Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara totally caught me off guard, you guys. I have seriously heard absolutely nothing about this book. Well, let me t...moreLovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara totally caught me off guard, you guys. I have seriously heard absolutely nothing about this book. Well, let me tell you: that is a MAJOR FAIL on the part of the blogosphere. This book was out of this world incredible. Run…don’t walk…RUN LIKE THE WIND to the nearest bookstore. This story is so worth it.
This will definitely be one of those reviews where I flail around like a lunatic, because YOU GUYS. I can’t even. The writing is so good that I was literally rereading paragraphs by the SECOND PAGE because I was so in awe of the words. Mesmerizing and eerie and descriptive and perfect. In fact, here is the first passage I bookmarked, barely three paragraphs in:
I came here because it’s pine-dark and the ocean is wild. The kind of quiet-noise you need when there’s too much going on in your head. Like the water and the woods are doing all the feeling, and I can hang out, quiet as a headstone, in a between place. A blank I can bear.
Basically, by the end of the first chapter of Lovely, Dark and Deep I was sending prayers up to the Book Gods, asking to just please please let me love the story and the characters even just half as much as the writing. Luckily, I did.
Wren was in a car crash that killed her boyfriend – and affected her in a couple of other ways that aren’t revealed until later. She has fallen apart and left her mom and college plans behind to live in Maine with her father, an artist. There she meets Cal, a fellow traveler on the road of my-life-sucks-and-not-even-endless-piles-of-nachos-and-cookie-dough-will-help-me-out-of-this-nightmare. The relationship formed is born more out of intensity and loneliness than any actual romance, but it works for them and I was definitely along for the ride.
Also, I can’t even begin to describe to you how in love with the title I am. Lovely, Dark and Deep are easily the three words that describe the story best. Everything about these characters is stark and uncomfortable and sad in this compulsively readable way. I couldn’t put the book down. The ending doesn’t bring closure or any certainty of the future – but it does leave you with hope that things are looking up for Wren and Cal, and I closed the book feeling 100% satisfied.
To Sum it Up:
-Before I even had a chance to meet the characters, I fell in love with the writing. Gorgeous and lyrical and descriptive and just…everything.
-Wren and Cal, the main characters, definitely pulled me in as well. They both have major issues and an inability to deal with them. I couldn’t wait for the moment to come when I would see them finally able to shake off some of what weighed them down.
-This isn’t a happy book, but it IS a fabulous one. READ IT. IMMEDIATELY.(less)
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen is the newest Robin Hood retelling. Y’all, I love the story of Robin Hood and I was extremely excited to pick this book up. I...moreScarlet by A.C. Gaughen is the newest Robin Hood retelling. Y’all, I love the story of Robin Hood and I was extremely excited to pick this book up. I am happy to tell you that Scarlet more than lived up to my expectations! It has a comfortable spot on the list of best fantasy books I’ve ever read.
In Scarlet, the main character is a well known Robin Hood character re-imagined as a girl. She is fierce and loyal – such a fantastic character. But she definitely has some skeletons in her closet that are about to come back and bite her – and her friends – big time. When the sheriff hires someone to come in and catch the folks behind all the stealing going on – things get complicated fast. What will Scarlet, Robin Hood and the rest of their gang do?
Scarlet is prickly, grouchy and extremely touchy. She doesn’t trust easily and has a hair trigger temper. She lies as easily as she breathes. I love the fact that she isn’t a run of the mill heroine. She will not be what you expect, and it is a wonderful surprise to discover all the ins and outs of her personality. Oh man do I love her!
I also love how she and Robin interact – the romance here is a slow burn. Extremely satisfying when it comes to a head. You will not be disappointed – promise.
Basically everything is well written – from the plot intricacies to the characterization of everyone involved. A.C. Gaughen definitely impressed me you guys! None of the characters are perfect (including Robin) and nothing is as easy as it seems. The plot twists have plot twists and some of them are difficult to read – you’ll be wanting to cover your eyes before the story is done!
I seriously cannot recommend Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen enough. I will definitely be getting a copy to add to my shelves when it is released in February!(less)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green has that same type of undefinable quality as the Harry Potter series. The one that makes you feel a part of somet...moreThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green has that same type of undefinable quality as the Harry Potter series. The one that makes you feel a part of something, just by reading the book. Like there is a secret club that everyone that has read the book can join – but you still feel like it was all created just for you. The kind of book that can change the way you think.
First of all: this review? No spoilers. No discussion of specific plot points. Just raving. I went into The Fault in Our Stars knowing next to nothing, and that is what I think you should try to do as well.
Sometimes I forget that a lot of young adult books are written differently than books meant for adults. Everything is a little simpler and easier to follow. Not a bad thing – not at all! I’ll I’m trying to get across is the fact that books by John Green are different. He knows how intelligent teenagers are. The Fault in Our Stars can stand up next to any literary fiction you want to throw at it.
You know the really awesome books that have passages you constantly want to quote? The Fault in Our Stars is not one of those books. I couldn’t pick out just a few things to quote if I tried! I constantly kept having to put the book down in wordless awe. Seriously unbelievably great writing.**
So, instead, I picked out a simple passage that I just thought was funny and insightful:
“Hazel Grace,” he said.
“Hi,” I said. “How are you?”
“Grand,” he said. “I have been wanting to call you on a nearly minutely basis, but I have been waiting until I could form a coherent thought in re An Imperial Affliction.” (He said “in re.” He really did. That boy.)
The personalities. The writing. What is there even to say? John Green, y’all. John freakin Green.
The Fault in Our Stars was just the most thoughtful, hysterical, hopeful piece of devastating sadness. Pick an adjective. John Green took me there. Everyone – read this book so he can take you there too!
**As much as it might sound like I’m a deranged fangirl, my enthusiasm for The Fault in Our Stars does not extend to full-time stalking of John Green. Promise.(less)
First off, I just have to say that there is no way I can give this book an unbiased review. Not because I relate to the story or because I know the au...moreFirst off, I just have to say that there is no way I can give this book an unbiased review. Not because I relate to the story or because I know the author, because I don't....but because the story is set in Oklahoma. That made me feel so much more connected to the story, I had a lot of fun reading a book set half an hour from where I live. I loved reading about Attie and her love of OU Sooner football. Hello, I live close to the football stadium and go to school there. When she and her friends took a road trip to El Reno, I felt like I could just hop in the car with them!
I also loved the way Stefne got the dialogue down. Usually, the overuse of "ya'lls" and "go get 'em" type abbreviations get on my nerves. But in this case, I loved it! It made all the characters sound like the people I talk to everyday. I especially loved the spelling of the world "probly." Very nice.
Anyway, even putting all that aside...this is really an amazing book. It is really hard not to love Attie, and I dare you not to love Riley Bennett! The way he fawns all over Attie...*sa-woon.* I do have to say though...at the risk of sounding like a jerk: he cried way too much. Seriously, I felt like every time I turned the page he was crying about something. I know that he suffered a huge loss in his family and that he cares a lot for Attie...but really. Teenage boys do not cry that much (unless they want to be labeled WUSS). I mean, he even cried in front of his friends. No way. I'm just not buying it. I kinda tried to block that out so I could continue thinking about how amazing he was. And for the most part, I did. And either way...not a big deal.
Attie's dad: huge loser. I won't go into that and spoil anything. But man...the dude sucks in a major way. Thank goodness she had a real family to care about her. That part was pretty hard to read. It made me very grateful for my dad!
Anyway, bottom line: I loved reading this. I read it via We Love YA! tours, and am seriously contemplating buying a copy for myself. Stefne offers them on her website at a reduced price (14.99+shipping), and she'll autograph them for you.
I definitely recommend reading this, and be on the lookout for the sequel, Rise, in the next year or two! (less)
I don't want to put up my full review yet since this book is several months away from being published. I just want to say that THIS BOOK BLEW ME AWAY....moreI don't want to put up my full review yet since this book is several months away from being published. I just want to say that THIS BOOK BLEW ME AWAY. It is ridiculous how good it is.
I was pretty excited to read it, but I had absolutely no idea how freakin' fantastic it would be. Seriously. Just a few minutes after I read the last page, I was telling April @ Good Books & Good Wine that the book came at a good time. Once Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead are released later this year, I wasn't going to have anything else that I was so obsessed with getting my hands on. Now I do -the next two books in this trilogy. Once I said that, I realized it is about the highest compliment I can pay someone: comparing their book to both The Hunger Games and Vampire Academy series. And let me tell you, Angelfire measures up.
It has the best action/combat scenes I can remember reading ever. All the characters are fabulous, the plot is riveting and the love story exceptional.
Go out immediately and do whatever it takes to get your hands on a copy. Beg, borrow, or steal one...just read it!(less)
In my head, Lauren Willig and her books are my best friends. I eat countless meals of fish and chips with Eloise, the modern day character, and drool...moreIn my head, Lauren Willig and her books are my best friends. I eat countless meals of fish and chips with Eloise, the modern day character, and drool with all the historical male leads with her. I have a deep affection for all these books, and this one was certainly no exception!
This book was on my mind a lot throughout the year of 2010. First, drama on the title format change. The past books had awesome titles like "The Mask of the Black Tulip" and "The Betrayal of the Blood Lily," but apparently the editors decided they needed to change the format to something more manageable. A lot of readers (including me) protested this one...and lost. Then - they changed the format for the cover art too. They wanted to replace the beautiful portrait covers with the stereotypical romance novel cover. Oh no they didn't. Readers protested this one too...and won (partly). They stuck with a more portraity look, but used a live model. Compromise.
Anyway...back to the book.
Okay, first off...to get the one thing I want to say that isn't positive out of the way. The modern day Eloise/Colin parts of this story are basically throwaway. Nothing really important happens and their relationship doesn't really make any progress. The only thing of note that happened was really just all set-up for what will happen with them in the next book. But...even though it was pointless, I still loved reading about them. I just anticipate reading more of them so much that I was disappointed this time around.
However, I was thrilled with the majority of the book. I feel like this one is quite a bit different from the rest of the series because we didn't get a lot of build-up/background with Laura in the previous books. Most of the other heroines have small to moderate parts in the series before they get their starring role. I believe Laura shows up briefly in the second book (correct me if I'm wrong here), but nothing of note. So...we meet her character for basically the first time here. Not a bad thing, just different. I enjoyed getting to know her with no previous knowledge.
I loved both Laura and Andre, and learning more about them as they learned about each other. I also loved Andre's kids and the way they brought out Laura's personality. The circumstances they find themselves in are pretty dangerous and high-stress (trying to avoid spoilers here!), so we get to know this family pretty intimately.
Lauren really is an incredible writer. She is brilliant in every aspect of her writing: characterization, plot, historical detail, humor, suspense...it is all there and it all shines. Seriously you guys, if you like romance and/or historical fiction and you haven't tried this series...you have no idea what you're missing. This series is the best of the best!
Orchid Affair will be released in just a couple of days, head to the bookstore on the 20th to pick up a copy!(less)
I'm so happy I scored the ARC and got to read this before seeing a bunch of other reviews for it! Although its also a mixed blessing, because I'm (of...moreI'm so happy I scored the ARC and got to read this before seeing a bunch of other reviews for it! Although its also a mixed blessing, because I'm (of course) already dying for the next one and now I just have to wait that much longer for it.
Anyway...on to my review.
Henrietta and Miles have been dethroned from the status of my favorites of the series. Alex and Penelope really got to me! I LOVE how they have all sorts of issues; I hate disgustingly perfect characters. Alex's issues rest mostly on his family and crazed sense of loyalty, while Penelope has a rather large mass of unresolved personal issues she wrestles with throughout the book. I really love the way Willig interpreted her character, and have a great respect for her ability to do so because I don't think most authors could have pulled it off. Just like Aunt Arabella told Eloise, she comes off as spirited, but she is also pretty weighted down with horribly low self worth. Like Alex comes to realize, the spirited, courageous Penelope is hidden behind the stone cold Lady Staines. He helps Penelope kick Lady Staines out on her ass, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it! I love when authors can convey a real chemistry between characters, it comes off wanting more often then not. This series, however, never fails to deliver...I was blushing and getting warm fuzzies right along with Penelope.
And of course, there is the ever-wonderful Eloise and Colin. I think Eloise has to be one of my favorite characters of all time. She is bumbling, awkward...and also loyal, charming, and absolutely hilarious. I will never give up hoping they will get their own book one of these days. I hate only getting short glimpses into their world, I want more!
Anyway...this series as a whole is just fabulous. The settings are always historically sound, the characters and their feelings always believable, there is always an abundance of delightfully biting wit, and some of the capers these people get into are ridiculous enough to be on the point of spoof (I don't mean spoof in a bad way - I mean it as in the characters are channeling the spirit of Amelia Peabody), but real enough to put you on the edge of your seat. In short, this series has it all. And this one, for me, was the best of the lot so far.
There was one thing- toward the end, Alex and Penelope rush off somewhere in a hurry, so she just jumps on his horse with him, but then when they are leaving, their horses (plural) are waiting for them. But, I do just have the ARC, so maybe it was cleared up? *shrug* small potatoes, either way.(less)
Well. It should be no secret that I have been anxiously awaiting this book since I first read The Name of the Wind back in earl...moreOriginally posted here.
Well. It should be no secret that I have been anxiously awaiting this book since I first read The Name of the Wind back in early 2009. Since then, I've been on a crusade to make as many people read it as possible. I haven't kept up an exact count, but I know the number of people that have picked it up because of me is around 20. When people ask me what my favorite book is, that is the book I tell them. When I re-read it last month, I just loved it more. Now, after finally getting to see the next stage of Kvothe's story, I am glad to say that The Wise Man's Fear is just as good...maybe better!
(Ridiculous amounts of gushing to follow.)
The writing. Oh, the writing. I have had countless conversations about how amazing the writing is in The Name of the Wind. I quote the especially poetic and lyrical parts - or the dialogues that made me laugh. I absolutely believe that Rothfuss is one of the best writers out there. (Click here to check out all the Goodreads quotes from the book so far, you'll see what I mean!) But, other authors can write lyrical passages and make me laugh. I couldn't put into words what it was that made Rothfuss the (in my opinion) undisputed best. Then, I read a scene in this book that made it come together:
The real magic behind the story is the writing. Not just the lyrical and poetic passages, not just the humorous ones - but the parts that cover the everyday, basic interactions. You know how, when you're talking to your friends, you'll laugh (chuckle, if you will) at little things that aren't particularly that funny? Then - you read a passage with dialogue like that in a book - and even though you notice - and appreciate - the (borderline) humor, you don't actually laugh. Well - when you're reading something Patrick Rothfuss has written, you laugh. You do a double-take. You feel a slight awkwardness. You get a chill...you blush. You do all the little things you'd do in your own life and your own conversations that you don't normally react to when you're reading. That is what Rothfuss does like no one else.
One of the best things about Kvothe is that he can really be an irritating SOB. He isn't one of those characters that starts perfect and has absolutely no personal growth. In this book, we see him finally start to mature and understand that, while he might have more life experience then some, he is still ignorant in a lot of ways. We also (finally) see him realize that sometimes it really is better to keep his mouth shut. Of course, on the other hand, sometimes he still can't help himself. He still manages to get into heaps of trouble, most of which is his own fault. The way his character thinks and interacts with others makes it really seem like you're reading about a life and not a character. The realism is why it is so easy to become so deeply involved. Also, sometimes, when he isn't being obnoxious...he can show kindness that will make your heart clench. The man has layers.
I was really nervous about the middle of the book, because I knew that he had to leave the University at some point (based on the synopsis). Actually, I was scared to death he was going to be kicked out for some godawful reason and that it would be a horrible section to read. I was hardcore dreading it. Well, no spoilers, but it didn't unfold like I thought it would and, as you can see, I lived through it. I enjoyed the story just as much away from the University. I shouldn't have doubted it!
Also, we get a lot more of "Kote," Bast and the Chronicler in the present-day with this book. I liked those parts a lot, which was another pleasant surprise, because I didn't so much in NOTW. And if the Kvothe that is unfolding through the story has layers, forget about trying to understand him as he is in the present-day. Although we're closer to seeing what has brought him to an out-of-the-way inn, there are still gaps and mysteries. The third book will have a lot of ground to cover!
One of the best surprises in the book, for me, was Elodin. SO MANY awesome scenes with this guy. Seriously, he is easily one of my favorite characters in the series. I'm definitely avoiding going into specifics in my review, but let me tell you - when you read the book you will love him.
This book ended basically the same as the first - it leaves you definitely wanting more, but not on a cliffhanger that makes you want to choke somebody to death. I am already looking forward to the third book - and whether it takes one year or seven, I can't wait to see what happens next!(less)