Seriously, I cannot think of one good reason why I kept putting off reading this book. Fairytales, futuristic, androids. It’s just su I lovvvveedd it!
Seriously, I cannot think of one good reason why I kept putting off reading this book. Fairytales, futuristic, androids. It’s just such a cool concept, and author Melissa Meyer was able to combine all of these elements wonderfully. New Beijing comes to life in everything from the plague that’s tormenting its people to their unsteady relations with the moon colony. I really cannot recommend this book enough.
Cinder is an android, and instead of a slipper she’s got a robotic foot. She’s also a mechanic, and an unwanted ward of her adopted-mother, who (surprise, surprise) is kind of awful. Cinder is not at all the kind of heroine you’d find in the fairytales of olde. She’s headstrong, she’s talented, and she’s someone who is incredibly easy to root for. But it’s still fun to read this book and see as elements from the original story pop up, as well as reading all of the bits and pieces you never thought could work with a classic fairytale. Seriously… androids.
I’ve actually seen lots of other bloggers tweeting about how they haven’t read Cinder yet, even though they know they should. I’m not sure what it is about this book that makes readers think twice (the cover is great, so that’s not it), but I guess it makes it that much easier to gush about the book when you were reluctant to even read it in the first place.
I’ve already got Scarlet (book two of this series) ready to go, but I’m actually holding off on reading it just because I know then I’m going to have ages to wait before I can come back to this world. And what can I say, I’m in love....more
I had really been looking forward to reading this book--I mean, what's not to like?! It's not often you see an interesting new twist on zombies (and II had really been looking forward to reading this book--I mean, what's not to like?! It's not often you see an interesting new twist on zombies (and I'm saying this as a zombie book author as well as a book nerd), and it's YA on top of that. Umm... yes! Reboot wasn't quite what I was expecting, but it was still a fun read and I will absolutely be continuing with the series.
More than anything this was an action book in a futuristic dystopian setting. Wren is a super solider, made so by coming back to life 178 minutes after she died of the plague that ravaged this world. The longer someone is dead before coming back (if they do at all) the better solider they become. Increased reflexes and healing, extra stamina... all the fun stuff. Of course, there is a price as well, and the longer someone is gone, the more of their humanity they lose. So when we meet Wren, she's detached from the world around her and doesn't care about much beyond doing her job well. Then she meets Callum, who was only down for 22 minutes and kind of sucks as a Reboot, and everything changes.
The biggest plus about this book for me is the Reboot/Zombie connection. It took me awhile to figure it out, because once you look past the 'coming back from the dead' bit, these kids aren't monsters. It's all handled really well, and I found myself asking a lot of questions as I went, curious to read more.
I enjoyed both Wren and Callum, although their romance didn't do much for me. Wren was almost more interesing on her own as I always like reading about character who are not quite human and trying to figure the rest of us lunatics out. Although to be fair, Callum was a nice balance for that and she needed him in order to reengage with everything that was going on around her.
I will absolutely be continuing with this series and I can't wait to see what happens next!...more
Ahhhhh, I love this series! The Elite was one of my most highly anticipated 2013 titles. I reread The Selection a month ago, and was ready to go as soAhhhhh, I love this series! The Elite was one of my most highly anticipated 2013 titles. I reread The Selection a month ago, and was ready to go as soon as I could get my hands on the sequel. So, what was the result? I really enjoyed it. Loved it even. Not quite jumping up and down, sleeping with it under my pillow until the next one comes out, but it was everything I hoped it would be, and managed to live up to the first book… so that’s saying a lot.
Where book one kind of had a slow build, the drama in this one just kept coming. There were a few moments that fell a little flat of expectations, but others that will absolutely rip your heart out. The love triangle is one of those “not quite there” elements, as I still can’t bring myself to root for Aspen even a little, so it was a little frustrating watching America hem and haw over something that seems pretty obvious, but I guess that’s to be expected with these kinds of romance stories.
Where the book really shone was in America’s other relationships. There are a lot of ups and downs with her and the other selected girls, as well as some big revelations about the royal family. There are also some bits and pieces thrown in about her own family, but not enough to be truly satisfying. I hope all the tidbits Kiera Cass has given us about them will come together with the last book.
Overall The Elite was a fun, fast read that I didn’t want to put down. The world-building and characters remain on par with book one, and the story won’t leave you disappointed.
Also, I’m really hoping the pilot gets green-lit Although, after reading this book, having Anthony Steward Head play the King will basically break my heart....more
What a cool story!!! I can’t believe I put off reading this one for so long, especially since I had nothing holding me back. The setting, the politicsWhat a cool story!!! I can’t believe I put off reading this one for so long, especially since I had nothing holding me back. The setting, the politics and the system of magic were all unlike anything I’d read before, which isn’t something I can say very often (not that there’s anything wrong with the old standbys).
Alina lives in Ravka, a world with a dark history and some interesting (if not fully explained) systems of magic. Bardugo started with the essential ‘some among us are chosen’ form of magic and then twisted into something wonderfully new and compelling. I enjoyed pretty much every page. Shadow and Bone has everything you look for in a fantasy book, while also adding in a lot of the elements that make for a great young adult story. The good guys are complex, the bad guys are cunning, and Alina is still trying to figure out how she fits in.
I gave this book a five out of five because it was fantastically entertaining, and I couldn’t put it down. But it wasn’t flawless. I didn’t feel incredibly attached to any one character, but they were still strong enough to carry the plot. I’d like to see both Alina and Mal developed further in the next book by showing some of their wants and needs beyond each other and the fate of their nation. Having everything in the first book be so big and high stakes, it was occasionally (and I do mean occasionally) difficult to see them as people rather than pawns in the larger scheme.
Shadow and Bone seems to have fanned the flames on my fantasy obsession. I took a long, long detour into the world of urban fantasy and the paranormal, but with books like this out there it’s obvious that I should be spending more time in worlds other than my own. Leigh Bardugo did a fantastic job of creating a rich and engaging world that is easy to lose yourself in. I can’t wait to read more....more
I LOVED this book! It wasn’t quite can’t-put-it-down, but it was a great story that I will absolutely be revisiting once my TBR pile can stand the detI LOVED this book! It wasn’t quite can’t-put-it-down, but it was a great story that I will absolutely be revisiting once my TBR pile can stand the detour. I wouldn’t count myself a steampunk fan yet, but if there are more stories like this tucked away in the genre, then you can count me in!
The Friday Society follows three young female characters, each wonderfully well rounded and realistic. Cora is an inventor’s assistant and absolutely someone you can look up to. She’s clever and unwilling to let her life be run by the men in it. She consistently makes smart decisions that don’t make you want to smack your head into a wall. Big points for that. Nellie is a magician’s assistant fun, a little hyper and immensely loyal. She also has a rather snarky parrot that follows her around. Love! Then there’s Michiko who is quiet, cautious and a fantastic fighter. The book alternates chapters between the three girls and each has a distinct voice. Absolutely no complaints here!
The story itself is a great mystery, but occasionally written like an action flick. The scenes come to life as you’re reading, and the steampunk elements only enhance the book. There’s no question that Adrienne Kress is a great writer who knows how to craft a great YA novel without indulging in some of the more frustrating tropes of the genre. She alsomanges to infuse the book with just enough humor and romance to keep things interesting without detracting from the story she’s trying to tell.
There’s no word yet on whether this book will be picked up for further books, but I’ve got my fingers crossed. I’d love to see what happens next as the girls become more comfortable with their individual kick-ass talents. So, if you haven’t picked this one up yet, you definitely should so I can read more about these awesome characters. Don’t worry thought, even if there aren’t any further books, this one wraps up nicely leaving you feeling all kinds of happy girl-power feelings.
When I saw that Adrienne Kress is a fellow Torontonian, I just had to send her an email telling her how much I loved this book! As a bonus, I got to send her a few questions, picking her brain about all things The Friday Society. Be sure to check back in on Monday for Snarky Bird’s interview with this fabulous Canadian author....more
I was so thrilled to be approved to read Dare You To after absolutely inhaling Pushing the Limits late last year. When it comes to topnotch teen dramaI was so thrilled to be approved to read Dare You To after absolutely inhaling Pushing the Limits late last year. When it comes to topnotch teen dramatic romance, you really can’t go wrong with Katie McGarry.
Like Pushing the Limits, this book focuses on characters who haven’t exactly had it easy. While Beth’s home life definitely leaves a lot to be desired, even golden boy Ryan has a lot going on that his friends don’t know about. What makes these books so enjoyable to read is that they never cross that perilous border into the world of unnecessary angst. Sure, there’s a little here and there, but the characters are teenagers with a lot going on. But both Beth and Ryan are people first, they just happen to be teenagers… so they’re incredibly easy to relate to, even though I have next to nothing in common with either of them.
At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about the second novel focusing on Beth–I didn’t really like her the first time around. But seeing into her back story made it easy to root for her, especially once she began to relax a little. She does transfer schools at the beginning of the book, so there isn’t as much Noah or Isaiah as I thought, but it still worked. There are new characters to enjoy, plus the added emotion of Beth finding a balance between her old life and her new one. It makes for an interesting read.
Dare You To is dark, emotional, romantic, and so so good. Highly recommended!...more
In The After grabs you from the very first page, and manages to keep you on the edge of your seat (or curled up under your blanket in fear) from begi In The After grabs you from the very first page, and manages to keep you on the edge of your seat (or curled up under your blanket in fear) from beginning to end. This book was everything I was looking for and more, seriously… I loved it. Demitria Lunetta did a great job of balancing suspense, sci-fi and character elements all while keeping the reader engaged with Amy’s perspective. There are even some dystopian elements throughout, so there’s something for everyone here.
The big bag race is mostly just referred to as Them. They showed up one day and started devouring the human race, with no thought of world domination beyond their own hunger–you can definitely draw some zombie comparisons here (love!), but they manage to be a whole new kind of scary that keeps you holding your breath any time Amy encountered one of Them. They can’t see very well, but have great hearing, so you can be standing right beside one and be a-okay, so long as you don’t even breathe. Hence the supportive breath-holding. *shudder*
Besides Them, Amy has only been sharing her world with one other person–Baby. Amy found Baby as a toddler, and has raised her in the years since the initial attack. The two of them rely on each other 100%, even communicating silently through sign language in order to avoid attracting unwanted attention. Baby is a pretty good kid but has her mood swings like any other. I actually really enjoyed seeing Baby evolve as Amy’s sister, and then eventually try to figure out how to interact with other people.
I cannot recommend this book enough. In The After is a fantastic YA/sci-fi blend that will leave you feeling both satisfied and desperate for more....more
Whoa, Gayle Forman! How did you DO that?! Just One Day is a simple story about being a person trying to figure out the whos and whats, that somehow maWhoa, Gayle Forman! How did you DO that?! Just One Day is a simple story about being a person trying to figure out the whos and whats, that somehow manages to be so much more.
Allyson is a character I'm sure a lot of readers can relate to. There's a little bit of Allyson in everyone, and a little bit of Lulu (her spontaneous alter-ego), which is why this book works so well. Gayle Forman managed to make "finding yourself" seem not at all cheesy or over done. It's just something we all have to go through, and Allyson does it beautifully/disastrously/just-want-to-hug-that-girl-ly.
While both the character and plot could have carried this book on their own, the surprise treat for me was all the travel. This book brought back a lot of the fantastic feelings that came with my own European travels, and it also brought back the ones that make me facepalm. Also, Paris is amazing.
Here's the part where I wish I could talk about the ending. I'm not sure I agree with it, but I loved it all the same.
My only problem with this book is that every time I see it mentioned on Twitter One Day More from Les Mis get stuck in my head for a few hours, but that's something I can live with....more
Three cheers for Spencer Hill Press! I have been so excited to read this book, and I definitely did a happy dance when it turned up in my mailbox. TheThree cheers for Spencer Hill Press! I have been so excited to read this book, and I definitely did a happy dance when it turned up in my mailbox. The concept is awesome. Although, I've got to say that the book--while good--wasn't white what I was expecting. As this book is a standalone, there's a whole lot of story packed into these pages, and a lot of that is centered on romance. It's the end of the world for Eva, but a boy named David could make all the difference.
My favorite part, was (give or take) the first third, when the virus first starts to spread and the government puts their plans into action. I know I'm not the only one who finds stuff like this fascinating, and PODs does it really well. Then, along with Eva, we're taken to the actual PODs. This part of the book spans over a year, during which nine people are stuck together in a small living space. I loved reading about their dynamic and how they grew as a group. I wont go too much into what comes next, but there's a little bit of everything.
To be fair, this book wasn't flawless. My biggest issue was the blurb--I've decided to follow suit and cut the final paragraph from what I posted, because it already gives away A LOT. There were also some elements that got a little too repetitive, most notably notes about sexism. I don't know what bothered me more that Eva kept bringing it up, or that no matter what she did, David didn't seem to learn.
Overall, for my first Michelle K. Pickett book, I'm a happy camper. I would have liked to see a little more end of the world, and a little less romance, but different strokes for different folks. I'll be keeping an eye out for future books from Michelle K. Pickett to see what she comes up with next....more
In the world of self-publishing, everyone has heard the name ‘Amanda Hocking’. She’s the YA author that did what many of us now aspire to do, made a gIn the world of self-publishing, everyone has heard the name ‘Amanda Hocking’. She’s the YA author that did what many of us now aspire to do, made a great living through her YA stories. I was excited to finally read one of her books, but in the end found myself to be a little disappointed. I love the premise of this book, and I loved Wendy’s roll in the story, but I was just left feeling like I wanted so much more from this story.
I read the version of Switched that was released by St. Martin’s Griffin and includes some edits from the previous version, so I shouldn’t even connect this with Hocking’s groundbreaking work in self publishing. Still, it felt like there was a lot to be gained from professional editing here. Not that the copy-editing was bad. The cover is great, and it read like a professional YA book but there were some pacing issues and dropped plot points.
There was one area where Wendy had a major disagreement with her mother. They make this huge deal out of it, but then the matter is settled ‘off stage’ and wrapped up with one line to get us caught up. Blah.
Also, it felt like the only point in the book with any real action or tension was the climax. Yes, there was conflict all over, but very little felt like it actually mattered how the issue was resolved.
I know I sound a bit harsh, and I did enjoy this book. It just felt like the introduction section of a book rather than a story with any meat to it. I love the direction it’s heading and despite all of my yammering, I’m sure I’ll pick up the second book eventually to see what happens now that all the rules of this world have been established. It almost felt like this could be reduced to a prequel novella, but it’s hard to say for sure without reading the rest of the series.
The writing was clean and funny at times, and I really enjoyed all of the characters. Wendy was especially great, and I loved her attitude. I wasn’t all that interested in the romantic story-line and am kind of hoping her attentions shift to another character. I rarely ever get my way in these kinds of things, but I can dream.
Overall, a solidly middling read. Worth checking out if you have time or an interest in changeling mythology....more
The Princess Diaries--All grown up. That's Suddenly Royal in a nutshell. Okay, I'm definitely over simplifying that, as Nichole Chase has definitely pThe Princess Diaries--All grown up. That's Suddenly Royal in a nutshell. Okay, I'm definitely over simplifying that, as Nichole Chase has definitely put together an escapist story all her own here, but if you were a fan of the Meg Cabot books, there's no way you won't like this version of the regular girl turned royality story. Samantha Rousseau is a master's student (note: this is not a YA book), and a pretty down to earth chick. Then everything changes when she finds out that her (deceased) mother's family has a pretty interesting history. Long story short, she's about to be thrown into the royal court of Lilaria.
The transition to her new life is a tough one, but of course there is a handsome prince waiting in the wings to help her through it. Happy sigh. Prince Alex is definitely swoon-worthy, and I really enjoyed the chemistry between the two characters. Some of their shared interests and such seemed a little forced/too convenient, but it's easy enough to get past that. And honestly, that's pretty much the only thing I can think of to nit-pick with this story. Oh. And the ending was super predictable in every possible way, but think of that more as a 'you get what you pay for' thing. Suddenly Royal is everything you hope it will be and then some.
Overall, a quick read that will definitely leave you wanting more. The next book in the series follows a secondary character from this one, and I'm already insanely excited to see what happens next....more
I wish I'd written this review sooner. As soon as I finished this book, I was absolutely buzzing with how much I enjoyed it. Inevitably I got distractI wish I'd written this review sooner. As soon as I finished this book, I was absolutely buzzing with how much I enjoyed it. Inevitably I got distracted, and about a week has passed, but I hope I can do it justice, because I REALLY loved this book. The concept alone was enough to catch my interest, but the writing and the characters held me from cover to cover.
You Look Different In Real Life is one of those books that reminds me why I keep coming back to contemporary reads, even though I'm more of a fantasy/apocalyptic girl. All of the characters were interesting, funny and genuine. Of the five main kids, I don't think there was one that I didn't just want to stop and hug at some point in the book.
The thing with reviewing books you love, is that you're never sure how much you should give away. I'd love to go into all the little details that made me love this book, but at the same time I think you should just dive in and experience it for yourself. This story is very much about the study of people, so if that's something you can get behind, then I very much recommend this read. There's also some fun bits in here for film makers and documentary buffs. Okay, and a small dose of reality TV, but you didn't hear it from me.
The version I read was an ARC, but I will absolutely be picking up a copy as soon as it's available....more