When I first got this book, I wasn't too thrilled. I started reading it but the writing style distracted me. Maria V. Snyder uses shorter sentences th...moreWhen I first got this book, I wasn't too thrilled. I started reading it but the writing style distracted me. Maria V. Snyder uses shorter sentences than I'm used to. Not horribly short but I'm used to, say, J.K. Rowling's good sized sentences. HOWEVER! There is some allure to this book that I can't explain. I kept reading it and finished it within a day. When I finished, I thought to myself, "This series is well on its way to becoming a favorite of mine."
It's just simply amazing; this idea. It's THE most original magic book I've read, with absolutely AMAZING descriptions. It paints the picture without getting to graphic during some scenes and that was totally fine with me. When it comes to sensitive topics, I hate it when authors go into fine detail.
The only thing I have to say, even though it isn't quite negative, is her use of language. Not swearing, even though there are swear words, but some of the "oldness" of it is lost on a few keys quotes, when it sounds more modern than you'd expect. Perhaps this is Maria V. Snyder's style. Perhaps this is what is acceptable in her world. Whatever it is, it doesn't detract from the reading unless you're a dork like me who picks up on that stuff.
I definitely recommend this book to all who are looking for a good romance and who want a fresh, original idea. And, consequently, for anyone who would enjoy a good "spy" novel.(less)
So I can tell it’s Cinda Williams Chima’s debut novel. I still loved it. This was published in 2006 and in the years since (having read her latest works The Demon King and The Exiled Queen) I can see the growth in her work. Comparing The Warrior Heir with say, The Exiled Queen, I can see how she’s settled into a certain style, but she still retains her signature humor, elegant prose, and talent for telling a really good story.
As always, I love some good old fashioned humor. I love authors like Cinda Williams Chima who have an incredible talent for comic timing. She’s really clever, I think.
"Well now, Jack," Hastings said from the sidelines. "I'm afraid you've been beheaded. Not a good start."
Excerpted from the paperback edition, pg. 191
There was a mixed bag: there was beautiful prose and ingenious plot twists, but then again some of her characters came off as flat and cliché.
When I say ingenious plot twists, I wish I could cite the one I’m talking about, but then again, I am entirely dedicated to my Spoiler Free blogger status. But let me just say this: I loved how it caught me ever so slightly off guard, but I was still triumphant that I’d caught it when, finally, the twist was revealed and I was right. I love stories that make my parents yell at me from downstairs to be quiet. (Yeah, I’m pretty loud when I really get into a book.)
I really enjoyed the characters—especially Jack and Hastings and Ellen—and the world that Cinda Williams Chima put together here. Is it just me, or did she build her Seven Realms books (The Demon King and The Exiled Queen) off of this series? I thought I recognized some familiar markers from this book and it kind of had me thinking.
While Jack was a fun character, some of the others weren’t as fully-fleshed as I’d prefer. Like his best friends, Fitch and Will. For one thing, (maybe I was just being dense or wasn’t paying attention) but it took me a little while to work out that Fitch was also one of Jack’s best friends. He came off more as a “circumstantial” best friend—one of those bonds you develop after going through a tough situation.
Another one of the plot points that fell through for me was the whole deal with Leesha in the beginning. (But that’s all I’ll say on the issue—can’t say much more without being spoiler-y.)
There was one other thing I was kind of confused about: the point of view. It was mostly Jack’s, but it did switch between characters a few times, but I had a hard time sometimes distinguishing who was the narrator between scenes. That was just a minor thing, though.
Cinda Williams Chima’s started off well in regards to her plot: everything came together nicely and there wasn’t any unnecessary loose ends. (Remember this is a series.) And it was all glued together with her smooth writing style.
Overall, I can really see how Cinda Williams Chima developed the way she did. You should absolutely read this book if you’re like me and have only read her Seven Realms books so far.
"More and more, there were no revelations, but simply the uncovering of truths long known but dimly remembered. Everything had been written long ago. There was nothing truly new in the world, but only the slow, circular march of time that revealed the old things once again."
Wow. The Hunger Games. The first thing that comes to mind is that the main character, Katniss, is the ideal heroine except when it comes to romance of...moreWow. The Hunger Games. The first thing that comes to mind is that the main character, Katniss, is the ideal heroine except when it comes to romance of course. She can fight and she actually has something more than hot air between her ears--both characteristics sadly lacking in many, many urban fantasy novels. The Hunger Games is brilliantly original. It makes me wonder how Suzanne Collins's mind works.
I highly recommend this book for any who enjoyed Graceling by Kristen Cashore. (Anyone notice the slight familiarity between the two main characters names? Katniss and Katsa, Peeta and Po?)
A luscious read...heartwarming till the very end. A fabulous cast of realistic and believing characte...more(Side note: I read this book in less than a day.)
A luscious read...heartwarming till the very end. A fabulous cast of realistic and believing characters who combine both their world and yours in one big story. This story truly keeps you wanting more; screaming for a sequel. Amazingly original, "Savvy" will, someday, be up their with Harry Potter, Twilight, and Jane Austen novels. (less)
For years, I've never been able to pick my favorite book of all time (outside the HP books, I mean), but when I read Graceling, it shot to the top lik...moreFor years, I've never been able to pick my favorite book of all time (outside the HP books, I mean), but when I read Graceling, it shot to the top like a comet. Whenever I was asked my favorite book, Graceling popped into my head. Kristen Cashore's writing style is captivating and her characters believable and a joy to follow. I highly recommend this book to any fantasy reader.(less)
The Host may not be my all-time favorite, but it's definitely one of the most respected books I've read. It took me a little while to get into it but...moreThe Host may not be my all-time favorite, but it's definitely one of the most respected books I've read. It took me a little while to get into it but once I did, I was thinking about it all the time and I couldn't wait to continue reading it.
What I've always liked about Stephenie Meyer is her ability to be unique and original. She revolutionized vampires with her Twilight books and now, she's explored the deeper meaning of what it's like to be human.
What I don't understand is why this book is classified for adults. It's perfectly suitable for younger audiences. True to custom, Miss Meyer does not use heavy or excessive swear words. In fact, I can--barely--recall only one instance where a swear word was used. I applaud her ability to have a clean and appropriate sense for writing. She is a completely trustworthy author in a community where swearing and erotica in young adults books has become the thing.
"Fire" was just as captivating as "Graceling". The romance has that same unattainable feel at first, where you really, really want them to be together...more"Fire" was just as captivating as "Graceling". The romance has that same unattainable feel at first, where you really, really want them to be together but there's something huge in the way.
I like how the same aspect of an outcast is put into this novel like in Graceling. In Graceling, everyone feared Katsa for her Grace of "killing". In Fire, everyone fears her because she's a monster: someone with telepathy, beauty and wild colored hair.
I love the romance. Kristin Cashore is just brilliant at what she does. She creates a clear, concise story with characters that you wanna hang out with.
Kristin Cashore will forever be on of my favorite authors. I can't wait for Bitterblue. :)
Reading this book, there's something about it that almost seems like fantasy. Ms. Pearson has a fantastic mind. I adored how she made the world seem s...moreReading this book, there's something about it that almost seems like fantasy. Ms. Pearson has a fantastic mind. I adored how she made the world seem so futuristic. I was a joy to read. I finished it in a day.(less)
The ending annoyed me to no end, but overall, I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Usually, I think there’s an air of animosity towards a book that you are forced to read, but I found The Graveyard Book engaging, funny, heart-wrenching, and fraught with a misspent childhood and frightening imagination. This is my first Neil Gaiman novel. I will probably not pick up another book of his. I do not go for the nightmare-in-a-bottle kind of book.
Nobody Owens—or Bod, as he is affectionately called by the Graveyard inhabitants—was a great character. Like Harry Potter, he grows up far from the norm and doesn’t know much about the Other World, the one that lies outside the graveyard gates. He was honest, passionate and curious and totally awesome. I loved watching him grow through the book, but I wish the whole story had been him as a teenager. While I can imagine an eight-year-old clambering around under hills and through graves, my preference is for the teen story. So I loved how the book ended with him being a bit older.
This was a very character-appreciative book for me. The story didn’t make a lot of sense, and I couldn’t see much of a plot. This whole “prophecy”-like situation surrounding him wasn’t told very well. I think if Gaiman had focused entirely on the characters and left out any kind of plot-driven devices, the book would have been much more enjoyable. I realize it received the highest award for Children’s literature, but personally, I think it was written by an average writer and was a relatively average story.
Overall, Bod really made the book for me. That kid was awesome, and I loved his character to death (no pun intended). Y’all should pick it up just to say you did. You might realize just how much you love it.(less)
This book takes on a whole new meaning of "All the world's a stage". Fascinating and creative, I'm shocked this book hasn't garnered more attention. Think of a theater acting like a magical world all its own. Think of just the main character, who dies her hair Cobalt blue, exchanges swears with a pirate, and resists the urges of an air spirit while trying to save the world which she knows.
All enchanting stuff. Yet when I first started out (over a year ago), I wasn't very enchanted. I'd tried a couple times to start it and stopped reading it. This time, however, I wanted to read more. I was suddenly fascinated by what would happen to Bertie and I wanted to know more about the world of the Theatre. So I started where I'd left off before, about seventy pages in, and had a hard time putting it down!
Bertie's character was fantastic. The idea of an orphaned girl living in a magical theatre world could have really come off as childish and very middle grade, but Bertie's smart mouth and her romantic interests kept it on a YA level. Bertie was a classy girl and I loved her character. Though I hardly understand her taste for seductive air spirits. I'm going for Nate all the way.
The one thing I didn't get was the Theatre's place in time. Maybe it was mentioned and it went over my head, but the mention of limousines makes me think very modern. Also, I wasn't quite sure if the outside world knew that the Theatre was magical. Other than those two things, however, the story was wonderful.
It was a very enjoyable story—I can't wait to pick up the sequel, even though love triangles are the bane of my existence! I fell in love with the world, the excellent characters, and Bertie's story.
Just one thing about the covers though: I freaking love them. I want these made into posters so I can hang them on my wall. For real. BUT! They only feature THREE fairies! What the fudge? There are clearly FOUR. And this series oversight continues on EACH FLIPPING COVER. So all of them are fantastic, except for that grievous mistake. Jeepers.(less)
Okay. I have to get this out so I can feel better.
Shiver. Best freaking urban fantasy book ever.
Does it top Twilight? Hell yeah.
What truly strikes me...moreOkay. I have to get this out so I can feel better.
Shiver. Best freaking urban fantasy book ever.
Does it top Twilight? Hell yeah.
What truly strikes me about this book is the main character: Grace. She isn't weepy and pathetic or weak like Bella. She's strong and she's FUNNY! This book seems like it truly could be real. The characters are realistic and I can relate to many of Grace's ways of thinking. (How many times that happens? Almost never.)
I recommend this to the many, many fans of Twilight because it's a romance to kill for. It's stronger, in my opinion, than the romance of Twilight between Bella and Edward. The bond between Grace and Sam is deeper and the sparks between them much, MUCH more believable!
I also recommend this to the many, many non-fans of Twilight. Grace is funny and interesting and strong and far from the pathetic, wimpy, predictable Bella. Sam is a typical special teen boy. His story and reactions ring true. He's not the infuriating we-can't-be-together-because-I'm-dangerous type. In fact, he doesn't say anything along those lines. Does he do anything to protect Grace? Of course he does. He's hopelessly in love with her.
Onto more technical praises: I love how this story alternates between Grace and Sam. I simply LOVE that.
I read this book in less than twenty-four hours. I haven't gotten a book this good in a long, long time. It's a fantastic romance. I might even reread this. (Again, that feeling RARELY happens. It's a mark of just how much I like a book that I want to reread it.)
Another thing. I would LOVE to have a fifteen-minute conversation with this author. She appears to be a really fun person.
This is a great break from vampires. GO WEREWOLVES!(less)
Maggie Stiefvater’s work has always been my outlet. Her gritty plots and edgy characters wrapped in humor make hers the books I go to when I need a good laugh to get some perspective back on life. Her ability to write great, believable romances is also a factor, which is why I love her Wolves of Mercy Falls series. Having witnessed her tackling werewolves, it was fascinating to see her take on faeries, her debut topic.
Let’s start with my favorite subject in relation to Maggie Stiefvater: humor. Cause everyone who has ever read any of my reviews knows that I love to laugh. And I love books that make me laugh almost out of default. I managed to snag some of my favorite quotes from the book before I had to return it to the library. These stand merely as representatives to Maggie Stiefvater’s signature humor.
“Yes,” Sullivan said, standing up with his mostly empty bowl of rabbit food. “You’re fulfilling my ‘helping students who remind me of myself when I was young and stupid’ quota…Oh, and unless you need it to feel comfortable, you can leave your ego in your room; you won’t be needing it.”
Excerpted from the paperback edition, pg. 56
It’s quotes like that that make me think that Maggie Stiefvater was monstrous when provoked in college.
I stopped stroking his hair and smacked his head instead, becoming visible so fast that my head pounded. “Wake up, maggot.”
James winced under my hand. Without opening his eyes, he said, “Nuala.”
I glared at him. “Otherwise known as the only female who will ever be in your bed, loser.”
He flopped his hands over his face. “God have mercy, my head feels like hell. Kill me now, evil creature, and put me out of my misery.”
I pressed a finger against his windpipe, just hard enough that he’d have to ask me for a hall pass to be able to swallow. “Don’t tempt me.”
Excerpted from the paperback edition, pg. 104
Nuala slapped me, raising goose bumps. “Shut up!”
I covered my face with an arm and kept laughing. “God, woman, how’d you come up with that name? It sounds like a drunk guy asking if someone’s got leprosy.”
Nuala slapped my arm again. “Shut up. It’s distinctive. People would remember it. You know, they’d be, ‘Oh, Izzy Leopard did this film.’ ‘Oh yeah?’ ‘She’s brilliant.’”
”And a leper.”
Nuala’s expression was fierce. “I could kill you.”
”Oh, if I had a dime for every time someone’s told me that. Oh, if I had a dime for every time you’ve told me that.”
She took the popcorn bucket from me and set it on the seat on the other side of her. “I can’t believe I gave you popcorn. I should make you drink popcorn butter for mocking my director name.”
I grinned at her. “Truly, a fate worse than death.”
Excerpted from the paperback edition, pg. 137
Long passages, yes, but if that doesn’t make you want to rush to the library/bookstore to get it, what will?
The largely enjoyable topic of humor aside, Maggie Stiefvater has a talent for romance. Usually, when you pick up a book, you know immediately who’s gonna go with who and, if the author is particularly green, then you know exactly how. Well, it states right in the synopsis that James has a specific interest in our faerie friend and considering how fierce Nuala is, we already know it has to be romantically explosive. Well, I’m not going to tell you if it was or wasn’t. All I will share on that subject is that it was satisfying.
James was a really awesome character, too, especially contrasted next to Nuala.
Another one of Maggie Stiefvater’s talents: raising the stakes. The choice James has to make at the end makes me want to start biting my fingernails (a habit I un-learned when I was eight.) I was glued to my chair, about read to flip to the end to figure out what happens (but I didn’t.) I was thinking that there is no way James could get out of that without losing something—or someone.
The most distinctive thing that the book left with me is the sense of atmosphere and the character impressions. I returned this book to the library several weeks ago (yes, and I know I fail epically for having taken so long to write this review) but I always thought that a book’s quality lay with how much you remembered after the fact. For this book, it was the clear and concise atmosphere that I could practically picture myself in. And I remember the impressions that the characters gave me. That kind of ethereal feeling that I get from all characters.
If you liked Ms. Stiefvater’s previous work Lament and haven’t gotten to this one yet, you should get to it! And if you haven’t picked up her faerie books, but loved her Wolves of Mercy Falls series, you should get to that too.
And also let it be known that this marks my 100th review. That is all.(less)
A great new series to add to my favorites. I just gotta say this first: if you loved Mercy Thompson, you’ll love Faythe Sanders. I loved the attitude, humor and adventure in this story. (The fact that it was over 600 pages long didn’t hurt either.) I’ve never read anything about werecats before and it was a refreshing change from werewolves, though they share very similar mentalities. I’m so glad this book came so highly recommended from a trusted source, otherwise I never would have picked it up.
Talk about kickass. How come all the believable, tough heroines are in adult books? Somebody tries to write about a teenager who’s seasoned and tough and it comes off ALL wrong. Still, this was such a relief. Faythe was so cool and I loved reading through her eyes. It was easy for me to connect with her inner struggles since I too squirm under authority. Her external struggles just freaked me out but that was the intent and I commend Rachel Vincent for such incredible writing.
So it’s an adult book. I didn’t even realize that until I was over 200 pages in and slammed into the first sex scene. Still. This can be appropriate for the more “seasoned” young adults. For instance, if you’re a young adult who loves the Mercy Thompson series, you’ll be okay with this series. Seriously. It will be a new favorite.
The writing, the humor. God. I am SUCH a sucker for funny books. Both aspects are tied in with the very first line.
"The moment the door opened I knew an ass-kicking was inevitable. Whether I'd be giving it or receiving it was still a bit of a mystery."
The plot was fantastically put together. There were time when my rational brain was going, “Dude, there’s nothing going on,” but my irrational, literary-supported side was so engrossed in the story and the character interactions that I didn’t even care. Everything was funny and interesting, even if it seemed that nothing in particular was going on. As it is a series, I know that a lot of the seemingly pointless character interactions are really the foundations to the rest of the series.
In essence, you really need to read this book if you need a good dose of girl power. But if you’re a little squeamish when it comes to sex scenes (there are also scenes that include rape) then I suggest waiting a few years before picking this up. (Note: Meaning you WILL pick it up eventually…you’re just waiting until your mind is further corrupted by the world first…*wink*)(less)
So you can tell by the grade that this wasn't the best novel I've ever read. It's hard to pinpoint exactly why I didn't like it. The main character, A...moreSo you can tell by the grade that this wasn't the best novel I've ever read. It's hard to pinpoint exactly why I didn't like it. The main character, Aden, was pretty cool. Always cool and confident and all that. But it's almost like the book lacked focus. From the beginning, we should have some idea of the end game. I felt like I was just reading about the characters meandering along, getting attacked by witches and swimming in a pond. The ending didn't fulfill any hopes. It was quick. Too quick.
I did appreciate the little twist the author added about the identity of Mary Ann's mother, but the whole exchange (while it was character appropriate) seemed a little bit too much like "Ghost" to me.
The romances were not my thing, either. I cannot stand romances where one, or both, of the parties lose every sense of survival for themselves. I can understand being willing to die in their lover's place, but to dedicate every molecule of their being to someone else? It was very Twilight in that aspect. (This is relative. If you like romances like that, then this is a good book for ya. -_^)
The book alternates points of view between Aden and Mary Ann, which was interesting and which I enjoyed. There are always subtle misunderstandings represented there and I always found it amusing. And it did reveal the romance that Mary Ann had going for her as well as the background information about Aden.
This book didn't leave me with a good feeling in my stomach like I get when I finish a book I'll always remember. It just...didn't appeal to me. I did manage to finish it, but I'm taking it back to Borders and I most likely won't read the sequel.
I still recommend that you try it, cause despite my review, you could still really like it. So give it a shot, see what happens. :)
Okay, first off, the whole story, with the exception of a SMALL part near the end, is in Ethan's point of view. Weird, no? Usually stories like this a...moreOkay, first off, the whole story, with the exception of a SMALL part near the end, is in Ethan's point of view. Weird, no? Usually stories like this are told in the GIRL'S point of view but the fact that it was in ETHAN'S was...actually sort of fascinating. For two female authors, they portrayed Ethan's character remarkably well.
I absolutely love good books that are good and LONG. If you're looking for something to hold you over for a few days, Beautiful Creatures is your book of choice. The mystery is well-developed and thorough.
The characters were enjoyable and the whole setup of the Gatlin town was intriguing. As the plot went on and when it came to the part where the story unfolds and you finally find out whodunnit, I was stunned by what was revealed--NOT something that happens very often, mind you. And at the end, I was like, "Oh god!" in anticipation. Also by the events, of which I cannot describe here. *wink*
Beautiful Creatures is now resting on my bookshelf, having bought it without reading it first! But I thought, this looks like a good book. And hey, I didn't bring it back to the bookstore, although two books had that unfortunate fate today.
Don't you just love the cover? I was fascinated with the font and I was constantly following the curves and where they met up.
My god! This was such an AWESOME book. It was such an adrenaline-pumping experience! I'm not even kidding. As I was reading, I could feel my heart beating faster and my breath speeding up...Oh man, John Flanagan really knows how to write! And the best part is, he does this every single one of his books. I hope he continues on with the Ranger's Apprentice books. He's already up to nine, but I love these characters so much and the whole setup--I hope he keeps going.
One thing I've noticed is that great books do not come from a few months of thinking. Oh no. This is the product of years. Why do you think books like the Lord of the Rings and Eragon are so good? Because the authors took their time. They were meticulous in their planning and paid attention to detail and the result was a world rich with believability and details that sustain the imagination. So think about the thought that went into this whole world to keep it going for nine books...Yeah. It's mind-boggling, isn't it? Not something put together in three months then called done.
Wow. There was this one moment in the middle of the book that just had me going--Oh crap. Just pause and catch your breath for a moment, Amelia! I was sitting in my chair, squealing, going, "Oh no! Oh no! Holy crap!" And then! (Oh yeah, it gets better.) At the end--if you've read John Flanagan, you know that the climaxes are always heart stopping--the end was fantastic! John Flanagan knows how to balance out "happily ever after" with reality. Most authors get flimsy and go SUPER easy on their characters. Whoa, not this dude! And that's what makes the characters so awesome to read about! They seem so real because they've suffered losses the same way we do and they live through them and change and mature.
For those who say nay--if you're going, meh, not my thing--think again! There is plenty of action in this book! And okay, so not that kind of action. There is romance but it isn't the center of the book. (If you've been looking for a break from the depths of drama you get from teenage romance novels, look no farther!) Tracking a band of murdering cutthroats across a barren desert? Planning to infiltrate a town to rescue your friends? Nearly dying attempting to rescue your horse? There is more than plenty of action to go around. (And I really had to choose carefully from the wide array of events so I don't give anything away.)
A note on the characters:
I think, above all, Will is still my favorite character. In many ways, he reminds me of Harry Potter--honorable heart, brave but unsure of himself before he finds his place; a natural leader and skilled at what he does.
But GOD! I freaking love Evanlyn's (Cassandra's) character! That girl really knows how it's done! Nowadays, you often expect the princess to be an independent figure, fighting for a place outside of the crown, but have you noticed how most times, the princess is still whiny and incapable? Not in this case! Cassandra knows a) how to use a weapon effectively; b) has a good sense of humor and wit; and c) can hold her own not only on the battlefield, but in delicate negotiations. What's there NOT to admire?
You know who would play a FANTASTIC Halt?! Jeremy Irons! He played Brom in Eragon and has a boatload of acting experience. He has this gruffy, serious by mysterious appearance that covers a soft heart--it would fit Halt perfectly! He doesn't fit ONE characteristic though: Halt's supposed to be a small figure, yes? Well, Jeremy Irons isn't small. :( But that is a mere technicality. If Ranger's Apprentice were to be made into a movie, Jeremy Irons NEEDS to be Halt. :)
If you're a fan of the previous books, you won't be disappointed with this new installment. It carries every aspect of John Flanagan's signature. The characters mature, are given new tests, discover new feelings, have new experiences. A purely fantastic adventure! I loved it!(less)
The Ranger's Apprentice series has been apart of my life since I was, say, ten- or eleven-years-old. It's one of those series racked right up there with Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl in terms of staying with a person for their entire lives. Even though I picked it up so long ago, the story still captivates me. Starting a Ranger's Apprentice book is like settling down at a campfire with a bunch of friends you've known forever and sharing really good stories.
Really, once a person gets to book 8 in any series, they have a little more than a preconceived notion about how they're going to feel about the book, already having known the history of the characters and knowing how the given world works. So I was already going into this book knowing that it was going to be awesome. My only concern being that if anyone died, I was going to flip #%$!.
The one negative I have on John Flanagan is his writing style. There is way too much telling and very little tact involved. There's also this consistent habit of switching POVs without indication, the reader just knows that the only way a particular sentence makes sense is if it was told in another character's POV. But John Flanagan really makes up for this through his characters and story and world.
I flipping love Will, the main character. And Halt. And Horace. And Will's horse, Tug. This particular installment really focused on the three -- I mean four (sorry, Tug) -- of them. Even though Horace got [spoiler redacted].
I also liked how there was very little romance. That's not to say that all the rest of his stories are full of doe-eyed, sappy-lipped lovers. I was really attracted to the idea that all of that was over by the first few chapters and the ladies bid goodbye to their men with a "okay, honey, have a good time" and let the menfolk go off on their adventure.
And these are legit adventures. Since I grew up on a healthy diet of Harry Potter, I really grew up loving hero stories. And really, this is a hero's story since I've always considered Will to be the main character, and therefore the hero. The good thing about John Flanagan is, though, that he pokes at stereotypes, so all his main characters are heroes in their own way and they all get a bit of the hero's limelight throughout the series. For example, Horace was really the man in this one. By the end of it, given John Flanagan's talent for storytelling, I was left biting my nails and growling, "If he dies..." under my breath while mentally planning all the ways I'd get revenge for any of the character's deaths.
Ranger's Apprentice has always captured me, and this installment was no different. I'm gripped with a terrified anticipation to read the sequel, Halt's Peril because nothing good can come of a title like that.
If you haven't picked up this series, you should get on that. Sit back and indulge on a bit of a hero's journey.(less)
Here's the thing about this book: I've owned it for years. (Upon reflection, I'm not sure how I came to own a copy....moreOriginally posted on The Authoress.
Here's the thing about this book: I've owned it for years. (Upon reflection, I'm not sure how I came to own a copy.) I've tried over the years to read this book because I knew it had had a strong run on the fame strip. But I was bored with it. I couldn't get more than thirty pages in. But it was such a cool premise! Why wasn't it working for me? Well I wish I could go back in time because I would've put myself back several years and given my then-self a very swift kick in the pants.
Inkheart was a highly entertaining read, in the way that only good middle grade novels can be. It possessed a diverse cast of well-developed characters, an exciting plot (that did pick up, I swear), and a writing style that is distinctive and enchanting. And there was no romance to send everything to hell in a hand basket.
Meggie was a great main character: smart and inquisitive, but still a child and so had a sense of naiveté that did not, in any way, make her seem immature or childish. She had the never-ending imagination and patience that only a younger person could possess. I found myself instantly liking her. Every character in Inkheart was painted with the same care, so that each was distinctive and memorable.
The plot was exciting because of these well-developed characters. But I was shocked to see how violent and crass some of the more unsavory characters were. Quite honestly, I was expecting it to be more benign, with a lot of smoke-blowing rather than detailed threats that the reader knew the bad guys could and would carry out. But, as an older reader, these things only deepened my enjoyment of the story because it meant the author was pulling out all the stops.
Cornelia Funke didn't bog down the story by illuminating every word. Her style was enchanting, but not flowery, which gave it a charming flexibility, able to switch between a touching scene between father and daughter to the sinister, death-filled thoughts of the featured assassin.
All in all, Inkheart was a brilliant opening to what I am sure will be an even more brilliant series. Before I had even finished Inkheart I had gone out to my local bargain bookstore to pick up the sequel, Inkspell. For the lovers of the Artemis Fowl series, the Ranger's Apprentice series, or any series of the Percy Jackson universe, I say this is a good next series to delve into.(less)
This book started off wonderfully. My wonder faded quickly, however, when the romance started. I was shocked and taken aback at how much and how quick...moreThis book started off wonderfully. My wonder faded quickly, however, when the romance started. I was shocked and taken aback at how much and how quickly Abbey was affected by Caspian. Without any foundation whatsoever, she was falling in love with him. She knew nothing about him. And this fact frustrated me. I didn't have any expectations for this book but it still came under par.
The romance was a bit sketchy. As I said, the romance. I mean...I can understand being flattered if a guy compliments you. But going through your wardrobe for half an hour and complaining that your hair wasn't smooth and sexy...all for a guy you BARELY knew? I remember going, "Whoa. What the heck?" The romance throughout the entire book lacked the underlying foundation that makes a romance really good. Abbey was completely obsessed with this guy. And knew zilch, nada, NOTHING about him.
Abbey wasn't exactly the ideal heroine. I liked Abbey at first. And that's not to say that I dislike her now, more or less that I lost respect for her. She was skittish and always flitting around, nervous about how she appeared to people. Also, everything affected her. She didn't roll with the punches very well and she got soggy-eyed very quickly. I don't think I've ever read a book where the main character has cried SO MUCH. Maybe this is just me. I'm so used to speaking my mind and being so blatantly...well, crazy. It annoyed me seeing Abbey cower all the time. She was so dramatic.
The writing was good and bad. What drew me to this book was the writing. It was written with the slight characteristics of a journal, without any flourishes or brassy phrases. So this was both good and bad. It depends on how you like your writing. (Jeez, it sounds like I'm asking, "How do you like your burger?" What is wrong with me?)
The plot was....meh. This is one of those "great idea, poorly executed" stories. A lot of what was written seemed so irrelevant. Like Abbey's job at her uncle's. I read somewhere: if you can take away a subplot and the plot remains intact, chuck it. Abbey's job at her uncle's held no lasting significance to the plot whatsoever. I can see why somebody would think this story boring--because it was in a lot of places. Many scenes could have been ditched and Jessica Verday put time into describing motions that we can already assume that character did.
Also, where was the conclusion to Kristen's story? Her secrets? The summary is a poor indicator to this story. It implies that it's all about discovering the circumstances of her best friend's death, but Abbey doesn't dwell on Kristen too long. She's too caught up in Caspian. I mean, "what the heck!?" When people say, "Don't judge a book by its cover," they should also include, "Don't judge a book by its summary either." What is the world coming to when you can't even get an accurate picture of a book from its summary?
I loved the cemetery. I loved the uniqueness of how Abbey interacted with the gravestones. Just why couldn't she bring that type of openness into her everyday conversations?
I fell in love with the idea. But nothing else. There was nothing else to fall in love with. Caspian's character was pretty bland, not a lot of material to show us there. Nikolas and Katy's characters were very generic. The plot just took...forever to come through. This book should have been so much shorter.
As always, read it for yourself. It's along the lines of "another man's junk is another man's treasure" type of things, though the term "junk" is entirely too strong. I loved Jessica Verday's creativity for Abbey's perfume-making hobby and the interactions in the cemetery. Perhaps you will enjoy the romance more than I did. Or maybe you'll fall in love with the writing. So check it out, see for yourself. :)
Sauce-o-meter: There was very little swearing. A very clean read. I was impressed by the lack of swearing. Way to go, Jessica Verday! :)
The Cover: I was intrigued by the cover, I'll admit. Seeing pictures like that makes me wonder. I mean, the model is half-submerged in water. BUT! If you get the hardcover edition, look at how much the model looks like the author. It really freaked me out at first. I think they did it on purpose. XD(less)
I was told during a recommendation for this book that, "[I] will hate her in the beginning, but push through it; it's worth it in the end." Me? I'm a skeptic. I thought, "Psh. Translation: I will hate it. Plain and simple."
So not true.
My critique partner (who recommended this so heartily to me) was right 100%. I did hate the main character, Sam, in the beginning. She was shallow, petty, a bully... Her entitlement drove me insane. I wanted to slap her or throw the book across the room or something. But I kept my critique partner's words in mind. I had to push through. So I did. And it was so worth it.
Lauren Oliver did a fantastic job pulling off Sam's character and, specifically, her development throughout the story. To convincingly tell the story of a girl who goes from being the uber-bitch to the complete opposite takes skill. I knew Lauren Oliver had a gift when I read her book Delirium, but this blew me away.
There was a lot of dimension to Before I Fall. Lauren Oliver took her time and built up the world and the characters. She didn't pussyfoot around with the other, uglier, bitter side of the characters. The four of them (Sam, Lindsay, Elody and Ally) really redefined the meaning of bully. But they were 3D and each of them had their own role. All of them came alive to me. I loved watching each of their stories unfold.
I was most impressed by the way Lauren Oliver unfolded each day: if done wrong, it could get ugly real fast. It was masterfully done--very gut wrenching.
But it was such a heartbreaking story. I am not a fan of tragic endings, but you still have to love this book. It was powerfully alluring, almost magnetic.
If you are a fan of Lauren Oliver's Delirium, or if you're new to Lauren Oliver, I highly recommend this. Anyone can get into this story and fall in love with it.(less)
She's is constantly surprising with the depth and charming morbid tone of her books. But this isn't about h...moreMaggie Stiefvater must be one crazy woman.
She's is constantly surprising with the depth and charming morbid tone of her books. But this isn't about her, it's about the book, right?
I've been holding my breath for this book ever since I finished reading "Shiver," and discovered that there was going to be a sequel. Maggie Stiefvater captured me in "Shiver," with her writing style but mostly, the characters that she had created. I'm usually not one for romance-oriented book, because it's difficult to lay hands on one that is as well written as I'd like it. But Sam and Grace have come to life over and over again.
As I was reading, I was trying to discover what it was--exactly--that Maggie Stiefvater did to make it so...good. Just within a few paragraphs, you've got the main foundation of the character and you feel almost like you know them. Something hard-pressed for writers to do, I know. How can you convey your characters, make them seem as real to everyone else as they are to you?
One thing...I would love to spend an hour in Maggie Stiefvater's head. Preferably when she's writing.
In "Linger," you're presented with a new character: Cole. Strange thing is, I never really thought of him as a jerk. Maybe because I was reading from his point of view sometimes? But something about the characters made them seem in harmony. All of them had their distinctive point of view and voice. You could tell the difference between Sam's POV and Grace's POV...Isabel's POV and Cole's.
Another thing I love is the quiet humor. Isabel is, beyond a doubt, my favorite character. She's so open and honest and sarcastic. Grace has her moments, too, but with Isabel, it's all the time. I loved that. She seems like a cool chica. I don't really think of her as a cold or unkind person. Just blunt and with her priorities in order.
Now in "Linger," the characters we've all come to love are deepened. I get the feeling that Maggie Stiefvater was exploring the depths of her character's emotions, reactions, and minds. The slowly building tension started from page one and I nearly felt like crying at the end--not something I feel often, grant you.
Overall, "Linger" joins the ranks of my all-time favorite books. But not something I will reread in full. It's almost as if you've got to take in the first time. I know that this is just me being me, but it feels almost like a topic too delicate to touch again. Eh. Just saying.
If you loved "Shiver," you'll love "Linger".
If you haven't read "Shiver" yet, you should probably give it a shot. But be warned, if you're wanting for action-packed adventure, don't go with "Shiver". This is a romance with a slow, moody tone. Just so you know.
I heard from one of my blogger buddies that there are a lot of varied reviews of this book. (I wouldn't know, as I don't read reviews of books that I'm looking forward to reading—spoilers, you know.) I can see clearly why there would be a lot of variation, but I know that I'm settling into the side of "I-freaking-love-this-series-and-book-so-freaking-much".
I love it because it's written beautifully, the characters stay true to form—not conforming to what the public would want most to read—and the atmosphere is deepened with each chapter.
Maggie Stiefvater has a way with words. There's no other way to say it and no way to explain it so you're just gonna have to go pick up one of her books to see for yourself. She hasn't just written this werewolf series. She's also written a fae series, which is awesome if you're into that kind of thing.
I love characters that are challenged by their own inner demons. In most books I read, internal conflict is something simple and therefore easily resolved. I can always pick out that "resolution" scene where the character comes to terms with what's eating them up inside. Something that sums up to "It wasn't really my fault" etc. Maggie Stiefvater works her characters differently, making their transformation much more believable and easier to swallow. I think the personal battle I enjoyed the most—not exactly the right word, more like appreciated—was Sam's. I cheered for that kid all the way. Cole was also a favorite. But each of them did have something to deal with, and I liked that. Gave them each their own dimension.
I love the setting that Maggie Stiefvater has created. Mercy Falls carries this certain nuance in my head that I can easily identify and pull on when I'm reading.
I'm really sad now that this series is over. (I actually had to walk into my dad's room and lay down on the dog to feel better after I'd finished reading.) I only picked Shiver up last year, but I'm still sad to see it go.
Now us fans get to look forward to watching literary-challenged directors screw up the movie. XD(less)