Last year, The Hunger Games received high ratings from fans all over. Then we spent what seemed like an eternity waiting, anxiously, for the sequel. FLast year, The Hunger Games received high ratings from fans all over. Then we spent what seemed like an eternity waiting, anxiously, for the sequel. Finally, it's here-- and believe me, it's just as amazing, if not even a tiny bit more so, than her first novel! Suzanne Collins does a brilliant job at creating a rich, detailed world, while telling a brutally honest story, not one that's sugar coated and perfect. Catching Fire continues the story of Katniss and Peeta, the first dual winners of the deadly Hunger Games. Now that they're 'safely' out of the arena, no longer having to fight for their very life, you'd think they'd be able to live out the rest of their life in peace, right? Wrong!
The Capitol realizes that their control over the various districts is slowly being tested, pushed to the limits, and it's all because of Katniss and Peeta's defiance in the arena. As the districts start to rise up against the Capitol, they realize that they need to get rid of the 'spark' that started it all-- Katniss. But how, without alerting the citizens of their plot?
Enter the 'surprise' rules for the 75th anniversary Hunger Games! The only names added to the reaping will be the surviving tributes from previous games, one male and one female from each district. Which, naturally, means it's back into the arena for Katniss and Peeta-- and they both know that the Capitol has no plans for allowing them to come back out alive, especially Katniss.
I won't go into too many details, I really don't want to ruin the book for fellow fans out there. But I will say that Collin manages to throw new twists and turns into Catching Fire just when you least expect it! And the characters are just as intense and unique as they were before-- along with the relationship between our two favorite winners.
The one thing that bothered me is I wish Katniss would wake up and realize that Peeta's the guy for her. As nice as Gale as, there's no fire, no real connection between them in the story. Sure, she speaks fondly of their childhood, but since the beginning of book one, Collins has shown us more of Peeta than Gale, and personally I can't say that I'm upset about it. But that's a whole other story--- and one that we'll just have to wait until the next book to figure out for sure!
5/5 STARS! A wonderful, action packed novel that's even better than the first one, Catching Fire has everything in it, from witty characters and dialogue to intense suspense and adventure. And let's not forget the love triangle going on between poor Gale, Katniss, and Peeta! In other words, easily one of the BEST YA series ever! What are you waiting for? Enter the terrifying yet interesting world of Panem today!
When I first picked up The Chosen One, I was a bit weary-- it's not the kind of book I usually read. I didn't know a whole lo about polygamy, except f When I first picked up The Chosen One, I was a bit weary-- it's not the kind of book I usually read. I didn't know a whole lo about polygamy, except for the stereotypical information we get through the news. Could I get into this book even though everything about their life style goes against my beliefs and my morals? I didn't think so... but I would soon be proven wrong.
Though I still find polygamy wrong (and not just because of the multiple wives), I found out more about it through this book, and hopefully that knowledge will help me to be more open minded in the future-- after all, many of the followers are born into this cult/religion, but that doesn't mean they agree to everything their 'God' has said they should do. Kyra's family, for example, seems much closer, more loving, than the others, and they don't take everything they've been raised to believe to heart. They don't want Kyra to marry her 60 year old uncle (and become his 7th wife), and they wish they could change they would do anything to change the Prophet's decision.
Also, looking at Kyra and Joshua's forbidden love, you can't help but reach out and connect with the characters, even if they do have different beliefs. They love each other and want to get married, grow old, all the same things we want from life-- but their family, their whole community, is against them. Sound familiar? We've heard the same basic idea before, but never in this type of setting. That's one of the reason I love this book-- she connected it to things we could relate to, and in doing so make the characters seem real.
4.5 STARS! An in depth look at a culture we know very little about-- enlightening, interesting, yet gut-wrenching because of the clear pictures Williams paints in your mind. Emotional, compelling, and eye opening, Kyra's story is sure to make you stop and think, not just close the book and put it aside. Fast-paced and exciting, The Chosen One is sure to grab your attention from the very beginning! ...more
Ever since I read Wicked two years ago, I've been a fan of this series. It may not be every one's cup of tea, and the magic in these books are nothingEver since I read Wicked two years ago, I've been a fan of this series. It may not be every one's cup of tea, and the magic in these books are nothing like Harry Potter, quiet the opposite in fact, filled with darkness and evil, and you never quiet know which side everyone is on....But that's one of the things I enjoy so much about this series.
And Wicked: Resurrection was anything but a disappoint, a fitting conclusion to the series. After having the last two books leaving you hanging, wanting more, Holder and Viguie finally managed to wrap it all up nicely, leaving the reader satisfied. It may not have the traditional HEA (happily ever after), but this HEA matches the story and characters, and that's all that really matters, right?
I don't wish to give out any spoilers, from any of the three books, so I won't go into deep details. However, I will say that Resurrection manages to keep you guessing until the very end, throwing out new twists and characters just when you think you've managed to figure it all out.
Darkness and corruption is zeroing in on Amanda, Nicole and Holly, but with the right knowledge and by working together, only they (and Owen) can turn back the malicious Merlin from destroying the world and killing them. Yes, it may sound like 'just another save-the-world' kind of book, but if you read the series, starting with book one (very important for understanding and enjoying the series completely!), you'll soon find out that it's nothing like what you'd expect.
And to top it all off, besides the demons and magic and darkness, oh my!, Wicked: Resurrection has a nice dose of romance in it as well, between three separate couples. They may not have the perfect connection, and they all go through some really hard times, what with having ghosts from the past possess them and what not, but in the end, they stay together. And to me, that's what makes a romance more believable-- face it, none of us will ever have a relationship that doesn't have a few problems along the way, speed bumps that make us wonder 'Is it even worth it?'. But in the end, if you can survive the trip, the conclusion is well worth it.
4.5 STARS! Wicked: Resurrection is a stunning finale to a delicious fantasy series. I'll definitely be recommending this to friends and family, and anyone else whom I think would enjoy the darker elements in the book.
Everyone knows that society splits itself into two groups-- the "In Group" and everyone else. But what if the "In" group went deeper than just old monEveryone knows that society splits itself into two groups-- the "In Group" and everyone else. But what if the "In" group went deeper than just old money and good looks? Prepare to be initiated into a society in New York that's only been whispered about for hundreds of years...
What should have been yet another YA novel about the upper-crest teens in a big city turned out to be much, much more. Though Dolby only skimmed the surface in this book, he left us with enough tiny hints and interesting turns that suggest that beneath the Society's superficial surface lies something much more sinister and complex.
If I have one "complaint" about the writing, it was the fact that Dolby switched from one character's POV to another-- without a break in paragraphs, cue, or other kind of heads up for the reader. And the POV's could change as many as three or four times-- in only a few chapters!
Now, I don't mind reading a story from more than one person's POV, but I don't like getting lost in every chapter as the author switches without telling us so. By doing this, he also short changed the characters as well-- I didn't connect to any of them as much as I would have liked, and they weren't as deep or developed as they should be. Where was the main character for this book? I wanted to say it was Phoebe, but even her character wasn't as complicated as she should have been.
This could have been easily fixed, I think, if the author had only changed the layout of writing, sticking with one or two characters' POV, and set aside a certain chapter for each one. This would have allowed not only the character development, but kept the story from seeming choppy.
Despite this one flaw, I did thoroughly enjoy Secret Society--- the mystery of what exactly the Society is, what they're hiding, grabbed my attention and held it until the very end. I'd love to read more from this author, and I hope that he's got plans for a sequel or two, since this one left us on such a cliff hanger...
4 STARS! Overall, a great read for anyone! A refreshing take on an all-too-true cliche that money and status equals power-- and how some people will do anything to keep their secrets. Don't miss out on this one-- prepare to be initiated this September when Secret Society hits store shelves! ...more
I'll be honest-- when I first saw the cover for this book earlier this year, I fell in love with it-- or lust, since the original title (which was sooI'll be honest-- when I first saw the cover for this book earlier this year, I fell in love with it-- or lust, since the original title (which was soon changed, why, I have no clue!) was Fairy Lust. The cover art caught my eye, and the summary finished drawing me in. Fairies, forbidden love, a possible love triangle... really, what about that doesn't sound interesting?
I don't even know where to start-- over all, this book was great, truly an interesting (and unique) story. Did it have it's flaws? Sure, but what book doesn't. But there were only a few things about the book that bothered me (mainly the way that the characters acted/spoke during a few parts of the books, they seemed more like whiny teenagers than the strong characters I prefer in my books, but in the end, they managed to straighten up a bit), and none of these flaws were enough to make me dislike the book in any way. Instead, I've been captivated by Balog's writing, and I'm anxious to see more from this promising new author. Really, if this debut is this good, can you imagine what future books will be like? Wow!
Back to the book-- the plot was good, and it really made me stop and think: what would you do if the love of your life suddenly told you he was a fairy? And what if he was going to leave for the other side to be King of the fairies in only a handful of days? What would you do, how would you react? And to make it even more complicated, what if the guy who's suppose to take his spot back on Earth starts attracting your attention-- is it okay to fall for the man replacing your boyfriend, even if there's no other way for it to work out? Morgan's life is thrown into instant turmoil, and I can't say I envy her having to deal with it all!
Despite all these troubles, Morgan must continue her everyday life like nothing is wrong-- after all, she can't exactly ask her parents or friends for help, can you imagine trying to explain that your boyfriend, the All-American boy for the town, football star and all around tough-guy, is now a fairy, wasting away before your eyes, while no one else can see the fairy changes going on? She'd be locked up in the mental hospital quicker than she can say 'Tinker Bell'! Add to this the fact that Morgan has a unique talent: she can see visions of people's futures, except for Cam's, which is explained when she finds out his secret, of course.
As far as the characters go, at the beginning, I was all for Cam-- he seemed like a sweet guy, yet masculine enough to satisfy the 'strong male' role that I so love in my romances. The connection between Morgan and Cam was there, and it was one of those 'aw' kind of moments, since they've been together from a very young age, from elementary crush to high school sweethearts. But as soon as Pip, the human baby stolen 16 years ago and taken to Fairy, comes into the story, and we learn more about him and watch as he tries to figure out this bizarre world and fit in, I found myself leaning more towards Pip instead of Cam....And so does Morgan!
I'm not surprised that Morgan had such a hard time deciding, I know I would have. Which would you choose, the one you've known and loved all your life or the new boy who's making you blush and laugh over the simplest things? It's a hard choice, and she has to remember that as much as she loves Cam, there's no way to get around the fact that after October 15th (their 16th birthday), he'll be transported to Fairy, and she'll never see him again, while good old Pip will be staying here. What's a girl to do?
4.5 STARS! Fairy Tale is a wonderful debut, beautiful and witty, with characters that will seem almost real at times, ready to reach through the pages and touch you. A spectacular novel that will have you alternating between laughing, sighing, and daydreaming, and always asking: what next? This is the perfect fantasy romance for anyone, teenagers or older, who loves all things magical-- you'll find yourself drawn right into the story, so prepare to lock the door and get comfortable, you won't want to put the book down until it's over! ...more
How can you beat perfection? The answer: you can't. Which is why, no matter how long I work at my review, it will never quiet do justice for Shiver, wHow can you beat perfection? The answer: you can't. Which is why, no matter how long I work at my review, it will never quiet do justice for Shiver, which could be, quiet honestly, my all-time favorite YA novel to date!
Beginning with the plot itself, Shiver is truly one of a kind! Unlike the countless other werewolf stories out there, this isn't one of them-- it sticks out from the rest. Instead of turning whenever you want, Shiver's wolves cannot control their shift... But it's not the moon that holds them enthralled. Instead, it's the temperature. If it gets too cold (Winter, for example), they change into wolf shape for good, only to emerge human when it begins to warm up.
Also, unlike most versions of the werewolf, Sam (the wolf hero of our story), loses all of his human memories, feelings... For months upon months of the year, he's simple a wolf, surviving in the woods like any wild animal. And for years, this is the only time that Grace gets to see Sam, not knowing at the time of course, in his wolf form sneaking through the woods at the edge of her house.
But this year is different-- this year, Sam knows it could be his last year, meaning that after this winter's change, he'll continue to be a wolf for the rest of his life, however long or short it may be. For unknown reasons, this always happens to the werewolves-- soon they loose themselves completely to the wolf, and their human side ceases to exist. Although Sam's only a teenager, and not nearly as old as many of the previous shifters that have been rendered permanently wolf, he knows deep down that his time is up. This pushes him into finally confronting Grace, telling her not only what he is, but how he feels.
The romance between Grace and Sam was, to be quiet honest, beautifully written, heart breaking at times, and very sweet during others. You couldn't ask for anything better-- even if you aren't a teenager, I promise, you won't miss any of the more sensual romance you expect from adult books, Shiver manages to cover all the bases (no pun intended!) and enchant the reader from page one!
Characters, always an important part of a story, are also wonderfully done in this book. You really do connect to them, feel for them, and enjoy being a part of their journey as they develop, expand, and yes, even when they're hurt. When Grace and Sam grieved, I did as well. When they were happy, I was reading with a smile on my face. I really enjoyed how we got to switch between Grace's point of view and Sam's--- this not only helped the story to flow, but it allowed us to see into both of their hearts' and minds'. When an author can pull the reader into the story like that, well, you know she's got one amazing skill, and one that I hope she continues to use in the future books as well!
5 STARS! Shiver manages to hold the reader captivated from beginning to end, and if you're like me, you'll find yourself putting the book down, yet the characters and the words will stick in your mind for weeks after, just as clear as if you had the book open in front of you. I'll be honest-- I even cried at the end, and though I won't ruin it and say 'Why', I will say it was due more to the brutally honest words Maggie used to convey the emotion and story than any harmful events. Simple words for an ending, but they were enough to make me cry! That's what I call powerful writing. Romantic and sweet, funny and touching, and even enough of an underlying suspense/unease to keep the action of the story going, Shiver is sure to becoming a legend in YA shapeshifters! I know it is on my shelf. ...more