Reached Ally Condie (Matched #3)

After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.

This is the third book in the Matched series. It was every bit as beautiful, engrossing, and unputdownable as the other two in the series. I still think Book 1 was probably my favorite, but this one tied all of the plot points up neatly, or as neatly as possible. All of the characters got an ending that left me feeling satisfied.

I love reading YA and YA dystopias in particular and I must say, this is by far the most beautiful and poetic of all the series. Most YA novels make do with work-horse language, with the occasional profound, quotable moment. This one is littered with it. I suppose some people might find that annoying, but I love it: you CAN blend stellar, action-packed plot with elevated and beautiful language.

Overall, this is definitely not a series to miss!

Have you read this series? Or this book in particular? Leave me a comment below!

A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (Book 1 in A Song of Ice and Fire)

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.

The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.

It’s been a couple years since I actually read this book, but as I’m attempting to read book 4 (big book, little time=very slow progress), I decided to go back and write a review. I had originally planned to review the series all at once, but plans change.

I first began this book on audiotape. My boyfriend at the time and I were going camping in Big Bear and we started playing it in the car to pass the hours.

I was immediately intrigued by the opening passages about the white walkers. My interest grew from there. Once we got back home, I drove to the bookstore and bought the book because I had to read the rest. We’d only gotten about a hundred or so pages in, so I still had a lot to read.

And yes, the audio book is also good.

This book introduces you to a huge cast of characters, a sprawling world, a complex history, a war of religions, and almost anything else you can think of. Tyrion was my favorite character in this book, a spot he still retains. I also love Daenerys.

Despite the immense size of the book and the steep learning curve of the world-building, this first entry in the spectacular series is engaging, accessible, and immensely entertaining. George R.R. Martin is quite a writer. Always, I found my jaw literally dropping at the perfection of the placement of some particular phrases or events. Yes, the series is raw, bloody, horrifying, and full of sex. But isn’t life?

After I finished the book, I moved on to the show. Also, so perfect. Peter Dinklage is the most perfect Tyrion. He somehow made the character even better, improving on perfection.

Seriously guys, if you haven’t managed to read the books or watch the show, get on it. Pronto.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Fictional Schools

As always, TTT is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s theme was a freebie, so I decided on Top Ten Favorite Fictional Schools (which is an extension of settings. Boarding schools also happen to be one of my favorite settings/topics in books.

1. Hogwarts (Harry Potter series)

2. Easton Academy (Private series)

3. Waverly Prep (It Girl series)

4. Spence Academy (A Great and Terrible Beauty series)

5. Atherton-Pryce Hall (Privilege series)

6. Gallagher Academy (Gallagher Girls series)

7. Wexford (The Name of the Star)

8. Wakefield Hall (Kisses and Lies series)

9. Ault School (Prep)

10. Alabaster Prep (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks)

Featured Poem: Granite and Wineglass

By Rumi

You are granite.
I am an empty wineglass.
You know what happens when we touch!
You laugh like the sun coming up laughs
at a star that disappears into it.

Love opens my chest, and thought
returns to its confines.

Patient and rational considerations leave.
Only passion stays, whimpering and feverish.

Some men fall down in the road like dregs thrown out.
Then, totally reckless, the next morning

they gallop out with new purposes. Love
is the reality, and poetry is the drum

that calls us to that. Don’t keep complaining
about loneliness! Let the fear-language of that theme

crack open and float away. Let the priest come down
from his tower, and not go back up!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m So Happy Were Recommended to Me

As always, TTT is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is ten books I’m so happy were recommended to me!

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

-Recommended by Andrew

2. Plainsong by Kent Haruf

-Recommended by Tylar

3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

-Recommended by Sheila

4. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

-Recommended by Sadie

5. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

-Recommended by Gwen and Mina

6. Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Recommended by Professor Potts

7. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

Recommended by my mom

8. The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea

Recommended by Professor Granger

9. Empire Falls by Richard Russo

Recommended by Rohan

10. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Recommended by my mom and Stephanie

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most

As always, TTT is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is top ten books I recommend the most…perfect!

1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

2. Hyperion by Dan Simmons

3. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

5. 1984 by George Orwell

6. The Passage by Justin Cronin

7. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

8. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

9. Empire Falls by Richard Russo

10. The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Read in 2012

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is top ten books I read in 2012. I actually snuck in an eleventh because, George R.R. Martin. True, I’ve never done a review on Games of Thrones, but that’s because I decided to just review it as a series once I finish the fifth book. Enjoy!

1. The Twelve by Justin Cronin

2. Plainsong by Kent Haruf

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

4. The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

5. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

6. I Wrote This For You by anonymous

7. Beloved by Toni Morrison

8. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

9. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

10. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

11. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin