book nerd swag review: epic fail by claire lazebnik

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Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?

At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.

As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.

what we thought:

m- this is going to be the most controversial review that we have ever posted. so stay tuned. i personally loved this story. the storyline of this book is a modern rendition of pride and prejudice by jane austen. i really loved this rendition and thought that it was an adorable take on the story. i immediately fell in love with derek. i mean come on now,  who doesn’t fall for the attractive, male lead in any story. 😉 derek is the perfect example of what the cliché high school quarterback, prince charming would be and when the new girl, that is immediately disliked by everyone, comes in and becomes friends with said ‘prince charming’ things are going to get a little messy.

l- haha, yep! this is one of the only books that masie and i have had completely different opinions on. in the end, we just agreed to disagree. 🙂 now, i’m a jane austen purist, so i dove into this story with set expectations. i have enjoyed modern takes on jane austen, so i was actually expecting to really like this book. it turned out, however, to be a huge disappointment for me. i think that as a rule, these “modern takes” on classic literature should  a) alter the story (within reason) due to the modern atmosphere while still b) keeping the heart of the book and the characters intact. if they don’t do these things, then it becomes more of an “alternate universe” than a “modern adaption.” this book, to me, felt like it copied the story (in some cases, scene by scene!) while changing the personalities of the characters. since the characters made the same decisions as in the original, at times the characters and their choices didn’t line up. this resulted in a story that felt a bit wishy-washy. although i could appreciate the author’s intention of putting a new spin on the story, the way it was executed felt like it it sacrificed a lot of the meaning of the book without really adding to the “modern take” on the story. haha this may seem like a bit of a rant… i don’t know if i’ve mentioned this before, but pride and prejudice is one of my absolute favorite books ever, so i was bound to be a liiiiittle picky when it came to the new rendition. 😉

m- i will say i agree with everything that lyli says. if you are going to write a modern take on the book then you need to turn the original story into a modern story, not copy the scenes and use modern environments. i haven’t read pride and prejudice, but will when i find time. i will say that the story was really cute, adorable, and completely cliché when it comes to a typical ya fiction novel. if you forget all about the fact that it was a modern pride and prejudice remake then the story was great. this story is very controversial when it comes to the audience. its pride and prejudice fans vs. everyone else when it comes to this story. though it really is just whether or not you like this version or not. this is one of those stories where i can’t exactly say whether or not you guys are going to like it or chuck it out the window.

l- hahahaha, i love how you put that, “the jane austen fans vs. everyone else.” yep,  i think that pretty much sums it up. 😉  to be fair, i did enjoy the “readability” aspect of this book… it flowed pretty well, so that’s points for the author. it really just comes down to your interpretation of the story. starting this book, masie and i were, in a way, reading it through different lenses based on what we knew of jane austen and her characters, and as a result we finished it with completely different opinions. i thought that this was really interesting, because 99% of the time we’re in complete agreement when it comes to books; if we love them, hate them, or just say “ehh.” i guess that is just evidence of how much you’re affected by your preconceived opinions… which can end up being the difference between enjoying a book, or as masie so adequately put it,  “chucking it out the window.” 🙂

m- haha. this was a rare occurrence for us. we had never disagreed on a book before. it was so funny because we were both like ‘it was bound to happen sometime’! this was that one book. you should definitely read the book and if you do seriously let us know what you think!!


rating! out of five stars: ***

well, we weren’t exactly unanimous on the rating for this book haha, so we decided to each give our ratings and then average them out.

masie gives it: ****

lyli gives it: **

and, voila! three stars.

would we recommend it? depends on who you’re asking. 😉

book nerd swag review – along for the ride by sarah dessen

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It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.
A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.
In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

what we thought:

m- i am obsessed with sarah dessen books. i have read every single one of them. they are so amazing and are great at capturing your attention. along for the ride is one of my favorite sarah dessen novels. i was immediately captured into the story when i was introduced to auden. i love auden. she is the typical high school college-bound/wallflower who has this corky personality that you just can’t help but like.

l- this book was just too adorable. sarah dessen’s writing style gives you such a personal connection with the protagonist. the story was slow-moving in a way that i really loved, because we really got a good feel for the character progression. we saw auden start the story with such a fear of people in general and of becoming vulnerable, to really opening up and growing as a person. it was coming-of-age in some ways, because auden was almost reclaiming lost pieces of her childhood, but in other ways she started the series as somewhat of an adult. it was really the difference of how she presented herself – which was the sort of shield she had to put up – becoming “grown up” at a really young age, to how she truly felt underneath all of those layers. this was something she had to admit to herself, that she was somebody who felt lost and unsure, which kind of gave the story a coming-of-age feel.

m- (in enters eli)

l- ooh, snap!

m- eli. eli. eli. you just can’t get enough of him. he is the boy-next-door with an interesting past. he’s kind of like a mystery through most of the book. you are always trying to figure him out but through the little things you can see him opening up more and more. the relationship between eli and auden is an interesting one. i don’t want to give anything away so i won’t say anything, but the way their relationship progresses and exists is something that everyone can relate to.

l- eli was a really great character. my favorite characters in this book, besides him and auden, were her friends leah, maggie, and esther, as well as her step-mom heidi. auden didn’t really see herself becoming friends with girls who she thought were shallow, just because they were super-girly. it was really great to see her realize the mistake she made in believing in the girly-girls-with-no-brains stereotype. the girls were just so bubbly and fun and added a lot to the story.

m- definitely. one other character that i absolutely loved was hollis, auden’s older-yet-immature brother. he was the character that just always made you laugh. he always had some witty comment or funny story to talk about and it made him one of my favorite character’s in this novel. the whole bike riding aspect of the story, i think, made it more interesting. i don’t ride bikes often but when i do i love it. i love the whole cycling subject matter in the story and it made the story more unique.

l- i really liked the metaphor about the bikes and how it was incorporated into the story. one of the main themes of this book was that there’s always a second chance, even if it’s a third, fourth, fifth chance… “as many as it takes to get it right.” that’s the thing with sarah dessen novels, they can seem one-dimensional on the surface, but there’s such deeper meaning that you get along the way.

rating! (out of five stars): *****

Would we recommend it? yepperdoodles! 😀

book nerd swag review: the host by stephanie meyer

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Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been  invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while  leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, knew  about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, 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.

Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts 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 yearns for a man she’s never met.  As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie  unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

what we thought:

m- this book is addicting. it is soooo intense. i absolutely loved it. the whole idea of two people inside one body was a little weird but i eventually got used to it. in the beginning of the story it is kinda hard to get into because there is so much information given but after you get through that you are ready to go!!

l-this book is so incredible! it’s actually my favorite book at the moment. i was so drawn in by the emotional intensity of this book and the fascinating plot. when you try to explain it to someone it sounds kind of… weird. but you have to just go with it and you’ll find this book is absolutely amazing. it’s not at all what i expected. at the beginning, i had a set idea of who the characters were and what i thought of them, but my opinion for pretty much every character had changed by the end. some for the better… ❤

m- i know what ya mean. the book is so awesome in the fact that she takes the time to develop every character and to describe every detail.  the book is nothing like twilight! so if you were not going to read it because of that then shame on you. 😛 this book is nothing like twilight and is like 100x better so give it a shot. this book is one of my favorites! i could totally picture the world that she was creating.

l- i agree on the very-different-from-twilight thing. i’m actually a fan of the twilight saga,  and this book really just has a completely different feel. it’s technically sci-fi, but it’s much more a drama than anything else. the relationships in this book are so incredible. i think that’s why i love it so much, you become so attached to the characters and really feel like you know them by the end of the story. *spoilers!!* i ahhhhhhhhhhhhh-dore ian. like, so much. he’s adorable. and sweet. and perfect for wanda. one thing i do want to say is that don’t disregard this book because it’s labeled “sci-fi.” it’s really more of a drama/romance than anything else. 🙂

m- this book is amazing. my favorite character, besides wanda and ian, would have to be jamie. jamie is seriously like the coolest little kid in the world. he is just seriously awesome. jamie was a character that would always make you happy. this story is definitely not a one night read, unless of course you read really really fast. the book is like really long but if it were any shorter it would not have been as good. this book has so much information and concepts that it is kind of hard to try to summarize it without telling you anything. i am really obsessed with this book though! (i would like to apologize if this made no sense because i just got back from chemistry. sorry:))

l-haha! the post-class brain fog. i had physics class and then spent like, the last two hours on world history so i know what she’s talking about. 🙂 i definitely agree with masie, this book has so much information to digest that even if you are a fast reader, it takes some time to get through all of it and really understand it. if you take it slow, you get so much more out of it. it’s such a beautiful book, and it’s worth re-reading it… you get a really great perspective the second time around. THE MOVIE COMES OUT NEXT MARCH! I AM SO EXTREMELY EXCITED!! 😀 the film adaption is coming out 3/29/12… and it’s a pretty good guess to say that we’ll be at the midnight premiere. we’re already planning our t-shirts… “IT’S O’SHEA… IAN’S HERE!” hehe 😉

rating! out of five stars: ******

yes. you counted correctly.

would we recommend it? READ IT. READ IT NOW.

book nerd swag review: under the never sky by veronica rossi

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ImageSince she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered. This was worse.

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 accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

In her enthralling debut, Veronica Rossi sends readers on an unforgettable adventure set in a world brimming with harshness and beauty.

what we thought:

l- it took me a few chapters to really get into this book, but once i did i was so hooked! i don’t normally like multiple-perspective books, but i loved this one. it was really great to see the story play out through both perry and aria’s eyes. i couldn’t stand perry at first haha but by the end i thought he was such a sweetheart. ❤

m- i was the same exact way. when i started the book i was actually on team soren (who will we meet) and now i am completely team peregrine!!! haha. it was a hard book to get emotionally attached to. during the first couple of chapters you can set it down and pick it up and not really feel pulled in. but once you get in a little ways you can not put the book down. the world that veronica rossi created was amazing and maybe one of my favorite settings.

l- it was such a cool setting! i loved the idea of the population having to seek shelter in the pods. aria is kind of annoying at the beginning, she seems kind of bratty, but you really see her character grow throughout the story. *spoilers!* the relationship between her and perry is so adorable. they start so completely at odds with each other, and then learn they have more in common than they could have ever imagined. 🙂

m- i loved talon (perry’s nephew). he was the sweetest thing and reminded me a lot of jamie in the host. even though his character was not in the book much he played a huge role in the story. something that made this book more interesting than others is the fact that they kind of have special abilities. i don’t want to spoil anything so i won’t tell you what they are but they made the book so much more interesting.

l- yes! they hinted at that before they really explained what was going on… i think i read one part five times where it said something like he didn’t need his nose to know that she was angry. haha i was like, “say what now?” i thought i had missed something, but the book just teases you a bit at the beginning. 🙂 this book is, in a word, epic. it’s super addicting and fast-paced, but still slows down and takes time to really develop the characters. it’s well-rounded in that way.

m- that was something that made this book even more amazing. it gave me time to connect with the characters as well. the book was amazing and the characters and the settings and the plot was all just so addicting. can not wait for the next book to come out! 😉

rating! out of five stars: *****

would we recommend it? definitely! 🙂

book nerd swag – new video

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hey, so we just uploaded a new video onto youtube regarding the selection. you should all check it out! there are spoilers! so if you haven’t read the book and you want to don’t watch the video until after.

~masie & lyli~

(p.s. in case you guys were wondering… i’m on the left and masie is on the right 🙂 ~lyli)

book nerd swag review: crossed by ally condie

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Rules Are Different Outside The Society

Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky–taken by the Society to his sure death–only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of a rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices every thing to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.
Narrated from both Cassia’s and Ky’s point of view, this hotly anticipated sequel to Matched will take them both to the edge of Society, where nothing is as expected and crosses and double crosses make their path more twisted than ever.

what we thought:

m- i will start this review out by saying that this book is amazing. i was kinda nervous to read it based on what we thought of matched but i was glad that i did. ally condie completely developed this story and expanded the world that she created.

l- we both enjoyed matched, but agreed that we weren’t super emotionally invested in the story. i was really hoping that this book would go deeper into both the depth of the world and the characters, and it definitely did. not only did we get to know more about the individual characters, but we got more perspective on their relationships. this story also had a lot more action. the story didn’t start slowly, we jumped right in from the first page, which i liked. there wasn’t a ton of unnecessary recapping to slow things down.

m- we would seriously recommend reading this series. like we said it does start out pretty slow in matched but when you get to crossed it grasps you from the beginning. ally developed the characters so much in this story and added a few more. i loved how much cassia developed especially. i figured out a lot more about her and could actually understand why some of the decisions she made were made. (if that makes sense).

l- yeah, and in addition to that we really got to know ky. we only got glimpses of who he was in matched. crossed is split into two pov’s, both cassia and ky get to tell the story in turn. i wasn’t sure how i felt about it at first because it made the plot somewhat choppy, and it would jump from one place to another if cassia and ky weren’t in the same place. however, i think it really was essential to the story that it was written that way. we understand both of them more because of it, and can see the reasoning behind their decisions, like masie said. the setting was interesting, but i would have liked to see more diverse locations. there were some amazing plot twists in this book. i won’t give anything away, but a few things made me put down the book for a second like, “whoa. i did not see that coming.” 😉

m- i will say that i loved the split perspectives. it gave me more of an idea of how they were both feeling in a situation when you could see there two perspectives. i really don’t want to give to much of this story away but it was much better, in my opinion, compared to matched. i will say that i have grown to like ky in this story. shocking, right? i got to see a different side of him. i will say that there are still things that i am iffy about when it comes to him but i still started to like him more. i really liked the addition of the rebellion. it gave the book a bigger purpose and in the end i still can’t decide who i side for, the society or the rebels. this book seriously got much better and i can’t wait for reached to come out.

l- when it comes to the rebellion and the battle with the society, this book certainly left a lot to be explored in book three. i have a feeling that a lot of the mysteries from both books one and two will be revealed in the third installment. i think this book gave more meaning to the first book…. i’d like to read it again with what we learned in crossed in mind. i will most definitely be reading reached when it comes out this november!

rating! out of five stars: ****1/2

do we recommend it? yes! give it a chance.

book nerd swag booooonus:

*warning: spoilers ahead!*

crossed: what were they thinking??

book nerd swag review: the selection by kiera cass

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For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself- and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

what we thought:

two words: PRINCE. MAXON.

l- you know that “absolute-new-favorite-most-amazing-book-ever” we were talking about in our last post? this is one of those books. 🙂 i was drawn in from the first page, and was addicted until the last. i absolutely loved kiera cass’ romantic, fantasyish, medieval twist on dystopian, plus the bachelor aspect of it.

m- i loved this book. period. kiera cass did an amazing job in creating this world. 🙂 i loved how kiera mixed the dystopian world of Illéa with the modern day bachelor. she made the book and characters easy to relate to. america singer is the star of this novel. she is the character who shines even when she doesn’t try. she is the character that everyone wants to be.

l- she is definitely one of my new favorite dystopian heroines. i loved watching her grow as a character and learn that she doesn’t  know everything about herself and her life. at the beginning, she thinks she knows exactly what she wants for her life, but as the story goes on she discovers things she didn’t know about herself and grows from her set expectations. This book also had a great love triangle. both love interests were explored enough that you were somewhat attached to both of them, but -to us, at least- there was an obvious favorite. 🙂 🙂 🙂

m- PRINCE MAXON!!!!! *sigh* he is the man of all of Illéa’s girls hearts and ours, too. he is the guy that captures your heart from the first moment you hear about him. he really is just perfect. 🙂 it’s just so hard to describe him because he is just so incredible. haha.

l- fictional boooooyfriend! hahaha. okay, imagine. amazing, sweet, considerate, caring, fun, cute, funny, all around ah-mazing guy. perfection, right? wrong.

                                                                                             add PRINCE before his name.

                                                                                                                                                                that, my friend, is perfection. 😉

*sigh* but anyways, he’s such a great character. you’ll have to read the book to find out the rest. he’s so misunderstood. another reason this book is so great is all of the fun, colorful characters. there are good characters and bad characters and characters in-between. the other selected girls are so much fun to watch interact and compete for maxon’s heart. petty cat fights, anyone?

m- i loved being able to see the interaction between the selected girls and maxon, too. it was fun being behind the scenes of it all. seeing all the drama and cat fights up close. it’s really interesting and makes the story so much more fun. i also loved how aspen kinda pops up all the time. even though we don’t really like him or want him there. it was good to have some drama! 😉

l- haha you know we love the drama! it’s funny, based on this review you would think there wasn’t even a love triangle, because we’re so team maxon. you’ll have to decide for yourself who you like best. aspen is cool, too. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. sorry, i didn’t mean to laugh. HAHAHAHAHA. but seriously. MAXON. ❤

m- HAHAHA. you guys really should read this, though. seriously. this is one of the best books i have ever read and has made it to the top of my list of favorites. 🙂 kiera cass did such an amazing job on this book. definitely worth reading.

l- oh, and if you see maxon, tell him we’re tugging our ears. 😉

rating! out of five stars: ***** (like america’s caste! holla)

do we recommend it? we SELECT it! <— lame pun.

this book’s book nerd swag boooonus:

our playlist for the book! (in no particular order)

(note: kiera cass created her own ah-mazing playlist for the book that can be found on playlist.com or on the selection facebook page. )

1. a perfectly good heart -taylor swift                                       9. love don’t live here – lady antebellum

2. the tide is high – atomic kitten                                                 10. since u been gone – kelly clarkson

3. i heart question mark – taylor swift                                       11. just the girl – the click 5 🙂

4. god gave me you – blake shelton                                            12. here we go again – demi lovato

5. potential breakup song – aly and aj                                       13. only prettier – miranda lambert

6. tell me a lie – one direction                                                       14. two worlds collide – demi lovato

7. taken – one direction                                                                  15. watching you watch him – eric hutchinson

8. what doesn’t kill you (stronger) – kelly clarkson             16. catch me – demi lovato

                                                                     17. just friends – jonas brothers