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.” ...more
Galen, the prince of Syrena, is sent to dry land to find a girl he’s heard can communicateOriginally 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.”...more
“It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold ofOriginally 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.”...more
Originally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll bOriginally 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.”...more
Dani’s life will never be the same again. For Dani, life in Argentina hasn’t been very normalOriginally 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....more
Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least sOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when the girls get stood up for prom and take matters into their own hands-earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx-Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Even worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing-like she is nothing. Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over. Amy, a seemingly depressed and confused senior, feels as if her life doesn’t really matter. She’s simply a nobody. So when Lila and Cassie, two of the coolest girls in school, adopt her as their new best friend, Amy latches on to them like a life preserver. If associating with Lila and Cassie, getting drunk and smoking cigarettes makes her cool to everyone else, then so be it. Amy’s self-esteem is so low that she would do anything to make herself feel pretty and cool. On the night of their senior prom, the three girls get stood up by their dates. Intending to get back at them, the girls end up in jail. Now, Amy is banned from associating with Lila and Cassie ever again, and she must undergo a series of therapy sessions and volunteer work to try and keep herself from getting convicted. In a story of depression, hope and finding oneself, Pretty Amy reaches out to troubled teens and families, and shows them that life really does get better if you just put in a little effort. At one point in our lives, every single one of us experiences a time where we just feel that everything is falling apart around us. While the situation and emotional feelings are different for everyone, I’m sure we can all agree on one simply fact. It sucks. For me, this story was very personal, as it took me back to my own teenage years and showed me what my life could have ended up like. I found myself consuming every word, and I did not want to put the book down. The messages that were released in this novel were breathtaking, and I wish I had had the opportunity to read this book when I was younger. When I first started this book, I found that I had a huge problem with the parents, namely the mother. Above all else, I have no patience for bad parenting, and I felt myself thinking that Amy was being attacked. Soon, though, this feeling slowly started to go away. I tried to place myself in the mother’s shoes. Her daughter was wasting away her life, would not talk to her and was facing drug charges. I think that if I had a daughter, I wouldn’t be able to handle that very well either. Soon I began to feel empathy for the mother, something that I never would have done even a few years ago. I became very proud of myself for being able to look at the bigger picture. I really loved how all of the characters were pushing for Amy to get better. She just wanted them to go away and let her be, and they refused because they knew she would never get better that way. Although I loved the characters, I did NOT like the character of Connor. In fact, I hated him. I found it completely disrespectful that he ignored her religion and tried to act like her parent. Being five years older than Amy, I did not feel that he had the right to invade her life like that. I also was not ok with the parent’s making her move into Connor’s house. I found myself really uncomfortable with the whole situation. Also, Connor and his wife tended to act like they were in their forties or fifties, instead of their twenties. I really enjoyed this book. I think that it gives a great message to teenagers and adults alike. I would highly recommend this book to anybody, especially teenagers or parents who are going through a rough time. I know I said it before, but I really wish I had had the chance to read this book when I was younger. I feel that it would have given me a better outlook on life, and I feel that it will still do that to the children of today. Props to Lisa Burstein for creating such a beautiful story, and I am definitely looking forward to reading more from her. Pages:301 Publication Date: May, 2012 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Rating: : 3.5 Teaser Quote: “Her prayers were answered by the lights and sirens of a police car coming up behind us. “Fucking police,” Cassie said as they pulled us over. I looked at the enormous bag of Brian’s marijuana on the seat next to me. Crap. We definitely should have stayed in the bathroom.”
One month after a major earthquake has leveled Los Angeles, seventeen-year-old Mia Price faOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
One month after a major earthquake has leveled Los Angeles, seventeen-year-old Mia Price faces a cult convinced that her unique history of lightning strikes is the key to their apocalyptic vision. But there is another group that seeks Mia’s help in stopping the Followers. And neither side is willing to lose her. Then Mia meets a boy who will do everything he can to protect her, or so it seems. When the two factions collide, Mia discovers the lightning scars she hides reveal a staggering power. But it means she must choose saving the world over the possibility of love. Los Angeles is devastated and struggling from a massive earthquake that occured recently. People are without homes and food, and they will go to any lengths to protect themselves. Mia Price is struggling to take care of her younger brother, Parker, and her mother who was found buried under a building for three days. Things get even harder when she soon finds out that two cult like groups want her unknown special powers to save the world. When I first started this book, I was really excited and nervous at the same time. As many people believe that the world is going to end on December 21, 2012, I find it a little hard to read about the end of the world. Putting that aside, I had a specific image in my head of what was going to go down in this book. I pictured collapsed buildings, caved in freeways, a starving girl who struggles to survive. I guess I kind of pictured her a little bit like Katniss from The Hunger Games. The first few chapters were exactly how I envisioned the book. However, things started to take a turn for the worse pretty soon. A big problem that I had with this book was how unrealistic it was. If the world was coming to an end and food was scarce to find, people would be doing everything they could to get their hands on a little nourishment. Mia’s school offered daily rations to every student who completed a full day of school after the earthquake. However, I counted at least two times that she was too fed up to go obtain her rations. There were also many times that she refused to eat at home. Bosworth talked a lot about how you could practically see Mia and Parker’s ribs, but they weren’t eating very much. I just found this to be really unrealistic. The character of Parker drove me insane. Have you ever watched The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock? Remember S.J, the little boy? Imagine if S.J was never cast as a little kid. Instead, he was a 16-year-old teenager? To me, that it would be horrifying! S.J. was meant to be a little boy. Well, that’s the problem I had with Parker. Parker was a teenager who was meant to be a child. I really wanted Mia to have this little brother that she had to look out for. I felt that that would have added a lot of spark and backbone to the novel. However, that just didn’t happen. I found myself resenting Parker’s character because of this reason. The thing with the two cult like groups who wanted Mia on their side was really awkward and weird. I also had a bit of a problem with all of the religion that got tossed around in this book. I have no problem with religion, but I often felt like I was being preached to. I also just could not get in to any of the characters. I feel like this book had so much potential, and it just didn’t live up to it. One thing that I did like about this book was the concept. I keep waiting for the book about the end of the world or a major event that will just blow my mind. So far, I’ve read about earthquakes and the zombie apocalypse, but my need hasn’t been satisfied yet. Overall, I would probably recommend this book to younger teenagers, probably up to the tenth grade. Opinions do vary, though, and I’m sure many people my age will appreciate the book. Pages: 373 Publication Date: May 8, 2012 Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Rating: : 1
Teaser Quote: “I want the lightning to find me. I crave it like lungs crave oxygen. There’s nothing that makes you feel more alive than being struck. Unless, of course, it kills you. It does that to me from time to time, which is why I moved to Los Angeles.”...more
Jackson Godspeed is the hottest Angel in a city that revolves around idolizing Immortals liOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
Jackson Godspeed is the hottest Angel in a city that revolves around idolizing Immortals like him. He grew up in the spotlight, and in less than a week he’ll become the youngest full-fledged Guardian ever. People around the world are lining up to pay for him to keep them safe. His lifelong dream of becoming a hero is finally within his grasp-and he can’t afford to let the parties, paparazzi, or red carpets distract him. But Jackson’s high-profile life takes an unexpected turn when he meets seventeen-year-old Maddy. She’s smart and down-to-earth, and sees Jackson for who he is and not for his celebrity. They forge an instant-and electric-connection. Their vastly different backgrounds seem like the only obstacle in their path to being together…until something much more dangerous threatens to destroy their chance at love. Because not everyone worships the Angels: a bitter killer is murdering the Guardians one by one. And it’s up to Maddy to save Jackson-he’s next in the killer’s sights. Set in a reimagined Los Angeles that sparkles with glamour and celebrity worship, Scott Speer’s Immortal City is charged with passion and haunted by themes of power and idolatry. Jacks Godspeed is a growing legend among humans and Angels alike. Not even a Guardian Angel yet, Jacks has found himself on the cover of multiple magazines, has done thousands of press conferences, and has his own fan club. Ever since he was a toddler fans have been drooling over him, and now that he is older, things have amplified that much more. Now it is common to see t-shirts in shops reading “Save me Jacks”, girls stalking his every move, and he even has his own action figure. Life for Jacks could not be more perfect. Every day is a party and all Jacks has to worry about is his future Protections. That is, until he meets Maddy Montgomery. Maddy is a senior at Angel City High, and a part-time waitress at her uncle Kevin’s restaurant. She does her best to stay under the radar, constantly covering her face with her sweatshirt, and could care less about Angels. In fact, she doesn’t really understand what the big deal is. Everyone is so obsessed with every move and save an Angel makes, and all she cares about is finishing school and going to college. Then she meets Jacks and her whole world changes. Now Maddy finds paparazzi flooding her front door and chasing her to school, walks the red carpet ,and awkwardly attends parties in honor for Jacks. Her whole world has been flipped upside down, and soon she is learning that there is a lot more to her past than she ever knew. Together, Maddy and Jacks must fight for true love, and their lives. For there is a killer on the streets of Los Angeles, hunting Angels. And Jacks is next in line on his hit list. First reading the synopsis for Immortal City, I was beyond skeptical. Famous Angels living in Los Angeles? It sounded beyond ridiculous. The cover was pretty, though, and I wanted the pleasure of saying I had read a book written by a famous director. Opening it up, I started to realize that I may have been wrong. Yes, it was a little cheesy to have celebrity angels walking the red carpet, but I was a little ashamed to admit that it was kind of addicting. Even after all of my skepticism, I was starting to enjoy Immortal City. The further the book went on, the more addicted I became. There was something just so special about what I was reading. There was even a point where I made the comment that while the book was not as good as Twilight, it was not too far behind. The character of Jacks was so breathtaking, so perfect, that I found myself clinging to every word that came out of his mouth. He was a mixture of Jace and Edward, and for me, nothing could get better than that. I devoured most of this book within one day. While I read bits and pieces throughout the course of a couple days, I read over 250 pages within one day. There was this point that my mom started to ask me something while I was reading the book. I don’t think I’ve shot someone with that sort of death glare in quite awhile. Point taken, she avoided talking to me until I was finished with the novel. There was just so much action, adventure, romance, mystery, everything that you could ever ask for wrapped up in this one book. I became detached from my own body, watching the entire story come to life. At times I even felt as if I were Maddy, living out her life and witnessing everything from her perspective. If had to choose one complaint about this book (and trust me…that’s pretty difficult), it would be that I guessed who the killer was towards the very beginning of the book. I don’t know if I can really count that as a complaint, though, because I was doubting myself by the end of the book. Heck, I was doubting myself by the middle of the book. There came many points where I actually changed who I suspected, but in the end my original guess was correct. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Fans of Twilight and The Mortal Instruments will fall in love with this series, and Jacks will be the new big star of every teenage girls heart. I cannot even express through words how much I loved this book. After finishing it, I found myself in a mourning state, regretting that I did not take the time to savor each word. I wish I could go back in time and read the book so much slower, because it was so good. Now that it is over, I cannot wait till the next book comes out, as the ending leaves so much to crave and question. Scott Speer did such an amazing job with this book, and I cannot wait for the rest of you to read it....more
Every three years, Amber Hopkins explodes. Okay, not a blown-to-smithereens explosion, but whOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
Every three years, Amber Hopkins explodes. Okay, not a blown-to-smithereens explosion, but whatever it is always hurts like hell and leaves her life a shambles. She’s already worked her way through five foster placements, and she’s doing whatever she can to avoid getting blasted into a sixth. As her eighteenth birthday approaches and she feels the strange and powerful energy building, disaster looms. When the inevitable explosion occurs, her life gets its biggest shakeup yet. She’ll not only learn how her fellow foster and best friend, Gabriel, really feels about her, but she’ll discover that she isn’t really without family. To top it all off, she’ll finally find out why she’s having the power surges: she isn’t entirely human. Amber must Become, transitioning to another plane of existence and risking the loss of the most important relationship she’s ever had. Her choice will impact the future of an entire race of beings, and will pit her against an enemy that will prey upon her doubt to try and take her very life. Kind of makes the explosions new seem like a cakewalk. Amber has bounced from foster home to foster home. No matter where she goes she ends up having one of her explosions, that ultimately gets her removed from her current placement. Now, after being in one foster home for a decent of time, Amber finally has the chance to be happy. She’s taking Karate classes, getting ready to graduate, and having a blast with her best friend, Gabe. To top it all off, Amber realizes that Gabe is absolutely in love with her and finds herself sharing the same feelings. Now she has the perfect placement and the perfect boyfriend. Life couldn’t be more perfect. Unfortunately, the fairy tale life ends pretty quickly for Amber when she finds out that she’s half-human, has two sisters she’s never met before, and has to leave Earth. Amber discovers that she’s part of a race called the Estilorians, and she must now go back to their world to help them defend it. In a book of love, struggle and hard decisions, Amber sets out to find her destiny along with Gabe and her two new sisters. From the beginning of this book, I completely fell in love with Amber and Gabe. Their relationship was sweet and romantic, the “honeymoon phase” that never ends. I seriously could have read about them all day long. They were just perfect. Gabe was sweet and concerned over Amber’s welfare, but strong and masculine at the same time. Amber was a little shy, strong, and insecure about herself, something that developed throughout the whole book. Their characters were really refreshing and I loved every second of them. Although I loved the very beginning of this book, I started to get a little put off by how quickly some of the decisions were made. When Amber was told about her true identity and her destiny she questioned it for about all of 2 paragraphs. When it came time for her to leave Earth she never once questioned it, even though she was leaving the world that she knew her entire life behind for good. Amber also came into her power very quickly. One second she’s told she can heal people, and the next she became an expert and knowing what to do. While the writing style was really cool to read, I felt that things were pushed a little too quickly. It would have been nice for things to have slowed down a bit and for Amber to question the demands that had been placed upon her. Another problem I had with this book was the Estilorians. The race is described as emotionless and reserved, which is exactly how they came across. So, yes, the author did a great job making her characters be the way she wanted them to be. However, they were emotionless. Therefore, whenever I read about them, I got a little bored. Thankfully, they didn’t take up much of the book. While reading this book, I found myself wishing that Raine Thomas had made it an adult book instead of a young adult book. Don’t get me wrong, the way the book is now makes it a young adult book. However, this could have been such a cool adult book. It would have had a little more mature of a writing style and some things would have been different in an adult version, but I felt that the youngness of the book took away from it. The plot line was so awesome that I just wanted to see more develop from it. Overall, I was interested in this book. I didn’t love or hate it, and I do plan to read the next two in the series. I’m excited to see how the series grows as a whole, and I hope that some of my complaints disappear within the next two chapters. I would recommend this book to younger teenagers, as I believe that the relationship between Amber and Gabe will greatly appeal to them. I’m really looking forward to continuing this story, and I can’t wait to see what you guys think of it. Pages: 250 Publication Date: July, 2011 Publisher: Lambe Books Rating: : 2
Teaser Quote: “To her shock, it felt as though she came into physical contact with an invisible barrier. As she threw out her hands, Ini-herit’s impassive expression morphed briefly into amazement even as his head snapped back as if from a blow. He stumbled into the bulletin board, shaking it loose from its moorings and crashing to the floor.”...more
As in the old fairy tale, Rapunzel has floor length blond hair that she uses to help her auOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
As in the old fairy tale, Rapunzel has floor length blond hair that she uses to help her aunt climb up to the tower she has been enslaved in. She has seen no other human being, besides her aunt, since she was a little girl. For her own protection, Granny Aunt has locked Rapunzel in a remote tower, where no human being shall ever come across her.
Eventually, Rapunzel meets a handsome gentleman, Brendan. Seeing as Rapunzel was a child the last time she was around a grown man, she has no idea what to think or feel. Taking a risk, though, Rapunzel allows Brendan to climb her hair into the tower, where they fall almost instantly in love. Soon, though, Granny Aunt discovers the love affair and forbids Rapunzel to ever see the mysterious Brendan again. Torn between her love for Brendan and her loyalty to Granny Aunt, Rapunzel secludes herself into her tower, refusing to speak to Brendan again.
After weeks of no notice of Brendan or Granny Aunt, Rapunzel soon realizes that she needs to either leave her tower or risk starvation. Venturing into the unknown, Rapunzel soon finds herself in the nearest city, discovering there are hundreds of men named Brendan and that Granny Aunt has fallen ill. In this unique version of a fairy tale, Rapunzel finds herself in a battle of self-identity. She must find out who she is, start a new life and search for her one true love. Through many twists and turns, battles and discoveries, Rapunzel’s life is turned upside down, and it is up to her alone to make it right.
When I first received Rapunzel, I was nervous that I was not going to like it. The cover is not flashy and the description made me feel like I was about to read a not so great remake of the fairy tale I had grown up with. So, it sat underneath my large To-Be-Read pile, waiting for me to finally pick it up. When I finally started reading Rapunzel, I began to regret the fact that I ever placed such a judgement upon it. I soon found that it was unique, light, and overall addicting.
From the moment the book starts, it is easy to notice the differences between the original version of Rapunzel and this new remake. As I said before, I was nervous that Jessica Kaye had just remade a choppy version of the original story. However, this version of Rapunzel is her own unique story. In this book, one learns about Rapunzel’s love life, and follows her around the city once she’s broken free. It became a habit of mine to want to sit back and watch her make friends, get a new job, and witness all the life lessons she had to learn so late in life. There was nothing boring or ridiculous about this book. It was simply a good read and well worth it.
My only complaint about this book was how predictable it was. I had already guessed everything that was going to happen long before it occurred. At the same time, though, this book almost called for that sort of set up. Rapunzel is not a story to challenge one’s mind or to leave one wondering. Instead, it is a light, romantic read that one is supposed to enjoy throughout. In the end, it did not matter that I had guessed everything that was going to happen. Jessica Kaye’s writing style was too enjoyable to get upset over such a simple thing.
By the end of the book, I found myself sad that it was over. I found myself wanting to read more about Rapunzel’s life and crazy adventures. Even though this book does not come with a flashy, glossy cover, or a great description, the book completely held on to my attention. I would recommend this book to people of all ages. Before I read this book, my 50 year old aunt had the chance to read it. She, too, did not believe she would like this book. However, she loved it so much that there is a possibility she liked it more than I did. That just goes to show that it is possible for anyone to like this book, and I would highly recommend they do so. I hope Jessica Kaye decides to write more stories following Rapunzel’s adventures, and I would greatly enjoy reading more about her....more
Molly Dix’s mother, Laurel recently died. On her deathbed, Laurel confesses to Molly that herOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Jocie
Molly Dix’s mother, Laurel recently died. On her deathbed, Laurel confesses to Molly that her father is world famous movie star, Brick Berlin. Thus, Molly moves to Hollywood, and starts a new life there. Navigating past a vindictive half-sister, the tabloids and a new school, Molly tries to fit her old life into her new one.
I was not impressed by this book. The plot was lacking, and really quite slow. I was bored for the first one hundred pages, and kept hoping something would happen. Nothing really did happen at all in this novel.
The writing was just average. There were some funny moments, but they were quite far and sparse. However I do think, the authors’ did a good job at including pop culture references and appreciate the almost satirical nature in which they plotted the novel. It was a clever move.
Furthermore, the characters in this novel were vapid, infuriating, and not very memorable. They were just there. Brooke annoyed me to no ends with the depth of her shallowness, and Molly just didn’t really do anything. I had a lot of trouble empathising with the characters, and couldn’t relate at all, pretty much.
I was really quite disappointed by this book. It was quite average, and I had a hard time liking anybody at all. I got painted a very insipid picture of what Hollywood is like, and if the way the Hollywood-ians act in this book is any indication of what to expect there, I’m not planning a trip anytime soon....more
Vengeance is a short story told from Chelsea’s point of view that bridges the gap between RemOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Kiona
Vengeance is a short story told from Chelsea’s point of view that bridges the gap between Remembrance and the final novel in the Transcend Time Saga. The story picks up the day after Vengeance ends and follows Chelsea still attempting to deal with the betrayal of her best friend and loss of her boyfriend. Luckily, she finds solace in her burgeoning friendship with Shannon, who might just have a way of lifting Chelsea’s spirits.
Vengeance is a short, quick read that provides answers to the questions I assume will arise in the third Transcend Time novel. I don’t really enjoy reading from Chelsea’s point of view — yes, she’s hurt and lonely and she feels betrayed, but she’s also spiteful and inconsiderate. She is not at all likable, nor am I even really am to sympathize with her due to somewhat melodramatic tendencies. This approach is fine, of course, if Madow intends Chelsea to be the villain, but I think the final book in saga could go a couple different ways. But unless Chelsea changes dramatically, she won’t be winning me over anytime soon.
For fans of Remembrance, this short story will be a welcome addition to the saga. The writing style is just as clean and light. The tone is a little too similar to Remembrance for my taste — I feel like Chelsea’s point of view should be a little more distinct. But it’s still an easy read that sets up the plot for the next book. It’s too soon to tell if reading Vengeance will be imperative to understanding the sequel, but my guess is that, while maybe not essential, having Chelsea’s back-story will definitely help. Plus, with such a gorgeous cover, why wouldn’t you want to pick it up?...more
Clementine Calloway is anything but an average teenager. She attends a private school whereOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
Clementine Calloway is anything but an average teenager. She attends a private school where it’s common to meet the son of world known basketball player or the daughter of a famous actress. She lives in a huge house, has a nanny/maid and to top it all off, her mom is a rockstar. We are talking a major rock star, whose songs are commonly played on the radio and everyone knows her. Clementine Calloway’s life seems pretty perfect.
While feeling neglected from her mom and stressed from the popularity contests at school, Clementine finds an out. After conversing with pen-pal, Morgan, for many months, Clementine’s teacher takes Clementine and fellow student, Leon, to Maine to go visit their pen-pals. From there, self-identity and fun and reckless adventures fill the pages in this inspiring young adult novel.
Have you ever had a moment where you just craved a fun and relaxing read? Something to get you away from the vampires, werewolves and all the other spooky things that go bump in the night. That is exactly what happened to me with My Mother is a Rockstar. As soon as I opened the book to the first page, I found myself devouring every word. It was so light and friendly, an escape from everything else, that I could not handle setting the book down.
Even though I loved reading this novel, I found that I really did not like the character of Clementine. I think that this might be because of my age. Being in my early twenties, I found it hard to relate with Clementine’s character. I could not muster up the strength to tolerate her outburts and tantrums. While reading this book, though, I could not help but think about how I would want my own child to read this novel. I think that this book would greatly appeal to children around the ages of eleven to fifteen . My Mother is a Rockstar is such a light, friendly, pg read, that I believe every child should have the opportunity to read this novel.
One thing I really liked about this novel was how smooth it stayed throughout. I was nervous that with two writers the writing would change and the storyline would get choppy. However, the Drew sisters proved me wrong. In fact, I found it hard to believe that there were two writers. They stayed so consistant with eachother, it was almost like they blended into one person. I believe that this is an amazing skill to have, and I hope that it will stay that way throughout the rest of Clementine’s adventures.
In the end, I was not left disappointed. I realized early on that I was a bit too old for this novel. However, I still enjoyed the lightness of it. Following around a child was a bit difficult at times, but Clementine’s adventures simply became addicting. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. When she finally arrived in Maine, there were so many obstacles in her path, and I could not help but think that Clementine’s adventures could easily be those of another child. I would highly recommend this book to any parent or young teenager. I think that this is a great book for parents to share with their children, as the message it brings about is most inspiring. Would I recommend this book to someone my own age? Probably not, unless that person really wanted a light, friendly read. However, parents and young teenagers alike would greatly benefit from this novel....more
In this final installment of the captivating Strange Angels series, Dru Anderson is no longOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
In this final installment of the captivating Strange Angels series, Dru Anderson is no longer the timid, frightened girl she once was. Now she has bloomed, and she is fighting back. Follow Dru, Graves and Ash as they trek across the country to defeat the King of the vampires, Sergej.
When I first started reading Reckoning, I considered it to be a bit slow. It took me approximately 60 pages to get over my boredom. After that, though, things really started to pick up. The action that filled the pages of the previous books in the series had finally arrived.
One thing I really loved about this book was the characters. Each character had a strong personality, and they stayed true to themselves throughout the whole series. One complaint of mine, though, was that of Dru’s character. During this last book, Dru seemed to be more vicious and hostile. It was a bit overwhelming to read about such a character throughout an entire novel, especially when they are the voice of the story.
Although I love the Strange Angels series, and thoroughly enjoyed Reckoning, I encountered a lot of problems. I mentioned above that the book was slow going and the trouble of Dru’s hostile personality. Towards the end of the book, I found that it became really hard to concentrate. I would have to reread whole paragraphs just to retain the description. It also became very difficult for me to place myself into the story. Instead of running along side Dru, I felt as if I was miles away. I also was very disappointed with the ending of the story. Lili St. Crow introduced new characters and a new plot line. However, Reckoning is the end of the Strange Angels series. Why would new characters and a new plot be introduced if it is the end? Both the new characters and the plot surround Dru, so the idea of a spin off would make no sense. Obvious to say, I was a bit confused.
The ending of Reckoning upset me so much that I just wanted to have a do over and forgo the entire series. As most of you know, the two love interests in the story, Christophe and Graves, played important roles throughout the whole series. While everyone has different opinions on who Dru should be with, I highly disagreed with St. Crow’s decision. There were just so many twists and turns that I did not know what to do with myself. By the time the ending came, I just gave up.
While I do have a lot of negative things to say about this book, I do not want people to think that I hated it. In fact, there were quite a few moments that I enjoyed. Lili St. Crow is known for her darker, adult novels, and I think that that just leaked into this final installment of the Strange Angels series. I do hope that Lili St. Crow reconsiders ending this series, as I believe she can take it much further. I have not been this confused about a series since Kelley Armstrong ended the Darkest Powers series, and I know that there has been a lot of unanswered questions in both series.
Overall, I found this to be an interesting book. I do feel as if parts of the book were rushed, but others were well played out and enjoyable. Again, I am slightly confused on the ending of the book, and I really hope that it will eventually be clarified. I think that fans of the Strange Angels series will be slightly disappointed, but they will still come away feelings satisfied. In the end, though, I do have to recommend this book, as the rest of the series is simply amazing....more
Intangible is the story of Sarah and Luke, twins with some very unusual powers. They’ve managOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Kiona
Intangible is the story of Sarah and Luke, twins with some very unusual powers. They’ve managed to fly under the radar up until now, when an accidental healing by Sarah garners some unwanted attention. Now the twins find themselves fighting for their lives as their enemies seek to stop the prophecy surrounding the two teens from coming true.
Supernatural powers. Prophecies. Adventure with a dash of romance. All elements I look for and love in YA fantasy, and Intangible doesn’t disappoint. The mystery surrounding Sarah and Luke’s supernatural gifts is immediately engaging. Why are these two so special? Are there others like them? And how can two such kind and likable characters be expected to bring about mass destruction?
The sibling dynamic is expertly wrought in Intangible. The love between brother and sister leaps off the pages. Luke’s protectiveness is so endearing that I want him for a brother and Sarah’s almost unbelievable altruism is made believable by the way she interacts with Luke. The way the two act around all others versus the way they act with each other fascinates me, as this is one of the few times I’ve ever seen an author so accurately capture a close sibling relationship on a page. For those with siblings, you’ll recognize the ease with which Luke and Sarah interact. For those unfamiliar with this type of relationship, you’ll envy this closeness. But no matter your perspective, I guarantee the unabashed love shared between brother and sister will draw you in, warm your heart, and leave you rooting for the pair. Plus, individually, each of these characters are both strong, their personalities distinct. Luke’s good humor will make you laugh, while Sarah’s fear of letting people in intrigues.
I was surprised to find that, despite the strong protagonists, we switch viewpoints. I can’t decide if I think the switches are necessary to the story. We do get a lot of interesting information from Jonas, Fey, and Marcus, and seeing from their eyes definitely adds to the story, at times. But, in my opinion, it also detracts from the suspense – we know too much about what’s happening outside the twins’ world. On the flip side, though, it is nice to see so much more of this exciting, mystery-laden world. Supernatural twins are just the beginning; we also have vampires and elves, which is a surprise I wasn’t at all prepared for, but quickly came to appreciate. Elves are seldom explored in contemporary YA nowadays and traditional vampires have taken a backseat to the somewhat more glamorous, sparkling vampires currently gracing YA shelves. Those tired of reading about the harder-to-swallow vampire myths prevalent in the genre will appreciate the more traditional feel of Intangible.
Intangible is a suspense-filled, mysterious, supernatural novel with a plethora of likable and interesting characters. The dialogue and relationships are all extremely realistic, the writing style clean and sophisticated. The ending is, unfortunately, jarringly abrupt and so sad, but I’ll definitely be reading the next book in the series....more
The thrilling sequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset picks up right where the last book leftOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Kiona
The thrilling sequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset picks up right where the last book left off. After Jasper is apprehended by bounty hunters, his friends journey to America in an effort to rescue him and clear his name. But his friends soon realize it’s not the authorities who have Jasper, been an even more threatening enemy, one who knows Jasper’s weaknesses and exploits them in exchange for a powerful device that might endanger all of them.
Though I thoroughly enjoyed The Girl in the Steel Corset, the second book in The Steampunk Chronicles blows the first away. I enjoyed every minute of it and found it physically impossible to put the book down. The action is fast-paced and utterly relentless. It’s been awhile since I’ve read such a cinematic action-packed novel and I’d forgotten how much I missed this style of writing. Each character is fierce in their own way, so they each get their own shining moments in Clockwork Collar. Plus, we get a handful of new, equally fierce characters that give our beloved characters a run for their money.
The action is easily my favorite part of this series. I’m addicted to well-rendered fight scenes and Kady Cross’s descriptions are top-notch. I love that she points out all the differences and nuances that separate the characters; Sam’s brute strength, Finley’s penchant for literal fist-fighting, Jasper’s love of pistols, and Mei’s thorough background in martial arts. These small details not only act as characterization, but also set Cross’s books apart from all others. But of course, Cross also accomplishes this with her inclusion of steampunk elements. When I first picked up this series, I was wary because it was steampunk. Some steampunk authors bite off more than they can chew and the result is remarkably dissatisfying. But Kady Cross proves that when steampunk is done well, it’s absolutely amazing. And enthralling. And andrenaline-spiking.
Of course, the character development is so, so impressive. Now that both halves of Finley’s personality have been united, you’d think she’d feel less conflicted. But she still suffers from an understandable internal turmoil. She has to accept that this darker part of her is her and she’s not sure just how much she should give into it — and what she’d have to sacrifice if she does. But she cannot deny that a part of her is drawn to darkness and danger (which is why part of her is attracted to Jack Dandy), and Griffin can’t deny that that part of Finley leaves him unbelievably worried and distrustful.
Speaking of Jack and Griffin, I’m a sucker for love triangles and it was one of my favorite aspects of the first book in The Steampunk Chronicles. Oddly enough, the lack of development of the love triangle is one of my favorite aspects of this book. Finley, Griffin, Sam, and Emily travel to New York to rescue Jasper, which means that Finley leaves Jack Dandy at home in London. Therefore, her friendship with Griffin is what’s truly developed in this book and Cross certainly takes her time drawing out this relationship. I can’t even express how much I truly appreciate this. Finley and Griffin are such good friends and they both have valid reasons for being afraid of taking their relationship to a romantic level (Griffin more so than Finley). But the romantic tension is always there, especially when they argue, and their desire for each other practically sizzles off the page. Plus, Emily and Sam are completely adorable together and satisfy the “relationship quota” for the book.
There’s no one I wouldn’t recommend this series to. The inventions are extraordinary, the romantic tension is palpable, the plot is thrilling and unpredictable. The Girl in the Clockwork Collar is, quite simply, utterly engrossing. I love these characters and, once again, I can’t wait to fall back into their world. And for any science nerds, Nikola Tesla plays a pretty strong role throughout the book — a fact I was ecstatically surprised to discover. I am a huge Tesla fan and his inclusion as a character made me love the book that much more, if possible....more
Emma Townsend loves reading and the latest book to capture her attention is Jane Eyre. Emma fOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Kiona
Emma Townsend loves reading and the latest book to capture her attention is Jane Eyre. Emma feels a strong connection to Jane — so strong that one fateful night, when she’s struck by lightening, she’s transported right into Jane’s body. Navigating between two realities, Emma has to decide between her quiet life as Jane (where she has the decidedly sexy Mr. Rochester) or her own life, where things aren’t so quiet or picture-perfect; where girls are mean and vindictive; where her mom is dead and her dad doesn’t trust her; where boys like Gray Newman overlook girls like Emma.
Like any book-lover, Emma loves books so much that she literally wishes she could fall into their fictional worlds. I like how relatable this aspect of Emma’s personality this is. Then she gets to do what all of us wish we could, at some point, do — she gets to live the life of a book character. And you think that’d be awesome, right? But it actually raises a lot of interesting questions and thoughts. While I always thought about how fun it would be to be a book character for a day, I never considered why it might not be fun. And Emma isn’t Jane for just a day, but for three months. I think Mont did a great job balancing these two realities. We spend enough time in both that we really understand Emma’s frustrations with both realities and we empathize with her struggles. But making a definitive choice makes her stronger; she learns so much about herself and she’s a great character to root for.
Mont’s prose is beautiful. She seamlessly transitions between both realities, authentically capturing the tone of Jane Eyre while also creating a real world with likable, believable characters. Some aspects of boarding school life are cliche, but it’s hard not to be. But the romantic tension is anything but cliche. The relationship between Emma and her English teacher, aka her real-life Mr. Rochester, is as believable as any high school crush and the outcome of this crush is not easily predictable. The same is true for Emma’s relationship with Gray, the boy she’s known her entire life yet who still manages to have a plethora of secrets. Mont takes her time with these relationships, allowing us and Emma to fully get to know these characters. Absolutely nothing is rushed and no one does anything without a reason. These characters are very, very human and thus incredibly easy to care about.
A Breath of Eyre explores some powerful themes, the most engaging of which, for me, is the difference between right and wrong. Throughout the book, Emma really learns to trust herself and follows her own moral compass, despite the fact that even the authority figures in her life won’t do the same. Emma comes into her own in A Breath of Eyre, discovers her own identity, and joining her for this journey is a true pleasure. I look forward to reading about Emma’s next adventure....more
Lena Mattacascar has always been different. She tells people she has a birth defect and hidesOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Kiona
Lena Mattacascar has always been different. She tells people she has a birth defect and hides the truth: she’s half-goblin. At least, that’s what her doctor, mother, and grandmother believe. They claim the source of the goblinism is her father, but he disappeared a long time ago. When Lena turns eighteen, she decides to seek her father out and demand answers. On her way to Scree — supposedly a haven for “Peculiars,” people who are different, like Lena — Lena meets Jimson Quiggley, a librarian traveling to Knob Knoster, the town right outside Scree. The two strike up a quick friendship and Lena eventually finds herself working alongside Jimson for the mysterious Mr. Beasley, a man claimed to conduct experiments on Peculiars. When Lena meets Thomas Saltre, a marshal who asks her to spy on Mr. Beasley for the sake of her country, Lena is unsure who to trust.
For some reason, I just couldn’t connect to The Peculiars. In the beginning, I was excited by the idea of ‘Peculiars’ and Lena’s adventure to Knob Knoster quickly grabbed my attention. She’s a strong, independent girl with a lot of questions about herself that promise to lead to exciting answers. The alternate 1800s setting of The Peculiars is equally as interesting as Lena and her unique features. But while all the elements of the story are interesting, the action isn’t. It develops so slowly that I had to force myself to finish each chapter. On the plus side, the chapters are short and easy to read through. The downside: there are a lot of them.
I think my main problem with The Peculiars is that I was expecting it to be someone else. The cover, though intriguing, is misleading. Lena does not have wings and winged individuals play a very small role in the book. In fact, the Peculiars themselves play an oddly insignificant role. The book centers more around Lena’s journey to a new place and her struggle to accept herself. But I wanted to know so much more about the Peculiars! I wanted to know why these people existed, how many of them existed, the different types of Peculiars, and what it was like to have these sorts of unique qualities. Lena’s own “deformities” — an extra joint on each finger and toe — are the least fascinating compared to the other Peculiars. Since the book doesn’t really seem to be about the Peculiars, I’d expect it to at least solve the mystery of Lena’s father’s disappearance. But even though Lena’s questions about her father seem to be the driving force of the book, we never actually receive the answers to these questions, leaving the ending absurdly anticlimactic.
Despite the problems I had with The Peculiars, it’s not a bad book. It’s well-written and very different from anything I’ve ever read. I was excited for the steampunk elements, but I expected them to be played up much more. The inventions are there, but their role is even more miniscule than those of the Peculiars. Still, McQuerry’s descriptions of some of Mr. Beasley’s inventions are gripping and thorough, which further establishes the uniqueness of the setting. Lena is an average character — I didn’t feel much for her, but I didn’t dislike her. The romantic tension is too underplayed for the ending to feel deserved, but it’s still kind of cute.
Overall, I had higher expectations for The Peculiars, but it’s still an interesting read. For those sick of the same-old, The Peculiars might interest you. As far as I know, there’s nothing like it in the YA genre. The steampunk elements add an interesting flair and for those sick of books revolving around a lovesick girl and her undeserving love interest, The Peculiars is sure to end the monotony. Though the book is marketed as a romance, it really isn’t. The ending feels rushed and kind of tacked on, but that may just be because I didn’t really connect with the characters....more
Kate is immortal and ready to step up to her new role as Queen of the Underworld. But her coronation is interrupteOriginally posted on www.yareads.com
Kate is immortal and ready to step up to her new role as Queen of the Underworld. But her coronation is interrupted by a powerful foe, one of the only beings strong enough to actually harm the immortals. While Henry and his siblings fight back and try to re-imprison their greatest enemy, Kate is busy fighting for her husband’s love. And when Persephone reenters Henry’s life, Kate feels like her marriage is doomed to fail. Not that that matters, of course, when the end of the world is imminent.
I could not stop reading Goddess Interrupted. As you guys know, I love retold myths. I’m not enough of an expert on myths to know when authors are butchering them. I know the basics and I’m really not bothered by authors adding their own elements or spins. So with that being said, I really like the direction Aimee Carter has taken with the Goddess Test series. I love the modernized views of the Greek gods and I like that, since Kate is also an outsider, we’re following along right in her shoes.
Kate is a gem of a protagonist. I can see how people might think she’s too mopey or whiny throughout the book, but while she’s definitely upset, I think her strength shines through every page. She’s moved into the Underworld, a place filled with gods who have existed for thousands of years, and she’s still not afraid to be herself. She speaks her mind, advocates for her own rights, and risks her life to save those she cares about. Is risking her life always the smartest option? Maybe not, but Ingrid can be pretty persuasive.
Henry’s behavior in Goddess Interrupted is ridiculously frustrating, but I can kind of see where he’s coming from. And really, his distance only made me flip pages faster as I yearned for him to open himself up to Kate. I’ve been noticing a lot of outrage in recent reviews over Kate’s blame of Persephone for Henry’s behavior. And while it’s true that it’s not Persephone’s fault that Henry is still pining for her, it’s just a realistic fact that as girls, we often blame the other girl, instead of the guy we’re hopelessly in love with. Is this fair? No. But is it realistic? Unfortunately, yes.
The action is fast-paced and exciting. The gods’ predicament seems to be lose-lose, and I’m curious to see how this plays out into the next book. Carter’s writing is a delight to read — succinct, clean, descriptive. Goddess Interrupted is definitely a page-turner, one full of suspense, heartbreak, confusion, frustration, and yes, romance. The ending will leave you completely shell-shocked. I’m not looking forward to the wait for the third in the series, but the first two are worth re-reading, so I suppose I’ll suck it up. ...more
Charlotte is just one of the guys. She always thought being friends with boys would be much morOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, review by Kiona
Charlotte is just one of the guys. She always thought being friends with boys would be much more drama-free than being friends with girls. And she was right, for awhile. She and her best guy pals spent their time practicing, playing video games, and just hanging out. But then her best friend, Trip, leaves their band, which, coincidentally enough, changes Charlotte’s entire world.
For anyone who’s ever wanted to know what it’s like to be one of the guys, this book will enthrall you. Charlotte’s relationships with every one of her guy friends are different and interesting. The only problem is, she has so many guy friends. It’s almost hard to keep track of them all. And it’s also hard to know where this story is going for the first half of the book, which can become frustrating. The problem is knowing which characters to trust. Each character has a surprising and completely unpredictable motive. The characters you end up caring for the most might be the ones to let you down, as happens in real life. But each character is so completely different from another that you’re guaranteed to find someone to root for or fall in love with — especially since these characters are so realistic (most of all, Char).
Basically, I think Being Friends with Boys has a little too much going on. I would like it so much more if some parts were condensed or cut, particularly any of the scenes involving Charlotte’s former best friend or her burgeoning relationship with an all-girl rock band. These scenes — while interesting — don’t really add much by the end of the book and detract from the main plot. Char’s life is just so jam-packed that it’s hard to keep track of what’s happening and really get attached to any one character. Char has so many friends, enemies, and frenemies that you forget who’s who and who you’re supposed to like or hate.
That being said, Char’s life is still just so interesting. I think she lets all the cool things happening at once kind of take over her life and she forgets to prioritize her friendships and relationships, but it’s easy to understand why she might feel overwhelmed. Char’s a relatable character — she makes some stupid decisions and is painfully blind to some of the obvious drama unfolding before her, but again, she’s also very overwhelmed and we all get blind-sided sometimes (especially when hormones and hot band members are involved).
I like that McVoy writes convincingly about a high school band that takes themselves seriously: they put in the practice time, play at actual small-town venues, and experience their fair share of drama. Their world pulls you in so thoroughly that when you finish the book, you’ll want to round up your friends and form a band of your own. Whether or not you decide to mix-and-match the genders of your band members is up to you, but just remember: being friends with boys isn’t as easy as you might think....more
Ismae has always been a victim, until one fateful day when the convent of St. Mortain seeks hOriginally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Kiona
Ismae has always been a victim, until one fateful day when the convent of St. Mortain seeks her out. At the convent, Ismae finds herself surrounded by women — a comfort for someone more accustomed to male brutality — strong women who train her as a handmaiden of Death. Ismae grows to trust and love her convent and her God; she’ll do anything for Mortain. But when she finally receives an assignment, she finds serving the convent and serving St. Mortain may not be the same things.
Grave Mercy is easily my favorite book of 2012 so far. Ismae is one of my all-time favorite heroines — she’s ridiculously tough, continually challenges herself, and never gives up. But perhaps my favorite qualities of hers are the most underrated, often overlooked by authors today: she’s intelligent and observant. These are the qualities that benefit er most in her corrupt world, and coincidentally the qaulities we can relate to most. Unless, of course, you’re also a nun trained as an assassin.
Yes, Ismae’s an assassin nun, which is just about as innovative as story ideas get. The sheer originality of this novel drew me in within the first few pages. Grave Mercy is dark and gritty, a tone that’s established early on so that we understand Ismae’s motivation, though throughout the book we come to question what’s right and what’s wrong, just as Ismae does. I love books like this, books that inspire such contradictory thoughts and keep you thinking even when you’re not reading. Of course, I also love that Ismae isn’t afraid to question her own world, even if it means defying those she trusts most. She’s a true heroine in that she’s independent, willing to break free from the herd if need be, which makes her a character I truly admire.
Grave Mercy has all the elements of an up-put-downable novel; it’s realistic historical fiction with rich descriptions of settings and political intrigue. There’s a bit of a supernatural aspect, but not so much that it detracts from the plot or overshadows the characters. LaFevers’s prose is beautiful; authentic and descriptive, emotionally evocative and suspenseful. The courtly discussions and interactions are as thrilling as the action scenes. There’s murder, betrayal, balls, and romance. This book has literally everything I could ask for, including a smoldering suitor.
Duval. I maintain that because I fell in love with him at first sight, he’s technically mine. In any case, the scenes between Duval and Ismae are pure magic (and sexual tension). It takes a lot for Ismae to trust, especially when it comes to men, as they’re always wronged her in the past. And Duval isn’t all that trusting, himself. The two build a slow, sweet friendship, both afraid of opening up to the other. But watching their friendship — and interest in each other — blossom is a true delight. Plus, Duval is just downright sexy.
The first book of the His Fair Assassin series is a sensational must-read. I only wish I could have lived in these characters’ worlds a little longer. Hopefully, we’ll see them pop up in the next book in the series, which will center around Sybella and, most likely, an entirely new cast of characters. Not that I mind too much, as LaFevers is a new favorite author of mine, so I’ll be sure to covet anything she produces. Basically, yes, you should read Grave Mercy....more
Meghan’s journey continues with the second installment of The Iron Fey series. At the end of the last book,Originally posted on http://www.yareads.com
Meghan’s journey continues with the second installment of The Iron Fey series. At the end of the last book, Ash returned for Meghan to bring her back to the Winter queen, as they’d agreed. Iron Daughter picks up right where Iron King left off, with Meghan living as a prisoner in the Unseelie Court. Living in Unseelie probably wouldn’t be so bad if Ash hadn’t become mysteriously cold and distant, treating Meghan as if he hated her.
The Faery world turns to chaos when the Scepter of Seasons is stolen from the Winter queen. Queen Mab, of course, blames Oberon and declares war against Summer. The only ones who know the truth – that the scepter was stolen by the Iron fey – and the only ones who can stop the war are Meghan and Ash. The only problem is that Ash isn’t willing to work with Meghan.
This book is just as action-packed as the last. Each page provides a new twist to the story and the fast pace keeps the reader interested until the very end. Though I wouldn’t have believed it possible, even more new creatures are introduced in this book, along with new characters that are easy to love. We also see the return of wonderful characters like Grim, Puck, and even Ironhorse. It is fun to see such familiar characters in such a believable world and to watch them grow with each passing chapter.
Iron Daughter has a much stronger focus on Meghan’s romantic life. She admits her love for Ash a little too early on for my taste and even he admits she doesn’t truly know him, while her relationship with Puck seems more natural. But Ash is just as intriguing, mystifying, and aggravating as ever. I love seeing Meghan hack away at his icy exterior. Throughout the story, the two really do develop an understanding of each other’s personality. Of course, the tension between Puck and Ash only escalates. Puck is his charming, snarky self, but in this book we see him occasionally drop his over-confident mask and show Meghan his true feelings. It is impossible not to love Puck and to share in Meghan’s torn feelings over the two guys in her life.
I noticed the same sorts of inconsistencies with Meghan’s character as in the last book. First of all, any time Meghan swears seems unnatural and forced to me. Beside that, she unnecessarily bemoans her situation too often, making her come across as weak. But at other times, a fierce determination takes over and she fights just as ruthlessly as her defenders. I was sometimes agitated by the way she hated the fact that she had to make tough decisions. It takes awhile for her to come to terms with the fact that her life isn’t easy, something I feel she should have learned in the first book. I love her strong moments though and the way she refuses to give up on Ash. She has a power all her own and though others may have overlooked that fact in the first book, her strength cannot be ignored in this one.
Overall, I find the plot of Iron Daughter even more riveting than Iron King, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The characters really grow in fascinating ways and the unpredictable plot twists keeps you on your toes. The Faery world comes alive and offers a unique escape, one different from typical fantasy novels. The ending is extremely surprising and leaves me wondering just where the third and final book in the series will take us. ...more
Donna Underwood wears long, velvet gloves everyday to hide what her classmates think are skin graphs. But rOriginally posted on http://www.yareads.com
Donna Underwood wears long, velvet gloves everyday to hide what her classmates think are skin graphs. But really, Donna is hiding the swirling silver tattoos that reach from her fingertips almost to her elbows. These tattoos saved her life when she was attacked as a child, but her mother and father weren’t so lucky. No seventeen, Donna has trust issues and she feels like she can’t even confide in her best and only friend, Navin. That is, until she meets Xan.
The Iron Witch, Karen Mahoney’s debut novel, is a blend of the faerie and alchemical worlds. The beginning of the book is a bit slow, but provides back story and introduces the fascinating world of alchemy. Donna belongs to an ancient alchemical order, the Order of the Dragon, and hearing about her world is intriguing, but also realistic. Sometimes I feel like the faerie world is overdone, but The Iron Witch offers a new slant on the fey and doesn’t go overboard. Mahoney does a great job of balancing the real world with a magical one.
I found Donna to be a very likable protagonist. She’s never mopey. Anytime she starts feeling bad for herself, she catches herself and realizes that instead of sitting around sulking, she can actually do something. She is a girl of action. Even though she knows she’s not invincible, she’s also not afraid to take chances. I also enjoyed reading about her budding relationship with Xan. She’s taken care of herself for so long that it’s hard for her to open up to others. When she finds herself reaching for Xan’s hand when she’s scared, she realizes that although she might not need him to protect her, it’s okay to let herself be comforted by others. This realization struck me as very honest and mature.
Navin and Xan are very interesting characters. Navin sounds like the best friend anyone could ask for. The popular crowd at school accepts him, yet he always sticks up and looks out for Donna. Mahoney might be setting the groundwork for a love triangle, but in The Iron Witch Navin doesn’t come across as anything more than a friend. Xan is also pretty incredible, but also much more secretive than Navin. He’s gorgeous, of course, and his chance meeting with Donna at his own party is almost too much of a coincidence to buy, but I’ll let it slide because I like him so much. Donna’s feelings for him seem believable and I like that she repeatedly acknowledges that she’s only known him for a few days, so we know she’s not one of those idiotic girls who fall in love with the first green-eyed, golden-skinned boy they meet. Donna feels the way I’m sure any girl in her situation would feel and she has a lot in common with Xan, enough to build a solid relationship on. I believe Mahoney does an excellent job with character development in her debut novel.
The only things I don’t like about this book is that the entire story takes place in the span of about three or four days and the dialogue sometimes comes across as unrealistic. The characters sometimes speak in an elegant or forced manner that doesn’t fit with their personalities or the time period. Also, all of the action happens in the last sixty pages and is resolved fairly quickly. But one huge question remains unanswered, a question proposed by the Wood Queen, and I’m interested to see where the author takes this story. Now that Mahoney has established Donna’s world, I think her next book will be exciting and even better than the first. I’ll be looking out for it. ...more
There’s nothing better than starting off your summer with a new Sarah Dessen novel. I had been eagerly antiOriginally posted on http://www.yareads.com
There’s nothing better than starting off your summer with a new Sarah Dessen novel. I had been eagerly anticipating Dessen’s perfect blend of relatable girl plus troubled boy equals hesitant summer romance. I was surprised to find What Happened to Goodbye veered from Dessen’s norm, but in a good way.
When a heart-wrenching divorce tore her family apart, Mclean sided with her dad and decided to follow him wherever his consulting job took him. This meant a total of four moves in two years. At each new school, Mclean took the opportunity to reinvent herself, which included going be different nicknames: Eliza, Beth, and Lizbet. In the second semester of her senior year of high school, Mclean and her dad find themselves in Lakeview. Mclean is all ready to become “Liz Sweet” until she accidentally finds herself becoming, well, Mclean. And nothing is more terrifying to Mclean than being herself—whoever that is—and letting people get to know the real her, especially when there’s always the risk that she’ll have to uproot again at a moment’s notice. Letting people in and getting attached seems like a surefire way of getting hurt.
The thing about Mclean is she’s been so caught up in being someone else that she really doesn’t know who she is anymore. While I understand where she’s coming from, by the end of the book I still felt like I didn’t really know Mclean either. It’s clear she’s finally forming her true identity and re-learning a lot about herself, but I can’t help feeling like I didn’t get a really strong sense of her personality. This seemed odd to me in light of the fact that she’d cultivated such strong personalities in the past. She had joined the cheerleading team, student council, drama club. At one school, she was that girl everyone either knew or knew about. But from the way she acted in Lakeview, it was hard to believe she’d once made friends that easily or been that outgoing. Sure, she had no trouble approaching people or talking to strangers and she instantly connected with a small group of friends, but it seemed to me like they adopted Mclean out of pity because she was the new girl; she didn’t really have to try at all. And it’s not like people didn’t like Mclean. It’s just more like there was no reason not to like her. She’s perfectly nice, but that’s about it because that’s how she’s survived all the moves – only let people see the surface.
That’s not to say Mclean isn’t likeable. She is and she’s certainly relatable, especially to anyone who’s experienced divorce. Dessen perfectly captures the agony of divorce and its affects on teenagers and families. Though the situation differs for everyone, certain aspects are universal and Mclean’s attitude throughout is completely understandable. I like that Mclean isn’t your typical moody, angsty teenager. She’s rational, opinionated, and thinks before she speaks, which means that all her words hold a certain weight, especially when it comes to talking with her mom. Listening to Mclean articulate her feelings so well was enlightening. And no one was more interested in hearing what she had to say than Dave.
Dave is adorable. He is the cutest, geekiest boy-genius ever, and he just so happens to be Mclean’s neighbor. Interestingly enough, Dave doesn’t play as huge of a role in the book as expected. What Happened to Goodbye focuses less on Mclean’s romantic relationship and more on her personal transformation and self-discovery. But her relationship with Dave and his friends does play a part in this transformation. At first, I didn’t really understand Dave’s attraction to Mclean. Beside the fact that she was the new, interesting girl, they didn’t really know each other well enough for either to develop a crush. Mclean says as much when Dave’s friend, Riley, says Dave likes Mclean. But as they begin to spend more time together, it becomes evident that the two just get each other. They just have compatible personalities and are capable of making the other happy. For a relationship that plays more of a minor role, this is more than enough. Just knowing Mclean and Dave are happy when they’re together already makes their relationship ten times more successful than many of the relationships Mclean’s seen before.
As she has in the past, Dessen interweaves elements from her past books, such as referencing characters and places she’s written about before. I love these references and knowing that somehow, on a larger scale, all of the characters are connected. What Happened to Goodbye is a really interesting commentary on the idea of identity and how important our identities are. And, as always, Dessen writes skillfully and knowledgably about subjects that open our eyes to new worlds; in this case, she covers restaurant life and basketball. It was exciting to learn so much about those who immerse themselves in the restaurant business and I’d always been curious about families who appeared to live and breathe for basketball games. Now, I can kind of understand the appeal. Sarah Dessen fans definitely won’t be disappointed by her newest summer read. ...more
If you liked Unearthly, you’ll love Hallowed. At the end of Unearthly, Clara made he decision to save TuckeOriginally posted on http://www.yareads.com
If you liked Unearthly, you’ll love Hallowed. At the end of Unearthly, Clara made he decision to save Tucker instead of Christian, leaving her purpose unfulfilled. Now, despite the fact that Tucker and Christian are both alive and well, Clara can’t help feeling guilty, confused, and lost. On top of all that, a Black Wing is still stalking her and she’s having more visions, this time of someone’s funeral.
I didn’t know what to expect from Hallowed. After finishing Unearthly, I thought of so many different directions Cynthia Hand could take the series, but I had no idea which she would choose. And still, she manages to surprise. Like Clara, I believed the issue of her purpose was now a moot point. She didn’t fulfill it, but everything turned out okay in the end, so no harm, no foul, right? Except maybe her purpose isn’t finished after all. Poor Clara — her mom continues to keep everything from her, despite how desperate Clara is for answers. But as frustrating as that is, at least Hallowed proves just how important it is for some of these secrets to remain secret. And Clara’s mom does finally give into Clara’s request for information, revealing a lot of shocking truths and interesting angel lore. Hallowed deftly explores the legend of the Nephilim and Hand puts her own spin on it so that the second book in the series is just as eye-opening and engaging as the first.
In addition, each character is much further developed in Hallowed. Jeffrey is insufferable and annoying and awful, but there’s a surprising motivation behind his actions. Christian is willing to just be Clara’s friends, though he is undeniably drawn to her. And while Clara loves Tucker with her entire being, she can’t deny that she and Christian seem to be destined for each other. Personally, it’s hard for me to pick favorites. I love each boy for entirely different reasons. In the first book, there wasn’t really any reason for Clara to like Christian other than the facts that he’s hot and she kept dreaming about him. Her slow-blooming relationship with Tucker was much more natural, the product of an adorable friendship formed over a long summer. But in Hallowed, it’s easy to see just how much Clara and Christian get along. They get each other and they have this one huge thing in common: they’re both angels. So how can she possibly decide between these two great guys? I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes.
Hallowed is one of those rare sequels that is just as good as, if not better than, the first book in the series. These characters are smart and lovable, more than willing to seek out the answers to all the questions the reader is just as eager for answers to. They’re easy to respect, the kind of characters you want to be best friends with. Cynthia Hand’s beautiful world is captivating, from the beautiful descriptions of rural Wyoming to the fascinating explanations behind angels and their purposes. If you were at all wary or suspicious of another angel series, like I was, cast your fears aside. You won’t want to miss Hand’s masterpiece....more
Nikki Beckett spent one hundred years with Cole in the Everneath, the equivalent of six months in the realOriginally posted on http://www.yareads.com
Nikki Beckett spent one hundred years with Cole in the Everneath, the equivalent of six months in the real world. At the end of her hundred-year sentence, Nikki chooses to return to the surface for her remaining six months, at the end of which she will either be swallowed by the Tunnels, which will siphon her emotions for the rest of her life, or she can choose to return to Cole and become an Everliving, meaning she’ll have to Feed off of others the way Cole Fed off of her to survive.
Nikki has accepted her fate in the Tunnels. She only returns to the surface to make things right with her family and see, for one last time, the face of the boy who kept her alive while she was in the Everneath: her ex-boyfriend, Jack. But Nikki soon realizes that simply seeing him isn’t enough, especially since Jack’s so desperate to hang on to Nikki now that she’s back in his life.
I surprised myself by loving Everneath. This book provides a love triangle that makes me remember why I love love triangles. Jack is the boy every girl dreams about for her first boyfriend. He and Nikki have been friends since they were little and it took Nikki a long time to realize she might like him as more than a friend. It took Jack even longer, as he was known as sort of a player throughout their high school. But when they finally end up together, they’re obviously a perfect fit. Everneath is told from alternating chapters of the past and present, before and after Nikki’s time spent in the Everneath. Though we catch glimpses of Nikki and Jack’s friendship before their relationship, I wish we had seen more. But what we do see is adorable and completely “aww”-worthy. It’s so refreshing to see two characters that know each other so well and that bring out the better qualities in each other — you know, like in a real, natural, positive relationship.
Speaking of real and natural, all the characters in Everneath are supremely realistic. Nikki is the protagonist I’ve been waiting for — intelligent, flawed, conflicted, strong. I can’t stop thinking about how realistic all of her actions are and how I’d probably make a lot of the same decisions as her if I were in her place (not always the best decisions, but the ones that seem to be right at the time). She stands up for herself and tries to make the best of her circumstances, despite the fact that doing the right thing is always the hardest, in her case. She’s also a genuinely good person, with pure intentions and a clear moral compass. Basically, she’s a really likable person and an admirable heroine.
Everneath‘s plot is both unique and familiar. A lot of ancient myths are incorporated, specifically the myth of Persephone and Hades, as well as Orpheus and Eurydice. For mythology lovers like myself, it’s always fun to see myths included with a modern spin. But then Brodi Ashton goes even farther, providing us with the intriguing plot of the Everneath, the Everliving, and the Tunnels. Ashton reveals clues about this world she’s created sparingly, ratcheting up the senses of suspense and mystery. Most of Everneath is completely unpredictable, which meant the closer I came to the ending, the more anxious I felt. I couldn’t tell how things were going to play out and the ending left me heartbroken, though hopeful and pacified enough to wait for the sequel. As long as it’s not too long of a wait.
Everneath is a book that will make you feel, that will leave you conflicted…in the best possible ways. Cole is the villain and at times, you’ll hate him, but there are also some moments you’ll feel twinges of sympathy for him. You’ll want Jack and Nikki to be together, but you’ll also want what’s best for Jack, and that just might be staying away from Nikki. But even though Nikki made one supremely bad decision, she’s still a good person and she deserves happiness too, right? If you’re looking for a lovable, complicated, paranormal page-turner, don’t hesitate to dive right into Everneath. You won’t regret it. ...more
A million souls exist in Range. Each year, these same souls are reborn into different bodies. Until the yeaOriginally posted on http://www.yareads.com
A million souls exist in Range. Each year, these same souls are reborn into different bodies. Until the year Ana is born. No one knows Ana and she has never lived before. And her existence means someone has stopped existing: Ciana. The other souls resent Ana for taking the place of one of their friends, someone they’ve known for thousands of years, and they’re wary of Ana. Will she be reborn after this life? Is there any point in getting close to her without knowing for sure if she’ll remain a permanent fixture in their lives? Sam seems to think so, but in a world where every seems to hate her, Ana’s not sure she can trust Sam.
Incarnate is an incredibly interesting and unique idea. After reading it, I’m surprised reincarnation hasn’t been further explored. Meadows creates a fascinating world, but as fascinating as it is, I thought she could have taken it further. She raises so many questions throughout the novel and some of the big reveals feel kind of disappointing and rushed. Everything about Incarnate is so new and the entire world is especially new to Ana, making her a perfectly relatable protagonist. She’s insanely curious, which should be beneficial for the reader. But as Ana searches for answers she doesn’t find until the very end, the suspense and sense of mystery keep building and building, leading up to a huge revelation. While the revelation is unpredictable, I just expected more from it.
One thing I really appreciate about Incarnate is the way Meadows makes you question everything and everyone. Ana is a naturally distrustful character, for good reasons, so it takes a lot for her to open up to people. Sam and his friends work hard to really earn Ana’s and our trust. Then Meadows manages to sweep the carpet out from under all of us, making us doubt everything we learn about the characters. It’s so rare that I feel that unsure, that I have no idea where the plot is going, and I commend Meadows for being able to surprise me so much.
There’s a lot to like about Incarnate. Every aspect of the novel is refreshing. The world of Range, and specifically the city of Heart, is a breath of fresh air, with it’s new traditions, customs, and overall different way of life. The mystery surrounding sylph still plagues my mind and the small portion of science behind the reincarnation piques my curiosity. The story incorporates its own new religion and raises questions about faith and belief. Basically, its a book that really makes you think, even after you finish it. If you’re growing wearing of vampires, angels, and the typical paranormal romances, then don’t hesitate to pick up Incarnate, as it’ll offer something you probably haven’t seen before. ...more
Hadley Sullivan is en route to her father’s second wedding, celebrating his marriage to Charlotte, a woman Hadley’Originally posted on www.yareads.com
Hadley Sullivan is en route to her father’s second wedding, celebrating his marriage to Charlotte, a woman Hadley’s never met before. The wedding is the last place Hadley wants to be and, almost as if the world understands this, she arrives to the airport just three minutes late, causing her to miss her flight. While she waits for the next plane to arrive, she meets Oliver, a British Yale student coincidentally occupying seat 18C, a mere seat over from Hadley’s 18A. Oliver is the perfect distraction — from the impending wedding and Hadley’s claustrophobia. He’s funny, charming, and sweet…and Hadley’s pretty sure she senses a romantic connection. But when their plane lands in London, Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other before she has a chance to say goodbye. All throughout the ceremony, Hadley can’t stop thinking about him. Then a shocking revelation forces her to actively seek him out, despite the limited information she has to go on.
With such an amazing synopsis, I thought I would instantly fall in love with The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. And I probably would have if the synopsis was accurate. Or rather, if it weren’t quite so misleading. This book isn’t about Hadley and Oliver’s relationship and it isn’t about the idea of love at first sight. It is about Hadley’s broken relationship with her father. It exams divorce, infidelity, and parent-child relationships. These are all interesting issues and Jennifer Smith does a fantastic and thorough job exploring them, but going into the book, I wasn’t prepared for such heavy issues. As such, I was left feeling disappointed and a little morose. Even the ending wasn’t enough to cheer me up, especially since Smith does such a good job of portraying the effects of a broken marriage on an entire family that anyone who has experienced divorce in any capacity will be unhappily reminded of their own experiences.
Hadley Sullivan isn’t the most intriguing protagonist, but she’s likable and relatable. She reacts to her parents’ divorce as many teenagers do, but she’s a little ahead of the curve in that she blames her dad rather than his new fiance, which impressed me. Hadley is most interesting when she’s talking to Oliver, as he brings her out of her sullenness. Oliver, by comparison, is lively, witty, fun, and a little mysterious. He’s a huge part of the reason I even finished this book. I actually found his story far more intriguing than Hadley’s and wished we could have learned a lot more about him. Sadly, he only appears for what feels like a brief part of the book.
My main problem with The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is that it provides a lot of back-story. The entire middle consists of tons of flashbacks, all the way to when Hadley was young and happy, up until the divorce. When not flashing back, we get to witness Hadley’s dad’s wedding, which — in my opinion — is a pretty dull affair. Charlotte is too perfect and all the conflict is resolved rather easily. Though Hadley grows as a person and character throughout the book, the growth (and her eventual forgiveness) seems kind of sudden and unwarranted.
I liked The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, but I didn’t love it. I think if I reread it knowing what it’s really about, I might like it better. Every scene involving Oliver was enjoyable and Hadley’s relationship with her dad is interesting enough. I’d just like to warn other readers that this is not the romantic, heart-pounding love-story it proclaims itself to be. ...more
Touch of Frost is the first book in Jennifer Estep’s brand new Mythos Academy series. Touch of Frost followOriginally posted on http://www.yareads.com
Touch of Frost is the first book in Jennifer Estep’s brand new Mythos Academy series. Touch of Frost follows Gwen Frost, a teenage girl transfered to Mythos Academy after the death of her mother. Gwen comes from a long line of Gypsies, which means she’s gifted with supernatural powers. While her grandma is psychic, Gwen possesses the gift of psychometry, meaning when she touches objects, she sees visions, thoughts, and emotions related to those objects. At Mythos, Gwen uses her powers to find lost items for her rich classmates…at a hefty price. But when Jasmine Ashton is murdered in the Library of Antiquities, Gwen thinks she might be able to put her powers to better use.
At first, I was really excited to read this book. Supernatural boarding school, check. Independent, witty heroine who’s different from everyone else, check. Insanely hot, flirty boy who knows how to wield a sword, check. But the very first chapter irked me. In fact, the very first line made me cringe. “‘I know your secret.’” Really? Do girls really walk up to one another and just an announce this? Not to mention, the secret in question isn’t much of a secret at all. Estep tries to lead with suspense, but for me, this technique completely backfired so that I almost immediately wanted to put the book down.
But it was the first chapter of a new series, so I forgave it and moved on. Unfortunately, Touch of Frost doesn’t really improve. Estep’s writing style just really grates on my nerves. She beats certain phrases to death, such as “magic mumbo jumbo” and “warrior whiz kids.” Every single meal is described in agonizing detail and I’m not sure why. Epithets like Valkyrie, Spartan, and Gypsy-girl are thrown around probably over a hundred times. Never mind that the characters all have their own names. Apparently it’s a rule at Mythos that students disregard names and identify each other by whichever race of ancient warriors they descend from. This lends a forced quality to all of the dialogue and even Gwen’s inner thoughts.
Writing style aside, I wasn’t really held by the plot. Gwen is working in the library one night when she hears some sort of commotion. She’s knocked out and awakens to find Jasmine Ashton, resident mean girl of Mythos, bleeding to death. Gwen is shocked by the murder and shocked that the murderer left her relatively untouched. Even more surprising is the student body’s reaction. No one really seems to care, not even Jasmine’s best friends. Sure, Jasmine was well-hated, but she’s dead. Why is Gwen the only one who seems affected by this? She’s told that the students are used to and prepared for death. They grow up in an environment where they’re training to defend their lives and the lives of others. They’ve experienced death and the threat of death all their lives. It’s even pointed out that the professors turn a blind eye to students partying and drinking because, well, they could die tomorrow so why not let them live now? But if all this is true, then why is Jasmine the only dead student? No one ever mentions other friends or family members that died. No one even mentions other attacks. If the Reapers of Chaos are really such threats, then where are they and why aren’t they being more…threatening?
The ending, while not entirely predictable, is ridiculous. The villain seems to be reciting lines from a cringe-worthy horror film. And the villain’s reasoning behind her actions is completely unbelievable. Her actions are rash, crazy, and unjustified. Maybe that’s the point (after all, bad guys are usually crazy), but the villain’s actions are the catalyst for everything that occurs in Touch of Frost and by the time she reveals everything, my only reaction is, “Huh. Overreact, much?” Not only is it a letdown, but I also have a really hard time stomaching the explanation for why she does the things she does.
The characters in Touch of Frost aren’t super original or well-developed. Each one just reminds me of a poor imitation of a character I’ve read about somewhere else. Touch of Frost itself seems like it’s trying too hard to be Vampire Academy. The book really didn’t hook me. The only thing I’m mildly curious about is the burgeoning relationship between Logan and Gwen. I don’t understand why they like each other as they don’t spend any time getting to know each other, but my interest is still piqued. Since Touch of Frost is the first book in a new series and Jennifer Estep’s first attempt at writing for YA, I’m willing to give the series another chance with the sequel, Kiss of Frost. ...more
For fans of Maria V. Snyder, especially her Study series, Touch of Power is a must read. Avry is one of theOriginally posted on http://www.yareads.com
For fans of Maria V. Snyder, especially her Study series, Touch of Power is a must read. Avry is one of the last remaining Healers in the Territories — perhaps, even, the very last. Healers, once respected and revered, are now hunted as they are blamed for the inception of the plague that has left so many dead. But there are some who still need Healers, like Kerrick and his merry band of rogues. Kerrick needs Avry to heal Prince Ryne, who is being kept in a magically induced stasis to prevent the prince from dying from the plague. But there are many who will do anything to stop Avry from healing Ryne. Little do they know, Avry doesn’t even want to heal Ryne and she makes it absolutely clear that who she heals is completely her own decision. With such high stakes, it is imperative that Kerrick convince Avry that Ryne is worth saving, which proves difficult as Avry and Kerrick hate each other.
Snyder transports us to yet another new world in Touch of Power. Her descriptions are crisp and powerful so that her words really bring this world to life. This book covers a long period of time, which means Snyder has plenty of time to explore the Territories and the politics surrounding each aspiring ruler. Each persons’ motivations behind wanting to rule is fascinating. The would-be rulers all have flaws. Major flaws. This makes it easy to sympathize with Avry’s conflicting thoughts and emotions. She doesn’t know what the right thing to do is, but she feels pressure from so many forces to do something. I admire that she refuses to compromise her beliefs throughout the entire novel. A huge burden rests on her shoulders and she takes it very, very seriously, despite some chances at an easy way out.
This book is full of intrigue and suspense. The mystery of the plague gripped me from the very beginning and I was dying for answers up until the very last page. Then there’s the mystery of Kerrick — why does he so wholeheartedly believe Prince Ryne is the best hope for the future and what secret is Avry hiding that sets her so against healing Ryne? Even as questions are answered, more and more crop up, leaving you frantically flipping pages until you reach the last one, at which point you want to shake the book up and down, hoping for more pages to fall out. That’s how powerful this plot is. There’s just so much to it — you’ll get so caught up in the intrigue of this world that the characters’ problems start to feel like your own. You won’t want answers, you’ll need answers. Luckily, this book provides just enough that you won’t feel jilted at the end, though you will be dying for the sequel.
As far as protagonists go, Avry is supremely likable. She’s such a genuinely good person, stubborn, sassy, and uncompromising in her beliefs, though still willing to listen to reason. As a Healer, she puts others’ lives before her own, which is why she refuses to be coerced into healing anyone. When she heals, it’s her decision because it affects her life. I also love her stubborn streak. She isn’t afraid to stand up to literally anyone, which often gets her in trouble, but also works in her favor. Half the time. Maybe. She’s a heroine I respect immensely and probably my favorite of Snyder’s characters to date.
The supporting cast is absolutely amazing. Kerrick is a complicated, captivating character. His relationship with Avry is tumultuous and unpredictable. Every conversation between the two of them held my complete attention. Kerrick’s best friend, Belen, is instantly lovable and completely deserving of Avry’s nickname of “Poppa Bear.” He’ll defend his friends, or “cubs,” until his dying breath. Flea, Quain, and Vinn make up the rest of Kerrick’s group of rogues, and their charming and hysterical in their own ways. Each distinct personality brings something new to the table and makes you feel as if you’re becoming part of a family the entire time you’re reading. The light campfire conversations will bring an unconscious smile to your face.
Touch of Power is full of action, mysterious, intricate plots, and exciting new characters. It’s a wonderful addition to Snyder’s repertoire and, in my opinion, one of her best books so far. I can’t wait to see where this series goes. ...more