I don't know how many of you have read the Percy Jackson novels by Rick Riordan. If you haven't read them--you totally should! If you have a fetish for Greek mythology and half-mortal, half-god characters plus a satyr--you should totally read Rick Riordan!
Now that's been established, let's continue...
"The Lost Hero" was just as good,if not better, than the Percy Jackson novels. The main difference between the two series being the level of maturity. The Percy Jackson series were far more innocent and not as heavy with any of the darker issues. "The Lost Hero" is riddled with the puzzling uncertainties that come with liking someone--what it means, how should I proceed, what if she/he thinks I'm a dork? All that jazz. It provided a deeper undertone than what you'd find in middle grade novels. "The Lost Hero" will reach out more to older teens than the first Percy Jackson novel did.
Now, I'll tell you. I think the number of female authors far outstrip the number of male ones. But there are three authors that I hold in high esteem: Rick Riordan, Eoin Colfer and Scott Westerfeld. These three guys know how to tell a good story. (Yes, I'm getting to my point!) If you enjoyed the twisting, turning, enchanting plots of the Percy Jackson novels, you'll find it still going strong in "The Lost Hero". I have no choice but to love books that make me go, "OH SNAP!" at the end.
The one thing that I found interesting (translation: that I LOVED) was that the narration switched between Jason, Leo and Piper. And as I've mentioned in a few other reviews, it takes some skill to convincingly switch POV's. You can't just have the characters conveniently misunderstand everything the other person says. And Jason didn't get all the glory, either. All three of them had their own subplots and backgrounds and issues to be resolved within the book. Jason and his memory problem--who he was before conflicting with who he was becoming. Piper and her daddy issues. Leo and his confidence.
The Characters: (a deeper view)
Jason - So he's obviously the main character. Just like Percy was named after Perseus, Jason shares the same name with the sailor of the Argo. Jason's got some problems to deal with: he's lost his memory for one. I mean, good lord, what do you do with that? But he remembers some things and gets a lot of grief from Hera, the witch lady herself. Jason's ability to take charge seemed habit, but he didn't come across as arrogant or cocky. Which I liked.
Piper - Alright, so she's got some good moves. But there seemed to be some hypocrisy going on. Everyone thought she was tough. Were they serious!? Piper was CONSTANTLY falling apart. Grr! Come on. Why did she always have to be such a girl? But okay. I digress. Piper was awesome at the end. I'll give her that. :)
Leo - OH SNAP! Leo is my favorite character. I'm always going for the dudes with the sense of humor. ^_^ And Leo had some good ones. I really liked reading through his battle with his confidence as well as the battle with his past. Leo, out of all of them, seemed like the most down-to-earth, realest one. Annabeth - Yes! Annabeth makes many star appearances throughout the book. Am I the only one excited? I doubt it. Annabeth was freaking out all the time, though, cause...*gasp* I can't tell you. Shhh....Go read for yourself!
I just gotta say...The ending? AH! It killed me!!! Talk about a cliffhanger! God. How could Rick Riordan leave us hanging like that!? Is he attempting to kill his entire fan base by keeping us in suspense, waiting for the second book which comes out next fall? He's doing a pretty good job of it.
If you're looking for a simple yet complex, deep, good, adventure-filled book, go pick this up. And when you're done with it, you can go pick up the first Percy Jackson book. You know you'll want to.
Favorite Quotes: p. 94 "I hate to tell you this," Jason said, "but I think your leopard just ate a goddess."
p.108 It took special talent to run over yourself with a surfboard.
p. 192 "Can we just call them storm spirits?" Leo asked. "Venti makes them sound like evil espresso drinks."
p. 194 "So, giants who can throw mountains. Friendly wolves that will eat us if we show weakness. Evil espresso drinks. Gotcha. Maybe this isn't the time to bring up my psycho babysitter."
P. 245 If Piper started getting urges to read fashion magazines, she was going to have to find Aphrodite and smack her.
p. 250 "What about a compromise? I'll kill them first, and if it turns out they were friendly, I'll apologize."(less)
Holy freaking fudge. So I just gotta say it, like I have to say it for every other A and A+ book. THAT WAS SO GOOD! Closing a great book is like stepping onto solid land after being on a roller coaster. You take a deep breath, orient yourself, and the real world comes back into focus slowly. Ms. Garcia and Ms. Stohl would be great roller coaster engineers if they ever decided to steer in that direction. As for literary coasters, they're set for life. :)
Now, another thing I believe. Mystery is hard. Consider Arthur Conan Doyle. Now there's a guy who can write mystery. When you write a mystery, you have to consider every single detail. You have to imagine that your readers aren't just young adults and adults with nothing better to do, you have to make yourself believe you're handing this into the director of the CIA--someone who can pick apart anything you throw out there and predict the outcome miles ahead of the game. That's how awesome the mystery was. I was left going, "Ohhhh snap! That's brilliant!" Needless to say, I'm taking pointers from these lovely ladies. (Actually, I'm planning to get myself a paperback copy as soon as they come out. Ready the highlighters!)
Amateur hour is over, people. I swear these ladies must be fooling people. I think maybe they've published a dozen books apiece under different names 'cause they sure do know how to write. Writers and their work mature over time--I can't imagine what these ladies' work will be like, say, ten books down the line. Both "Beautiful Creatures" and "Beautiful Darkness" offer an inspiring journey full with believable characters that we can not only identify with, but root for. And really! The Southern drawl? Perfection! They do wonderfully with that without being cliche and noisy with it.
Alright, alright, so I had some major issues with Ethan throughout the book. But hey, guys are mostly idiots right? (Don't huff at me like that, boys, ya'll can do really stupid stuff.) But Ethan overall is pretty awesome. A true Southern gentleman--worthy of a country boy. (I'm from Kentucky and that is high praise, ladies and gents.) Still. There had to be a test in the relationship, right? So while I appreciated that, I STILL think Ethan would have done better playing the field a bit. (Ya'll who have read the book, you know what I mean. If you haven't read the book, GET WITH THE PROGRAM!)
I loved the new addition to the crew! Now if only I could pull off sounding like Liv and still be accepted by my friends. XD (Another reason I like both Ethan and Link's characters. Some cool dudes. God, can we get some more of those in the world?)
Overall, a fantastic sequel to a fantastic debut. I loved the continuation of the story and the new development with the characters. As always with debuts, I'm always looking for a rehashing of the previous book. But this was a great exploration into new territories. I loved it.(less)
So after having read nine of her previous novels, I may bit a bit biased but I really love Sarah Dessen’s new book. If you haven’t read any Sarah Dessen books before (I pray for your deprived soul), then this review is mostly for you. But if you’re a long time running fan of Sarah Dessen, then all you have to know is that this book doesn’t disappoint. In fact, you should already know that cause you should have already bought and read it by now.
The one thing I really love (among many other things) is how Sarah Dessen uses everything in her books. She’ll mention something in the beginning and tie it back in at the end. It’s done in such a way that you remember what it was and now it’s significant.
Also, she connects her novels, which is so much cooler than I can say. For instance, in What Happened to Goodbye, I’m pretty sure we catch a glimpse of Owen and Annabel from Just Listen (but you kind of have to infer). We also have an appearance (actual speaking lines) from Heidi, who just starred in Along for the Ride. This continuous looping of her character’s lives is so cool and original. So I’m starting to look for the connections every time I pick up a Sarah Dessen book.
Every Sarah Dessen book has a theme—a specific topic that she tackles and introduces a romance to offset. This time around it’s Mclean and her identity issues. This is a theme that I think all teenagers can identify with no matter who you are. (I’ve been told that a major identity crisis should occur at least once during your teenage years—part of “the deal” apparently.) And really, I found a strong connection with this book. Mclean was easy to relate to and she’s got a similar relationship that I have with my parents.
Seeing Mclean’s life though was really akin to a wake up call. I’ve always wanted to start over the way she did. Being molded into Your Place, especially when you’re in high school and unable to break out of it…it’s stressful if you think about it too much. So I can really respect how Dessen put this story together.
Really, though, every girl has to agree that the best thing about picking up a Dessen novel is the dudes. Dave was a beast. I love how he was a child genius but it wasn’t flaunted around—just shown subtly through Dave’s various hobbies and his weird parents.
But anyways, this is how I want a guy to ask me out:
“So,” he said as we turned onto the main road, the muffler rattling, “I’ve been thinking.”
He nodded. “You really need to go out with me.”
I blinked. “I’m sorry?”
”You know. You, me. A restaurant or movie. Together.” He glanced over, shifting gears. “Maybe it’s a new concept for you? If so, I’ll be happy to walk you through it.”
”You want to take me to a movie?” I asked.
”Well, not really,” he said. “What I really want is for you to be my girlfriend. But I thought saying that might scare you off.”
I felt my heart jump in my chest. “Are you always so direct about this kind of thing?”
”No,” he said. We turned right, starting up the hill toward downtown, the tall buildings of the hospital and U bell tower visible at the top. “But I get the feeling you’re in a hurry, leaving and all, so I figured I should cut to the case.”
”I’m only going to be gone a week,” I said softly.
”True,” he said as the engine strained, still climbing. “But I’ve been wanting to do it for a while and didn’t want to wait any longer.”
”Really?” I asked. He nodded. “Like, since when?”
He thought for a second. “The day you hit me with that basketball.”
”That was attractive to you?”
”Not exactly,” he replied. “More like embarrassing and humiliating. But there was something about it as a moment…It was like a clean slate. No posturing or pretending. It was, you know, real.”
Excerpted from the hardcover edition, pgs. 323-324
Now personally, I preferred her original title of Cut and Run. The true title honestly sounds like a bad daytime soap opera, but someone obviously liked it. I think Cut and Run has more edge, has a simpler meaning to it. Ah well.
Overall, Sarah Dessen uses her signature flawless writing style, humor and perfect timing to introduce another great book about figuring out who you are.(less)
"Raised By Wolves," was...in short, interesting. The characters were well developed and defined enough to where you weren't getting confused with who...more"Raised By Wolves," was...in short, interesting. The characters were well developed and defined enough to where you weren't getting confused with who was who.
I don't know how to describe this book. It was interesting and the plot was wonderful but something about it just didn't click right with me. Like it had too much wool instead of cotton.
I enjoyed Bryn's character. She's fun and she's incredibly strong. And she's perfect, right? Because she doesn't let the wolves--especially the Alpha--take control of her. She's independent and doesn't put up with crap. So why doesn't she really seem like all that?
The plot was strong and interesting but like I said, something didn't click with me. Perhaps the credibility of the romance? I mean, Chase and Bryn barely knew each other and didn't really GET to know each other in the book, yet they claimed each other? In werewolf terminology, the Marked each other. Would die for one another, and they didn't know each other. Hardly at all.
Eh. Just didn't fly well with me. It's just a few fries short of a Happy Meal. And I mean this in the most positive way. I really do want to see what happens in the sequels. Cause Bryn had an incredible ability to attract trouble and because of her newfound status by the end of the book (hehe...I am taunting, I know) she'll have a BOATLOAD of trouble on her hands.
This was a funny book. That's what I enjoyed most about it. Bryn is absolutely hilarious and her friend, Lake, is as well. So I was constantly laughing. And I love a book that can make me laugh.
In short, I definitely recommend it to all werewolf lovers. Definitely give it a go. It will probably click with you and it not sitting well with me is probably because I'm just a nonconformist like that. (Self deprecating humor is healthy first thing in the morning. XD)
For a few years now, I've been purposefully avoiding vampire novels. (Thank you, Stephenie Meyer.) I can't say what drew me to pick up Glass Houses (again -- I owned it for a little while) only that I needed a spot filled on my reading queue. Glass Houses didn't quite meet my expectations with its superficiality, "bubble gum" type story, and while the characters were diverse and surprisingly well-rounded, I didn't connect with any of them, least of all the main character, Claire. Finally, the plot left me struggling for a sense of fluidity. Overall, while it wasn't a cringe-worthy read, it wasn't enough to reduce me to a fan-girly mess, either.
There was something about this story that I couldn't take seriously. I felt like there was too much contrast between the styles of the writing and the story. The story held a dark edge, but the writing didn't reflect that. The writing was a bland, slightly sarcastic style of prose that ruined the dark suspense of the story, making it coming off more as a spoof or a parody to me. There just wasn't a lot of depth to make it seem legit.
The characters were well done, though. I liked how the three other members of the Glass House each had their own style but worked well as a cohesive unit of friends. The only issue I had was with Claire. Oh, Claire, darlin... When the action starts, just go take a powder, okay? If she wasn't screaming, then she was crying, and if she wasn't crying, she was fainting. Not necessarily in that order. And while she was supposed to be this incredibly super demon baby smart, I was just like, "Really?" I ended up shaking my head at half the stunts she pulled.
Not that those stunts didn't inspire some pretty awesome action scenes. (We'll ignore how stupid half the stuff Claire did happened to be.) The ending was like the climax to a movie with people running, windows smashing, guys flying through the air, propelled by a pissed off ghost, and other supernatural drama. Not to mention, Rachel Caine left it on one epic cliffhanger. I did have a problem with how several of the scenes seemed to be completely random, leaving me wondering why I just spent ten minutes of my life reading that chapter.
However, I have to give Rachel Caine props for her wicked humor. I love to laugh, and I love characters who can make me laugh. So a lot of the time, when Claire wasn't getting hammered by a pasty girl in heels, I was belly-laughing at Shane's quips or Eve's insightful life views. Even though the story lacked in a lot of other, critical places, it was entertaining.
After thinking back on Glass Houses, I think I shall continue with the series. At least if I get hooked, I have the pleasure of knowing there are fourteen other books (so far) to look forward to.(less)
First, I must say that I was completely psyched when I found out that Cinda Williams Chima had agreed to a four-book deal for the Seven Realms novels. I love this series. I feel as if it’s a perfect combination of the imagination and detail of Tamora Pierce with the pitch perfect writing style of Patricia Briggs or Maria V. Snyder. Cinda Williams Chima really knows what she’s doing and I’m glad she can put that into such huge books.
As for the characters, Han Alister really takes after Han Solo (from Star Wars), methinks. They’ve both got that kind of swagger and arrogance about them. And they’re both street smart—or in Solo’s case “space smart” I guess would fit better. But I thought Han was a bit of an idiot in this book, but in that “Ah jeez, he’s gone and been a teenage boy again,” type of way. I mean, teenagers just do stupid things but in this case, it wasn’t the type of stupidity that would make me want to throw the book across the room. As for Raisa, this chick is all over the place. At first it’s one dude, then the other but again, I wasn’t really annoyed. Raisa is presented in such a way that it makes me patient. If this were in a different setting however, say modern day, I’d be having a fit. Personally, I can’t stand anything near a love triangle because the girl is always such an idiot about it. (Except for Mercy in the Mercy Thompson series. SHE knows how to handle a love triangle properly.) But I really like Raisa’s character because she’s smart politically and that helps her in almost every aspect of her life just short of combat. And she knows how to fight! She puts up with some crap that she shouldn’t sometimes, but then again, she’s in disguise. Doesn’t mean it didn’t frustrate me to see her laying down about it.
Similar to the Mercy Thompson series, there was a fabulous mystery. Fantasies, I think, are the best to go for if you want a really good mystery that doesn’t involve a police story. Generally speaking, at least. Cinda Williams Chima presents a thrilling and intoxicating mystery. And this “mysterious wizard named Crow” deal. That was incredible! I’ve been trying to figure out who it is since the obvious suspects were ruled out (very cleverly, I might add, and very subtly) but it won’t be obvious until it’s revealed—which always gets to me because I’m not a sucker for suspense. Can’t stand it, in fact. A very poor trait for a book lover, yes? But suspense aside, this was a wonderful adventure. From beginning to end, it really got my heart beating. (I CAN’T WAIT FOR BOOK THREE!)
I absolutely adore the cover to this book. Absolutely one of my favorites of all time. I can’t wait to find out what the third cover will look like. :D
Things turned out a bit differently than I thought they would in this book, but nothing that really surprised me, romance-wise. ;) I love the ending and I can have a little hope about at least something in the next book (compare Han’s plans against Micah’s at the very, very end of the book and you’ll know what I mean). I can’t wait for the third book. (Did I not already mention that?) If you’re a fan of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle or any of Tamora Pierce’s novels, you should really check in to Cinda Williams Chima. (less)