Friday, January 31, 2014

Lexicon by Max Barry


Title: Lexicon
Author: Max Barry
Published: 2013
ISBN: 9781594205385

Goodreads Synopsis:  At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren't taught history, geography, or mathematics--at least not in the usual ways. Instead, they are taught to persuade. Here the art of coercion has been raised to a science. Students harness the hidden power of language to manipulate the mind and learn to break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. The very best will graduate as "poets", adept wielders of language who belong to a nameless organization that is as influential as it is secretive.

Whip-smart orphan Emily Ruff is making a living running a three-card Monte game on the streets of San Francisco when she attracts the attention of the organization's recruiters. She is flown across the country for the school's strange and rigorous entrance exams, where, once admitted, she will be taught the fundamentals of persuasion by Bronte, Eliot, and Lowell--who have adopted the names of famous poets to conceal their true identities. For in the organization, nothing is more dangerous than revealing who you are: Poets must never expose their feelings lest they be manipulated. Emily becomes the school's most talented prodigy until she makes a catastrophic mistake: She falls in love.

Meanwhile, a seemingly innocent man named Wil Jamieson is brutally ambushed by two strange men in an airport bathroom. Although he has no recollection of anything they claim he's done, it turns out Wil is the key to a secret war between rival factions of poets and is quickly caught in their increasingly deadly crossfire. Pursued relentlessly by people with powers he can barely comprehend and protected by the very man who first attacked him, Wil discovers that everything he thought he knew about his past was fiction. In order to survive, must journey to the toxically decimated town of Broken Hill, Australia, to discover who he is and why an entire town was blown off the map.

As the two narratives converge, the shocking work of the poets is fully revealed, the body count rises, and the world crashes toward a Tower of Babel event which would leave all language meaningless. Max Barry's most spellbinding and ambitious novel yet, Lexicon is a brilliant thriller that explores language, power, identity, and our capacity to love--whatever the cost.

Sara Says...

I really enjoyed this book. This was interesting, unique, and fast-paced. The characters were appealing and complex. I went into this book with no real expectations, I had heard very little about it, so I didn't really know much about it.I'm glad this is how I began this book. I think it would have a different reaction if I had known a lot before I started reading. 

This book was full of great characters. Eliot and Emily are amazing and their relationship affects the story more than it seems on the surface. After I finished this novel and looked back, it was interesting to see just how important their relationship was from the beginning. 

I would eagerly and excitedly recommend this book to "booky"-type people. There are lots of literary references that make the story more interesting. Also, it is almost comic-book-like. The "poets" in this story have these powers with language that make them easily comparable to super-heroes and super-villains. 

Have you read this book? I would love to hear how other felt about this book and what characters you liked or hated the most. Please share in the comments...  

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Darkest Minds

Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Published: 2012
ISBN: 9781423159322

The Darkest Minds the story of Ruby and other children with special abilities that have been collected by the government and placed in special camps. In this book, Ruby has escaped from the camp and run into other escapees who are looking for the mysterious "Slip Kid" who can supposedly help them all to get back in touch with their loved ones.

Ruby is the main character and the abilities she possesses are rare and she does not completely understand or control them. She is afraid of the harm she can do to others and this prevents her from completely opening up to other people. After she meets Liam, Su, and Chubs things begin to change.

For the most part, Ruby is an easy to follow protagonist who is understandably hurt and afraid, but from time to time her worries and concerns become redundant. After hearing the same thing repeatedly, it becomes a little difficult to sympathize.

Overall, my feelings for this novel were just kind of "ehh". This was an interesting and new approach to the dystopian YA genre. There are interesting and likable characters, specifically Liam. But, at times, the story itself becomes a little tedious. I think I may have had too high of expectations and had built up this book in my mind. After hearing rave reviews of this series for months now, I was expecting this book to knock my socks off. And, sadly, they are still comfortably on my feet.

 I think that this is a story that can appeal to lots of people, but specifically the people that are entirely into dystopian books and series. Also, YA fans would probably enjoy this series as well. There is a romantic element to the story, but this is not what drives the plot forward.

So, have you guys read this book or this series? Thoughts, comments, opinions....please share in the comments.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bring Back My Bar, Janurary 2014

If you didn't know, twice a year Scentsy brings back 20 of their most popular retired scents. This happens in January and July each year.

Well, it is January and guess what, there are 20 awesome scents that are still avaialble for 11 more days. So, hop over and get them while you can.

This round of Bring Back My Bar includes the following scents:
  • Amber Road
  • Banana Nut Bread
  • Bubblegum
  • Cashmere 
  • Cranberry Mango
  • Cutie Pie Cupcake
  • Embers
  • Eucalyptus
  • Flower Shop
  • Fried Ice Cream
  • Grape Granita
  • Hazelnut Latte
  • Hemingway
  • Maui Mist
  • Mulberry Bush
  • Orange Dreamsicle (one of my faves)
  • Toasted Apple Butter
  • Watermelon Patch (another fave)
  • White Sands 
  • Wild Black Cherry
Remember, these are only available in January! Click HERE to shop and order. And feel free to email or comment with any questions.

Currently Reading

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes

Some of you that have been around here for a while may be noticing a few changes. Thanks a ton to my friend Ricci for the great new blog design work she has done for me. Be sure to stop by her blog and say hello.

This blog has always been kind of a hodge-podge of whatever has been going on in my life. But, lately I have been feeling like I need to have more of a focus. It has been a long time since I was blogging on a regular schedule  and I really miss it. So, the plan now is to jump back in, but with more of a focus. Everything won't always be just about books and reading, but that's probably what I'm going to spend a lot of time talking about.

Books and reading have always been a big part of my life. I have been a huge reader for as long as I can remember. My education and career has even been built around a love for reading and literature. So, for me it only makes sense that this part of my life share this same interest.

Within the past year I have also discovered and become a part of the BookTubing community on Youtube. For being such an avid book fan, I cannot believe I had no idea that this great group of people existed. So, if you have a few minutes hop over to YouTube and take a look. There are some amazing funny book people over there.

I'm looking forward to a new start around here and I'm excited to share it all with you.