Laurel has always been a little different. She's on a strictly vegan diet even though she doesn't really eat much. She does however enjoy Sprite and c...moreLaurel has always been a little different. She's on a strictly vegan diet even though she doesn't really eat much. She does however enjoy Sprite and canned peaches with the juice. She doesn't need much sleep either. Laurel's been home schooled her entire life. It's in her sophomore year that she has moved with her "hippie-ish" parents to Crescent City, California, which isn't too far from her first home near Orick. Her parents have decided to send her to public school while they pursue their dream business at a bookstore.
Laurel has some adjustments to make. She absolutely loves the outdoors and seems to have a real affinity for sunlight, but despite that she gets along pretty well. It doesn't take too long someone to take interest in Laurel. David is sweet and handsome and he just knows there's something special and different about Laurel. It takes some time for Laurel to warm up to him but she finally warms up to idea of having someone to call a close friend.
Things are going quite smoothly until Laurel notices a small bump right between her shoulder blades. She shrugs it off after first showing it to her mother, who suggests its just a zit. However, it continues to grow until one day, beautiful wing-like petals bloom from the softball-size bump. Although stunning, the wing-like blossom scares Laurel. Feeling utterly alone she turns to David for comfort and help. Together they are determined to figure out where Laurel's "wings" came from and what they mean.
I must say that Laurel was a great character. She's strong-willed and isn't necessarily interested in fitting in. I enjoyed seeing her take each situation she was given in stride without melting down. And although she's somewhat hesitant about asking for help, she is reasonable enough to know when she needs it. David is such a sweet guy. I gotta admit though I found him a bit creepy and/or stalker-ish in the beginning. But the feeling quickly faded - probably too many creepy guy vibes at work that fuddled my brain. I quickly found myself swooning over his kindness and understanding.
I'm sure most of you know by now from the many reviews already out about Wings that a love triangle forms in the book. Tamani is the other guy competing for Laurel's heart. Tam holds an appeal for Laurel that David just can't compare to. Terribly charming and alluring, Laurel still finds a way to hold her wits about her. I definitely sympathize with her. Love triangles and me rarely get along. I always end up wanting both guys because I'm greedy =) Anywho, I really appreciate the fact that this particular triangle isn't based on obsession or anything. I mean Laurel is very cautious with her emotions, which I really admire. (It's more than I can say about myself and my emotions)
This is my very first novel with faeries in it. And while I know a little bit of faery folklore, Aprilynne's interpretation of faeries is entirely different and unique. I did think the plot was somewhat stretched out and had it's slow moments. But I have a good feeling that with the upcoming installments, the series will continue to blossom into a unique world filled with Aprilynne's magical twists. (less)
So I've never really been the "thriller" type. Movies, maybe. But I just never got into reading and enjoying the genre. But recently, my tastes for bo...moreSo I've never really been the "thriller" type. Movies, maybe. But I just never got into reading and enjoying the genre. But recently, my tastes for books seems to be expanding to include different flavors. Yum! But I digress, I don't really know what my expectations were before opening Undone. I was a little intimidated by the size of the book when I received it though. I think I groaned a little. But as I started reading I quickly forgot everything else. Karin Slaughter definitely has a way with words. And her characters, even secondary ones, really shine through in her writing.
Now, I'm gonna have a wee bit of a tough time talking about the book because it really is a spoiler for the rest of the series. You see, Undone is book seven in her Grant County series. This is the first time that she's bringing characters of two different series together in one book. I've never read anything by Karin before. So I wasn't aware of the characters or their lives prior to Undone, so I'm confidant in saying that this novel is suitable as a stand alone. There was plenty of background information provided. However, me being the way I am with series, I just have to go back and read it in order.
So I'll give you a bare-bones run through of the book because I would really prefer to leave all surprises for you to discover on your own. Sara Linton, former Grant County medical examiner, is now working in the emergency room at Grady Memorial in Atlanta. She has recently moved to Atlanta after suffering a devastating personal loss. It is at Grady Memorial where a victim of a car accident is rushed in. But the woman's injuries from being hit by the car are miniscule compared to the torture she had to have undergone to arrive in her current state. She is mute, blinded and has been horribly treated by someone truly evil.
This is where Special Agents Will Trent and Faith Mitchell step in with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. And since they can't take over the case from local authorities without jumping through a number of hoops, the two become frustrated with police politics. But after they find a second woman's body and stumble upon a torture chamber they know they have to act quickly to find the killer.
All three of these characters were so well put together. I thoroughly enjoyed the complexities of their lives and of their personalities. Each one has their own weaknesses and strengths that I really want to leave for you to find out on your own. But I didn't just love the characters, I loved Karin's writing as well. Now I must warn you, the scenes can be a bit graphic for some readers. I didn't mind them so much but I can understand some people skipping books with graphic violence in them.
So with the warning aside, I invite everyone to pick up Undone. It's a perfect way to see if you'll enjoy Karin's writing and the realistic world she has created. I know I will definitely be sticking with her and her books.(less)
I’d like to think one day, when I have nothing else to do but read until my heart’s content (which is probably impossible to do btw) I will re-read ev...moreI’d like to think one day, when I have nothing else to do but read until my heart’s content (which is probably impossible to do btw) I will re-read every book that has hit my favorites list. Honestly though with all the newly discovered titles, authors, backlists, series, etc I fear I’ll never get to revisit my beloveds anytime soon. But when (and if) that day comes, Water for Elephants will be on that list!
I’ve never really been a big circus fan – reading about them or attending them, but I liked the atmosphere of circus life of the 1930s. It is both beautiful and gritty in detail. After reading this I must read more Great Depression era books. I can’t imagine how hard it was to live in that time period and I find it fascinating and frightening.
Bouncing between young and old Jacob’s POV was actually a great way to read the novel. I felt as if I was re-living Jacob’s memories as he did, rather than being told a story. Jacob is utterly honest and humble as a young man and it’s hard not to like his character. Harsh reality is thrust upon him after he tragically loses his parents and is forced to find a way to survive without money or family. Normal life is hard but living life under the famous Benzini Brothers’ big top is even harder. Despite elderly Jacob being extremely (and understandably) cranky (I probably wouldn’t want to be around him – family or not) Gruen does a spectacular job portraying his life and state of mind at the assisted living facility.
Gruen actually does a spectacular job at a lot of things. She delivers a cast of characters that become just as important to me as Jacob, Marlena, and even Rosie, the larger-than-life elephant that is supposed to save the Benzini Brothers show from biting the dust. The characters are really the hands-down winner for me in this story. But it certainly was coupled with some amazing story-telling.
I think I didn’t give this one a solid 5 stars because the ending didn’t quite sit well with me. While I’m glad of the outcome for Jacob I felt the HEA was sort of – slapped on, for lack of a better term. Kind of like “Come on, let’s hurry and wrap it up here” ending…if that makes sense. It’s happy (which made me happy; I happen to really like Jacob). Maybe a little too convenient for my tastes though. However, I have a hunch that if the ending were any different I’d still have a problem with it. Maybe I just didn’t want Jacob’s story to end *shrugs* …Definitely a good thing about a book, if you ask me!
As a side note I have not seen the movie adaptation but I want to. Nothing could really ruin the story for me but I’d hope the movie did some sort of justice to the book (less)
I was SOO excited when I found out I won Jacqueline's giveaway a while back. The cover is true eye candy! The dark colors, the cover model, the mood a...moreI was SOO excited when I found out I won Jacqueline's giveaway a while back. The cover is true eye candy! The dark colors, the cover model, the mood all just beg people to pick the book up But I don't really know how I feel about HUSH, HUSH. I liked it enough to want to read Becca's next installment, CRESCENDO, which comes out sometime in 2010. But I was disappointment with my lack of interest in the novel. I really wanted to love it... but most of the time I felt like I was missing something. Now keep in mind that I read the ARC of HUSH, HUSH and I do know that the finished hardcover has a different ending, but how different can the meat of the story really be? I know I got the gist of the story just fine with my ARC...
One thing I do want to point out before we get to my thoughts on the book - I can see barely any similarities between TWILIGHT and HUSH, HUSH. To me the characters and flow of each story is completely different from each other. I liked TWILIGHT, a lot, but I never really liked the hype the books created in the media. While I can understand why some people think the two books are closely related I myself don't really think so. Except maybe for the fact that Nora and Patch met in Biology class... I mean there are other subjects in school... =) But I understand why Becca chose Biology because of the material they were going over in class (sex-ed), it makes sense!
I liked Nora. But she was sort of a bland character. Even now, maybe 2 or 3 days from closing the book I can hardly recall her. She never really jumped out at me, and I really didn't feel a connection to her. Her relationship with Patch was entertaining with a few sparks flying here and there but I don't think I really cared whether or not she ended up with Patch. Nora was smart, I give her that. And I got a sense of her independence. With her mother constantly traveling for her job and the recent loss of her father, Nora was on her own. Literally. She only has Vee to keep her company. Vee's Nora's best friend. And you know, I loved Vee in the beginning. Not for her lack of best friend skills (because frankly I'd hate to have her as a bestie) but for her hilarious snide remarks; especially in the beginning of the book.
And then there's Patch, who I've read is supposed to be PRETTY amazing. Yeah, he seemed like a hottie. Yeah, he was a jerk. Yeah, he had bad boy tendencies. But so what? I certainly didn't fall in love with him as a character. I fully and happily admit that if I were in Nora's position in some of those scenes with him I'd be a little indimated and attracted to him at the same time. But those feelings were scarce and far in between. I didn't find him creepy though, I've read some people found him to be a stalker creepy guy. And while I definitely see the stalker part of him coming out every now and again I still didn't really find him creepy. I didn't hate him though... I was just kinda "Eh, Patch...that's nice."
That's kind of my reaction to the book as a whole. Like my ratings on the sidebar say... 2 stars for me is "Eh, it's okay." And I put it closer to 3 stars because there were times I did like HUSH, HUSH. I thought the ending was entertaining, though a little unrealistic. The relationship between Patch and Nora never bloomed in my eyes. All I got was strained and sexually charged meetings between the two. And then at the end, I'm supposed to grasp there love for each other... mmmm, the way I see it there was no room for love to grow between the two. Like I said in the beginning of my review, I honestly felt I was missing something. Not that I feel Becca can't write a novel. I enjoyed her writing very much. I think it's a wonderful debut to an interesting world filled with so many possibilites. Fallen Angels? Yes please! But I do know that as I read the book I kept shaking my head going, "Huh? Did I skip some pages or something?" I felt there were pieces missing from the story, from Nora and Patch's developing relationship, or maybe just my brain lol.
I can see HUSH, HUSH gaining a very loyal and large fan base. And as I said before, I will most likely be reading CRESCENDO when it comes out. For those who haven't read this yet, I'm super interested to hear your thoughts. I'll be giving away my ARC copy soon, I hope to see you there.(less)
I haven't read any of Lili St. Crow's other novels yet but they are on my list and I'll get to them eventually. So I'm not familiar with her writing b...moreI haven't read any of Lili St. Crow's other novels yet but they are on my list and I'll get to them eventually. So I'm not familiar with her writing but I felt Strange Angels was a pretty good start to this YA series.
I found myself a little hesitant about Dru in the beginning. Her and her father have been jumping around from place to place ever since her Gran died. He's a hunter of all paranormal entities that go bump in the night and has been doing so every since Dru's mother died years ago. Dru is slowly learning what she can about hunting since her father only allows her to tag along sometimes as back up. She's got a gift, kinda like a sixth sense, or the "touch" as her Gran likes to call it. She does have skills in fighting and knows how to use a gun. But at sixteen, she's pretty much mad at the world when she's introduced. Having to jump from school to school so many times she longs to be normal.
At school Dru tries to remain as aloof as possible. It doesn't help much when she meets Graves, a half-Asian goth kid who wants to befriend her despite her reluctance. She tries to push him away but he's one persistent boy. Kinda like a stray puppy that keeps begging, Graves just doesn't refuses to take "No" for an answer. Despite all that there's just something about him that calls to Dru. It may be the fact that she just longs for a friend to confide in, but how can she possible tell Graves anything about her life?
Tragedy strikes after Dru's dad doesn't come home after one of his solo missions. Dru is left on her own and quickly becomes a target for all the paranormal boogiemen. She ends up relying on Graves whether she wants to or not. And Graves becomes deeply involved after he gets bit by a werewulf. So they are pretty much stuck together and Dru continuously blames herself for Graves' predicament.
Later on they are helped by Christophe, a half-breed vampire called a djamhir, who knows more about Dru than she could ever imagine. She doesn't want to trust him but he seems determined to look out for her... And it is here where I will stop with the summary and leave the rest for you to find out =) Evil I know lol
I do want to say that the beginning really didn't do a lot for me. While I liked the story, I didn't really get into it until the last third of the book when Christophe was introduced. Not that he was my favorite character - I just felt the story really came alive in the last part. While I didn't love the novel I'm probably going to be picking up Betrayals which comes out in November. (less)
So I pretty much feel like a retard. I knew that reading this before reading the Cirque du Freak series was probably a big mistake. Okay, so it wasn’t...moreSo I pretty much feel like a retard. I knew that reading this before reading the Cirque du Freak series was probably a big mistake. Okay, so it wasn’t really a big mistake because I really enjoyed The Birth of a Killer. But I think it would have been pretty great knowing about all the characters before reading this. I know for a fact I would have enjoyed the story even more if I had the Cirque du Freak series under my belt. Since this new series is a prequel to the Cirque du Freak series, having prior knowledge is always a plus! But don’t fret, I’m just being anal. The Birth of a Killer can still definitely be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.
I did have a small amount of prior knowledge going into The Birth of a Killer. I actually caught the movie when it was playing on TV and enjoyed it. I think John C. Reilly is hilarious. And while the movie wasn’t the best ever I knew I would like the books. Now after reading Shan’s writing I definitely know I will.
So The Birth of a Killer tells the story of a young Larten Crepsley before becoming a vampire assistant and ultimately a vampire by Seba Nile. He meets Seba after running away from killing the foreman he worked for. The foreman, who was actually a disturbingly evil man, went a little crazy and killed Larten’s best friend, and cousin, Vur Horsten. He pretty much went too far when he killed Vur but he decided to make an example and show the other boys that he was not to be crossed. In a violent fit of rage Larten goes after him and ultimately kills him. Larten then finds himself on the run. It is in a dark, dingy, and creepy crypt where he finds refuge for the night and where he meets Seba and his destiny…
I loved Larten when he was a young boy. He was eager to learn, loyal, honest, and a great character. I didn’t like the fact that hewas stubborn and pig-headed soon after becoming a vampire. But Larten’s had a tough life and the gradual changes in his personality are understandable. So I don’t hold his bratty tendencies against him…most of the time. Larten does meet another boy, Wester, before he is blooded into a half-vampire and I’m pretty sure he’s a “new” character. It’ll be interesting to see what happens on the next part of Larten’s journey.
With my prior movie-watching knowledge I did recognize some of the characters, which was a great feeling. It actually made me feel more of an idiot not reading Cirque Du Freak first…*sigh* I enjoyed the new-to-me characters in the Freak show and at Vampire Mountain. I loved finding out the reason behind Larten’s crazy hair. I liked Seba a lot. Although he is strict in his teachings he obviously cares a lot about Larten. I thought it kind of funny that Larten’s introduction to the vampaneze involved the same guy that Darren (character) met in the Cirque du Freak series. I really liked Shan’s (author) style of writing. It’s not over the top but still had a horror-type feel that I enjoyed. I’m pretty positive I’ll like his other books. If you’ve read and enjoyed Darren Shan’s Cirque Du Freak series I think you’ll enjoy The Birth of a Killer too.
How to Woo a Reluctant Lady is the third book in The Hellions of Halstead Hall series and tells the story of the eldest Sharpe s...moreMy rating: 3.5/5 stars
How to Woo a Reluctant Lady is the third book in The Hellions of Halstead Hall series and tells the story of the eldest Sharpe sister, Minerva. She’s feisty, independent, and is not afraid to speak her mind. After meeting her in the previous novel, A Hellion in Her Bed, I knew her story would be fun!
Although she doesn’t necessarily need her inheritance, Minerva is determined to meet her grandmother’s marriage ultimatum. But Minerva has an ace up her sleeve! She’ll fake an engagement and make Gran give up her pursuits. She has to give the crafty Giles Masters credit for coming up with the idea though. There’s no way Gran will accept Giles as a suitor, much less an appropriate husband, with his reputation. He may be a successful barrister but he’s known around town as a wild rogue.
Minerva’s been in love with Giles since she was nine-years-old. However, the rejection she felt after she was turned down from him in her teen years caused her to build a wall around her heart. It also caused her to take her frustration and heartache out on him through her gothic novels. Although some may frown upon Minerva’s writing, she’s actually very good at what she does and has a substantial fan base. Most think her notoriously wicked main character is based off her older brother…but the rakish spy is totally based off Giles. She has no idea how close to home her books really are because Giles really is living a double-life. A double-life that is seriously getting in the way of the life he wants to have…a life with Minerva as his wife.
I gotta say I didn’t enjoy this installment as much as I did the previous book. But, there were still some really great moments in How to Woo a Reluctant Lady! I liked Minerva. She knows what she wants in life and isn’t afraid to go after it. She was exactly the way I expected and wanted her to be. Her and Giles were a great match and it was a lot of fun to see them try to outwit each other in each of their interactions. My favorite thing about the novel was watching the attraction between them grow. Giles definitely used his good looks to his advantage and took Minerva off guard as often as he could.
I'm also very interested in the mysterious deaths of Minerva's parents. The ongoing investigation is a great backdrop to all of the stories so far. I enjoy how the author has entertwined it with each of the sibling's individual books. I can't wait to find out more!
So even though How to Woo a Reluctant Lady wasn't my favorite I still had a lot of fun with it. I'm really looking forward to the next book in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series because I have a feeling it will be about Gabriel and the woman who despises him...Of course, she will fall in love with him and I'll definitely be finding out why when the new book gets released.