind of me and say "boo" and I'll scream like I'm being murdered. But the whistling? Sure, creepy. But the scenes where Naughty John made an appearance weren't even scary. This book wasn't scary. At all. I was disappointed. Not in the writing, because I don't look for scary books, but in my expectations.


6. The lingo of the 20's made the book hard to follow at times. I don't know. I think Bray should've given us a dictionary or key or something.


7. The entire book seemed like Bray was just trying to show off her extensive knowledge of the 20's rather than tell a story. The description was great, but I think it was a bit excessive.


But I have to admit that I liked the whole occult aspect as well as the mystery! The ending was really interesting, and it's what saved this book from one star. My verdict is that if you're going to read this book, then you either need to be into the 20's or like chunky books. I think you should get this from the library if you really want to read this rather than buy it. Then you can buy it if you like it! Clearly many people see something they like in this book, so it's worth a shot for you, I think.


(And this review still ended up being long... What can I say? I'm a ranter. I don't mean to; it just happens.)

Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on. Cuts your throat and takes your bones, sells 'em off for a coupla stones.


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Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares -  'David Levithan', 'Rachel Cohn'

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This festive, split perspective, co-author written, quirky novel is best read in the wintertime. Not only does it take place during the end of the month December, but it shows readers that spending Christmas with someone you love does happen to make an impact on your life. Or at least that's what I got out of the book. 


In this book, Lily is quite the interesting character. Written by Rachel Cohn, she has the mind of a girl no doubt--a girl that doesn't quite fit in with the teenage population in her city. She's been nicknamed Shrilly for her shrill-like responses to drastic situations. Her parents have gone off on a Christmas vacation holiday...without her and her brother. Fed up with Lily, her brother decides to find her a guy for Christmastime by having her write up a book of dares and putting it on a shelf in the bookstore. 


Now there's Dashiel, or as he likes to be called, Dash. He's the polar opposite of Lily, being that he is a diehard misanthrope. Levithan's writing reminds me of John Green's writing. I know that this comparison has been made a lot in the YA literature word, especially since the two authors wrote a book together. Nonetheless, I've come to realize that both authors have an MO--misanthropy characters. But just like Dash hates humankind, he also hates Christmas. (What a shame.) So he spends his days before Christmas in a bookstore. When he comes across Lily's book of dares, he figures that it shouldn't be to hard to do them. And what started off as a way to get Lily a companion for the holiday season turned into a budding relationship between opposites. 


But you know what they say: opposites attract. 


Despite my past reviews, I quite enjoyed the spit POVs (point of view) in this particular book, and the fact that two different authors (make and female) wrote those two different POVs made the whole reading experience seem even more real. I never confused Dash and Lily for one another, not only because of the different writing styles, but also the two different monologues. Dash and Lily had two distinctive voices, and I liked that about them. I'm sure many readers out there would appreciate that as well, which is why I think this would be a good book for just about anybody. 


Also, I liked Dash the most out of the entire book. I can relate to him in some ways. Although my parents are happily together, I can't help but admire his snarky attitude. I consider myself to be extremely sarcastic, which is pretty much the definition of Dash. His anti-people personality and responses make me laugh even if he can be a bit harsh. Dash may come off as a jerk to some people, therefore I'm not exactly sure how to write about him in this review. Some people may like his characters, others might not. I was obviously apart of the former. 


I wasn't particularly too fond of Dash's ex-girlfriend Sofia. She wasn't the jealous time rather than the type that thinks they know what's best for their ex. Sure, she gave him advice, but it was crappy advice. She told him that Lily wasn't the perfect girl that Dash was imagining in his head. So what if she isn't? That's up to Dash to decide. Also, Sofia wasn't exactly a gem either when it came to being Dash's girlfriend. 


I don't understand why YA characters these days always need a gay companion. I get it--you're [the author] not homophobic. Now, I'm perfectly fine with homosexual people, but I don't understand why it's such a big deal in YA these days. I swear, nearly every book I read contains a gay character. It's just something that I've noticed. Obviously, it's mostly in contemporary. 


In conclusion, like I said above, I think any lover of the young adult genre will most likely enjoy this book. It's fun, fast, humorous, and has character. This is definitely a book that I will be recommending to everybody next Christmas!


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Review: Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) by Richelle Mead

Bloodlines - Richelle Mead

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Thank you, Lindsay, for shipping this to me for my birthday! Now you just need to hop on that shipping and get me The Golden Lily by Christmas. (;
Note: There are Vampire Academy spoilers in this review. Actually, I don't know. Just don't read this review without reading Vampire Academy. Yes, all six of dem Vampire Academy books. Hop to it, you little bunnies. It's so worth it. Heck, go freaking buy Vampire Academy. It was so good.
Anyway, I finished this book a week ago, so hopefully I can conjure up the feelings that I had after finishing that book. Let's just start with the obvious: this was not as good as Vampire Academy. I hate saying this, since I did love this book, it's just that Bloodlines is a bit--okay a lot--slower than Vampire Academy. And a lot less romance. But I mean, even though it's slow, it's the kind of slow that you can just read and still enjoy. I'm just saying that it's not toe-curling, seat-gripping, hair-ripping worthy.
Basically, this book is just about Sydney, who helped Rose in the Vampire Academy Series, and about how she needs to redeem herself as an Alchemist since working with a vampire is kindofsortof illegal and frowned upon in their Alchemist society. Sydney goes to a new town to room with a vampire (Lissa's sister, Jill Dragomir) and keep her hidden since the Strigoi are looking for her to kill her since she's pretty much the heir to the throne. During her visit, Sydney makes friends: Adrian, Eddie, Lee, that roommate dude, and those girls. I was extremely intrigued by Trey, and it was a shame that his character wasn't elaborated on much.
Honestly, the first plot twist was so predicatble it was almost laughable. I'm usually horrible at predicting plot twists and surprises, but this one was just so apparent that I was surprised it was even considered a plot twist. The second one though. That ending. The ending, holy crap. The ending was what got this book four stars, in my opinion. It was shocking, and I didn't expect it at all, which is what a good ending should me. The last line though left me dying to read the next book, The Golden Lily.
The characters are alright, I guess. Obviously, Adrian is pretty fleshed out, but that's because he was in Vampire Academy. I think Sydney was a bit boring, to be truthful, as well as Jill and the others, but it wasn't so horrible that I wanted to gouge my eyes out. Keith was just an asshat. I'll leave it at that.
Adrian was definitely my favorite, and think that's because of his snarkiness and sarcasm. I definitely recommend this to those who have read Vampire Academy. I put this book off for three years, but now that four books are out, I have no excuse. I just hope the cliffhanger in The Fiery Heart doesn't kill me, because you know, two more books to go.

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Source: http://yabookqueens.blogspot.com/2013/12/bloodlines-bloodlines-1-by-richelle-mead.html

Review: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father

52 Reasons to Hate My Father - Jessica Brody
This was an impulse read for me. A very, very impulse read. Literally I was on my phone around 10 o'clock at night on YouTube when I came across the video trailer for this book. The minute it was over, I got the book and started reading it. I read until around 1 or 2 in the morning. That's how intriguing this book was. Don't be fooled by my three star rating. If you've read my reviews in the past, then you'd know that I rate books pretty harshly. Three stars just means that I liked it, but it wasn't a favorite. Most books I read are three stars or so.
Okay, so first off, I really enjoyed that this book was so entertaining. There really wasn't a dull moment in this book. Although the beginning was a bit slow, it was still interesting and wasn't boring. The beginning just took 1/4 or 1/5 of the book to really get into the plot, which was just fine. The other thing that I liked about 52 Reasons to Hate My Father was the romance. It wasn't overpowering, but it still there. I think it's important to have a bit of romance in a young adult book, because that's what interests young adults (love. Oh, the love. Prince Charming, where art thou?). Unless you're a guy. I know for a fact that most guys really don't care. But like I said, the romance in here was minimal, but it was present. I've found that this is the kind of romance that I like. I hate it when romance shadows the rest of the plot, and 52 Reasons to Hate My Father didn't do that, which I appreciated.
Although I liked Luke and Lex together, I thought that they needed to be a bit more fleshed out as a couple. They really didn't hang out all that much, and when they did, it was because Luke was forced to drive Lex around and babysit her. I think that they needed more heart-to-heart moments to sell me on the fact that they're in love with each other. I know I'm being a bit contradictory with this point because up above I said that I like minimal romance, but I also like when they have reasons to be in love (haha, not-so-funny joke: 52 Reasons to Be in Love. Yeah, I'm done).
I think the fact that this book was so entertaining had to do partly with Lex's inner monologue. She was hilarious, in my opinion. I read a few reviews where people didn't really like her because she was arrogant, but I think that they need to realize that she was basically raised by her brothers and/or her father's staff. People that were hired to take care of her. I think that if her dad had spent more time with her while she was growing up, then she wouldn't have been so...her. I thought that it was interesting to see the perspective of a supposed rich daddy's girl. I say supposed because I doubt that Brody is a real-life rich daddy's girl.
That's really all I have to say about this book. It was thoroughly enjoyable. I don't think I'll be rereading it anytime in the near future (too many other books that I need to knock off my TBR! And oh, god! Christmas! So many books!), but that's okay. There are a lot of books that I like that I probably won't be rereading for another twenty years or ever. I think that this was well worth the read, and it's an easy read at that. If you're looking for something to just sit down and plow right through with, then 52 Reasons to Hate My Father is definitely the book for you! Or if you're just looking for something to read next, this is a good option. It's fun-filled, and definitely something I'd recommend to my friends in real life.

It's Cinderella in reverse.

This fairy tale has officially become a horror story. Happily Ever After on a yacht in the Mediterranean has turned into Crappily Ever After in the dark dungeons of Brentwood. And the princess--who used to be so glamorous and beautiful and on the CIP list of every ball in town--has been handed a bucketful of cleaning supplies and
poofed into a maid.

Champion by Marie Lu

Champion: A Legend Novel - Marie Lu

Note: There are spoilers for Legend and Prodigy in this review.

Let's just take a moment to admire the beautiful quality of that cover. It's almost just as beautiful as this book. Now, I have to point out first that the ending wasn't what I expected at all. I honestly thought that Lu was going to pull a Veronica Roth on us. Just saying. But she didn't, and I'm so glad. But she pulled something that broke my heart, and my friends at school thought I was having a seizure or something. (Yes, I read at school, and while reading this ending in class, I was pretty much hyperventilating.)

But putting the end aside--it was amazingly yet heartbreakingly executed--Champion was solid. Real solid. Usually, third books are difficult to keep interesting and yet continue on with the plot. I have to admit that Champion did struggle with this a bit. Sure, it was interesting enough, but there were times where I wanted to read just one point of view. The spilt views is...unique...but sometimes June would be really intriguing me but then Lu would cut the chapter off and move onto Day. Like, no. I'm sorry. I love you, Day, but I want to hear from June right now. And vice versa. But I will say that Lu does well with two points of views, which I'm happy about.

There was this one scene (multiple scenes, actually) where June is in Antarctica with Arden doing her Princeps-Elect duties. The entire prospect of life being a game in Antarctica is so interesting that I almost wish that we could have that right now. The whole system seems to work out nicely with Antarctica. And it's weird to read a book where Antarctica is inhabited and appears to be the leading country regarding economics and defense. I think I'm still a bit stuck on the fact that there is civilization in Antarctica.

I loved the characters in Champion way more than when they were in Legend and Prodigy. For one, June isn't blindly following a government that could very well be deceiving her (which they were, but who cares now?), and Day wasn't...well, I don't know. Day is nice in every book. I just liked him in here more for some reason. Probably because his brother Eden is back.

The bond that Day shares with his brother makes me all warm inside. Day loves his brother so much, and it's apparent in the book. Eden is always in the back of Day's mind when he makes decisions, and to me, that's love. When you think about others more than yourself, that's love.

I think it was a mix of characters, emotion, and the right amount of romance and action that made me love this book all the more. Champion was definitely a strong finish for the trilogy, and I'm glad that I spent the time to read the previous two books. I feel very satisfied with the ending, therefore I can see one or two rereads in the future.

If you've read Legend and Prodigy but not Champion, go and read Champion now! It's definitely worth it. And if you haven't read Legend yet and you decided to read this review even though I said that there would be spoilers (were there? I can't tell), then go and read the first book!

Source: http://yabookqueens.blogspot.com/2013/11/champion-by-marie-lu.html

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Leviathan

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green, David Levithan

This book was honestly so great. I went into it thinking that it was going to suck--no thanks to the girl that I borrowed it from--and I left the book reevaluating my life. I'm not even kidding. This book made me think about everything that I do so much. Because honestly, if you don't life your life the way you want to, then what's the point? You've only got one life, so really, don't screw it up.

The characters in this book are amazing. Will Grayson and Will Grayson. In my opinion, the second Will Grayson (the one that David Levithan wrote) was the one that I liked the most, which sounds kind of horrible since the second WG wanted to kill himself and ignored his mom, but still. He was so sarcastic when I was first going into the book, just like I am. So I sort of related to him a bit, and that's what I liked about him.

The first WG (the one that John Green wrote) was sort of a pussy. I mean, come on. Basically all he did was whine about how having a fat, gay friend was horrible. Seriously though. The starting line in WGWG was like 'my dad always said that you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose' and then John Green's WG went on to call his dad a liar and say that he didn't pick his fat, gay friend Tiny, and that Tiny picked him. Then John Green's WG continued to complain about how it's Tiny's fault that he's not cool anymore.

Yes, John Green's WG, you're welcome to fucking fall off your high horse now, because you're ridin' pretty high in the sky.

But nonetheless, I liked John Green's WG. Just not as much as David Levithan's WG.

The other characters that I loved were Tiny, Jane, and Gideon. I loved Gideon the best. He was a minor character, but he definitely was a turning point in the book and he was the one that made the end possible. So yeah. Kudos to you, Gideon.

Tiny and Jane though. If you've read this book, then you'd understand why these characters are my faves.

But like I said in the beginning, I went into this book expecting something horrible and left it feeling like I was unable to comprehend. This book was truly a gem to read, and I'll probably be rereading it eventually once I knock all my other TBR books off my list. I definitely recommend this book, so go read it!

Source: http://yabookqueens.blogspot.com/2013/11/wil-grayson-will-grayson-by-john-green.html

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

Wow. Wow. Wow. This book was just magical and amazing and I honestly only have one bad thing to say about it. One. Only one. That's amazing, to say the least. And the only bad thing that I have to say is the Simon Snow aspect of the whole book.

I get that this entire novel was based on Simon Snow, but Simon Snow is basically the equivalent to Harry Potter, and no offense to you Potterheads, but Harry Potter is just not for me. So naturally, Simon Snow was just not for me. All the little Simon Snow excerpts and read alouds by Catch kind of pissed me off and made me not want to read it anymore. But then I got past all the Simon Snow and thought about Levi, and everything was great.

Bottom line: Simon Snow was the only thing that pissed me off. Everything else? Perfect. So perfect.

Rainbow Rowell has a way of creating such realistic characters that I can relate to and understand on a deeper level. My all time favorite character in this book that wasn't Levi was Reagan. She was so awesome. She reminded me of what I'd be like if I had a roommate. Except for the part where she's a shitty girlfriend, we're one and the same. (I'm only partly kidding.) But yeah. Reagan was my favorite.

I don't really know what I felt toward Wren. I thought that the whole Cather/Wren thing was pretty genius (Catherine), but Wren seemed pretty flaky to me. And I understand that Cather used Wren as a crutch her entire life, hiding behind her sister while she quietly wrote fanfiction about Simon Snow. So when Wren and Cath started drifting apart, it naturally took a toll on Cath. Personally, I felt that Cath leaned a bit too much on her twin, but I think that was the point of the book.

Story time: I was doing NaNoWriMo this month, and I got this pep talk in my inbox from Rainbow Rowell. I read it, and I learned that Rainbow Rowell wrote Fangirl for NaNoWriMo. I thought that was so awesome. Like incredibly awesome.

Anyway, I felt that this entire cast was just amazing. And the ending was good. Really good. It didn't give that much closure for the characters, but I don't think these specific characters really needed any. The final book in the Simon Snow series was released and yay! The end.

I honestly would've never read this book if it hadn't gone on sale on Amazon for $1.70 for the eBook version. I hate to admit that since I loved it so much, but I honestly just wouldn't have had the time or money to buy it and read it. I was okay with Attachments and I loved Eleanor & Park. So I had no idea how I was going to feel about this book. And the fanfiction part turned me off even more. I write on Wattpad, and literally in the past year the fanfiction section of Wattpad has spiked so much just because of One fucking Direction.

So yeah. Fanfiction = not for me
Simon Snow = no
Reagan = you're my hero
Levi = just hug me now

< 3
Rainbow Rowell can do not wrong.

Source: http://yabookqueens.blogspot.com/2013/11/fangirl-by-rainbow-rowell.html

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bones by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone  - Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1


Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal other wordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

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Source: http://yabookqueens.blogspot.com/2013/09/tori-review-daughter-of-smoke-bone-by.html