Friday, December 31, 2010

Book of the Year - 2010

I would now like to introduce a new award, the Book of the Year! (I'd explain, but I figure it's pretty self-explanatory.)
The Book of the Year is a little different this year than it will be in the future. I have not actually blogged about the book that is receiving this award, but it deserves it no less. The 2010 Book of the Year goes to...
...The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins!

Really, the award should go to the whole series, but I figured I had already broken one rule by not having blogged about it. Also, I am not going to say too much about the book here because I hope to write a blog post about it in the near future. This was a great book that definitely tugs at your emotions and makes you sympathize with the characters. I absolutely love it and have read the trilogy twice. I would DEFINITELY recommend it.

Book of the Month - December 2010

The Book of the Month award for December 2010 goes to...

...The Maze Runner by James Dashner!

I LOVED this book, as my review says, and I am totally hooked on the series. This is one of the creepiest books I have ever read, and definitely the most suspenseful. I hardly stopped reading once I started, and I began reading the sequel the following day.

Great work Mr. Dashner! I am ready for #3!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Maze Runner Game

Hey everyone!

I ran across this game (Get it?!? 'Cuz its the Maze RUNNER! Haha! Okay... sorry...) on James Dashner's website, so I thought I'd share.

Looking for the Book Review? Click here!

Sorry it is so large, it kind of invades my side bar...oh will move down eventually...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Tomorrow Code

The Tomorrow Code

Brian Falkner

For Tane and Rebecca, the end of the world starts with a simple discussion about the possibilities of sending, or receiving, messages from the future. Soon, they discover a way to read information from gamma ray bursts in space, translating them into binary code and then into Morse code. Alarmingly, they discover that they have (or will, depending on how you look at it (or when you look at it)) sent themselves messages warning them about a biological disaster that will soon strike New Zealand, then spreading to the rest of the world. It is up to Tane and Rebecca to decode their own cryptic messages and save humanity.

I honestly don't really know what to say about this book right now. I'm kind of in book-shock. I have never seen an ending to a book remotely similar to this. It wasn't necessarily bad, but it could be taken that way by some readers. (The last chapter does help a little.) Okay, I will get over it enough to write this review, here I go for real.

Those of you who follow @CoreysBookTalk on Twitter, you may have noticed this post:
Started The Tomorrow Code today. So far it isn't holding my attention, but beginnings of books are frequently slow. We'll see how it goes..
It turns out I was one page away from the intriguing stuff starting....I was just being a little impatient, which is abnormal for me to be with a book. It may be because it started quite slower than the last few books I read. In all honesty, it was quite a normal start. About half way through, maybe a little before, it seemed like there was not going to be much action. At that point, I nearly wrote another tweet saying as much, but then I remembered my bad timing before and kept going. Once again, the action started up right away. Things started getting downright creepy pretty quick, especially once it was established that the human race was the germ, not the infected being. Also, the attacking biological entity was very creepy, especially since it was accompanied by the mysterious mist and couldn't really die...I don't want to say too much more and give away the whole book. The whole discussion about the possibilities and impossibilities of time travel and the paradoxes that it may cause, namely the grandfather effect, were very confusing yet interesting, even though it is only messages, not actual time travel. It also makes you wonder if there are messages from the future waiting for us to decode...

Would you try to break into the lab to stop the Chimera Project or simply talk to Victoria about it?

Not knowing about the salt water solution, how would you have gone about fighting the "snowmen and jellyfish"?

Do you believe that in any instance in the future that Tane and Rebecca will actually save the future or will this ending always repeat, even with the improved clues?

Please leave your thoughts and answers!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Brain Jack

Brain Jack

Brian Falkner

Sam Wilson is not an ordinary teenager. He is an elite hacker that lives in futuristic New York. Somewhere between our time and his Las Vegas was destroyed by a nuclear bomb, and with rising technology levels, the entire world is on edge with extreme new security. To Sam, this seems like a challenge. Sam hacks in to one of America's largest corporations, ordering a new computer and a neuro-headset for him and his friends. The headset is controlled by your mind, eliminating the need for a keyboard and mouse. The headset simply reads your thoughts, and it can even project sound a images into it. Through a complicated series of events, Sam is hired by a secret branch of the government to prevent people like him from hacking the United States's important computer systems. Everything seems quite boring until Sam and his co-workers are hacked themselves! An intese battle begins, but they are facing no ordinary hacker. This time, it's peoples' minds that are being hacked...

This book by Brian Falkner was absolutely amazing. Yes, I say that a lot, but it is quite frequently true. The book immediatly had me hooked in the beginning with a detailed description of how Sam would hack you, the reader. Though the hacking parts of the book can seem confusing, especially how they actually see the process in real life, it is also very exciting, and real action sequences make the book very intense. The whole gravity of the situation once it escalates is mind blowing, but it also seems realistic of the described time period under the terrible circumstances. This book is very good and actualy is what inspired me to start this blog up again - I wanted to share this book.

How would you try to prevent game addiction?

Do you think that you would be able to tell the difference between implanted memories and real ones? Do you think that the lack of emotion is distinguishable enough to be effective?

Based on Sam's "fixing" the world of its problems, do you think that this chaotic world is now a utopia? Why or why not?

Please give me your thoughts and opinions!

Corey's Book Talk is on Twitter!

Hey everyone!

Since I am now trying to keep more active, I thought that it may be helpful to have twitter updates on my reading as well (since I know that you are always wondering when you will hear from me next....yeah nevermind...). This is as much to help keep me accountable as it is to keep you updated.

The account name is @CoreysBookTalk, so please follow me! Right now I am my only follower, which is rather of narcissistic.

Also, you can see my most recent updates right over there! =>
(Well, right there for a while, as I make new posts the feed will not drop with this post, it will always be at the top of the screen. You were probably able to figure that one out by yourself though. I waste so much time blabbering about the obvious a lot...)

As my first tweet says, though it is slightly abbreviated, the purpose of the account is to announce new blog posts in another place, announce new books that I recommended, have received, or want. Also, I will update it with maybe a random thing I figured out in a book (I can be slow sometimes and when I figure things out it is very exciting.) or even to ask questions to you all!

Hopefully this will be a good new addition to the blog and I am excited to keep it up this time.

(I know that in my Christmas Eve post that I said that the first two books would be Brain Jack and The Maze Runner, but the darn Maze Runner Trilogy is so suspenseful/addicting that I had to read the next one, and then I needed to do its review right away. Brain Jack should be coming soon, hopefully in about 15 minutes.)

Happy tweeting/reading!

The Scorch Trials

The Scorch Trials
Maze Runner Trilogy
Book 2

James Dashner

The Gladers think they are finally safe from the terrors of the maze, sleeping in clean bunks with plenty of food. When they wake up to the acrid stench of the bodies of their now dead rescuers hanging from the ceiling, they know that are far from safe. Outside their windows, humans, or what remains of them, are covered in giant blisters that are rotting their flesh, moaning, looking for relief. Haunted, the Gladers stumble out into the main room to discover that they are to begin a new set of trials: The Scorch Trials. The hardships that plagued them in the maze will seem like child's play compared to the things that WICKED has in mind for them in the real world. To make matters worse, Thomas' one comfort, Teresa, is gone, replaced by a boy named Aris. Aris is from another set of teens that made up Group B, all girls except for Aris, that also escaped the maze. In the morning, the Scorch Trials begin, and the Gladers will have no rest until they reach a supposed "Safe Haven" 100 miles to the north.

Wow. I don't think that this one topped the Maze Runner, but it is hard to compare, especially since they all really form one story. The horrors that face the Gladers are way worse now, facing actual people, some of which are friends. The mystery surrounding WICKED and the controversy in Thomas' mind over whether it is good or not even has me wondering.**SPOILER ALERT** The whole Teresa betrayal still has me confused, the different layers of it make it very complicated. I watched Inception last night (Awesome movie) for the first time and the confusion the book gave me totally made me compare it to the movie. I want to like Teresa, but I can't help but like Brenda as well. While we are still in a spoiler, I am also confused by Thomas' situation at the end of the book. Is he simply being punished for Brenda and Jorge, or can they really not cure the Flare in him (most likely because of the creepy nose-rose guy)? And what is with the whole Brenda in his head? I NEED the next book with some answers! **SPOILER OVER (That was a long spoiler....sorry)** I would say this book is SLIGHTLY less suspenseful, but only slightly. (As you can see, it took me only two days to read it, and there isn't much of a chance on Christmas.) I still totally love the way that questions are not answered, making me anticipate the next book, and even while reading the book anticipate the next chapter. (It also is driving me crazy for the next book. Anyone know when it comes out? I'll look it up later...) Well I'm not really sure what all to say. These book are really great, definitely some of my new favorites of all time.

NOTE: I must caution this book even more so against younger readers. This book is also very intense with lots of violence, and this time there is more blood and gore since many enemies are human. (Once again, there is frequent language in the book, but it is all made-up swear words, so this still isn't really a problem)

What is your take on WICKED? Good, bad, both, neither, right ends but wrong means, etc.

Should Teresa be trusted? Could you ever trust somebody after that kind of betrayal?

How would you have reacted to the question that the soldier asks at the end of the book: Kill Brenda or Jorge?

Thanks for listening (well, reading...) and please leave your comments!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner
Maze Runner Trilogy
Book 1

James Dashner

Thomas arrives at the Glade knowing nothing more than his name. He is welcomed by about 60 other boys, all in the same situation. Thomas learns that they live in this large field and everyone works hard to survive. He learns that they are surrounded by a giant maze, covering miles. At night, Thomas is frightened when the walls surrounding the Glade seal shut, closing the entrances to the maze. An older member shows him why. Looking through a window, Thomas sees the most terrifying thing he could imagine: a slimy mass that seems to be a cross between a machine and animal. The creature, known as a Griever, is extremely deadly, appearing to be a giant slug covered in elecrtic saws, razor sharp claws, and needles filled with a terrible toxin. Even with the danger in the maze, Thomas has the feeling that he is to be one of the runners, brave members of the community that explore the maze, looking for a way out. One day, he sees a runner trying to drag Alby, the leader of the boys, out of the maze just as the doors are closing. To the shock of everyone, Thomas steps into the maze just as the doors close, trapped until morning. Nobody has ever survived a night in the maze.

Whew, that was a long summary. This book needs a long one though, since it is very complicated. Still, this book is ABSOLUTELY one of my new favorites, and I am so glad that it is a trilogy and the sequel is waiting for me on my Kindle! The book is action packed and excessively suspenseful, filled with dramatic twists and turns. The reader is constantly asking questions, and not all of them are answered. Though this can be frustrating, I enjoy it because every reader can have their own interpretation of events. The characters feel very real, showing weakness and emotion that many books and/or movies can leave out. (Also, an English Teacher would want me to say that I was impressed by the number of similes that the author used.) Another random reason that I liked it was that Thomas was a runner, and I am in cross country, so this was a connection I could make. Overall, this book was GREAT, very suspenseful and intense, that has me itching to start reading the next.

NOTE: I must caution this book against younger readers. This book is very intense and there is a lot of death and violence, and lots of it is very personal as you get to know characters. (There also is frequent language in the book, but it is all made-up swear words, so this really isn't a problem)

Check out the Maze Runner Game here!

If you were stuck in the Glade, what position would fit your personality? Why?

Would the threat of the Grievers and a night in the maze keep you from trying to help two mere acquaintances from the maze?

Were you one of the Keepers, what course of action would you recommend be taken by Tom after escaping the night in the maze?

Please give your thoughts and opinions!

Tired of Looking at that Leap Day Post? Me too... I am writing a new one! It's a Christmas Miracle! (Well, a Christmas Eve Miracle.)

My Christmas present this year (I kind of opened it two weeks early...but it's okay, my mom told me to.) was an Amazon Kindle and I have LOVED it. Without going into too many details (these details may be in a later product review post coming soon), I read a lot more now that I have all of my new books in one small, lightweight place, so I have decided (once again) to start up this blog! Hopefully I'm not just crying wolf and I will actually keep with it this time...

I should be writing at least two reviews in the next few days (possibly tonight) over Brain Jack and The Maze Runner, two dystopian novels that I very much enjoyed. I am totally hooked on dystopian novels, most likely caused by the Hunger Games trilogy and the book Unwind. Now I have 4 such books on my Kindle, two read and two still to come. I hope you will get the same enjoyment from them that I do.

(Have no idea what a dystopian novel is? This parenthetical paragraph is just for you! A dystopian novel tells the story of the world after it has taken a few too many wrong turns. Sometimes nuclear war has ravaged society, other times a new invention is threatening society. Basically, things are not looking good for the human race or Earth in general. To put it simply, I suppose I should just say a dystopian society is the opposite of a utopian society. Hopefully you get the picture.)

Well, that is about all I have to say at the moment. I think the moment should soon end and a new one will start, and a new post (aside from this one) should spring up shortly.

Happy reading!