Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

     I do realize that The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer tends to be a bit messed up at some parts, but other than that, it's still a favorite for Nora and I .  Mara doesn't know what has been going on since her best friends, Rachel and Claire, and her boyfriend, Jude, died, she's been trying to figure out the cause.  When she moves to Florida to try to forget the unexpected event, she meets Noah, a British, caring, and handsome teenage boy...did I mention he's BRITISH?  He's there to help her to get over everything that has happened and eventually, they fall in love.  She wants to regain her memory of that night and is trouble by the fact that she keeps on seeing someone showing up everywhere she goes and feels as if he's familiar.  One day, Mara, being fed up by her Spanish teacher, pictures her dying.  She is sitting under a tree on campus when someone comes up to her, telling about the teacher.  Mara rushes to the classroom and finds her Spanish teacher lying on the ground, unconscious and not breathing.  She believes that it is a coincidence that that happened.  At night, she has dreams, more like memories while she is sleeping and waking up feeling as if she did something wrong and she can't remember.  She has these insane hallucinations everyday which don't help her at all.  I don't want to give that much away so I'll wrap it up here (though I'm terrible at not giving stuff away when writing about a book I read...).

     When I first read this I was all like fangirling about it (and so did Nora) and my mom thought there was something wrong with me.  My mom took the book away when I was reading it last year and I WAS FREAKING OUT!  She said she was going to read some of it and I was like, "Uhhhh can I have that back...?"  I cried.  It was such a good book...and I'm still waiting for Nora to let me borrow the second in the trilogy, The Evolution of Mara Dyer


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Most Frustrating Characters EVER

The following list may contain spoilers. Again, we will each be putting five characters (which will then equal ten!)

January 29: Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever

Nora says...

  1. Katniss Everdeen: The Hunger Games. Now, I know what you may be thinking. What??? How can Nora be frustrated with Katniss Everdeen?? The Hunger Games is one of her favorite books (If you didn't know that, you do now :))! Well, Katniss annoys me because of her behavior. She doesn't really think things over; she just does them without thinking them through. Here's a perfect example. In Mockingjay, at the end of the book (don't worry, I won't put names), Katniss is all "Oh, well. Boy 1 is in another district, so I guess I can't be with him. Hey! Boy 2! I guess you're the one!" I mean, come on! Katniss doesn't think about it for a second. Wow, I didn't expect to rant for this long. Sorry about that!
  2. Julian Fineman: Pandemonium. *sigh* I don't know if I'm more frustrated at Julian or at Lena. I put Julian here because Lena didn't frustrate me in Delirium or Requiem. When she wasn't with Julian. I'm not sure why I hate Julian so much...I guess it's because my obsession over Alex overpowered me. Perhaps if Julian had come first, I wouldn't hate him so much...probably not, though. It's the fact that he's so weak. Honestly, Julian used to be a leader. I get that Lena basically told him that everything he was taught growing up was a lie, but he's still so weak. What do you think?
  3. The Darkling: Shadow and Bone. The Darkling. Why does he frustrate me, so? Probably because, at first, I pictured him to look like my fifth grade Social Studies and English teacher. Then weird stuff happened. Is he evil? Is he good? I never pictured my fifth grade teacher doing the stuff that The Darkling was doing (and I probably pictured him too old, as well). So, I basically find The Darkling frustrating because of my imagination. I hate my imagination. 
  4. Cassia: Matched. Xander or Ky? Ky or...I forget his name...? Throughout Matched, Cassia had to make an impossible decision about whether she wanted to be with Ky or Xander. Throughout most of Crossed and Reached, however, I feel like she forgot about Xander. Don't get me wrong, she did mention his name and see him a couple of times, but she never felt sad when she wasn't around him. She was constantly thinking about Ky, though. I'm not complaining, because I love Ky, but come on! Show Xander some appreciation, too! Now that I'm thinking about it, I've been seeing a lot of this in main YA characters these days (Ehem! Katniss!).
  5. Ralph (and Piggy): Lord of the Flies. In Lord of the Flies, Ralph's first friend on the island was a chubby boy. That chubby boy told Ralph that people called him Piggy when Ralph asked his name. Here's my first problem (with Piggy). Why would he tell Ralph that first? I get that he thought he could trust Ralph and that he didn't care what he was called, but wouldn't a normal person tell someone their real name first? This leads me to my second problem. When Ralph told the rest of the boys Piggy's name was...well, Piggy (which is a problem in itself), the rest of the boys picked on Piggy. Why didn't Ralph stand up to them? He had a chance to when they took Piggy's glasses and when they were teasing him the countless other times, too! Well, it kind of felt good to vent my emotions about frustrating characters. Now go to Kristen. I'm sure she's a little calmer than me. Actually, probably not. :P

Kristen says...

1.   Peter: Divergent. Seriously, this kid has issues. Divergent is one title you will hear repeated often by Nora and myself. He is the kind of person who will do unmentionable things in order to be at the top of the pack. Issues. This is a messed up child.

2.   Jared Lynburn: Unspoken. Why is this kid so annoying? Others might think differently but in my opinion he's way too arrogant for my liking. That's basically why he's annoying and all, but he also has these stupid anger problems and totally acts like he doesn't care or something...I really don't have that much to say about him.
3.   Warner: Shatter Me. This guy is a power-hungry crazy who just wants total control over Juliette and her ability. He doesn't know that she doesn't like him but yet he still forces her to use her ability for his evil bidding.  This guy does not know when to stop.  He forces her to hurt one of his workers (with her ability) just to make a point, using her as a threat.
4. House Master Vaughn:  Wither.   He is a control freak to me. Even though he seems all good in the book, he really isn't all that great. For instance: when Cece has a kid, he tries to separate them so that the baby doesn't love her. He killed Jenna when she was 19 and she should have died when she turned 20. But he somehow put stuff in her food or something and she died. Evil man.

5.   Jude: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.  Yes, he may seem sweet and totally hot at first, but his intentions are terrible, if that makes any sense.  If you don’t want to have this book spoiled for you then I say don’t read this:  Mara and her friends (Jude included) go to an abandoned asylum one night and Mara and Jude run off on their own.  Something happens, which would be weird to say now.  She is trapped by Jude where he tries to rape her (with little success).  You see, she didn’t want that to happen and he just didn’t listen and it’s so annoying to me.  This kid doesn’t know when to stop, I mean seriously, why don’t you just leave the girl alone! She doesn’t want that!

So, in conclusion, this is what we say to all these characters:
-Nora and Kristen

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Inspirational Quotes from Authors

Quotes can be inspirational. I sure have some quotes that I have tucked back into my head for safekeeping. Do you have some? I suppose I'll share a few with you...if you'd like.

"Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."
-G.K. Chesterton

Ralph Waldo Emerson
"A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting."
-Henry David Thoreau

"One must be an inventor to read well. There is creative reading as well as creative writing."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"One rainy Sunday when I was in the third grade, I picked up a book to look at the pictures and discovered that even though I did not want to, I was reading. I have been a reader ever since."
-Beverly Cleary

"My advice is this. For Christ's sake, don't write a book that is suitable for a kid of 12 years old, because the kids who read who are 12 years old are reading books for adults. I read all of the James Bond books when I was about 11, which was approximately the right time to read James Bond books."

-Terry Pratchett

"Don't tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass."
-Anton Chekhov

That last one really sticks with me. When I write, the quote plays over and over until I put my pen down (or shut my laptop down). Even though this happens, I still feel I'm not that great at writing. I'm making it my responsibility that changes. Well, enough about me. What are your favorite quotes?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Settings We Would Like to See More of

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme/feature thing created by The Broke and Bookish. At The Broke and Bookish, they give a weekly list prompt to book bloggers (generally YA, but other bloggers to it, too). They do it themselves, as well! Kristen and I will each be making a list, so some items may be the same (especially if the items are Divergent related. :)) We are so excited to be a part of this feature. You can look forward to seeing these every Tuesday! This week's theme is Top Ten Settings I'd Like To See More Of. This week, in particular, we'll each be choosing five settings. We are doing this this week because it's too hard to choose ten! Sometimes there will be ten from each of us, sometimes there will be five. Here we go!

Kristen says...
  1. Utopian Government: Delirium.Yes, I know that half to all the Young Adult books have the genre "utopia/dystopia" but let me explain: Like in the Delirium Trilogy, love is a disease and is forbidden or you would be infected or an Invalid. To me that is the best kind of story where the Main Character (M. C.) finds a forbidden love with someone he/she shouldn't and it would cause problems in their society. They would have to risk being separated and must find each other in the end. It is the sweetest thing ever.
  2. The Moon or Some Planet: almost like Life as We Knew It, but not really. It just occurred to me that there aren't really that many books set somewhere other than earth. In my opinion, I think that people don't know much about other planets and the moon. Why not make stuff up; pick up a pen and write about it? It would be really cool to read something like this and see what this type of setting would be like.
  3. Past or Future: Pride and Prejudice and Divergent. These are always interesting. For stories set in the past, it kind of adds a twist, if you will. (And by past, I mean a long, long time ago, narrated in the present with kings and queens and stuff like that, makes a different approach). And for the future, this brings me back to the idea of Utopias and their government 
  4. Abandoned Crumbling Mansions: Part of The Unbecoming of Mara DyerO.o Haunted Mansions! This adds to the mystery and creepiness of abandoned mansions. I love mysteries. What I'd like to see here: people go into a really old, falling apart, crumbling mansion and can't come out until they pass the would be cool :D
  5. Crumbling Mansion
  6. Middle of the Woods in the Middle of Nowhere: Part of The Hunger GamesWhat would you do if you had no idea who you were and where you were? What if you were stranded in the middle of the woods with no memory of how you got there (this isn't like The Hunger Games, but it's still a good idea)?Well that's exactly what I like and they're on a quest to figure out who they are and what they're doing somewhere. This would mean survival and figuring everything on your own and trying to get out. This kind of story could add an interesting factor to books and stories and also would keep the reader's attentions the whole time.
Nora says...
  1. Creepy Circuses of Death: The Night Circus. I like circuses. I like creepy things. I like dead things (that sounded weird...). If you combine all three, I would read that book in a heartbeat. 
  2. Jails/Prisons: The Devil's Arithmetic. Jails and prisons have a certain...intriguing factor to them. I'm not 100% sure why, but I think that they form a page-turning aspect to the story. I don't know, maybe an escape story?
  3. Mazes: The Maze Runner. At first, I categorized Mazes with Jails and Prisons because people are "trapped" in a maze trying to get out. However, mazes are interesting. You never know what's around the next corner. It could be a monster, it could be the way out. Should you trust your gut? 
  4. New England: Delirium. I know, I may get enough of the New England atmosphere every day, but in books, the scenery is familiar and warming. For example, in Delirium by Lauren Oliver, the woods outside of Portland (Maine, not Oregon. Trust me, I know my geography) feel like the woods in my backyard. I just love reading about my home and places similar to those around my home, especially when I'm on a vacation. I'd I also feel as though more people will read about New England and feel that warm, cozy feeling that I do when I think about, primarily, autumn in the forest. I'd sure like to see more.
  5. Normal Places. I would like to see a YA book with a normal character, in a normal setting, with a normal problem. Just one book like this. My mom told me a fact the other day. She said that a very high percentage of the YA characters today have red hair, while only 2-6% of the world's population has it. Just one normal book is all I'm asking for. Just one.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Divergent Trilogy: Why We Love It

Butter knives **dun, dun, dun**
Trains **whoosh!** Uh, sorry, I mean **chugga chugga**
The number Four **angelic music**
What do all these have in common?
Our favorite book in the entire world
Scratch that.
Scratch that.
Scratch that.
The space/time continuum (Nora's such a geek, isn't she? xD)
Oh. We didn't even tell you the book's name yet... (Nice job, Kristen)
Well it is:
^^^^drum roll please^^^^

Kristen: I'm procrastinating, right?
Nora: Yes. Yes you are.

Well...I'll stop now...
It's called....

❤The Divergent Trilogy❤

The so-called perfect society where you have to choose your fate.

Abnegation the selfless.
Amity the peaceful.
Candor the honest.
Erudite the intelligent.
Dauntless the brave.

Beatrice Prior
She has to make a choice at the Choosing Ceremony.  The Choosing Ceremony, where every sixteen year old must choose whether to stay in their current faction or transfer to a new one.  They will have to go through initiation to determine whether or not they become Factionless. In her head she is debating whether to stay with her family or to leave them in the dust.  She chooses Dauntless and sees her mother smiling after she makes her choice.  Chapter six is our second favorite chapter: We would explain why, but we don't want to give that much away...Sorry guys.  Training begins and Tris fights hard to make it past the first stage: fighting.  She doesn't place as well, but Peter, the most annoying, violent and ruthless character becomes angry when he does not place first for stage one, Edward does.  I bet you can guess what happened there...Then comes stage two: Learning to throw knives and shoot guns.  Very Dauntless, eh?  She does not do that great during this stage, but stage three brings her some luck in passing initiation: Simulations and Fear Landscapes.

When I first read this I was honestly hooked.  Nora kept on pressuring me to read it and now I'm so happy that she did.  And since then, I've been reading in my free time.  This is one book I, I mean we, highly suggest that you pick up and read. It is the gateway to our love of reading. :D


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Nora's Christmas Haul

Merry...after Christmas? I hope you guys had a fabulous holiday season! Well, I got a ton of books for Christmas this year, and I thought I should share them with you!

Book #1: Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction by Various Authors
Book #2: Letters from the Inside by John Marsden
Book #3: Virals by Kathy Reichs
Book #4: The Panem Companion by V. Arrow
Book #5: Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
Book #6: Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
Book #7: Mystic City by Theo Lawrence
Book #8: Carrie by Stephen King 
     Will this be a breakthrough to a new genre? We shall soon find out...

Book #9: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Book #10: Yesterday by C. K. Kelly Martin
Book #11: Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick by Jennifer L. Holm
Book #12: So Much to Tell You by John Marsden
Book #13: Every Day by David Levithan
     I've been looking forward to reading this book. I'm sure it will be reviewed on here soon.
Book #14: Flutter by Gina Linko
Book #15: Starters by Lissa Price
     The cover. Oooohh, the cover.
Book #16: City of Ember: The Graphic Novel Adapted by Dallas Middaugh, Illustrated by Niklas Asker
Book #17: The Kill Order by James Dashner
Book #18: Scored by Lauren McLaughlin
Book #19: Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Book #20: Insurgent Collector's Edition by Veronica Roth
     This is the book I've been waiting for! Tattoos, Free Four, Party Ideas,'s all too much!
Book #21: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
     Ever since we read the first book in this series, Kristen and I have been obsessed. We're so excited to read this!
Book #22: After by Various Authors


Monday, January 14, 2013

What In the World Are We Doing?

Well, hello there! We bet you have a ton of questions.

Who are you?

What is this?

Why aardvarks?

What is going on?

We'll get to that. Our names are Kristen and Nora. Let's just get it out there. We love reading. We love writing. We love anything literate. While we try to endure our painful twenty-first century schoolgirl lifestyles, we find time to crack open a good book and fangirl about, mainly, the male characters. We decided to share all our inner thoughts and emotions about all these characters and plot twists and settings and amazing, fabulous authors with the world.We concurred to call ourselves 'aardvarks' because, frankly, they're cute (in cartoons) and weird. Like us. Blogging about books will be an experience to change our lives and widen our eyes to the world of literature.

Will you venture on this journey with us?

-Nora and Kristen