There are hardly words to describe how much I adore this book. I am just at a loss.
First, I'm fairly certain it's a stand-alone, which actually worksThere are hardly words to describe how much I adore this book. I am just at a loss.
First, I'm fairly certain it's a stand-alone, which actually works out very well. This is the way the story needed to be; it just feels so right. But just in case you were wondering, I have now dispelled that curiosity.
Second, I LOVE every single character in this book. Every one. I am not kidding. Is it a lyrical masterpiece that will go down in history as a "classic"? Probably not. But it's real. The characters had depth (although I didn't pay much attention to Zak, the original boyfriend person, so I suppose I could be wrong about him) and personality and REALNESS to them. Lenzi was a "typical" girl by being slightly "atypical" and aptly side-stepping stereotypes at the last minute instead of making large swerves around them. Something about that "oh I know who she'll be... wait no. Oh but it could go this way.... oh. I guess not." was a surprisingly desirable 'road less traveled'. It was just a fascinating take on how to make a heroine.
And Alden. Oh Alden. He is the kind of boy that is perfect right where he is. I have no impulse to "re-imagine" him in a different setting with a different character, nor do I have any "crush" on him in the same regard that one would not desire a married man (metaphorically and all). He fit so seemlessly, so absolutely perfectly, but in a toned down "breath of cool air after you've endured a long winter" sort of way.
There were parental figures (that actually were present and normal), families, friends, and even the ghosts had personalities. Lindsey definitely did something right when she wrote this book. I am seriously SO in love. I devoured this book and can see myself re-reading it over and over again (whereas some of the books I loved I felt I had found all the mysteries in their pages reading them only once and they sit, untouched, on my bookshelf) with an insatiable appetite every time.
I will now read anything Mary Lindsey writes, no matter what it might be. ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. From the first sentence, I fell in love with Sage. It's unusual to have a strong male lead that has spunk in young aduI thoroughly enjoyed this book. From the first sentence, I fell in love with Sage. It's unusual to have a strong male lead that has spunk in young adult literature, and Sage is definitely it. I was immediately drawn to him like a magnet and he held me captivated the entire story. He is strong, cunning, stubborn, and honorable to a fault (all on his own terms, of course).
The entire book was enjoyable to read in every aspect I could have hoped for. There are plenty of books that I like well enough, mostly for a certain background character or for superior writing. To be honest, sometimes it's a struggle to continue reading, as opposed to voraciously devouring it and willingly sacrificing sleepless nights as you are craving more. Unfortunately, I valued my grades more than sating my curiosity, so I did not stay up nights, but did find myself reading more than one chapter whilst waiting for, say, my computer to load and looking up forty-five minutes later to find that I had no memory of what I had meant to do.
Nielsen incorporated everything I love about medieval times: no useless technology complicating a good story, chivalry, and the will to survive. I suppose not all of those are exclusive to the medieval period, but that is of little concern. The plot didn't drag too much, mostly due to Sage and his incorrigible personality, and there was such a stark realness to every character that captivated me (though not too real as to remind me of the world I am currently occupying by no choice of my own). I was, however, a bit baffled with the plot twist. I'm sure other readers caught on quicker than I did, but it slapped me in the face and knocked me for a bit before I could follow the story again. This wasn't a huge detraction and I might just have horrible reading comprehension skills, but I didn't see it coming.
After that point, the story felt ever so slightly forced. That might be because, as I already mentioned, I am apparently not the most observant reader in the world, but I felt like Nielsen ran out of things to say in the allotted pages that wouldn't leave a huge cliff hanger. Possibly my mind was still reeling, but I felt the transition could have been a little smoother.
Overall, if you liked GRACELING or FIRE by Kristin Cashore, I highly suggest you read this book. There aren't huge similarities other than superficial plot comparisons and characters that are, well, characters, but I got the same vibe from that series as I do from THE FALSE PRINCE. I cannot wait for the next one!...more
I loved Maria V. Snyder's STUDY Series, but was let down by the subsequent GLASS series and was only mildly impressed by the INSIDE series. TOUCH OF PI loved Maria V. Snyder's STUDY Series, but was let down by the subsequent GLASS series and was only mildly impressed by the INSIDE series. TOUCH OF POWER is a highly anticipated return to her story-telling in the STUDY series.
Avry was an awesome female protagonist, and there was amazing chemistry between her and the other characters. Yes, some plot threads were largely underdeveloped, especially towards the end, but I wasn't put out by that simply because 1. It's an ongoing series where questions will be answered eventually and 2. I was so mesmerized by the world and characters I was content to let those nagging questions slide, at least for a bit.
Maria V. Snyder has created a world separate from the STUDY and GLASS series' magicians, but with similar attention to detail and mechanisms in this new world. I am definitely in love with this series and Avry, although Yelena will always be my favorite I think.
If you loved the STUDY series and missed those characters (Opal just wasn't that strong of a protagonist in the GLASS series) you should definitely pick this one up. Just loved it!! Too bad we have to wait until 2013 for the next one....more
I've been kind of obsessed with the cover of this book for a while. I kept clicking on the icon, reading the synopsis, closing the window, but comingI've been kind of obsessed with the cover of this book for a while. I kept clicking on the icon, reading the synopsis, closing the window, but coming back again and again. I hate romance. I've always hated that gushy passive aggressive crap. Say what you mean! And this is the main reason I absolutely adore this book. I haven't read Anna and the French Kiss (shocking, going out of order, isn't it?) but this is the best romance I've read.
It was about Lola and Cricket but it was also about characters. Every character had layers, even the very minor ones. That was very appealing, because if you have an exuberant main character, they are bound to have odd and/or unique friends that are most definitely NOT FLAT. And Cricket isn't the typical buff man with six packs, can serenade, and are just hotter than hot to be around. Cricket is the best portrayal of a normal, quirky, sensitive (and not necessarily gay) type of guy. I also had reservations about Lola's two dads. I hate the gay stereotype so much, that I cringe whenever I hear about a gay character in literature. The way Lola describes her dads is amazing, accurate, and normal that makes a girl like me understand and love them too.
Of course it's about high school screw ups, heartbreak, happiness, and somehow isn't a typical swooning girl story. Lola is a real, breathing girl who has more flaws than good points, and she's okay with that. She knows she messes up sometimes, but tries so hard to not make the same mistake twice.
So, I loved this book. Me, a girl who has about as much romantic subtly as a stick. And if you are like me, liking who you are more than a boy, you'll appreciate and like this book. ...more
This was perhaps the cutest book I've read on the subject of "divorce" and fathers leaving. There is not a sad feeling in this book. Yes, sad things hThis was perhaps the cutest book I've read on the subject of "divorce" and fathers leaving. There is not a sad feeling in this book. Yes, sad things happen, but there's always hope.
The book is filled with straight forward innocence. It's the magic of having animals to love and protect you, about having an imperfect family that really is perfect in the end, and about having hope.
I entered a drawing for the ARC because my mom's a teacher who deals with lots of children with broken families. I won it, and was reading it for my mom, to test drive it. I would personally recommend this book to any age, from toddlers to grown ups. Perfect magic. ...more
After reading Graceling, I was super excited to pick up anything with Kristin Cashore's name on it. I went to Amazon in search of her next masterpieceAfter reading Graceling, I was super excited to pick up anything with Kristin Cashore's name on it. I went to Amazon in search of her next masterpiece, only to find her next book didn't involve any characters from Graceling. In fact, it was termed "a companion". The word companion usually means nothing good in the world of a reader, and I didn't buy it. If I were honest, I flat out refused. But shopping at McKay's used bookstore here in Nashville, I came across a beautiful, pristine copy and picked it up for almost 75% off. I wasn't disappointed.
Where I thought that Kristin Cashore couldn't match the characters in Graceling, she most definitely did. Fire is lyrical, witty, funny, and lovable. She is so different from Katsa, an entirely different species in fact, yet I found myself loving her just as I had done with Katsa. The characters are beautifully woven, like fine silk and rubbed to perfection. Fire has weaknesses, but she's not weak. She's complicated, ashamed of herself, but so utterly and undeniably human at heart you can't help but want her to come out on top.
Of course there's a romance, no novel from Kristin Cashore could be complete without one, and it's fairly obvious who is going to hook up with whom. However, in another typical Kristin Cashore plot thread, you never can quite predict much else. Fire had me entranced, where no chapter was boring and I only skipped ahead once just to make sure nothing horrible (such as the world ending) was about to happen before I turned in for the night. This is a rare feat for me, since I have little control over my eyes and brain impulses with books.
Pick it up. If you didn't want to because there was no Katsa, do it anyways. You will love Fire and you will adore the complicated Archer and the elusive prince and his brother the king. You will not go wrong and it will be money well spent....more
This was one of the sweetest books I've read. A match between a dead girl and a live boy that doesn't involve zombies. HEREAFTER starts the ball rolliThis was one of the sweetest books I've read. A match between a dead girl and a live boy that doesn't involve zombies. HEREAFTER starts the ball rolling right away and it continues, going through the "waking up" of Amelia, the meeting of Eli, and the first sparks between her and Joshua. This entire book happens within only a few days, perhaps the max of a week and a half. It's not clear because time up until that point hadn't been clear to Amelia.
The love story between a ghost and a boy sounds lame and has lots of obvious problems. Touching, kissing, hanging out. But Hudson addressed all of these with a unique and refreshing take, with the bonus of the boy being a decent, good, normal boy with no ego problems or dark sides and the girl being an ordinary girl with a big personality that isn't flamboyant but more real.
I wasn't a huge fan of how Amelia died and the villain Eli because I really didn't feel them like I felt Amelia and Joshua. Perhaps she did the Amelia Joshua relationship so well that everything in comparison was just mediocre. But whatever the reason, I am in love with this book. It doesn't give you really any answers, but it doesn't claim to have any to begin with.
The cover makes this book look spooky, but it was never scary to me at all, not even when Eli came in. I could read it at night without worrying about freaking myself out. Do pick up this book, it's worth it and I will be getting my own copy....more
So I have been anticipating this book ever since I stumbled upon it earlier this year on goodreads. Fascinating synopsis (if a little vague) and dystoSo I have been anticipating this book ever since I stumbled upon it earlier this year on goodreads. Fascinating synopsis (if a little vague) and dystopian. I'm all for it. But the real question was, would it stand up to the hype and the platform I had unconsciously placed it on during the many month wait for its release date? Let me tell you, it was on a very high platform. Somehow, Lu surpassed this insanely large and glittering platform.
This isn't a life changing novel like, say, The Hunger Games or The Book Thief. Yet it is like a cool glass of semi-sweet lemonade on a hot Georgia day. Corny, but true. This book took every dystopian novel written between The Hunger Games and now and found the tiny path less traveled and blew through it. Somehow, Lu avoided the overused stereotypes that have developed within the past five years or so and crafted something beautiful and frank and real.
Although this book has a strong female lead, it also has an equal and opposite strong male lead, where neither overshadows the other. The characters equally balanced each other out, like they were a natural part of the world and not a fantastical story made from some ideas scribbled on a paper. It just felt effortless and right. I liked Day AND June equally for different reasons. This is a rarity, because I have never encountered a shared situation where I liked both of the main characters independently AND together. That I understood them, and didn't root against either's point of view. I was simply content to lose myself in the story.
I made myself savor this book (savoring, for me, is three days instead of one) because I knew I wouldn't find another voice like Lu's for a while and I wanted to bask in the glow of a beautifully crafted book. And by book, I mean the plot, characters, twists, world-building, you name it. Of course, I'm not saying it's perfect and amazing and you'll adore it no matter who you are. There will be critics I am sure, but what I am saying is that whatever flaws there were, were so small that I (being the picky reader I am) don't remember anything bad about this book.
Marie Lu has found a die hard fan simply because of one book that I happened to anticipate, decide to pre-order without looking for prior reviews, gamble with my hard earned college student salary for a book that I had no guarantees on, and tear through it like a chocolate addict. Quite simply, I will buy whatever she writes from now on, no questions asked (and that is high praise from a college student)....more
This book embodies everything I look for in an adventure, YA, romance, fantasy novel. It had a very lovable character who, though raised like a princeThis book embodies everything I look for in an adventure, YA, romance, fantasy novel. It had a very lovable character who, though raised like a princess, is really down to Earth and smart. It had a dashing and funny boy, who was devoted to his princess even after she wasn't a princess. And then it had flighty wizards and evil wizards, and strict aunts.
It was an awesome book. Kept moving from page one, it was so very mesmerizing. Sinda was an interesting character. She evolves completely, coming from a shy princess, to a thrown out peasant, to a budding wizard (and more!). It's painful, and I felt my moods change along with hers.
And the sweet romance of it all! Light, real, sweet, and respectful, it's just amazing. I knew I might like this book, but for the first time, I feel the cover art doesn't do justice to the actual story. The cover art suggests this is a flimsy book about pretend princesses, but the meat of the book is so much more. This transcends all novels like it that I've read. I now will strive to be a writer just like O'Neal.
After the first seven pages, I knew I had struck gold. I always search endless hours looking for a new book that sounds interesting. And then I read tAfter the first seven pages, I knew I had struck gold. I always search endless hours looking for a new book that sounds interesting. And then I read the reviews to see if others found it interesting as well. This was one of the more expensive books compared to the one I wanted to buy as well, but I got this one, hoping that maybe the reviews were right. And boy, that was one of the best BEST decisions I've ever made.
I'm picky about what I read. If it doesn't grab me, or DO something in the first 25 pages, the chance I'll finish it goes down by 50%. Harsh, but that's just the way it is. If the character knows who they are and, more importantly, is OKAY with who they are bypasses the 50% rule. This book did both. Before Moon showed us what an awesome race he is, before anything actually HAPPENS, I was hooked into this world.
Usually I frown upon authors making worlds because 98% of the people in this world-building genre takes the first third of the book explaining it. Martha Wells moves past this, talking about the world in a way where you have just enough information as you need it, but not an irritatingly little amount or too much that I just get bored. She's absolutely amazing.
Now, if you're gotten past all my chatter, here's what I think about the book: Wells makes an amazing world seemlessly, slipping us in with no awkwardness that we are a different race. This book was about personalities which was refreshing, and breaks free of stereotypes.
You have to read this book. You HAVE to. I can't explain it very eloquently, since I have no gift for words, but honestly, I wanted to be friends with these characters. I wanted to live among them, BE them. How many books can you say you've read where you wanted to STAY in the world the author created? Not many, right? Many brilliant books don't have that factor, even if they are your favorite book. This book does, and I am proud to say that it not only makes the cut of staying on my bookshelf, I will now see if I can't procure the signature of the author for my copy.
Thank you, Martha Wells, for giving me a new author to depend on when so many of my favorites are in between books and/or have gone to the dark side. You are truly gifted, genuinely know your characters and yourself, and you've been able to share that with the world....more
I read Bones of Faerie and fell in love with the world, accepting the fact that there probably wasn't going to be a sequel. In fact, I didn't even expI read Bones of Faerie and fell in love with the world, accepting the fact that there probably wasn't going to be a sequel. In fact, I didn't even expect one. But I was delighted when I saw there was one, forgetting how intense my love was for Bones of Faerie. Faerie Winter matched that adoration and rose above it.
Simner creates a world that is simplistically complicated. It's hard to explain. I felt it was pure, like the essence of, well, a faerie and not cluttered by dirt and other things that I enjoy equally in other fiction. This truly gives me a calm feeling when I read it, even as bad things are happening.
The story is done very well, and isn't a sequel as much as a companion, like the Artemis Fowl books always have a new story in each book but with the characters that tie them together. We get to explore more about the children After, their magic, and their need to be accepted and want to use their gifts to help and not harm. We also meet the cruel fae, the most cruel of the cruel in fact, The Lady herself. She was as beautiful and deadly as dry ice. And yet, as "dark" as everything was, the story never really had a dark or bleak tone. It felt like I was stuck in winter (as I read this with 90 degree weather outside) and I felt sleepy like I do during winter months.
Simner managed to catch the essence of winter in this book and balance it subtly with the knowledge that spring will come, but how easily to forget something when it's gone away for long periods. Do pick it up. Do yourself a favor. It will wow you and have you wanting more. Simner left enough threads where there could be another, but regardless, I am perfectly content with whatever is in store for our beloved characters....more