This was one of the first series that I ever read when I was younger, and I absolutely fell in love with the adventures within. The writing is definitThis was one of the first series that I ever read when I was younger, and I absolutely fell in love with the adventures within. The writing is definitely geared towards the younger generation, but it's still very well done.
The prose is fluid and easy to read, and I read the book in a matter of days on vacation, desperate to read the next. I don't this book could ever get old....more
The Sea of Monsters picks up where The Lightning Thief left off. Percy is nearly done with his school year, and for the first time, it seems as though The Sea of Monsters picks up where The Lightning Thief left off. Percy is nearly done with his school year, and for the first time, it seems as though he might make it entire year without being expelled. Naturally, his excitement is a bit too hasty because a brutal attack on the last day forces Percy, Annabeth, and their new cyclops "friend," Tyson, who might just have a lot more in common than anyone knows. When they escape to Camp Half-Blood though, the camp's defenses are failing, Thalia's protective pine tree is dying, Chiron has been fired, and Grover...well who knows where Grover is now that he's searching for Pan? Percy and Annabeth must find a way to save the camp, or watch as their world falls to ruin around them.
This was definitely a fun book to read, but it wasn't as fast-paced as The Lightning Thief was. And, to be honest, though Grover was in the book, I missed his ridiculous banter fueling the story. I was, however, very pleased to see a progression in the relationship between Percy and Annabeth. One of the most unsettling things for me was the lack of face-time for the gods in this book. I really wish Poseidon or Zeus would be more involved in the story. I did enjoy the twist with Hermes though!
Despite being a bit too slow for my taste in the beginning, The Sea of Monsters ends brilliantly, and I can't wait to get my paws on The Titan's Curse now! I'm going to have to read this entire series...soon...though I hate when series come to an end. I digress. I give this book a very strong 4.5 out of 5, and I can't wait to read the next book!...more
Life As We Knew It is Miranda's diary, her link to a semblance of normalcy lost the minute the devastating meteor hit the moon. She rants, she uses saLife As We Knew It is Miranda's diary, her link to a semblance of normalcy lost the minute the devastating meteor hit the moon. She rants, she uses sarcasm, and she fights for the life she wants even though everywhere people are giving up hope. She believes life is still worth fighting for even in the midst of worldwide trauma and loss. Above all else though, Miranda wants to prove to herself and to everyone else that life is still worth living, and despite everything that has happened - life goes on.
The brainchild of Susan Beth Pfeffer, Life As We Knew It is a page-turner, and it captivated me from start to finish. I haven't read too many reviews of this one, but the summary intrigued me, and I really wanted to see what it was all about. I couldn't put it down. The story flows and mesmerizes, keeping you hooked to every single word. It's not often that a "what if" story feels realistic and tangible...this, however, accomplishes that seamlessly with a host of characters one can relate to.
I give this book a definite 5 out of 5, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves the combination of sci-fi, drama, and YA novels. ...more
Do you ever wonder what the life of a posh magazine writer is like? Do you wish that you had the money/class/courage to pull off outfits much like CarDo you ever wonder what the life of a posh magazine writer is like? Do you wish that you had the money/class/courage to pull off outfits much like Carrie Bradshaw? Target Underwear and a Vera Wang Gown - Notes From a Single Girl's Closet is a fanciful twist on real life, depicting the story of Adena Halpern, who wrote for Marie Claire. Written as a memoir, but artfully blended with the unique angle that every single one of her memories is tied to a specific outfit, Target Underwear and a Vera Wang Gown is part fashion, part comedy, and just a tad heartwarming to keep you on your toes.
I'm not opposed to memoirs. Not in the slightest. In fact, I like them a good bit. Sometimes the most fascinating stories are the ones involving the mundane tasks of everyday life, but a person's unique perspective makes all the difference. When I stumbled across Target Underwear and a Vera Wang Gown, I knew I had to read it. It's a fun story, chronicling Adena Halpern's journey from everyday teen, to a college girl, to a successful (and might I add fashionable) woman in her own right. There are great twists of humour, touches of sadness because, let's face it, everyone has their lows in life, and an engaging story about finding oneself and one's passions.
The writing, however, was not as fluid as I had hoped. At times, I felt the wit was a bit forced, and while I enjoyed the overall story, it definitely lagged at points. I think the book could probably have been condensed for easier reading, to be honest. All in all though, I give Target Underwear and a Vera Wang Gown a 3.5 out of 5 , and I would recommend it to those who are fans of chick lit and memoirs....more
I picked up this purely based upon the cover art, and I am so glad I did. This book is a gem, truly. It's a sweet, subtle, and gently heartbreaking taI picked up this purely based upon the cover art, and I am so glad I did. This book is a gem, truly. It's a sweet, subtle, and gently heartbreaking tale that teaches you the truth and importance of life, love, and family.
It's one of those books where the characters stay with you, and you really feel that all the relationships and emotions were real throughout. The only reason it is a 4 out 5 is because I felt the ending was a bit too abrupt....more
The premise of this book hooked me in about a second flat, and I have to admit, our US cover for Incarceron is pretty darn amazing. (Yes, I am a suckeThe premise of this book hooked me in about a second flat, and I have to admit, our US cover for Incarceron is pretty darn amazing. (Yes, I am a sucker for a good, artistic cover without weeping girls and hot, hot men.) So, without having ready any reviews, I decided to pick it up and give it a go.
The book starts in the prison, detailing legends of Sapphique, a wise man who is rumoured to have escaped the torturous prison, Incarceron. We quickly learn that Incarceron is no ordinary prison. It was designed to be a "paradise" - to remove the evils from the normal world and rehabilitate them. The closed system failed though, and the prison came to think for itself and its inhabitants. It can give and take live at a mere whim. So, while the prison is futuristic, the outside world's progress has been stalled, and Protocol prohibits advancement.
Basically, the world is in turmoil both in and outside of Incarceron, and while Finn struggles to stay alive in the prison, Claudia, the Warden of Incarceron's daughter, struggles to maintain her sanity outside the prison. When chance circumstances connect the two, the world(s) start spinning out of control.
Sounds awesome, eh? It is...truly, I love this story. That said though, it takes some time to get into the story. You know how when you try to read a science journal it's like reading Greek (for those of us who don't know it, of course)? Well, this is a bit like that. The scientific and technological jargon used really threw me off at first and made it hard to get into the story. Once the connections started to develop, I really began to enjoy it though....more
Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir have been on the run for two years when we first meet them in Vampire Academy. Rose is committed to keeping Lissa, aRose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir have been on the run for two years when we first meet them in Vampire Academy. Rose is committed to keeping Lissa, a royal Moroi vampire princess, safe, and Lissa is determined to have Rose's back at all times. The girls, however, are brought back to St. Vladimir's Academy - the very place from which they escaped. Rose is keeping a deadly secret for Lissa, and the bond they share is in jeopardy every day - can they keep Lissa and Rose safe while within the walls of the vampire academy?
Yes, I took my sweet time getting to Vampire Academy because I loathe vampires. They glitter, and stalk, and whine, and meddle in that vampire series I'm sure some of you might have heard of...but a few of my really good bloggy friends convinced me to give this a go. I can honestly admit that I'm pleased I read Vampire Academy. It's a whirlwind of adventure that blends friendships, lore, and enemies into a tale that makes you want to know more. Richelle Mead has created a world of vampires that I can honestly admit - intrigues me.
Now, that's not to say that Vampire Academy didn't have a few hiccups for me. For one, had I not been forewarned, I would have been extremely confused by Lissa and Rose's relationship. For the first half, I was pretty sure they were a couple - not that there's anything wrong with that, but it kind of confused the other relationships in the story. I also think the book started off a bit slow. There was a lot of background in Vampire Academy, and it took a while for that to get out of the way and into the real action of the story. I will, however, note particular strengths in characterization and descriptiveness. The world within Vampire Academy is alive.
No, it's not the best book I've ever read, and I know I'm eating my words here, but I'm going to give Vampire Academy a 4 out of 5, and I'd recommend it to all fans of YA, paranormal romance, and vampire stories - even if you don't like vampires, this is an exciting adventure! I definitely need to know what happens next...mostly with Dimitri. And Rose....more
Tantalize details the story of Quincie, a teenager living in the heart of Texas and a world inundated with werewolves and vampires. It's the aftermathTantalize details the story of Quincie, a teenager living in the heart of Texas and a world inundated with werewolves and vampires. It's the aftermath of her parents' death, and she's surrounded by a world of strange, losing her first love to the werewolf curse, trying to balance her life working at a vampire restaurant, and desperately trying maintain a semblance of normalcy in her crazy world. Will she be able to find her stride, or will she lose everything in the process?
I actually won Tantalize a long time ago, but I never got around to reading it. To be honest, I was really wary of yet another story merging the lore of werewolves and vampires, so I figured I'd wait until I had a lull in my reading schedule to really focus on the heart of the story. Written by author Cynthia Leitich Smith, Tantalize works on the premise that the main character lives in a world where werewolves and vampires are known entities, rather than hidden ones. Written in a clear voice with a definite unique writing style, Tantalize is clearly an effort to expand upon the original lore of such stories and invent a new type of life for vampires, werewolves, and humans coexisting. In that way, this book succeeded.
However, I'm going to be brutally honest...I really didn't enjoy Tantalize all that much. I felt that a lot of the prose was dumbed down - something that bugs me about some YA books because I truly don't believe YA literature has to be dumb, or plain, or any less than adult novels. Rife with stereotypes and overt name-dropping of Texas landmarks, more often than not, the plot line of Tantalize was disrupted by these oddly placed details. Furthermore, I felt that the plot had a lot of promise, and it truly had the potential to be compelling, but the climax was really anticlimactic for me, and I doubt that was supposed to happen. I also had an extremely hard time relating to Quincie as an MC. In fact, I rarely, if ever, felt anything for her.
I hate giving bad reviews. My followers know this, but I have to be honest, or I have zero integrity as a book blogger. So, in all honesty, Tantalize just didn't work for me. I give it a 2 out of 5, and though I'm sure there is an audience for this book, I wasn't the right one. I will, however, recommend it to more of a MG audience, and I would say that fans of fantasy novels probably have a decent chance of enjoying it. Have any of you read Tantalize? What did you think?...more
While I love the show, I have to admit the books are even better! The descriptiveness, as well as the language in this book is extremely engaging, desWhile I love the show, I have to admit the books are even better! The descriptiveness, as well as the language in this book is extremely engaging, despite the fact that I don't feel I really got to know Elena....more
Redwall is the story of an ancient Abbey deep in the woods of Mossflower, a pristine forest where animals live in harmony with one another. Redwall AbRedwall is the story of an ancient Abbey deep in the woods of Mossflower, a pristine forest where animals live in harmony with one another. Redwall Abbey is the heart of all of Mossflower; a place where the citizens of the land live in peace and tranquility, coexisting despite their different species and backgrounds. The land is threatened, however, by a dangerous enemy known as Cluny the Scourge, a one-eye rat warlord. Determined to overtake Redwall Abbey and claim Mossflower as his domain, Cluny will stop at nothing to gain what he seeks. Matthias, a little mouse from a humble background, however, won’t rest until he proves his worth and saves Redwall from the tyrant. And so, Matthias begins searching for the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior to save Redwall. Can he become the hero he so desperately wants to be in time?
Ok, I know what you’re thinking…a book…with animals as the characters? Don’t be so quick to judge! I started reading this series when I was about 8 years old, and I made fun of the silly covers at that age, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Redwall is the first book in a series about Redwall Abbey, a harmonious place where the animals survive in peace and tranquility. That peace is threatened when a marauding band of tyrants sets up camp in the Church of St. Ninian with the goal of conquering Redwall. Brian Jacques created a magical start to the series with a book brimming with fantastic characters and a loveable hero in Matthias that propels the book forward with every minute action.
Redwall presents a world without humans – one where the animals are every bit as human as humans, themselves. With a loveable hero in Matthias, we’re transported to a world that’s simple at its core, but perfectly portrays base human emotions from love, to greed, to the hero that lies within every one of us. The world is rich and descriptive, and Brian Jacques’ words transport you to a world that’s pure and beautiful, but plagued by destruction, very much like our own world. With epic battles, a sweet love story, a full cast of endearing characters, and a world of adventure, Redwall is the perfect start to a great series. My only major qualm with Redwall is the amount of descriptiveness spent on each feast. Frankly, I got really hungry each time, and I can now tell you every staple of food on their tables.
All in all though, I loved Redwall, and I’m pleased to say it’s one of my go-to books to read and re-read time and again. I give it a strong 4 out of 5, and I’d recommend it to YA readers, especially those who enjoy a good fantasy. Fans of Watership Down will also love this book. The second book in the series is Mossflower....more
I'd never read a review of this book when I found it at the bookstore, but I enjoyed the simplicity and poignancy of the cover. Sometimes it isn't theI'd never read a review of this book when I found it at the bookstore, but I enjoyed the simplicity and poignancy of the cover. Sometimes it isn't the colour, or the detail that intrigues me, but rather the lack thereof. Either way, when I read the back of the book, I was hooked, and I had to read it!
Leaving Paradise follows the story of both Maggie and Caleb, beginning on the day before Caleb's release from Juvenile Detention. He's been in prison for one year for hitting Maggie with his car while driving drunk. The accident crushed her leg, her morale, her dreams, and all ambitions she had of being a tennis star. These days, she's content to be a self-deprecating loner with only one dream - leave her hometown of Paradise forever. When Caleb returns though, her world is turned upside down. To fund her escape to Spain, Maggie begins working with an elderly woman who turns out to be employing Caleb, as well. Through this chance meeting, Maggie and Caleb discover that feeling pain can be worth feeling love later, and not everything is as simple, cut, and dried as it may seem.
I absolutely loved this book. Written from Maggie and Caleb's POVs by chapter, it allows us to see into both of their minds. I usually don't like wimpy, self-loathing characters, but Simone Elkeles uses such traits beautifully, allowing us to actually feel Maggie's pain. Caleb, angry and volatile after a year in prison, seems deeply unhappy, and the reasons why (when revealed) will stun you. This book is artfully crafted, and it's one of the best I've read in a while. That said, I was soooo disappointed with the ending. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I'd hoped at all. I give this a 4.5 out of 5 only because the ending let me down!...more
Beastly follows the story of Kyle Kingsbury, the popular, good-looking, conceited, arrogant jerk who has always been taught that those with good lucksBeastly follows the story of Kyle Kingsbury, the popular, good-looking, conceited, arrogant jerk who has always been taught that those with good lucks and class (in the monetary sense of the word) can, and will, always get what they want. So, with the school dance fast-approaching, Kyle is a shoe-in to win Prince, and his queen is none other than the popular and beautiful Sloane Hagen. In an attempt to be both funny and get payback for being called out by Kendra Hilferty, he invites her to the dance but stands her up, unleashing her wrath, a curse, and the possibility that Kyle might have beauty beneath the surface.
I'll be honest. I've never been a fan of those classic Disney fairy tales. I read Beastly because I want to see the movie, and I always read the books first (because they're better). I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed this book, despite the fact that Kyle starts off as a hideously cruel jackass snob. Alex Flinn did a great job transforming the classic Beauty and the Beast tale into one that fits our modern times. She cleverly uses internet chats to interweave fairy tales and bring the characters, mainly Kyle - the Beast, to life.
Beastly started off well, getting into the action and creating strong emotions (in my case - disgust) towards Kyle. Once the curse is set and Beastly is set in motion though, I found the story lagged a bit until Lindy was brought into play. I understood he was trapped and a transformation was taking place, but I felt it was a bit drawn out. Nevertheless, the writing remained fluid, clear, and easy-to-read throughout.
I give Beastly a 4 out of 5 only because it started to creep along halfway through. I would recommend this to fans of the classic tale, those who love YA, and anyone looking for a good, sweet romance. Oh, and as a quick closing note...the Beast in the upcoming film, Beastly, looks nothing like he does in the book. I'm pissed. And now I'm over it....more
I read this back in elementary school after my mum bought it for me at a book fair, and I read it so many times that the cover fell off. Did I replaceI read this back in elementary school after my mum bought it for me at a book fair, and I read it so many times that the cover fell off. Did I replace the book? Negative...I taped the cover back on, and I still re-read it to this day.
Time Windows is the story of Miranda Browne, the quintessential city girl from New York who moves to the suburbs in Massachusetts. The house is old, quaint, and everything her parents could ever hope for. Miranda isn't so sure, but she finds an antique dollhouse in the attic and finds herself drawn to it. When a chance encounter leads Miranda to discover that she can view the past through the windows of the dollhouse, which is a replica of her house, she becomes emotionally attached to those she sees through the windows. Strange things start happening though - the events that used to happen in the house begin to unravel and happen again through those living in the house now. Miranda must figure out the mysteries of the dollhouse before something bad happens.
This book hooked me from the first page. It was an intriguing concept with mysteries, ghosts, time travel, and just enough paranormal to keep me satisfied. The writing is quick, fast-paced, and easy to follow.
I would recommend this to anyone who loves YA and MG books, for sure. I give it a 4.5 out 5 because I still think the ending was too abrupt for my liking....more
**spoiler alert** The Lovely Bones follows Susie Salmon, a perpetually teenage girl stuck in the equivalent of limbo after she was brutally assaulted**spoiler alert** The Lovely Bones follows Susie Salmon, a perpetually teenage girl stuck in the equivalent of limbo after she was brutally assaulted and murdered by her neighbor in the cornfield behind her house.
I'm not usually into ghost stories, so this was a riveting and refreshing twist. Susie Salmon is in the In Between, stuck between life and eternal peace because she can't stop watching her family, or let go of the fact that she was murdered and nobody knows who did it. She watches her sister and brother grow older, her parents' marriage fall apart, her grandmother let down her defenses and mourn for her granddaughter.
The story is vivid and alive and Susie's voice, as the narrator, is just perfect. You can feel her distress and the torment that won't let her go. It broke my heart to know that the first love she ever felt was snatched away when her life was. I also have to admit, I love when she learned to step outside her safe little limbo and experience love.
All in all, this is one of my all-time favourite reads. While the ending was a little abrupt for my liking, I have to admit that I'm a big fan of just desserts....more
I love Jane Green's writing. I really do. I think she creates fun rom-coms, great characters, and entertaining plots. That said, Babyville was the epiI love Jane Green's writing. I really do. I think she creates fun rom-coms, great characters, and entertaining plots. That said, Babyville was the epitome of boring for me. I found it incredibly difficult to relate to the characters...perhaps because I am absolutely nothing like either of them? Or...it could be the fact that I'm pretty sure each character was a stereotype.
Now, I don't like giving bad reviews. It makes me sad when a book slips right out of my mind after I've read it, or I have to read a page 10 times just to absorb what it's saying. Honestly though, I can't tell you what I loved about this book because there wasn't much at all. I guess I liked the theme - sometimes the things you wish for are the things you don't need, but the things you never dare to dream become the things you want most in life....more