Book Review: Eve (The Eve Trilogy, #1) by Anna Carey

The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

Release Date:  October 4, 2011
Age Group:  Young Adult
Publisher:  Harper Teen
Source:  NetGalley

Eve starts off with a quote from Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale, and it went downhill from there for me.  I love A Handmaid's Tale, and after that opening quote, comparisons were inevitable.  Unfortunately, all comparisons were in A Handmaid's Tale's favor, and I was left wishing I would have just re-read that book.  Don't get me wrong, Eve is not a bad book, it's quite readable and interesting, it's just that it feels very similar to so many other dystopian novels, especially A Handmaid's Tale and Sara Grant's Dark Parties.

I think that the main barrier to me loving this book was the fact that I didn't really like Eve.  She made so many bad decisions!  And then she just apologized and moved on and sort of expected everyone else to do the same.  Lives were lost or irrevocably altered as a result of her selfish decision making and Eve's lack of consideration of other people got old for me. 

I am so glad that this is a trilogy.  I hated to think that the story was over with the way it ended in book one.  I liked Caleb and was rooting for him the whole book, so to have things turn out the way they did was hard for me.

Reading this review, it sounds like I didn't like Eve.  I did enjoy the book on the whole, but I didn't love it.  I enjoyed the fast pace and the way Eve slowly learns the truth about the world she lives in.  I liked that I never really knew what would happen, and the ending was a big surprise for me (I liked the surprise but was wishing for a happier ending).  I would read the next book in the series, but I'm not as excited about it as I am about other dystopian series.

Got Family?

My mom is one of the most avid readers (besides Kelli) that I have ever known. I know I can ask her just about any bookish question and she will have something to say... except the topics of vampires, werewolves, etc. she calls those books my "bubble gum books". Her classroom is filled with books for her 6th grade students and the theme of her room is Pirates and Books (she is a lover of skulls and the schools mascot is pirates so she lucked out and got to decorate with her two favorite items skulls and books). 

I was trying to decide what to get her for her classroom this year and was drawing a blank... until it hit me! Our family was in need of an updated family photo but we do not all live near each other. So, I thought the next best thing would be an up-to-date family tree. I cornered my awesome niece who is handy with photoshop and this is the family tree that we came up with that best represents my mom and her family.
My mom is The Help at the bottom and I am the Giver (even though you won't believe that I didn't choose Vampire Academy).
So what would your family "book" tree look like? 

Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.
But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who needs her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do.

Release Date: September 20, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: NetGalley

This book did not read like a debut novel.  It was a really neat read!  The premise was very unique and very well-executed.  The plot and pacing kept me interested in the story the entire book, and I couldn't wait to find out how it ended.  There were a couple of surprises at the end, and I loved how summarily Carson dismisses a main character.  No fooling around, just bam! and it's over! 

I liked The Girl of Fire and Thorns from the very first page.  I identified with Elisa and her emotional eating and I really felt for her.  I liked the way Carson addressed this issue, as well as her treatment of Elisa's self-esteem.  

I do so love a love triangle and this book had a great one.  I'm a sucker for forbidden love; therefore, I really enjoyed this part of the story.  I admired Elisa for the adult way she handled her relationship with both of her love interests.  I especially liked Elisa's character growth.

The one problem I had with The Girl of Fire and Thorns, though, was that I didn't know what was going on for a while.  I was kind of confused for about the first half of the book.  I actually went online to check that this was the first of the series and not a later book in the series, because Carson jumps right in to the story with very little explanation.  I had no idea what a Godstone was and was left in the dark as to all of the details of the story.  I figured it out as I read though, which motivated me to keep reading even though the book was a long one for YA.

Overall, I enjoyed The Girl of Fire and Thorns and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Smells Like Fiction

Do certain smells remind you of specific stories or characters? If not I am the only weird one (and that wouldn't be the first time I have found myself in this position). These are some of our smelly reminders.

When I smell a sweaty kid I think of werewolves. Specifically Jacob Black from Twilight and I think to myself "Wow who would want a guy who put off a scent like this"

When I smell dusty books I think of Hugh Grant in Sense and Sensibility when his sister talks about not liking the smell of books and he agrees that it is the dust.

When I smell grass I think of Edward Cullen in the meadow.

When I smell ice I think of Dimitri in the snow behind the gas station in Montana, making snow angels with Rose.

When I smell something burning I think of shadowhunters and runes.

When I smell the trash truck passing by I think of Yuki and her smell impressions in She Smells the Dead.

So, do you ever smell fiction?

Tacky: Maggie Goes on a Diet

It's no secret that Kelli and I blog for fun, friends and to find good books to read. If you have ever taken the time to search through our site you might have read that we are registered dietitians (food police, health nuts, diet patrol, etc... you get the picture). We had to endure years of college and a real eventful internship to be able to tell people how to eat. So, when I see crap like this published I tend to get a little irritated (only because this topic was the basis of my entire gradute program: childhood obesity). 

Maggie Goes on a Diet

Who in their right mind would buy this book? 

Blogging MIA

Natalie and I have been MIA from the blogosphere lately due to major family events/crises.  We want to apologize for being so hit and miss with our blog posts!  We have been so busy and stressed, and the blog has been on the back burner for both of us.

I'm happy to say that I should be back to my usual blogging self soon.  My family of three recently moved---boy, that is no easy feat with a five-month old---and I have been busy setting up our new house.  There are always so many things that I have to do, that I haven't had a lot of time to do what I want to do.  But, I'm starting to get things under control and hope to get back to reading and blogging soon.
Thank you for your understanding!!

Book Review: Something Blue (Darcy and Rachel #2) by Emily Giffin

Following the smash hit SOMETHING BORROWED comes story of betrayal, redemption, and forgiveness. Darcy Rhone has always been able to rely on a few things: Her beauty and charm.  Her fiance, Dex. Her lifelong best friend, Rachel.  She never needed anything else. Or so she thinks until Dex calls off their dream wedding and she uncovers the ultimate betrayal. Blaming everyone but herself, Darcy flees to London and attempts to re-create her glamorous life on a new continent. But to her dismay, she discovers that her tried-and-true tricks no longer apply--and that her luck has finally expired. It is only then that she can begin her journey toward redemption, forgiveness, and true love. 

Release Date: March 21, 2006
Age Group:  Adult
Publisher:  St Martin's Griffin
Source: Library

I loved the first book in this duet, Something Borrowed (read my review here), and spent weeks on the library's waiting list for Something Blue.  I confess that the only reason I decided to read Something Blue was that I wanted more of Dex and Rachel, even if it was just a glimpse through Darcy's perspective.  I did not like Darcy in the first book and found myself rejoicing in her bad fortune.  I thought Darcy was a spoiled, selfish brat who deserved everything she got.  I know that's mean of me, but it's true.

Because of these feelings, I did not have high expectations for Something Blue.  I read it only to get a sort of epilogue to Dex and Rachel's happily ever after.  And for the first hundred or so pages, seeing Dex and Rachel together was the only thing I liked about the book.  Darcy was being her usual spoiled self, and I was feeling absolutely no empathy for her.  But, then, something changed.  Darcy had an awakening of sorts, and started to grow up.  You know how much I like character growth, and Something Blue had it in spades.  

One thing I really liked about Something Borrowed was the way Giffin writes the dialogue, and Something Blue employed the same principle of not writing all of the dialogue out verbatim.  (Does someone know the technical term for this?)  This kind of writing made the book read quickly, and I just could not put either of these books down.  Something Blue has a very concrete ending, which I love, along with an epilogue where we get to see all of the characters one last time.  I loved the resolution to the story and was left feeling very satisfied with this two-book series.

I would recommend Something Borrowed and Something Blue to fans of contemporary fiction and women's fiction.  They really were great reads!