If I Stay is without a doubt one of the most powerful books you’ll ever read. At just 17 years old, Mia’s life is only just beginning. She has a beaut...moreIf I Stay is without a doubt one of the most powerful books you’ll ever read. At just 17 years old, Mia’s life is only just beginning. She has a beautiful and loving family, a great boyfriend, a caring best friend, as well as being a talented cellist who is on the verge of being accepted into the prestigious Julliard. On a day that started out as an innocent family outing, a car accident brings her life to a grinding halt as just about everything she cares about is taken away from her.
Stuck in a limbo state, her spirit looks on as doctors struggle to put the pieces of her battered body together. With only the ability to helplessly look on as the news of the accident gets around, Mia is left with one choice: should she live or die?
To say this book is a page turner or unputdownable is not really enough. This book is both heartbreaking and moving, but above all, beautiful. It’s one of those stories that has the unique ability to transcend above the YA category to speak to readers of all ages.
If I Stay reveals human nature when it’s struck by one of the most crippling emotions: grief. It shows how grief affects people differently and can bring people together when your world has been taken apart. This grief is demonstrated by two sides – by Mia as she comes to terms what has happened to her family, as well as when she contemplates death, she grieves for her own life and the possibilities that seem lost to her now. Grief and worry is also shown by Mia’s relatives, some are reduced to tears, others stay strong while some opt for distraction and denial.
The story is skillfully written, really gripping you with Mia’s progress while also taking you back to Mia’s memories and we slowly get to know more about her and how much she’d be leaving behind if she decides to go.
All the themes and issues in If I Stay all come back to one main point – love, in its many forms. The love between family, the love Mia has for her boyfriend, best friend and the love she has for music. This love is what makes the difference when deciding on choosing life – can you still love after you’ve lost? Is it enough and is there love in places and in people right there where you never thought to look? On top of all this, not once do you feel the story is getting melodramatic or sappy.
The characters are incredible in If I Stay and what makes some of them so powerful is their subtleties in the way they convey their thoughts and emotions. One of the stand out was Mia’s Grandpa, he was a strong silent man but in a few lines and simple gestures he could melt your heart. Mia’s brother Teddy had a sweetness that only comes with being so young while her parents and boyfriend, Adam showed depth not only in their love for Mia but also in their way of thinking. Her best friend Kim had such great wit and humor that helped to lighten the story.
Can I say anything bad about this book? Not really, other than it’ll make you cry, no, ball your eyes out, so I’d suggest arming yourself with a box of tissues.
If I Stay is the type of book that will linger in your heart and long after you turn the last page it will make you ask, if you had the choice, would you stay?(less)
Mara Dyer knows she isn’t crazy. She knows that she can kill with her mind, and that Noah ca...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
Mara Dyer knows she isn’t crazy. She knows that she can kill with her mind, and that Noah can heal with his. Mara also knows that somehow, Jude is not a hallucination. He is alive. Unfortunately, convincing her family and doctors that she’s not unstable and doesn’t need to be hospitalised isn’t easy. The only person who actually believes her is Noah. But being with Noah is dangerous and Mara is in constant fear that she might hurt him. She needs to learn how to control her power, and fast! Together, Mara and Noah must try and figure out exactly how Jude survived when the asylum collapsed, and how he knows so much about her strange ability…before anyone else ends up dead!
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer left off with Mara thinking she saw Jude, her ex boy-friend who supposedly died, and turning herself in to the police. The Evolution of Mara Dyer takes place right after that with Mara being committed into a mental hospital. Nobody believes that Jude is alive, which can only mean one thing…Mara has to be insane.
After convincing her family that she does not belong in a mental hospital, she agrees to drop out of school and join a day program for troubled teens. There she finds old friends, and her love, Noah. Noah is the only person who believes that Mara is telling the truth about Jude, and together they work to unravel the mystery and prove that Mara is not insane.
Let’s backtrack to the first book in the series, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I remember thinking that the book was good, but I was annoyed at how little was actually revealed during the book. I really didn’t understand what was going on with Mara. Was she insane or could she really do the things that she claimed to be able to do? There was no clarification in the first book, and it really put me off. I was really excited to read The Evolution of Mara Dyer, because I wanted those secrets to be revealed….or at least some of them. I wanted some sort of clarification to make the books worth it.
Unfortunately, The Evolution of Mara Dyer was even more confusing than the first book. I got about halfway through the book and then I stopped reading it because absolutely nothing was revealed. I am not going to invest almost 1,000 pages into a series when nothing is going to be explained or when no hints are going to be dropped my way. The whole purpose of reading a book like this is to get clues to figure out what the heck is going on with Mara Dyer.
I’m a person who craves romance and hot boys in my young adult books. Some authors do it well and some authors don’t. I can’t stand Noah. I liked him a little bit better in the first book, but I hated him in the second book. I found him to be kind of creepy and very controlling of Mara. Likewise, I didn’t like Mara’s character either. Granted, I wasn’t in love with Mara in the first book, but she annoyed the hell out of me in this book. Reading about someone who is deemed insane is a very uncomfortable thing to do because that person is going to be very awkward and timid around other people. Also, everyone is going to walk on eggshells around that person. So that was basically what was going on the first 300 pages of the book. I couldn’t stick with it. I tried so hard to finish the book, but it was just a waste of my time.
Because I wanted to know what happened at the end of the book, I asked for spoilers. Don’t worry…I’m not about to tell you guys anything! The ending is very shocking, and I’m really glad that I did not stick with the book. Also, it didn’t sound like anything was really revealed…and the ending is a MAJOR cliffhanger! Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I HATE cliffhangers. It’s part of the reason that I sometimes wait for an entire series to be out before I will read it. Michelle Hodkin is a fabulous author, but I can’t read an entire series that doesn’t let me in on what’s going on. I’m sure the third book will explain everything. But I’m also sure that a reader will have to invest about 1500 pages with no idea of what’s going on, only to be enlightened on the very last chapter. That’s not my kind of book.
There are a lot of fans of this series, so I would encourage everyone to look at other reviews before deciding that this review is reason enough not to read the book. Not to mention that I am extremely picky. Like I said before, Michelle Hodkins is an amazing writer. I only wish I could write as well as her. Unfortunately the series just was not for me.
Publication Date: October 23rd, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating: : 2
Teaser Quote: “Don’t tempt me. Now, what are you wearing?” “A hoodie and drawstring pants too, I guess.”“Anything underneath?” “I don’t typically walk around without underwear.” “Typically?” “Only on special occasions.” “Christ. I meant under your hoodie”
“You will love him to ruins.”
“I hate that I never managed to persuade you to watch Buffy. It’s a flaw in you, Mara.” (less)
I faced a bit of a dilemma once I finished this book.
How could I describe how I felt about it? How could I say I liked it without that sounding sadist...moreI faced a bit of a dilemma once I finished this book.
How could I describe how I felt about it? How could I say I liked it without that sounding sadistic? How could I say I enjoyed it when it left me constantly on the verge of tears?
So instead I will say that Lina’s story of survival, her spirit, her love and her hope were completely inspiring.
As we learn from the blurb, Lina and her family are forcibly removed from their home in Lithuania by the NKVD (the Russian secret police, later known as the KGB) in 1941, two years into WWII, and shoved into a truck with other innocent citizens who have been deemed criminals by the Soviets, destined for deportation. Already completely terrified, they find themselves at a train station filled with other Lithuanians and mass hysteria. The family struggle to stick together as they’re thrust into cattle trains that will be the beginning of a horrifying ordeal where they will suffer through labour camps, disease, starvation, indignity and injustice.
The story in Between Shades of Gray has two sides. One is the side that illustrates the harrowing journey faced by victims of the Soviet’s invasion of Eastern Europe, while the other side presents a story of strength and hope.
I feel like I’m repeating what many reviewers have already noted so far (but I’ll say it anyway) – most stories from WWII focus on Germany and the Jewish genocide, with not many touching on the invasion of Eastern Europe (which includes Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland). Till this book came alone I didn’t actually know anything about it at all. So in that way, this book was very eye opening.
Reading this novel, when it came to just how much these people suffered, I felt this intense pain grip my heart, similar to how I feel every time I read a story about the Jewish genocide, you just can’t fathom how people could be so cruel to one another. What makes it even worse is that these stories are based on true accounts.
However, even though Ruta Sepetys shows us the brutal side of humanity, she also shows how people can come together even in the most horrid circumstances. It was amazing to see people risk their lives to defy their captors and bring a piece of hope to another deportee whether it be in the form of news about a loved one, or extra food. It was these points of light in the book that lifted the story and made it more than just a tragedy.
Our main character Lina was such a star. Her defiance and strength in the face of such hardship should be admired. Intermixed in the story are her memories of her father, cousin Joanna and life before the deportation which both added to the story and lightened it. Her mother and brother were also so brave, especially her mother who held herself together not just for her family but for the other people in the camp. I also really loved Andrius….you’ll find out why.
Between Shades of Gray is a beautiful, compelling and emotional read. Ruta Sepetys bring to light a not often spoken about time in history and shows us that even in the worst circumstances there is still hope and there is still love.(less)
This book is so stinkin’ adorable! It was just like a breath of fresh air. I loved the chara...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
This book is so stinkin’ adorable! It was just like a breath of fresh air. I loved the characters, the plot. I loved EVERYTHING about this book. I’ve just recently started listening to audiobooks and this is the very first one that I listened to all the way through. It was just so adorable. I loved it!
Before I go into the story itself, I want to give a big shout out to the speaker of this book, Kim Mai Guest. I’ve had some difficulties with speakers before, but I LOVED Kim! Her voice is very relaxing and very easy to listen to. She also does a really good job capturing individual voices for each character. She didn’t even bother me when she was doing the male parts. I really enjoyed her as a speaker, and I would highly recommend people listen to the audiobooks that she narrates.
Anna is the main character in Anna and the French Kiss. She’s recently been sent to a new school in Paris by her father so that she can get a more rounded education and get into better colleges the next year. Of course, she doesn’t speak any French and is completely lost from the get go. And to top it all off, she already has enemies within the first few days of being in Paris. But Anna quickly finds her own little group of people to hang out with and a really hot guy who she is majorly crushing on, St. Clair. And, of course, he is taken by Ellie. Figures.
Personally, I loved Anna. I thought that she was a great main character. Actually, I was a big fan of all of the characters. It’s hard for me to say if that’s the case in the actual book, because I didn’t read it. I listened to it. So maybe I’m just so infatuated with all of the characters because I loved the speaker. But the point is that I loved following Anna on all of her adventures.
There were a few sections in the book were I was like UGH…this is so DRAMA FILLED! I’m not really into a bunch of drama. I do wish that that would have been toned down maybe just a little bit. I was also a little annoyed with the relationship between Anna and St. Clair. I felt that that was dragged on and on and on and on. Over and over and over again. *spoiler alert* Anna and St. Clair don’t even progress until like the very last couple chapters. THERE ARE OVER 40 CHAPTERS IN THIS BOOK. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! That was my reaction when listening to this book. It was just moving a little too slowly for my taste.
Even though things moved very slowly, I do have to admit that this is an EPIC love story. Yes, I do wish that things maybe happened a bit more quickly, but I loved the romance and the power that came from this book. Anna and St. Clair were ADORABLE (Man, I’ve been saying that word a lot.) Just….ah! ADORABLE. There I go again. I just…..I want them to have their own movie. They were so stickin, yes, adorable!
While I was listening to this book, I kept asking myself the same question. Would I like this book if I was reading it instead of listening to it? And my answer? Probably not. Well, let me be more clear. I think that I would think that the book was cute…but just okay. Contemporary really isn’t my genre, and I think that the lack of progression would have bugged me a lot more than it did when I was just listening to it. So, I wouldn’t personally read this book. I also would recommend that readers who don’t enjoy contemporary very much at least try and listen to it. It’s actually really adorable on tape.
I really enjoyed listening to this on my way to storytime and to work. It was great to listen to! I really enjoyed it! Right now I’m currently listening to Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, and I adore it already. I don’t like the narrator as much, but I’m enjoying the story! Maybe this is how I need to get my contemporary books in!
I would highly recommend this book to all contemporary lovers, and I would recommend this audiobook to EVERYONE!(less)
Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments t...moreEverything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, solemn and brooding; Cas, lighthearted and playful; Trev, smart and caring; and Sam . . . who’s stolen Anna’s heart. Reserved and always controlled, Sam does everything with purpose. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them. Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to go, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab — not even their true identities. Anna has a different kind of life. She’s home schooled, doesn’t have a mom, and she works with her dad in the basement of their farmhouse monitoring and studying four young men whom the government is ‘molding’. But what are they being molded for, and why doesn’t Anna have more answers? She’s privy to limited information, and although she wants more, she’s never really made any real concerted efforts to get it. It becomes very clear very quickly that Anna doesn’t have any friends … except, well, the boys. Although they live in ‘cells’ and there is a glass wall that separates her from them, she knows them well, spends time with them, entertains them, and connects with them. It’s clear within the first few pages that Trev, Cas and Sam all adore Anna in their own unique ways. Nick, however, is a bit of a surly one and seems to hate the fact that Anna even exists. Mostly, Anna just ignores his sourness, but she can’t always hide the teeny tiny blob of fear that nestles deep in her belly when she has to interact with him personally. After spending four years with Anna and her dad in their basement, Anna and the boys, albeit locked up, have grown up together. But what kind of life is this? Anna, who cares about her boys more than she lets on, ponders this often. How is this fair to them and why, why is it so important that they be locked up like this. In their midnight games of chess, Sam has, in so many ways, made it clear that all they really desire is a life outside their cells. Sam. The apple of Anna’s eye, the thump thump of her heart, and the very single reason she plods down into that basement every single day. Is it possible for her to love him so much, when their relationship is already so unconventional? What’s more, does Sam know? God, Anna hopes not. Then, one day, they get their wish. The government rocks up and announced that they’ve decided to terminate the project, which means terminating the boys. In the middle of the extraction process, Sam miraculously defies all odds and defeats his captors. Anna, in a moment of pure panic, joins in the fight to free her boys and suddenly, after much blood is spilled, finds herself on the run from a secret government agency with four boys who have been wired and programed into some kind of superhuman being. What exactly that entails, none of them know. They’re not safe from the government, they may not even be safe from each other… As they run for their lives, Sam, Anna and the boys discover secret after secret about themselves, their pasts, and their ugly fated future. As the story careens to the finish line, one thing becomes blindingly obvious: even though they didn’t know it, this all started with Sam and Anna, so it only seems fitting that it end with them too. This book has it all: romance, action, oh-so-much action! It’s a contemporary reality smeared together with just a hint of fantasy that barrels along at warp speed! It’s both character and plot driven, descriptive without being overbearing, and the best thing? Both guys and gals are going to dig this one! The relationship between Sam and Anna, although completely central to the story, doesn’t take over and turn this into a wishy washy chicklit read. At times I was incredibly frustrated at the distance Sam put between himself and Anna, but the wedge only drew me in further as their romantic tensions sizzled the pages to life. So little touching, so so much fire. I laughed out loud at Cas’ witty humor and inflated ego, I gasped loudly as trouble found them at every corner they turned. I wanted to cry as people they cared about were gunned down, left behind to bleed out alone. I swore loudly as betrayals broke their circle down. But the thing that had me allllllll wound up in a bundle of anxious nerves was the fact that no one could trust anyone, and it seemed that no one was exactly who they said they were. There were times when I thought everything was false, and then others when I completely doubted my instincts. I LOVED the unpredictability of everything. It was refreshing and incredibly invigorating to read. A debut author couldn’t want anything better than this for herself. Perfectly written, utterly engaging, Altered hit every single one of my literary taste buds. It’s addictive and perfect in every single way. Everyone on the face of the earth needs to read this book right now! Pages: 323 Publisher: Little, Brown & Co. Publication Date: January, 2013 Teaser Quote: Brakes screeched behind us. I looked back but Nick urged me on with a shove. Footsteps pounded after us. Cas reached the Jeep first. Sam tossed him the keys and Cas snatched them from the air before sliding behind the wheel. Trev ripped up on the back door handle. “Get the girl first!” someone shouted. Rating: 5(less)
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never be...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nikki
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. Hazel has cancer. The bad kind that just won’t go away. No one is sugar coating anything for her – it is inevitable, just a matter of time. She hasn’t been to school in three years, which means her list of friends can be counted on one hand. She hauls herself up in the house reading the same novel over and over and subjecting her parents to re-runs of bad reality TV programming. Hazel’s mom thinks she’s depressed and forces her to go to a local support group for kids like her. She protests, of course, but even cancer can’t get you out of some things. Enter Augustus Waters. Cancer survivor, amputee, life optimist, cancer support group resident hot guy. And he’s looking at Hazel like that. By the end of the meeting Augustus has managed to convince Hazel to go back to his place and watch a movie with him, and just like that Hazel’s terminally ill cancer life changes to terminally-ill-but-now-she-gets-to-live-a-little-too. Here’s what you need to know about this book: YOU WILL NEED LOTS AND LOTS OF KLEENEX. This is a story about kids with cancer, so I think the plot probably speaks for itself, but what I did find utterly astonishing was just how funny it was. John Green has somehow managed to spin the situation Augustus and Hazel find themselves in so that it’s completely and totally hilarious without discrediting the seriousness of a disease like cancer. In fact, the first time I picked up a tissue was to wipe the laughter from my eyes. You will fall hopelessly head over heels in love with Augustus and Hazel. By the end of the first chapter, I wanted to wrap Hazel in bubble wrap and hug away all the badness she’d endured throughout her life. Then Augustus came along and I realized he wanted to be the one that did all that for her, so I stepped off. Regardless of the humor, regardless of how much I laughed out loud while reading, Augustus and Hazel’s story is heart crushingly, soul destroyingly sad. Perhaps that’s what makes this book the shining diamond that it is: it’s ability to be both brilliant and horrifying all in one. There’s not much else that needs to be said about The Fault In Our Stars, except that this is, without a doubt, the best book I’ve read in any genre for a really, really long time. And not because it’s about cancer, but because it’s about people, love, and making it count. Five stars isn’t a high enough rating for this masterpiece. If I could give it more, I would. John Green, thanks for your brilliance. The Fault In Our Stars will change lives.(less)
Aria was raised in Reverie, a small Pod that protects her and a few thousand other Dwellers from the outside world. Living in such an enclosed space w...moreAria was raised in Reverie, a small Pod that protects her and a few thousand other Dwellers from the outside world. Living in such an enclosed space was stifling, so the Realms were created as a means of distraction and entertainment. In the Realms, Dwellers can live out their wildest dreams and fantasies, free from fear, pain, and sickness. Reverie and the Realms are the only life Aria has ever known, until she’s left for dead in the outside world. There, Perry finds Aria just as the hovers that deposited her abduct his nephew. Though every fiber of his being rebels against the idea, Perry realizes that the only way to get Talon back is to team up with Aria, if he can manage not to kill her long enough for her to help him.
From the very beginning, I wanted to like Under the Never Sky. It’s unlike any dystopian novel I’ve read so far. It’s intriguing, the plot is unbelievably unique, the tantalizing descriptions are fresh, and the chapters shift between Aria’s and Perry’s points of views, providing insight into both their worlds. But for some reason, I didn’t fall right into it. The beginning chapters felt kind of forced and disjointed to me. I liked the world Rossi was creating, but I didn’t love the characters. And then Aria was thrown out of Reverie and it was like a flip switched into my mind. Everything fell into place; I was riveted.
While I loved the crazy-interesting and intricate world Rossi created, the characters really stole the show for me. At first, Aria didn’t stand out to me. She seemed nice enough, but I was far more interested in Perry, the complicated Savage. He had so many different sides to his personality and I loved seeing how certain characters brought out certain aspects of that personality. As Aria and Perry grew more comfortable around each other, Aria opened up. I saw how brave and selfless and funny she could be. As the two got to know each other, they truly brought out the best in each other. The development of their relationship was fascinating and gripping, especially given the fact that we could experience it through both of their eyes.
Then there was Roar, one of Perry’s closest friends. He stole my heart from the second he opened his mouth. He was just so, so amazing. I wanted to cuddle with him. I still want to cuddle with him. And he did a great job of managing the awkardness between Aria and Perry. But the amazing supporting cast didn’t stop there. Cinder and Marron also brought a smile to my face, just because they had such distinct personalities. Every character really leaped off the page for me so that I felt like I was experiencing Under the Never Sky in 3D.
Beside the phenomenal character development, the book is very plot-driven. There was a sense of urgency and suspense to it that kept me eagerly flipping pages. Not to mention the top-notch world-building. Rossi’s explanation of both societies is clear and fully detailed, providing excellent imagery and a logical back-story. Under the Never Sky is a remarkable debut, proving that Veronica Rossi is an author to look out for.(less)
Defy is a book that I have been wanting to read for quite some time now. I mean, come on, hi...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
Defy is a book that I have been wanting to read for quite some time now. I mean, come on, high fantasy? That's right up my alley! Unfortunately, there were several elements of Defy that I found confusing, off-putting, and just.....for lack of a better word, weird. I really wanted to like this one, but I just had to DNF it at 45% through it.
Several people have told me how much they loved and enjoyed Defy, but I honestly just couldn't get into the storyline. I was really uncomfortable with the fact that Alex was pretending to be a boy in the book. I don't think that it would have bothered me if she was experiencing questions and confusion over her own identity, but it was really off-putting for a girl to be portrayed as a boy to prevent being thrown in a breeding house. It was even more awkward and uncomfortable to read about her crushes and her relationships with some of the men in the story. I couldn't latch on to any relationship because of the awkwardness. It just fell a little flat for me.
Another major issue that I had with Defy was that it read less as a high fantasy book and more as a non-fiction military book. I didn't feel that it contained the elements that high fantasy novels usually do. There were definitely parts of the book that leaned toward high fantasy or paranormal aspects, but it just seemed more harsh and military focused. Again, it was made even more intense by having the main character portrayed as the wrong gender.
As a result of the harshness and non fiction feel to Defy, I have to admit that I think this book is more geared toward males than anyone else. However, the writing style was spot on and that in itself will draw its own crowd. Unfortunately, though...this was just a little too much for me. (less)
How can you talk about something you can’t remember? Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cass...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Kiona.
How can you talk about something you can’t remember? Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still…), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it. Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect… or so she thinks. Cassidy “Sid” Murphy isn’t exactly popular, despite being a cheerleader, and she’s never really received positive attention from guys. So when a local college guy takes an interest in her during a school ski trip, Sid can’t resist going off to meet him alone. Unfortunately, the last thing she remembers is talking with him in his kitchen before waking up alone in his bed and dealing with the ramifications of having sneaked out. It’s clear to Sid what her mystery guy has taken from her: her virginity, along with a lock of her springy red curls. But she can’t tell anyone and so she develops a reputation: some classmates see her as a rebellious hero, while others label her a slut. Her inability to confide in anyone causes her to lose her true friends. In an effort to distance herself even further, she signs up for A/V, where she spends an entire period with only Corey “the Living Stoner” Livingston for company. Slowly, Sid finds out that there’s more to Corey than meets the eye; he’s surprisingly easy to get along with and he doesn’t seem to judge Sid. The two start spending more time together, but Sid’s not sure how far their relationship can go without Corey realizing Sid’s hiding a major secret.
I was tentative about starting What Happens Next. Rape is a big, intense subject and it’s easy for authors to deal with it badly or unrealistically. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed What Happens Next. It’s a book about rape, without being a book about rape, if that makes sense. The title probably comes closest to explaining what I mean; this is a book about what happens after a traumatic event. And by that I don’t mean the police investigations and broken family situations. Sid chooses to keep her secret and try to move on with her life, a decidedly atypical reaction that makes her a fascinating character to read about. Sid makes a lot of irrational choices, all the while understanding that her choices are irrational and that she’s probably doing the wrong thing, without being able to stop herself. But still, the point of this book is joining Sid on her journey as she tries to get back control of her life. We watch as she transforms into a different person and root for her to show her attacker that while he may have taken something precious from her, he can’t take her life away.
So what sets this book apart? As soon as Sid first makes the decision to lie instead of telling the truth, we essentially stop hearing about “the event.” Instead, we focus on Sid’s inner thoughts and psychological dissection of herself. I love Sid. I can’t stress enough how utterly stupid a lot of female characters in YA are and Sid is the exact opposite of that. She’s so, so smart. Her thoughts are so real that they mirror the thoughts of the reader as you’re reading. Throughout the book, Sid struggles with obsessive thoughts and bulimia. She questions why she’s forcing herself to purge, only to remember, “Well, I know why I’m doing it. I just don’t know how to stop.” One of my absolute favorite things about Sid is how self-aware she is. She watches herself to terrible things and she questions those things, but she is so broken that she’s unable to stop herself. This is possibly the most real depiction of coping with a traumatic event that I’ve seen in YA literature and though, hopefully, many of us can’t claim to relate to Sid’s situation directly, her feelings of self-doubt and helplessness are definitely relatable, which make the story that much more powerful.
Of course, this book is also a love-story, though there are definitely two love-stories at play; we have Sid’s relationship with Corey, and then Sid’s relationship with herself. Sid and Corey’s relationship simmers slowly and boils into something incredibly sweet. Corey is not at all what I expected and a thousand times better. He is so very real, the guy that every girl wants but forgets to give a chance. And he’s a baker! What more could you ask for? Oh, I know, a revelatory transformation on the part of our main character. Because, in essence, Sid learns to love herself, which turns out to be the most satisfying journey of the entire novel.
The only problem with What Happens Next is that the conclusion leaves the book feeling a bit unresolved. Not that I need or want some big, dramatic confrontation with Sid and her attacker — I much prefer the emotional poignancy of the confrontation between Sid and Corey, which is beautifully, believably done. I get that this story is all about characterization, which I love. The ending just doesn’t feel like a complete ending for me, though it’s clear that it is. But that’s the only reason I’m knocking off half a heart, rating-wise. Otherwise, What Happens Next is a beautiful and moving story of a traumatized girl overcoming the most awful of circumstances and finding her inner strength.(less)
Even though I adore Brigid Kemmerer and her Elemental series, I have to admit that I was ner...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
Even though I adore Brigid Kemmerer and her Elemental series, I have to admit that I was nervous to read Secret for a few different reasons. 1) I wasn’t completely sold on the cover 2) she absolutely pissed me off at the end of Hunter’s book! 3) Even though I LOVE this series, I feel that Nick hasn’t really played a key role before now. I definitely wanted to read the book, but Nick was never a star character like Gabriel and Hunter. Surprisingly enough, I think that Secret ended being my favorite book in the series. It was all sorts of brilliant and wonderful. I literally just finished the book, and I don’t even know how to express my thoughts into words.
This book……Oh my goodness….my poor aching heart. You know that feeling when your chest just feels like 50 pounds of steel is weighing it down and you find it hard to breathe? That’s how I felt throughout most of this story. This was the very first book in the Elemental series that made me worried, that made me cry, and that shocked me. It was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever read. I really don’t have one bad thing to say about it.
Secret is the very first lgbtq themed book that I have ever read. I completely support gay couples, but I honestly didn’t know how I would like reading about a gay MC. I had absolutely no issues with it. I have such a crush on Adam’s character. I don’t even know how to explain how hot he is. There’s a part of me that actually prefers reading about a gay couple than a straight couple, which I didn’t think would happen. I just thought it was one of the most romantic things I have ever read in my entire life.
When I first seen the cover for Secret, I was a little confused why there was a girl on the cover. That’s definitely a first in this series. Secret is actually told from both Nick and Quinn’s POV. This is the ONLY dual POV book that I have ever enjoyed. I hate multiple POVS in books. I mean HATE. I actually thought that it really worked in this book. Quinn hasn’t been my favorite character, but I absolutely adored her in this book. It was actually one of her scenes that I started crying in. I thought that Brigid did a wonderful job of incorporating both of their perspectives into this book.
As for the shock factor that I mentioned above, I have to say that there were a few things that happened that I didn’t see coming. The scene in the prologue and the very last scene just blew my mind. I didn’t expect either of those things to happen. I love when an author does something unpredictable. Honestly, I think that’s something that Brigid has mastered….especially after Hunter’s book! I loved the element of surprise in this book a lot!
One thing that I really want to see as this series progresses is more focus on the past love interests that we’ve met. I’m a really big fan of Gabriel, and it did kind of annoy me that we didn’t see him and Layne together. Same goes with Chris and Becca. We don’t really see them together. I know this was Nick’s book, but I do want to see some more affection between the other couples, as well.
Overall, I loved this book! The best in the series so far! I would definitely recommend that everyone go out and buy all four books!(less)
There are lots of interesting things about Beatle. His name isn’t really Beatle, for one, but the name ‘Beatle’ is a pretty fitting nickname, since hi...moreThere are lots of interesting things about Beatle. His name isn’t really Beatle, for one, but the name ‘Beatle’ is a pretty fitting nickname, since his real name is actually John Lennon – for real. Beatle’s eccentric, astrological crazed mother is a huge fan of the pop group, The Beatles, and I reckon that’s all I need to say about that!
Another interesting thing about Beatle is the fact that he’s a twin, but he’s no ordinary twin. Beatle’s sister, Winsome, was born 45 days after Beatle, making her birthday fall on a completely different day, in a completely different year to Beatle’s. How many twins can say that about themselves?
And then there’s Beatle’s limp. Beatle had a stroke a couple of years ago and his gimp walk is something that is a constant reminder of his ordeal. A stroke sounds like something only old people experience, but Beatle is living proof that old people’s health problems can plague the youthful, too. I reckon all these things together make Beatle one pretty interesting character.
Then, on freaky Friday the 13th, in a remarkable twist of fate, Beatle meets Destiny, and his story gets even more interesting…
Destiny McCartney can’t freaking believe that this Beatle guy’s name is really John Lennon. I mean, come on, how trippy is that? He she is, Destiny McCartney, just minding her own business at the bus stop after a disastrous Friday afternoon, and along comes John Lennon. Of course, he’s not the real John Lennon – the musical genius – but you have to admit, it’s pretty freaky all the same. The irony is certainly not wasted on her, or him, for that matter.
There are lots of interesting things about Destiny, too. She’s the second youngest sibling in a family of nine kids. Although most of her siblings are in their twenties and beyond, a lot of them still live at home. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in a house full of so much chaos!
Another interesting thing about Destiny is that she’s always up for a bit of fun. In a bout of boredom one afternoon, Destiny and her friends answer a ‘Stalker Wanted’ advertisement in their local newspaper, thinking that the person who paid for the advertisement is the one who wants a stalker, but then a whole bunch of crazy things start happening to Destiny and her family and she realises that maybe, just maybe, she’s made a huge mistake. What kind of person answers a ‘Stalker Wanted’ advertisement anyway?
The most interesting thing about Beatle and Destiny, though, is not how much they like each other, but how much their lives are already so intertwined, and they have absolutely no idea. Beatle and Destiny’s freak meeting on that uneventful Friday afternoon proves that maybe fate has a little more control over our lives than we really care to admit. Some people are just meant to be.
Beatle Meets Destiny is a belly aching, hilarious read. Destiny and Beatle are such unique characters and their story is like a breath of very fresh air. Set in Melbourne, Australia, Beatle and Destiny’s story flows effortlessly off the page into what felt like was a real-life drama. This is one book that I think would make a rocking, Indie Australian film. I hope someone out there in film-land thinks the same one day.
This is Gabrielle Williams first novel for young adult and I sincerely hope that it is not her last. I’d recommend this book to anyone, of any age, gender, or nationality.(less)
When I first began The Iron King, I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. I’m always wary of the Faery world. Some authors describe it well and some authors...moreWhen I first began The Iron King, I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. I’m always wary of the Faery world. Some authors describe it well and some authors completely butcher it. But as soon as I realized Iron King offered a modern twist on Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” I was hooked.
On her sixteenth birthday, Meghan Chase begins to see things that can’t be real. She chalks these odd visions up to her imagination, but when her sweet, four-year-old brother suddenly attacks their mother, she realizes she’s been fooling herself. Her best and only friend, Robbie Goodfell, reveals himself to be Robin Goodfellow, the age-old prankster known as “Puck” in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” He explains that her real brother has been captured and replaced with a changeling. Puck agrees to take Meghan to the Unseelie Court in search of her real brother and a wild adventure begins.
This story is definitely action-packed. Every chapter provides a new twist and turn. I thought the constant plot twists would become exhausting at some point, but instead I just kept turning the pages, wondering what would happen next. Julie Kagawa does a phenomenal job when it comes to world building. Meghan and Puck journey through the Nevernever, the Seelie Court, and the Unseelie Court. Meghan meets all sorts of interesting creatures and beings, each of which are carefully described and easy to imagine. Reading The Iron King allows you to fully immerse yourself in a completely new world.
I loved the characters introduced in this first installment of The Iron Fey series. Meghan was realistic and relatable, though it was sometimes hard to understand if she was more of a damsel-in-distress type or the type of girl willing to fight for herself and her friends through whatever means possible. Puck is witty and protective, the kind of guy I wish could be my best friend. His relationship with Meghan isn’t forced or unbelievable. Eventually, Prince Ash is introduced, creating the stereotypical love triangle. But this love triangle works. Romance isn’t the central focus of this book, for once. Friendship and understanding grow between Meghan and Ash before any romantic feelings take over. Sure, there’s that initial attraction, but the two don’t instantly fall in love, as is the case with so many other novels. And Meghan’s confusion between her feelings for Puck and her feelings for Ash is palpable, which lets the reader sympathize with her.
I can only think of two downsides to this book. The first is Puck’s near-constant use of the title “Princess” in reference to Meghan. By the first chapter, we get it. Puck knows something we don’t know. By the second chapter, it’s obvious that there’s something different about Meghan…she’s a princess. The amount of times Puck calls Meghan “Princess” in every conversation is unnatural and forced. But because he’s Puck, I’ll let it slide. The second downside was the use of the word “writhing.” Not a big deal, by any means, but still distracting. Everything was constantly writhing, especially toward the end of the book. Any other verb would have sufficed.
But those are just minor details. The Iron King is a gripping lead with a surprising ending that leaves reader’s dying to get their hands on the second book in the series. Kagawa has created a world that is difficult to stop thinking about for too long.(less)
Under normal circumstances it would only take Richelle Mead’s praise of a book on its front cover for me to say “Wel...moreOriginally featured on yareads.com
Under normal circumstances it would only take Richelle Mead’s praise of a book on its front cover for me to say “Well, enough said, I’m reading it!” But it wouldn’t be much of a review if all I wrote was “Richelle Mead says so, READ IT.”
Till now, most of the books I’d read about Angels had been lackluster to fairly decent but nothing that I completely loved, Unearthly changed all that.
Clara has known she was part-angel for two years now and finally, she has begun having visions which are the clues to her ‘purpose’. These visions are cryptic and her purpose isn’t quite clear, only that she sees a boy standing in a forest area that’s about to be engulfed in flames. Who is this guy? Where is the forest? Why is he there? What’s she even meant to do once she’s there? That’s all up to Clara to figure out.
If I could use just one word to describe this book it would be refreshing. Everything from our main character Clara, to the love interests, to the use of angel mythology were so well done it makes this book a stand out amongst its genre.
The storyline was artfully done, with a perfect blend of realism with the supernatural. The writing is easy to read and amazingly captivating – just when you plan on reading one more chapter, you find yourself reading another hundred pages instead.
Some moments were quite suspenseful and I found myself gasping out loud or yelling at the characters hoping in vain that they’ll hear my warnings, but of course, that’s as useful as when your Dad is yelling at players during a football match on tv – they can’t hear you.
I loved that this wasn’t one of those, anti hero, I’m-coming-to-terms-with-these-new-powers-which-by-the-way-I’m-awesome-at-but-waaaa-my-life-will-never-be-the-same-kind-of-books. Clara’s known about her angel abilities for two years already so has had time to adjust to the idea and all the extras that go with being a part-angel, but she still has a lot to learn.
I was also very glad that her family was not only well aware of Clara’s purpose and part-angelness but that they were also part-angels. It was nice that it wasn’t some secret that she had to tip toe around and make lame explanations to cover up.
Clara herself is a completely likeable, down to earth and strong character. Her angel blood means she can naturally excel at things most people have to try very hard to master, but there are other things she really has to work for, especially when it comes to her own angel powers. She’s witty, especially her banter with Tucker, she’s not rebellious but definitely has a mind of her own.
The characters in Unearthly are so well done, each of them being much more than just props to Clara’s story. They have their own minds and their own issues and goals that they’re working towards so that within the story they’re living with Clara not for Clara and her story.
From the blurb we gather that there are two guys who could be potential love interests. When I saw that I groaned because I’m soooo tired of love triangles. The way the story pans out in Unearthly though is quite unique and though it seems it, it doesn’t conform to what we think of as a normal love triangle. In this case it’s like the characters are just as unhappy about how it as we are.
The love story in Unearthly was so sweet, so beautiful, and once again, absolutely refreshing. It proves that in the supernatural genre you can have a romance that doesn’t happen overnight, or is based on someone just being unbelievably beautiful, or with one of them being stalker obsessed or spineless. I LOVED Tucker….just sayin ;)
Unearthly was extraordinarily fabulous, I’ve used this word a lot so far but I LOVED it. I can’t believe I have to wait till next year for the sequel because a lot was left hanging at the end. Unearthly proves you shouldn’t give up on the Angels concept by delivering a knock out story that you’ll fall head over heels in LOVE with.(less)
fter serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crow...morefter serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined. Wow. I almost can’t even put into words how much I adore Throne of Glass. To put it into perspective, it’s on par with my favorite series of all time. For most people, that’s the Harry Potter series. For me, it’s Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series. Throughout my life, I’ve loved hundreds of books, but nothing has ever surpassed my love for all things Tamora Pierce. And while I’m not saying Throne of Glass achieves that, I definitely feel the same way about this book as I do about Alanna’s adventures. Let’s start with our protagonist: Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan’s most feared and respected assassin. Celaena is extremely likable. She’s also witty, frightening, determined, loyal, and so, so very fierce. Celaena proves that even if you break a warrior’s body, you don’t necessarily break their spirit. She has an inner strength that is nearly unparalleled in literature. She also doesn’t make excuses for herself. It’s hard to call Celaena a role model when she’s also a murderer, so I won’t. But what I like about Throne of Glass is that everyone acknowledges that what Celaena does for a living is wrong.But they don’t immediately discredit her as a bad person. Instead, they try to understand, and while she can’t quite be forgiven for the deaths she’s caused, we at least get glimpses into her reasoning, glimpses that will turn into full-on explanations as the series progresses, I assume. Celaena is definitely a complicated character, someone with a hard past and multiple layers to her personality; someone who doesn’t deserve to be judged at face value. But Celaena isn’t the only shining star. Throne of Glass, as a whole, shines on its own. The setting of Adarlan is captivating and fresh. This world is beautifully wrought, the details fine-tuned and expertly crafted. Falling headfirst into this world is such a wonderful escape, one I’m already dying to experience again. There are castles made of glass, masked balls, all forms of combat, glittering gowns, and shudder-inducing punishments. There are thiefs, assassins, dashing princes, corrupt officials, and deadly princesses. Throne of Glass has literally everything I pray for in a book. Then there’s the plot, a plot that’s anything but predictable. The ups and downs, twists and turns kept me thoroughly on my toes. Plot twists are revealed all the way up to the very last page, promising an equally exciting sequel. The competition for the King’s Champion is thoroughly engaging without dragging. Maas doesn’t waste time introducing us to unimportant characters or detailing events that can be summed up succinctly. Instead, there’s more focus placed on characterization and world-building, when necessary. That’s not to say the action is lacking. There’s plenty of it, from Celaena’s training to her battles against the other would-be champions. Not to mention the action that comes along with dancing — literally dancing at balls and parties as well as the figurative dances that come along with court politics. Basically, there’s never a dull moment. Then there’s the romance. Romance is decidedly not the focus of this book. Instead, more of an emphasis is placed on forming relationships based in friendship and trust. Obviously, Celaena is a hard person to trust, nor does she trust others easily. It takes a long time for the characters in Throne of Glass to feel comfortable with and open up to each other. But watching their relationships grow is so fulfilling. While I expected more romance, or at least more of a love triangle, I am so glad that these expectations aren’t met. The relationships that do form are so much more gratifying and leave me with even more respect for Celaena. If I could give this book more than five stars, I absolutely would. As it stands, there’s nothing I dislike about Throne of Glass and I absolutely recommend it to everyone, no matter what your book preferences are. Throne of Glass is so worth every minute you spend reading it and rereading it and rereading it. Pages: 416 Publication Date: August 2012 Publisher: Bloomsbury Source: NetGalley Rating : 5 Teaser Quote: “After a too-long moment, the crown prince spoke. ‘I don’t quite comprehend why you’d force someone to bow when the purpose of the gesture is to display allegiance and respect.’ His words were coated with glorious boredom.“ (less)
I will not be rating this or reviewing it on www.yareads.com, but here are my thoughts.
This pretty much went how I thought it would go. I found it ve...moreI will not be rating this or reviewing it on www.yareads.com, but here are my thoughts.
This pretty much went how I thought it would go. I found it very awkward that Trust In Me was even going to be a book. It was all from Cam's POV, but it was the same story. Maybe if it had been like a sequel from Cam's POV, then it would have been interesting. I found myself skimming a lot, because I had already read most of those words in Wait For You. I really just don't understand why this was made into a book.
There are SOME scenes that didn't exist in Wait For You, but there's not many of those. Most of it really is just stuff that we already read from the first book. I found myself just skipping to the scenes that I loved the most. The rest of it seemed to be a waste of my time, though.
I would recommend the first book, WAIT FOR YOU, but I probably wouldn't recommend that people go out and buy Trust In Me. There's really nothing special about it that we didn't get in Wait For You. Great writing, great characters, great story....but it's still the same story with just a different POV.(less)
The Melt has devastated the earth and sunken all the coastal cities and forced society into a crippling caste s...moreLife’s not easy in Rosie Black’s world.
The Melt has devastated the earth and sunken all the coastal cities and forced society into a crippling caste system of the haves, “The Centrals” and the have-nots, “The Bankers”. As a Banker, Rosie and her dad struggle to survive after the shattering loss of Rosie’s mother to the MalX disease. The world as Rosie Black knows it is very different from the one we know today, and the contents of a seemingly harmless little box are about to turn that world upside down.
The box contains a secret, one so incriminating that the powerful Helios corporation will stop at nothing to get back in their possession. But they’re not the only ones who want to get their hands on it. As it becomes clear that Rosie and her family’s safety is in jeopardy she finds herself on the run without knowing who exactly she’s running from or to where. As she falls into the web of the schemes and plots of others, Rosie must put her trust in Pip, a shady and much too attractive Feral (the outcasts of society) and his boss Riley, a man who keeps his cards, and true identity, close to his chest.
Rosie soon realizes that the situation is bigger than all of them as they race to Mars to put a stop to actions that could have devastating consequences.
Genesis is the very impressive first book in the Rosie Black Chronicles, Lara Morgan’s first foray into young adult fiction. Morgan’s dystopia paints a bleak picture of a society where the people are on the one hand, living in gleaming skyscrapers, making progress in medicine, technology and the colonization of Mars, yet at the same time the other half are struggling in poverty and desperation.
The story is gripping and complex as we uncover the layers of conspiracy and hidden agendas within Helios and to what extent each character has played a part in these schemes. Genesis at times had a very Hunger Games feel, not just with a strong female like Rosie but also with the author’s no holds barred approach to certain characters.
Like all good villains the one in Genesis is not only not apparent at first, but also has motives that sound logical but are obviously misguided. Our villain is also cold and ruthless, but needed a bit more explanation into what made him so, which will hopefully be seen in the next book.
To balance out the breathless action, we see Rosie as well as Pip battle with their emotions as they come to terms with their pasts and the current circumstance they find themselves in. The relationships between characters felt very organic and believable, and not just in the romantic sense. But, behind Pip’s demeanor and endless, obnoxious flirting could there be real feelings?
Genesis is fabulous novel that takes on the dystopia/sci fi concept and does it well. We have a strong female lead in Rosie and plenty of unresolved issues (and feelings) to take us through to the next book.(less)
Warning: Though there will be no spoilers (other than discussing plot points already known in the previous novels)...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com
Warning: Though there will be no spoilers (other than discussing plot points already known in the previous novels), there will be a lot of gushing about Richelle Mead’s greatness and Last Sacrifice’s awesomeness.
As a book reviewer, in order to post reviews on a regular basis you need to read books at a certain pace. Usually you set a page goal of how many pages per session to read in order to finish the book in time to review it, which with some books, can feel like a chore. From my perspective as both a reviewer and general reader, the best books are the ones that make you look at a book and think, “oh no, I only have 300 pages left” and you hope somehow another 300 will come from nowhere because you just don’t want that book to end.
Richelle Mead’s stunning conclusion to the Vampire Academy series, Last Sacrifice, fits perfectly into that category of books.
It fits, not because it’s the last book in a series and is expected to be good – which is not always true since the last book can often make or break a series, but because Last Sacrifice was just that darn good.
When we last saw Rose she had been arrested, accused of killing Queen Tatiana, Dimitri claimed to no longer have feelings for her and had been given clues from the murdered Queen herself about a lost Dragomir, Eric Dragomir’s illegitimate child. The book picks up days after the trial we saw in Spirit Bound and wastes no time getting right into the action.
One by one the answers to five books worth of questions start to reveal themselves as we realize just how well Richelle Mead has interwoven so many plot points to create such a complex but fascinating storyline.
There were so many moment that would make me stop and practically fall off the bed, squirming with excitement over what I’d just read. Particularly at each chapter end there’d be either a shocking reveal or someone would say something so simple with such a huge impact that would make one of many “OMG/OH SNAP” moments.
Besides the plot itself, it’s the amazing characters that really make this book. They are so well developed and each of them have grown and matured since the first book, being able to read about them again was like hanging out with old friend, it was so comfortable being with them in the story.
Rose for me is always a stand out. It’s probably an understatement but this. girl. kicks. butt. And not just in the literal Strigoi killing kind of way. Rose especially has matured as a character, along with Lissa as well, who have had a role reversal since for once, it’s Rose that is in trouble and needs to be saved. Not that Rose is content to just sit around and wait though…but that’s Rose for you.
I also loved the cameo from my favorite character, the word badass. It’s become pretty notorious in the Vampire Academy series and I think makes only one appearance, but I love it.
I was also very glad to see more of Abe, who has a wicked sense of humour and charisma that Rose obviously inherited, as well as Sydney, who we know will be a character featured in the spin-off, Bloodlines.
It goes without saying that the love triangle between Rose, Dimitri and Adrian is resolved but I really, really can’t say anything at all, because even the slightest comment will give it away. But I will say, that things progressed quite naturally.
As I said earlier, the last book can really make or break a series, and Last Sacrifice finished Vampire Academy off perfectly. You head into the thick of the action with Rose as she battles against accusations, Strigoi, emotions and Spirit and comes out, if possible, even more of a badass than she was before. You’ll hate your body for needing to sleep because it’ll come between you and reading one more chapter.
In future, I trust Richelle Mead with any and all series and their ends because this one was done spectacularly. I can’t believe it’s over, but I’m definitely content. Luckily we don’t have to leave the Moroi and Dhampir world completely as we look forward to Bloodline’s release in August 2011.
If I could it’d be 10000 stars out of 5. But I’ll have to settle for 5 out of 5.(less)
The rules governing middle school are often a mystery, but for Eric Haskins, they’re a myste...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
The rules governing middle school are often a mystery, but for Eric Haskins, they’re a mystery he needs to solve, and fast. He’s a normal, average kid, until sixth grade starts. For some inexplicable reason, the class bully and his pack make Eric the Grunt. Even his best friend since first grade turns on him. Eric can’t figure out why he’s the Grunt until he hears about the Bully Book, a cryptic guide that teaches you how to “make trouble without getting in trouble, rule the school and be the man” and how to select the Grunt-the kid who will become the lowest of the low. Eric Haskins may be this year’s Grunt for now, but he’s determined not to stay at the bottom of the social ladder forever. Hilarious and compelling, The Bully Book is a must-read for every tween, tween parent, librarian and educator!
Eric Haskins has just started 6th grade. Up till now, he’s been perfectly normal. He’s had good friends, even a best friend, Donovan. He’s done pretty will at school, he’s never been bullied or gotten into any real fights. Life has always been pretty good for Eric. Of course, that all changed the moment he walked into his 6th grade homeroom class and was labeled the “Grunt.” What exactly is the “Grunt?” That’s exactly the question that Eric wants to know. Everyone liked him before, so why all of a sudden is he the social outcast? Now, Eric is being constantly bullied by people he’s never even met. He’s being beat up, picked on, humiliated. Poor Eric has got some real trouble on his hands, and he doesn’t even know what he did to cause it. On a mission to find out what the “Grunt” truly is, he starts to investigate. Shockingly enough, Eric soon learns that he’s not the only Grunt around! In fact, there seems to be one for pretty much every grade level starting after sixth grade. Teaming up with his fellow grunts, Eric sets out to find out exactly why he’s the grunt, what made him the grunt, and how to stop his tormenters and ruin their Bully Book once and for all.
The Bully Book was very hard for me to pick up, because I’ve experienced some of the bullying and trauma that Eric was subjected to. I felt like I was going to be placing myself into an unsafe situation which made me a little uncomfortable. Once I picked up The Bully Book, I finished it in an entire setting. I read The Bully Book in under 4 hours, which is the fastest I have read any book since elementary school. Eric’s story was so realistic that it simply broke my heart throughout most of the entire book. Bullying is a very real thing that goes on in this world, especially in public schools, which is something that Eric Kahn Gale portrayed very nicely. I was captivated from the very first journal entry, and it lasted until the very last page. One thing that I loved about this book, and it’s probably going to offend some, is how realistic Eric Kahn Gale portrayed the teacher’s in this story. Many teachers out there do not stand up for their student’s who are being bullied. They ignore it, don’t notice it, blame the victim, etc. Is that harsh? Maybe, but that’s what I experienced. I never had a teacher stand up for me, and I went to many different schools. Many teacher’s will not do anything unless the student who is being bullied directly confronts the teacher about it. Why should the student have to say anything? Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are plenty of cases out there where the teacher’s really don’t know that bullying is going on. However, there are MANY cases where they should know. It’s not the student’s responsibility to ask for help. It’s the teacher’s job, and they need to stand up for their student’s. The substitute teacher in The Bully Book made me so mad. I just wanted to jump into the story and throttle that stupid woman. If student’s were using their vocabulary words to harass another student right in front of me, I would do something about it. I would get student’s suspended or expelled over that, because bullying is NEVER acceptable. NEVER. I was really offended for Eric, and I wish just one person would have really stood up for him. Another thing that bothered me during The Bully Book were the parents. A parent should know when their child is miserable. They should know when something is wrong. You may not want to admit to yourself that your child is being bullied, but odds are that it has happened at least once. You need to ask your children how other student’s treat them. It doesn’t matter that it’s an uncomfortable conversation or if your child gets angry that you brought it up. What matters is that you took an interest and made sure that they were safe. I honestly, for a large part of this book, thought that Eric was going to commit suicide from the torture that he was receiving. Never once did an adult take an interest in him. Never once did his mom say, “Eric, is everything alright at school?” And his dad? His dad laughed! Not at the fact that Eric was being bullied, but he turned bullying into some sort of joke. It’s not a joke. It’s not funny. It’s actually rather disgusting. And the parent’s in this book disgusted me even more. I was hoping for a little bit more with Melody, Donovan and Colin, three of the main characters in The Bully Book. Donovan had been Eric’s best friend since the first grade, and, all of a sudden, he hated Eric. He went along with Eric being the grunt and he turned into a complete and utter asshole. I was hoping to see a change in Donovan, and I didn’t. I also wanted to see more interaction between Eric and Donovan. It didn’t matter if it was good or bad interaction, but I really feel that their story is unfinished. I absolutely despised Melody’s character. Melody played a good friend to Eric, and he also had a really big crush on her. Melody ends up dating the guy who labeled Eric the Grunt, and she watches him get beat up and bullied and doesn’t do anything about it. This is actually very common. I understand that these are sixth graders, but sixth graders are not babies. They know right from wrong, and Melody was definitely in the wrong almost 100% of the time. She’s lucky she wasn’t my kid, because I would have never put up with that. I just wish that we had seen a little more interaction between Melody and Eric towards the end of the book. They definitely have a lot to hash out, and we didn’t get to see that. I’m not sure if there will be a second book, but there’s a lot in The Bully Book that needs to be resolved and finished out. Then we come to poor, little Colin. Colin was my absolute favorite character, and only a slightly lesser geek in the sixth grade population than Eric. He was so sweet and lovable, and I wish we would have seen Eric and Colin grow into very close friends. That’s what I expected to happen from the beginning, and I was very disappointed that that didn’t happen. I wasn’t very thrilled with how Eric treated Colin, and I really hope to gain the opportunity to watch Eric apologize and have them grow into very close friends. This book definitely hit a lot of my triggers. If you’ve been bullied, then The Bully Book might be a little difficult for you to read. The messages in it are amazing, though, and I definitely think that everyone should give it a chance. Most importantly, I think that people who haven’t been bullied or people who have bullied other people should read this book. It’s important that you know how you’re making others feel when you pick on them. It’s not ok, and it’s not something that I will or would ever forgive. Bullying is a big issue in America and it needs to stop. The Bullying Book was an amazing read that took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. My heart broke, my eyes welled with tears, and I swear my blood pressure rose massive amounts. I got angry, sad, happy, fearful….all these emotions that I can’t even describe to you guys. I definitely will be looking out for more work by Eric Kahn Gale. Great book!
Teaser Quote: “I hate the Bully Book and I hate the Grunt.” “Stop making fun of Colin. It makes you sound like an idiot. And stop calling people gay. I don’t even know why that’s an insult. There are real gay people in the world, you know, and there’s nothing wrong with them. Calling someone gay, like it’s a bad thing, is like calling someone a dentist- it doesn’t make any freaking sense!”( Pg 139 ARC)(less)
One word describes No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale; Creepy. And of course, being t...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
One word describes No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale; Creepy. And of course, being the brilliant person that I am, I mostly read this book at bedtime when it was dark outside and I could have the crap scared out of me. It was so vivid, so beautifully detailed, so fucking creepy. Holy smokes. I had to actually give myself lectures to not dream about scarecrow stuffed girls hanging from a tree before I went to sleep. Yes, I really just said that.
No One Else Can Have You is one of the best mystery books that I have ever read in the YA genre. With many mystery books, the plots are very obvious and predictable. No One Else Can Have You left me hanging until the very last second. Sure, I had suspects in my head, but I never really knew who did it. I guessed who it was before they were introduced at the end but that’s only because it was pretty much laid out for the reader by then. One could complain that the killer was one of my original suspects from the very beginning of the book. However, I kind of pushed them aside and thought that it was between a few other people. My only complaint is that the final showdown felt a little rushed. I would have preferred a little more time dedicated to that since almost 350 pages were dedicated to trying to figure out who did it. I also would have liked one final confrontation with the killer at the ending of the book. I felt that they had more to say, and I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to hear it. Maybe there will be a second book? I feel that this could either work as a standalone OR as a series.
On a more negative note, I did have two complaints with No One Else Can Have You. First, I didn’t like Kippy. I actually couldn’t stand her. She didn’t come off as a 16-year-old to me. She seemed a lot younger and really immature for her age. There were some times I struggled with the book, because it was just so hard being in Kippy’s head all the time. Secondly, I had a really hard time with the accents of the characters. Everyone came across as very uneducated and hickish. It was very difficult for me to like or connect to any of the characters, because I just couldn’t stand them. It was almost like every single character had something a little wrong with them. The writing itself was beautiful, but the characters were just way too annoying for my taste.
The best part of No One Else Can Have You was Kippy’s adventures and her mission to find out who really killed her friend. I may not have liked Kippy very much, but I sure did suck this book down fast. I felt like it was always holding me in suspense. I just couldn’t wait to figure out what was going to happen next. There was nothing tame or mild about this book. It was an in your face roller coaster ride that just left my heart pounding. I loved it. I loved the suspense and the tiny bit of horror to it. It scared the crap out of me. I love being able to say that about a book.
I will warn readers that there will be parts of this book that absolutely piss you off. Everyone is against Kippy finding her friends killer. They think she’s crazy and that she’s just having a mental breakdown. The things that are said and done to her in this book left me fuming. It was really difficult not to skim through those sections because they just made me so angry. At the same time, those parts are necessary for the book. It’s a brilliant book and those scenes really add to it. But they will make you so mad. You have no idea until you actually read it. There’s also a really weird section toward the end of the book. Power through it. It will be worth it!
Envy is the third instalment in The Luxe series. It picks up right where Rumors left off, with enough scandal to drive even the calmest of readers’ cr...moreEnvy is the third instalment in The Luxe series. It picks up right where Rumors left off, with enough scandal to drive even the calmest of readers’ crazy.
Mr Henry Schoonmaker – one of New York’s most eligible bachelors, and the love of Diana Holland’s life – has a new wife, and he’s not one bit happy about it, either. How could he be, when the love of his life is not the woman to whom he is now legally bound? Henry can’t even bring himself to look at Penelope with affection so how is he going to fulfil his physical requirements as a husband? As Henry drinks himself stupid night after night, hoping that the alcohol will numb his senses and dull the pain, Penelope’s scheming ways continue evermore.
Diana Holland – the real love of Henry’s life, and the reason he married Penelope in the first place – is hurting. Although Henry told her that he married Penelope to protect her, that Penelope had threatened to tarnish Diana’s wholesome reputation by telling all of New York that Henry had taken her virginity out of wedlock, seeing him with Penelope all the time is a painful matter indeed. Now that he is no longer in the market for a wife, Diana is doing everything she can to put her feelings for Henry behind her, but love is relentless and he haunts her everywhere she goes. Will she be able to stay away from him, especially when he is asking her not to?
The new Penelope Schoonmaker is watching Henry and Diana with hawke-like eyes. She is no fool and she can see the way the pair of them still look at each other. It makes her sick to the stomach to think of her husband’s eyes searching for someone else in the crowd, but honestly, what did she expect? She bribed him into marrying her in the first place. Penelope knows all too well that the only way she will keep her man is by bribing and manipulating him further. But will Henry put up with it for much longer? If the love of your life was slipping through your fingers, what would you do to be with them?
Elizabeth Holland finds herself in quite the predicament indeed. Mourning the loss of her husband, and former servant, Elizabeth finds herself attracting the attention of a one Mr Teddy Cutting – again. Elizabeth feels alone, in despair. Will she warm to Mr Cutting’s affections this time around? Only time will tell. Elizabeth is honest with Mr Cutting about her feelings for him – that the timing is all wrong and she’s still in mourning. But then something happens, something that will ruin the Holland’s forever if Elizabeth doesn’t find a way to fix it. Being with Mr Cutting suddenly seems like a magnificent idea…
And Carolina Broad is up to her usual tricks. I hate Lina so much that I can’t even bring myself to write anything about her.
Envy delivers the goods. After reading Rumors I wasn’t so sure that Anna Godbersen would be able to top her effort – but I was wrong. She writes brilliantly and reading her work is effortless. Henry’s character is developed further in this instalment and he steps of the pages of Envy like a radiant, shining light. I find myself wondering how much more of Anna Godbersen’s scandalous world I can take. I can’t wait for Splendour (the fourth novel) and I know I’ll re-read Envy obsessively until I get my hands on it.
Praise for Anna Godbersen, who has successfully reignited the 1900’s and made it totally cool to be all proper and old school. I love everything about this series – absolutely everything! This would make one hell of a killer television show.(less)
Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…
Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.
Something worse than the Arum has come to town…
The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.
But then everything changes…
I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?
No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…
I'm writing this review a couple weeks after I actually finished the book, because I was on vacation in Florida right after I finished it. So this is going to be a bit shorter of a review because my head is lumping all three books together. What I can tell you all, though, is that Onyx was my very favorite book in the series and I gave it a whole 5 stars.
I really enjoyed watching Katy and Daemon's relationship progress in Onyx. Book 1 was about them meeting and hating eachother, and finally growing to acknowledge a chemistry between them. Book 2 brings in another love interest, confusion between the two, and some definite jealousy. I wish that I would have seen Kate and Daemon get a little closer sooner than they actually did, but there was nothing better than watching Daemon always mess up Blake's name. It was fun to witness him become jealous and basically throw tantrums because he didn't know how to speak up about his emotions and feelings. Katy did bug my a little bit, though. It was obvious that Daemon was trying really hard to gain her affections, and she was set on blowing him off and making him feel miserable. Didn't like that very much.
Blake's (God, I hope I'm not turning into Daemon and am actually getting his name right) character got on my nerves so much. I couldn't stand him! It wasn't just because he was trying to get in the middle of Katy and Daemon, but I found him creepy. I found him to be a rude, inconsiderate jerk in Onyx, and I found him to be even worse in Opal. Daemon should have kicked his ass long before he did. That's my opinion on Blake [=
There is a lot of cool action and suspense in Onyx. It was a little predictable, but there were some things thrown at me that I didn't see coming. I can't stress enough how much I loved this book. I think I spent a good two days on my couch, mouth hanging open, eyes wide as saucers, with the book shoved in my face. I had a massive fan girl moment with this book, and I am now forever a fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout. Everyone needs to read this book!
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: August 14th, 2012
Rating: [rating: 5]
Teaser Quote: “Kitten,” he growled roughly. I kissed him softly, sliding my hands into his silky locks, letting the pieces slide through my fingers. I tasted in him my own rising desire, my own need and heartache. Thrilling. Frightening. I pulled back. “Kitten,” he said again, voice strained. “You don’t get to do that and then stop. That’s not how it works.” I stared at him, my breath stalling in my lungs. “Not when you’re mine.” Daemon backed us up and slid down the wall, pulling me on his lap so I was straddling him. “And you’re mine.” (less)
Jacinda was supposed to bond with Cassian, the “prince” of their pride. But she resisted lon...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, Reviewed by Nichole.
Jacinda was supposed to bond with Cassian, the “prince” of their pride. But she resisted long before she fell in love with Will—a human and, worse, a hunter. When she ran away with Will, it ended in disaster, with Cassian’s sister, Miram, captured. Weighed down by guilt, Jacinda knows she must rescue her to set things right. Yet to do so she will have to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory. The only way Jacinda can reach Miram is by posing as a prisoner herself, though once she assumes that disguise, things quickly spiral out of her control. As she learns more about her captors, she realizes that even if Will and Cassian can carry out their part of the plan, there’s no guarantee they’ll all make it out alive. But what Jacinda never could have foreseen is that escaping would be only the beginning…. Loyalties are tested and sacrifices made in the explosive conclusion to Sophie Jordan’s Firelight trilogy. After the startling ending of Vanish, Hidden resumes with Jacinda and friends on a mission to rescue Miram from a horrible fate. The plan? Sending Jacinda into the Enkros laboratory to rescue her from the inside. Except things don’t go quite as planned, and Jacinda finds out way more about what the Enkros have been up to than she bargained for. In this epic conclusion of the Firelight series, Jacinda and friends experience love, fear, betrayal and sadness. Join in this whirlwind of emotions and watch as the secrets unfold. After reading the first two books in the Firelight trilogy, I have to admit that I was not eager to pick up Hidden. While I found the first book to be an entertaining journey, I found the second to be so offensive that I was afraid that I would not be able to bring an open mind to the last book. Instead, I am so relieved to tell you all that I adored this book. Hidden definitely starts out with a bang. The action starts on page one and continues till the very last page. I devoured it in a little over a day, and I’m finding myself in a mourning stage, as there is no more to read. Unlike the last book in the series, Vanish, Hidden takes place in many different locations. I really enjoyed the different settings, new characters, and shocking twists that I did not see coming. Yet again, I had a major problem with the relationship between Will and Jacinda. Will didn’t offend me nearly as much as he did in the previous two books, but the damage was already done. I ended up wanting to skip pages that revolved around their romance, as I found myself a little disgusted. I know that there are a lot of fans of Will out there, but I still can’t help but believe that Jacinda chose the wrong guy. Another problem I had with the book was that I thought it needed to be longer. Yes, I wanted it to be longer because I really enjoyed the storyline, but I felt that it actually needed to be longer due to the fact that it seemed a little squished together. This didn’t really take away from the storyline, but a lot of things happened very fast and could have been spaced out better. I really enjoyed all of the twists and unexpected events that happened throughout this book. As soon as I thought that one thing was going to happen, a whole other thing occurred. Sophie Jordan was definitely trying to take a turn from the traditional, predictable series. My only complaint is that I guessed who made the ultimate betrayal as soon as it was mentioned. I was a little disappointed that I was right. I hate being right about who the major bad guy is. I want to be wrong every now and then. Fans of this series will love that the ending of this book is set up perfectly for a spin off series. While I love Jacinda, she’s not one of my top favorite characters, and I’m really excited to see if Sophie Jordan will do what I think she will do. I would love to read more about the other characters, especially when this series ended on such a strong note. One thing that hooked me to the Firelight series was the concept of shape shifting dragons. It’s definitely not something that I’ve ever read about before, and I have to give props to Sophie Jordan for thinking of it and executing it well. Fans of Andrea Cremer and Nina Berry will fall head over heels for this series. It’s a must read! Pages: 272 Publisher: HarperTeen Publication Date: September 11, 2012 Rating: : 3.5
Teaser Quote: “Hi,” I return, gesturing to the fish. “Nice catch.” “Yeah. I’m kind of impressed with myself. I always thought redheads were sexy.” “Ha-ha. I meant the fish.” “Ah. Yes.” (less)
I’ll be the first to admit it…I haven’t been the hugest fan of Maggie Stiefvater in the past. H...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Emma.
I’ll be the first to admit it…I haven’t been the hugest fan of Maggie Stiefvater in the past. Her Shiver series just didn’t do it for me, and I didn’t really enjoy any of the standalone novels she’s written either. So despite ravings on Tumblr and Goodreads about how amazing The Raven Boys was, I went into it pretty hesitantly and with low expectations…which were completely blown out of the water!
The Raven Boys is a pretty intricately woven story about a girl named Blue, a non-psychic born into a family of psychics. And for as long as Blue can remember, she’s been told that when she kisses her true love, it’ll kill him. That’s when she meets Gansey, along with the rest of his friends. He’s rich, a little condescending, and everything Blue despises, but something about him makes her want to know more. And then the adventure really begins, as she’s drawn into the crazy world of the Raven Boys, full of long lost kings, ancient Welsh mythology, psychic magic, leylines, and some unexpected romance too.
In case you couldn’t tell by the description, this book was like NOTHING I’ve ever read before. Props to Maggie Stiefvater, because she’s officially converted me to her side. There’s so much goodness about this book, I don’t even know how to begin.
I guess I’ll start with the characters! As the narrator of our story (somewhat, it’s told from multiple perspectives), I adored Blue. She’s feisty, quirky, sharp-tongued, and smart as hell. I think the best way to describe her is prickly, but with a heart of gold. The thing I loved the most about her was how she’d call people out on their BS…she didn’t take crap from anyone, no matter who you were. And the rest of the cast was just as flawless. The boys themselves each had such vivid, well-woven personalities that practically leaped off the page. They felt like real people to me, which was so wonderful. Adam was the most precious (and heartbreaking) character I’ve ever read about…he was so bitter and resentful, but so sweet and gentle at the same time. Ronan was fierce and cruel, but you could practically feel his dedication and protectiveness of his friends. Noah was so quiet that he practically became invisible among his boisterous friends, and I just wanted to wrap him up in a blanket.
But oh my gosh, you guys. Gansey. Gansey. I’ve never loved a fictional character as much as I loved him. And I know I say similar things a lot, but I mean it this time. You know how sometimes you just connect with a character on such an emotional level? That was me and Gansey. I felt his pain, I understood what he was going through with his own internal demons, I cried over him. He was rich and privileged and a little bit oblivious to his own occasional tendency towards being condescending, but he meant well. He cares so fiercely for his friends and wants nothing more than to keep them all together and happy. He’s charming, smooth, but somehow down-to-earth at the same time. God, he’s just fantastic. He’s so incredibly real…but all of them are, really, and that’s what makes this book especially stand out.
The plot itself was the only tiny downfall. While it was fascinating and I had no idea what was going on…that was also the problem: I had no idea what was going on. Not for all of it, mind you, but there were definitely parts where I was like…umm…wait, what just happened? The thing was, it was so complex with so many different storylines that at times it felt like a bit much. BUT, by that point I was already so invested in the characters and the story that I didn’t even care!
All in all, this book is amazing. It’s hugely character-driven, which normally I don’t like, but you can’t not get invested in their lives and backstories. It’s also told from multiple points of view, which I also normally don’t like, but it worked in The Raven Boys. Please pick up this book immediately, guys, you won’t regret it! The plot is unique and full of magical goodness, the characters are utterly real and layered, and the writing is beautifully lyrical and sweeps you away.
This one is worth buying!
Look for my review of the second book in the series, The Dream Thieves, coming soon!(less)
The first time I heard of Witches of East End, it was when I saw the trailer on TV. I was so...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
The first time I heard of Witches of East End, it was when I saw the trailer on TV. I was so excited that another witch TV series was gonna be on, and I fell instantly in love with the show. I went out and bought the first book in the series. I wanted to know all the differences, and I thought that it was going to be a super cool paranormal book. Instead, it was really flat and boring. Not that much actually happens in it. I actually ended up getting so bored that I just set it down around halfway through it.
My biggest complaint with Witches of East End is that there were too many perspectives and too short of chapters. Focusing on all of the characters works in the movie, but I don’t wall all three women’s perspectives in the book. That’s just too much for my personal taste. Also, the chapters were about 2-3 pages long. That made it really choppy and didn’t give me enough time to really focus and latch on to any of the characters.
Another complaint I had with Witches of East End was that it was just really boring. I made it halfway through it and there were no action scenes or any fun magic stuff happening. The characters had old lady like qualities to them and were very bland. It seemed more like reading words than really getting invested in the story and seeing the visuals in my head. It’s very old style writing that I think my grandmother would enjoy. It’s not something that I would recommend to any young readers.
One intriguing aspect of Witches of East End was that it was really fascinating to see all the differences between the TV show and the book. The TV show does stay true to some parts of the book, but they are two different things entirely. I don’t want to go into all the details in case any of you read the book, but that in itself was really interested for me.
Witches of East End is the second Melissa de la Cruz book that I have read and haven’t liked. I read the first book in the Blue Bloods series several years ago and never finished out the series. I’m starting to wonder if maybe I’m just not a fan. I’m not finding the writing very interesting or engaging. I’ve pretty much been bored in both of the books that I have read. So, I think that I might just be done with this particular author. I own Frozen…so maybe I’ll try to give that one a shot before I make that decision.
Overall, I would not recommend Witches of East End. I thought that it was very boring and just flat. I don’t know why Goodreads has it listed as YA because it’s not. This is something that I think will appeal to an older age group.(less)
Originally featured on yareads.com, reviewed by Kiona
This book blew me away – probably because I wasn’t expecting to fall so thoroughly in love with i...moreOriginally featured on yareads.com, reviewed by Kiona
This book blew me away – probably because I wasn’t expecting to fall so thoroughly in love with it. I went in thinking it was a ghost story, due to the summary on the back cover, but I was completely wrong. It’s a fantastic blend of paranormal and science fiction, at times reminding me of elements of Harry Potter and X-Men, both of which I love. Hourglass has so many great twists, some I saw coming and some that completely blind-sided me in the best possible way. This excellently crafted book is well-organized and completely absorbing, one of those I-really-shouldn’t-stay-up-until-2-because-I-have-class-in-the-morning-but-I-can’t-stop books.
But let me backtrack for a minute. Hourglass tells the story of Emerson Cole, a teenage girl who began seeing what she believes to be ghosts shortly before her parents died in a horrific accident. Since then, Emerson has spent her time at mental institutions and boarding school. But when her scholarship is pulled, she is forced to move back home with her brother and his wife. She has only one friend at home, Lily, who has stuck by Emerson throughout her entire ordeal. And then Emerson meets Michael – the handsome consultant her brother has hired – and he turns her world upside down.
The first thing I like about Hourglass was that Emerson confides in her brother and he actively tries to help her. There are so many books where the protagonist feels like they have to hide their “dark secret” because no one could ever possibly understand them. I just want to shake those protagonists and tell them to give their friends and family a little more credit. Of course, Emerson does spend some time in an asylum, but that’s realistic; she’s able to handle that and come out even stronger. Her brother, Thomas, is a wonderful character. He looks out for Emerson, doesn’t think she’s crazy, and continuously tries to help her. He’s also the perfect mix of cool-older-brother and authoritarian. I love his relationship with Emerson and even his rules regarding Michael. It’s easy to see how much he cares about his sister and how seriously he takes her predicament.
Emerson. One of my favorite protagonists. First of all, she has a great name (and I’m not just saying that because I go to Emerson College). She is one of the most three-dimensional characters I’ve seen in awhile. Her biting sarcasm is consistently hilarious; she can take care of herself, due to martial arts lessons; she doesn’t let anyone tell her what to do and only opens up to those she truly trusts; she gets jealous easily, is willing to put others before herself, and occasionally breaks all the rules. She has such a traumatic past and though she certainly draws strength from it, her past is also a source of pain and confusion; she hasn’t completely healed. In fact, by the end of the book she’s even further from healing than the beginning, which just allows the possibility for more growth.
I love the whole science fiction aspect of this book. The idea behind the Hourglass is so innovative and I was dying to know what it was from the beginning. Each character – especially members of the Hourglass – is fleshed out and serves a purpose. Myra McEntire is clearly a master at weaving intricate plots. She includes all the elements of great story-telling, including realistic characters with depth, witty dialogue, suspense, foreshadowing, and sizzling romance. Emerson’s emotions are so strongly conveyed that I felt them right along with her: her suspicion regarding Michael, confusion over Kaleb, anger at Ava, and love for Thomas and Dru. I like that Emerson doesn’t trust people easily. She has no reason to. So when certain characters finally gain Emerson’s trust, they also gained mine, which means I was just as shocked as Emerson by some of the final twists of Hourglass.
This book literally has everything and I really hope I won’t have to wait forever for a sequel. The ending is left open and there are so many questions I still have about this world and the characters. Hourglass is sure to be a hit in the YA scene and I look forward to seeing it receive the recognition it deserves.(less)
Despite Blueberry’s unique name, she’s actually pretty average. She’s convinced she’s the ordinary member o...moreOriginally posted on http://www.yareads.com
Despite Blueberry’s unique name, she’s actually pretty average. She’s convinced she’s the ordinary member of her group of friends: mousy brown hair, small stature, and a considerable lack of cleavage. But freshman year is the year she’s determined to put a boy on The Ledge — a place where boys are so enamored with you that their willing to do anything, even metaphorically jump of a ledge. The only thing is, putting a boy on The Ledge sounds kind of mean to Blue. And Heath Cavendish is so nice and adorable; does he deserve The Ledge?
Putting Boys on the Ledge is a light, quick, fluffy read. The characters are all kind of underdeveloped stock characters. A group of best friends including the studious one, the flirty one, and the forgettable one. The hot crush and the boy who’s just a “friend.” Overprotective parents, hyper younger sister, and an often absent football-playing brother. We’ve all read this story before, right?
So this is a pretty predictable read. That being said, I like Blue as a character, though she’s not my favorite narrator. Her inner monologue is rather stereotypical and cliche. But her actions set her apart from other characters, especially in regards to how she deals with Heath. She’s a lot more feisty than I expected; she has this inner strength and the tenacity to stick up for herself. While sometimes she doubts herself, she never doubts the difference between right and wrong. I like that she always sticks to her morals and doesn’t let others intimidate her into backing down.
I didn’t expect to care about the relationships in this book, but by the end, I did find myself smiling. Colin is such a cute guy, though also woefully underdeveloped. The author seems to believe that since Blue is capable of having a few non-awkward conversations with Colin that the two are now best friends. But they’re not. They still barely know each other by the end of the book. I definitely would have loved to see their friendship expanded upon.
There are a few stand-out lines in the book that really made me laugh. Besides those, Putting Boys on the Ledge isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. If you’re looking for a quick, light, contemporary romance, you might want to give it a try. Blue’s first kiss will definitely make you swoon.(less)
When I first started Bloodborn by Susan Stielow, I was on the fence. It was slow paced and n...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
When I first started Bloodborn by Susan Stielow, I was on the fence. It was slow paced and not a lot of action was going on. You all know me…I get a little fidgety when I’m bored. It took me awhile to plow through the first half. Once I reached the second half of the book, though? HOLY. SMOKES. It ended up being edgy, mysterious, and full of paranormal goodness.
One thing that Bloodborn really had going for it were the characters. I want to call special attention to Gracie. I’ll admit..I wasn’t sold on Gracie from the get go. At first, I found her to be a little annoying. But once she moved out of her moms house and started living her own life, I started to see a whole new side of her. Gracie was a strong and endearing character who I think is going to strongly appeal to readers of all ages.
As for the supporting characters….I have one word for you. Liam. Sighhh. I could read about Liam all day long. I wasn’t overly thrilled about the whole love triangle thing…especially since I wasn’t a big fan of Kellan…but I loved Liam. I also really enjoyed how all of the characters seemed to have their own individual personalities. My one complaint when it comes to the characters is that maybe there a bit too many names thrown around. Sometimes it was a bit difficult for me to 100% keep up to date on what was going on.
The writing itself was very beautiful and energetic. Again, it does take a little bit to push through the hard part. I’d say it starts getting really good around pages 80-100. On a negative note, there are some errors in the book and a slight cheese factor every now and then. Taking that aside, though, I was entertained. I enjoyed the story, I loved the paranormal aspect…and that ending?! I wish I had the next one in my hands right now.
Overall, I enjoyed Bloodborn. I thought it was a great first book, especially for an Indie author! Bloodborn is a book that I would recommend for people of all ages. Paranormal fans will enjoy this one…but don’t kick yourself to the sidelines just yet contemporary fans! I felt that Bloodborn had a sweet contemporary feel mixed into it that everyone should enjoy. It was just a good read! Go buy this one today!(less)
Elissa's world for the past three years has been a nightmare. She's experienced horrific pa...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
Elissa's world for the past three years has been a nightmare. She's experienced horrific pain, random bruising all over her body, blackouts, nausea, and numerous other symptoms that have beat up her body and left her feeling close to death. Over the past three years, Elissa has seen doctor after doctor, and they finally found a cure: brain surgery. The doctors have guaranteed Elissa that this surgery will remove all of the symptoms she's been experiencing and give her back her normal life. And they've given her all of four days notice.
Having just convinced herself that she can go through with the surgery, Elissa has a horrible vision of a girl in trouble. She soon discovers that this girl is her twin sister removed from her family at birth. And the even weirder side of the puzzle? They're linked. Now Elissa must fight to keep both herself and her twin alive, even if that means evading her planet's officials and racing off to somewhere that no one will ever be able to reach them.
Linked by Imogen Howson threw surprise after surprise after surprise my way. Going into it, I knew that it was a dystopia/paranormal type book, but it's really more Sci-fi than anything. I haven't read very many amazing Sci-fi books out there, so I got a little worried when that aspect of the book started peeking through, but it was amazing! The world that Imogen Howson created was beautiful, startling, well thought out, and just brilliant.
The first part of the book focuses more on the dystopia aspect of the book. This is probably the part of the book that I enjoyed the most, but we'll get into that further on in the review. It was really obvious that this was not planet Earth. People could drive on rooftops, every door, everywhere, had locking mechanisms that were very different from what we experience today. Oh, and they had a government spacecraft that they used to communicate with other active planets. In the first half of the book, Elissa and her twin are trying to run from all of these people that are after them and trying to find a safe place to catch their bearings. So many things happen in this part of the books. They're learning who to and who to not trust, more about the twin and their link together, changing their appearances, and really making the big decisions on where to go from there. This first half was really upbeat, fast paced, and a little bit stressful (in a good way.)
The second half of the book focuses more on the Sci-fi aspect of the book. Please be warned that this paragraph may be very spoilery. This half of the book focuses on the girls travelling in space to another planet. Here, we get to meet the crew, the captain and the co-captain, witness how the space ship works. And there's lots of action going on in this section of the book. There's a lot going on with Elissa's twin and people are after them. This means that a bunch of other space ships are attacking them in the middle of space. It's really cool, and it's like no other YA book that I've read before. And the book is really well written, which it makes it that much more fascinating. The only complaint that I have is that their time in space got a little repetitive. I wish that it would have been cut down a little bit.
There's not really that much romance in this book. There is a slight one, but it really doesn't develop until like the last 3 chapters of the book. It was really awkward for me, because the characters basically hated each other throughout the whole book. There was no subtle flirting or touching. It was really just a "I don't like you" kind of thing. And it was really awkward for me to have those two characters latch on and profess their love for each other at the end of the book. Where did that come from? I was fine with their being no romance in the book, and I would have preferred that it stayed that way rather than have that awkwardness.
Some things in the book were a little confusing at times. This didn't happen very often, though. I think what the issue was is that this was a whole different world. Not to mention that there were surrounding planets and moons, AND there was a space ship that we had to learn about. It's really a book that you need to concentrate on or you're going to get lost.
One thing that did bug me was that the chapters were verrrry long. I'm a pretty fast reader, but there were a couple chapters in the book that took me about 45 minutes to an hour to read. I'm a person who prefers stopping points in my books, so it was a bit annoying, but not anything major.
The ending of the book was really enjoyable. There are no cliffhangers, which I LOVED! I can't stress to you guys how much I hate cliffhangers. I understand why authors do it, but it's really just annoying. The ending of Linked sets it up really nicely for a second book. I'm not sure if this will become a series or if it's a standalone. I almost think that Howson has to create a second book with how she set it up, but a bunch of questions that arise in the beginning of the book are answered in the last two chapters.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It's a really heavy read, though, and made me want to read something very light right after it. It's intense, it kept me on my toes, and it left me craving more. Linked is 100x better than I thought it would be, and I'm really interested in reading more by Imogen Howson.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication Date: June 11th, 2013
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Rating: [rating: 4]
Teaser Quote: She was elsewhere. In someone else’s body, looking through someone else’s eyes.
There was the cold, gritty feel of dried mud and grass beneath her curled-up legs, the taste of dust and metal in her mouth. All around the night pressed against her, thick, hot and full of noise. Something thundered over the bridge above her head, then faded into the distance; not the quiet rattle of a beetle-car, but the rumble belonging to a heavy-goods vehicle.(less)
Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then the...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, Reviewed by Nichole.
Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.
Only a few escaped the robot revolution of 2071. Kevin, Nick, and Cass are lucky —they live with their parents in a secret human community in the woods. Then their village is detected and wiped out. Hopeful that other survivors have been captured by bots, the teens risk everything to save the only people they have left in the world—by infiltrating a city controlled by their greatest enemies.
Revolution 19 is a cinematic thriller unlike anything else. With a dynamic cast of characters, this surefire blockbuster has everything teen readers want—action, drama, mystery, and romance. Written by debut novelist Gregg Rosenblum, this gripping story shouldn’t be missed.
Oh my gosh, guys, I loved this book SO. MUCH! It's a dystopia about robots who basically take over the world. Some people escaped to the woods when the robots first took over, and they lived in secret communities. Revolution 19 focuses on three teens in particular, Cass, Kevin and Nick. After their community is destroyed, the three teens take off to the city to find their parents.
Once they arrive in the city, the teens realize they have a much bigger problem than they first realized. They've never seen money, they don't know how to pay at restaurants...they basically don't know the rules. All they know is that every single person that lives in the city has direct communication to the robots...and the robots are swarming the streets.
Thankfully, Lexi, another teen who lives in the city, realizes what their problem is and who they are. She takes them under her wing and lets them stay in her house with her family. From there, relationships bloom, lives are put in jeopardy, and the teens must stick together while they try and find a way to save their parents and destory the robots.
First I want to start out with the world and the characters. Rosenblum created such a unique world (honestly, it kind of reminded me of I-Robot with Will Smith), and I was blown away with how much dedication and detail he put into the book. Robots are not something that I have read much about, and I was impressed that they actually scared me! The robots weren't friendly little creatures. They were intense bullies who would zap you into oblivion without a second thought.
The characters were amazing and supported the story line very well. I especially loved Cass and Farryn. Let me say it again....I LOVED THEM! Farryn was oh so gorgeous, and Cass just delivered the spunk and uniterest when it came to him. I cannot wait to see more from them in the second book.
The brothers, Nick and Kevin were also amazing, but I really loved Nick's time in reeducation. I felt that that section of the book really developed the story. I have to say that I was a little nervous that Revolution 19 wouldn't have the correct amout of fear and action, but I was wrong. Revolution 19 was packed with so many twists and turns that it left my head reeling.
I would honestly encourage everyone to go read Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum. It was an action packed page-turner that I will not forget for quite some time. Gregg Rosenblum produced an outstanding debut, and I cannot wait to see more from him in the future!
Publication Date: January 8th, 2012
Teaser Quote: "Piece of cake," said Kevin. "Nick was the muscle, I was the brains, and Cass played dodgeball." (less)