In Ravka, the Grisha hold power. They possess magic and use this magic to protect ordinary pe...moreOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Kiona
In Ravka, the Grisha hold power. They possess magic and use this magic to protect ordinary people, like Alina and Mal, from the dangers of the Shadow Fold, a curtain of darkness that produces flesh-eating monsters. Alina has never had a problem with the way of things. Her life might not be blessed, but she has a best friend in Mal, the boy she’s grown up and slowly fallen in love with. But when Mal’s life is in danger, Alina unleashes a powerful magic that’s been hiding dormant for years. Suddenly, Alina is one of the most important people in Ravka. She’s taken to the leader of the Grisha, the Darkling, for training, but she soon learns that the Darkling has his own agenda.
Shadow and Bone is one of the most gripping fantasy novels of this year. From the outset, Bardugo’s world-building is superior. Ravka, the Shadow Fold, the Grisha: they’re all equally compelling elements of the story. But before we’re fully immersed in the politics of Ravka, we’re grounded in Alina’s and Mal’s relationship. Having grown up together as orphans, they’ve formed a resilient sibling-like bond. But as they age, Alina starts to see Mal in a more romantic light. Unfortunately, Mal thinks of her as one of the guys. The older they get, the more Mal seems to take their relationship for granted, more interested in receiving admiration and wooing the beautiful Grisha women. Their relationship is, at times, adorable, and other times, realistically frustrating. Anyone who has ever fallen for a friend will relate to Alina.
With characterization and setting firmly established, Bardgugo jumps right into her captivating plot. The Grisha’s world is beautiful, mesmerizing, and dangerous. We get to see Alina learn to navigate the intriguing politics of the palace and come into her own. I love seeing her come to terms with her powers, as well as her own confidence. She truly grows into an impressive heroine by the book’s conclusion, a heroine everyone will do well not to underestimate. Her growth as a strong, young woman is charming and satisfying.
The Darkling also provides intense suspense and mystery. It’s very difficult to decide whether or not he’s trustworthy, which makes him an fantastically fun character to read about. The reveal of his back-story is a complete surprise and probably one of the most likable twists, in my opinion. Of course, the best twist comes with the powerful ending, which feels much deserved, but leaves me anxious for more. Fantasy lovers desperate for a new, consuming series will love Shadow and Bone.(less)
fter serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crow...morefter serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined. Wow. I almost can’t even put into words how much I adore Throne of Glass. To put it into perspective, it’s on par with my favorite series of all time. For most people, that’s the Harry Potter series. For me, it’s Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series. Throughout my life, I’ve loved hundreds of books, but nothing has ever surpassed my love for all things Tamora Pierce. And while I’m not saying Throne of Glass achieves that, I definitely feel the same way about this book as I do about Alanna’s adventures. Let’s start with our protagonist: Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan’s most feared and respected assassin. Celaena is extremely likable. She’s also witty, frightening, determined, loyal, and so, so very fierce. Celaena proves that even if you break a warrior’s body, you don’t necessarily break their spirit. She has an inner strength that is nearly unparalleled in literature. She also doesn’t make excuses for herself. It’s hard to call Celaena a role model when she’s also a murderer, so I won’t. But what I like about Throne of Glass is that everyone acknowledges that what Celaena does for a living is wrong.But they don’t immediately discredit her as a bad person. Instead, they try to understand, and while she can’t quite be forgiven for the deaths she’s caused, we at least get glimpses into her reasoning, glimpses that will turn into full-on explanations as the series progresses, I assume. Celaena is definitely a complicated character, someone with a hard past and multiple layers to her personality; someone who doesn’t deserve to be judged at face value. But Celaena isn’t the only shining star. Throne of Glass, as a whole, shines on its own. The setting of Adarlan is captivating and fresh. This world is beautifully wrought, the details fine-tuned and expertly crafted. Falling headfirst into this world is such a wonderful escape, one I’m already dying to experience again. There are castles made of glass, masked balls, all forms of combat, glittering gowns, and shudder-inducing punishments. There are thiefs, assassins, dashing princes, corrupt officials, and deadly princesses. Throne of Glass has literally everything I pray for in a book. Then there’s the plot, a plot that’s anything but predictable. The ups and downs, twists and turns kept me thoroughly on my toes. Plot twists are revealed all the way up to the very last page, promising an equally exciting sequel. The competition for the King’s Champion is thoroughly engaging without dragging. Maas doesn’t waste time introducing us to unimportant characters or detailing events that can be summed up succinctly. Instead, there’s more focus placed on characterization and world-building, when necessary. That’s not to say the action is lacking. There’s plenty of it, from Celaena’s training to her battles against the other would-be champions. Not to mention the action that comes along with dancing — literally dancing at balls and parties as well as the figurative dances that come along with court politics. Basically, there’s never a dull moment. Then there’s the romance. Romance is decidedly not the focus of this book. Instead, more of an emphasis is placed on forming relationships based in friendship and trust. Obviously, Celaena is a hard person to trust, nor does she trust others easily. It takes a long time for the characters in Throne of Glass to feel comfortable with and open up to each other. But watching their relationships grow is so fulfilling. While I expected more romance, or at least more of a love triangle, I am so glad that these expectations aren’t met. The relationships that do form are so much more gratifying and leave me with even more respect for Celaena. If I could give this book more than five stars, I absolutely would. As it stands, there’s nothing I dislike about Throne of Glass and I absolutely recommend it to everyone, no matter what your book preferences are. Throne of Glass is so worth every minute you spend reading it and rereading it and rereading it. Pages: 416 Publication Date: August 2012 Publisher: Bloomsbury Source: NetGalley Rating : 5 Teaser Quote: “After a too-long moment, the crown prince spoke. ‘I don’t quite comprehend why you’d force someone to bow when the purpose of the gesture is to display allegiance and respect.’ His words were coated with glorious boredom.“ (less)
In Blood Moon, we return to Lucy’s, Solange’s, and Nicholas’s points of view. While I love all...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Kiona.
In Blood Moon, we return to Lucy’s, Solange’s, and Nicholas’s points of view. While I love all the Drakes and their various love interests, it’s definitely fun to return to the original characters we fell in love with. However, the events of this book are anything but fun. In a surprising but necessary turn of events, Blood Moon is dark, dark, dark; Harvey proves that her characters are more than just love-sick teenagers and Buffy-esque heroines. Lest we forget, they are vampires. And royalty. And there’s a lot of baggage that comes with that.
Though I’m a huge fan of the romance in this series, Blood Moon provides a nice reprieve from the steady stream of happily-ever-afters. Because the relationships have already been established in earlier books, we don’t focus on them as much. I mean, yes, Lucy and Nicholas still think about each other constantly, but the constant near-death experiences kind of take precedence. And if you thought the Drakes & Co. were in trouble before, that’s nothing compared to what goes down in Blood Moon.
At times, this book can be very frustrating. Well, not the book so much as Solange. She’s always been different, a vampire in a class all her own, and she’s beginning to embrace that, which doesn’t bode well for her family, friends, and possibly the world. I simultaneously sympathize with and hate her. Either way, I appreciate Harvey’s ability to keep us guessing. This book is more of a mystery than any of the others in the series (which is really saying something) and if your love for the characters doesn’t have you devouring the book, the suspense and the mystery surely will.
I would have liked to see more of Lucy at Helios-Ra. She’s only been there a little while, but she already spends more time sneaking off campus than not. A lot of my favorite scenes, though, involve her interacting with her new classmates and going on hunts. I love that she’s getting to know Kieran outside his relationship with Solange and of course I get a thrill out of any mention of Hunter and Quinn (still my favorite couple — I’d love to return to their POVs!). Speaking of Kieran, Harvey further develops a ton of interesting characters–though Kieran sticks out the most–like Jenna, Constantine, and Isabeau. At this point, all these characters really feel like they’re my family and friends.
My only problem with this book is the ending, only because I’m not really sure what’s happening. This might be due to a lack of close reading on my part, but there seems to be something more going on that I’m not quite grasping. Or perhaps it is supposed to end on one giant mystery, leaving a host of unanswered questions, in which case not cool. Of course, it does leave me hysterically begging for the next book nownownow. Every time I get a new Drake book, it sates my hunger for a day before I need the next one even more desperately. If you’re not invested in this series yet, go out and buy it immediately. And then beat yourself up for not having read it sooner.(less)
Romeo has made a lot of mistakes. But he’s finally trying to atone for them by joining the si...moreOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Kiona
Romeo has made a lot of mistakes. But he’s finally trying to atone for them by joining the side of the Ambassadors of Light. His mission? He must inhabit Dylan Stroud’s body and make Ariel Dragland fall in love with him…in three days. To make matters worse, Ariel hates Dylan. He made a bet with his friends that he could convince the school “Freak” to sleep with him and she very nearly fell for it. Romeo finds himself transported to Dylan’s body just as Ariel’s trying to kill the both of them. If that isn’t enough, Ariel has some very dark secrets of her own that prevent her from letting anyone get too close and Juliet is set on revenge for Romeo’s past transgression.
This book is likable simply because of how adorable Romeo is. I’m not one of those people who gets all hung up on the idea of immortals/vampires/what-have-you being old perverts attracted to teenagers. In my mind and for the sake of the story, they’re teenagers as well; brains not fully developed, raging hormones, the whole shebang. This book is purely a love story and you know that going in, so you can’t really complain about the fact that what you see is what you get. That being said, I appreciate the love-story aspect of this book, but not much else.
Like I said, Romeo is such a gem in Romeo Redeemed. He’s funny, repentant, charismatic, and moral (you know, unlike the Ambassadors of Light). While he says all the right things to make Ariel fall in love with him, he accidentally kind of falls for her in the process. And they’re pretty cute together, except for the whole falling in love in three days things. In my personal opinion, not possible. But then again, given the roots of the story–the love story to end all love stories–Romeo actually takes his time this time around. I’d say he gets to know Ariel far better than he ever knew Juliet.
As for Ariel, I have mixed feelings. She and Romeo are really great together sometimes. A lot of the strengths Romeo admires in her are her most likable characteristics. But Romeo tends to overlook her sociopathic tendencies. She considers and attempts to commit murder on multiple occassions. This girl is highly unstable and I don’t think she can blame that instability on the voices she occasionally hears. After all, she only hears them when she’s angry and even then, they’re so overwhelming that she passes out. The voices don’t make her angry and they don’t ask anything of her or force her to take action. All they do is overwhelm her. What begins as an interesting plot device ends in disappointing underdevelopment. According to the Ambassadors, Ariel holds the fate of the world in her hands…but how? Jay never really expands on this. Ariel hears voice…so what? She’s not really put off by the idea of killing people, but does that mean she’s a danger to the entire world?
The whole idea of the Mercenaries and the Ambassadors is hard to swallow. They’re also underdeveloped and it’s hard to believe that these protective beings of Light don’t mind manipulating people and killing innocent young girls. And Juliet really drew the short straw. Nurse claims to care about Juliet more than anyone else, but I don’t see any evidence of that. The ending of Romeo Redeemed feels very forced and unnatural. Even thinking about it now makes me cringe a little, but I suppose it suffices as a happy ending. Basically, I’d read Romeo Redeemed with a grain of salt. I appreciated the love-story aspects of it and enjoyed reading about Romeo’s attempts to seduce Ariel. The supernatural twists are just a little too much for me.(less)
Ever since the draug—mysterious creatures that prey on vampires—took over Morganville, the lives of student Claire Danvers and her friends have been t...moreEver since the draug—mysterious creatures that prey on vampires—took over Morganville, the lives of student Claire Danvers and her friends have been thrown into turmoil. Most of the town’s residents have evacuated, but Claire, Shane, Eve and Michael have chosen to stay and fight. Using the city’s water system to spread, the draug have rapidly multiplied. Things in Morganville look grim, especially since vampire Amelie—the town founder—has been infected by the master draug’s bite. Now, if Claire and her friends don’t figure out how to cure Amelie and defeat the draug, it looks like Morganville will become little more than a ghost town… When Black Dawn opens, Morganville is, yet again, in a whole bunch of trouble. The most dangerous vampires known in existence – the draug – has finally made their way into the city limits, crippling the town and spreading fear to all. They got to Amelie – something Claire thought would never happen. Without Amelie, the humans and vampires of Morganville have no hope of ever making it out. The town is despairing, trying to figure out what in the heck they’re going to do. Like always, our trusty friends Claire, Shane, Eve, and Michael are right in the middle of everything. But there’s so much else going on. As if the draug isn’t enough, Michael and Eve are in a really bad place. At the end of the last installment, Michael took a big old chunk out of Eve, and now she’s not sure she can trust him. The beast that lives inside of Michael finally bared its fangs and put a huge wedge between our favorite vampire/human couple. Will they be able to get through this, or was everyone else right? Is it just too dangerous and unrealistic to think Eve and Michael could ever have a lasting relationship? Claire and Shane are … well, Claire and Shane. As messed up as Shane is, it becomes abundantly clear to everyone that he can’t function without his girl. Claire makes him a better man, makes him want to be a better man. For that, he realizes they have to make it through this stuff with the draug. He decides they have to be defeated, no matter what. Shane wants his happily ever after. Everyone knows I’ve been a big advocate of this series right from the very beginning but Black Dawn solidified a concern I’ve been having for a while now. Rachel Caine, I ask, whhhhhyyyyyyyyyyy did you, after all this time, decide to start including perspectives of characters OTHER than Claire? Moreover, why are those other perspectives written in first person, while Claire’s is in third? If the series had started out that way, I’d have less of an issue with it. But the series is nearly over, and including the new perspectives interrupts the flow of the narrative. To me it feels like the story has shifted from an action driven plot line, to a more character driven plot line. It doesn’t feel like the same Morganville anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I still completely enjoyed reading Black Dawn, but now it feels like a different story – not the Morganville we all fell in love with. Publication date: May 2012 Pages: 367 Publisher: New American Library, a division of Penguin Publishing Group Rating: : Teaser Quote: Claire and I were married in the church by Father Joe, and Eve and Michael were our maid of honor and best man.(less)
The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy spinoff series Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill...moreThe second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy spinoff series Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students–children of the wealthy and powerful–carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought. Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead’s breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher. Set one month after the end of Bloodlines, Sydney Sage is back along with the rest of the gang. After outing a fellow Alchemist for being associated with vampires, Sydney is now Ms. popular among her superiors. Instead of being the disgrace among Alchemist’s that she once was, Sydney is now looked on with respect. She is now able to do whatever she pleases without someone breathing down her neck, thinking that she is about to become a vampire supporter. As much as Sydney would love for the rest of her experience in Palm Springs, California to be relaxing and uneventful, she’s not very shocked to learn that that is not going to be the case. Soon a new threat arises and Sydney must do everything in her power to keep her charges safe. Except this time, Jill is not the target. Sonkya Karp is. Sydney must reach deep down inside herself and challenge her own beliefs. For she was sent to protect Jill. The alchemists said nothing about protecting other Moroi. I have been a big fan of Richelle Mead’s work for a couple of years now. I fell absolutely in love with The Vampire Academy series, and I’ve been reading some of her adult novels as well. I pretty much read anything Richelle Mead produces, as I am a big fan of her writing. One thing I’ve noticed is that Richelle Mead’s writing is not always consistent. There were two books in the Vampire Academy series that I found absolutely boring. There was really nothing wrong with the writing style, I just failed to find an emotional connection with the story. I’ve also met other people who have had this problem with Richelle’s writing style. I’ve read most of the Georgina Kincaid series by Richelle, but I wasn’t a big fan of those books either. When Bloodlines came out, I thought that the book was decent. It didn’t blow me away, by any means, but I was intrigued. I didn’t think that I would purchase The Golden Lily when it released in bookstores because I wasn’t really sold on the series. I ended up being realllllly glad that I did end up buying the book. The first chapter of The Golden Lily was really good. It got a little slow after that for about four or five chapters. I began to worry that this book would end up being like Bloodlines for me. It picked up a lot after that, though. Fans of Adrian will loveeeee this book! I’ve always been a huge Dimitri fan, but I’ve also had a huge book crush on Adrian since Vampire Academy. Adrian has so many scenes in this book. I was so excited and happy to read all about him. I was also so proud of Adrian because of all of his accomplishments that he achieved in The Golden Lily. The relationship between Sydney and Adrian was also so adorable, I could have just read about it all day. One thing I did not like about this book, and something that I noticed in Bloodlines, was how unrealistic the school is. I know that this is a book, and a lot of things are supposed to be made up, but the school was supposed to be a real life private school that would act like any school you would go to today. I’m sorry, but there is noooooo way Sydney and her friends could have pulled off a lot of the things they did while attending that school. Also, schools would not just brush off the fact that they could never get in touch with a student’s parents. I think that this is something that Richelle Mead should keep in mind for the third book, as it really put me off in a couple of scenes. I loved loved loved all of the characters in this book, maybe with the exception of Brayden. I’m sorry, but he was creepy and weird. I really hope that he doesn’t have an appearance in the third installment. I’ve always had a slight problem with the character of Sydney. She’s very uptight and kind of closed off. That really comes across even when she’s just narrating. That really improved during the second half of the book. I was really happy to witness some transformations in her own personality and thinking processes. I’m really looking forward to watching that progress in the next book. I would definitely recomment this book. I started it expecting to think it was ok. In fact, I was totally prepared to rate it a three. Never did I think that I would be coming away from this book rating it at almost 5 stars. I loved it! There are no warnings with this book; it is completely appropriate for all ages. Go. Buy. This. Book. Now! Pages: 418 Publication Date: June 12, 2012 Publisher: Razorbill Rating: : 4.5
Teaser Quote: “He reached out and pulled me to him, one hand on my waist and the other behind my neck. He tipped my head up and lowered his lips to mine. I closed my eyes and melted as my whole body was consumed in that kiss. I was nothing. I was everything. Chills ran over my skin, and fire burned inside me. His body pressed closer to mine, and I wrapped my arms around his neck. His lips were warmer and sofer than anything I could have ever imagined, yet fierce and powerful at the same time. Mine responded hungrily, and I tightened my hold on him. His fingers slid down the back of my neck, tracing its shape, and every place they touched was electric.”(less)
Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending h...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
What happens when happily ever after…isn’t?
Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.
And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.
Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale. Delilah has always lived in a world where she feels like the odd one out. She’s clumsy, unpopular and forgettable. Delilah would much rather lose herself in books, specifically a children’s fairy tale, something that worries her mother very much. She has read this specific fairy tale hundreds of times. She has all of the words memorized, so she’s startled one day when she realizes that something is in the book that doesn’t belong. After much investigation, Delilah soon realizes that there’s way more to a book than meets the eye. Who really knows what goes on behind a book when the it’s closed? Do the characters really exist? Delilah finds out that they do exist, and soon she is talking to the main character in the fairy tale, Oliver. Together, Delilah and Oliver do everything in their power to set him free from the story he’s been placed in. I have never read anything by Jodi Picoult. I honestly was not sure what she typically writes, so I didn’t really know what to compare this book to. I was initially intrigued by the story line because who doesn’t want to know what goes on in a book once you set it down? It’s something I have thought of in the past, and I found it so cool that it was being brought to light in this book. One thing I loved about this story was the pictures. They were GORGEOUS! I literally could have gotten rid of all of the words, replaced them with full size pictures on each page, and been properly entertained. The artists who worked on this book along with Jodi Picoult are seriously amazing. I’m still reeling from the fact that this book is considered as a young adult novel because it’s not. This book is 100% a middle grade novel. While reading this book, I often found myself telling others that I could have seen myself reading this book in the fourth or fifth grade. There were no challenging words, there were pictures on each page, and it was simply a book for young children. I later found out that Jodi Picoult writes adult novels. I quickly realized that I’ve watched some of the movies based on her books, and I find it necessary to tell Picoult fans that this book is nothing like what she would normally write. As sweet as I think it is that Jodi Picoult worked on this book with her daughter, Samantha Van Leer, I don’t think it was her best decision ever. I could often tell when Samantha was writing, which wasn’t a good thing. Some people have told me that this will be a great career boost for Samantha. I agree, but based on what I’ve read, Samantha would do better at writing books for elementary and middle grade students. She could shock me and create a brilliant novel, but I’ve only seen her work this one time. Overall, I was not too impressed with this book. I found it to be way below my reading level, and I could not stand either of the main characters. I do believe that this book will appeal to younger children and teenagers. I also thing this would be a great story for parents to read with and to their children. Pages: 358 Publication Date: July 26, 2012 Publisher: Simon Pulse Rating: : 2
Teaser Quote: “JUST SO YOU KNOW, WHEN THEY SAY “ONCE UPON a time”… they’re lying. It’s not once upon a time. It’s not even twice upon a time. It’s hundreds of times, over and over, every time someone opens up the pages of this dusty old book. ”(less)
Dez is a good girl who does as she’s told and tries not to be noticed. Then she rescues a bo...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, Reviewed by Nichole.
Dez is a good girl who does as she’s told and tries not to be noticed. Then she rescues a boy from a cage, and he tells her secrets about herself. Now inside her burns a darkness that will transform her. Everything is about to change — and neither Caleb, nor the Otherkin, nor those who hunt them are prepared for what Dez will unleash. Dez has always been slightly abnormal in the society she grew up in. She was adopted from Russia when she was eighteen months old, and she has worn a back brace for the past three years. Her life takes an even bigger twist when she learns that she can transform herself into a tiger. After being abducted by a crazy cult like group who wants to banish her tiger self, Dez must come to terms with who she really is. After rescuing herself and the boy in the cell next to her, she knows that she can no longer live the life she once lived. For now she is something entirely different. Join Dez and her friends in an intense journey to save themselves and their family from being destroyed. Before I could read Otherkin, my aunt snatched it up and read it before me. She sent it back with the comment that this was the best book she had ever read. So, naturally, every five minutes my mom was asking me if I had started it. Each time I had to point out that I still had about 200 pages left of Obsidian Butterfly, by Laurell K. Hamilton, and that I did intend to finish it first. For those of you who have read the Anita Blake series, by Laurell K. Hamilton, you understand how emotionally and physically draining they are. They’re brilliant books, but all I wanted to do afterwards was just read a Nora Roberts romance straight through. The nagging was getting on my nerves, though, so I picked up Otherkin to see just how good it really was. The beginning of Otherkin started out very strong. I was sucked in immediately. Instead of inserting too much background information, Nina Berry just jumped straight to the point with all the action. It was great. I usually have a hard time first getting into a book because of how slow they usually start out, but I didn’t have that problem with this book at all. I was immediately hooked and sucked it down in a little over 24 hours. I loved most of the characters in this book. London, November, Arnaldo and Siku made the entire book. I literally could have got rid of every other character in the book and just read about them. I loved how they each had their own unique personality, something that a lot of authors tend to have difficulties with. I think that even without reading who said which line, I would have been able to tell you who was speaking. I was really impressed with that. I did not like the characters of Caleb or the mother. For once it’s not because I have a hang up with parents in books, I just didn’t like the character. She was a great mother, but, man, did she get on my last nerve. I don’t know what it was about Caleb, I just didn’t like him. I got really grossed out whenever he had mushy scenes with Dez, because I found him slightly repulsive. I think that a lot of teenage girls would fall in love with him, though. Actually, I think Caleb reminded me a lot of Shay in the Nightshade series, by Andrea Cremer, which would explain a lot. I didn’t like Shay either. This book was VERY similar to the Darkness Rising series by Kelley Armstrong. They both have totally different story lines. However, both Armstrong and Berry have very similar writing styles. That’s a huge compliment, since I love Kelley Armstrong. The Darkness Rising series is probably my least favorite series by Armstrong. However, I really enjoyed everything she has written. Because I love Kelley Armstrong’s adult series so much, I’m hoping that Nina Berry writes an adult series in the future. I think that it would have the potential of being amazing. The ending of this book slightly disappointed me. I was hoping for a little bit more than I got. However, it’s set up really nicely for the second book in the series, Othermoon. I know that I am going to devour the next book as soon as I get it. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. There are no warnings that I have to add to this book, so it’s pretty safe for everyone to read. Fans of Kelley Armstrong’s young adult series and fans of Andrea Cremer’s Nightshade series should fall in love with Otherkin by Nina Berry. Pages: 294 Publication Date: July 31, 2012 Publisher: Kensington Teen Rating: : 3
Teaser Quote: “Shift here, now?” I pulled as far away from him as I could to my side of the car. “I’d fill up the whole car, break the window or something.” “Not if you got in the backseat,” he said, sounding very reasonable. “I could help you out of your clothes first so you don’t tear anything.” I swiveled my gaze to him, raising my eyebrows. His face was carefully blank. “Oh, you’ll help me get naked, will you? How thoughtful. And then what? I don’t know how to shift, remember? Or will you find some way to piss me off and push me to change…some very teenage boy in a backseat with a naked girl kind of way?” He laughed. “It was just a thought.” “Scalawag,” I said.(less)
If you guys knew how many times I’ve read this series, you’d probably make fun of me for life...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
If you guys knew how many times I’ve read this series, you’d probably make fun of me for life. This is my favorite series by Nora Roberts. I can’t even express how brilliant they are. I’ve always been a huge fan of Nora Roberts thanks to my mom. I’ve read so many of her books that it’s not even funny. Seriously, this is an amazing series. The only reason I’m giving it a 4 is because the fourth book is one of my favorite books ever. This is the first in the series. I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.(less)
I just finished this book the other day. It took me awhile to get into it, as I wasn’t the bi...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
I just finished this book the other day. It took me awhile to get into it, as I wasn’t the biggest fan of the main character, but I eventually warmed up to it. I thought that there were a lot of interesting aspects to this story. It kept me entertained throughout the whole thing. I didn’t like how the main character acted like a child. I wanted to remind her of her age multiple times. I also wasn’t a big fan on how her dad and uncle still treated her like she was sixteen. She DID warm up to me, though. By the end of the book, I really liked her. I liked her enough to put the second and third book on hold at my local library.(less)
I am sure that many of you have already heard about or read this book. I read it because I w...more Originally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
I am sure that many of you have already heard about or read this book. I read it because I wanted to know what all the drama was about. Public libraries are banning it, people are freaking out about it, and I wanted to form my own opinion about it. First, I have to say that I am very sick of people freaking out because this book originally was a Twilight fanfiction sort of thing. While that may be the case, this book has NOTHING to do with vampires or Twilight. If you’re going to insult the book, then insult it with the actual information from the book. Ok, I loved the first 100 pages of this book. As I’ve told many people, they were probably some of the best 100 pages I’ve ever read. It got kind of…..intense….after that. It was a little too much for me in some areas. I also had a huge problem with the character of Anastasia. I don’t do very well with such weak female characters, which made it a little difficult since she is the narrator. I can’t imagine every having a relationship like the one between Christian and Anastasia. It’s just not my cup of tea. It was a pretty good read, though. I enjoyed it for the most part. I LOVED Christian. I don’t really know what that says about me, but I did. He was awesome. He’s the only reason I’m sticking through the series.(less)
After I read Waking the Witch, I went out and got SpellBound from my local library. Again, I...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
After I read Waking the Witch, I went out and got SpellBound from my local library. Again, I finished this book in under 24 hours. It was absolutely amazing. It wasn’t AS good as Waking the Witch, but it was very close. I loved how all of the characters got a role in the book. Since the series is coming to an end (something I am NOT happy about!), I was really thankful that Armstrong gave me some time with my other favorite characters from the series. Great book!(less)
I cannot express how much I LOVE The Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong. If I...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
I cannot express how much I LOVE The Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong. If I had to choose my favorite adult series, then this would probably be at the top of the list. I held off reading the Savannah books as long as possible, since the series is coming to an end, but I caved. I was not disappointed either. This book was SO good! I literally read it in under 24 hours. Savannah’s character is so strong and independent. I was a little nervous about Savannah narrating the book, since she’s 12 years old at the beginning of the series. I didn’t know what it would be like reading about someone who I watched grow up. There was no need to be nervous, though, as she was brilliant. A great great GREAT book!(less)
For centuries, the Petrescu family has been protecting society from a danger that moves among the population undetected. Eighteen-year-old Vasi Petres...moreFor centuries, the Petrescu family has been protecting society from a danger that moves among the population undetected. Eighteen-year-old Vasi Petrescu has never had a problem carrying out his duty, but, when ordered to eliminate an eighteen-year-old girl, he is immediately taken out of his comfort zone. The Syndicate has never targeted a female before, yet somehow this one has ended up on more than one hit list. Vasi would like to find out why, but there may not be time. Now, he’ll have to decide whether or not to keep her alive even if it means going against his own family. The action, mystery, and conspiracy in The Syndicate will take readers on an immersing journey in which decisions are not only life changing, but irreversible. Vasi Petrescu has grown up in a world full of champions and heroes. The only problem is that the world has never heard of them. For in Vasi’s world, creatures called Hybrids roam the streets. Hybrids can blend in. They can look and speak just like an average human. In fact, if it were up to normal humans, they would never be able to pick one out of a line up. But Vasi knows better. Vasi knows that Hybrids are evil creatures who can snap at a moments notice, killing hundreds in their wake. Now that Vasi has been initiated to a full fledged guard, he can help his brothers hunt down the Hybrids, saving the world from the terror and doom they bring to the Earth. The only problem is, Vasi has been assigned to assassinate a female. Vasi knows that females cannot become Hybrids, so he begins to question the family that has supported him and his kind since before he was born. Follow Vasi on his journey to the truth and witness him try to find himself in the process. The first thing that drew me to The Syndicate was the cover. When I see a cover that I’m in love with it, I could care less about the description of the book. The only thing that matters is that the cover is pretty and I want to read what’s behind that beautiful image. Not only is the cover absolutely gorgeous, but it definitely relates to the book itself. It’s an image of a male, presumably Vasi, and I feel that you can really get a sense of his strength and confusion from the expression on his face. I know that when I was reading about Vasi’s story, I often would find myself referring back to the cover to get a good look at him. I find that most female writers narrate from a female character’s perspective. There are a few exceptions to this. For example, Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, is narrated from the main male character, Ethan. I give major points to authors who go out of their realms and write from a totally different perspective. However, I often find that I have problems with male narrators written by female authors. That was no exception for this book. I often feel that the male character is either slightly feminine or over the top stereotyped masculine. In this case, it was the latter. I felt that Shorts did a great job identifying the main character was a male. Vasi really had no feminine traits, which is something that I enjoyed. However, females (society even) tend to create a majority stereotype for men. I felt that a lot of those stereotypes were released onto the character of Vasi. I would have appreciated it a little more if he had had a uniqueness to his personality. Something that separated him from the typical male stereotype. If you follow my reviews, you may have noticed that I have a huge problem with weak female characters. It drives me nuts for a female to listen to everything a male says and to follow on his heels like he’s God himself. I want my female characters to be strong, independent, self-serving, a go-getting-I-can-do-it-myself female. This was not the case with the main female character, Riley. Riley completely depended on Vasi. She never once thought she could take care of herself, and she made that pretty clear throughout the whole book. There were even a few times where she basically mentioned that she needed Vasi to protect her. I just wanted to shake the girl and tell her that she wasn’t useless material. Girls and women alike can be very powerful, and I find that books often stereotype them to be the weakling that needs saved from the handsome prince. I did enjoy the mystery of the book. It may have been my age level, but I figured out everything relevantly quickly. There was a twist at the end that I didn’t see, though, and I really appreciated that. I think that younger age groups will stay in suspense a lot longer than I did. One thing I didn’t like, though, was how quickly Vasi and Riley fell in love. I don’t even want to call it love, so I’m going to call it lust. They seemed to feel this way after two days, which is not enough time for anyone to fall in love. I wish that they didn’t attach themselves so quickly. In fact, I would have rather it not happened at all during this book. I would have liked to see the wooing process and witness Riley stand up for herself a little bit more. Some of the things at the end of the book (don’t worry, I won’t give anything away) really threw me. They just moved way too quickly. I know that when I first meet a guy, it takes months before I really let him in. Riley and Vasi didn’t take the initial time that couples take to get to know each other, which made it a little awkward to follow their story. Younger teenagers, between the ages of 11-16, will probably really enjoy this book. It sort of reminded me of a cross between White Cat, by Holly Black, and The Strange Angels series by Lili St. Crow. I don’t think that people above the age of 20 will fully get into this book. It definitely targets a younger audience. There are a couple references to sexual encounters in the book. There are no explicit details included. Overall, though, it was an interesting read and I think that the younger generation will really appreciate it. Pages: 301 Publication Date: July 9, 2012 Publisher: Lands Atlantic Publishing Rating: : 2
Teaser Quote: “…we have to make the decision in time, we have to mark it, put it in the envelope, stick a stamp on it, and mail it back. We can’t just decide, but then let the deadline pass, because if we do, it’s like we never made the decision to begin with.”(less)
When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her da...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack and the man she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive. After the epic conclusion of the first Nightshade novel, Nighshade, by Andrea Cremer, Calla Tor is back with a vengeance. After having her eyes forced open to the cruelities that have been happening to her pack, friends and families throughout the year, heck, throughout the centuries, Calla is fed up. Now that she’s with the Searchers, Calla must decide for herself who is trustworthy and who is the real enemy. She is no longer the submissive little wolf that she used to be; she will no longer bow down to the ones she once considered her masters. All that Calla knows is that she must save Shay and she must save her pack. She will do anything to keep her loved ones safe, even if that means destroying the ones she used to obey. In this captivating sequel witness Calla Tor fight for her independence and love, and watch the claws come out. After reading Nightshade, by Andrea Cremer, for the Yareads bookclub, I found myself in an Andrea Cremer obsession. I immediately picked up the next two in the series, and I absolutely devoured them. Seeing as I was on Spring Break from my college, I had a blast in doing so. I was immediately hooked from the first sentence. While Nightshade was an overall good book, Wolfsbane took it to a whole other level. So many things happened during this book that I don’t even know where to start. The entire book was filled with action and adventure. The characters were absolutely brilliant, and I found myself shocked over some of the twists to personalities that occured. I was so proud of Calla for beginning to realize how abusive and dangerous The Keepers really were, and I really enjoyed following her throughout her adventures. I thought it was awesome to get an inside look at The Searchers. During the first book The Searchers were mentioned, but you never really got to meet them. I found myself in love with Connor and Ethan. I could have just read about them all day long. The Searchers seemed to have their own unique quirks and personalities. It was such a refreshing change from The Keepers. Yet again, I very much disliked the character of Shay. I still can’t get over the fact that he constantly accused Calla of being submissive to everyone else and never doing what she wanted, but, at the same time, whenever Calla wanted something that Shay didn’t think she should want, he overlooked her thoughts and opinions and made the decision for her. It was pretty common for Shay to throw tantrums whenever Calla tried to follow her own instincts. I have no patience for male dominant relationships, and I was not ok with the patterns of mental abuse that I seen portrayed in Shay’s behavior. I do understand that there are many Shay fans out there, which is not a problem at all. I just personally had a problem with him. The ending of this book was so good. In fact, this was my favorite book out of the entire trilogy. All I remember is laying on the couch and sucking this book down within like a day. It was that good. I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. However, yet again, I have to caution parents and teachers on the fact that I did feel that there was some abusive patterns throughtout the book. While it is just a book, it is something that goes on in real life. I feel that children should be aware that some of the things going on in this book are not ok. Overall, though, I loved it. Pages: 390 Publication Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Philomel Rating: : 4
Teaser Quote: “It took less than a second for me to shift and leap onto his desk, snarling. My fangs snapped inches from his face. Silas yelped, tipping his chair over backward, and rolled across the floor… I glared at Silas, who was brandishing a letter opener at me. “You do know she’s not a werewolf, right?” Shay smirked at the Scribe. “That silver thing’s not gonna be worth much.” ” (less)
In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced...moreIn the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network. When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers. As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse. In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy. The Community is perfect; everyone is safe; everyone is obedient. Or so Zoel — Zoe — always believed, until she began glitching. Now she finds herself experiencing emotions for the first time, emotions that are beautiful and confusing and painful and exciting. At first, Zoe feels alone, but then she discovers Adrien, who not only knows about the glitching, but also knows about her secret power, the power she can’t yet control. Adrien opens up a whole new world for Zoe, one that includes other glitchers, like Max, a classmate she’s known forever. Together, the glitchers plan to escape, but Zoe soon finds out that she has to be careful who she places her trust in. Glitch is a thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing read. The story opens with a fair amount of world-building, and while I don’t always like having so much overwhelming information thrown at me, I can also appreciate having our world established early on. While the world-building is thorough and the world somewhat unique, the characters really steal the show here. Unfortunately, the character development is a little slow at first, but as soon as Zoe meets Adrien, things quickly pick up and there’s no putting the book down. The problem with Glitch is that it feels too familiar, which isn’t Heather Anasatasiu’s fault. The world and the characters she’s created are intriguing and exciting. But after finishing the book, I can’t help but feel like I read some sort of mash-up of The Hunger Games, Insurgent, and Delirium. And I like all of those books, so it stands to reason that I like Glitch. It just didn’t wow me. However, the science fiction aspects are definitely refreshing and I really enjoy reading Anastasiu’s scientific explanations — especially when it comes to the glitchers’ abilities. The abilities coupled with the strong characterization and unpredictable plot are real highlights; they’re the elements that set Glitch apart from the aforementioned books and make Glitch a worthwhile read. Fans of Katniss and Lena will love Zoe. She’s a revolutionary with strong convictions. She’s also a character whose actions speak louder than her words. Too many female “heroines” are physically weak, easily manipulated, or charged with lofty aspirations that they can’t quite put into action. But Zoe is strong. She knows what she wants and she goes after it, even at risk to herself. And nothing comes easily to her — she has to work for all the good she accomplishes; she doesn’t have control of her power; she doesn’t know who to trust; she’s compassionate enough to rescue people who don’t even appreciate her help. Basically, Zoe’s a real heroine, one whose journey I’m immensely invested in. The love triangle is an interesting addition. At times, I loved it and at times, I hated it. However, I do appreciate Anastasiu’s ability to play with our emotions when it comes to these boys. We quickly learn that things aren’t black and white. The characters you might think are trustworthy aren’t and vice versa. Anastasiu kept me on my toes until the very end, which was incredibly frustrating…in a great way. Glitch and Zoe definitely get my recommendations. Pages: 320 Publication Date: August 2012 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Source: NetGalley Rating : 3.5 Teaser Quote: “‘…Evolution might be the wrong word–it’s not like glitchers are a new species. Just highly adapted. We’ve started developing abilities that get around their programming, making neural connections to subvert the hardware. Even with all our tech, the brain is something.’“
P.S. Will appeal to fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent!(less)
Once you’ve seen into the future, can you change your destiny?
In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell. Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears. Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society and into the pits of the human soul. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper’s abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before. Anna has always lived with the knowledge that she is a “Pure” girl. A girl who faces no mental illnesses in the safety of her Community. That is, until The Board discovers a secret that reveals that she just may not be so pure after all. Now, Anna faces being exiled into the much feared City. The only thing stopping Anna from being exiled is her upcoming joining to “Pure” boy, Jasper Taurell. But on the eve of their binding, Jasper is abducted, and nobody seems to care about finding him. Taking matters into her own hands, Anna decides to venture into the City to bring Jasper back home. Things don’t go quite as smoothly as Anna intended, though, and she must face down multiple problems before she can bring Jasper back to the Community. When I first started reading this book, I was on the fence. It was a little confusing for the first few chapters, and I wasn’t really understanding the whole mental illness concept. It made more sense the further I got into the book, though. For example, I was having a problem accepting that the Pures stood no chance of developing depression. Depression is something that can happen to anyone and multiple things can develop it. Therefore, I couldn’t really wrap my head around the fact that the Pures didn’t experience those type of illnesses. The more the story progressed the more I fell in love with it. It actually really reminded me of Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. Both books had two different ideas, but the structure was very similar. Not only that, but it was so easy to fall in love with both books. Claire Merle created this beautiful and scary world that left me not wanting to put the book down. The characters in The Glimpse were brilliant. Ana was such a strong character. She never backed down from her beliefs or her mission, and she never gave up. Cole was absolutely positively gorgeous! I have a new book crush. He carried that hunky, I don’t give a damn, coolness factor. If that makes sense. I am so rooting for those two. I don’t know what will happen in the next book, but I’m dying to find out! There were a few things in this book that left me a little confused. First, it took me quite awhile to understand that this book was placed in the future and that it was located in England. Claire Merle lives in France, so it makes sense. It just took awhile for me to register that this book was not set in The United States.I also had a really hard time understanding what an interface was. In fact, I never did figure that out. I settled on the idea that it was a phone that was on someone’s stomach, which I know has to be so wrong. I kind of made it into a kind of projection that shined on someone so you could see what they were doing. It sounds confusing because it was. In the next book, I hope there’s a little more clarification on things. Descriptions may have been given at the beginning of the book, but, if so, I didn’t run across them. I have to give a small warning with this book. It does include a few scenes that involve child abuse. There are also a couple references to rape. There was no gore or anything that made me overly uncomfortable. Please do keep this in mind while reading the book. Overall, I absolutely loved this book. I haven’t read very many books this year that I fell head over heels in love with, so it was really refreshing to read The Glimpse. Dystopian lovers and fans of Pandemonium need to go get this book immediately. It was that good. It was really hard for me to put this book down. I ended up dreaming about it. I also got really fidgety in my classrooms because I just wanted to come home and find out what happened next. Go get this book. I hope you all enjoy it! Pages: 432 Publisher: Faber & Faber Publication Date: June 7, 2012 Rating: : 4 1/2 Teaser Quote: “Ana watched Cole as he crossed to the dock. Despite the shabby suit and bruises on his face, his smooth movements conveyed deep self-assurance. His shorn hair was dark, his eyes deeply set, and his muscular frame towered above the guard. Everyone in the courtroom rose, looking left as the Bench arrived, but Cole turned his gaze to their table. His eyes met Ana’s and locked on her. Heat rose to her cheeks. She struggled to disengage but found it impossible until he looked away.“(less)
“I won’t tell anyone, Echo. I promise.” Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Kiona.
“I won’t tell anyone, Echo. I promise.” Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. “You didn’t do that-did you? It was done to you?” No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked. So wrong for each other…and yet so right. No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again. One night is enough to spin Echo Emerson’s world entirely out of control. It’s perhaps the most important night of her life…and she can’t remember it. Therapists and psychologists tell her the memories will surface once her mind deems it safe enough for her to remember, but Echo wants answers now. Noah Hutchins agrees to help her find those answers, as long as she’ll help him in return. The two unlikely allies realize they can help each other, but what they don’t immediately realize is that they need each other. As they spend more time together, though, they can’t deny the immense attraction they both feel for each other. But while being together be feel right, the two might not fit into each others’ futures. Wow. Just wow. It’s going to be hard for me to write this review and say anything besides I absolutely and completely adored it. Nothing but love, love, love for Pushing the Limits. My favorite YA sub-genre is contemporary and of that genre, Pushing the Limits has skyrocketed to the top of my list of favorites. Very, very few books and movies ever make me cry and this book is one of those few. And emotionally connecting to a book so powerfully is so rare for me that I can’t help but appreciate those tears, as well as the numerous happy-go-lucky grins Pushing the Limits inspires. Having sufficiently hyped up my new favorite book, maybe I should explain why it’s so good. It’s told from alternating chapters of both Echo’s and Noah’s points of view, which is completely necessary for this story and allows us to form a deep connection with both characters. Both are extremely broken individuals, but from the onset, I thought I’d sympathize more with Noah’s situation. As the story progresses, though, we learn that Echo is a lot more complicated than she seems and if there’s anyone in the world that needs someone to lean on, it’s Echo. Surprisingly, though they are polar opposites, Noah turns out to be the strength Echo needs. The relationship that forms between Noah and Echo is beautiful. They both need each other; they support and motivate each other; they grow together. They’re just so right. I have never rooted for a relationship more strongly than I do for theirs. They also aren’t afraid to call each other out and question things that seem wrong or off, which is incredibly realistic given their difficult pasts and tendency to distrust. Of course, everything about this story is realistic: the way the characters talk and think, the way Noah’s and Echo’s peers act, the importance placed on appearances in high school, our desire to please others before ourselves. Though I can’t relate to the characters’ specific circumstances, I found a lot of my own life, insecurities, and questions reflected in this book, especially when it came to navigating the social strata of high school and coming to term with my own parents’ flaws (essentially, learning that we’re all human and we all make mistakes — some more forgivable than others). While the relationship is the highlight of the novel, the plot is equally as compelling. The mystery of the night Echo can’t remember is heartbreaking. Watching as she learns how to navigate her new life is devastating. The way her peers, friends, and even adults treat her literally makes me heart ache. But at least watching Noah grow, mature, and fall in love is uplifting and these two characters are destined for each other. Of course, when the stakes are this high, being together isn’t easy, and the couple is tested over and over again, which thoroughly pulls my heart in a hundred different directions. They’re both so rational — but love isn’t supposed to be rational, is it? Pushing the Limits is an emotionally poignant roller-coaster. It’ll definitely appeal to fans of Simone Elkeles and Sarah Dessen. The emotions in this book are palpable. The love-story: irresistible. If you pick this book up, don’t plan on putting it down until you finish it. Pages: 416 Publication Date: July 2012 Publisher: Harlequin TEEN Source: NetGalley Rating : 5 Teaser Quote: “‘You know a lot about math,’ I said. You know a lot about math? What type of statement was that? Right along the lines of ‘Hey, you have hair and it’s red and curly.’ Real smooth.“(less)
When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she’s missing. Escap...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she’s missing. Escape isn’t high on her list of priorities when all she has to return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to her. For the first time in her life she’s part of a family—even if it is a family of criminals. But she’s still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her kidnappers think she’s falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn’t sure she wants to take it.
Naomi Jensen’s life was far from perfect. She had an abusive boyfriend and parents who seemed to not care about her at all. She grew up with nannies taking care of her and no one to turn to when she was upset. So, when she woke up to find herself in a strange bedroom, with her kidnappers lurking just around the corner, she saw no need to put up much of a fight. As the months progressed, Naomi slowly started to adapt into her life with her kidnappers. She started to look upon them as the family she never had. She now had four consistent people in her life that she knew would never leave her. It was all mapped out for her; she was going to be with her kidnappers forever. And what was really the point in getting upset over it? There was nothing she could possibly do to free herself, and at least she now had a family who loved her. What first attracted me to The Breakaway was the cover. It is absolutely gorgeous, and the color scheme of baby blue and white immediately caught my attention. As soon as I saw it, I realized one thing. It didn’t matter if the book was brilliant or if it sucked. I was going to read it simply because of the gorgeous cover. This book was such an intense read, but, at the same time, it was brilliant. Michelle Davidson Argyle did such a great job capturing what life is like as a kidnapped victim. Throughout the whole story, I would feel my heart pounding, my palms sweating and my eyes as wide as jawbreakers, all in anticipation of what was going to happen next. I have no idea what it is truly like to be a victim in this sort of situation, but Argyle’s tale really gave me some insight and visuals on what it must be like. One thing I really appreciated about this story was how intensely Argyle made me hate the kidnappers. From page one I was absolutely livid, which I believe was the desired reaction. Although I loved that I felt this way, it was also very hard to get through a lot of this book simply because of how realistic it was. Since I am extremely close with my own mother, I often found myself cramped up with fear, imagining myself in Naomi’s position. I cannot express how much I hated the character of Jesse. With Eric, the leader of the kidnappers, I knew what to expect. He was tough, brutal and threatening. He made it clear from day one that he wanted to kill Naomi, and that he would do so if she stepped out of line. Jesse was a complete other story. While he was not the “leader” of the group, I often found him to be the worst at mentally abusing Naomi. To me, he appeared as a kidnapping rapist. It didn’t help that he started his advances while Naomi was still a minor. I also had a huge problem with how he forced Naomi to speak about her feelings and her family. I felt that this was none of his business, and it just seemed like a sick form of torture. I was kind of disappointed by the ending of this book. I kept waiting for Naomi to lash out at her captors, which never happened. However, I also realized that that wouldn’t happen right away. The recovery that she would have had to go through would have been intense on its own. She probably wouldn’t be ready to confront her captors for several years, if ever. However, I did want a big hoorah moment, and I never received it. Everyone knows I have a huge problem reading about parents in books. I know it’s because of my age, but I tend to always (99.999%) agree with the kids. Therefore, I always disagree with the parents and label them the worse parents ever. This is not something I can help. In fact, I am actually able to laugh at myself over it. However, while reading scenes with parents, it is not abnormal for me to get so mad that I see red. It could be the littlest thing, the parents could even be in the right, they will instantly be horrible people in my eyes. Yes, do feel free to laugh at me. So, naturally, when Naomi’s parents were first introduced, I hated them. Now, please do realize that I actually had a good reason to this time. I don’t want to give away any more spoilers than necessary, so I’m going to leave that for you guys to find out yourself. However, I do want to say that, by the end of the book, I absolutely loved them. I was so proud of them, and I felt that I was able to see more of their true colors. As some of you may know, I am currently a Junior (almost Senior) at a University. For the past two quarters, one of the classes I have been taking is a feminist class. Keeping this in mind, I was often very angry at this book. I fidgeted a lot and had to force myself through a lot of the book. This wasn’t because I didn’t like the book, but I had a really hard time reading about such a weak female character. Don’t get me wrong, Naomi did nothing wrong. It would be perfectly normal for a male or female to act exactly like Naomi did if they were in her situation. However, I am a huge advocate for women, which makes it hard for me to read about them being abused in such a manner. Before I get to my recommendation of this book, I have to spend a moment longer talking to you guys. I want to make it clear that there is no excuse for a man to abuse a woman. Vise versa, there is no excuse for a woman to abuse a man. If you feel like you are in a bad situation, get out of it. Relationships do not form your life; you can be perfectly content and successful on your own. While kidnapping is not something that happens in the average persons life, the relationship between Naomi and her boyfriend, Brad, is not uncommon. Don’t ever let someone make you feel that you have to do something you don’t want to do or make you feel small and defeated. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I think it gives a great message, and can help girls and women alike realize how bad some relationships can get. I do have to caution librarians and parents about this book. It is very intense. While I don’t have any children of my own, this book terrified me. In fact, I had a nightmare about it. While this book may be good for teenagers to read, it may scare the pants off of parents and adults in general. The truth is, this stuff happens. It does, and that’s the scary thing. Pages: 303 Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing Publication Date: May 1, 2012 Rating: : 3 Teaser Quote: “”How can someone so smart and beautiful be so lonely?”(less)
The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, Reviewed by Nichole.
The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.
No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?
Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.
And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love? Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series. In the fifth installment of The Mortal Instruments series, Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle, Alec and the rest of the gang are back. Following the ending of City of Fallen Angels, Clary and friends are on the hunt to find both Jace and Sebastian, who have mysteriously disappeared after the epic fight with Lilth. In this 536 page book, follow all the characters on their own segments and race with Clary to find and save Jace once and for all. I have been reading The Mortal Instruments series since it came out, long before it was even being considered as a movie. I remember absolutely devouring the pages of the first three novels. I was devasted when I thought the third installment was the last of the series, and cheered with glee when I learned there was going to be three more novels in the series. I fell in love with Alec/Magnus and Clary/Jace, and I was really able to place myself in the story. I became distant from my own body, watching the scenes play out in front of me. When the fourth book, City of Fallen Angels, came out, I was slightly disappointed. It took me a long time to get into the novel, but when I did it was fabulous. The second half of the book was filled with action and adventure, and I was reassured that Cassandra Clare wasn’t taking this series too far. So, when I started the newest novel, City of Lost Souls, I was really disappointed to find out that it wasn’t the same case as the previous book. There was no action scene for well over 300 pages. When an action scene finally did happen, I had to wait approximately 150 pages longer for a second action scene, which was the final one. One major problem I had with this book was the multiple narrators. Two pages would be dedicated to Clary, then to Simon, then to Alec, then to Isabelle, then to Jordan and Maia, and so on and so forth. Due to this approach, I was never able to really connect with the characters like I had in the previous novels. Instead of giving me time to adjust to the new narration and plot, I was instantly thrown into another perspective. I felt like this really took away from the novel, and I just wanted to sit down for a chapter and read about one or two specific things instead of five, six or seven. While I did not enjoy reading multiple perspectives, I did enjoy all of the extra Magnus and Alec time in the book. In the previous books, Magnus and Alec’s relationship was only shown now and then. In this book, though, their relationship was more announced to the readers. As they are two of my favorite characters, I could not complain. Fans of Jace are going to be really disappointed in this book, as his character is almost completely different. Because of the bond between Jace and Sebastian, Jace is no longer himself throughout most of the book. While he does have his sarcastic Jace moments, they were rare, and when they did happen they lacked the strength the real Jace could produce. He did have moments when he was perfect, but they didn’t happen all that often. I found that I’m really getting sick of Cassandra Clare turning Jace into the victim. I’m going to be really upset if this happens to his character in the next installment. The ending of the book was a lot better than the majority of it. However, it lacked the strength that the previous books in the series have displayed. I often found myself getting bored during this novel, and I even picked up another book and finished it before I was even halfway done. I would have never done that for the first four in the series, which lets you know how disappointed I really was. In the end, I have to recommend this book simply because the rest of the series is so brilliant. However, I worry that the final installment is not going to catch my interest at all. There were times that I had to force myself to be interested. If it weren’t for my loyalty to the characters, I feel like I might have set this book down. If it had been any other book, I would have had to have rated it about a 2 or 2 1/2. However, because I am so invested in this series, I have to give it at least a 3. I hope others found more pleasure in this book that I did. Let me know in the comments section below. Pages: 536 Publication Date: May 8, 2012 Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Rating: : 3
Teaser Quote #1 “Basia Coquum,” Simon said, “Or whatever their motto is.” “It’s Decensus Averno facilis est.’ “The descent into hell is easy,’” said Alec. You just said “Kiss the cook.” “Dammit,” said Simon. “I knew Jace was screwing with me.” Teaser Quote #2 “Dammit, woman, you read my mind,” he said. “Is there no filthy wordplay you can’t forsee?” “It’s my special magical power. I can read your mind when you’re thinking dirty thoughts.” “So, ninty-five percent of the time.” She craned her hear back to look up at him. “Ninety-five percent? What’s the other five percent?” “Oh you know, the usual-demons I might kill, runes I need to learn, perople who’ve annoyed me recently, people who’ve annoyed me not so recently, ducks.” “Ducks?” A smile tugged at the edge of his mouth. “I hate ducks. Don’t know why. I just always have.”(less)
It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows. Jacob’s life as always been extremely ordinary. He has a family, a crazy grandpa, and he works as a salesman at the family business. He pretty much knew how his future was going to turn out. He was going to grow up, go to college, and then come back home to help run the family business. As I said, his life was pretty ordinary. All throughout Jacob’s life, his grandfather told crazy stories about his childhood. From day one, he showed Jacob bizarre pictures of children with unnatural and peculiar talents. Obviously, Jacob came to the conclusion that his grandfather was delusional, and he never once stopped to believe the things his grandfather told him were true. Then, on one horrible evening, Jacob found his grandfather murdered behind his house. Not only that, but he witnessed a creature with tentacles coming out of his mouth. Traumatized by the experience, Jacob was forced to see a therapist for many months, who decided that it may just be good for Jacob to visit the island that his grandfather grew up on. Once on the island, Jacob slowly began to learn that maybe not everything his grandfather told him was a lie. Join Jacob on his adventures to find out the truth behind his grandfather’s past. Witness his personality and beliefs grow, and figure out for himself that his nothing but ordinary. In fact, he is rather extraordinary. At first this book was really slow going. Half of the book was just Jacob talking about his problems and how he did not believe in what his grandfather told him throughout his childhood. Barely any new characters were introduced for about half of the book. While some people may enjoy watching Jacob slowly recover from hist trauma, I often found myself becoming bored, and it was not unusual for me to set it down for another book. As the story progressed, the book got better. Once Jacob finally reached the island, then things started picking up a bit. I really liked the mysterious quality that Ransom Riggs introduced in this novel. I had no idea what was going to happen, or what secrets the island really held, and that in itself was very intriguing to me. One thing that I absolutely loved about this novel was the pictures. I seriously could have just went through a book of the pictures without any text. They were that good. The pictures really related to what was going on in the book, and I really felt that I was getting a look at what the characters looked like and the scenery that surrounded them. I absolutely hated the parents in this book. I’m sorry, but if your child finds their grandpa murdered in his back yard, you don’t get upset with them for not getting over it. Jacob was obviously really traumatized from the experience, and I often felt that the parents just couldn’t except or deal with it. They threw him at a shrink and decided that that would be good enough. When it wasn’t, they seemed to verbally attack Jacob. The father appeared more in the novel, so I found way more opportunities to dislike him. When the mother was around, though, I found her horrific. I have a really hard time reading about parents in novels in general, and it was escalated in this novel. As many of you may know, this book is going to be turned into a movie. Well, Tim Burton is one of the contenders to direct it. After learning this, the book became even better to me because I could picture everything that Burton would and could do to it. Instead of just a book, it slowly started to become a movie inside my head. Overall, this was a decent book. It was really slow going, and I have to stress that to the viewers. This is a book to read along with another book. I often would read a book that I was more interested in during the day, and when night came, I would read a couple chapters before bed. However, once things started to pick up, I finished like 200 pages in one sitting. I would recommend this novel to people of all ages, as it had a mysterious quality about it that I really enjoyed. Pages: 352 Publication Date: June 7, 2011 Publisher: Quirk Books Rating: : 2 1/2
Teaser Quote:“Emma held out a hand and flicker her wrist, but rather than producing a ball of fire, her hand glowed a scintillating blue. The green stars coalesced around it, flashing and whirling, echoing her movements like a school of fish, which, I realized, is just what they were.” (less)
Galen, the prince of Syrena, is sent to dry land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate...moreOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
Galen, the prince of Syrena, is sent to dry land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen-literally, “ouch!”- both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom… Told from both Emma and Galen’s points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance. On a trip to Florida with her best friend Chloe, Emma meets the most gorgeous guy she has ever seen. Unfortunately, she meets him by tripping over her flip-flop and running smack into his chest. Shortly after meeting this gorgeous guy, Galen, and his sister Rayna, Emma experiences the most tramatic event of her life. Her best friend Chloe is brutally killed by a shark, and worse, there is nothing Emma can do about it. Now, heading back home to Jersey, Emma must learn to move on without her best friend and create a whole new life for herself. After trying to save both Emma and Chloe, and witnessing Emma speak to the shark underwater, Galen knows that Emma is one of his kind. Emma is definitely a Syrena. After reaching this discovery, Galen moves himself, his sister, his best friend and his “mentor” to Jersey, where he quickly enrolls himself in Emma’s high school. Now, Galen must prove to Emma what she really is and make her understand the destiny that awaits her. In a story of love, hurt, struggle and mystery, Galen and Emma must find out the truth about her history…and their future together. From the moment I started reading Of Poseidon, I wsa captivated by the unique and mysterious tale that stood infront of me. I found my heart pounding with suspense during the opening chapters, not knowing what was about to happen. All I knew that I was addicted to what lay in front of me, and I did not want to let it go. The characters in this book were something special. From page one, Galen radiated such a masculine aura of strength and loyalty, that my heart fluttered with infatuation. I knew that he was the perfect mate for Emma, and I found myself wanting to shake her during the times that she failed to recognize this. Emma was a spirited, independent and intelligent woman. She was able to make hard decisions when her heart was telling her to do the complete opposite. Her main goal in life was to go to college and make something of herself, and she was not willing to let a boy stand in the way of that. I found it refreshing to finally have a female character not completely swoon over a man and throw away all of her dreams. Emma knew exactly what she wanted and she was going to fight for it. All of the characters throughout this story showed their own unique personalities, and I found myself loving each individual person. One thing that I did not like about this book was that there was really no action whatsoever. Besides the first few chapters, there were basically no fight scenes, and the suspense was kept to a minimal. Some books are able to pull this off. However, Of Poseidon is definitely a book that calls for some action, and it failed to deliver. The ending sets up the second book for a very interesting storyline. If Anna Banks does it right, the second could be full of all of the action and adventure that the first book ignored. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be a refreshing read, and I could just sort of sit back and enjoy it. I really loved Galen. In fact, I believe I have a new book crush. I think that he really made this book worthwhile, and I am really looking forward to hearing the rest of his story. I would definitely recommend this book to people of all ages, as I believe that it is a light and beautiful read. Fans should enjoy the romance that sparks between Emma and Galen, as it leaves the reading craving to hear more about their fantastic story. Pages: 324 Publication Date: May 22, 2012 Publisher: Feiwel & Friends Rating: : 3
Teaser Quote: “Emma, we don’t have to kiss. She already knows I want to sleep with you.” He cringes as soon as he says it. He doesn’t have to look up to know the sizzling sound in the kitchen is from Rachel spitting her pineapple juice into the hot skillet. “What I mean is, I already told her I want to sleep with you. I mean, I told her I wanted to sleep with you because she already thinks I do. Want to, I mean–” If a Syrena could drown, this is what it would feel like.”(less)
“It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of...moreOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Jocie
“It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen”
The Scorpio Races was filled with mythology, romance and violence.
The story itself is centred around Kate “Puck” Connelly and Sean Kendrick, two teenagers at the start of a romance despite the foreboding arrival of the Scorpio Races, a race of deadly water horses.
The premise of the book was intriguing and the capaill uisce mythology was fascinating. Scorpio Races really delves into that and ensures that the reader knew everything about the water horses. With that in mind, Stiefvater did a fantastic job of creating the small island of Thisby and makes the island seem almost real. I really got the small town feeling from it, with all the characters knowing each other from childhood and so forth. It was almost like a character itself.
The characters were, as well unique and were easy to relate to. I really got involved in their stories and enjoyed listening to them. Despite this, however, I did occasionally have trouble with the point of views. There were times when I had completely forgotten whether it was Puck’s or Sean’s character who was narrating.
The writing however was purely lyrical. It swept me in completely and was just lovely. It did not however, help the pacing of the book. I found it very hard to stay concentrated while reading a large portion of the book. While I liked how the two main characters weren’t swept up in a fit of insta-love, I just wish that the story wasn’t so laid-back.
Overall, while there were parts that I adored, I found the pacing at times painfully slow and that really let the book down for me. If you enjoy a poetic read that is very much character driven this book is for you.
Pages: 416 Publication Date: 18th October 2011 Publisher: Scholastic Challenge: n/a Rating: : Quote: “—”…I’m sorry. I’ve overstepped. It’s not my business. Let’s go. Pretend I didn’t say anything.” -But he did say something, and it can’t be unsaid.”(less)
Originally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll b...moreOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice? For years Guardians, human beings who can shift into wolves, have served the Keepers, magical beings who provide and care for the Guardians. The Guardians have served the Keepers with absolute loyalty, never questioning the orders they are given. All of this is true for Calla Tor, the female alpha of the newest pack appointed by the Keepers. Calla has always known her destiny, and never once questioned it. She was to stand beside her mate, Ren, and lead their fellow packmates. Strength and loyalty were her two best traits, and she was prepared to live out the life that had been mandated for her. That is, until Shay came along. After breaking the Keeper’s law, and saving Shay from a bear attack up in the woods, Calla’s life began to flip upside down. The world as she knew it was rapidly changing, with Shay there every step of the way to remind her of all the lies the Keeper’s had told her and her fellow packmakes throughout the years. Now, Calla must make the one decision that will make or break her. Should she continue to stick by the Keeper’s law, her fellow packmates, and her destined mate, Ren? Or should she take a chance and try to save the live and souls of everyone she holds dear to her heart from the Keepers? Before Nightshade became our bookclub choice for April I had never heard of it. I was skeptical to read another book on wolves and feared that I was about to read a cheap imitation of a Twilight novel. I could not have been more wrong. From word one I was sucked into this vortex that did not release me until I finished the last word of the novel. I was addicted to every single thing that happened throughout Nightshade, and I was appalled that I had never read it before. I quickly fell in love with this novel, and was quick to get the rest in the series. Although I love this series, I had a few complaints. I found that I was really uncomfortable with so many references to child rape. What the Keepers were doing to those children was beyond disgusting, and I wish that Andrea Cremer would have left it out. If abuse was absolutely necessary in this novel, then I wish that it would have been focused on the adults rather than the children. I also had a big problem with the character of Shay. Now, I know that there are a lot of fans of Shay. However, I felt that he often contradicted himself. He seemed to be all about Calla gaining freedom and learning that others could not make her decisions for her. However, Shay often told Calla what to do, ignored her when she told him that she did not want something, and pretty much tried to make her decisions for her. Not only did this come across as a form of mental abuse, but he ended up acting just like the Keepers. No matter how hard I tried to like Shay, I just could not. I have never hated a character so much in my life, and I believe that the books would have been way better off without him. What I did love about this book was the concept. I had never read anything like this before, and I really enjoyed all of the twists and turns that Andrea Cremer through my way. I found a lot of things to be very predictable. However, I think that might have just been because there was so much history that was explained throughout the novel. I also really enjoyed the characters of the packmates. I found them to be unique, funky and fresh, and I really enjoyed reading about them throughout the entire series. In the end, I would definitely recommend this book to young adults. As I said before, though, there are a lot of references of abuse. Therefore, I would not recommend this book to anyone under the age of sixteen without parental approval. While many may disagree with me, I find this to be a passionate subject of mine. It was very difficult for me to read any scene that involved Shay, and I was thourougly disgusted when it came to some of the actions of the Keepers. On another note, I did really enjoy this book as a whole. I pretty much devoured the entire series within a week. I cannot wait to see what else Andrea Cremer will produce, and I can pretty guaruntee I will be at the bookstore on the release date of her next book. Pages: 452 Publication Date: October, 2010 Publisher: Philomel Format: Finished Copy Rating: :
Teaser Quote: “I didn’t realize I needed to point out that if we are attacked by a fire-breathing bitch, you can change forms.”(less)
Dani’s life will never be the same again. For Dani, life in Argentina hasn’t been very normal...moreOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Jocie
Dani’s life will never be the same again. For Dani, life in Argentina hasn’t been very normal or happy for a long time. A terrorist attack, which killed Dani’s aunt and unborn cousin, has sent the country into economic ruin. When Dani’s family can’t hold out any longer, they move to New York. It’s supposed to be a fresh start, but when you’re living in a cramped apartment, have an angry father, and are going to high school where all the classes are in another language – and not everyone is friendly – life in America is not all it’s cracked up to be. Then Dani becomes friends with Jon – who isn’t like all the other students – and popular Jessica who is hiding a painful loss of her own. And then there’s Brian, the boy who makes Dani’s pulse race. In her new life, the one After, Dani finds the courage to heal and forgive, and to love and be loved again.
This is a sweet little book. After a terrorist attack devastates the Argentinian economy, many families are forced to conserve what they have. ‘Life, After’ is the story of Dani Bensimon and her family, following the death of a much loved Aunt, who was killed in the aforementioned attack, and their new life in New York. The writing is gentle and affects you in a quiet way, so much so that it almost goes unnoticed. The imagery she creates for both life in Argentina and New York is impressive, and you really feel like you know the setting. Furthermore, Littman has created an exceedingly authentic voice in Dani, and should be applauded for that. As for the characters, Dani is relatable in more ways than one. Her feelings of worry, and confusion and frustration are illustrated wonderfully. The secondary characters are also very authentic and memorable in that they’re vocal in their differences. I have a soft spot for Dani’s little sister, Sarita. As for plot, Life, After was relatively slow in that respect. The big move to New York didn’t actually happen till about a quarter to halfway through the book, however I got a good impression of what Argentina must’ve been like for Dani. Despite this, I still had times where I wanted it to speed up a bit. Overall, ‘Life, After’ is a gentle soul of a book that shows the effects of terrorism on families and the difficulties that many face through it.(less)