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. F...moreLast 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!
While reading Crash Into You, I spent most of the book with my heart in my throat, my fingers gripping my NOOK like a crazy woman, blinking back tears...moreWhile reading Crash Into You, I spent most of the book with my heart in my throat, my fingers gripping my NOOK like a crazy woman, blinking back tears of frustration, fear, and finally joy. In short, Ms. McGarry has managed once again to break my heart and rebuild it within 400 or so pages
There is so much going on in Crash Into You, and I can't even begin to sum it up, especially all the twists and turns towards the end; I don't want to spoil anything. But I will say this: Isaiah and Rachel's story just about killed me a dozen times, but it was all worth it in the end.
When McGarry introduced us to these characters in Pushing the Limits, I was sure Beth and Isaiah would end up together. But Dare You To put that theory to rest, and I realized that they were just friends. After reading this book, I wonder why I ever thought Beth and Isaiah belonged together. Rachel is the perfect fit for Isaiah, and I wouldn't have him with anyone else (Okay, except for me, but that's a completely different story...). Like many fans, I was worried, for a brief moment, when I found out Isaiah was destined for someone else; but McGarry did a wonderful job with matching each couple up. I have no complaints; Beth and Ryan complete each other, as do Isaiah and Rachel.
It goes without saying that I was choking back tears during much of this book, something I've learned McGarry has a beautiful talent for. But there were also some bright moments which allowed my emotions to cool a bit or else I may have started bawling for Rachel's pain, Isaiah's tough life, and their uncertain future. In the end, it all works out, and I was finally able to breathe easy with a smile on my face as I closed the book.
One scene in particular stood out for me. Long story short, Isaiah had originally told Rachel early on that he would call her. However, he puts it off, wanting to keep her out of the trouble that's following him. Finally, after she admitted that she thought his lack of a call meant that he was not interested, he pulls this sigh-worthy move:
I don't read nearly as much YA as I once did, but Katie McGarry is one author I will always buy. She writes such beautiful, heart-wrenching, and real stories, and I have loved every one of them. I know West's story, Take Me On, will be no different... Is it May 2014 yet?
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For my full review, including favorite book quotes, please visit my blog, TBQ's Book Palace.
I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.
How often do you read a book that grabs your insides and twists them—hard? How often do you find a book that changes your mind about a character? How...moreHow often do you read a book that grabs your insides and twists them—hard? How often do you find a book that changes your mind about a character? How often do you find yourself worried sick about the outcome of a book? It's rare for me to find such a book, but when I do it's an instant keeper, one that I can't stop thinking about, long after that last page is turned. Dare You To is such a book!
I can't say that I am surprised that I loved this book. After all, McGarry already proved her talent with Pushingthe Limits, which I adored. In PTL, I was unsure that I would ever like Beth. Okay, let's be honest—I was certain I would always hate her; she was, simply put, such a hard bitch. But as DYT began, and more of Beth was revealed, bit by bit, I came to realize why she acts the way she does. Before too long, I was anxious for her to realize what her life could be if only she'd put the past behind her and start living her life the way she wants.
And as Ryan started to steal my heart (which he did!), I was cheering for him and Beth. They deserved their chance at a HEA, screw what the world thinks of them together.
I really connected with Beth and her relationship with her uncle, Scott. Why? Because, like Beth, I was close to my youngest uncle as well. Much like Scott, my own uncle was a pre-teen when I was born. And there the similarities end; my life wasn't a copy of Beth's, nor was my uncle's a copy for Scott's (other than the fact that both were good men who loved their family). But that strong bond between them touched me, reminded me of my own childhood. I lost my uncle, four years ago this month, and to this day it still kills me inside to know that he's no longer here. What does this have to do with the story, or the author's writing talent? Nothing, really. But I think it's important that a good book has this affect, allowing you to find such connections while reading. Regardless of anything else Beth did or went through, this is what I will always connect with her over, and yes, even envy her for, as she still has years ahead of enjoying her uncle's company.
4.5 STARS! Truly, I can't even begin to explain how much I loved this book, nor can I tell you why. But I can tell you this: McGarry has a fan for life! Two books so far and both have broken my heart, twisted me into knots with worry...yet in the end, put a happy smile on my face. Emotional, and all to realistic at times, Dare You To is going at the top of my list of favorites. I will be buying myself a copy to keep alongside PTL, and I cannot wait until Isaiah's story is finally here. Until then, I think I need to read a few lighter novels. Every time I pick up a novel from this author, I cry even as I find myself thoroughly enjoying the journey. Thank you, Katie McGarry, for another amazing story!
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For my full review, including favorite quotes from DARE YOU TO, please visit my blog, TBQ's Book Palace
I received this e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Wow--such a beautiful and touching tale, I never wanted this one to end! In fact, I wish we could have seen a bit more of Echo and Noah aft...more4.5 Stars!
Wow--such a beautiful and touching tale, I never wanted this one to end! In fact, I wish we could have seen a bit more of Echo and Noah after graduation. Noah...oh Noah! I loved you from the start, but as the pages went on, as I saw what you were willing to do for your family, how much you loved them, how much you loved Echo, I feel even more in love with you, and I didn't think that was possible!
I'll definitely be reading the rest of this series, I'm anxious to see how Beth and Isaiah's stories turn out. Highly recommend this book! (less)
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...more 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! (less)
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 nothing...moreEver 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.
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 soo...moreI'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! (less)
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, w...moreHow 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. (less)
Have you ever experienced deja vu? What if it wasn't just a cliché term, but rather something that really happened?
Haven Moore has spent her whole lif...moreHave you ever experienced deja vu? What if it wasn't just a cliché term, but rather something that really happened?
Haven Moore has spent her whole life in Tennessee, yet somehow she keeps having visions of a young girl named Constance and her love, Ethan. Oh, and both of these people in her vision lived more than 80 years ago, in Rome and New York. Though these visions mainly plagued her as a young girl, after seeing a picture of billionaire heir Iain Morrow, they begin again-- only stronger.
After running off to New York to try and find out more, Haven finds a secret society, the Ouroboros Society, which believes in reincarnation. She saw this society in her visions as well, leading her to connect the dots—she was Constance in a past life, while Iain was Ethan.
And this is only the beginning of the wild ride about to come! Strap in and prepare yourself, because just when you think you know what's coming next, Miller throws another kink in the road and you're back to square one, wondering what's going to pop up next...
I absolutely loved this book, and my only complaint is I wish there was a sequel (Hint, hint, Kirsten!). Otherwise, this was an excellent novel, unique, mysterious and thrilling, not to mention romantic and steamy! Lite and funny at certain times, complicated during others, this was a story unlike most of the others on the bookshelf.
4.5 Stars! A romantic story that spans the ages—literally—The Eternal Ones is a great novel for anyone that enjoys a good mystery and love story, no matter the age! And perhaps this story will make you ask a very important question: “Do I believe in reincarnation?”(less)