Marked, the first book in the House of Night series by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast, is the story of Zoey Redbird, a sixteen year old girl who has bee...moreMarked, the first book in the House of Night series by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast, is the story of Zoey Redbird, a sixteen year old girl who has been marked as a fledgling vampyre. It’s not an easy time, new life, new school, new people all while going through a major physical change, and the posibility of not surviving it. Zoey also has to deal with the fact that she is incredibly unique, she was blessed by the goddess Nyx herself leaving her with a different mark than the other fledglings, a bloodlust that’s set in a few years early and of course you other average high school boy and sworn enemy drama.
Well, I actually got really into it. I busted through it in just a few hours. Part of that I’m sure is my mad skill, but mostly it’s just an easy read. I found myself getting annoyed with the drama (I went to high school, I graduated, I’m over it), but I suppose it is part of what makes the book seem real, for lack of a better term.
The big winner for me in this book is the mythology behind it. Not only was the vampire mythology quite interesting, but there was also a lot about the Cherokee indians in it (Zoey is a descendent of the Cherokee who was educated in their ways by her grandmother, and it takes place in Oklahoma – both of which I have roots in).
I really liked Zoey and her friends – the new ones. As far as the people from her old life, I wasn’t in love with them with the exception of her puppy dog ex Heath. I didn’t hate him, but the groveling could get annoying.
Though this shows some similarities between other vampire series, all in all it was well thought out. It’s similar to the Sookie Stackhouse novels in that the vamps are ‘out of the coffin’, and like the Midnight Breed series they have natural markings that they grow into – only difference being that it seems they are earned in the House of Night series. As far as teen vampire series go, I still find Vampire Academy to be my favorite, but I would still recommend Marked as an easy and interesting read.(less)
Ever since I finished book five in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series there has been a pit in my stomach. I knew that there was only one more book...moreEver since I finished book five in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series there has been a pit in my stomach. I knew that there was only one more book left in the series and I’ve had that ‘I really, really, really, need to know what’s going to happen!’ feeling for the last five months. Fortunately, Mead gives us a great conclusion.
When book five ended there was still a lot going on with Rose and Dimitri. Dimitri was still on his pity-pot about the acts he committed as a Strigoi and Rose is accused of murdering the queen. There’s also that bit of news that Rose receives about Lissa not being the only Dragomir still alive.
Last Sacrifice begins with Rose’s friends and family discovering that her murder trial is to be moved up, so they decide to take drastic measures. They know that they can’t win the case so to buy time an interesting plot to break Rose out of the jail is conjured up. She and Dimitri go on the run while Rose’s parents and friends remain at court to dig up what information they can. In a further effort to gain time Lissa ends up nominated to run for the Moroi throne. It is through Rose and Lissa’s bond that we are able to follow what happens back at the court while the other two go on a mission of their own.
While Rose is technically with Adrian there is still a connection between Rose and Dimitri, and even though they both claim to have moved on, during their time together on the run it is obvious that they still want to be with each other. Dimitri has finally started to come back to himself and has rededicated himself to bringing down Strigoi. He’s also fiercely determined to protect Rose. Rose – who quickly became one of my favorite female protagonists, because let’s face it, she kicks ass – supports Dimitri in his quest of re-self-discovery and determinedly searches for answers about Lissa’s supposed sibling all while dealing with the effects of pulling the negative spirit effects from Lissa.
As the end of the book approached, I was on the edge of my seat. Everything had started to come together and the way things played out certainly twisted my gut. Queen Tatiana’s real murderer was revealed leaving me in a state of shock. Lissa’s sibling is revealed to the public, and more importantly Lissa. During Rose’s search for Lissa’s missing sibling, her old teacher Sonya Karp (who had turned Strigoi by choice to escape her spirit magic) is converted back to Moroi and helps out with the search and of course, finds her happy ending with her past lover, Guardian Mikhail Tanner. Most importantly, for those of us invested, Rose and Dimitri work things out. Finally they are able to be together and can look toward the future (though Adrian is not so happy about that part).
So many things happen during Last Sacrifice, there are twists and turns I hadn’t expected. There’s so much that I can’t fit into this review, you really ought to just read the series for yourselves. This last installment has brought all of the main players throughout the entire series together for a fantastic experience. Out of the whole book – which is just short of 600 pages – I have only one bone to pick. I really, really wanted for Rose and Dimitri to go back to Siberia so that his family could see him and learn that he is alive and well. However, in the grand scheme of things everything played out wonderfully.
Mead has once again succeeded in writing a book where real life problems are confronted head on. Love, friendship, family, facing the unexpected, forgiveness of self and others, self-discovery, and confronting the fact that no one is perfect – these are all things explored by the characters throughout Last Sacrifice. I closed the back cover of the book at about five in the morning with the words ‘holy shit’ playing in my mind over and over. The entire series has been fantastic – I can attest to this since I was hooked by the first fifty pages of book one and ending up reading the first five books in about two and a half days.
All I can say is this, read the books. Coming from someone who doesn’t read much from the Young Adult scene, these books are fantastic. Following the characters as they experience life has been great. There’s a little bit of everything in the Vampire Academy series and my time with the characters has been great indeed.(less)
Hush, Hush is the story of sixteen year old Nora Grey. Her father’s violent and untimely death a year before have only reinforced her issues with trus...moreHush, Hush is the story of sixteen year old Nora Grey. Her father’s violent and untimely death a year before have only reinforced her issues with trust and as a result she has put most of her focus into school. When a project forces her to get to know bad boy transfer student Patch, she goes on the defensive in response to her attraction to him. Patch isn’t any old bad boy though, he’s actually a fallen angel stuck in a body that can’t feel anything. Soon after starting to spend time with Patch, strange things start to happen to Nora and what was once a fairly ordinary life, if a bit boring, becomes a fight for life.
I may have read Hush, Hush in one sitting, but my reaction is still mixed. There is a part of me that really wants to (and in a way does) like this book, but there is a bigger part of me that is not at all impressed.
I have to say it, at various points throughout my reading experience I felt like I was watching or reading Twilight. The biology class, the strange city neighborhood, the hunky teenage boy who’s not actually a teenage boy with some sort of big secret, strange occurrences… This just didn’t feel original, at all.
I found the book to be plain aggravating at times. The inability to see through obvious lies and the best friend totally disregarding what is being said – way to be supportive… awesome examples to set for the teenagers reading this book. But what tops the list? Patch’s level of sheer asshole-ism (not a word, I know) and the situation with Elliot. Regardless of what is discovered after the fact, I don’t think it is appropriate to EVER have a character play down or dismiss violence against anyone. A scuffle is one thing, but being forced against the side of a house with a hand at your throat is not nothing. When the ‘best friend’ tried to say that it didn’t mean anything because the guy was hungover and wouldn’t do this normally, and obviously believing it, well I don’t really care what anyone says, its fiction or whatever else you might say to excuse it, I don’t buy it. As for Patch, well I think part of the reason I disliked the way he acted is because I saw a bit of myself in Nora, what with her attraction to the dangerous guy who acts like a jerk.
There was good stuff too, which is probably what kept me reading the book. I got really into the back story of being a fallen angel and everything that comes along with it. The idea of Nephilim, and the part they play, is interesting.
Personally, I just can’t get over the negatives and for me they outweigh the good. I feel like there is just so much bad that young readers don’t need to have as an example in this book. I’m not exactly the target audience, and obviously enough Hush, Hush has a story line that has, and will probably continue to, catch a lot of readers (especially those teenage girls!), so I don’t see it going anywhere. I just hope that there are adults out there to say hey, lets talk about what goes on in this book, because certain things are not okay.(less)
When Digory meets Polly in London the last thing he expects is that they’re going to be thrown into the adventure of a lifetime, but thanks to his sch...moreWhen Digory meets Polly in London the last thing he expects is that they’re going to be thrown into the adventure of a lifetime, but thanks to his scheming uncle and the curiosity of kids, what was looking to be a dreadful summer turns into a journey the two never saw coming. They encounter the Wood Between the Worlds, an evil empress accidentally awakened, there’s havoc in London, and not to mention they find the newly created Narnia. All in all, it’s bunches of excitement packed into a short period of time.
I’ll admit it again… this is going to be my first full read of all of the Narnia books. I’ve seen the movies and did read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when I was younger, but the full series? Nope. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I jumped into this read, but I think I was expecting something more like the idea of Narnia that I had in my head. While The Magician’s Nephew wasn’t that, in the end I wasn’t disappointed.
The Magician’s Nephew is a really great opening to the Chronicles of Narnia. The characters were great. It was so easy to love or hate them, which in my mind is important when I’m reading. We also learn about the founding of Narnia. On that note, can I just say… I knew that Aslan was ‘The Dude’ of Narnia, but I didn’t realize that he was more like God Dude than King Dude (though knowing what I know about Lewis it makes sense in hindsight). Reading this book really does answer a lot of questions that one has about the world of Narnia and for that I was glad.
I do have one thing that I wasn’t crazy about when reading this though. The way the story is narrated was difficult for me. After a while I started to adjust, but it was still weird. In the end it didn’t take away from the story.
Overall, The Magician’s Nephew was a fun, quick, and easy read. I look forward to completing the series and finally knowing everything that’s going on in Narnia.(less)
Rosalinda Fitzroy has just been woken up from a 62 year stint in stasis. During that time, she hasn’t aged and her memories haven’t deteriorated, but...moreRosalinda Fitzroy has just been woken up from a 62 year stint in stasis. During that time, she hasn’t aged and her memories haven’t deteriorated, but the world definitely isn’t what she remembers when she went to sleep.
Everyone Rose knew is gone now, but she’s got a new chance at life – she’s just got to decide to take it. Yet, with being that weird girl who will eventually inherit a multi-planet wide empire and adjusting to and finding her place in a completely changed society it’s certainly not an easy task. That’s not to mention someone has Rose in their sights, and not in a good way. In the end, Rose gets some answers she never expected and learns more about herself than ever before.
Okay… A book about someone waking up after basically being suspended in time for over 60 years… What’s not to love about that idea? Really.
To be honest, this book actually started off pretty slow for me, which was intensely frustrating because the author would drop a hint here or there, and I would want answers, but I wasn’t getting them fast enough for my taste. Not to mention I went into this book really wanting to like it because the idea behind it is awesomesauce, and I wasn’t thrilled for a while. It wasn’t until Rose started developing her relationship with Otto (about 70 or so pages in – total estimate!) that I really started to get invested in the story, to the point where things picked up enough that I refused to put down the book until I had finished it.
I also really struggled with Rose’s character at first… it was a constant back and forth between ‘don’t bother anyone with my issues’ and a various assortment of “I lack self-esteem” comments. It was almost like there was no real self-awareness and it drove me kind of nuts. However, Rose does a ton of growing as a person throughout this story, and by the time I got to the end I was totally digging her character. Several of the other characters are really awesome as well. They have so many quirks and layers and it made for great reading.
As for the story itself, while certain things were totally expected, there were still lots of little twists and turns that came up. When I finally got past those beginning 70-ish pages the book really picked up for me and it was revelation after revelation, but in a way that it wasn’t too much. The book also raises tons of questions about ethics (particularly when it comes to the treatment of humans and other species) which I wasn’t expecting from a Young Adult novel. It really gets you thinking though and I liked that.
Bottom line, A Long, Long Sleep ended up being a total win for me – even with that shaky start! Sheehan certainly left this one open for a sequel so if it shows up one of these days I can honestly say I’ll pick it up.(less)
Fern Taylor is plain in every sense of the word. She’s from a small town and lives a fairly simple life. The most exciting thing about her is the roma...moreFern Taylor is plain in every sense of the word. She’s from a small town and lives a fairly simple life. The most exciting thing about her is the romance novels she loves to read and her crush on the best looking guy in town. Ambrose Young, is the towns wrestling star and has what everyone believes to be a great future ahead for him. But there’s a problem, he wants more… he wants to do more. Ambrose and his four best friends join the service together, but after a tragic accident he’s the only one to come home.
I don’t even know where to begin with this story. This book just hits all the strings for me. It is sad and funny and tragic and optimistic all at the same time. It is simply amazeballs.
The Characters. Fern, while seemingly the plain girl next door is actually a huge force in this book. A lot of the choices she makes and the way she looks at life are why so many things happen, especially after Ambrose’s return. Bailey, I just can’t even. No matter what he faces in life he’s the one who’s always got a smile on his face and every time I think about this character I tear up a little. Rita’s character is another who teaches us a whole lot of lessons, much different than the other characters, but no less important. Her trials were no joke. Lastly there is Ambrose, the war hero who learns to cope with some major guilt, who learns what it is to no longer be the most beautiful looking guy in town, who has to truly learn about inner beauty, for himself. All of these characters are just so well written and developed and they each play a very important part in this book. I can’t say enough how awesome they are.
The story itself, as I mentioned earlier, is just everything a great book needs. It’s well written and there’s so many things happening but they all tie in together. And the feels. The feels. This book just absolutely flies because the story sucks you in and doesn’t let go. It’s a story, but it’s a story with messages behind it. It’s realistic, not always in a pretty way, but then life isn’t always either. I’ll say it again, it’s an amazing book.
I had no clue what to expect when I picked up Amy Harmon’s Making Faces, particularly because New Adult isn’t quite my genre of choice, but I got so much more than I could have imagined. Bottom line, this is a book that is worth a shot. Pick it up, but tissues and comfort food will likely be required. 5/5 stars.(less)
When I picked up Obsidian, I was really hankering for an alien story and this was one I had seen talked about a lot, that had really good reviews. So,...moreWhen I picked up Obsidian, I was really hankering for an alien story and this was one I had seen talked about a lot, that had really good reviews. So, I decided to give it a go, because why not?
Our main characters Katy and Daemon are an interesting mix. I quite liked Katy just because she didn’t put up with Daemon’s shit and generally gave as good as she got. She had her moments of ‘Whaaaaa?’ followed by her moments of acceptance and moving on with how things would have to be and I liked that about her. She’s also a book nerd, so props there. Daemon on the other hand… Daemon’s kind of annoying. His character is frustrating in the way only the “typical” male could be, but the whole alien thing makes up for some of it.
The characters overall, both Katy and Daemon and the others like Dee, Ash, Katy’s mom and so on were written quite well I thought. They each had their own personality and feel so I could decide to love or hate them as I was reading. Definitely a plus of this book.
The story, aliens hidden here on earth with the help of the government and the secret alien attacks that happen in the dead of night and all that, did keep my interest throughout the book. I liked reading about the Luxen and the Arum and waiting to see what, if any, part the DoD would play in the story. Intrigued I was with that part of Obsidian.
Here’s what I didn’t love about this story. This may be my own problem because Obsidian came after all these other things for me, but as I read I kept seeing bits of other stories in this one. There were things that were reminiscent of Roswell and Twilight and stuff like that. I ignored it for the most part, but to me it was there all the same. Also, I don’t love YA that much anymore. There’s a lot of pettiness and drama that I’ve already lived and am over. I saw some of that pettiness in Obsidian. Again, I tried not to let it get to me, but it was still there.
All in all, I thought Obsidian was a pretty entertaining book. It’s gets my points for sheer enjoyableness alone. Regardless of what annoyed me I still got hooked into the story and liked (or hated) the characters. This book is one I can just shut my brain off and read for fun. 4/4 stars.(less)