Thursday, September 15, 2016

Books Read in August 2016

Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers to The Throne of Glass series, if you would like to avoid them please skip Heir of Fire.
Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass by: Fredrick Douglass
Fredrick Douglass was a slave who educated himself through sheer determination, become a freeman, and managed to become one of the greatest American writers, and orators. 2 stars.

Outliers: The Story of Success by: Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell explores the world of "outliers:" the most famous, most successful, the brightest. He wonders what makes them different? Most would say it in what they are but Malcolm Gladwell claims its where they are from. He explains what made the Beatles the greatest rock band, why Asians are so good at math, and the secrets of software billionaires. 5 stars.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by: Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie's classic book that teaches you how to get people to like you and how to change a person's mind without causing resentment. 27 principles that are just as applicable today as they were 1936. 2 stars.

Beauty Queens by: Libba Bray
The Miss Teen Dream contestants are headed to their competition location when their plane crashes on a mysterious island. The contestants must learn to get along with each other, struggle to survive, deal with the diabolical inhabitant of the island, and keep their dance numbers ready just in case they are rescued in time for the competition. 4 stars.

Heir of Fire by: Sarah J. Maas
Celaena has survived deadly contests, double-crossing the king, and shattering heartbreak but at a deadly cost. Now she must face the truth about her heritage while brutal ancient forces are gathering on the horizon. Will Celaena be able fight her inner demons and make it through? 5 stars.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by: Benjamin Alire Saenz
Ari can't swim. Dante can. Dante is good with words. Ari isn't fond talking to others. But when Dante and Ari meet at the pool their friendship blooms. The kind of friendship that lasts a lifetime and changes lives. Through each other Ari and Dante discover who they want to be and who they are. 5 stars.
Note: If you would like a detailed review of any of these books, please comment the title and I will get it posted as soon as possible.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Life of Pi by: Yann Martel

A cargo ship sinks in the Pacific and all that remains is one lonely lifeboat. The lifeboat's crew is: a hyena, a zebra with a broken leg, an orangutan, a Bengal tiger by the name of Richard Parker, and Pi, an Indian boy. As the crew members begin to assert their places in the food chain, Pi has to focus on getting to the top and how to deal with a Bengal tiger that grows hungrier by the day. Will Pi survive an impossible journey?

At the mention of Life of Pi most people begin to gush about how amazing the movie was and how much they loved it. Followed by their shock at the fact that I haven't seen it yet. My reason? My general experience has been that reading the book is a more enjoyable experience than watching the movie. The book is usually richer in terms of content, context, and backstories. I didn't want to spoil the experience of reading the book by watching the movie. Life of Pi sat on my to-read list patiently waiting and I finally go to it when an extra credit opportunity in English class involved it.

I had a very hard time slipping into the book. I just couldn't do it. For the longest time, I was bored and didn't feel like the story was moving forward at all. But I kept pushing through it the way you have to keep pushing in the last leg of a race. I felt the story begin to pickup as the backdrop for the shipwreck began to be set up. this is going to sound very sadistic but... hear me out: The shipwreck and Pi's struggle to survive were the only good parts of this book.

Another problem I had with Life of Pi was that it was very dense. I thought that Yann Martel was trying really hard to capture the culture of India and to infuse the book with the color, brightness, and exuberance of India that he forgot about his plot for awhile. In my opinion he had way too many details and very few plot devices.

The last and final reason for this book leaving me unsatisfied was that it felt very disjointed to me while I was reading. The author kept switching for past to present to his own thoughts which bothered me and basically turned me off from the book because it didn't stay on one topic or one setting for the story to really catch hold. I honestly felt like it was a super confusing time travel story.

I give Life of Pi 2 stars because it was okay. the shipwreck and Pi trying to survive it was entertaining enough to balance out the struggle to get into it, the denseness, and the disjointed character of the book. The adjective that comes to mind is mas o menos which literally translated means more or less as in it wasn't satisfying enough to be good but it wasn't disappointing enough to be classified as bad.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Books Read in May 2016

Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers to The Throne of Glass, if you wish to avoid them please skip The Crown of Midnight. This post also contains spoilers to The False Prince and The Runaway King, if you wish to avoid them please skip The Shadow Throne.

AsapSCIENCE: Answers to the World's Weirdest Questions, Most Persistent Rumors, and Uneexplained Phenomena by: Mitchell Moffit + Greg Brown
A book that answers all the weird questions that you never got to ask in science class. Answers brought to you by the AsapSCIENCE YouTube channel creators, presented in an entertaining format. Your questions will be answered, asap. 5 stars.

Chasing Impossible by: Katie McGarry
Abby lets only a few people get to know her. It's common sense in her town that she deals drugs, but not even her closest know why. Abby is suddenly in danger as a drug deal goes bad and she has to lean on Logan, a daredevil who's spirit matches hers. Together they will have to make the choice of whether they want to fight their demons and chase the impossible or let their situation weigh them down. 4 stars.

Con Academy by: Joe Schreiber
Will Shea has conned his way into one of the most exclusive private school's in the nation but he's not the only scammer there. Andrea Dufresne keeps getting in his way and they realize that the campus is not big enough for the two of them. So a bet is made and the winner gets a high school diploma along with the benefits of their cons. The loser has to leave. May the best con win! 5 stars.

Crown of Midnight by: Sarah J. Maas
Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become the King's Assassin. But she is far from loyal to the crown. But keeping her secret begins to become increasingly difficult as the people around her begin questioning her allegiance. One terrible night all the secrets held by Celaena and her friends lead to a tragedy. Celaena's world has shattered forcing her to make her choices about her loyalties and who she is willing to fight for. This comes with the great sacrifice of giving up something she holds close to her heart. 5 stars.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by: Jesse Andrews
Greg Gaines has high school down. He can blend into any social environment. He has only friend, Earl, and they make movies together. That is until Greg's mother forces him to rekindle a friendship with Rachel because she has been diagnosed with leukemia, cue the awkwardness. As they get to know her, Greg and Earl decide to make a movie for her which instantly turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and changes their lives. All of a sudden Greg must step out of the shadows and into the spotlight. 5 stars.

Princess of the Midnight Ball by: Jessica Day George
Galen has just returned from the war. Rose and her eleven sisters' dancing slippers are worn out by the end of each night. The King Under Stone has condemned them to it and the princesses are ready to have the curse broken. Galen and Rose need enchanted knitting needles, an invisibility cloak, black wool, and most importantly true love. Will Galen save the princesses from the King Under Stone? 4 stars.

The Shadow Throne by: Jennifer A. Nielsen
The war has finally come to Carthya and King Vargan has captured Imogen to try to bring Carthya to its knees. Jaron must embark on a journey to save her. His friends are flung across the entire country and it looks like all hope is lost. In a last ditch effort to keep his kingdom Jaron goes on one last journey but even his wit cannot foresee the danger that comes upon him. Who will sit on the throne Carthya? 3 stars.

The Witch Hunter by: Virginia Boecker
Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters but then she is arrested for being a witch. A mysterious man saves her from being burned at the stake, who turns out to be the man who she was her biggest enemy, Nicolas Perevil the most powerful wizard. He offers her a deal: she has to break the curse that has been placed upon her and he will protect her from execution. She has to keep her witch hunting past a secret and reexamine what is right and wrong and who are her friends and enemies. 5 stars.

They Laughed at Galileo: How the Great Inventors Proved Their Critics Wrong by: Albert Jack
A humorous collection of stories about inventors and dreamers who had genius ideas but were told by experts that "It can't be done." 5 stars.

Note: If you would like a detailed review of any of these books, please comment the title and I will get it posted as soon as possible.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Books Read in April 2016

Discliamer: This post contains spoilers to The False Prince if you would like to avoid these spoilers, don't read the summary for The Runaway King. It is the last summary.
The Dangerous World of Butterflies: The Startling Subculture of Criminals, Collectors, and Conservationists by: Peter Laufer
Peter Laufer was tired of answering the question, "What will your next book be about?" Without thinking he answered, "Butterflies" as an analogy for peace and contentment. This simple answer led him to discover that the world of butterflies might not be as peaceful as he once thought.
4 stars.

Every Day by: David Levithan
A wakes up in a different body everyday and he doesn't know how to stop it  but he has resigned himself to his fate. He has his rules, don't interfere in their lives, don't get attached, and live like a guest and leave. But all that change the day he wakes up in Justin's body and meets his girlfriend Rhiannon and all of a sudden A is breaking all the rules.
3 stars.

Another Day by: David Levithan
Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She's accepted it and has made some rules for herself in regards of her temperamental boyfriend Justin. Don't make him mad, don't be needy, and don't get your hopes up. But then one day everything changes, Justin seems to understand her and they share a perfect day. One that Justin doesn't remember. Confused, Rhiannon begins searching for answers and all the clues point towards the answer that Justin wasn't really Justin that day.
1 star.

The Madman's Daughter by: Megan Shepard
Juliet has built a life for herself after losing both her parents. She works as a maid and tries to forget the scandal that tore her life apart. But there are rumors of her father being alive and that he's continuing his supposed gruesome experiments, she has to go look for herself. She discovers her father's madness, he has created animals that resemble and act like humans. On top of that one of his creations is running wild, killing. She's torn between horror and curiosity and the possibility that some of the madness runs in her blood.
3.5 stars.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by: Trenton Lee Stewart
An ad in the paper asks, "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" Many children come but only four succeed for an extremely dangerous mission which can only be completed by children at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is: there are no rules.
4 stars.

The Runaway King by: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Jaron's kingdom is teetering on the brink of war. He doesn't know what he must do but an assassination attempt forces him to desert his kingdom in order to save it. Is it possible for him to go too far? Will he ever return or will he have to sacrifice his life for his kingdom?
3 stars.
Note: If you would like a detailed review of any of these books, please comment the title and I will get it posted as soon as possible.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

New Look!

Hey guys! You've probably noticed the new look for A Colloquy on Books and I'm here to tell you why I have changed it so suddenly. I feel it is more reflective of the theme of the blog and want the theme of the blog to blend in seamlessly with the blog itself! I hope you like it!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Books Read in March 2016

Disclaimer: This post contains some minor spoilers to the books Red Rising and Die For Me, if you wish to avoid these spoilers please do not read the summaries for Golden Son and Until I Die.

Otto is lost and alone in a forbidden forest where he meets three sisters and becomes intertwined in their story through a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later the harmonica lands in the hands of three children with daunting tasks: Friedrich from Germany, Mike from Pennslyvania, and Ivy in Californa. They have to rescue a father, protect a brother, and keep a family together. But the thread of destiny connects them all in ways they do not know... 5 stars.

Golden Son, the sequel the Pierce Brown's breathtaking first book, Red Rising, continues Darrow's story and struggle to lead his oppressed people into freedom. He is now fully embedded into Gold Society and is working on destroying the system from within. But the stakes are even higher now that his people's freedom is closer than ever. 5 stars. 

Magnus is living on the streets, always staying ahead of the police and truant officers. His mother's mysterious death has left him all alone, until one day a man his mother told him never trust, tracks him down and tells him that he is the son of a Norse God and Asgard is real. Magnus must find a lost weapon to prevent Ragnarok. Magnus encounters a fire giant when he in search of this weapon and he chooses the lives of innocents over his own. Sometimes the only way to begin a new life is to die. 4 stars.

The next adventure in Kate and Vincent's story, Kate and Vincent are living happily in Paris and they are together but questions that they can't ignore keeps popping up: How can they be together is Vincent feels the need to sacrifice himself? Vincent has promised that he will resist the urge, does that mean innocents will die? A new enemy is about to reveal itself and Vincent's immortality might be at stake. Will they be able to overcome this hurdle or will this be the end? 3 stars.
Note: If you would like a detailed review of any of these books, please comment the title and I will get it posted as soon as possible.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Books read in February 2016

Taylor Greer grew up in Kentucky had two goals: don't get pregnant and get away. As she is in the process of getting away, Taylor acquires a three year old Indian girl. Motherhood is suddenly thrust upon Taylor as she has to struggle to survive in the emptiest of places. 4 stars.

The death of Kate's parents leave her devastated and in Paris with her grandparents. The only way she can handle this loss is by drowning herself in the world of books and art. That is until she meets Vincent, a revenant, a undead boy who must sacrifice himself over and over again to save others. Will this relationship ever work out safely? 3 stars.

A civil war is brewing Carthya. Connor has devised a plan to find an impersonator for the long lost prince and make him the prince. Four orphans have been recruited to compete for a spot, including Sage, a defiant fourteen year old. Sage knows that Connor is a liar but Sage's life is at stake. As more and more lies are uncovered, it might just be the truth that will break them all. 3 stars.

When Turtle Greer witnesses an accident and save's a man's life, everyone tells Taylor that her life will never be the same. Their lives take twists and turns that they never expected as the consequences of saving a life hits them. 4 stars.

Kate feels like she is turning into a rotten person and wants to talk to her best friend Marilyn about it. But Marilyn isn't her best friend anymore, and everything they have both known has changed. But somewhere in their hearts do they wish for the good old days? 2.5 stars.
Note: If you would like a detailed review of any of these books, please comment the title and I will get it posted as soon as possible.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Red Queen by: VIctoria Aveyard

The world is divided, Red or Silver. It is divided by the color of your blood. The color of your blood controls everything, your status, your lifestyle, everything. The Reds are commoners but the Silvers are the elite ruling class with godlike superpowers. Mare Barrow resents this. She hates being at the bottom, and more than that she hates the Silvers, but when she has the chance to work at the Silver Palace it is an offer she can't refuse. It is there, Mare discovers something about herself, she too possesses an extraordinary power, despite the fact that she bleeds red.

The Silvers becoming afraid of what she can do, hide her in the palace itself claiming her to be a long lost Silver princess. They engage her to a prince and put her in the center of a deadly court of Silvers ruled by a devious king. Mare knows that one misstep will lead to her death yet she communicates with the Red Guard, a group of rebels, to help bring down the Silvers. But this is a world of liars, oath-breakers, and power hungry yet over powerful people, will Mare be able to survive in an environment of deceit?

Red Queen was a thrilling read from beginning to end. Once I started reading it, I could not stop reading it. The plot was fast paced and kept moving whether you were ready or not. It was filled with secret keepers, tension, and sneaky maneuvers. The plot only got better as the book went on until the climax where Victoria Aveyard proved her writing skills by putting in a twist that was absolutely amazing.

I liked the main character, Mare Barrow, she was pretty feisty and stood for what was right. The other characters were pretty well developed and helped make the story come to life. Considering the fact that this book is set in a castle with a devious king and other royalty and dirty politics there were never too many characters to keep track of.

I found the divisions of society into Red and Silver very intriguing not only in the societal sense but even biologically. I really want to learn more about how these divisions came to be as well as the powers as I read the next book. All in all I would give Red Queen 4 stars.

Here is the Goodreads link for Red Queen:

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Books Read in January 2016

A story about growing up and losing the innocence of childhood set against the background of World War II. Gene is introverted and lonely. Phineas is handsome and a daredevil. What happens between these two unlikely friends will change their understanding of life. 1 star.

Right under Yellowstone is a supervolcano, and it's overdue for an eruption. Alex plans to spend the weekend enjoying his house to himself by playing video games and hanging out. But the eruption disrupts his plans as it plunges his world into darkness and ash. He must trek across the country to find his parents. 4 stars.

Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel must spends 227 days on a life boat trying to beat all odds, including Richard Parker, a Bengal Tiger. 2 stars. My Review

When an unexpected rule change forces all students to join a sports team, an even more unexpected group of kids, with Jack Logan as their leader, decide to make a team whose goal is to lose. But soon they've made a name for themselves and are winning in ways they didn't foresee. 5 stars.

Darrow is a Red, the lowest caste in a color-coded society. He believes he's making the surface of Mars habitable for all the other castes, until he realizes he's been lied to. In a quest for revenge he must infiltrate the highest caste, the Golds. He will stop at nothing to bring the Reds justice even if it means becoming a Gold. 5 stars.

Every October Cara's family becomes inexplicably accident prone. They do everything they can to protect themselves, banish sharp objects, switch off electronics and cover table edges. But why are they cursed? Can they ever break free? 2 stars.
Note: If you would like a detailed review of any of these books, please comment the title and I will get it posted as soon as possible.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Endgame: The Calling by: James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton

They came, a long long time ago, from the sky among fire and smoke. They gave us civilization and rules. They needed us to mine gold for them, when they had what they needed they left, but before leaving they told us that they would come back and when they came back a game would be played, Endgame. This game would determine our future. For ten thousand years the first twelve lines of humanity have kept a Player ready at all times to compete in Endgame. Generation after generation after generation have trained in everything. The players are good and evil, smart and stupid, weak and strong, ugly and beautiful, like you, like all of you.

When the game starts, the players will be expected to find keys. these keys are hidden on the Earth. Whoever finds the keys first wins. The rules of Endgame are: there are no rules to Endgame. This is the hunt for the first key. Will stupidity beat kindness? Laziness top beauty? Loyalty thwart ruthlessness? Will the winner be good or evil? There is only one way to find out.
People of Earth.
Endgame has begun.

With a title like Endgame: The Calling, it was basically begging a dystopian fan like me to pick it up and take it home. The mysterious blurb only added to my pool of want for the book. Unfortunately for me, I wasn't at the library when this book caught my eye, I was at a store, (For those of you who don't know me that well, I don't buy books I haven't read because there is always the chance that I might not like them which would be a waste of money.). But the universe answered my request and the book was in my hands in a few days.

The first thing I want to talk about is the POV (point of view). Endgame: The Calling is written with multiple POVs (points of view). I prefer single POV books but there are exceptions such as Allegiant (two POVs) and Unwind (multiple POVs). I haven't yet decided if Endgame: The Calling is one of those exceptions because one hand I really liked to see the different things that the different characters were going through but they also confused me as they were never completely revealing anything which made me want to keep reading but I still held a preference to certain characters which made me want to stick to their POVs. A small side note: If I was being highly technical the entire book is in third person and technically has no POVS, just has the third person perspective limited to certain characters.

Another thing that I want to talk about is the characters. The stuff they can do and the stunts they pull off in the book are so freaking fantastically awesome! I do not know if all the actions executed by the characters are realistic but I couldn't stop reading. It was action-packed and I enjoyed every bit of it.

My hopes for the coming books are more action-packed sequences and a thrilling plot just like this book as well as some answers, please, cliffhangers can last for only so long. One last request for the coming books is please, please, please don't kill my favorite characters, I'm very attached to them.

I would give Endgame: The Calling 4 stars and I can not wait to read the next book! I would recommend this book to everyone, because this is one of the best action books I have ever read. If action and fighting is not for you then go enjoy whatever book you want but if you liked Graceling, the Divergent series, The 5th Wave, The Hunger Games, and The Maze Runner series I think you will like or even love Endgame: The Calling.

Here is the Goodreads link for Endgame: The Calling:

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy (belated) New Year! I hope you enjoyed celebrating the coming of the new year and I also hope you read many amazing book in the past year. As I welcome 2016 as an opportunity to keep reading many new books, meeting new people, watching new movies, making new friends, and geeking out about books, I would like a to take a moment to name my top 10 favorite reads of 2015 (in no particular order):

  1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by: Stephen Chbosky 
  2. Red Queen by: Victoria Aveyard
  3. To Kill A Mockingbird by: Harper Lee
  4. Thirteen Reasons Why by: Jay Asher
  5. Out of My Mind by: Sharon M. Draper
  6. Kill Me Softly by: Sarah Cross
  7. Lord of the Flies by: William Golding
  8. The 5th Wave by: Rick Yancy
  9. To Sir, With Love by: E.R. Braithwaite
  10. Esperanza Rising by: Pan Munoz Ryan
Have a great year ahead and happy reading!
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