The action, the suspense, the mystery, the romance, the terror, the Chaol ... *sigh* Do you know what that sigh means? It's SUPER FANGIRLY REVIEW TIME...moreThe action, the suspense, the mystery, the romance, the terror, the Chaol ... *sigh* Do you know what that sigh means? It's SUPER FANGIRLY REVIEW TIME here on Sophistikatied Reviews! This book satisfied every literary craving I have. Kick-ass action that had me doing some embarrassing victorious fistpumps, horrifying monsters and gory scenes with an extra dose of terror for both, a non-dizzying and non-ridiculous love triangle that is written so very excellently and a whodunit that kept me on my toes the entire time.
I loved Celaena so much. I think she was one of the most developed characters I've come across in YA novels lately. She has this tough chick persona when in public - because she IS a famous assassin and all - but vulnerable and soft moments when in private. And that dynamic was so well done that it was easy to forget that she's only a fictional character. And besides being strong and stubborn, she was also hilarious. Her snarkiness had me literally laughing out loud.
I wasn't a fan of Prince Dorian for some reason. I can't quite put my finger on it but something about him constantly rubbed me the wrong way. It might just be that I'm 100% Team Chaol and I was feeling a bit bitter about the turn of events in the love triangle, but I always wished for Celaena to just kick him in the face. Chaol on the other hand ... oh man. Also not sure why I love him so much. He's not featured as prominently as Prince Dorian but I couldn't help but adore him. I'm crossing my fingers he gets more time to shine in the next book!
And the STORY! And the WORLD! And a castle made of GLASS! Oh my gosh. I want to elaborate and explain more on why I found Throne of Glass so great but I'm almost out of words. This book overwhelmed me in the most magnificently way possible.
Overall, I absolutely loved it. Sarah J. Maas' debut is gorgeous, dark and ridiculously epic. I just want to shake all of your shoulders until you understand how much I loved it. Fortunately for you, I can't. So you'll just have to take my word for it. Fantasy lovers! Fast-paced, action-packed goodness lovers! People-who-don't-love-any-of-those-things-but-want-to-try-something-new lovers! - I definitely recommend this book!(less)
The Infernal Devices series has been great company, and Will and Tessa and Jem have certainly kept me occupied and entertained but JACE AND CLARY AND...moreThe Infernal Devices series has been great company, and Will and Tessa and Jem have certainly kept me occupied and entertained but JACE AND CLARY AND SIMON ARE BACK. SQUEEEEE. I have missed them dearly and I'm so happy that they make an epic comeback in City of Fallen Angels with all of that sexual tension, adorable geekiness, witty banter and kickass fight scenes that I loved so much in the previous three books.
First, I want to take a moment to reflect on how awesome it was that Cassandra gave Simon his own voice and a much, much bigger role in the series. I absolutely LOVE him. Probably my favorite character in the series and my adoration for him only grew stronger after this book. Even when's he coping with being a powerful vampire and losing his mother and old life, his sarcastic, hilarious personality never falters. Plus, it's such a breath of fresh air because at times, as much as I love them, Jace and Clary were hardcore debbie downers and Simon's snark would always put a smile back on my face.
But speaking of Jace and Clary ... *swoon* How I love them so. The balance between sweetness and steaminess was perfect and didn't put a cheesy taste in my mouth. I was a bit frustrated at the interruption of my favorite couple thanks to a few stupid villains, but I'd be lying if I said I expected them to go an entire book without someone trying to tear them apart.
I will admit that this isn't my favorite in the series. It kind of felt like a filler book, just a way to build up to City of Lost Souls, but even if it is, it's a really, really great filler. In true Mortal Instruments fashion, the action is epic, the romance is steamy and sexy and amazing, the characters are entertaining and the revelations and villains are so unexpected that I nearly threw my book across the room in protest.
Overall, I absolutely loved City of Fallen Angels. This addition to the Mortal Instruments series was long overdue, but certainly worth the wait. If you're a fan of the series and you haven't read this yet, (somebody kick me for waiting this long!) definitely pick this up soon!(less)
Out of all of the novels that experiment with Grimm's fairy tales, Dust City has to be one of my favorites. Something about the mixture of ethereal cr...moreOut of all of the novels that experiment with Grimm's fairy tales, Dust City has to be one of my favorites. Something about the mixture of ethereal creatures like fairies with the harsh, gritty world of drugs and conspiracies and murder just works so well and weaves together this completely unputdownable book.
There are so many tiny details that contribute to my love for this book: the coexistence of revolutionized animals with humans, the blatant prejudice and segregation of the two, and the authenticity of how drug dealers (or I guess I should say "dust" dealers) work. There are so many human elements and flaws being expressed with fairy tale characters. If this same story/plot was a contemporary story with all humans, I wouldn't have loved it as much as I did. Like I said before, there's something oddly entertaining about classic creatures from our childhood being thrown into these demented, real-life situations.
The book is a quick read, very fast-paced and I think it worked with the plot. I do, however, wish it were fleshed out a bit more. I love Henry's character, but I kind of wanted a glimpse into his life before all of this chaos hammered down on him. And more of his father! The entire book kind of plays around "like father, like son" but other than other characters mentioning him, I feel like I didn't get enough of the "big, bad wolf" father. I also would have liked a lot more of Fiona. She struck me as a charming, witty and brave heroine, so I was kind of bummed that she doesn't play a bigger role. But those are just a few things that I, personally, would have liked to see. The story definitely works just fine without them!
Overall, I really enjoyed Dust City. I can't believe that it got swept under the rug when it released and that I haven't heard people ranting and raving about it because it totally deserves that kind of attention. If you're in the mood for something fantastical and fast-paced with a lot of action and mystery, something dark and gritty and raw, I definitely recommend Dust City.(less)
Sometimes, we all just need a book that is light and cute and happy, one that tells a good story but doesn't dizzy us with crazy plot twists and paran...moreSometimes, we all just need a book that is light and cute and happy, one that tells a good story but doesn't dizzy us with crazy plot twists and paranormal creatures. For me, that book is The Sweetest Thing.
Sheridan was so stubborn that I just wanted to grab her fictional little shoulders and shake some sense into her. The hopes that she harbors for her mother were so frustrating, but it was also a part of what made her character development so great. Every chapter, I felt a bit of her assurance and confidence in her plans crumble. A lot of reviewers comment on how Sheridan's refusal to accept her father's new job irritated them, but I actually got it. As somebody who hates change, I could see where she was coming from and I understood how invested she was in expecting her mother to arrive. For me, it was actually kind of heart-breaking.
I don't think we got enough of Jack. That's really my only complaint. I really enjoyed his character and his relationship with Sheridan, but I wanted more of him! And I also would have liked to see Sheridan dropkick Haley in the face. That's something the author should've slipped in there. You know. Just sayin'.
Overall, I really liked The Sweetest Thing. It's a lot more dramatic than most people would assume from the cover, but mixed with the characters and the romance and the CAKES (Oh my gosh, make sure you've got a tower of baked goods sitting next to you before you read this. You'll be SO hungry for sweets) it all comes together for an adorable, simple and entertaining read.(less)
To me, Silence wasn't nearly as explosive as Crescendo, and while it had its ups and downs, I definitely closed the book with the Hush, Hush fangirl i...moreTo me, Silence wasn't nearly as explosive as Crescendo, and while it had its ups and downs, I definitely closed the book with the Hush, Hush fangirl inside of me very satisfied.
In the beginning, a big chunk of the novel felt totally unfamiliar with the previous two books and I blame the "twist" on Nora. Maybe it was because I was so excited to pick up from where Crescendo left off, but I wasn't exactly on board with it for a long time. The good news is that it DID pick up and my frustration was non-existent toward the middle of the book. And one last thing that this book was missing: the steaminess. Crescendo built and built Patch and Nora's romance and Silence pretty much tore it all down. I think the incessant sexiness is part of what makes this series so great so I was a bit sad to see it so dulled.
But that's where my negativity with this book ends. Everything else was absolutely kick-ass. I loved that there was a lot more action scenes and I loved that Nora kind of developed independence with the "twist." (Trying to avoid spoilers ...) And even though the lack of hot romance kind of irked me, I can't deny that I thoroughly enjoyed that this was the most plot-driven book out of the three.
Overall, even though it's not my favorite in the series, Silence is a great addition to Nora and Patch's story. This book shines light on Patch's softer side, Nora's gutsiness and all of the evil malevolence of the villainous Black Hand. If you're a fan of first two books, definitely pick this one up soon! (less)
Something Like Normal, in my honest opinion, is probably one of the best contemporary YAs written in a very, very long time. And even if I ended up ha...moreSomething Like Normal, in my honest opinion, is probably one of the best contemporary YAs written in a very, very long time. And even if I ended up hating the book - and I didn't - I'd still be firm on that opinion because this book is just so important and mature and real.
As said above, this story has a strong, prominent maturity to it that - until now - I've only seen Jennifer Echols pull off. But there's something about it, something that I can't quite put my finger on, that makes it so different from any other YA contemporary I've ever read. Maybe it's the authentic male POV? I hate admitting this, but I usually tend to avoid books with male POVs written by female authors because I've had bad experiences with them in the past. Trish Doller, thank you so much for breaking that. Travis is such a flawed but admirable character and his voice was so believable. Or maybe it was the progressing relationship Travis had with his mother and Harper, a girl he had a sordid past with. I don't know, there could be plenty of reasons, but I loved it so much.
The subject matter of war is something that's rare in YA but I'm so happy to see it. I've never known anyone - personally - who enlisted but I still feel like Trish successfully captured the grief that follows a stint. The demons that Travis faces are so harsh and heartbreaking but the way that they are handled is so wonderful.
Basically, this book is genius.
Overall, I absolutely loved Something Like Normal. It's raw and real and romantic and powerful and so, so much more. It doesn't matter what kind of reader you are, I am recommending that you all get yourself a copy of this book and read it immediately. Hopefully you'll love it as much as I did!(less)
Putting my thoughts of Shadow and Bone into words is proving to be impossible. Have you ever liked a book so much that it renders you speechless? Yeah...morePutting my thoughts of Shadow and Bone into words is proving to be impossible. Have you ever liked a book so much that it renders you speechless? Yeah, that happened. This review is probably just going to be a huge gushfest, but I'll attempt to articulately tell you what I loved you about this book. Key word: attempt.
First - the WORLD. I haven't fangirled so hard over a book's world since Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Leigh's world of Grishas is absolutely fantastic. I was so intrigued by the soldiers and their standings/jobs. I was terrified of the Shadow Fold and the volcras (scary bird creatures) that live within it. And there are so many other small details that really made so much of an impact - like the special safety clothes they wear, the colors they follow for social standings and my favorite ... the magic. The scenes where Alina gets to demonstrate her magic were so gorgeous.
And speaking of Alina, allow me to gush about the characters now. I thought I had this book all figured out and then the author just flipped everything around on me. I was so conflicted about who to trust and who to root for. I really wish we had more Mal. He was kind of dangled tauntingly in front our faces and then snatched away for a good chunk of the story, but I have faith that he'll steal the show in the sequel.
Overall, Shadow and Bone satisfied every element that the fantasy fangirl in me craves. Kick-ass action? Check. A strong heroine? Check. Spellbinding magic? Check. A swoon-worthy romance? Check. A gorgeous, imaginative world? Check. This is one book that I'm definitely recommending to all of my blog readers. A thousand stars to Shadow and Bone!(less)
Saving June, in my opinion, is like Amy & Roger's Epic Detour meets Due Date (the movie with Robert Downey Jr & Zach Galifianakis) only darker...moreSaving June, in my opinion, is like Amy & Roger's Epic Detour meets Due Date (the movie with Robert Downey Jr & Zach Galifianakis) only darker and a lot less funny/inappropriate. And that's kind of insanely awesome.
This book was an emotional rollercoaster. I went from feeling extremely sad when we're introduced to the characters and to June's death, amused and entertained when they hit the road and started their journey across the country, frustrated when Harper and Jake's relationship got complicated and ultimately really happy with how the book ended. It felt pretty good to close the book and be completely satisfied with the characters and their decisions, even if said decisions weren't the best.
I loved Harper. She was stubborn, snarky and often had a rotten attitude, but I think that's part of her charm. I also fell a little bit in love with Jake, despite wanting to throttle him at times for being an asshat. But both of them were so authentic and so well developed that it was kind of easy to connect to them, to put yourself in their shoes and sympathize with what they were going through and what they were doing. This is a book where's theres nothing to root for, yet I still found myself rooting for them.
Overall, Saving June is an incredible debut, successfully managing to be both heartbreakingly sad and hopeful at the same time. The overwhelming emotions and spectacular cast of characters make for a very intense ride. (Lame pun very much intended) For me, this is probably one of the best contemporary books released in 2011. I definitely recommend it to everybody.(less)
To be honest, I originally had no intention of reading this. It was handed to me at BBC last year and I didn't really realize that I had it until I wa...moreTo be honest, I originally had no intention of reading this. It was handed to me at BBC last year and I didn't really realize that I had it until I was unpacking my BEA boxes at home. But after I heard it was being made into a movie starring Nicholas Hoult, and I'd spend $10 to see a movie where that boy spends two hours sitting on different couches, it immediately jumped to the top of my list.
This plot sounds insanely dumb. I will admit that right away. And when the trailer premieres and this book/movie becomes more known, it is going to be mocked almost as hardcore as Twilight is. However, this book is a prime example of how wrong it is to judge a book by it's cover (and ... synopsis, I guess ...) because I actually really loved this novel.
I was a bit weirded out at first. R is pretty eloquent for a zombie and I guess I was expecting this moaning, groaning, thoughtless corpse. But I appreciated his character and lifestyle, if that makes sense. We normally read books/see the movies from the living's perspective, but now we get a glimpse into the zombie's heads and I loved that they actually have personalities beyond their hunger for flesh. I also LOVED the idea of gaining human memories from eating the brain. That was an awesome idea and it definitely added a dose of creativity to the book. Another thing I enjoyed was the steady, progressive change to R with every chapter. I won't say what happens for avoidance of spoilers, but it definitely made me go "Wow!" when I closed the book.
And although I pretty much fell in love with R and his charming sense of humor, Julie was the bright spot for me. She's crass and impulsive and outspoken and hilarious and I want her to be real very badly so she can be my best friend.
Overall, Warm Bodies was a surprising hit with me. Though it's dark and demented and gory, there's a subtle sweetness to these zombies and this story that absolutely enraptured me. If you're like me, and you're thinking "A zombie love story? GROSS," do yourself a favor and at least give it a shot. It's not nearly as wrong as you'd think.(less)