***Possible spoilers for first book Kat Incorrigible***
After loving Kat, Incorrigible, it was a no-brainer to pick up this sequel, looking for another***Possible spoilers for first book Kat Incorrigible***
After loving Kat, Incorrigible, it was a no-brainer to pick up this sequel, looking for another delightful adventure with Kat who now knows about her Guardian powers and is eager to learn more.
The book dives right back into the mischief, beginning with Kat's eldest sister marrying the wealthy young man she had fallen in love with in the previous book; the ceremony is interrupted when the middle sister's love's mother storms in, hellbent on preventing an alliance with a family known for its association with the scandalous witchcraft. Given that I had forgotten about these romances, I was a little thrown but soon all of the characters came rushing back to me.
The story then moves to Bath with Stepmama insisting that middle sister Angeline needs to acquire a fiance to restore the family's reputation or else she will be left behind. Angeline has her own plans and Kat is determined to not be left out. Additionally her brother is caught up in some kind of ancient ritual and their dreamy father may have vital knowledge to prevent disaster.
I feel like this book was more madcap and manic than the previous book to its detriment. I was increasingly frustrated with the headstrong characters especially Angeline's refusal to educate Kat about her magical legacy and Kat's headstrong self continuing to do whatever she wanted. She acts on instinct, making a decision and acting on it, without considering potential consequences. She's only twelve but I remember her being a bit more mature in the first book so this felt like a regression to me. Fortuantely she learned to govern her temper somewhat at important junctures in the book but I was a little tired of her by that point.
I was also disappointed that the relationship between the sisters was less prominent. Eldest sister Elissa is on her honeymoon and Angeline is so secretive. I wanted the sisters to be closer even when not physically near each other. Another problem was the villainous Lady Fotherington, an adult who seems determined to match wits with twelve-year-old Kat-um, maybe aspire higher? I supposed Kat is the most worthy opposition but you'd think Lady Fotherington could have waited until Kat was older and more appropriate competition.
Lest you think it is all negative, I still had a pretty fun time. Of course, I loved visiting Bath and the Pump Room as a long-time Jane Austen fan and the writing is as pleasing as before. I sped through the book and could barely put it down. I still love Kat's tutor Mr. Gregson and I found her stepmother more sympathetic in this book (the poor woman has to put up with a lot from her stepchildren); in fact, she was one of my favorite characters with her very understandable concerns and reactions. There are also some fun new characters including relative Lucy who accidentally plays a big part in the magical aspect. And Lady Fotherington, while infuriating, was fun for me to read.
Overall: Not quite as enjoyable as its predecessor but still a good read for fans of the series....more
First book Paranormalcy was one of my favorite reads of 2011; however Supernaturally left me a bit disappointPossible spoilers for the first two books
First book Paranormalcy was one of my favorite reads of 2011; however Supernaturally left me a bit disappointed. How would Endlessly leave me? Although Paranormalcy remains my favorite of the trilogy, overall I thought Endlessly was a pretty good conclusion to the trilogy, bringing a satisfying end to Evie, Lend, and all the paranormal characters we've met over the course of the books.
The biggest surprise to me was the changing of my feelings for Reth and Jack, two characters I really didn't like. Somehow though I began to see them with different eyes and appreicate what they added to the story. I'm still confused how Reth is Evie's ex-boyfriend when it kind of seemed more like he preyed on her when she was vulnerable but that is what he has been called multiple times so this time I just let it go. As one of the fae, he is still playing a long con where he needs Evie but he also shows more of the effect being around humans has had on him. Jack meanwhile had pissed me off during his introduction but knowing what we know about him now, he was much more charming to me. They definitely have personality and charisma to keep you hooked!
Another great thing was that Evie and Lend are firmly together. She's not sneaking around and lying to him like she was in Supernaturally although their relationship is by no means easy. There are several new challenges but the two don't give up. However I did find Lend rather dull this go-around. I just don't know that he has much to him beyond his shape-shifting abilities and devotion to Evie, both cool things but certainly not enough to make me swoon in the best book boyfriend way.
Still with all these pluses, I almost feel like the novelty of this world has worn off. What charmed me in Paranormalcy did not this time. The humor didn't make me laugh as much and the world didn't feel fresh. I thought the book dragged a bit as I waited for Evie to make the decision she had to make and I grew a bit tired of her delaying that.
Overall: If you liked the first two books, you're going to want to finish the series. I definitely recommend reading all three back to back if you can.
Cover: Love the purple-this series certainly has great covers especially for those of us who are suckers for a pretty dress....more
After enjoying Shade and loving Shift, Shine moved to the top of my want to read list of 2012 so I was so happy when my copy finally arrived in the maAfter enjoying Shade and loving Shift, Shine moved to the top of my want to read list of 2012 so I was so happy when my copy finally arrived in the mail. I was pretty good about avoiding spoilers so that I could read this with little expectation beyond what Smith-Ready had promised throughout the earlier books. This review is more aimed at those who have already read the first two books and avoids spoilers for this book.
I was pretty happy to dive into this book and with the developments about the shift. We get answers to the questions we had about why Aura can see ghosts, why Zachary can repel them, about the powerful corporate and government interests and the lengths they will go, about the ancient Irish history, etc. Yay for answers from YA paranormal!
I appreciated that there was no more triangle. Logan passed on at the end of Shift and he does not return in this book. Although he will always have a little part of Aura's heart for the history they shared, his part is done and she can move forward to building a new life with Zachary, who goes through some hell in this book. While Zach and Aura move to new levels of trust with each other, there is conflict from a dark situation experienced by him. Honestly I was a little frightened by him in some scenes but how could that not wreak havoc on a person?
But for whatever reason, this book didn't blow me away with awesome the way that the previous book Shift had. I don't know if it's because I had my expectations too high or if it's because I'm in a bit of a reading/reviewing funk. This was still a very enjoyable reading experience, well-written and fast paced (I flew through the book). There is character development for our leads and we get at least a glimpse of every character we've cared about from the previous books.
Content Warnings: Language and sexual situations-I feel like this series is definitely for the older end of YA.
Cover Rant: While I find the yellow more understandable now (in the context of what occurs in the books), I am seriously upset that the covers of my books no longer match. I actually bought this series as the books came out, expecting no changes and then there was. I also hate when the cover model is staring out at us-creeps me out!...more
Read for class-will be watching Orson Welles' film adaptation soon, which should be very interesting. While a classic and historically important book,Read for class-will be watching Orson Welles' film adaptation soon, which should be very interesting. While a classic and historically important book, it's not my taste at all....more
We're going to have to start with an extended personal note for this long review in order to illustrate how this book and I didn't clWarning-spoilers!
We're going to have to start with an extended personal note for this long review in order to illustrate how this book and I didn't click. I'm a girl's girl. I did dress very tomboyishly in high school (jeans, tees, sneakers, no makeup because why bother?) but my best friends were always other girls. I've had a few good male friends but nothing compared to my girls. I know media often portrays females as back-stabbing, gossipy meanies but my life has not reflected that. I've always felt supported by and tried to be supportive of other women (um, I attended a women's college!) Consequently I don't really "get" women who eschew female companionship. In my experience, there seem to be two main reasons. The first is cause the girl steals other girls' boyfriends (I know this isn't the best phrasing because he can't be stolen if he doesn't want it but...) The second is because she pursues some interest that is stereotypically masculine (often sports but also technology) and looks down on the more stereotypically feminine pursuits. Such a girl also has often had a bad experience with another girl and uses it to judge the entire female population. Jordan Woods is such a girl and hopefully you are seeing my difficulty with her.
The way she came across to me was as someone who thought she was better than other girls because she didn't hang on a boy's every word, she didn't talk about feelings, she thought home economic courses were dumb, she knew things about football, etc. I loved the hook of her as her team's quarterback and that she was a great captain for her team. But I could not get past her derision of the cheerleaders as slutty and stupid when her male teammates receive little condemnation for similar behavior. Then there was Jordan's repeated disbelief that any other girl might know something about football, as if she has a monopoly on football knowledge among those of us with the XX chromosomes (current events sidenote: go Eagles in their game against the Saints tonight!)
Then let's move onto the romance. For some reason, I thought it was about Jordan and a guy who couldn't quite handle her role on the football team. There is that but the guy is also her ocmpetition because he plays quarterback too. Plus he's not really the love interest. THere's also Sam Henry (I kind of hate when characters have two first names, especially in a book where they are often but not always called by their last name), her long-time best friend who has been in love with her for ages and frequently slept over in her bed because she never noticed! I can't imagine parents letting that happen even if they assumed their daughter only had platonic feelings.
Once Jordan knows, she is interested in pursuing a relationship but he bails, not wanting to risk what they have, leaving her to spend over a month really pissed off at everyone. It's angst! It's drama! It's not for me.
However lest you think there were only negatives, I do want to applaud a few elements. I loved the conflict of Jordan with her NFL dad, who never supported her dream but who comes to experience a change of heart. There could have been more nuance and attention spent on that. I also liked Jordan attempting to go to her dream school but discovering they only wanted her as a cover girl. This ties into her relationship with her father as he helps her to explore other options. Maybe what I really wanted was to read a book about a teenage girl and her parents, given that that element seemed to really appeal to me here. The book was also very readable with some humorous moments although I could have done without the cursing.
Content warning: Lot of language, some underage drinking but not the MCs because they are in training, lots of sexual situations but not too explicit.
Looking at my order slip, it appears that I placed my order on May 22 and received it the day it came out. But silly me, I forgot to include it o4.5/5
Looking at my order slip, it appears that I placed my order on May 22 and received it the day it came out. But silly me, I forgot to include it on my calendar so I had a bunch of review books to get through first before I could dive into this personally highly anticipated sequel to StarCrossed.
I began in a bit of a panic because while I remembered main character Digger alias Celyn, I didn't automatically remember any other character. Now some of the characters were new so that explains why but the other characters were cleverly reintroduced and integrated into the story such that my memory was jogged. And the part I remember best from StarCrossed was Digger's slow attachment to the people she met; although she had tried to keep herself separate, she couldn't stop becoming involved. Similarly, she is attached to people in this book including a romantic interest and a wide network of people who aid her in traitorous activities. How lucky is she?! I kept fearing a sudden but inevitable betrayal but no one stabbed her in the back like that. They were good people.
As for the plot, this focused on the mystery of the death of influential businesswoman Talth Ceid, the wife of Digger's acquaintance Durrel Decath who happens to be the obvious suspect. Someone believes in his innocence and Digger is dragged into a complicated web of business contracts, trade, greed, force, and magic. Although everything seems tangled, she knows that she can dig up an answer (okay-sorry for the bad joke!)
While I liked this book a lot and had trouble putting it down, I still didn't find it to be a perfect book. I did think it dragged a little in some places and would have liked some things to happen more quickly.
Then there is the ending. While the central mystery is tied up (we know who killed Durrel's wife) and progress seems to have been made on the political front (in favor of the side Digger supports), something totally out of the blue comes our way. I can see some people guessing but I was surprised...and now I'm even more anxious for the third book to hopefully tie everything up....more
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2007 331 pages Fiction; Historical 3.5/5 stars
Source: My mom has been trying to get me tWater for Elephants by Sara Gruen Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2007 331 pages Fiction; Historical 3.5/5 stars
Source: My mom has been trying to get me to read this book for years and I finally broke down and read it after one of my IRL friends recommended it.
The book is split between Jacob Jankowski's life as a ninety or ninety-three year old man and his reminisces about his life as a twenty-three year old traveling with a circus during the Great Depression. He falls in love, sees an entirely different kind of life, and survives.
I was most impressed by the circus anecdotes, most of which are revealed to have been true by Gruen in the author's note. The animals and other performers were very interesting. Jacob, for me, was very boring with little about him that surprised me. Marlena didn't have much of a personality. She was just pretty with grace and a love of horses.
Overall, I was left with a feeling of "so what?" I can see why my mom liked this; it's just the kind of book she would like and if I had read it first, I would totally have recommended it to her. But I didn't love it as so many seemed to have and like I wanted to love it.
This has been made into a movie; I'm not sold on Robert Pattinson as Jacob (a redheaded Pole) but I'm okay with Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon as the brunette Marlena and very intrigued by Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz as her violent husband August. I don't know if I'll see the film in theaters but I know my mom will and she'll tell me about it. ...more
The Ramayana by R. K. Narayan Penguin, 1972 157 pages Epic; Mythic 5/5 stars
Source: Bought and read for school
Summary: The epic of Rama, the god Vishnu inThe Ramayana by R. K. Narayan Penguin, 1972 157 pages Epic; Mythic 5/5 stars
Source: Bought and read for school
Summary: The epic of Rama, the god Vishnu in human form, and his quest to rid the world of Ravana.
I loved this book. I thought that I was vaguely familiar with the story as I read it and I think I may have seen parts of a filmed adaptation at some point. This is a shortened prose version so it has lost some of its embellishments; I imagine that this would be a very fun story to hear as the storyteller would add little bits of color and points of interest, tailored to fit the audience. However as a book, I think it works in the shortened version.
It moves along fairly quickly but with side stories and diversions as might be expected in an epic. Rama's eventual quest to destroy Ravana comes about because his beloved wife Sita is kidnapped by Ravana. However before he can finish the task, he meets many other creatures and has many other adventures that burnish his reputation.
Overall: A fantastic story that I highly recommend for Westerners as we're probably not familiar with the story.
Cover: Rama is apparently always represented as blue although I'm not entirely sure why. ...more
I really enjoyed Firelight starring one of my YA boyfriends, Will. His romance with Jacinda kept me reading even as other aspects bothered me. Sadly tI really enjoyed Firelight starring one of my YA boyfriends, Will. His romance with Jacinda kept me reading even as other aspects bothered me. Sadly there wasn't as much of the romance as there was lots of other stuff instead...very compelling stuff as this book took me about two hours to read. I just could not put it down!
However there actually was a lot of stuff I didn't like. The love triangle continues with Jacinda feeling very torn between draki Cassian and human with draki blood Will. One is the "right" decision in that it would make her life very easy but the other is the right answer, she just knows in her heart. At least sometimes she does; girl cannot make up her mind! Of course, both boys end up being super possessive of her and I am now less Team Will (although I'm still not team Cassian and there's also the addition of the super creepy Corbin). I will however cherish my memories of him in Firelight. The rest of the draki clan are extremely mistrusting of Jacinda and are huge jerks to her. I am sympathetic to their concerns about being hunted by humans but I feel like some of them went a bit far.
This annoying stuff took attention away from other exciting things such as her relationships with her best friend Az and her sister Tamra. I wanted so much more of that instead of Jacinda angsting. Both have so many complications and yet they don't get that much attention. Her mother also becomes an alcoholic who is completely checked out from her daughters' life to my sadness, adding to Jacinda's isolation.
Still I am excited about the third book Hidden as we should get an epic confrontation between drakis and draki hunters. There's a lot of possibility for a breakout from the hunters' compound and for Will to win back my affections.
Overall: Enthralling story despite the many aspects I didn't like.
Cover: She looks like Taylor Swift; kind of weird after the lovely red hair of the first book is what I thought at first. However the change in appearance is quickly explained in the book. ...more
India Black by Carol K. Carr Berkley Prime Crime, 2011 296 pages Historical Thriller 4/5 stars
Source: Won from Felicia at Geeky Blogger's Book Blog
I saw sIndia Black by Carol K. Carr Berkley Prime Crime, 2011 296 pages Historical Thriller 4/5 stars
Source: Won from Felicia at Geeky Blogger's Book Blog
I saw several positive reviews of this and then was lucky enough to win a copy. I was hoping for a good mystery although I would classify this as more of a thriller. India becomes deeply involved in the political intrigue of the late nineteenth century, especially the diplomatic differences between England and Russia. This results in masquerades, debauchery, imprisonment, and gunfights among other thrills.
It starts off very bluntly with “My name is India Black. I am a whore” although technically she’s a former whore, who now runs her own brothel, not that most people would make that distinction. Anyway a British governmental official dies while being “helped” by one of India’s girls. As she attempts to move the body under cover of night, she is met by another official Mr. French, who, upon discovering that an important satchel has gone missing, blackmails India into helping him recover it, thereby beginning her thrilling adventure. India was a hilarious, self-deprecating woman. She knows that most people look down on her but she’s proud of running her own business and of her brains (and justly so). She’s self-sufficient and can look out for herself. Her narration provided some hilarious moments and usually broke right through the tension and suspicion of some scenes. I wanted more Mr. French-I’m predicting a bit of a romance eventually for the two of them and it will be delicious! I enjoyed his role as well as the appearances of Benjamin "Dizzy" Disraeli and William Ewart Gladstone, dueling prime minsters with very different aims. Other characters provided additional color.
The sequel is listed on goodreads: India Black and the Widow of Windsor. I haven't seen a summary and I don't like the cover as much as this one but it looks like it might involve Queen Victoria more which I would enjoy.
Overall: A great start to a series; can't wait to continue!
Cover: I love a gorgeous colorful dress on the color. ...more
I read this for school (a German history course) but found it very difficult. It is dense and I feel like it expected its reader to be familiar with mI read this for school (a German history course) but found it very difficult. It is dense and I feel like it expected its reader to be familiar with many German historians who have grappled with the problem of the history of the Holocaust. I was familiar with none of the historians and I kept getting them confused. Not meant for the beginner....more