First read in February of 2009, Wake is one of those rare gems that I keep coming back to. In spite of the later ruin of the series, truly Gone was at...moreFirst read in February of 2009, Wake is one of those rare gems that I keep coming back to. In spite of the later ruin of the series, truly Gone was atrocious, Wake still possesses some element of reading magic for me. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that it only takes two hours to read either. Quick read status or no, Wake can boast of containing not one, but two fantastically imperfect characters, a unique and heart breaking supernatural element, and a mystery that never dulls, even after multiple re-reads. The writing is sparse, befitting of the story, and is rather lovely in its own cold, lonesome way. I would recommend Wake to anyone, just stop the series after Fade.(less)
I can't rave about this book enough. I don't want to summarize the book as many reviewers have done so perfectly, but I had to gush over any book that...moreI can't rave about this book enough. I don't want to summarize the book as many reviewers have done so perfectly, but I had to gush over any book that I am able to enjoy as much as I enjoyed The Hunger Games. I couldn't put it down! Katniss had my attention from the very first page. I felt myself relating to her and sympathizing with her plight from the very beginning. And who didn't fall in love with Peeta? He possessed such a warm heart and noble soul and somehow was able to not only hold on to both of these things but exudes them despite being right in the middle of hell. The story is absolutely enthralling with its quick wit, fast pace, and captivating story line. I'm amazed at Suzanne Collins's ability to mix humor, terror and romance all within the same volume. Somehow my heart would gush for Peeta and awe at his love of Katniss while instantaneously being petrified that either would die at any moment. This is such an entertaining and stimulating read. I would recommend it to anyone. I can't wait for the sequel!(less)
There are two kinds of books, those that you finish reading and leave you with fleeting memories of the attractive hero, the silly heroine, and the ov...moreThere are two kinds of books, those that you finish reading and leave you with fleeting memories of the attractive hero, the silly heroine, and the overall storyline, or perhaps all you noted was the glaring plot holes, inconsistencies, ridiculousness or flat characters. At any rate, it’s a book that you read, either like or dislike, but no sooner than you have turned the last page, it is out of sight and out of mind. Then there is the other kind of book that will touch your heart, or awaken a lingering memory or a potential fear that will haunt your mind so that even long after you’ve fallen asleep, your unconscious self is still wading through the details. Your dreams will be fitful and when you finally awaken, you will find yourself tangled up in sheets with puffy, swollen eyes from tears that you shed when you weren’t even aware enough to know you were crying. If I Stay is the latter.
Mia is eighteen and has the kind of family any of us would pray to be born to and the kind of boyfriend that can only exist in the fictitious world. Furthermore, she is a gifted musician and is about to be accepted into the prestigious Julliard. Mia has a choice, she can follow her love of music, go to Julliard and accomplish her cellist dreams, or she can stay with her family and the love of her life and follow her heart. Either way, she has something to gain and something to lose. Then, one fateful morning, Mia’s world is turned on its head and life as she knows it changes. The one thing that remains the same is the question that Mia has asked herself for the past few months, should I go or should I stay?
In art, the brightest colors appear beside the darkest of lines and in this book, the most endearing, tender and happy moments are surrounded by grief so palpable, that you will laugh through your tears and sob with a smile. If I Stay demonstrates the kind of beauty that can only exist alongside despair and shines all the more for it. It is filled with happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears, birth and death, love and loss. By writing a book filled with parallels, Forman proves that life has no opposite and thus leaves readers with an overwhelming since of joy and hope despite tears and grief that they are bound to feel.
**Update** I just re-read this book for the forth time and it continues to devastate and delight me. (less)
I will preface my review by saying that I do not like were stories. I find them brutish, dim, and dull. Naturally, upon discovering that this book was...moreI will preface my review by saying that I do not like were stories. I find them brutish, dim, and dull. Naturally, upon discovering that this book was about weres, I placed it right back onto the shelves and kept walking. Two years later I happened upon a marvelous new YA series called Darkest Powers written by none other than Kelley Armstrong. I was enthralled with Armstrong’s ability to create a world so palpable that I felt as though I could reach out and touch the characters. She even swayed my stubborn mind to find a fascination for a few supernatural species that I once hated. After quickly devouring the two books within the Darkest Powers series, I decided to set my sights ahead to her adult fiction works. As Bitten is the first book of her Women of the Otherworld series, I had to bite the perverbial bullet, set my discriminating thoughts about weres aside, and immerse myself in the mind of the one and only female werewolf. I l.o.v.e.d. it! I won’t summarize the book, others have done that much better than I ever could, but I will touch on a few hi-lights.
Elena is an admirable heroine. Riddled with flaws and self doubt, she provides a narrative that is so honest, despite her lack of self awareness, and so endearing, that you can’t help but like her. She isn’t “nice”, on the contrary, she is snarky, moody, aggressive, and a tad bit self involved. However, knowing her background allows readers, or rather, allowed me to understand these traits and sympathize with her logic. I wanted to shake her at times, I gritted my teeth more than once, but she wasn’t despicable and she certainly isn’t meek as so many heroines often are. In fact, she even kicks a little arse and the men of The Pack view her as an equal as does her love interest, Clay.
Clay, what can I say about Clay? He just might eclipse my fictional husband, Jace Wayland. Clay is intelligent, and yes, he’s good looking, temperamental, witty, loyal and honest. These traits alone would make a girl swoon, but even more appealing is his possession of a child like exuberance that is so disarming it gave me butterflies. I know, spoken like a true sap. From the moment I was introduced to him in this story, I knew two things, he was utterly and irrevocably in love with Elena and that I was going to like him, a lot. I was right.
Bitten contains a tight, cohesive and compelling plot, but more importantly, it contains well developed, winning characters that I won’t soon forget. Elena’s path of self discovery is woven beautifully throughout the book and I can’t wait to read more about her, Clay and The Pack.
(Re-Read)Attention, you don’t need a therapist when you’ve got E.Lockhart! Seriously, where was she when I was 15? More importantly, is it sad that it...more(Re-Read)Attention, you don’t need a therapist when you’ve got E.Lockhart! Seriously, where was she when I was 15? More importantly, is it sad that it is just as beneficial of a read now that I am nearing 25? This book is a self help book in disguise and I absolutely adored it!
Ruby Oliver, aka Roo, is a noteworthy heroine and I have no doubt that most of the female species can and will find her relatable. She makes mistakes, she’s passive, insecure, intelligent, a bit eccentric, average looking, and positively endearing. I laughed with her over shared misfortunes, cringed with her over similar humiliations, cried with her over mutual heartbreak, and pressed on with her with akin resolve.
Throughout reading this book, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own actions, personality, and choices. Roo’s issues belong to everyone, likewise, Doctor Z’s recommendations applies to us all as well. Thanks to this book, I have recognized and have chosen to overcome my own passive aggressive tendencies (seriously who would have thunk it?) and as a result, two hours after completing this book, I kicked my loser boyfriend’s arse to the curb once and for all. Roo rocks and because of her, and E. Lockhart, I rocked it out.
Every female on the planet should read this book. It’s a godsend and I can’t wait to read more about Roo, I have a feeling I need more therapy :)
Re-read...Ruby is back for another torturous year at Tate. Armed with tidbits from Doctor Z and the go to boy guide, The Boy Book, Ruby is attempting...moreRe-read...Ruby is back for another torturous year at Tate. Armed with tidbits from Doctor Z and the go to boy guide, The Boy Book, Ruby is attempting to wade through the remaining muck left behind from her disastrous sophomore year in which she lost not only her boyfriend, but all of her friends and was left branded with the blue spots of social lepersy.
The Boy Book is a perfect continuation of Ruby’s story and naturally, there are boy issues. First there's Noel, who she can't quite decide if she likes or likes likes. Then there's Angelo, a family friend and newly acquired scamming mate (make out buddy) and of course, there’s the nefarious Jackson, her former boyfriend, who's mysteriously sending her notes again while her former best-friend Kim, and his current girl friend, is away in Tokyo.
This book was all I hoped it would be. Filled with Hooter Rescue Squads, penguins, llamas, philosophical retreats and neurotic developments, Ruby had me laughing out loud, shaking my head, and shouting in solidarity. This was an excellent follow up to The Boyfriend List and I can’t wait to see what mess Ruby finds herself in next. (less)
What can I say? Ruby Oliver has dazzled me yet again. She is the voice of the female species, or at least, the neurotic half...moreRe-read in February 2012.
What can I say? Ruby Oliver has dazzled me yet again. She is the voice of the female species, or at least, the neurotic half of it. Regardless of how many times I revisit Ruby's story, I never fail to find something new to love about her. She's the kind of girl we've all been and while we, as Ruby, should all strive to be better, who she is is kind of awesome. Over the years, The Ruby Oliver series has become a bit of a guilty pleasure. Something that I delve into when I'm feeling girly and want something light to read without having to make allowances in the character/plot/dialog department.
In The Treasure Map of Boys, it seems dear Roo can't catch a break. Just when she has finally gotten a handle on her panic attacks, formed a new group of friends, and has begun an enjoyable internship at the city zoo, it’s all turned on its feet.
Roo gets fired Jackson sends her a frog laden with meaning Noel is flirting and sending her notes Gideon sits with his thigh touching hers Nora is ignoring her once again And Roo has just met Doctor Z’s fungi footed boyfriend. Could things get any more complicated?
The answer is yes, yes they can. The Treasure Map of Boys does not disappoint. Filled with bake sale stand offs, emulsions of the kitchen variety, hair band therapy, goat correspondence, Operation Sophomore Love, bodyguard duty and more, we are once again transported into the quirky, neurotic mind of our beloved Ruby Oliver. (less)
This book is laugh out loud funny! The proper English slang took some getting used to, but luckily the author has included a glossary in the back.
Geor...moreThis book is laugh out loud funny! The proper English slang took some getting used to, but luckily the author has included a glossary in the back.
Georgia is full of hilariosity and she along with her Ace Gang, mad sister, and fat vati will have you laughing like a loon on loon tablets. Gee is neither kind nor cruel, smart nor intelligent, but witty she is and she is forever getting herself into a jam due to her neurotic nature and obsession with boys, make up and hair.
Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging won't enrich your life. It's not meaningful, unless its serves as a trumpeter for individuality, you won't learn life lessons, but it's great for a laugh and serves as a reminder of how silly and daft we females once were. Enjoyable book! (less)
Stop in the name of Pants is the best in series. For the first time, I wasn't just turning the pages for the hilariosity, I was in it for the arc. Why...moreStop in the name of Pants is the best in series. For the first time, I wasn't just turning the pages for the hilariosity, I was in it for the arc. Why? I'll tell you why, cause Gee is finally starting to realize that she is on the rack of lurve for Dave the Laugh, and who wouldn't be? I so wish I could have him for my very owny.
After displaying yet another bought of red bottomosity with none other than Dave the Laugh, Gee is becoming a bit confused about her matey type mate. She is now the girl friend of a lurve God, so why does she keep thinking about Dave? To make matters worse, her mutti and vati are fighting, Jaz has given hunky the elastic band, and Wet Lindsey seems to have it out for her, more than usual, oo-er.
Once again, Gee and her mad world had me laughing out loud, but unlike all the rest, I shed a few tears. But don't fret, Dave the Laugh steps in, and he along with Sven, Rosy, and the Bird of Avon restore things to their usual order, madness.(less)
Sloppy Firsts is an adult series about an intelligent, angst ridden, sexually repressed 16 year old teenager, misunderstood by most, and admired by a...moreSloppy Firsts is an adult series about an intelligent, angst ridden, sexually repressed 16 year old teenager, misunderstood by most, and admired by a few, Jessica Darling. Sounds cliché right? I thought so too. I've seen this book for years and just walked right on past it as the cover and synopsis sounded just like any other clit lit book. I'm pleased to admit that I was wrong. Very wrong. Enormously mistaken in fact.
Jessica is a hilariously snide narrator. She literally hates most of her peers, but due to circumstances, is forced to pretend she can tolerate them. She often wonders if being a social pariah could be any more depressing that having to sit across from them each day at lunch and listen to their asinine chatter.
Even worse, the love of her life, Paul Parlpiano doesn't even know she exists, despite the fact that she has had sex with him in the gym closet a million times in her mind. Just remembering that cracks me up, cause let’s face it, who hasn't done that?
Most disturbing, Jessica's best friend Hope has moved to TN and Jessica is left alone, with no one to help her endure the Clueless Crew, Scotty's advances, or dissect the weird occurrences with Marcus Flutie.
Jessica just can't get happy. Nearly everything and everyone works her nerves, she wants nothing more to bitch-slap the clueless crew into reality, and spends most of her nights in a sleepless state, wondering what mental disorder plagues her. She suspects schizophrenia.
Reading Sloppy Firsts was a lot like reading the recesses of my own mind. Jessica was the kind of girl I could adopt as a best friend, and read the APA journals with for fresh takes on self analysis, or make fun of everyone with, or just be miserable with. I adored the time I spent with her and am looking forward to more glimpses into her refreshingly realistic world. (less)
*Update* Having just re-read If I Stay, I couldn't not do the same with Where She Went. Time has not lessened my affection for this sequel, but it has...more*Update* Having just re-read If I Stay, I couldn't not do the same with Where She Went. Time has not lessened my affection for this sequel, but it has irradicated my qualms.
Set over a three day period, we get to witness Adam’s life 3 years after the incident that killed Mia’s family. Shooting Star is now a chart topping band, however Adam is despondent, and oddly detached as he continues to dwell on the life that he has lost rather than the one he has been afforded. On the outside, Adam’s success is a dream come true. He’s been blessed with a God given talent and lucky enough to have been given an outlet to share it. Yet Adam can’t muster up any feelings of contentment. Instead he yearns for a life that he can no longer have, existing as a shadow of his former self, resigned to singing songs born of his misery.
Once again, Forman tugged at my heart strings. Though I didn’t find Where She Went as emotionally devastating as If I Stay, it still left a lingering emotional impact. This is the first book I’ve read that truly encapsulates the depression, bitterness and seemingly never ending misery that coincides with the end of a life changing relationship. While the effects may not as be as permanent as losing someone to death, it is often no less debilitating. More over, it superbly demonstrates the willingness of individuals to lose themselves in grief and refuse to give it up. Adam’s despair and anger were his only link to what he had lost and letting go was yet another loss that he simply couldn’t bear. I cried when he finally found the strength within him to do so.
After countless re-reads, I continously become upset to discover how Mia had hardened herself to Adam, as well as gawk in mock anger when she explains the sense of entitlement she felt as she allowed herself to sever that tie. Reading those passages does not lessen my affection for Mia, it simply shows me another facet to her character.
What I have become pleased to discern upon my countless re-reads is the fact that the famous lifestyle of Adam's character no longer seems jarring to me. I still would have prefered Foreman to have chosen not to write him to be so famous as to have surpased Lady Gaga-esque hype and hysteria, but I have learned to overlook it.
In spite of the fact that this story is one that has become exceedingly familiar, my love for it endures. Shocking as it is to discover that this devoted couple is no longer together at the start of this book, I remain grateful that Forman made these characters work for their ending in spite of all the tragedy they had already been through. Afterall, the most powerful books are the ones that reflect life's true design, and since when has anything in life worth having come easy? (less)
Oh how I laughed and laughed, cringed in shared mortification, laughed, despaired over mutual heartbreak, laughed, became over-wrought with neurosis,...moreOh how I laughed and laughed, cringed in shared mortification, laughed, despaired over mutual heartbreak, laughed, became over-wrought with neurosis, laughed, cringed, sympathized and laughed.
Jessica Darling says what most of us are shamed to think. She isn’t noble, far from it, but she’s deliciously flawed in a true, human way. We all say the wrong thing at inopportune times. Many of us, myself included don’t know when to shut up or back down. We may even jump in the sack with a subpar guy for fleeting, spur of the moment reasons. We obsess over the most obscure words behind our hearts desires messages. In short, we are loons, doing our best to get from one day to the next all the while trying to find our path in life and reason for it all. Jessica will make you feel less alone on your journey.
Before I begin, I’m going to evoke my 13 year old alter ego… Curran loves Kate, Curran loves Kate! Okay, so he didn’t say those exact three words, what...moreBefore I begin, I’m going to evoke my 13 year old alter ego… Curran loves Kate, Curran loves Kate! Okay, so he didn’t say those exact three words, what he actually said was “As you wish” but he said it after reading The Princess Bride and everyone knows that is how Wesley told Buttercup he loved her. SQUEE!!!
Okay, now that I have gotten out of the way, this book and this series are so awesome! God, I still sound like a fan girl, but it doesn’t make what I say any less true. Look into the eyeballs of my avartar and believe me.
These characters sneak up on you, rip you open, and embed themselves into your heart and mind. I feel like I’m Kate, and that all her friends also belong to me. It is such a blast to lose yourself in a story that way. And what a story it is. Much like some of my other favorite UF favorites, Kate Daniels’s world provides a tons of lore from a variety of sources including Greco Roman, Hindu, and a bevy of others I can’t think to mention. Even better, they are presented in such a unique, exotic magical world that still manages to feel somewhat familiar as this same fantastical world exists in a post apocalyptic Atlanta, GA. Genius.
The writing practically flies off the pages it moves so quickly. Blink and you’ll miss something vital. In fact, I’d say reading these books is much like sex. The beginning is foreplay, turning you onto the story, and then the action starts and provides you with an ending that leaves you feeling tired and satisfied and just blissful. It’s a mental shag these books are. Love em! (less)
Where to start, where to start? I think I shall devote this review to a bit of fangirl squeeing.
When I finished Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1), I was on the fence about how I felt about it. I needed a nudge to push me past my distaste for the writing style. I'm over it, and that nudge was at the hands of fantastic storytelling laced with blood, guts, cursing, humor, steam and smash hit, winning characters. The world building and plots of these books is incredible. Each book stands alone, presenting a monster of the week type format, while also contributing to an overall series arc. The end result leaves me feeling satisfied, but chomping at the bit for more. The book's plots are original, fast paced, and interesting.
On to the characters. Kate Daniels has endeared herself as my favorite heroine, period. She's intelligent, kind, but can kick major ass and is anything but nice. Unlike a majority of Urban Fantasy heroines, she doesn't suffer from excessive manners. If she wants to kill you, she'll tell you to eat shit and die, then make you eat shit and die. I like that sort of directness in a person, especially in a female. She has a huge capacity to love, but would prefer not to fall in its clutches for no other reason than to spare those she loves from the evil fate that surely awaits her. But what ultimately won me over, was the fact that she doesn't make foolish choices because of this fear. She loves anyway, she recognizes the raw need, and gives into temptation. As a result, I have yet to grit my teeth at her, not even once. That has never happened to me ever. I understand and agree with her every choice. How awesome is that?
Curran, oh Curran, you make me swoon. Like Kate, I struggled with my feelings for him throughout the book. I wondered, "Does he really love her, or is it a game?" So naturally I wasn’t bothered by Kate's reluctance towards him. But the end of Magic Strikes leaves no room for doubt. Curran loves her, and would go to hell and back to keep her safe. How do you resist a hottie that would die at your feet? Yet more than anything, what I love most about Curran, is his subtle charm. He isn't showy about his feelings. He doggedly pursues her, but presents himself in such a way that is endearing, while also leaving you questioning his sincerity. It makes for an interesting, chemistry filled courtship and I am eating it up!
Having two amazing characters is more than enough to make most books float, but this series has them in abundance, which ultimately allows me to look past the bundle of questions I still have. Derek warms my heart and evokes a maternal instinct from me. I want him to smile, be happy and safe. Raphael makes me laugh at his attempts to help Kate provoke Curran,then can make me squee like a love struck girl in his determination to woo his lady love, Andrea, who I also enjoy immensely.
This series just has it going on. It makes no pretenses. The characters don’t contradict themselves by refusing to behave like badasses while being badasses. They embrace what they are. Dark in theme, Andrews doesn’t spare her readers on gory detail, which only enriches the plot, ensuring readers understand the significant danger these characters face. And yet, Andrews expertly weaves these dark themes with demonstrations of love and friendship and humor so subtle that you don’t notice it until you laugh out loud. I cannot wait for the next installment!
I was on pins and needles waiting for this book. My agony only increased upon my wretched curiosity that lured me into reading the fir...moreRe-read in 2012.
I was on pins and needles waiting for this book. My agony only increased upon my wretched curiosity that lured me into reading the first chapter of Magic Bleeds made available on Ilona Andrew’s website. Not only did it fail to satisfy my Curran craving; it increased my torment ten fold. Agh! Luckily, good things come to those who wait, or rather, have a book store within driving distance that isn’t opposed to breaking on sale dates. Magic Bleeds gave me everything I wanted, plus a few things I hadn’t thought to ask for.
I told myself that I would take it slow, that I wouldn’t fly through the pages, but alas, as with all the other books in this glorious series, it’s impossible to put it down once you’ve gotten started. The book opens with Kate attempting to salvage the dinner she laboriously prepared for Curran after losing yet another bet to the Beast Lord. A dinner that every reader has been angsting over. A dinner that will determine the future of their relationship. A dinner that Curran is three hours late for and counting. Horror of horrors, Curran stands her up. What?! WTF?! Worse, when Kate calls the Keep, she is told that Curran will not speak to her and requests she direct any communications through his chief of security, Jim. Crushed and dejected, Kate begins plotting his death. When rationalization sets in, she rules that thought out, opting for storming the Keep, inflicting physical violence and demanding an explanation that would likely cause an interagency scandal in the process. But rather than risk her hide, Kate decides to put her heart on ice and ignore him. Thankfully, fate has other plans. As always, Kate’s life is never simple. There’s a new villain in town, bringing about plagues and destroying well versed opponents as though they were nothing more than annoying gnats. Naturally Kate receives the case, much to my delight and her annoyance. Kate’s only hope is that the case doesn’t involve a shifter, and it doesn’t, it involves several. Haha! With one dead shifter, and several MIA, Curran’s intrusion is sure to follow. Yay! True to form, Curran breaks his weeks of silence to offer Kate the assistance of The Pack. Initially reluctant, and oh so jilted, Kate declines. But logic trumps heartache when an undead water mage interrupts their heated debate to attack Curran. Curran may have saved Kate’s hide once again, but Kate knows she isn’t the target. Someone is targeting Curran, and though she is loathe to admit it, Kate can’t bear the thought of something happening to Curran. In attempt to watch his back, Kate accepts the Packs assistance, but refuses to speak to Curran, opting rather to work through Jim, per Curran’s request weeks ago. Curran doesn’t understand why Kate refuses to speak to him, and he is not taking this slight lightly. In fact, he is furious, and a bit jilted himself. Curran insists that he did show that night. Albeit, he arrived four hours late, but he did show, and never received her inquiring call. Now Kate is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Does she follow her heart, and give Curran and herself a shot at true happiness, or follow 25 years of conditioning, and keep herself and those she loves at arms length? All this would be so much easier to rationalize if the latest monster of the week wasn’t her all powerful and unflinching aunt.
Magic Bleeds was a delight. While I must confess, Magic Strikes is still my favorite in the series, this book was absolutely wonderful. *spoilers ahead*. I simply adored the fact Ilona Andrews had Kate meet Curran half way and finally deal with him on Shape Shifter terms. It was fraught with sexual tension and spiced with humor. Their story continues to make me grit my teeth, swoon, laugh, cry, and swoon. For those of you who worried that Kate and Curran finally coming together would ruin the heat, fear not. Andrews doesn’t let us down. If anything, I think the tension increased, as these two now know what they stand to lose. Furthermore, Curran admittedly in love is even more delicious that Curran in frustrated romantic confusion. Oh how enticing he is! His character development has taken him to new heights as has Kate’s. I cannot wait to see how Kate copes with her new status as Curran’s mate and female Alpha of the Pack.
I have only one complaint, and to be honest, I feel bad for complaining because Ilona Andrews gave me everything I said I wanted. But like a spoiled reader, I have to make one request; can we get more Jim, Derek, Doolittle, and Raphael in the next installment? What you provided to us was beyond fantastic, but I missed them, and I don’t like being peeved at Raphael. Also, love the addition of Grendel, and well done with Saimon. He makes me laugh with his peevishly pervy ways. Is the next one done yet? (less)
Moning is fearless. She certainly isn't afraid to torment her characters. Prior to reading Faefever, I felt as though Mac still had some growing up to...moreMoning is fearless. She certainly isn't afraid to torment her characters. Prior to reading Faefever, I felt as though Mac still had some growing up to do. Some of her choices rankled and I falsely believed her peppy optimism was a form of denial or would be the cause for her destruction because who could be so damn peppy in a world such as the one Moning has created if they had a clear understanding of what they were up against? Apparently the answer to that question is Mac. My heart and my respect, for whatever its worth, have gone out to her. She may not have embraced her circumstances with as much finesse as I might have originally preferred, but I'm now glad of it because Mac's many blunders allowed her to steal my kinship without my even noticing until something wretched was upon her.
I'm not going to discuss plot points of this book, there are so many, and they occur at such a break-neck pace, that I can't recall them all, or in what order they occurred. Besides, my head is still in a tizzy. All I know, is Faefever is the best in series thus far. The characterization has continued to escalate, though I would like to note that Barrons still makes me want to beat the piss out of him, then kiss his wounds. But what continues to awe me is the realism that exists within this supernatural world. Moning writes life, filled with real people, who experience honest realities and her writing is all the more special for it. I get tired of reading story after story where the heroine always wins the guy, or the battle, or the friends. Mac has no friends beyond those who offer their assistance in exchange for a service only she can provide and Mac is perhaps the least qualified to win the war she has been forced to fight. She is the least experienced player in the game. But the great thing about Mac is that she doesn't stop trying, doesn't stop finding someone worth fighting for. I only hope that Moning hasn't broken her completely with the events in this book. (less)
Reread: First I must begin by thanking my amie T for recommending this jewel of a book. Melina Marchetta is on par with our beloved E.Lockhart and I o...moreReread: First I must begin by thanking my amie T for recommending this jewel of a book. Melina Marchetta is on par with our beloved E.Lockhart and I owe you for introducing her phenomenal writing to me.
Francesca’s life leaves a lot to be desired. She has just begun her junior year, attending the recently defined co-ed school St. Sebastian’s. She, along with 29 other unlucky sods are now co-existing with a bunch of hormonal, testosterone fueled blokes who are under the misapprehension that by divine right of possessing a penis, they are somehow superior. To make attending a new school with a bunch of sexist, flatulent filled pervs worse, Francesca isn’t sure of which of the females in matriculation she should adopt as her fellow females at arms. There’s Tara Finke, the feminist dejour, who always has someone to chastise and who might as well call herself a lezzie and be done with it, or Siobhan the slut who spends her weekend hooking up with losers only to end up drunkenly crying into the toilet, and then there is the accordion playing Justine that practically has nerd stamped across her forehead. These facts alone would make any normal, insecure female fraught with discomfort and turmoil but as life would have it, things can always get worse. And for Francesca they do when her rock/nag of a mother decides to not get out of bed one morning, or the day after.
Saving Francesca tackles what happens when a lost girl is forced to come to terms with who she is while simultaneously tackling life’s many dramas. Francesca’s forced to come into her own and find her path, while struggling to maintain some semblance of her family intact.
Marchetta has created a beautiful book that addresses everyday personal issues on life, love, friendship, depression and more with a flawless grace interwoven with a remarkable humor. I laughed till I cried and sometimes I just cried, but overall, I enjoyed every word told in Francesca’s voice.
Several terms come to mind when describing Jellicoe Road, but perhaps what works best is clever. Melina Marchetta has a masterful way with words. Her...moreSeveral terms come to mind when describing Jellicoe Road, but perhaps what works best is clever. Melina Marchetta has a masterful way with words. Her writing is simple and yet effective. She’s down to earth, whilst being thought provoking. Lamb dressed as mutton. I could go into a plot summary for you, but I think it would ruin the experience; therefore, I’ll say this:
There is a story within a story that inevitably intertwines the past to the present, and both are vivid and remarkably told. The dust jacket and/or blubs will present this book as a mystery, but to be frank, that’s a bit false. All mystery dissipates 150 pages in, with the first 50 pages being a bit of a confusing mess. I’ll admit, I had my doubts about Jellicoe Road in the beginning. The narrative hops around way too often, in no seeming order, and there were times when I had no idea who was speaking. But I pressed on, hoping that the story would reveal itself in time if I could only endure for a little longer. I’ll note here that Marchetta has this way of luring you in against your will. In this instance, I was compelled by Taylor Markham, even though there were times that I was a bit put out with her. She’s just so lost, so solitary, so angry and she’s been so betrayed. You want to slap her, then give her a hug. Though, as Marchetta has proven with her other works, her narrator is never the only character to shine albeit they shine through a rain cloud as her characters are almost always emotional train wrecks. Nevertheless, everyone is complex in their own unique, intriguing way. You get the sense that these people exist, somewhere along the Jellicoe Road. Their stories begin to feel like your experiences, their pasts become your memories. You can’t help but fall a little in love with them.
All in all, Jellicoe Road won a Printz Award for good reason, and if you can just stick it out for 50 trying pages, you will be more than well compensated. (less)
How does one pen a review for such an exquisitely layered work of art? Revolution reads like sadness feels. It’s throbbing, aching, raw, desolate and...moreHow does one pen a review for such an exquisitely layered work of art? Revolution reads like sadness feels. It’s throbbing, aching, raw, desolate and poignant. In short, it’s lovely and extraordinary in scope.
Revolution is a juxtaposition between two 17 year old girls set worlds and over two centuries apart. Nevertheless, these girls are bound by their love of music and a tangible guilt they both feel as a result of their own perceived selfishness. Andi and Alex each provide an astonishing portrayal of a haunted soul struggling for redemption.
Andi lives in present day Brooklyn. When her grief for her deceased brother, Truman, isn’t coercing her to numb herself with anti-depressants, Andi struggles to keep her head above ground and her suicidal thoughts at bay. If it weren’t for her guitar, Andi feels as though she would cease to exist. When news that she is failing school reaches her noble prize winning father, he whisks her away to Paris. He hopes the time away will provide Andi with a revived sense of direction. If nothing else, he will be able to keep a watchful eye on her to ensure she completes her senior thesis. It is in Paris that Andi discovers an antique guitar case, complete with a secret compartment containing the long lost diary of a girl who calls herself Alex.
Alex lives in Revolutionary France. As the daughter of a poor, unknown playwright, Alex must earn her way by reciting Shakespeare, Virgil and the lot. A simple twist in fate secures Alex the position of caregiver to the dauphine, Louis-Charles. However, the country is in an increasing state of unrest, and Louis-Charles is the very representation of power and oppression. Struggling with her own desires and the ever increasing love she feels for the dauphine, Alex will have to make a choice that helps change the course of history.
Andi blew me away with her unapologetic tale of self-destruction. Her loss touched my heart, and her love of music was palpable to the point of becoming its own character. All the same, it was Alex’s story of betrayal and redemption that kept me turning the pages. Each of these girl’s lives are filled with loss. They have been exposed to the volatile and often brutal side of human nature, and yet each continues on without knowing what they move toward. Revolutionis vibrant and surprisingly candid. Filled with dozens of tiny little nuances, it dazzles the mind with its vivid and seamless depiction of a disheartened modern day girl who collides with the all too distant past. There is undeniable beauty in the gutter, as Donnelly shows us all to well. Meticulously researched and thoughtfully penned, Donnelly proves herself to be a truly gifted writer. All in all, this was a wonderful book to get lost in. (less)
Saving Francesca is still my favorite Marchetta book to date, but Looking for Alibrandi comes in a very strong second. Regardless of how drastically...moreSaving Francesca is still my favorite Marchetta book to date, but Looking for Alibrandi comes in a very strong second. Regardless of how drastically different Marchetta’s heroines are described, I always identify with them. They are so wonderfully complex, yet simply described. I want to befriend them, at times I wish I was them. I love reading their stories as they go along their respective journeys, which are always emotional and strife with life lessons on love, fate and family. I may even be a wee bit envious of them as they are extraordinarily clever, especially given their age.
I’m not nearly gifted enough to pay Marchetta her due praise, so I won’t try to summarize this glory of a story. But if you’ve read and loved Marchetta, this will only inspire further fangirl worship, and if not, you really need to get on it. (less)
I read books for a variety of reasons, to be entertained, find inspiration, expand my world view, have a cathartic cry, etc. I read the works of Lani...moreI read books for a variety of reasons, to be entertained, find inspiration, expand my world view, have a cathartic cry, etc. I read the works of Lani Taylor for her rare ability to string words together in such a lovely way that you feel as though she could write about poo and it would still be one of the most breath-taking pieces written. I simply cannot fathom such a talent. Moreover, I can’t comprehend how one can possess such a vivid imagination and manage to fashion it into a believable reality. Lani Taylor can and does.
Set in modern day Prague, “The Daughter of Smoke and Bone” tells us the story of 17 year old Karou. She spends her days attending art classes, drawing and mending her recent disappointment cast by her good for nothing ex-boyfriend. Sounds fairly standard, no? But Karou possesses a secret life. A life she dare not share beyond the fantastical pictures that lie within her notebook. Pictures that are replicas of Karou’s hidden world. A world in which magic exists and enables Karou to traverse the globe through secret portals. Portals that Karou must enter to complete the errands tasked to her by her demonic family. A family which has raised her with care since her infancy.
“The Daughter of Smoke and Bone” tells us the story of what happens when an Angel and a devil fall in love. As Taylor herself says in her opening line, it does not end well.
As I’m sure none of my words on this unexpected idly gorgeous book will ever aptly speak to the brilliance that lies within its pages, I’ll let the book speak for itself in one of my most favorite passages here:
"this, she thought, isn't just for today. It's for everything. For the heartache that still felt like a punch in the gut each time it struck, fresh as new at unpredictable moments; for the smiling lies and the mental images she couldn't shake; for the shame of having been so naive. For the way loneliness is worse when you return to it after a reprieve--like the souls version of putting on a wet bathing suit, clammy and miserable."
And another here:
"She craved a presence beside her, solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark. Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming. Who would dance with her on her balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust."
I hope you read this remarkable book and enjoy it as much as I did. (less)
I loved every second I spent reading Divergent. Its quick, fluid pacing, combined with edge of your seat plotting and heart rending characters, lent i...moreI loved every second I spent reading Divergent. Its quick, fluid pacing, combined with edge of your seat plotting and heart rending characters, lent itself well to this dystopian debut.
Divergent takes place in a Dystopian Chicago. It has long been discovered that the cause for the worlds’ strife and political unrest wasn’t due to race or religion but rather the personality traits of human beings. Thus a new government was formed and divided into factions that were created according to those virtues that leaders found to be the most prudent. Those of Dauntless value bravery and live a life dedicated to service through valor. Erudite values knowledge and are a faction devoted to studies. Amity values love and happiness, Candor – Honesty and Abnegation values selflessness above all else, thus making them best suited for leadership roles in government as they are uncorrupt able.
At the eve of the choosing ceremony, the event in which young adults choose the faction in which they will live, we meet Tris Prior. Tris is a 16 year old girl that has grown up in Abnegation, but has found the factions ideals difficult to live by. She often feels out of step and ponders what it would be like to live a life afforded by other factions. However doing so would mean betraying her family. While her upcoming aptitude test could support what she has always known, that she doesn’t belong in Abnegation, she also fears what the results with say. But when her results come back inconclusive, Tris must make her choice without a guide.
Tris’s choice and the consequences that follow kept me turning the pages into the wee hours of the night. I simply couldn’t find a stopping point! Tris was a character that I could root for and the world that Roth has created is intricate and entrancing. I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel.
Side note: I’m normally peeved to read books that are the start of a trilogy, but at nearly 500 pages, Roth gives plenty of meat to her story to keep readers satisfied. (less)