quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


Holiday Gift Guide: Historical Fiction

I'm doing something new this holiday season; I wanted to give book recommendations that would make good gifts! So I'm going to pick themes and list books that I think are the best of the best, making great gifts to the book lovers in your life! I will preface this by stating most of my recommendations will be YA, so keep that in mind! 
Books to Buy for the Historical Fiction Book Lover!

I've just gotten into historical fiction last year. I was never one for the past, but I read some really great books that mold fact with fiction in such interesting ways that I got hooked! Now I love the genre, and I like that it can have other elements in it as well, like magic. Very diverse periods and people down below that I hope you find something!

Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper - Grace Parkes has just had to do a terrible thing.
The Diviners by Libba Bray - And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery...
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson - It's late summer 1793, and the streets of Philadelphia are abuzz with mosquitoes and rumors of fever.
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly - Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other.
Mary, Bloody Mary by Carolyn Meyer - The story of Mary Tudor’s childhood is a classic fairy tale.
Copper Sun by Sharon Draper - Stolen from her village, sold to the highest bidder, fifteen-year-old Amari has only one thing left of her own: hope.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys - One girl's voice breaks the silence of history.
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis - Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud's got a few things going for him.
Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli - He’s a boy called Jew. Gypsy. Stopthief. Runt. Happy. Fast. Filthy son of Abraham. 

Holiday Gift Guide: Science Fiction

I'm doing something new this holiday season; I wanted to give book recommendations that would make good gifts!  So I'm going to pick themes  and list books that I think are the best of the best, making great gifts to the book lovers in your life!  I will preface this by stating most of my recommendations will be YA, so keep that in mind!
Books to Buy for the Science Fiction Book Lover! 

Sci-Fi is my second favorite genre.  This has a lot to do with my dad, as he is a sci-fi nut!  He got me watching Star Trek really early, and from that point on I was done for.  My favorite book all through high school was Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, which is one of the preeminent sci-fi books (and an extra suggestion!) Below I've listed some of my favorites and some ones that I've heard great things about!

Feed by M.T. Anderson -Identity crises, consumerism, and star-crossed teenage love in a futuristic society where people connect to the Internet via feeds implanted in their brains.
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow - He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: "M1k3y" will take down the DHS himself.
Mothership by Martin Lecht & Isla Neal - Teen pregnancy is never easy—especially not when extraterrestrials are involved.
Across the Universe by Beth Revis - A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Earthseed by Pamela Sargent - Can Zoheret and her companions overcome the biggest obstacle to the survival of the human race—themselves?
Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill - Durango is playing the cards he was dealt. And it’s not a good hand.
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad - Who knows what's really out there?
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan - What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?
Starship Academy: The Pearl Wars by Nick James - Jesse and Cassius make their way to the ruins of Seattle to uncover the truth about their new powers, the past they didn't know they shared, and a shocking secret about the Pearls.
Losers in Space by John Barnes - It is the year 2129 . . . and fame is all that matters.


The Fault in Our Stars (Review)

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author(s)John Green
Edition: Hardcover, 313 pages
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
Source: Bought from Amazon
Buy: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

The Summary
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumors tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind

My Opinion
I need to preface this review with the fact that it is difficult for me to articulate my feelings on this book. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green has impacted me in so many ways, and is truly one of the great literary pieces of our generation. This is a book that will be read for years to come, and I’m so happy to have had it in my life.

Green does an amazing job of telling a human story.  This book is about the basic human realities: life, death, love, loss, innocence, and cynicism.  Hazel is one of the most intensely real characters I’ve read; so real that at points it made me extremely uncomfortable.  But that is what makes Green’s writing so beautiful; he is able to craft a new reality with his words that transports the reader directly into the story.

It’s hard to talk about this book without giving away plot points, but the basic outline is this: Hazel Lancaster, the protagonist, was diagnosed with cancer at a young age.  she lives through her formative years dealing with this attack on her body, but she goes into recession thanks to a miracle drug.  Living to see her 17th birthday isn’t something Hazel or her parents thought possible before, but now she has the foreseeable future ahead of her.  And a part of that future involves one Augustus Waters.

Augustus and Hazel are a match made for the ages.  One of the things that Green so eloquently does is show that love, real love, is possible at any age.  Augustus is one of those boys who is a  melt-your-heart, let-him-be-mine boy.  But he isn’t perfect, giving him layers that are needed in this type of book.  The same with Hazel.  She isn’t perfect showing vulnerability and fear in the face of her life, but also great hope.  Hazel is pushed to live again by Augustus, and Augustus is shown the big picture by Hazel. Together they make each other better.

I know there is a lot of talk about this book.  It has been on numerous book lists, won awards, and been all over the literary world.  But that isn’t without due cause.  The ability to capture the human experience and tell a story that reads so much like fact is a gift.  This type of book can be used for future generations to look back on and go, “That’s how people thought then.”  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is a transformative work that should be required reading for both teens and adults.

Book Trailer

John Green Talks About TFIOS

John Green Reads Chapter One of TFIOS

Final Rating
Book Cover: 5/5
Book Title: 5/5
Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 50/50: A+ (THE FIRST ONE EVER!)

Winter Break To Be Read List

I have a pretty (at least for me) hefty TBR list for this coming week. Hopefully I can get through some of the books before the new year!  Are there any books you're trying to read this break?

From What I Remember


Mothership (Video Review)

Title: Mothership
Author(s): Martin Leicht & Isla Neal
Edition: Hardcover, 308 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Source: Won from the Page Turners
Buy: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

The Summary
Teen pregnancy is never easy—especially not when extraterrestrials are involved. The first in a new trilogy.

Elvie Nara was doing just fine in the year 2074. She had a great best friend, a dad she adored, and bright future working on the Ares Project on Mars. But then she had to get involved with sweet, gorgeous, dumb-as-a-brick Cole--and now she’s pregnant.

Getting shipped off to the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers was not how Elvie imagined spending her junior year, but she can go with the flow. That is, until a team of hot commandos hijacks the ship--and one of them turns out to be Cole. She hasn’t seen him since she told him she’s pregnant, and now he’s bursting into her new home to tell her that her teachers are aliens and want to use her unborn baby to repopulate their species? Nice try, buddy. You could have just called.

So fine, finding a way off this ship is priority number one, but first Elvie has to figure out how Cole ended up as a commando, work together with her arch-nemesis, and figure out if she even wants to be a mother--assuming they get back to Earth in one piece.

My Opinion

Book Trailer

Final Rating
Book Cover: 5/5
Book Title: 5/5
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 47/50: A

Holiday Gift Guide: Fantasy

I'm doing something new this holiday season; I wanted to give book recommendations that would make good gifts!  So I'm going to pick themes  and list books that I think are the best of the best, making great gifts to the book lovers in your life!  I will preface this by stating most of my recommendations will be YA, so keep that in mind!
Books to Buy for the Fantasy Book Lover! 

Fantasy was my first love.  As a kid I read all the fantasy books I could get my hands on, and I especially loved fairy tales.  Now my tastes run a little bit more sophisticated, but a good fairy tale retelling is always guaranteed to suck me in.  Plus, now I get to read the darker versions of fantasy which I love.  So I picked some books that I think fit into all the great fantasy categories!

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce -Alanna's first adventure begins -- one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land.
Un Lun Dun by China MiĆ©ville - What is Un Lun Dun?
The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton - Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev -All her world’s a stage.
Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst - Now The Wild wants its characters back.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
Crewel by Gennifer Albin - Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl is in charge of other’s destinies, but not her own.
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones - In which a witch bewitched the hatter's daughter - and then some....
The False Prince by Jennifer A Nielsen - In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing.
Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan - Welcome to the Faerie world, where nothing is ever what it seems and no one can be trusted.

Trailer Thursday (29)

Today I'm bringing you a trailer of the second book in the amazing Under the Never Sky Trilogy, Through the Ever Night!  Coming out in January, this looks to be an exciting continuation of the story, and I can't wait!

by Veronica Rossi
Published Date: January 8, 2013


Holiday Gift Guide: Dystopia

I'm doing something new this holiday season; I wanted to give book recommendations that would make good gifts!  So I'm going to pick themes  and list books that I think are the best of the best, making great gifts to the book lovers in your life!  I will preface this by stating most of my recommendations will be YA, so keep that in mind!
Books to Buy for the Dystopia Book Lover! 

Dystopians are all over the YA sphere!  And why not?  You can set a dystopia anywhere with anything!  I love them for that quality and I think they are some of the best books on the market right now.  Below I've listed some of the ones that are popular already or are a little less well-known, but either way are must-reads for the dystopia lover!

Divergent by Veronica Roth - One choice can transform you.
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting - Charlie is the key to something much bigger.
Enclave by Ann Aguirre - Welcome to the apocalypse.
XVI by Julia Karr - Every girl gets one.  An XVI tattoo on the wrist--sixteen.
Unwind by Neal Shusterman - Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer - No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien - Her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.
Blood Red Road by Moira Young - With her world shattered, Saba will fight to put it back together.
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi -  In this world oil is scarce, but loyalty is scarcer.
Bumped by Megan McCafferty - Two sisters. Two journeys. One unexpected future.

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare (Review)

Title: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare
Author(s)Melissa Jensen
Edition: Paperback, 380 pages
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: February 16, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Library
Buy: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

The Summary

Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy!

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. She's got her friends - the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She's got her art - and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they're dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

My Opinion
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen is a heartfelt romance story.  The intensity that the characters express are reminiscent to a bygone age, while the issues they deal with bring the story back to modern times.  This makes a flirty read that envelopes you in the “fine art” of romance.  I devoured it!

Jensen manages to craft a girl that I want to be best friends with immediately, and that doesn’t happen often.  I usually think the character is well developed in the context of the story, but not as a real person.  Ella is different.  I can see her walking down the street, experiencing things as they happen in the book (the whole book is really realistic in tone and writing).  Ella's blossoming romance with Alex is beautifully crafted, and doesn't feel rushed or have the fake quality of "insta-love".  This was one of the best aspects of the book because I look at character development over plot development.  Jensen manages to capture this real girl with insecurities and hopes, who is shy and funny, but always tries to follow her heart, perfectly and makes her pop off the page.  

Further proof to the awesome characterization (all the secondary characters were amazingly well developed), Jensen managed to make me believe one character was an actual person in real life.  Edward Willing is a 19th Century painter with whom Ella is obsessed.  Now you are probably saying, “Eli, shouldn’t you have realized he wasn’t a real guy?” Well no, because Jensen did such an amazing job crafting his history.  There was a seriously realistic background with excerpts of letters and journals, examples of artwork, and a whole wing of a museum dedicated to him.  If I tried to do that I would have failed.  Willing was a masterful creation, and is used as a sounding board for Ella.  He is her obsession but also her confidant.  This “man” is a quirky part of the story that was very enjoyable.

Of course with great characterization usually comes great writing, and Jensen does not disappoint.  Poetic and reflective, hilarious and real, the flow is perfect.  I like writing that feels easy, but has layers.  This book has that, allowing the characters and the plot to move together in harmony.  Jensen uses an interesting technique which allows Ella’s inner thoughts to come out and parallel what is happening physically.  This is accomplished through “truth or dare”, a game that Ella and her two best friends, Frankie and Sadie, play, in which no matter the question you have to answer or be dared to do something ridiculous, embarrassing, or scary.  Ella also uses this to tell “truths” about herself, even if she may be acting the opposite.  I found it a clever writing tool throughout the book.

Overall, The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen was a fun, sweet, fast read with some real romance and heart.  The intricacies with the relationships really created a story that you become invested in.  You’ll fall in love with Ella and Alex (maybe a little bit with Edward Willing as well), and want more when the book ends!  But don’t take my word for it!  Check out The Fine Art of Truth or Dare at your local bookstore or library!


And check out her other fantastic book, Falling in Love with English Boys!

Final Rating
Book Cover: 5/5
Book Title: 5/5
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 46/50: A-

Waiting on Wednesday (68)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we seriously can’t wait for.

 Here's my pick for the week, that I seriously can't wait for:

edited by Hannah Strom-Martin & Erin Underwood
Publication Date: February  12, 2013
Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction includes 33 original short stories and poems that spark the imagination, twist the heart, and make us yearn for the possibilities of a world yet to come. Futuredaze includes pieces by Jack McDevitt, Nancy Holder, Gregory Frost, Lavie Tidhar, Sandra McDonald, Brittany Warman, Stephen Covey, E. Kristin Anderson, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Jenny Blackford, and many more!
Reflecting many of the ideals first set forth by science fiction icons such as Isaac Asimov, George Orwell, and Ray Bradbury, Futuredaze challenges the imagination with young adult fiction that includes far-flung futures, dystopian alternate worlds, life among the stars, and a host of startling stories that embrace the idea of “What if?” that has driven the science fiction genre forward for more then a century. Now, it’s time to give voice to the next generation of science fiction readers and to those of us still young at heart.
Anthologies are one of my favorite things because you get so many different stories in one!  I love short stories and I love sci-fi, so this is the perfect book to wait for!  There isn't much info about the stories, but perhaps closer to the release date there will be little tidbits. Even if there isn't I'll still be wanting it!

What book are you waiting for?
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