I must admit that my first inclination is to grab a fantasy book which tend to be exciting and fun. So when I started reading THE RIVER by Mary Jane B...moreI must admit that my first inclination is to grab a fantasy book which tend to be exciting and fun. So when I started reading THE RIVER by Mary Jane Beaufrand I wanted more pizzaz and drama. But although it’s not an action packed drama the book kicks off with a bang when Ronnie (Veronica) finds her friend Karen dead in the nearby River. Karen isn’t just a friend, she’s more like an adopted little sister to Ronnie who’s been pushed aside by her large family and found a companion in Ronnie. But with Karen’s death, Ronnie doesn’t understand how this sure-footed explorer can drown in the River she knows so well. Shortly after Ronnie finds she needs to be mindful of her safety and finds the River holds many secrets and mysteries of her own that are a threat to Ronnie and her friends and family.
The story unfolds like a rug. At first slower and it speeds up to that action packed drama I wanted! It crashes and booms like the River and I was not only left gasping for air but also teary eyed. Beaufrand tells a vivid story with beautifully descriptive imagery that transports you to this little town in Washington. Her angst and turmoil are wretched and ring true as you followed Ronnie through her difficult journey.
I was most captivated by Beaufrand’s beautiful writing style and as the pages came to an end, I was left wanting more from this author. But in the end I was satisfied and it has taught me a lesson: Realistic Fiction can be just as exciting and dramatic as fantasy and I can’t imagine missing this heart-warming, thrilling story. (less)
t comes as no surprise to many of my friends when I say, “ I loved HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter.” I mean, really who can’t? Carter tells a fun and ene...moret comes as no surprise to many of my friends when I say, “ I loved HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter.” I mean, really who can’t? Carter tells a fun and energetic story of a teen who despite her unwavering determination to escape her family’s ‘business’ after running away to a normal school gets pulled back into her family’s web.
I was incredibly excited to read this book after the many raves from friends on Carter’s previous Gallagher series. And no wonder. Kat Bishop is a character everyone will love. She’s filled with heart and determination and uncanny wit. She’s funny and smart –a great role model for teens. (Minus the thievery, of course.) But not only is Kat a character worth falling in love with but the whole cast is one filled with charm and charisma.
Ally Carter’s story pacing is nothing but wonderful. It is fast and exciting at the right moments and slower, and sadder even, when needed. But best of all I never saw anything coming. The book was smart and fun and has compelled me to read her other series as well. I just can’t get enough!(less)
BALLAD by Maggie Stiefvater is a compelling and enthralling tale of James a musical genius, a piper who is now attending Thornking-Ash, a school for t...moreBALLAD by Maggie Stiefvater is a compelling and enthralling tale of James a musical genius, a piper who is now attending Thornking-Ash, a school for the musically talented, alongside his ex-crush and friend Diedre. Diedre is battling her own demons that have carried over from LAMENT. But this is James’s story and James has been discovered by a mysterious girl, Nuala, who breathes into him inspiration and greatness but for a price. But all is not what it seems and Nuala makes sacrifices and some tough decisions herself all while a bigger plan is being hatched by Eleanor. James, Nuala and Diedre find themselves in a tangled web of life and death. Maggie once again does a wonderful job of storytelling a complex and thrilling adventure. Although there were bits and pieces that felt slow, Maggie’s story is full of surprises and twists and turns. I enjoyed every minute and was left gasping at the end wondering at turn of events. BALLAD was well paced and entertaining to read and I recommended this to fans of fairies, folklore and urban fantasy. (less)
I was trying so hard to wait, and be patient, and read this book closer to release date but alas, as you can see, I couldn't hold off anymore. I am so...moreI was trying so hard to wait, and be patient, and read this book closer to release date but alas, as you can see, I couldn't hold off anymore. I am so glad I read it, because it got me out of a reading slump and I devoured this book page by page.
Alexendra Bracken's debut, BRIGHTLY WOVEN, is a high fantasy adventure filled with mystery, love, romance, and danger. It has the perfect blend of mysterious boy meets fascinating, small town girl and these unseemingly opposite characters are on the run from a mean and powerful wizard that seeks to cause some serious damage.Not only to our hero and heroine but well, to a lot more people! But not all is as at it seems --Syd and North learn new things about themselves and eachother but the magic happens as they discover these dangerous and heartbreaking secrets that make this book so wonderful and unexpected.
Bracken's well-paced storytelling mixes well with a fascinating world and vibrant and intriguing characters that transform this tale into a book that you cannot possibly put down! Like Norht's capes, Bracken unfurls the corners to reveal unexpected twists and turns and each chapter is a vibrant thread that make up this enthralling BRIGHTLY WOVEN!
Fans of Cashore will devour this book! And it's a must read this spring when the book debuts in March! Seriously worth pre-ordering!(less)
HOLD STILL by Nina LaCour is a heartbreaking and achingly beautiful story about Caitlin and her struggle to cope after her best friend, Ingrid, commit...moreHOLD STILL by Nina LaCour is a heartbreaking and achingly beautiful story about Caitlin and her struggle to cope after her best friend, Ingrid, commits suicide. Caitlin’s journey is full of new people and new experiences as she learns to accept the past and move forward. As she goes through the year she is accompanied by Ingrid’s journal that gives us glimpses of who she was and what she felt. Along with the journal Caitlin uses her photography as a means to connect with who she was with Ingrid yet separate herself from her talented friend.
I greatly enjoyed seeing Caitlin’s journey and although she had an uneasy road ahead her triumph is heartwarming and touching. I was so deeply touched that the last fifty or so pages were filled with cheers and tears for Caitlin.
Though some pieces of the story were a bit slow the plot keeps you interested. I wanted to know about Ingrid, her journal, Delani, but mostly I wanted to know about the photography which was an integral part of the story. Perhaps because I had those rich memories of my high school photo classes, or maybe because I had this passion for the medium, or maybe because it was so reminiscent of my high school days I wanted to devour the pages and get to live vicariously through Caitlin and experience high school once again. I especially loved the use of art, of photography, as a way to cope and how it bridge Caitlin and Ingrid once again.
I recommend this book to any fans of contemporary fiction! Nina LaCour has given us a story that will tug at the heart strings of readers young and old and it’s a story worth experiencing! (less)
After tells the story of a young girl, Devon, who comes to grips with the consequences after she dumps her baby in the dumpster moments after giving b...moreAfter tells the story of a young girl, Devon, who comes to grips with the consequences after she dumps her baby in the dumpster moments after giving birth. The story picks up right when her mom comes home and a cop comes a-knockin.
Amy Efaw tells a sad and troubling story that so many young girls go through. Many times when we hear such tales on the news we are left wondering how someone can possible do such a thing. But Efaw takes us into Devon’s world physically and emotionally answering any lingering questions. As Devon’s story unfolds we are taken through the steps from hospital to juvenile detention center, and through a court hearing. The story is twofold: Devon’s story and the legal issues associated with it. At times it seemed like an episode of Law and Order but it was a necessary aspect of the story.
Devon though a conflicted character is strong and independent and despite her problems is still considered in eyes a role model. She suffered heart wrenching internal conflict yet at the end of it all made the right decision and rose above her mistakes. The plot is engaging making you feel like you are part of the trial process.
I enjoyed it even though it was a tough subject I learned a lot. It was welcoming to get inside the head of such a girl with such an experience. I recommend this to anyone curious of this phenomenon, those interested in teen pregnancy issues and dumpster babies. But on a side note it is very refreshing to see authors tackle such hard hitting issues and so well too. This was in no way preachy and showed a side to it that left us not only feeling compassion but most of all understanding that train of thinking better. Well done, Amy!
I give this book a 85/100 B Characters- 17 Plot- 17 Writing- 16 Originality- 17 Re-Readability- 18(less)
DREAMING ANASTASIA is a story filled with fast paced on the run action, history, romance, drama and intrigue. What happens to Anne who has reoccurring...moreDREAMING ANASTASIA is a story filled with fast paced on the run action, history, romance, drama and intrigue. What happens to Anne who has reoccurring dreams and not pleasant ones at that? The dreams are scary and mysterious and leave Anne looking for answers. When a mysterious boy, Ethan, finds her all that Anne’s known unravels and she is forced to run for her life all in hopes to save the lost, and not dead, Anastasia Romonov.
Though a tab predictable, DREAMING ANASTASIA keeps you on your toes with the on the run action and you can’t help but love the characters who are fun and caring. I most of all loved and related to Tess who was spunky and was so much fun with her back talk and smart-ass-ness. I felt some of the characters less relatable and the romance lacking. Overall, it was a good read and fans of the Romanovs and Anastasia would love this spin on history.(less)
Another Faust is a retelling of the Faustian bargain a cultural motif where the main character makes a pact with the devil. Five kids, Bicé , Belle, C...moreAnother Faust is a retelling of the Faustian bargain a cultural motif where the main character makes a pact with the devil. Five kids, Bicé , Belle, Christian, Valentin and Victoria, all have been kidnapped from their homes and their pasts erased, coerced to be the adopted children of a mysterious and beautiful governess. The story jumps from small kids to high school where they are enrolled in a prestigious private school, Merlowe, where each of the kids has ambitions aided by certain powers the governess so mysteriously provided.
Though the story is slow and choppy at times, it is filled with intellect and deep rooted naiveté and greediness that give the story the powerful impact at the end. Although the characters are naïve and shallow throughout most the book, the end result will leave you thinking about at what costs we’ll pursue our dreams.
On of my favorite bits is the short paragraphs before each chapter that gave the reader a glimpse into the story, furthering the plot and giving us a look into the governess, the kids and mostly the past.
Over all, although the first 300 pages are hard and at times broken and confusing the story picks up well at times and is intriguing enough to keep reading, especially for the end. (less)
LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES by Laini Taylor can only be described as perfect. The three short stories whose common thread a kiss that alters outcomes and...moreLIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES by Laini Taylor can only be described as perfect. The three short stories whose common thread a kiss that alters outcomes and circumstances are like dark chocolate. Dark, haunting, passionate and delicious. In all honesty, words almost fail me. Almost. Because these stories are not only filled with lush details and vivid imagery but transport you into another world, full of old and mysterious characters with rich and colorful lore and traditions.
Each story takes place in a far away land with strong and witty characters and each story has a dash of old country folklore that grips you into its clutches and no matter how hard you try you don't want to let it go. Each story is unique and captivating and as much as I want to there's no way to pick one over the other. Each word hangs on a string like tastey fruit waiting for you to devour it. And you do, because Laini's writing is brilliant! Don't believe me?
See for yourself:
From "Goblin Fruit" -No one else in town looked anything like her, and if she lived to womanhood, she was the one artists would want to draw, not the Sarahs and Jennys. She was the one who would someday know a dozen ways to wear a silk scarf, how to read the sky for rain and coax feral animals near how to purr throat love songs in Portuguese and Basque, how to lay a vampire to rest, how to light a cigar, how to light a man's imagination on fire. If she lived to womanhood."(p. 24)
With each story you are bound to get a sexy and dark tales of love, loss, danger and life at its most fragile. This book cannot fail and any fan of fantasy would gobble each morsel and sit begging for more. And if you are not a fan of fantasy this book will surely convert you!
And not to overlook how amazing the illustrations are that give a glimpse into the background stories of the characters. I was mesmerized by the beautiful drawings for a few good hours and now with my own copy I can open the book and get immersed all over again. Both stories and drawings make for a shiny package that I will want to hide from friends so it doesn't get ruined. (I'll let them have the ARC.)(less)
The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brenna take you into a world we can’t even imagine. This book is holds a dark and twisted world full of pain, scary...moreThe Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brenna take you into a world we can’t even imagine. This book is holds a dark and twisted world full of pain, scary beings taking residence where they shouldn’t great characters. Demon’s Lexicon tells the story of two brothers who are constantly on the run hiding from a powerful magician who seeks to destroy them. Things turn worse when Nick’s older brother Alan ends up with a demon’s mark. And worse he’s got two demon marks- three and you’re out! Alan though does this out of the goodness of his heart. He ends up with the marks to help save the life of a younger boy who’s well ahead in his count of demon marks and does this to buy him some time. Trick is, in order to stay alive they must each kill a magician. Things turn from bad to worse as the story progresses, their luck runs out; they meet some mysterious and scary characters and are still on the run.
The plot is a bit slow at times but the world is intriguing enough to keep you in it and around it. I was more so interested in the characters Nick and Alan and as brothers they had an intense connection that was fascinating to read about. Nick is tough and rigid and strong but despite it all is complicated with a soft side that sneaks up on the reader like a spider in a corner. Alan is a leader; caring, kind and selfless. But despite it all he’ll throw you a few curve balls leaving you literally GASPING!
I have mixed feelings about the book: it was a slow beginning. Not too slow where I would lose interest but slow enough where it took me longer to read. I can’t be sure about this, but there were some “huh?” moments and mostly due to the British English differentiation(since I had the UK ARC) and not in fault of the writing itself since the writing was smooth and well written. The good thing is… the book is so worth reading, just for that climatic and dramatic ending that leaves you huffing like you ran a marathon. WHAT?!?! SERIOUSLY? That ending just insured that I will read the next book. (less)
SHIVER by Maggie Stifvater is what I like to call an emotional book. And I mean that in a good way. What I enjoy msot about romance books is the abili...moreSHIVER by Maggie Stifvater is what I like to call an emotional book. And I mean that in a good way. What I enjoy msot about romance books is the ability or the writer to convey the emotions of falling in love and being in love so well that we feel we are that character. Maggie has done just so with SHIVER and from page one you get that feeling of being in love, even if it's a wolf.
The romance... OHHHH the romance! It went from sweet, to sexy, to passionate, to endearing, so sad... It was an emotional rollercoaster for the characters that fought so hard to be together while trying to learn about eachother and what they stood to lose or gain. Sam and Grace are a couple that you wanted to root for and with the last page, tears probably streaming down your eyes, you breahe a sigh and antcipated their return next summer with LINGER!
Unlike Maggie's previous whirlwind books, like LAMENT and BALLAD whose faced paced storytelling is only matched by the characters' vibrant personalities, SHIVER is slower, more meanigful and really exposes those teen emotions. Maggie not only exposed those feelings, but described them so well, so eloquently, so passionately that it was as if me ourselves were Grace and Sam. Maggie did what few writers can do, and that is write a utterly moving and heartwarming story that trenscends all thought but solely relies on the emotions of the characters.
It's a great book for fans of romance and, dare I say it, fans of Twilight. Maggie's SHIVER is a series to look out for and fall in love it!(less)
Thomas Fahy brings a wonderfully suspenseful and haunting edge to the story of a group of teens who after a dark and even bizarre trip to New Orleans...moreThomas Fahy brings a wonderfully suspenseful and haunting edge to the story of a group of teens who after a dark and even bizarre trip to New Orleans find themselves having nightmares and their schoolmates dropping dead liek flies. Even worse, the kids' nightmares are becomign reality in the way the schoolmates die. The mystery and the race to save a life gets the kids to investigate the strange happenings on their own puts them in more danger.
Fahy masterfully brings a horror aspect to his story but doesn't fail to touch on a romance. Sadly, it could have used a little bit more of it since it left the reader a bit dry in the middle. But overall, Fahy does a good job with blending horror, suspense and intrigue in a story that is sure to appeal to both girl and guys and fans of creepy-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-can't-read-at-night scary. It's short and fast read but not for the faint of heart.(less)
A friend recently said that she refuses to read YA book set in paranormal schools. After all, we got “House of Night” and “Vampire Academy” and “Harry...moreA friend recently said that she refuses to read YA book set in paranormal schools. After all, we got “House of Night” and “Vampire Academy” and “Harry Potter” but thank god I dismissed that notion because I would be missing out on a great read. Rachel Hawkins’ debut is, yes, about a paranormal school but not of wizards or vampires but of all paranormals. Young Sophia is sent to this school, Hecate Hall or as the students call it Hex Hall, after performing some failed magic in the human world. This school that serves as a protection and a way to educate these prodigium, is also a place of secrets and danger. As Sophia learns about her powers she learns about herself and her family and the secrets and powers that lurk behind the walls of Hex Hall.
Not only is Hakwins’ writing well written and well paced but it’s filled with humor. Each character is filled with a colorful personality that keeps the story not only fun but intriguing. I kept reading all through my sickly day today and couldn’t get enough of it and with each page I was not only surprised but delighted to be shocked and stirred! I didn’t see anything coming and trust me when I say there’s more than one shocker lurking in the pages.
Fans of “Vampire Academy” will devour this debut and fans ( or dropout fans) of “House of Night” will love this even more! And with an ending like that, we’ll be left drooling for a sequel to see what Sophie does next. *Cue dramatic music* (less)