Plagued with guilt over her twin brother's death, Araby tries to escape her subconscious at the Debauchery night club. OutsiAs seen on Zombie Mommies.
Plagued with guilt over her twin brother's death, Araby tries to escape her subconscious at the Debauchery night club. Outside the entire world is broken. The "weeping sickness" is only kept at bay through porcelain masks (I can't help but imagine "Darth Vader" type coverings), worn only by the wealthy and prestigious. Araby's father is the inventor of these masks and as Araby's world begins to crumble by those that seek power, she must decide who or what she's capable of fighting for.
Based on the short story by Edgar Allen Poe of the same title, Griffin took an idea and grew it into a fascinating and complex story. This is one of the very few, if only, steampunk stories I've ever really held onto. Carriages that run on steam; new inventions with a feel of the 19th century. The world is spot on for gothic dystopia: dark, dreary, foggy...so Edgar Allen-painted with so much imagery and feeling that I could clearly picture the devastation and turmoil.
Also, try saying debauchery without getting the chills.
But what really struck me were the characters. Talk about complex. To explain, let me refer to a post I came across by Laurie Halse Anderson in which she discusses characters who have dimension and depth. Masque of the Red Death is a perfect example of those characters. Araby, Will, and Elliott all behave both admirably and despicably. Which if done poorly can make a reader go crazy but here Griffin balances their character traits so that you realize no one is absolutely good or absolutely evil. Mind you, there were some parts that made me go "huh?" but for the most part, it kept me on my toes. At times I couldn't help but wonder if given the choice, what I would decide.
My only discontent or puzzlement I have with the story is that the "Red Death" is not introduced into the plot until much later. I was a bit confused because I thought the masks were to prevent the "Red Death." I'm not so much bothered that it stopped me from enjoying the story but I think it would be an interesting idea to discuss.
If you are in the mood for a dark and captivating story, check this one out. I definitely think it's one to put on your to-reads shelf....more
I guess third time's the charm because they finally did something right with the cover! In this one, Alona is stuck in the bAs seen on Zombie Mommies.
I guess third time's the charm because they finally did something right with the cover! In this one, Alona is stuck in the body of Will's friend Lily. As they try to make sense of this situation, things get complicated when another ghost wants a turn in Alona/Lily/Ally's body.
This series has definitely found its place on my "books I need to own" shelf. As soon as I read the first page, I was hooked. Kade has this way of writing that is not only catchy and witty but natural-as if each character him/herself is telling me his/her side of the story. And how does she come up with all those lines?!
I really grew to love Will and Alona. They have both matured and become more selfless and caring. You can really feel their longing for this relationship to work out. And when this other ghost complicates things, I couldn't help but hope for that happy ending.
In the end, I was very happy. I was actually surprised by how well everything in the story seemed to work out. I still shed a tear or two when I said good-bye to Alona and Will. I had some pretty good times with those two. I can't wait for Kade's next series: The Rules!...more
I'm breathless and without words. It's been so long since I've read high fantasy, I'd forgotten how MUCH I miss and love it!As seen on Zombie Mommies.
I'm breathless and without words. It's been so long since I've read high fantasy, I'd forgotten how MUCH I miss and love it!
From the first pages of artwork, I was pulled into Ravka: A land marked by a dark stain filled with images of gnashing teeth surrounded by intricate designs. Her Russian inspired fantasy world was new and different from anything I'd ever read before.
The storytelling begins with the tale of an orphaned boy and girl who find refuge at the Duke's estate and then leads into Alina's perspective: from a nobody girl to a girl of power.
After reading so many debut books this year, I had almost given up on the possibility of one that would really shine...and I've finally found it in Shadow and Bone. Bardugo has crafted a tale with thought and care. The worldbuilding was done to perfection: the Russian inspired language and landscape transport you to this fantasy world. The details of clothing and scenery so carefully crafted that they seem almost close enough to touch.
Each of the characters are unique and filled with mystery. Alina: Funny and a bit stubborn and insecure. I loved her story and her struggle to understand her place as she gains social status and power. Mal: the cocky childhood friend whose loyalty never falters. The Darkling: the most powerful Grisha (magical elite) whose charisma may or may not be as it seems.
The plot twists and turns with a few dead ends you weren't sure how it could possibly turn out. My hands were glued to this book from the very beginning. Some of the distinctions of class were a little confusing at first, but by the end I understood it all. I CANNOT WAIT for the next installment. This is one story you don't want to miss!...more
First, let me just start off by saying, I'm not typically a fan of contemporary fiction, let alone chick-lits. I've tried anAs seen on Zombie Mommies.
First, let me just start off by saying, I'm not typically a fan of contemporary fiction, let alone chick-lits. I've tried and died so many times that I'd just about given up on the entire genre. (Believe me. I've tried all the "popular" ones.) But then my favorite author Bree Despain gushed about Sara Zarr and then, someone else did and again someone else ...so of course, curiosity got the better of me.
And quite honestly, I only set out to read the first few chapters...
And even after several pages in, I still couldn't figure out how Zarr had lured me in: a teen mom story (which is not exactly my idea of a 'fun' read) involving a small town gal and another who has an "I-hate-the-world" attitude stamped on her forehead with a boyfriend exhibiting a lip ring and eyeliner? Definitely NOT your cast of typical characters.
But Zarr has this amazing ability to pull you into their stories. You're no longer reading it, you're actually hearing their voices. It's as if you're sitting across the table listening to Jill and Mandy's side of the story. All the stereotypes and all the things you thought you knew about the characters begin to crumble as you really look at them for who they are.
Even though it's a story about teen pregnancy, it's a message for all of us, because in life, aren't there times we each wish for a "do-over?"
I highly recommend this gem; while it's a bit predictable (which I guess isn't really a bad thing when what you hope for actually happens--right?), it will carry you through a journey of hope and inspiration that will leave you feeling that you too are worth it....more
A deep and beautiful tale which I almost didn't read because of the title and cover; I tend to shy away from "scary" stories and not really knowing anA deep and beautiful tale which I almost didn't read because of the title and cover; I tend to shy away from "scary" stories and not really knowing anything about the book, from the cover and title, I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it.
And the title describes it perfectly and yet it does not. And the story is scary and yet it isn't.
This is one story that I hesitant to share too much about because the story was so beautifully written and the themes so true. Everyone can relate because we all have monsters. We may not all be in Connor's specific story, but we all have similar stories of sadness, pain, fear, and truth. It's a story both sweet and bitter.
There was only one part that I didn't fully understand; the monster wanted to make a point about (view spoiler)[ invisibility, but why the brutal force on the bully by the monster? Why did the monster instigate such brutality or was it just an extension of Connor's inner anger? (hide spoiler)]
Overall, such a deep deep reflection on the fragility of our souls and the healing power of truth.
Note: Patrick Ness took inspiration for this story from Siobhan Dowd, who recently passed away. I appreciated that the story was written by Ness and not a mimic of Dowd's writing. It makes it more real this way.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
After waiting and waiting and WAITING for the US Debut of Graffiti Moon, I finally grabbed a copy and breezed right through it in one morning. I literAfter waiting and waiting and WAITING for the US Debut of Graffiti Moon, I finally grabbed a copy and breezed right through it in one morning. I literally could not put it down.
Told in alternating voices, Crowley paints a clear picture of Lucy and Ed's fears, insecurities, and pleasures. I loved their banter and their he-said/she-said. I laughed out loud a few times. The descriptions of the artwork really blew me away: I wanted to picture the art on the walls; I wanted to sit in a museum interpreting a piece's meaning; I wanted to get my hands on a piece of charcoal and try sketching. And even though there were some tough decisions and topics that came up, Crowley knew just how to touch on the seriousness of the topic without making it overly heavy.
With so many different characters, I was worried they would all sound somewhat the same or be so drastically different. To my surprise, each of the characters had a unique voice. Also Crowley was somehow able to show that boys do have that sensitive side to them without making them appear "weak."
I enjoyed the lingo, and it made me feel like I was right there in Australia. My only disappointment was the unnecessary frequent usage of the f*** word: someone needs to clean out that boy's mouth.
A very talented writer and and enjoyable read; one that will not disappoint....more
What happened to the gorgeous covers of the first 2?! Don't get me wrong; it's a "nice" cover but there is some awkwardness to the image. And why theWhat happened to the gorgeous covers of the first 2?! Don't get me wrong; it's a "nice" cover but there is some awkwardness to the image. And why the hands when the first 2 didn't? And that darkish coral-colored dress? Okay, maybe it's a bit more vibrant than actual coral, but....still.
But aside from the 1 or 2 annoying references to CORAL, the Dark Divine has captured my heart. I need to ride up to the top of a skyscraper and confess my adoration...although no one would probably hear me from the top so I guess the internet will have to do:
I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEE THE DARK DIVINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Despain's trilogy comes to the PERFECT end with The Savage Grace. I certainly saw Despain's talent and storytelling grow with this series. I could picture the fight scenes in my mind, the pain of the characters, and even connect with the metaphor of the wolf. The conflicts and solutions were so seamlessly stitched together to an ending that wraps everything up in a nice bow (almost--(view spoiler)[ unfortunately, Talbot's still out there (hide spoiler)]. She kept me guessing with several of the characters: who's side are they really on...up until the very end. I could feel the conflict Grace felt from within and the scenes between her and Daniel...well...ahhhh...swoon.
The only things I was slightly annoyed about were: 1) the coral color--yes, I really really don't. like. it. and quite honestly can't imagine a teenager actually approving of it either. So yes, I am tiny bit worried about Grace Divine's choice of favorite color...coral-colored bed sheets? I've seen coral-colored bed sheets and they remind me of an 80-year-old woman's house. REALLY?!! CORAL??!!!!
2) Whoever proofread this may have been doing it at 2 in the morning: there were way too many missing words making it frustrating to read.
3) I had forgotten a lot of what happened in book 1 & 2 (especially all the werewolf lore) that made reading this one confusing at times trying to remember what an Urbat or Akh was, how the werewolf infection worked, and Talbot's relationship with Grace in Book 2. I think it would have been easier if I read each book right after the other.
Overall though, I'm just a sucker for paranormal romance or for wolves or butt-kicking chicks or childhood loves...But whatever the reason, The Savage Grace left me with that heart aching feeling you get after reading a story and wishing you could live in that world just a little longer. Those are my 5 STAR books.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I admit. I was a bit skeptical: here's a popular romantic YA novelist turned paranormal trying to sell me her story on dragons? What's the chances ofI admit. I was a bit skeptical: here's a popular romantic YA novelist turned paranormal trying to sell me her story on dragons? What's the chances of it being any good?
Which leads to admit #2. The first time I read it, I read the prologue. Then returned it to the library.
The second time I read it. It was glued to my hand. I was even tempted to read pieces of it at the stoplight, but figured that wouldn't end well for either of us.
So your probably wondering why it worked the second time around: maybe I wasn't in the mood for dragons at the time or maybe after I started chapter 1, it took on a different life than what I thought it would be. I still don't like the prologue--don't get me wrong, it is a good introduction to dragon history...but I guess that's where it lost me for awhile: I felt like I was reading an introduction when I just really wanted to get into the story. However, once the first chapter began, it changed viewpoints to one of the main characters and Hill's trademark humor and wit was completely evident...and that's what I was waiting for.
Ultimately, I am thoroughly impressed that Hill/Rallison can write equally as well in such a different genre. Typically, I'm not a fan of 3rd person, but Hill did it in such a way that I felt as if I were in each of those characters. Each of them had a unique and distinct personality: a difficult feat for a book with so many characters. Like other writers, she could have stuck with to stereotypical character mold: here's the snobby rich girl, here's the bad boy, etc.. But she didn't. She added and changed those stereotypes so that you really get to know who that person is. Plus, she also introduced me to my next fictional boyfriend: Can I have flying lessons too?
If you are interested in a modern take on dragons filled with romance (yes!) and want to see some cool fighting powers, then get your copy now! But be forewarned, you may not ever want a dragon for a pet.
(I haven't seen anything about a sequel anywhere on the web and will be heartbroken if I can't read more!)
I had the theme song to Mission Impossible running through my head the entire read. And like the movie, sometimes you didn't know what was happening bI had the theme song to Mission Impossible running through my head the entire read. And like the movie, sometimes you didn't know what was happening but it didn't matter (too much) because you were just enjoying the scenes unfold.
Marie Lu's debut novel brings you non-stop action from alternating point of views from the murder suspect (Day) to his pursuer (June). Lu seamlessly weaves the story from each perspective so it felt like I was watching the scene through each character's eyes. Day and June are both genius masterminds who surpass unbelievable odds, know all the right fighter moves, and can survive a 3 story high fall. Some of you might be rolling you're eyes right now, and I don't blame you. It is a bit over the top, but sometimes you're just in the mood for that super-genius impossible mission...which I just happened to be in.
One aspect I enjoyed about this cat-and-mouse-chase is that it makes you consider what you believe. June believes Day is the murderer, but when she meets him, she can't reconcile who he is with who she believes he is. Which lead to the question: Is it possible for people to overcome preconceived beliefs about others?
I appreciated that Lu's answer to that question wasn't so immediately resolved because answers like that one aren't so easy to figure out.
The book's main focus is definitely on the relationship at hand. If you're looking for a story more focused on dystopia, try The Hunger Games, Uglies, or Divergent. While I enjoyed the relationship entanglement, I was hoping for more background information. What tore up the United States? Who are the Republic? Who are the Colonies? (Is land the only reason for their dispute?) What does each side stand for/believe? How did Los Angeles turn to ruin? There are suggestions here and there but it would have made the story feel more alive if I knew what happened to society.
It's an entertaining read that will keep you turning the page and hungry for more!
Insurgent took me on a roller coaster ride filled with terrifying dips, twisty corners, and an end that left me hanging on for more. Needless to say, I didn't want to get off.
For me, this trilogy has been a study of humanity: what persuades us to survive and how we view human nature. Insurgent is dystopia at its best. At the heart of this story is conflict and turmoil; more specifically, Tris's personal conflicts. As Tris tries to make sense of her decisions and choices from that last scene in Divergent, her sanity and worth are put into question.
In this war among factions is a sixteen-year-old girl who has shot one of her friends dead, watched both parents sacrifice their life for her, and is now expected to survive in world that is crumbling. And she deals with that grief in ways that made me want to scream and pull my hair out...but at the same time, I got it. Because don't we sometimes try to avoid pain with pain? Don't we sometimes just want it to all END? And sometimes don't we punish ourselves from guilt?
The hardest part for me was to watch Tris make decisions that I suspected would turn out badly. I couldn't believe some of the situations she put herself in as punishment or compensation for what happened.
I watched secrets and mistrust tear people apart. I watched betrayal and lies. But I also saw love and forgiveness heal. It was a journey that Tris HAD to take, and it made for a more realistic and deeper character.
I love love love Roth's writing. I fell right in with Tris's emotions. I was kept on my toes the entire time. I couldn't read fast enough. And the haunting surprise at the end?! Why oh why to have to wait another year!!
One of my favorite series. Ever. I hope it's yours too. Plus, Tobias is hot.