I absolutely love the concept of alternate dimensions and exploring them, so this book hooked me in right away with that element. I'm not too fussy onI absolutely love the concept of alternate dimensions and exploring them, so this book hooked me in right away with that element. I'm not too fussy on having all the scientific details or an explanation on how it works, but I think Claudia Gray did a good job explaining things without making it boring.
I liked the lead character. Marguerite was a bit impulsive, but she was brave and loyal to her family. I liked her spunk and determination. In terms of other characters, can we talk about Paul Markov and how dreamy he is? He's utterly lovely in both the incarnations we meet.
The “who actually killed her father?” mystery aspect of the book was both simple and complex. On the one hand, you can figure out some parts so easily. On the other hand, there are parts to unravel that you need to read on to figure out, and it gets complicated enough that you might not even work out every aspect until the Big Reveal time.
Basically, I'm kind of obsessed with these characters and the intrigue. I liked that there was a satisfying ending but also so much more to be explored with the larger plot and in the universe that had been built. I’m very much looking forward to Book 2!...more
Check out my review here on my blog for cat pictures. And yes, they are relevant, I swear.
Um, I LOVED it. That could really be my whole review. I loCheck out my review here on my blog for cat pictures. And yes, they are relevant, I swear.
Um, I LOVED it. That could really be my whole review. I loved it, it was amazing, so please read it! However, I assume you might want to know why I loved it, so I will attempt to explain it. You should know, though, that I started off trying to write a more traditional review for ‘Cinder’ but it just didn’t work. I kept digressing into fangirl squeeing, so I’ve decided to write this one in point form. And yes, there is still fangirl squeeing present.
- Right from the very beginning I could tell I would like the book. I mean, how often does that happen?! I was swept up in the character and the plot before I knew it - So it’s based on a fairytale (Cinderella if you couldn’t tell), yet it’s so unique. I mean, seriously. You get little hints of the original Cinderella story every once in a while and it’s almost like a wink and nod inside joke, but it’s just so original! I can promise you haven’t read a book like this before. - Cyborg!! When I first heard that Cinder was a cyborg Cinderella I was skeptical. It sounded a little weird to me. But it’s not that weird, I promise. You’ll love it if you can deal at all with sci-fi things like androids and futuristic technology. CHARACTERS: - Cinder: So despite the fact of how interesting it is that Cinder is a cyborg (and a mechanic! very handy, as she can fix herself), I promise you won’t think of her as a cyborg. You will think of her as a person with real feelings and emotions just like any human and you will value her in the way that her adoptive family doesn’t (*sniffles* Cinder, I love you!) - Speaking of: her stepmother and one of her stepsisters -- hate, hate, hate the way they treated her; I was actually in tears at one point because of a horrible thing her stepmother Adri did... you expect the behaviour because of the fairy tale, but it was still horrible to read about - Kai. Kaiiiiii.... how much do I love him?! He’s just so nice and funny and down to earth, despite being prince and having to deal with so much attention and then so much responsibility as well - Kai + Cinder = <33333 Seriously, these two have tons of chemistry, and it’s all so forbidden and Cinder doesn’t feel like she’s good enough (because she’s been told all her life what a monstrosity she is b/c of being a cyborg... gahhh Cinder, you are not a monstosity!).. I can’t wait to see where their relationship might possibly go - Queen Levana: Hate. Haaaaaate. I really think that’s enough said about her, haha. But seriously, how amazing is it when an author can make you dislike a character so much?! Levana is a true villain. SETTING: - New Beijing; love the descriptions of the city, the market, the palace... plus the different federations on earth after World War IV... I was fascinated with trying to picture the make up of the world Cinder lived in - Luna. So Marissa Meyer was a Sailor Moon fanfiction writer for years (um, AWESOME), and you can see that influence in her super cool creation, the moon kingdom of Luna. We don’t get to visit Luna in this book, but we hear about it, and it’s pretty fascinating. PLOT: - Cinderella elements: we’ve got the stepmother and stepsisters, a prince, a ball coming up at the palace, and so much more - How it remains so refreshing and unique despite its basis on a story that everyone knows
Really I could just keep going on and on about how much I loved it, but I think it would get repetitive. I fully admit that I am stingy with my 5 star reviews, but right from the beginning I fell in love with this one, and that feeling just didn’t go away. I adored ‘Cinder’ and I cannot wait to read Book 2....more
Right from the beginning I knew this book would be tough to read, but I love Janet Gurtler’s writing style, and I was also intrigued by the plot. TheRight from the beginning I knew this book would be tough to read, but I love Janet Gurtler’s writing style, and I was also intrigued by the plot. The overall arching concept reminds me of ‘Kiss Me, Kill Me’, but they definitely differ in execution.
I think what Janet Gurtler does best in her writing is get you wrapped up in her characters, and even in the setting. I always feel like these are real people with real stories to tell, and therefore the emotions of the characters hit you even harder. In this case I obviously felt for Sam as she had to deal with guilt and reactions from her classmates for something that she couldn’t truly be held accountable for. I also loved the character of Zee, and his relationship with Sam was so sweet to read about (I also totally get the jelly belly swag Janet has now! ;)).
One other thing about Janet’s books that I appreciate is they always make me think about deeper issues. In ‘I’m Not Her’ we see family dynamics and how illness affects family members, and while reading ‘If I Tell’ I thought a lot about self-esteem and racial identify. Here in ‘Who I Kissed’ we read about a tragic accident and the loss of an awesome person because of a couple of different things that could have or should have been done. It also brings up the peanut debate in schools, and how serious food allergies can be.
If I had one complaint about ‘Who I Kissed’ it’s that there are almost too many different issues going on. At times it felt like a bit too much drama, with the history of Sam’s mom, dealing with Casper, the one part with the dog (but omigosh the dog - so cute; and I’m glad I’m not the only one who has different voices for their pets, even if I do share the trait with a kooky aunt), and then the overarching loss of Alex. I know in a way they were all connected, so it wasn’t a huge bother, but it did seem like a lot packed into one small book.
Overall I really do love Janet Gurtler’s writing, and I’ll gladly pick up her books in the future. There’s just something in the tone of her writing that I enjoy so much. I’d recommend her books to YA contemporary fans, especially if you enjoy Denise Jaden, Deb Caletti, and/or Elizabeth Scott. One other great thing about this book? There was a tiny cameo of characters from ‘If I Tell’! It’s so much fun when authors do this!...more
I.... am not sure how I managed to finish this one. I think I felt a bit guilty because I won it in a contest and I sort of did want to see what happeI.... am not sure how I managed to finish this one. I think I felt a bit guilty because I won it in a contest and I sort of did want to see what happened, so I forced myself to finish. But wow, this one was rough. It jumps ALL over the place in no linear fashion, and it includes all these details, randomly dumped in the middle of other scenes. I still don't understand what Siders are and what exactly Touch is. It doesn't make any sense to me at all. Then there's also the fact that we're supposed to feel this big epic love between Eden and Az, except... oh wait, we never got to see that happen. Their whole relationship building is skipped over, and Eden's whole life pre-angel is skipped over, so I found myself not really caring at all.
Then there's the swearing. Oh so much swearing. I don't think I've ever seen so much use of the F-word in a book, especially a YA novel. It was just really crass, and I fully realize that some people talk like that (my gosh, it reminded me of high school), but it wasn't tasteful at all. And angels swearing? That was kind of offensive to me. The so called angels didn't even seem like angels at all. I also don't understand why the author couldn't just use the terms heaven and hell instead of the cutesy 'upstairs' and 'downstairs'. I mean, come on, we're clearly within the Christian realm here, whether you view it as religion or mythology. And I also have to mention the dark tone of the book. It seemed to be glorifying suicide, which was really startling to me. I hate to use the term "triggering" but I can honestly see how this one might. Usually books involving tough issues like cutting and suicide discourage away from it and involve the characters getting help and support. In this one? People who commit suicide come back. And then there's Eden and her role as a mercy killer. I... don't even know.
Poorly plotted, confusing, offensive, and filled with characters I couldn't really care any less about....more
Loved this book for the most part, but there was just something ... missing, perhaps, toward the ending. I love Lucy as a character so much,3.5 stars
Loved this book for the most part, but there was just something ... missing, perhaps, toward the ending. I love Lucy as a character so much, and I liked most of the other characters that came into play as well. Loved the setting, how it was described. NYC as a crazy broken down ghost town is super cool, and it was awesome how there was a map at the front of the book to help readers visualize the geography.
I'm not so sure about the ending and the overarching 'villain', which is what brought my rating down to a 3. I just didn't quite get what they were doing or why they were doing it. If there is going to be a second book I will definitely pick it up, because I'm curious about some of the details that weren't revealed in this book.
Overall: enjoyable! It's not the best post-apocalyptic I've read, but it's worth picking up despite the slower parts and the semi-weak ending....more
I was pretty blown away by 'Ruby Red'. I had heard this series was amazing, and I knew it had to be popular for it to be translated to English, but II was pretty blown away by 'Ruby Red'. I had heard this series was amazing, and I knew it had to be popular for it to be translated to English, but I was still amazed by it. The thing is, I'm not exactly sure why. Part of it is the clever writing. I'm not sure how much of that is the author (a lot of it obviously) and how much is the translator. Especially with the dialogue relating to the chronograph and the Guardians, I know that would have been tougher to translate, and it seems that Anthea Bell did a lovely job.
The characters are another awesome part of the book. Gwyneth is just very charming in that she's completely relatable. All of the other characters stand out, so that even though there was a glossary at the end of the book (I always find these things after I've finished reading), I didn't think I needed it -- at least not for the characters who are present in the story.
I just love the idea of this family connection to time travel going back generations. I love the secret society aspect and the mysterious and dangerous feel to the chronograph mystery. I love how the prologue sets up the book perfectly without the reader even realizing it for the longest while.
Mostly I was just enchanted with the whole story. The only weakness I found was the very ending which seemed random/sudden, but I have a feeling that there will be a reason for what happened in Book 2. I only wish I could read 'Sapphire Blue' straight away, because I'm dying to know what happens next!...more
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this one. I adored the concept and all I had heard about it were rave reviews, but hype kills me almost everyI wasn’t sure what to expect going into this one. I adored the concept and all I had heard about it were rave reviews, but hype kills me almost every time. The only books I can think of from the past couple of years that lived up to their own hype (in my opinion) are Divergent and Anna and the French Kiss. Well, thankfully, I can now add Shatter Me to that list. There’s just something really special about this book that I’m having trouble putting my finger on. It has a certain je ne sais quoi, but thankfully it also has a lot of other awesome qualities that I can describe.
I think what makes ‘Shatter Me’ really special is the writing style. Juliette’s voice is so endearing and honest, and I loved the whole strikthrough concept, which is especially prevalent at the beginning when Juliette is feeling the most alone and trying to hide her emotions. Mostly I think the writing style just felt real. It honestly felt like the perspective of a real person. There were fragmented sentences and then vivid imagery, but mostly there were fully realized emotions and thoughts. The writing style alone puts this book above other similar works, but that’s not its only strength.
Juliette and Adam are both such fantastic characters. I adored how kind Juliette is despite all the hatred she’s been subjected to. The fact that she cares so much about the plight of others really touched me. Adam, similarly, is a loyal and good person who has had to deal with a different kind of adversity but has come out of it stronger. And the two of them together? Wow! Lots of really perfect moments between these two. What’s great is that the two main characters are not the only ones who are fully fleshed out. I was especially interested in the villain character, because there was nothing simple about him or his motives. It just seemed so true to life. People are complex, and the characters in 'Shatter Me' show this, making them seem like real people.
Honestly, what else can I say? This book has received such fabulous reviews that I didn’t think it could live up to my expectations, but I’m so happy that it did. Tahereh Mafi is a fabulous writer, and I cannot believe this is her debut novel! I’m already excited for Book 2, because even though ‘Shatter Me’ tells a complete story, it is also a first book where the ending sets up a pretty awesome premise for the next installment. Basically? You should read this book. You MUST read this book....more
Official Review: As a former history major what could be better than a YA novel containing a living history museum? Answer: a YA novel contain4.5 stars
Official Review: As a former history major what could be better than a YA novel containing a living history museum? Answer: a YA novel containing two living history museums, where the teen employees take part in a Jellicoe Road-like war against each other: Colonials versus Civil Warriors. Take that and mix it with Leila Sales’ incredible sense of humour, some awesome characters who have depth, and a swoony starcrossed romance, and you have a book that I adore.
This book was just so much fun. All the characters had personality: none of them were just stock characters. I adored the historical aspect, as mentioned. I loved how Chelsea saw history and how she felt about it. All those discussions really drew me in and gave the book some depth. This book is sweet, swoony, sad, and hysterically funny all at the same time. I don't often say "I wholeheartedly recommend it", but yes: I wholeheartedly recommend it. Definitely one of my favourite contemporaries of the year.
Initial Reactions: Definitely a 4.5. I love Leila Sales' writing style and her sense of humour is fabulous. Full review to come closer to publication date, but you definitely want to pick this one up. A really fun read about romance and friendship which also deals with questions of how we view, interpret, and write history.
P.S. 'farb' is totally my new favourite insult, even though it applies to absolutely nothing in my life. I feel the need to visit local War of 1812 reenactments just to be able to use it. =b...more
Very clearly the first in a trilogy, but extremely entertaining none the less. I'm not sure how Kelley writes things that are so engaging and with chaVery clearly the first in a trilogy, but extremely entertaining none the less. I'm not sure how Kelley writes things that are so engaging and with characters who you instantly like and feel like you know them. Normally it drives me crazy when a book is just a set up for the rest of the series, but with Kelley's? I always enjoy them.
Plus, bonus points for the Cdn setting, even though it's out west and I've never been there. But poutine and toonies in a bestselling book (even if they had to be explained for the non-Cdn audience)? Very awesome....more
This book offers an incredibly interesting look at the world of classical music: the seedy side of competition, the stress, the rivalries, an4.5 stars
This book offers an incredibly interesting look at the world of classical music: the seedy side of competition, the stress, the rivalries, and how important every little note can be.
Carmen is just a girl loving music, trying to deal with the horrible pressure from her mom, her teacher, the music community, and herself. Carmen’s addiction to pills is a very interesting aspect of the story, and her mother’s role in this was terrible. Carmen’s mom upset me greatly: it makes me so sad and upset that there are show parents like this.
In the end this is definitely Carmen’s story, but there is definitely a smouldering romance angle to the book as well. Jeremy was incredibly appealing, and forbidden to Carmen because he is the competition.
I flew through this book, anticipating the ending and also not wanting it to end. I loved the writing, the subject, the characters: everything....more
Despite the fact that I own ‘Elsewhere’, this is the first Gabrielle Zevin book I’ve read. Well it definitely won’t be my last, because I really enjoyDespite the fact that I own ‘Elsewhere’, this is the first Gabrielle Zevin book I’ve read. Well it definitely won’t be my last, because I really enjoyed this one. The writing style could almost be described as ‘quiet’, but I think it might be more accurate to say that Anya’s voice was very matter of fact. Even very intense moments are reported very factually, because Anya is the type of character who thinks that showing emotion is weak. She’s not heartless, she’s just had a lot of tragedy in her life, and growing up as a mob boss’s daughter has not been easy.
Anya is so great because she’s not warm and fuzzy in any way, but you kind of can’t help but like (or at least admire) her. The most important thing to Anya is taking care of her siblings. This goal is always foremost in her mind, and it makes the way she looks at things and the decisions she makes very interesting.
I really enjoyed the way this book was written, with Future!Anya going back and telling the story to the reader. I know it bothers some people, but I adored how she was talking directly to us as readers. It didn’t happen a lot, but it was just so amusing when she interrupted her own narrative to point out things like: “Yeah, that was foreshadowing.”
It almost seems like we don’t get to know any of the other characters that well because Anya has a hard time letting people in. But the ones we did get to meet, like Natty, Leo, and Win, I absolutely adored. Win was just adorable. He’s incredibly sweet and decent, and he gets guarded Anya to let down her hair a bit, so to speak.
The one thing that’s a bit lacking in ‘All These Things I’ve Done’ is the world building. We don’t get to find out why coffee and chocolate were banned, and we don’t know why supplies of such things as paper and water are so low. There are some mentions of disease, but that aspect isn’t explored either. The thing is, though, these missing aspects don’t feel like a big deal when you’re reading the book, because it’s so much more a personal narrative of Anya and her family than it is a full scale post-apocolyptic or dystopia. It also makes sense that a teenage girl who’s had such a crazy tough life would be more internally focused, not really paying attention to history. I also have a feeling that we’ll learn more about these things in the next book as Anya grows up a bit and gets involved with more outwardly thinking ventures.
I was surprised and impressed with this book. It was such a quick read for me because I adored Anya’s narrative voice. I was also drawn in by the whole mob family lifestyle, and the politics that went on between family members. Pick up this book for a character driven novel which includes a romance that becomes the catalyst for a lot of events which are bigger than the characters themselves....more
When I finished this book I literally said “Holy crap.” It was just so GOOD. What the book contains isn’t necessarily all unique, but it sure is amaziWhen I finished this book I literally said “Holy crap.” It was just so GOOD. What the book contains isn’t necessarily all unique, but it sure is amazingly executed. Veronica Roth’s writing is so powerful. It’s a pretty simple story, but with enough descriptions to keep things interesting.
I love the different factions and how they’re divided by personality. I love how action-packed the book is: all the Dauntless training exercises were incredibly interesting.
The main character of this book, Tris, is fabulous. She is so brave and selfless. She is strong because of her ability to be brave. Four is such a lovely character as well. His “mystery” background was pretty easy to figure out, but it was still interesting to see it play out. Plus his nickname becomes way less lame once you figure out what it stands for.
This book has scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat, a slow-building romance, friendship, and cruelty. There is so much of everything, yet never enough. ‘Divergent’ is a decent length, but it will keep you reading and reading and wanting more. Definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year!...more