Leigh Bardugo transports her readers to the world of Ravka. Ravka while a fantasy world does have influences fro...moreOne of my favorite debuts of the year!
Leigh Bardugo transports her readers to the world of Ravka. Ravka while a fantasy world does have influences from 20th century Russia, though the world and the language is all the creation of Bardugo. And it’s fabulous! Wow, I was instantly drawn into this world, it was magical and mysterious and everything that I wanted and more!
Alina and her best friend Mal, orphaned at a young age, are now soldiers in the Second Army. Mal, unaware of Alina’s affections seems to draw the eye of every girl in his proximity. If only Alina had the self confidence of those girls, she might be able to tell Mal how she feels. Though she may never have the chance to tell him, as their regime is close to crossing into The Shadow Fold, which hold these flying flesh eating creatures called volcra. They are as creepy as they sound!
Well something happens when they are crossing into The Shadow Fold and suddenly Alina is in the middle of it all. She’s swept away to the palace and…. well you’ll just have to read the book to learn about all the rest. Don’t worry you won’t be disappointed!
Bardugo’s writing style is captivating and easy to read. I was instantly drawn into this story. I loved Alina and I loved the world of Ravka. And Mal! And dare I even say the Darkling! Though there hinted to be parts of a love triangle, there isn’t one. The love story we are given is simply beautiful! And don’t worry about the romance overshadowing the rest of the story, because it doesn’t! The majority of the story is Alina’s in discovering and mastering her abilities. In finding out who she can trust and what she should believe. There are several things that Alina and I both did not see coming!
And the ending. Wow the ending. That was one of those things that I did not see that coming!
I just loved everything about it, and I can’t recommend it enough! For fantasy lovers, you will devour this! And for readers wanting to try a fantasy novel, why not start with Shadow and Bone!(less)
I love books about witches. I think perhaps my obsession with witches all started with the movie Teen Witch. It’s a movie from the late 80′s about a g...moreI love books about witches. I think perhaps my obsession with witches all started with the movie Teen Witch. It’s a movie from the late 80′s about a girl who discovers she is a witch… or perhaps it stemmed from another witch movie from the late 80′s The Worst Witch. (Which was also a book!) I mean who wouldn’t want magical powers! I even wrote a book in elementary school about turning myself invisible and playing pranks on people at school. Regardless I’ve wanted to discover that I just happened to be a witch. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m still hoping.
But anyway… we should really talk about A Witch in Winter. I wanted to read this book because of the witch aspect, and I’m so glad that I did! It was such a fun book to read and I can’t wait for the next one!
Anna Winterson, moves to the small town Winter with her father. (Winterson and Winter… did you catch that!) Anyway, they move into this big creepy house, from what I can take this house has a lot of secrets we have yet to discover. Anna makes a few new friends at school and a few enemies too. This isn’t spoilery since it’s in the summary, but Anna finds out she is a witch when unknowingly enchants a boy at school after her friends find a spell and have some fun at a slumber party. (Wow run-on sentence!) This novel however, is not your typical witchy romance. There is a darker aspect to the novel as well, a good vs evil element, if you will. I think readers who love paranormal with romance but are looking for something a little different, will really like this one.
I loved Anna’s character. She continued to surprise me throughout the entire story, she’s not at all your typical heroine and that was refreshing. I loved that she didn’t do what I expected her to do most of the time. Although I do have to admit there were a few times I wanted to give her a hard love tap! And Seth was such a great guy, it was nice to have a paranormal read with the love interest not being a jerk.
And this might sounds a little funny… but I LOVED the UK slang in the book! I hope they don’t change that if they do end up publishing it in the US, it helped cement the setting of the story so well.
I was so thrilled to have a chance to read this book and I sooooo can’t wait for the next one! I’m not sure if this one is going to be released in the US (fingers crossed) but it’s worth the read if you can get a UK copy!(less)
Samantha Reed looks like she has the perfect life. A nice house, a successful attentive mother, a fabulous best friend and perfect grades. But she fee...moreSamantha Reed looks like she has the perfect life. A nice house, a successful attentive mother, a fabulous best friend and perfect grades. But she feels like she’s missing out on something when she watches the Garrett family next door. They’re a huge family, they are messy and boisterous, everything that Samantha’s family is not.
She’s always wished she could be part of their lives and she gets the chance when Jace Garrett climbs up her trellis and joins her on her roof… and her whole life turns upside down.
I adored Samantha’s character. I was afraid that given Samantha’s “perfect” persona, she would be one of those characters who took what they had for granted or constantly complained about it. Samantha wasn’t like that at all. She realized that she had a good life and that her mother cared for her. She just realized that what was “perfect” for her mother wasn’t necessarily perfect for everyone. Thus her infatuation with watching the Garrett family! And then Jace! Whew! He is the perfect boy. No really, he is the type of guy that you want to marry! He loves his family, will do anything for them and he’s so sweet! No jerk faces in this book. Well, Clay is a jerk face, but let’s not talk about him.
My favorite character was George. He just leapt off the page. He reminds me of every little kid that I know, rolled into one. All of the Garrett family is fabulous, but I’m sure George will be your favorite too!
There were real conflicts in this novel, and I loved how Fitzpatrick portrayed and had her characters deal with them. Poor Samantha though! Felt so bad for her!
This is a fabulous contemporary debut and a wonderful summer read! Add it to (less)
When we meet Carley she is being released from the hospital and finding herself in the care of a foster family. As a reader, we don’t initially know h...moreWhen we meet Carley she is being released from the hospital and finding herself in the care of a foster family. As a reader, we don’t initially know how Carley got to be where she is, but through flashbacks in the story we are made aware of the horrors that Carley has had to endure.
Carley has never known what a loving household is like. She hates herself for not hating this foster family. We watch her struggle as she comes to terms with herself and with the actions of her mother.
One for the Murphys was an incredibly touching novel. There were several times that I felt tears brewing in my eyes. (Although there were plenty times when I was laughing too!) I wouldn’t describe One for the Murphys as a sad story. It’s not a sad story, it’s a hopeful story. It’s about family and love. It explores different types of love and although they are different, one isn’t less powerful than the other.
To me, Carley seemed much older than her twelve year old/thirteen year old self. Although it worked, because Carley has seen and experienced things that no twelve year old should have to.
I really enjoyed all the characters. The three Murphy boys, Mr. and Mrs. Murphy…. Carley’s friend Tori, even Carley’s teacher Mr. Rueben. They were all incredibly written. I battled the most with Carley’s mother. I couldn’t decide if I felt sorry for her or not. I think perhaps she needed someone in her life like Mrs. Murphy and it’s a shame she didn’t have that.
We don’t get that fairy tale happy ending, but we get a realistic one. And we are left with the hope that Carley is a better person for her experiences and that she will continue to thrive because of her time with the Murphys.
You should add One for the Murphys to your reading pile! It’s a quick read and it will definitely touch your heart!(less)
Zo Jo, she’s 16 and she’s a paparazzi genius! She’s got her sunglasses camera… her pen camera, and not to mention her stealthy iPod camera. She’s got...moreZo Jo, she’s 16 and she’s a paparazzi genius! She’s got her sunglasses camera… her pen camera, and not to mention her stealthy iPod camera. She’s got gizmos and gadgets and she knows how to use them and bring home the bacon! She uses what some people may think as disadvantages, like her size and young looks, to get into places that the normal paparazzi can’t get to.
Though Jo knows how to get a shot, she’s doesn’t dream about photographing the rich and famous forever. She wants to get enough money saves so she can quit the paparazzi game. AND SHE MIGHT HAVE HER CHANCE! Jo get’s an offer than she can’t refuse. But….. is it the right thing to do?
This story is super cute! It’s great for a summer day, a quick read by the beach or just lounging in the sun!
Jo is a much more complex character than she initially seems. Although it doesn’t seem like it, Jo is on her own path to self discovery and I have to admit that I was surprised to hear Jo’s secrets when they were finally revealed. And after that point I looked at her in an entirely different way.
There were certain aspects of the story that were a little cheesy to me, but I’ve been known to enjoy a fine cheese now and again. Overall the flow was wonderful and the characters were fun.
If you’re looking for a quick and fun read, look no further than Shooting Stars!(less)
All These Lives isn’t just another “cancer” story. What makes All These Lives a little different is the narrator. Dani is our narrator and her twin si...moreAll These Lives isn’t just another “cancer” story. What makes All These Lives a little different is the narrator. Dani is our narrator and her twin sister has leukemia.
You will either love Dani or you will hate her. She’s sarcastic, she’s rude, mean, and deep down I think it’s all a facade. For some reason I found Dani to be a little refreshing. I wish I had a little piece of her in myself. She’s not afraid to say what she wants to say when she wants to say it. Despite what people may think about her. I so want to have the guts to do that. Maybe that is why I found myself liking Dani’s voice.
When Dani was younger she was in a car accident with her mother. They both should have died, but they both survived pretty much unscathed. Dani’s mom always brags that she has nine lives and Dani is just like her. Thus the irrational reasoning that Dani somehow think she had nine lives and that if she does stupid stuff to loose them, they’ll go to Jena and possibly be the one to save her.
The idea is stupid. I know that, deep down I think Dani does too. But wouldn’t you do anything to save the person you love. I think that’s what Dani is ultimately trying to do. She feels helpless. There isn’t anything that she can do for her sister, but this.
I was happy that Dani finally started seeing a person that she could talk to, because she really needed it. I only wish we would have gotten a bit more resolution. I felt like the story ended rather abruptly.
Overall All These Lives was a captivating and deep story. Can’t wait to see what Wylie comes up with next.(less)
I love books about mythological beings and mermaids, er mermen, are one of my favorites! Something I’d yet to encounter with this type of story was on...more
I love books about mythological beings and mermaids, er mermen, are one of my favorites! Something I’d yet to encounter with this type of story was one told from a boys perspective, and with The Vicious Deep we get that perspective!
The story starts off with a whirlwind! Almost literally! Tristan is lifeguarding and get’s caught up in a massive storm while trying to rescue a drowning swimmer. Three days later with no recollection of what happened, Tristan washes up on the beach. And something just isn’t right.
One thing leads to another and we discover that Tristan is no ordinary human. He’s a merman. And not just any merman. He’s a part of the royal family and the Sea King wants a word with him!
I loved Cordova’s take on the mermaid lore. It was brilliant how she contrasted the somewhat darker world below the sea with the whimsical and entertaining Coney Island. I don’t know why I feel in love with the setting like I did, but it just worked so well!
Tristan is a boys, boy. He is too hot for his good, he is charismatic and athletic. He can be the biggest a-hole one second and then have you feeling sorry for him the next! But you want to root for him. You want to see him become Sea King and at the same time you want him to be with Layla. Speaking of Layla. I wanted so much more of her! And this relationship with Tristan! What is going on with those two! It is driving me crazy!
This book is fun. Don’t let the darker tone of the title sway you. You will be laughing out loud at points! There are a few serious and dangerous moments, don’t get me wrong it’s not all fun and games. But it’s mostly just a fun ride! You get the front row seat on an epic adventure with Tristan and his friends. You’ll get off and want to get right back on!
I was so not ready for this book to end. WHY DID IT HAVE TO END!?! There is so much more that can happen! And I can’t wait to see what does!
If you are looking for a read that is fast paced, fun and just a little bit different. You need The Vicious Deep!(less)
Maybe I enjoyed this one so much because I’m a sucker for a mermaid story. That being said, I wasn’t expecting much. The cover is gorgeous and that go...moreMaybe I enjoyed this one so much because I’m a sucker for a mermaid story. That being said, I wasn’t expecting much. The cover is gorgeous and that got my attention, but the plot didn’t get me excited. A girl that can talk to fish is going to save a kingdom? Seriously?
It starts with Emma going on vacation with her best friend. She literally runs into this guy, Galen. Of course he is absolutely gorgeous and he has these strange eyes. I know, I know! But stay with me here!
Emma and her friend Chloe go frolicking in the ocean, even though Emma has a bit of an aversion for the water. Then something happens. Something that makes Galen curious as to what Emma is. Could she possibly be a Syrena, like him. Oh, did I forget to mention that Galen was a Syrena! Not just any Syrena, he’s a Syrena PRINCE!
Of Poseidon was light, entertaining, cute and just plain fun! (Although there is one not so light moment.) It was just the sort of book I needed in that moment that I read it. Something that captured my attention so much it made the rest of the world fade away for a while.
I loved these characters. Emma, Galen, Rayna and Toraf. Even Galen’s pretend mom, her name is eluding me at the moment and I’m much to lazy to get up and find my kindle! But she was a riot! They are just a group of quirky and amusing characters. I loved Emma’s sarcastic and slightly neurotic voice. She reminded me a lot of myself at times! And the chemistry between Emma and Galen! Whew! It’s a wonder those two didn’t have the ocean boiling!
The story was told in duel perspectives, but in a different way than I am used to. Emma’s part of the story is told in first person, but for Galen’s part it was told in third person. While it threw me a bit initially it really worked well for the story that needed to be told.
While I was more than satisfied with Of Poseidon, I am beyond anxious for more!
This is definitely the perfect read to grab for a day at the beach!(less)
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading Cinder. I thought it sounded really cool, but at the same time I was like “cyborgs” seriously? The...moreI wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading Cinder. I thought it sounded really cool, but at the same time I was like “cyborgs” seriously? Then I watched a video over at Interrobang YA, where I, when I actually remember to do a video, and several other bloggers talk about books, reading, YA, and really whatever we want. Well, Cat from Beyond Books did a video about how awesome Cinder was. Cat has really good taste in reading, so I decided to move this one up in my reading pile. And I’m SO GLAD that I did.
Cinder is a futuristic retelling of the fairy tale Cinderella. Cinder is obviously Cinderella. She lives in a world called New Beijing, inhabited by humans and the androids like Cinder. There is a bit of discrimination between the humans and androids, so Cinder tries to keep her mechanical side a secret.
Cinder is a kick-butt mechanic and runs a booth offering her services to the people of New Beijing. And who would happen to stop by one day than the Prince himself. He needs Cinder’s help fixing one of his droids and so their two worlds become intertwined.
There were so many plot twists in this one. I figured out a major one fairly early on, but I still really enjoyed reading this one. I remember being about four or five pages into the story and turning to J (my husband) and saying “wow, this is really good.” That doesn’t usually happen to me. I think it may be a curse of reading so many books, but it takes a awhile for a book to really suck me in. Cinder did that right away.
The one thing that impressed me the most was the story. I absolutely loved it. I loved the world that Meyer created and the characters, I loved how she took one of my favorite fairy tales and MADE IT BETTER! And after that ending, wow! I am dying for book two, literally dying!
This book has a little bit of everything and I think readers will truly enjoy it! I know that i did.(less)
Violet is getting ready to celebrate her 17th birthday. The thing is she’s not exactly excited about it because not only it is her birthday but it’s a...moreViolet is getting ready to celebrate her 17th birthday. The thing is she’s not exactly excited about it because not only it is her birthday but it’s also the day that her mother died. On this very day Violet finds a letter from her mother. A letter that entails things Violet doesn’t initially comprehend. In one word, Violet is an Angel. Well part angel anyway, and discovering her lineage is the least of her worries!
I got a very early look at Embrace. It’s actually been almost a year since I’ve flipped the pages…. er I guess I had a digital copy so I wasn’t really flipping pages, but you get the idea! At the time I hadn’t read many angel books, but I had read a few and I really enjoyed them. When I heard about the concept of Embrace, I was on board!
And it has one of my favorite things…. a LOVE TRIANGLE! But I have to say it’s not your typical love triangle, these boys both have their own secrets and although you think you might have them figured out. You probably don’t. The boys may just be one of my favorite things about this novel. Get ready to get your swoon on!
Violet was a fun character to read about. She’s stubborn and erratic… yet at the same time she’s brave and determined. She’s honestly portrayed. She’s still struggling with the loss of her mother and you can tell that in the novel. I think perhaps that is one of the things that makes her so likable. She’s flawed.
The story was action packed! Oh lordy, does that girl go through some tough decisions. Embraced was entertaining, it was fun and I can’t wait to continue Violet’s story.(less)
I don’t know why I waited so long to read this one! It is SO GOOD! Even now thinking about it makes me feel giddy!
Aria lives in a world very different...moreI don’t know why I waited so long to read this one! It is SO GOOD! Even now thinking about it makes me feel giddy!
Aria lives in a world very different from our own. She has grown up in a protective dome called Reverie. They also have these eye pieces (Smarteye) that can “transport” them anywhere and let them experience anything from wherever they happen to be. It’s fascinating once you understand the concept and I’m sort of jealous. It would be nice to be able to “visit” Hawaii at the drop of a hat!
Aria witnesses something that she shouldn’t have and is basically exiled outside of the dome. It’s only a matter of time before her immune system starts to break down and she dies. Fortunatley for Aria she meets one of the natives, Perry, who has a complicated story of his own. Their two stories collide and they go on the adventure of a lifetime! You get to go on it with them. And meet an amazing cast of characters along the way.
This one has been described as dystopian and while it does have those elements, I think it has a little sci-fi twist to it as well. And I absolutely loved it!
Under the Never Sky is told in alternating perspectives between Aria and Perry. I love when we get into the minds of multiple characters! I love knowing their feelings and thoughts and not having to guess intentions. Getting to see their internal struggles, it made me like them even more. With that being said Aria and Perry could not be more different and they compliment each other really well. Had I not had that intimate look into Perry, I’m not sure I would have liked him as well. He had a complexity to him that I wasn’t expecting.
And the world! Rossi does an exceptional job creating these two worlds that co-exists yet are so very different. (Much in the same way Aria and Perry are!) The aether storms and the tribes. The Smarteye and the realms. It was fascinating. Although, with all the technology that Reverie has, I think perhaps I’d choose the Death Shop!
I absolutely adored this book. I enjoyed reading it so very much and I am dying for the next book! Add this one to your reading piles if you haven’t already! (less)
Poor Cate. This girl has far too much responsibility. She takes care of the household as well as her two younger sisters. On top of that she has to ke...morePoor Cate. This girl has far too much responsibility. She takes care of the household as well as her two younger sisters. On top of that she has to keep hidden the fact that all three girls are witches, less they be persecuted. Cate seems to be lost after the death of her mother and her father isn’t much help since he is often absent from the girls lives. I just wanted to bundle this girl up in a hug and tell her everything was going to be okay. Though I’m not sure that would have been the truth.
In addition to hiding her secret from the world, it seems as though her mother was keeping secrets from Cate as well. Ones that she doesn’t discover until after her mother’s death and upon the arrival of a mysterious letter. Cate works to discover her mother’s secrets and finds love in the process. But don’t expect a happily every after. This one exits with one of “those” endings! I am DYING for book two.
It took me a while to read this book. Not because I didn’t like the book, because I adored this book. Jessica Spotswood is a wonderful writing. It was a beautifully written story! So enchanting. I had a hard time reading this book because I was going through a very stressful situation with my life at the time and I had a hard time concentrating on this novel. There is so much that happens in this story, so many obstacles and all I wanted was a happy ending! So, I took a break and waited until I could give this book the attention it deserved and then I didn’t look back!
There were a lot of obstacles in this story, and I wish I could have helped Cate overcome them. I grew to admire her tenacity and her protection of her younger sisters. She is so selfless at times, I just wanted her to do something for herself, just once! This book is the definition of emotional roller-coaster!
I so enjoyed the love story. I’m always a sucker for a story with a love element. What can I say? I love that feeling of falling in love! And Born Wicked has a somewhat complicated love story. Does Cate belong with the childhood friend that’s always been there for her, or the boy that seems to have insight into her very soul. I know who I am rooting for. I can’t fail to mention that closet scene…. whew! I just wanted to stand up and cheer!
I can’t wait to see where this story goes and how the prophecy unfolds! Loved the world, loved the characters, loved the writing! And that cover is gorgeous too, isn’t it!?!?(less)
It’s been several weeks since I’ve turned the last few pages of Incarnate and I’m still not 100% sure with how I feel about it. Somedays I love it, so...moreIt’s been several weeks since I’ve turned the last few pages of Incarnate and I’m still not 100% sure with how I feel about it. Somedays I love it, some days I don’t. It’s rather unsettling actually. Usually I have such strong emotions one way or another. Perhaps my indecision is a reflection of the complexity of the book itself?
There are three things that I loved about this novel. The world, Ana, and the writing. (More specifically the world-building.) I wanted to know who and what Ana was, but the thing that kept me engrossed the most was the world. I wanted to discover all it had to offer. It’s secrets, if you will. And although Ana discovers several of them, I can’t help but feel that it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
I enjoyed the relationship between Ana and Sam, yet at the same time I found it to be unnerving. I simply wanted to picture Sam as a teen, but we are constantly reminded that he has had several lives, several forms and several loves. Is Ana only appealing because she is different… A new soul?
The ending was also rather abrupt. The intensity builds and builds, perhaps I was just expecting too much. I’m definitely interested in revisiting this world and these characters. I feel as though the story has only just begun.(less)
Fracture. This book was entertaining, it was gripping and it was well written. I had a lot of fun reading it! And I would def...moreMy first 2012 debut! YAY!
Fracture. This book was entertaining, it was gripping and it was well written. I had a lot of fun reading it! And I would definitely recommend it. That being said, there were things about this novel that I loved and things about it that were just okay.
I loved the characterization! These characters had depth. I didn’t particularly love Delaney, I had a hard time decided if I liked her not. She drove me a little crazy at times, but still she was well written. Perhaps some of my disdain was her constant need to lead Decker on and then get mad when he finds someone that shows him he likes him and doesn’t play games! Argh! Come on Delaney! I mean the guy saved your life! Troy was a really fun character. One-second I loved him and the next he creeped me the heck out. I loved it!
I really enjoyed the mystery aspect of this novel. Delaney trying to figure out exactly what is going on with her. The aspect of her ability while interesting, really didn’t work out for me as well I had hoped it would. It was getting really intense and then it just fell flat. Although it did leave the ending of the story open for interpretation.
I also had so many questions concerning Troy. And this might be a bit spoilery so perhaps you might want to skip these next few sentences. It seems Troy is constantly at battle with himself. It seems that if he was so concerned with being stuck in a “living hell” why did he not to kill himself earlier? That part just didn’t add up to me.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Fracture! I had a few snags with the book, but nothing that kept me from devouring it. The cover is awesome and really represents the eerie tone of the book. Looking forward to what Miranda comes up with next.(less)
Travis is home after being in Afghanistan. Things aren’t exactly how he left him. His parents marriage is barely hanging on by a thread. His girlfrien...moreTravis is home after being in Afghanistan. Things aren’t exactly how he left him. His parents marriage is barely hanging on by a thread. His girlfriend is now dating his younger brother, who is also driving his car.
But the biggest change in Travis’s life now that he’s back, is Travis himself. He’s not only struggling with the emotional scars of war but the loss of his best friend.
I wasn’t sure if I would like this book. It didn’t really seem like my kind of thing, but I gave it a try. And I loved it.
It really hit a chord with me personally. I have a Travis in my life. A younger cousin who is about Travis’s age and like Travis is a Marine. Thankfully my cousin, unlike Travis, came out of his experience relatively unscathed.
Travis’s voice will hook you. It’s harsh but it’s realistic. You can’t help but empathize with his struggles. Like the whole issue with his ex-girlfriend. It’s totally messed up, and at times he so DOES not deserve Harper and all her goodness. Yet, you will be rooting them. Just wait, you will! And it will be because you can’t help but love Travis.
His relationship with his mother is probably what impacted me the most. How involved she was supporting him while he was away and then once he returns. That is what a mothers love is. That lady had me in tears!
There are a lot of serious issues in this books, but don’t think that it’s devoid of humor. There are some snort laughing worthy moments that give the entire story a nice balance.
A FABULOUS contemporary debut novel. You will want to read this one.