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)
I never would have thought I would look upon a Gayle Forman book with feelings of regret, but alas, it is so. At least I had been warned by those I tr...moreI never would have thought I would look upon a Gayle Forman book with feelings of regret, but alas, it is so. At least I had been warned by those I trusted and was slightly prepared for the waves of disappointment that I experienced during my reading of this latest release. People who know of my love for sappy romance novels, bad boys and adoration of Gayle Forman knew I would not be pleased and I hate to admit that they were right. As far as I can intuit, they were proven right for two reasons, the plot was unoriginal and the characters were flat and inconsistent. What book can stand up to that?
Perhaps I would have enjoyed this book if I hadn't read and loved One Day, but I did and this book, with it's strikingly similar concept, simply couldn't compare. It wasn't epic enough and lets face it, if I am going to agonize over a great love for an entire year, the great love interest is going to need to be someone who didn't act like a complete shit the majority of the time spent in his presence. Our heroine spends18 waking hours with a boy that she spends the next 18 months mooning over, when a large percentage of those 18 hours was spent fretting about whether or not the guy in question was going to ditch her at any second. When that fear was momentarily cast aside, she then had to determine whether or not he had boned every woman that said hello to him as they strolled around Paris. The only thing epic about that is her pathetic need for acceptance by a complete stranger and his ability to screw half the female population of Paris. Not hot.
As for the characters, our heroine is described as a rule following good girl, who is so boring she can't even enjoy a free summer abroad, yet I'm to believe she suddenly becomes impulsive enough to run away with a random guy to a city she has never seen just because he makes eyes at her during a play? I don't think so. Even more dumbfounding is the fact that this girl has sex with him. WTF? Again, I think not.
I failed to see romance where only idiocy and duchbaggery appeared to be present and I am appalled that one of my favorite writers failed to take advantage of a glorious place such as Paris in her writing.
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)
I enjoyed Wicked Lovely, but was hesitant about begining another incompleted series. Regardless, I gave Ink Exchange a try and I am so glad that I did...moreI enjoyed Wicked Lovely, but was hesitant about begining another incompleted series. Regardless, I gave Ink Exchange a try and I am so glad that I did. I loved this story. My heart broke for all of the characters, especially Irial. He was so well written, that you find yourself falling in love with him despite the fact that his actions are at times, truly evil. I was touched by his humanity so to speak, as well as his selflessness towards Niall and Leslie. Leslie is an especially heartbreaking character. And yet, though she is flawed, I felt that she demonstrated true strength in conquering her addiction of Irial and overcoming her tragic past. Lastly there is Niall, poor noble Niall. His torment seems never ending. He not only suffers from a haunting past but a grim future to boot. If only he could have his heart's desire. While many may shy away from dark and dreary plot lines, I found the read rather beautiful in its rawness. And while the ending was far from a happy ending, I felt content with its conclusion. So, if you enjoyed Wicked Lovely, you should definitely read Ink Exchange and even if you didn't, give it a try. It's delicious. (less)
Secret Vampire was the first book I had read by LJ Smith and with it, began the start of my love affair with her writing. Her characters are so encha...more Secret Vampire was the first book I had read by LJ Smith and with it, began the start of my love affair with her writing. Her characters are so enchanting and her stories are vibrant and addicting. The NightWorld series was unlike anything I had ever read and continues to be one of my all time favorite books and series. (less)
I have been a devoted fan of L.J. Smith's for over a decade and I was so thrilled when I realized that she would be continuing the Vampire Diaries ser...moreI have been a devoted fan of L.J. Smith's for over a decade and I was so thrilled when I realized that she would be continuing the Vampire Diaries series in a new trilogy focusing primarily on Damon, my favorite character of the series. However, as much as I want to love this book, I just can't do it. On the one hand, I'm so glad that I got to see more of Damon, Elena is finally realizing her attraction to him, and that Damon was becoming more developed as a character. But then there is the other hand, where L.J. erased every gain Damon made with a rather unexplained and rather ridiculous twist. I also felt that she kind of slaughtered her characters in order to add length to her story and overall, her series. Many of the circumstances were confusing and just flat out nonsensical. The story was certainly ambitious, has loads of potential, I did enjoy it, but overall it just did not work. I'm still holding out hope for the next one. L.J. can certainly turn it all around. (less)
It's not often that I am able to read a fantastic book with a perfectly imperfect ending, well, until now. How I Live now is the story of Daisy, a you...moreIt's not often that I am able to read a fantastic book with a perfectly imperfect ending, well, until now. How I Live now is the story of Daisy, a young 15 year old girl, struggling to find herself. Out of frustration over Daisy's obvious eating disorder, Daisy's father ships her off to live with her aunt and cousins in the English countryside. The results are life changing as Daisy finds acceptance and love amongst her new family. But all too soon it falls apart, as unknown forces declare war on her new country, and her family is torn apart. This story not only presents a journey of girl trying to put together the pieces of her family, but also pieces of herself. How I Live Now will break your heart and mend it back, and is a definite must read. (less)
How I Let My Hair Grow Out is a hilarious coming of age story about a delightful cynic named Morgan who has been recently dumped by her self obsessed...moreHow I Let My Hair Grow Out is a hilarious coming of age story about a delightful cynic named Morgan who has been recently dumped by her self obsessed boyfriend. When her parents send her packing to Ireland in hope of providing Morgan with a much needed reality check an interesting and unexpected adventure begins. Along the way, Morgan not only gains confidence from the poignant Colin, but also the insight to become her true self from a few enchanted friends from Long Ago. I truly enjoyed reading Morgan's wickedly snide, cynical insights. As someone who often expresses my moods through my hair, I completely related to the comical heroine. If you're looking for a book that embodies being a real, relatable, girl, this is the book for you. (less)
I find it rather hard to choose what type of review I would like to write, positive or negative. I suppose mine will be a bit of both. One the one han...moreI find it rather hard to choose what type of review I would like to write, positive or negative. I suppose mine will be a bit of both. One the one hand, I have to give Holly Black credit for attempting to write characters that do not fall within the norm. Not everyone is of a certain race, hair color, eye color, personality type, etc. and it is refreshing to read something other than a Mary Jane. I can also appreciate any author who is daring enough to include sex, cussing, and drugs into their story. What teenager hasn't partaken in at least one of the three aforementioned activities? However, despite Black's attempt to create a relatable and realistic character, I felt that Black made Kaye rather unidentifiable. She may not have been an All American do gooder, but she certainly fell within a stereotype, just not a very flattering one. She came across as a redneck/goth hybrid if such a thing were possible. She certainly was not anyone I would look up to or befriend. Is this really the kind of woman any of us would strive to be? One that chain smokes, steals, dresses like a street walker, and messes around with her best friend's loser boyfriend? Also, while I can appreciate a book that attempts a unique structure, the writing style was hard to enjoy. It was disjointed and I found myself having to reread several passages in order to make sense of what they were trying to convey. Lastly, Did anyone else find the love between Kaye and Roiben hard to swallow? I get that she thought he was cute, but looks aside, why is Kaye attracted to him exactly? More importantly, why is he attracted to her? Black did a poor job of making their love believable. All in all, the story made for an entertaining read, but it certainly did not live up to the hype. (less)
I don't think I have ever read a book that had me rooting for every character, especially when said characters have conflicting desires. Marr has craf...moreI don't think I have ever read a book that had me rooting for every character, especially when said characters have conflicting desires. Marr has crafted a wonderful tale filled with passion, deceit, love, and destiny. It’s rare to find such a gem. Her character development is beyond belief and the plot is utterly unique. I wish I could find the words to adequately describe the tone and feel, but none spring to mind. I suppose you will just have to read for yourself.(less)
Fragile Eternity is the best installment of Marr's chronicles of faerie to date as Marr ups the ante in this beautiful tale of love and choice. Marr i...moreFragile Eternity is the best installment of Marr's chronicles of faerie to date as Marr ups the ante in this beautiful tale of love and choice. Marr is a brilliant writer and has the marvelous ability to wind delicious threads of tension and inevitability into her novels despite all of the choices available. That's the thing that I love most about her books so far. The choices you want to make are never the choices available. More importantly, every character remains a delicious shade of gray. Each is endearing and beautifully flawed, I love them all. I'm so excited to see how it all unfolds. Excellent book!(less)
I was instantly enchanted when I first read City of Bones, and that enchantment still holds four years, and at least half a dozen re-reads later in sp...moreI was instantly enchanted when I first read City of Bones, and that enchantment still holds four years, and at least half a dozen re-reads later in sptite of the fact that I'm older, wiser, and should know better. I've also read countless reviews, both adoring and loathing and have come to the conclusion that this book does not garner any type of middle ground, you either love it or you hate it.
I'm glad that I get to love it. What else can I say? [image error]
For me, this book shines, and to those of you who loved it, I imagine you are a bit like me. You found yourself immersed in a world where demons roam the night, weres run a bar, vamps occupy abandoned hotels, warlocks cast spells while rockin glitter in their hip hugging jeans, and the law is upheld by Shadowhunters, a race of humans blessed by the angel Raziel. Hokey? Sure. Rockin like a unicorn adorned bike? Hell yes! Even the setting, NYC, was so palpable; it became another character in this vibrant story. I thought the Shadowhunter world was funny, sleek, dark, sexy and hopeful. More importantly, the characters came so alive for me that they jumped off the pages. I felt as though I were in the story with them as opposed to merely following along in their journey.
Regardless of the types of books you prefer to read, or the characters that endear themselves to your heart, I think we all read to for some type of enjoyment. What evokes that enjoyment varies from reader to reader, but I still find excitement within these pages. To me, that is the mark of a fantastic book.
Those who know me are aware of how much I adore this series and it is nearly impossible for me to play favorites, but I think City of Ashes just might...moreThose who know me are aware of how much I adore this series and it is nearly impossible for me to play favorites, but I think City of Ashes just might win the prize. Typically the middle man falls victim into ESB Syndrome (Empire Strikes Back Syndrome) making it all too obvious that it was written with no other purpose than to serve as a pit stop between books one and three. Not only does this not apply to City of Ashes, I dare say that it is best in series.
While reading City of Bones was love at first read, introducing me to this magically delicious fictitious world, and City of Glass gave me an ending that was so perfectly incomplete in the sense that it answered all my questions, fulfilled all my desires and yet somehow left me yearning for more, it is City of Ashes that stole my heart. God I love emotional torment!
City of Ashes begins where City of Bones left off, yet somehow feels entirely new, while remaining somewhat similar. Characters have lost some of their raw edge and now allow readers to see what lies beneath, desperate longing and hopeful yearning for something more, something better. You feel their emotions, despair along with them and want to fight beside them. Now that the foundation for the series has been set, City of Ashes is allowed the freedom to reveal its secrets to readers, while simultaneously hiding storylines not to be revealed until City of Glass. Normally that formula would be grating, but for COA it simply makes you squee with delight, and hunger for more. Once again the setting lends itself as a palpable entity that enables readers to envision this story as though you yourself were in it.
Much like one of my favorite paintings, City of Ashes sheds some light, while remaining dark, hope exists alongside despair, and feels all comforting, vibrant and bleak. An odd combination, which by some means, works and strikes a chord that will hum its tune long after you have completed the book. (less)
I couldn't have asked for a better ending. I got everything I wanted. I don't want to summarize the book, I'll leave that to others, but I will say th...moreI couldn't have asked for a better ending. I got everything I wanted. I don't want to summarize the book, I'll leave that to others, but I will say that there are some heartbreakingly beautiful scenes in this book. The characters became more developed and more endearing, especially Jace. His sarcastic wit is certainly present in this book; however, he is no longer hiding behind his carefully constructed facade. His torment over Clary is glaringly obvious from the first chapter.
I'm so glad that Clary didn't turn Jace away the night he left. Clary was the only person in the world that made Jace feel like he belonged and she was the only person he belonged to and the fact that she didn't turn away from him when he told her that he loved her probably meant more to him than her waiting until she knew the truth to love him back the same way. He had resigned himself to love her always, no matter what, and I'm glad that he got to know that she had resigned herself to the same fate.
Clare hasn't missed a beat in this final installment, not a detail spared, she answers every question I thought to ask while reading City of Bones and City of Ashes. I always felt as though I understood the motivations behind the characters' actions, but City of Glass brought to me a completly new understanding and insight, not just to the characters actions, but to the characters themselves. I didn't think it would be possible, but I fell more in love with each of them.
City of Glass is bittersweet magic. I'm so happy to know how it all ends, but sad the story is over. I'm going to miss these characters. City of Glass has earned itself the ranking of my all time favorite book!(less)
This book had been living in my TBR stack for ages and out of sheer boredom, I finally picked it up and began reading. Now that I have, I kind of feel...moreThis book had been living in my TBR stack for ages and out of sheer boredom, I finally picked it up and began reading. Now that I have, I kind of feel bad that I waited to so long to do so. The book was quirky and completely hilarious at moments, although those moments tended to be completely ridiculous and over the top, but I have a weird sense of humor, so what can ya do? I don't remember being nearly as witty as these teenage characters when I was 16, nor do I recall pondering any serious thoughts about life, depression, religion, etc. outside of my classes where I was required to do so, but none the less, I enjoyed reading their ponderings. Alaska's dramatic tendencies and manic-depressive mood swings often made my head hurt, but I remember being an angst ridden teenager so I cut her some slack, especially given her circumstances. The colonel’s insight and sarcastic humor was truly a delight to read, Mile's awkwardness and insecurities provided several hilarious, cringe-worthy moments, and the fox, well he was absolutely bizarre, and reminded me of a gangster sonic the hedgehog but made me laugh out loud all the same. The book tackles several issues that can be applied to all regardless of age. Furthermore, Alakska contains one of the most thought provoking ending that I have ever read. But, on a lighter note, and one of the things I enjoyed most, is that it demonstrates that dorkiness is its own type of cool. (less)