If it had not been for the 2010 Debut Author Challenge, I wouldn't have picked up this book and I would have missed out on a great book! I hadn't hearIf it had not been for the 2010 Debut Author Challenge, I wouldn't have picked up this book and I would have missed out on a great book! I hadn't heard about Operation Pedro Pan and I honestly didn't know much about Fidel Castro's revolution, so I really enjoyed learning about this period in history. I love how Lucia is just your average teenage girl making her very relatable. You can see yourself in her situation thinking about boys, gossiping with your friends and then all of a sudden seeing horrors you thought happened in other parts of the world. The safe streets you walk down every day now have troops with guns. Your friends are moving out of their parents house to support the revolution and you aren't allowed out of your house because your parents fear for you safety.
This book had many parts that were heartbreaking, but it was also uplifting and even funny at times. I really enjoyed reading about the time Lucia and her brother spent in Nebraska. Even though they were away from their parents, they were able to make the best of a bad situation. It was also interesting to see how Lucia's family morphed throughout the book. She started with a very typical family; a mother, father, and brother who loved each other very much, but all this changed when her parents realized they must send their children away for their safety.
This book is all about hope in tough situations and finding family where you least expect it. I really enjoyed how Gonzalez was able to tell a sad story without it being overwhelmingly depressing. I feel like she really balanced the good with the bad. Many children had to be seperated from their families during this part of Cuba's history, but Gonzalez was able to highlight the amazing story of how these children were successfully brought to America with the hopes of starting a new life where their. parents could one day join them....more
After months of waiting to read this book, I finally sucked it up and bought it. "Other" is a paranormal romance, but it goes beyond the basics of vamAfter months of waiting to read this book, I finally sucked it up and bought it. "Other" is a paranormal romance, but it goes beyond the basics of vampires and werewolves. Gwen is half pooka and her best friend is a dryad, but there are many other paranormal creatures sprinkled in the premier book of the series. The murder mystery moves the story along with its high death rate and tension mounting. Gwen knows that her otherness won't stay secret for very long. I like how Kincy didn't hold back when it came to the death toll. Some books boast there being lots of danger, but then the main characters only have minor scares here and there; Kincy does not fall into this trap, instead the danger gets closer and closer to Gwen as more others die.
"Other" does a great job at discussing social issues that teenagers face daily. Gwen struggles with accepting her true identity and even hides her otherness from her boyfriend of one year. She also struggles with whether or not she is ready to have sex for the first time. Kincy's portrayal of a first relationship was very honest without being completely brutal. I like how she was able to blend typical teenage issues into a paranormal romance/ murder mystery without slowing down the story or taking the emphasis off the main plot. I feel like a lot of teenagers will be able to relate to Gwen's struggles with her otherness because many teens find them not fitting into the cliques that form during that age. Even if they do fit in, many teens hide parts of themselves from their friends and other people their age for fear of being thought of as a freak or seen as different; this is exactly what Gwen does every day.
I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys paranormal mysteries or is looking for a quick read. I think people who enjoyed "The Body Finder" will also really like "Other". There are already two more follow up books in the works. "Bloodborn", the second book in the series, will be coming out next fall. I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for it!...more
"Three Rivers Rising" packs a lot of punch in a small package. The book was written in verse allowing Jame Richards to say a lot using few words. I lo"Three Rivers Rising" packs a lot of punch in a small package. The book was written in verse allowing Jame Richards to say a lot using few words. I loved how the book followed multiple characters with completely different backgrounds. It made the book more than just a story of forbidden love; the flood affected people in many different ways and "Three Rivers Rising" did a wonderful job of showing this. There wasn't a ton of character development, but just enough to care about the characters while keeping the book moving at a quick pace. I ended up reading this book in only a few days because it was such a fast read.
The conflicts in Celestia’s family were another part of the plot I really enjoyed. Their story was full of heartbreak, but it was interesting to see their dynamics before and after the flood. They weren't the only family shown in the book, but they were the most developed. Maura, a young mother struggling to raise four young children, is another character I continue to think about after reading this book. Even though her story was only a small piece of a greater plot, she seemed to lose the most out of all the characters. I don't know if everyone will agree with me on this point, but Richards's ending for Maura will stick with me for a long time. It wasn't the ending I expected, but I like that it shined light on something that I didn't expect from the book. Sorry about the super vagueness... but I HATE spoiling anything for readers. You'll just have to read the book for yourself to figure out what I am talking about.
I recommend "Three Rivers Rising" to readers who enjoyed "Out of the Dust" by Karen Hesse and historical fiction. Readers who many not like historical fiction will also be wrapped up in the fast pace of this book, as well as the romance between Celestia and Peter. This is one of the books that has made me so glad I am participating in the 2010 Debut Author Challenge. I never would have picked up this book if it weren't for the challenge and I would have missed out on a great book....more
I was very excited about reading this book because I really liked the synopsis, but the synopsis did not actually match up with the plot of the book.I was very excited about reading this book because I really liked the synopsis, but the synopsis did not actually match up with the plot of the book. I had so much trouble getting into the book that I gave up after 80 pages....more
It took me a little while to get into "Torment", but after about 40 pages or so I was completely hooked! I was very sad that the setting of the storyIt took me a little while to get into "Torment", but after about 40 pages or so I was completely hooked! I was very sad that the setting of the story had to change from Sword and Cross to a new school, but Shoreline turned out to be interesting enough. I loved the fact that Luce was infamous at Shoreline because of her and Daniel's epic love story. It was just a nice touch and added conflict to the story. I also liked how I never knew what to expect Daniel or Cam; this book played around with the good vs. evil and blurred the lines making me ding to see where Lauren Kate takes it. Is there really such a huge difference in Kate's world? Is right and wrong always black and white without any grey area?
I was worried that "Torment" would only be about Luce sitting at a school worried about Daniel and questioning their relationship, but luckily this was wrong. The story is about Luce searching for the truth about her relationship with Daniel, but it is also about Luce understanding her past and finding herself. I like how the shadows take on a different role in this book than in "Fallen". Even though Luce was taking unnecessary and dare I say stupid risks to use the power of the shadows to her own end, her experiences with the shadows is what made me fall in love with "Torment".
I was also pretty worried that Penn was a irreplaceable character and that I would spend the entirety of "Torment" missing her, but luckily new characters made the loss of Penn manageable. Shelby is a great character because she is rough around the edges and you never know what will come out of her mouth. Miles is a much more reliable friend and I just couldn't help but like him as the super sweet nice guy. He welcomed Luce to Shoreline on day one and didn't treat her differently because of the rumors about her and Daniel.
I honestly can't wait for the next book "Passion" to come out next summer and not just because "Torment" left on a giant cliffhanger. There are so many unanswered questions and it seems the more answers we get the more questions develop. Lauren Kate has definitely given herself lots to work with in the next two books in the series. I can't wait to see where "Passion" will take our characters! ...more
"Enchanted Ivy" is a fun, fast read with a unique plot that sucks readers in. I absolutely loved Sarah Beth Durst's book "Ice" and am happy that I was"Enchanted Ivy" is a fun, fast read with a unique plot that sucks readers in. I absolutely loved Sarah Beth Durst's book "Ice" and am happy that I was not disappointed with "Enchanted Ivy", which is impressive because I've been dying to read it since I first heard the synopsis. I had very little time to read this week, but every second I got I spent reading this book. I was almost late to one of the lectures because I was so wrapped up in the book I forgot to look at my watch! I just got sucked into Lily's search for the key and the truth about her family. "Enchanted Ivy" moved really fast, as soon as one problem was solved a whole other issue would come up.
Something I loved about the book was how Durst used real landmarks in Princeton in her book, it made me want to go and check out all the details she added into her book. I loved how the alumni parade, P Rade, played a part in the story; it just added a lot of life to the story. I also liked the role the FitzRandolph Gate played as the bridge between two worlds. The fact that Durst used real landmarks in her story made the book more believable.
I really liked the characters. The interactions between Lily and the two main male characters were really funny. I kept smiling and giggling to myself while reading. I think part of the reason I didn't love this book is that I wanted more of the characters. The book almost felt too fast and I wish I had more of Lily. I also liked how quirky Lily's mom was and liked the addition of her mental struggles to the book. This sounds twister, but I knew there was something more going on and I just couldn't wait to figure out where Durst was going with this.
If you like fantasy and paranormal books, this book needs to be on your "to read" list. I also highly recommend reading "Ice" if you haven't read it. I can't wait to see what Durst will write next! This makes it clearer than ever that I really need to read Sarah's first two books "Into the Wild" and "Out of the Wild". If you are interested in this book then be on the look out for the contest I will be holding....more
"The House of Scorpion" fell a little flat for me. The plot was really interesting, but the characters weren't my favorite. I liked Matt, but I wanted"The House of Scorpion" fell a little flat for me. The plot was really interesting, but the characters weren't my favorite. I liked Matt, but I wanted to punch him in the face at certain points throughout the book. I struggled with this book because I understood why the author chose to make his character so hard to like and it worked well with the plot, but I have trouble reading books when I don't like the main character. I actually had trouble liking most of the characters in the book. I would say that I maybe liked half the characters in the book, but the best characters didn't show up until about halfway through.
I like how Farmer explored cloning in "The House of Scorpion". Parts of the book were hard to read because of how the clones were treated. It was also interesting to see how technology was used to enslave both humans and animals in Farmer's world. The Eejits were super creepy, but at the same time I felt terrible for them. It was also hard to read about how orphans were treated in Aztlan and how the government was able to control the ideas of the people. Technology was not the only weapon used as a means of control, drugs and psychology also played a large role in "The House of Scorpion"
The future portrayed in "The House of Scorpion" is terrifying, but at the same time it is not unbelievable. I think I would have liked this book more if I was in a book group and had people to discuss it with, but I kind of just felt frustrated at the characters through most of the story. I love how the book ended, but I had trouble getting through the first two thirds of the book. I guess what it comes down to is that the English major in me really liked the book, but the reader in me thought it moved a bit too slow and struggled with the characters. After even writing this review I feel like I should give the book a better rating, but I can't say I "really liked" the book while reading it. Lots of other people LOVE this book, so if you like sci-fi then this book will probably be right up your alley. ...more
I liked "Halo", but it was just too long and the characters were not my favorites. I felt like this book would have been more successful as 2 shorterI liked "Halo", but it was just too long and the characters were not my favorites. I felt like this book would have been more successful as 2 shorter books. There were two huge conflicts that both could have been flushed out in their own book. It made the first conflict seem to be not that big of a deal because it happened and it didn't seem to matter so the build up seemed pretty unnecessary. Although breaking "Halo" into two books may not have worked because the conflicts seemed a bit lacking and people may not have gotten farther than the first book. Maybe if the beginning had been shortened and the conflict towards the end of the book was developed a bit more it may have worked better. I'm sorry this is sounding very vague; I just don't want to give anything away! I was just expecting more action out of "Halo".
My major problem with the characters was that I didn't really like the dynamics of Xavier and Bethany's relationship, it felt kind of controlling, not in a completely "OMG this guy is a psychopath", but it just felt like he could turn into a clingy, overprotective boyfriend. I really didn't like how he would answer for Bethany and decide who is worthy of talking to her. I understand that Adornetto was trying to show that Xavier loved Bethany and was trying to protect her; I also get that Xavier was trying to help Bethany, but I just know that controlling relationships start with similar actions.
If you enjoy paranormal romances, especially ones that don't have much plot outside the central relationship, then you will probably love this book. I have a feeling most people will love Xavier and will not be bothered by his relationship with Bethany, but I had trouble getting past this. I know a lot of people love this book, so if it sounds like something you are interested in then it is totally worth giving it a shot.
*I received this book from the publisher for review*...more
Another win for Meg Cabot! This is my favorite book by the author that I've read so far. You should keep in mind that I've only read a handful of herAnother win for Meg Cabot! This is my favorite book by the author that I've read so far. You should keep in mind that I've only read a handful of her books; luckily I am working on remedying this tragedy! I just wish I could get my hands on more of her books on CD! I listened to "Avalon High" in my car and at the gym and had serious problems stopping. I loved the spin of the Arthurian legend and how Cabot was able to make it believable (never doubt her power to make a fantastical plot work). You may think that there are no mysteries to this book and that all the characters are what they seem, but Cabot is able to add a few twists that I didn't see coming. I loved all the character. Lance even grew on me. Cabot created a fantastic villain; he/she was complex and embraced his/her evil side. I know that may sound weird, but I feel like villains can fall short sometimes in books.
I absolutely love the balance between humor and conflict that Cabot is able to bring to her books. I also love the fact that I never feel like her books are dragging with wasted space. Her books always seem to be the perfect length to fit exactly what needs to be there, no more, no less. I know this isn't always the easiest part of writing, but as a reader it drives me nuts when I feel like books could easily be sped up. I worry sometimes about authors who write a lot of books because sometimes I feel like they get lazy, but so far I haven't found this with Cabot. I am hoping that she keeps the spark in her writing for many more years to come! ...more