Celaena Sardothien may just be my new favorite female protagonist. She’s a heroine I’ve been waiting for… she...moreOriginally posted on A Book and a Latte:
Celaena Sardothien may just be my new favorite female protagonist. She’s a heroine I’ve been waiting for… she’s brave, clever, beautiful, and a fierce assassin. Yet she’s also a girly girl who loves clothes, reads long into the night, and plays pianoforte! I couldn’t help but love her as a protagonist.
In Throne of Glass, Celaena competes as the prince’s champion to become the King’s personal assassin in exchange for her freedom. There is a little bit of a love triangle between her, Prince Dorian, and her trainer/guard Captain Chaol Westfall. I really liked both men as characters, and had a hard time deciding whom to root for… Prince Dorian is handsome and charming, smart, and wants to marry for love. Chaol is very observant and loyal, and a great guy. It takes Chaol a long time to trust Celaena, and I enjoyed seeing him struggle with that while they became friends.
Throne of Glass is a captivating story that I settled into. I enjoyed visiting the world Maas created each time I picked up the book and was content to stay there a while – I didn’t want to rush through the story. I’m typically not a fan of books about Fae, so I was surprised how much I enjoyed that aspect. I appreciated that it remained subtlety in the background (mostly) and didn’t take over the story.
This story has something for everyone. There’s plenty of action, friendship, romance, and fantasy. There are three (soon to be four) prequel novellas to this series. I’ve only read the first one so far (The Assassin and the Pirate Lord), but I really enjoyed it and hope to read the others soon. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Celaen, Dorian, and Chaol in the rest of the series!
Just... WOW. This is a brilliant debut by Veronica Roth. Intense.
I've been working on this review for days. Days trying to come up with something coherent to say about this book. When I write reviews right away about books I LOVE, I tend to get a bit gushy. Ah, I simply loved this book - from the plot to characters to the setting.
Divergent takes place in post apocalypse Chicago, where the government has split society into five factions dividing citizens by personality traits. The factions are Abnegation ( the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), and Erudite (the intelligent). The traits are taken to the extreme in each faction and there is rivalry and tension between some of them. Divergent follows the story of Beatrice (a 16 year old girl) as she decides which faction to join and goes through the initiation process. I won't go into too much detail because I think the synopses give too much away already.
I have to say, I have mixed feelings about Beatrice, the protagonist. Though I was constantly rooting for her, at times I despised her. I could understand why she did what she did though, and in the end I think I can say I liked her. I fell in love with Four, he basically "stole the show" for me. From the time Four walks onto the page I was fascinated and wanted to learn more about him. About 2/3 of the way through this book I wished that I could read from his POV. Funny enough, I read somewhere (sorry can't remember where) that Roth had initially wrote the story from his perspective, but got stuck early on and changed to Beatrice. I really hope that she will release some Four POV goodies, or ideally release a book in the series told from his POV. What I also loved about the characterization is the diversity - thank you Roth! Seriously, fantastic. There are characters of all shapes, colors, sizes, fashion, demeanors, and forms of self expression.
I'm trying, but I just can't think of any criticism for this book! The action was intense, there were times that I caught myself with my jaw hanging open, clutching my book. I would love to get inside Roth's head and learn where these some of these scenes came from! I can't say enough good things about this book. It is EXCELLENT. If you haven't picked this up already, do so now!(less)
If you’re a fan of historical fiction and romance, then this is a must read! Lisa’s debut YA novel...moreOriginally posted on my blog, A Book and a Latte.
If you’re a fan of historical fiction and romance, then this is a must read! Lisa’s debut YA novel is fantastic. I was quickly sucked into the story and became lost in the pages to the point that I forgot I was reading. Well, you know what I mean, right? I’d look up from the book and be shocked that HOURS had passed!
There is so much to love about Waterfall – strong capable heroines, honorable knights, sword fights, and time travel! The story is told from the perspective of Gabi, a fairly typical American teenager except that she gets to travel every summer with her sister and archeologist parents to Italy in search of Etruscan ruins. While there, on a dig site, bored and feeling a bit rebellious, Gabi and her sister Lia accidentally find a time portal, and suddenly Gabi finds herself in 14th century Italy on the brink of war, in the middle of a battle… in 21st century clothes.
I believe Lisa Bergren did an excellent job of describing 14th century Italy. I could easily see the world she built, and felt completely immersed in that time and place. I appreciated the details she included without it feeling overly done and drawn out, as I feel with some historical fiction novels. I feel I should mention that though this series is categorized as Christian historical fiction, it isn’t really obvious or distract from the story in any way.
I really grew to love Gabi as a character; you can’t help but admire a strong female protagonist stuck in the 1300s when women were supposed to be silent and weak. Gabi’s love interest, Marcello is brave, passionate, and loyal to his family and to Gabi. As much as I loved Gabi and Marcello, I think my favorite character was Luca, Marcello’s cousin and best friend. He’s funny and light-hearted, and his character had a way of lighting up the page.
Waterfall is a captivating adventure across time, and not to be missed! I recommend picking up a copy along with Cascade (book 2) as you will want to immediately start the sequel once you finish! (less)
I absolutely loved, loved, LOVED this book! Graffiti Moon spans just one night and is a beautiful story about friendship, trust, and love... and a second chance.
Graffiti Moon follows six teenagers through the night after their graduation from high school (or year 12 as it’s called in Australia). Lucy and her best friends decide to go out for a night of fun to celebrate. However, Lucy is on a mission to find Shadow, the famous graffiti artist that she feels connected to through his art. Even though she has no idea who he is, she feels like he is the only one who can understand her, and she is determined to find him. Instead, thanks to her friends Jazz and Daisy, they end up hanging out with Ed, Dylan, and Leo. Which is awkward since years before she had a disastrous date with Ed that ended with her breaking his nose.
Lucy is disappointed, and trying to figure out how she’s going to get away to search for Shadow… until Ed says he knows him and can help her find him. The night becomes a course of misadventures, as they all search for the graffiti artist team Shadow and Poet.
Graffiti Moon is beautifully written – lyrical with witty dialogue, an excellent plot, and fantastic characters! The story is told by alternating perspectives between Lucy, Ed, and Poet, which I felt was done perfectly. Here’s one of my favorite quotes:
"I liked that he had hair that was growing without a plan. A grin that came out of nowhere and left the same way.”
Reading Graffiti Moon, for me, was like reading a piece of art. Lucy’s passion is glass blowing, while Shadow paints, and Poet writes poetry, so art has a huge role in this novel. Yet, the story remains grounded by their very real life problems that all teenagers can relate to in some way.
Graffiti Moon is easily one of my favorite reads of 2011, and I’m so grateful that it was released in the US! I want to read more from Cath Crowley so I hope Knopf Books continues to publish her work here! (less)
Gah! I have to wait till 2012 for the next book! After THAT cliffhanger? AUGHHH! I can't think of anything comprehensible to write. I think this was b...moreGah! I have to wait till 2012 for the next book! After THAT cliffhanger? AUGHHH! I can't think of anything comprehensible to write. I think this was better than the first, Hex Hall - more Sophie, more action, and more romance! Really, just what a great series... I just love Sophie as a character, and her sarcasm had me chuckling. I can not wait for the next book. I hope it at least comes out in EARLY 2012!(less)
WOW. I don't even know what to say. I want the next book now!!!! Review to come, though I have no idea how to put words to my feelings about this book...moreWOW. I don't even know what to say. I want the next book now!!!! Review to come, though I have no idea how to put words to my feelings about this book, this world, these characters. (less)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!I read this while traveling, and I barely noticed that one of my flights was de...moreReview from my blog: A Book and a Latte
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I read this while traveling, and I barely noticed that one of my flights was delayed 2 hours. It was so, so good. The characters are flawed and realistic, the romance between Chelsea and Clint is... HOT.
I'm actually surprised at how much I loved Playing Hurt considering that the protagonist Chelsea cheats on her boyfriend Gabe. Her family goes to a lake resort for 3 weeks and she is able to convince herself that having a fling with her "trainer" Clint while stringing along her boyfriend is fine. I wanted to slap her more than once. I do not condone cheating, but yet I found myself sympathizing with her. One of my favorite characters was her brother Brandon because he called her out on all her BS. I wanted to give him a high five... or fist bump.... something!
Chelsea and Clint are both broken. Chelsea is physically and emotionally broken after getting injured and having to say goodbye to her dream of playing basketball. She's a mess, trying to figure out what to do with herself. Clint has never quite recovered from his past, and even though he's supposed to be helping Chelsea get stronger, they end up helping each other heal. Schindler described the emotions of the characters so beautifully and perfectly. She made me cry. In public. And I might have a bit of a crush on Clint :).
The great writing and pacing made it difficult to put this book down. It's all you could want in a summer read! I'm really looking forward to reading Schindler's first novel, A Blue So Dark.(less)
What a beautiful, perfect ending to the Harp's Song duology! I loved being back with Harp and Connor, getting to know and understand Harp's mother mor...moreWhat a beautiful, perfect ending to the Harp's Song duology! I loved being back with Harp and Connor, getting to know and understand Harp's mother more, and meeting the new characters. Harp's Voice pulled on my heart strings... made me laugh and tear up at times, but left me smiling in the end.(less)
Love love love love love. I really don't know what else to say. This book is now on my "favorites" book sh...moreReview from my book blog: A Book and a Latte
Love love love love love. I really don't know what else to say. This book is now on my "favorites" book shelf. I listened to the audiobook version, and I couldn't stop. I found excuses to continue and almost listened straight through! I loved Where She Went even more than If I Stay. It's beautifully written, almost lyrical, and told from Adam's perspective. It's a story about grief, closure, and hope.
I thought Dan Bittner did an excellent job as the voice of Adam. He captured the rocker attitude and Adam's emotions well. I look forward to listening to him in Shiver and Linger as well when I prep for the release of Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 3)!
I don't want to give anything away so I'm going to keep this short and just say... if you haven't read If I Stay then do so now, and pick up Where She Went with it so you can read them back to back. You will not regret it! I can't wait to see what Gayle Forman has in store for us next. I will read anything she writes.(less)
Cascade is the second book of the River of Time series, and a fantastic sequel. I im...moreThis review was originally posted on my blog, A Book and a Latte.
Cascade is the second book of the River of Time series, and a fantastic sequel. I immediately started reading it after I finished Waterfall, and read it in a day! Cascade picks up right where Waterfall ended, so you are quickly absorbed back into the story. In Cascade, Gabi and Lia return to Castello Forelli (with their mom) and are warmly welcomed as heroes before everything turns to chaos.
I really don’t want to give anything away about the series… but I can say that in Cascade everything becomes more… intense. The political tension between Florence and Siena erupts into a full on war, so there is much more action, with Gabi and Lia in the thick of it of course!
The relationship between Gabi and Marcello becomes more passionate and serious, and there is much more of Lia and Luca in this book – which I loved. I also enjoyed getting to know the sisters’ mother and seeing the relationship she has with her daughters. There’s a new intriguing character in this book, Lord Greco, and I look forward to learning more about his story and intentions in Torrent.
The one small complaint I have about Cascade is that I felt it wrapped up a little too easily and neatly for me… but I ate it up all the same. I can’t wait to get my hands on Torrent! If you loved Waterfall like I did, you will not be disappointed! If you haven’t read Waterfall yet, what are you waiting for?(less)
Wow. This was so, so good. I was gripped immediately by the storyline and the protagonist, Travis, and I couldn't put it down... Loved it! Full review...moreWow. This was so, so good. I was gripped immediately by the storyline and the protagonist, Travis, and I couldn't put it down... Loved it! Full review to come.(less)
The Girl Next Door is a story about two best friends that grew up living next door to each other, Samantha and Jesse. Their story is about love and lo...moreThe Girl Next Door is a story about two best friends that grew up living next door to each other, Samantha and Jesse. Their story is about love and loss, and learning to let go. They’re forced to pack in a lifetime of love and experiences into a short period of months, as they face cancer, together.
I admit I wouldn’t have picked up The Girl Next Door on my own. I tend to shy away from books that I know will make me sad. Though I definitely shed some tears while reading, by the ending I felt hopeful, and I’m so glad I read this novel.
I appreciated this story being told from Sam’s perspective -- the close friend, girl friend, and caretaker for Jesse. I loved Sam’s relationship with her mother. She recognized her daughter and Jesse were in a unique situation and supported them. She was present, and there for Sam to turn to whenever she was needed. Jesse’s relationship with his mother, Gwen, was complicated and realistic.
This novel reminded me to never take life for granted, that something can happen at any time, and that every moment should be lived to the fullest. I look forward to reading more from Selene Castrovilla!
Note: I recommend The Girl Next Door for mature teens and adults, due to sexual scenes and references.
Can you imagine love being considered a deadly disease, illegal? A disease so life threatening that it...moreStunning. Heartbreaking. Captivating. Beautiful.
Can you imagine love being considered a deadly disease, illegal? A disease so life threatening that it's required by the government to be "cured", and all kids are scheduled to be cured once they turn 18 years old? Think about it. Can you fathom it? Think about all the forms of love... The love between a parent and a child, siblings, best friends, pets, and -- of course -- loving the person that makes your heart race. I was so skeptical about reading/listening to this book. It sat waiting for me for quite a while before I took the plunge. I loved Lauren Oliver's first book Before I Fall, but this one's story line seemed a little too far fetched for me. I had nothing to fear, this book was amazing.
I'm having such a hard time putting words to what I thought of this book. I literally hung on every word - sometimes I went back and listened to parts of it again. Lauren Oliver has a beautiful way of connecting her readers with her characters. The goody-goody-ness of Lena (the protagonist) in the beginning grated on my nerves. Though as I got to know her, I understood why she felt she had to be on the straight and narrow path. From my own experiences, I could relate to her feeling obligated to be a good kid because of her mother's history and living with her aunt. I loved watching Lena becoming aware of the world around her as her cure date approached -- learning about love, and how it effects humanity. Lena's best friend Hannah, and Alex, help her to see, really see, what is going on around her... Oh, and did I mention that Alex is definitely swoon-worthy?
Delirium wiggled it's way into my heart and pulled at each and every individual heartstring. It reminded me to appreciate all the little things in life - the small things that make me laugh, the things that make me cry (good or bad), and especially the things that make me want to do a happy dance! It made me stop and consider my relationships with the ones I love.
You need to read this.
This audio book was read by Sara Drew, I think she's best known as Dr. April on Grey's Anatomy. I thought she did a really good job of capturing the emotions. Though when I watched Grey's while reading/listening to Delirium I did a double take... I kept seeing her as Lena :).(less)
What a fantastic read, as expected from Jennifer Echols! I practically read this in one sitting... my only b...moreFrom my blog: A Book and a Latte
What a fantastic read, as expected from Jennifer Echols! I practically read this in one sitting... my only break was to make dinner and eat. I was quickly pulled into this story by Echols' realistic characters, their chemistry, and the beautiful settings of Kentucky horse country and the city of New York.
What I loved most about Love Story, besides the steamy chemistry between Erin and Hunter, was that it takes place during their freshman year of college. It was a nice break from most YA novels that take place in high school. I loved the dynamics between the roommates, friends, and classmates... and the insight into their college experience. It made me feel nostalgic and want to go back to my college days and do it all over again.
I also really enjoyed reading the stories written between Erin and Hunter. They were almost like a bonus to the main story itself. Though about 3/4 of the way through I was so anxious about the main characters that I admit I groaned a bit to read them because I wanted to go straight to the parts where they interacted with each other. The chemistry is that good!
Love Story comes out a week from today - July 19th - so add this to your summer reading list!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.(less)
I pretty much knew before reading Fracture that I would enjoy it, but what I didn’t expect was how m...moreOriginally posted on my blog, A Book and a Latte:
I pretty much knew before reading Fracture that I would enjoy it, but what I didn’t expect was how much I would love it. I immediately (on page one) connected with Delaney, the protagonist… she was such a real teenage character, and my teenage self could identify with her in so many ways. I was quickly gripped by the story and I had a hard time putting it down!
What starts out as a fun afternoon with friends quickly turns to horror when Delaney slips and falls through the ice, to what everyone thinks is her death. She is trapped under the ice for 11 minutes until her best friend Decker is able to pull her out. She should be dead, but miraculously she survives seemingly fine. There is no explanation for her walking, talking wellness since by all medical standards she should have been brain dead after 8 minutes. However, Delaney doesn’t feel exactly fine, and she slowly realizes that she is drawn to death. She is relieved when she meets mysterious and “dreamy” Troy, who has her same abilities.
My favorite thing about this novel is the relationship between Delaney and Decker. They’re neighbors and grew up together as best friends, the kind that knows each other inside and out. I loved the push and pull between them as they realize their feelings for each other. OK, I admit it. I might have a little huge crush on Decker! Their relationship was complicated, and you didn’t know what would happen to them until the very end… and it was delicious to read!
I truly enjoyed this contemporary that has a bit of mystery/suspense and a paranormal twist. Fracture is well written with fantastic characters, and great pacing. I highly recommend that you pick this up now!(less)
5 HUGE humongous stars, definitely one of my favorites of 2014! I'm so happy I was FINALLY able to read this! I actually hid away from everyone and ev...more5 HUGE humongous stars, definitely one of my favorites of 2014! I'm so happy I was FINALLY able to read this! I actually hid away from everyone and everything to do it and it was amazing. This is a MUST READ for Flat-Out Love fans. If you haven't read it already, you need to drop everything, hide if you have to, and read it! I absolutely loved Celeste's story and getting a generous dose of Matt and Julie in the process. :) I teared up more than once reading this. If you haven't read Flat-Out Love yet, get on it, and go ahead and grab Flat-Out Matt (novella) and Flat-Out Celeste so you can read them back-to-back. (less)
Delirium was one of my favorite reads of 2011, and I was thrilled to get my hands on Pandemonium! This installment shocked me (in a good way). It’s so different from Delirium in both tone and setting, and nothing like what I was expecting. The story is told from Lena's perspective, but the chapters alternate between "Then" and "Now". It took a few chapters for me to adjust to the flow, but for Lena’s story, I think this format is brilliant.
In Pandemonium, Lena is grieving and angry… she’s no longer the innocent, somewhat naïve girl we came to know in Delirium. She’s defiant and courageous – a fighter. By alternating between her present and past, the reader is able to see, and understand why Lena has so drastically changed.
Pandemonium is much darker, and more intense than Delirium. In comparison, Delirium seems light and romantic! This installment has new characters, and a fantastic plot that grips you and doesn’t let go. Lauren Oliver’s writing is so vivid and beautiful… immersing you in her world, and making you feel each of Lena’s emotions.
This is a must read for fans of Delirium! It will shock you, but you will love it. Pandemonium’s ending left me with my jaw hanging open and dying for Requim (book 3)! I love this series; if you haven’t read Delirium yet, get to it, pronto.
I love that Catching Jordan is a story about a girl who loves football, and that Jordan is her high school team’s quarterback and captain. She’s a lea...moreI love that Catching Jordan is a story about a girl who loves football, and that Jordan is her high school team’s quarterback and captain. She’s a leader trying to navigate a man’s world and fall in love. I rooted for her from the very start! I’m a sucker for childhood friendships that could potentially become more, so I ate up the friendship between Jordan and Henry. Though I wanted to strangle Sam Henry at times for all his shenanigans. Catching Jordan‘s premise was so different from anything I’d read at the time, that it was fresh to read! I really enjoyed this debut by Miranda Kenneally, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the companion novels in the series!
I love that Catching Jordan is a story about a girl who loves football, and that Jordan is her high school team’s quarterback and captain. She’s a lea...moreI love that Catching Jordan is a story about a girl who loves football, and that Jordan is her high school team’s quarterback and captain. She’s a leader trying to navigate a man’s world and fall in love. I rooted for her from the very start! I’m a sucker for childhood friendships that could potentially become more, so I ate up the friendship between Jordan and Henry. Though I wanted to strangle Sam Henry at times for all his shenanigans. Catching Jordan‘s premise was so different from anything I’d read at the time, that it was fresh to read! I really enjoyed this debut by Miranda Kenneally, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the companion novels in the series!(less)