It took me some time to get into this book both physically (my first attempt at reading it) and au...moreReview originally posted on YA Love
It took me some time to get into this book both physically (my first attempt at reading it) and aurally. I’m so thankful I kept with the audio because it is one of my favorite audiobooks. To put it simply, the narration is wonderful. Khristine Hvam used a believable accent and differentiated between each character so well that I was never questioning which character was speaking. I love listening to audiobooks when I’m getting ready for work, driving to and from work, and getting chores/cooking done. I know I really love an audiobook when I find myself making excuses to drive somewhere or to get more cleaning done, which is what I did while listening to Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
The first thing I want to say about Daughter of Smoke and Bone is that I love Laini Taylor’s beautiful use of vocabulary. Her writing is lush and vibrant. I don’t know if I would have appreciated it as much if I wasn’t listening to the audio, but it’s seriously wonderful. I’ve never read a book that uses vocabulary and description to the degree that Taylor does, at least not recently.
The story itself is layered and engrossing. I love Karou and the incredible life she leads. She’s feisty, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but she’s vulnerable as well. I was a little lost during the Akiva back story, but when everything came together I was so impressed and excited. I’ll admit that the back story was beginning to bother me since I didn’t know where it was going, but it did make me love Akiva that much more.
I’m not sure if any movie rights for Daughter of Smoke and Bone has been purchased, but I would love to see this story come to life on the big screen. I know a movie wouldn’t do it justice (they rarely do), but I think I’d still enjoy it just the same.
If you decide to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I hope you, make sure you have a copy of Days of Blood & Starlight handy because you’ll want to start reading it as soon as you can!(less)
First, if you haven’t read Embrace or the second book, Entice, do not read this review.
It’s becoming more and more difficult to write these reviews because I’m constantly worried about including a spoiler unintentionally, so I’m going to write my review as a list. Here it goes…
**Once again, Jessica Shirvington delivers tons of action. It’s almost on a constant loop in Emblaze. **The angst! The forbidden love! It hasn’t died down, that’s for sure! A plus to this is that Violet never strikes me as whiny. In fact, that’s a major plus. **I love how Stef’s character is developing. I have some predictions about her and some questions as well. She balances Violet and keeps her grounded which I love. **I kind of wish Spence played a bigger role in Emblaze. He’s in the story, but I missed the large part he played in Entice. **Embrace and Entice kept me hooked the entire time, but there were times during Emblaze that really dragged. Most of those scenes are between big action scenes when the characters are sort of at a stand still and spending too much time discussing strategy or history. **I was hoping for more development between Lincoln and Violet. Their relationship needs to move along more (in one way or another) considering this is the third book in the series. **I loved the surpise ending. I’m really looking forward to where that takes the story in the fourth book. **Overall I really enjoyed Emblaze and am looking forward to passing it on to my diehard fans in class :)(less)
A Need So Beautiful was one of my favorites last summer, so if you haven’t read it yet I highly recommend it. Sin...moreReview originally posted at Y.A. Love
A Need So Beautiful was one of my favorites last summer, so if you haven’t read it yet I highly recommend it. Since A Want So Wicked is its sequel, I’ll try to avoid spoilers in the main part of the review. Also, if it’s been a while since you’ve read A Need So Beautiful, I recommend skimming through it or at least reading the last couple chapters as a refresher.
First, I love Suzanne Young’s writing style because it hooks you and doesn’t let go. She has a good handle on imagery and knows how to evoke emotion in her readers. There were a few times when I really felt for the characters and wanted to keep reading so I could find out what was going to happen. My favorite thing about Suzanne Young’s writing is the way she ends chapters. For instance, one chapter ended with this: “Even when I didn’t know you, my soul still missed you.” How can a chapter end that way and not make someone instantly turn the page?! I love the idea of a soul knowing and loving and missing someone, so this line really hit me.
The characters are written well also, although I would have enjoyed more scenes with Harlin and Onika. I was surprised that Harlin was in A Want So Wicked, but I was happy to see him again. He’s drawn to Elise, and it seems like insta-love, but it makes sense because of what Elise is discovering and going through during the story. His character is one that you can’t help but love because he’s just so earnest and caring. Elise as a character is interesting because she appears to be experiencing the Need, but it’s different from what Charlotte experienced. And considering the title, I kept expecting her to go dark and ignore the Need. Onika is a complex character, and we do learn more about her and her history, but I would have appreciated more scenes with her to add to the suspense and plot movement.
A new character, besides Elise, who’s introduced is Abe. At first I really liked him and how interested he was in Elise. She meets him at the diner she starts working at. He starts off flirting with her until he realizes that Elise is the new worker he needs to train. Their exchanges are cute, and this being before Harlin really enters the story, I thought he’d be a cute match for Elise. But eventually he became downright sketchy, and thanks to Suzanne Young’s writing skills, I really started to despise him. Once this side of his character comes through, readers will start asking themselves some questions about Abe and his interest in Elise.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot in this part of the review, especially since I think the characters drive the plot and the story more than anything else. If you haven’t read A Want So Wicked yet, then I suggest you stop here because I’m going to jot down some questions I have after finishing the book which will probably serve as spoilers. I feel it’s necessary to write these questions/comments down because I think I have them from plot holes.
Questions I Have After Reading:
(view spoiler)[ Why does Abe see Elise as his? Do they have a past together? Or is it just part of his character and what he’s become (the wants)? How is it possible for Elise to really be Charlotte when Charlotte was Forgotten only nine months ago? Did she take over Elise’s soul? This strikes me as a major plot hole. Why didn’t we get more from the story about Lucy and her Need? We barely got to know her character at all, yet I felt like we were supposed to understand her decision to ignore the Need and avoid the light. What happened at the beginning of the book to change Elise’s dad’s anger? When Abe wants to go out with Elise, she can’t because Lucy is missing and her dad calls Elise frantic about it. When Elise gets home Lucy is there and it’s never mentioned what happened and her dad seems completely fine. (hide spoiler)] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I’ve read quite a few paranormal angel novels, and while I’ve enjoyed many of them, too many of...moreReview originally posted at Y.A. Love
4.5 out of 5 stars
I’ve read quite a few paranormal angel novels, and while I’ve enjoyed many of them, too many of them follow the same plot. When I was speaking with the women working at the Sourcebooks booth at NCTE, I was told how awesome Embrace by Jessica Shirvington is and that I should give myself time to start it and finish it in one sitting. Based on my past reading experiences, I’ll admit that I was hesitant to start reading Embrace, but I’m happy to report that I worried for no reason at all! Embrace puts a fresh spin on the paranormal angel plot with a different take on the lore and a strong female protagonist. And the women at Sourcebooks were right: I needed uninterrupted reading time because I didn’t want to put Jessica Shirvington’s debut down.
Violet is different from many of the other female protagonists in paranormal Y.A. because she’s independent and strong. Does she feel conflicted about her purpose and her love interests? Yes. But she’s still smart enough to make her own decisions and own her choices, even when she makes choices that she might end up regretting. Too many of the female protagonists in this genre fit the damsel in distress archetype. Violet breaking that mold is probably the most refreshing part of Embrace. She spends a large chunk of time in the novel conflicted over her feelings for Lincoln, but I never felt like she was being overly dramatic. Violet often weighs her feelings before taking action. She’s still a teenager, so some drama is expected, but overall I was really impressed with how she’s written. The one flaw I found is the number of times Violet swears. Normally that doesn’t bother me, but it didn’t feel necessary. I’m fine with a well-placed swear word, but there were times when it felt forced or out of character for Violet.
The mystery and action are perfectly paced. Not too much is revealed too soon or too slowly. Readers will appreciate this because from the very beginning I was drawn in and the mystery only kept me reading and turning the pages. There are plenty of life or death situations, mixed in with romance, intrigue, and self-realization. There wasn’t a moment in Embrace that I was bored or feeling the need for something more.
Overall, I definitely recommend reading Jessica Shirvington’s debut. It’s already been released in Australia, so the first three books are already finished. This means that the books will be released within six months of each other! (less)
A Need So Beautiful had me hooked as soon as I started reading. There isn’t any major action or anything like that, but sometimes there’s just somethi...moreA Need So Beautiful had me hooked as soon as I started reading. There isn’t any major action or anything like that, but sometimes there’s just something about the way an author writes that lets me know their book is going to be good. Suzanne Young’s writing is exactly like that. Charlotte is waiting for her friend Sarah, who is notoriously late, and notices a strange woman dressed all in black holding an umbrella even though it’s not raining. The whole set up is intriguing, especially when Charlotte first feels the Need while standing outside of a funeral service. I love that we’re introduced to the Need right away. So many books now take forever to introduce us to the main idea of the story. Suzanne Young does this right at the beginning without missing a beat.
I’ve been reading a lot of books written by Washington/Oregon authors lately. This is fun for me because I visited Oregon last summer and loved it! When I was there it was easy to understand why so many great books are written in that area; the Pacific Northwest oozes writing vibes. A Need So Beautiful takes place in Portland, Oregon which is a very cool place to visit. I got REALLY excited when Charlotte and her boyfriend Harlin started talking about Voodoo Doughnuts. Harlin tells her he might get her the Bacon Maple Bar (which is tasty), but the Grape Ape is SO MUCH BETTER. I had a craving instantly. I know this really doesn’t fit with a review, but I had to mention it :)
The Need and being a Forgotten is a refreshing addition to the fantasy/paranormal genre. Charlotte’s Need is to help strangers. She can’t function until she fulfills the Need. She’s forced to lie to those around her, which is causing quite a bit of tension in her relationships. She’s doing good deeds, but they come at a price. Every time she does, a piece of her or a memory of her is forgotten. Can you even imagine? It’s not an easy decision for Charlotte to make–help those around her and bring good into the world, or be remembered by those she loves. The Need is coming more frequently which made this book a page turner.
I’d love to have my students read this book because I imagine the discussions would be lively and deep. It’d be interesting to hear which students would welcome their fate as a Forgotten and which would fight it. I can see most students being conflicted, with a few firmly on each side of the debate. It makes me think of the Nature vs. Nurture discussion we had when my YA Lit class read Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn.
I highly recommend reading A Need So Beautiful. The writing flows well, the characters are well-developed, and the plot is refreshing. It’s a moving story with an ending that is still with me days later. I’m excited to booktalk this in the fall! (less)
I know “hate” is a strong word, but I positively hate it when I can’t get into a book and end up not finishing it. Unfortunately, I’ve been running ac...moreI know “hate” is a strong word, but I positively hate it when I can’t get into a book and end up not finishing it. Unfortunately, I’ve been running across quite a few books in that category this year. And since I’m not going to fully review them since I didn’t finish them, I think I’m going to post why I simply couldn’t get into them.
My alumni book club and I went to the launch party for Courtney Allison Moulton’s debut novel Angelfire. She did a great job at the launch, we all bought books and had them signed, and agreed we’d read her book for book club. We had a couple books lined up before hers, so we’re just now reading Angelfire for our next meeting. I started reading it on Thursday or Friday (it’s been a busy week, so I can’t remember) and gave up yesterday.
Whenever I’m reading a book and feeling a little dicey about it, I try to give it at least 100 pages before I finally make up my mind. I decided to stop at page 108. Granted, this is a 453 page book, so maybe that’s not enough of a chance. But let me explain it first.
The biggest problem I’m having is that it doesn’t feel like any kind of plot is being developed. Ellie has discovered that she’s been reincarnated hundreds of times as a Preliator, or reaper killer. She also knows that Will has been her Guardian for 500 or so years. And after 108 pages, that’s it. She fights and kills reapers. So… What’s the point? Why should I keep reading? What’s her major problem besides realizing at 17 that she’s been reincarnated and has to kill reapers with the help of Will? Maybe I’m missing the point, but how can I be 108 pages in and not really know where the story is going? This explains the weird dreams she’s been having and that’s about it. I need to feel like there’s more to the story to keep me reading. I’m a teacher with tons of papers to grade and lessons to plan. I’m a grad school student with intense classes and reading to complete. I’m a blogger with other books on my shelf waiting to be read and reviewed. I don’t want to sound mean, but I need a reason to keep reading a book. And Angelfire simply wasn’t providing it :(
Besides the plot, I couldn’t get over the writing style. It’s pretty choppy and there isn’t as much internal dialogue as I prefer from a first-person point of view. I really don’t have a good feel for who Ellie is as a protagonist and I should by now. And then there were the typos… I’m an English teacher and I can’t ignore them. I know they happen (I make them in my posts too!), and I catch them pretty often. A few here and there I can ignore and they don’t change my opinion of the book. But I was left wondering how much attention this book received before it was published.
I have an extra copy of this book in my classroom already and a couple of students have read it and loved it. I think that’s fantastic, because I know not everyone feels the way I do. And I’m sure some of my boys who enjoy fantasy will like Angelfire because of the violent and bloody fight scenes. So this book definitely has appeal, just not for me.
If you’ve read Angelfire, I’d love to know what you think. Does it get better soon? If so, let me know and maybe I’ll give it another chance this summer. If you feel the same way, I’d like to know that too.(less)
Let’s start with the obvious- Becca Fitzpatrick is a super-talented author! I’ve noticed that sometimes books in the middle of a series or trilogy ten...moreLet’s start with the obvious- Becca Fitzpatrick is a super-talented author! I’ve noticed that sometimes books in the middle of a series or trilogy tend to drag; not so with Crescendo. I was hooked from the beginning to the very end, which left me yelling “What the?!” But more on that in a bit… Her ability to create a scene through vivid imagery and invoke strong emotions towards a character is excellent. While reading both books I’ve found myself thinking “Wow, could I ever do something like that?” Becca’s talent is impressive.
Nora is a fun character to read. I love that she wants to be perceived as tougher than she appears; it’s tiring reading damsels in distress over and over. Of course, Nora faces her fair share of distressful situations, but she’s always trying to fight and think her way out of them. I especially enjoyed her relationship with Vee. In Hush, Hush we didn’t get to interact with Vee as often. She’s incredibly amusing and acts as a good friend to Nora. I don’t know how many girls would follow their best friend into a questionable bar and offer up her car over and over again. Props to Nora and Vee!
In regards to characters, I found myself growing more and more frustrated with Patch. But I suspect that was the point because Nora was feeling the same. I kept wishing he’d just be honest with Nora, but I also kept wishing that Nora would allow him to explain himself! Advice to Nora and Patch- communication is KEY in any relationship. (Yes, I know I’m speaking to fictional characters… lol). If the two of them would have been honest with each other, so many problems would have been avoided or solved faster. However, I still adore Patch and how he watches over Nora.
The one thing I hope to learn more about in book #3 is Nora’s family history and Nephilim connection. We got a taste in Crescendo, but I am yearning for more information! I was making predictions throughout the book and just when I thought I’d have my answers at the end, I was left hanging. But it was definitely in a good way! Just like I said earlier in my post, I definitely yelled “What the?!” My husband was sleeping next me (I stayed up way too late on a school night to finish reading) and I’m surprised I didn’t wake him up. The ending of Crescendo is the perfect lead in to the next book.