What first attracted me to The Book Jumper was its beautiful cover and the of course, the premise. What avid reader has not dream of living within theWhat first attracted me to The Book Jumper was its beautiful cover and the of course, the premise. What avid reader has not dream of living within the pages of a book?
Amy and her mom Alexis are taking a “holiday” from their life in Germany by going by to the home that Alexis left years ago and never thought to return to. The small Scottish island of Stormsay is home of the Lennox and Macalister clans who are Book Jumpers and guards of the word of literature. Of course, Amy did not know any of this until the very last minute, which is quite a shock for her. However, she takes to is like a fish to the water and turns out to be a very gifted Book Jumper. Amy very smart, but she’s had problems with bullying which’s left her very self conscious and with a bit of self esteem issues. She’s brave, loyal and friendly.
Will Macalister is a fellow Book Jumper that has been training for much longer than Amy. He’s go through the crisis of loosing his friend Sherlock right as Amy arrives to the island. He’s more reserves, pragmatic, and was left behind by his parents who did not want the Macalister heritage anymore.
Is there romance? Yes, as you might imagine Amy and Will do indeed fall in love as they work together to figure out what is unraveling some of the stories in the literary world.
Other characters take a backdrop to Amy, but it is nice to see family involvement in young adult lives.
There are two things that I loved the most about the story. The first it’s the plot itself, which is to say, all the jumping around from one story to another: Sleeping Beauty, The Odyssey, Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Midsummer’s Night Dream…. It’s fascinating! There are even crossroads with signs from one story to the next, a Margin, where characters hang out and even a way to go forward to skip pages. That is to say that the world building is quite awesome.
My second favorite thing is Gläser’s the writing. It is quite gorgeous, lyrical, and enthralling. The pace is action packed and fluid. The story is told in the first person from Amy’s POV and on the third person from Will’s POV, which allows us a bit more insight of what is going on while Amy is not there.
Overall, The Book Jumper is a bittersweet story that brings the power that words (and literature, more specifically) have to shape our world, our perceptions, and our memories. ...more
Freeks is my first book by Amanda Hocking. I’ve been reading glowing reviews of her books for years so when I saw her new book, I decided to read i3.5
Freeks is my first book by Amanda Hocking. I’ve been reading glowing reviews of her books for years so when I saw her new book, I decided to read it.
First of, this is a historical that reads like an urban paranormal. It takes place in a period of 10 days in 1987. I’m very partial to this decade since I was a teenager back then, so I can relate to the music, cassettes, movies and more. The setting is a small town in Louisiana where the Carnival has been invited to perform. The carnival has your typical rides (like the Ferris wheel), games and also a sideshow kind of shows, including a horror house and fortune reader. Now, most of the people on the sideshow side of things have powers or abilities and they have suffered a life of abuse, prejudice and suffering because of it, and thus, they stick together.
Mara is the daughter of a necromancer who can talk to spirits. She doesn’t seem to have powers and works doing whatever is needed around the camp and the sideshow. Mara is from Egyptian/Hindu decent, so good for diversity. She’s brave, loyal, realistic, and smart.
On the first day in town she meets Gabe and they hit it off right away. Gabe is rich, but down to earth boy that’s very sweet and doesn’t treat Mara like a freak. The romance was way too fast for me. I know that paranormal books lend well for the insta-romance, but I don’t feel like it worked well here. I don’t think Mara and Gabe had enough time to know each other, and hardly spend time together.
I liked that the parents of both Gabe and Mara were present in the story. I also enjoyed the remainder of the characters and the powers they had and learning a little bit about their backgrounds and how they ended up in the Sideshow.
The story is told from the first POV, Mara’s. The writing was very good, but I found the pace to be slow. I think the readers was kept in the dark for too long, with hints here and there of what was going on. Also, the ending was a bit to neat and fast for me, especially after all the build up.
Overall, Freeks is about the paranormal and unique, of accepting the differences, about friendship and family, about right and wrong and about love. It will not be my last read by Hockin...more
I knew I was going to love this one and I sure did. Why did I know? Well, because almost everyone that's read the Wedding Belles series absolutely adores it (Yes, I'm looking at Gen and Nereyda). Anyway, let's start with the gushing, shall we?
I will not go over the premise of To Have and to Hold again since I fell like the synopsis does an excellent job. You might think that a novel about a wedding planner falling in love with her client's brother has been done before, and you might be right. This just shows how a story that has been done before can be done well and make it unique and just plain awesome.
Let's start with the characterization as it's outstanding. Seriously, what a great cast of characters. Brooke is a romantic at heart, even after the huge scandal of her ex-fiancee getting arrested at the altar. She starting anew in New York and in the best wedding planner firm in the city: the Belles.
Seth is uptight, very serious, filthy rich, down to earth, hard working and a control freak. Loosing control, not knowing, not able to protect are very hard on him. He's also been burned romantically and he's cautious and insecure about another relationship. I loved him and how shy and sweet he turned out to be.
"Etta made a crowing noise. “I knew it. My little Seth does have a crush. Who is this Ms. Baldwin, pray tell?” “It’s a business meeting, Etta. She’s Maya’s wedding planner, and we’re simply getting together to discuss the financials of the upcoming nuptials.” “Oh, honey. I know you’re in trouble when you start using words like nuptials.”
Brooke and Seth have an instant attraction that develops into something life altering, real, sweet and permanent. It changes them both for the better and I love that they tried to be honest with each other. Their relationship didn't felt rushed and it certainly had its ups and downs.
“I’m hungry, and I’m here, and if you don’t have plans, I’d like to take you to dinner.” She swallowed. “To discuss wedding stuff?” He shook his head once. “No. Because I want more, too.”
The plot is not complicated but very well done. This is my first book by Layne and you can bet it won't be my last. I enjoyed how the romance played out, how the writing was funny, heartfelt, hot, sexy, insightful and more. The ending was so sweet and I'm sure we'll see more of them in the rest of the books.
WOW! It's worth repeating my dear readers. WOW. Six of Crows was one of my favorite reads last year and I was dying to read Crooked Kingdom.
There so many things that make this book so good, the world building, the writing, the plot, but I think what I enjoyed the most was our cast of characters. The story continues where it ended, a week or so after the ending of Six of Crows and finds our main characters planing a rescue. In this installment we get to know them at a deeper level and loved to be there with them. Their stories are not all pretty, far from it. The series it's for an older YA audience, not because it's descriptive, but because of the themes it deals with.
Its hard to choose a favorite character and when I saw Leigh Bardugo last year for the signing of Six of Crows, and she asked that question, she was surprised that my answer was Kaz. I'm not so sure anymore. Not because I don't like him anymore, but because I got to know all of them much better. Kaz is so complicated, complex, an evil genius, with a tragic, traumatic past, but he's fair, loyal and take care of his crew. It's amazing how he's always a step ahead, how he seems to know everything and everyone. Inej is acrobat turned spy that is fiercely loyal, loving, pragmatic, with a strong sense of duty, but not afraid to bend the rules. Nina is sensual, funny, realistic, a powerful Grisha, with a sweet tooth and a forceful personality. Mathias is the sworn enemy of all Grisha, big, blond, blue eyed, strong, unbendable, strict and he's crazy about Nina. Jasper is a sharpshooter, a clown, a gambler, trill seeking, loyal, loving, and evasive. Wylan is a merchant's son that fell from grace, a genius chemist with a lot to prove, a confused, lonely young man that found a family with Kaz and his gang. Say yay for diversity, for awesomeness, for greatness and fangirling :)
Of course, there are a lot more characters, both good and bad, but I can't help but love Kaz's crew. Every single one of them.
“I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting.”
I have something to confess (please don't kill me!): I read Shadow and Bone, but never finished the Grisha series. There I've said it. I know I should try to finish it since I've only heard good things about it. Anyway, that is to say that I'm somewhat familiar of what Grisha are and can do, so the "world" was not completely new to me. However, Ketterdam is a whole other universe. It's a place full of canals, harbors, travel by boat that reminds me a lot of Holland. It's a place that worships money, commerce, and that houses merchants, gangs, university people, slaves, slums, and all sort of people. It felt so real that it was almost tangible.
“I am grateful you're alive", he said. "I am grateful that you're beside me. I am grateful that you're eating." She rested her head on his shoulder. "You're better that waffles, Matthias Helvar." A small smile curled the Fjerdan's lips. "Let's not say things we don't mean, my love.”
The plot is a masterpiece. I mean, what other word can I use to describe it? The fact that most of the action and plans come from Kaz's mind is mind-blowing (pardon the redundancy). Talk about twists and turns! I didn't try to guess what was going to happen, because more likely than not, I wouldn't be even close. It's so well done that I saw none of it coming. It's like trying to drive in an eternal "curve" where you can never see the other side of the street. SO good.
“No matter the height of the mountain, the climbing is the same.”
I'm not going to lie, my feels were broken by the end. Something awful happened and I don't even want to think about it because I'm going to cry again. So sad :( This book is intense, with a great balance between light and dark, hope and despair, hate and love, friendship and enemies. The writing is mesmerizing, it kept me up late at night and I wanted to be able to read faster and faster. I feel like the ending left an opening for more books or at least a nice novella, although I'm perfectly happy with it.
" Then I blinked, and the music was gone. Like a slice of winter wind the reality of Mama's absence from my life sucked the breath out of my lungs. I bunched my knees to my chest and sobbed, willing, the pain away."
You can get the basic premise of the blurb. Juliet is left deaf by a childhood disease, a fact that is wildly known as in those times it was perceived as an undesirable trait. After her mother's death a viscount appears that wants to buy her home. At the same time, Juliet finds (steals more like it) a flower that brings forth a handsome ghost. The story is a Gothic ghost mystery and I loved it!
Juliet has been sheltered and cherished by her mother and uncle all of her life. She has made the assumption that she needs to live her life in seclusion, making hats and being taken care of. She has an uncanny ability to read lips which is at times unrealistic, I guess this is where her ghost came in handy. By the end of the story, she grew up as a character to not jump into conclusions and trust others.
On to the romance! There is a love triangle, but not really. I mean, can we call it that if one of the 'points' in the triangle is a ghost? The main characters have been through a lot, especially Chaine, who had a childhood full of horrors. My heart broke for him.
"She provided light in the midst of an inconceivably evil darkness. It burned her image into his... and altered his future. I could never have imagined a woman worthy of such reverence. Yet I've found you to be captivating and courageous, worthy of all that and more. Not despite your deafness, but because of it. If that makes me a fool. I will probably wear the title."
The plot is full of unexpected twists and turns, every time I thought I knew were things were headed Howard provided another masterful twist. There is also a lot of confusion created by both the viscount and Juliet's uncle keeping so many secrets from her! Men think they know better and just create a dang mess! The writing is fluid, enthralling, interesting and lyrical in nature. I really enjoy the epilogue as it tied all the loose ends quite nicely.
Overall, The Architect of Song was a beautifully written tale of the power that hope has to change a life. I'm a little surprised that this is the first in a new series since this book has the most fulfilling ending. I guess I just have to wait August of next year and read The Hummingbird Heart, right?This review was originally posted on Quite the Novel Idea...more
I'm a big fan of Jayne Anne Krentz's contemporary novels as well as Amanda Quick's (one of her pseudonyms) historical novels. She always strikes just the right combination of romance and mystery and When All the Girls Have Gone is no exception.
Charlotte moved to Seattle to live near Jocelyn, her stepsister and only living relative. They are best friends and sisters so when Jocelyn leaves for a month-long internet-free in-the-middle of nowhere retreat, Charlotte agrees to take care of her apartment and mail. When Jocelyn's best friends suddenly dies, and murder is suspected, Charlotte starts worrying about her sister. Charlotte is smart, lively, and a little too trusting. Her previous boyfriend left her five days before their wedding, leaving a financial and emotional mess behind.
Max is a private investigator hired to look into the suspected murder and that's how he meets Charlotte. They team up since it seems like they are looking for the same answers. Max is handsome, divorced and with a painful childhood. He recently moved to Seattle to restart his life and open a private investigator office.
Charlotte and Max's relationship developed quickly, but it felt very real. That's usually the case fast moving, action packed thriller type of books. I liked that they were protective of each other, that they said what they thought and believed and didn't kept big secrets from each other. I like that they trusted each other and of course, that their love was genuine.
The plot is action packed and I have to confess that I suspected about one of It looks like this is the first book in a series instead of a stand-alone book. I feel like there is so much room for more, for us to learn about Max's brothers stories too.
"But Papa, why should I talk when I've nothing important to say?"
Miss Charlotte Holmes is the youngest of four sisters and she's odd. Charlotte reminds me of Dr. Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang theory. She's SO smart that she doesn't grasp the subtlety and importance of certain social norms. She learns to dress, control her appetite, say the right things at the right time, but some things still hold no meaning or importance to her. She's an avid reader, she loves to eat, she's very aware that her brain works differently that most people, she's also aware that the world is a nasty place for women and she wants to do more with her life than marry and have children. She makes up the name "Sherlock" to help the police with certain cases while pretending to be a man. HOWEVER, at the beginning of the story she makes a really stupid decision. I know it made sense to her, but probably to no one else. How could someone so smart don't foresee what was highly possible to happen?
"And what is your particular talent?"
"I'm not sure how to describe it. Or even if it is a talent, rather than a nuisance... Discernment, I suppose" Charlotte took a deep breath. "I can tell more about you, for instance, than you would want me to know."
You might be asking yourself if there is any romance. The answer is: maybe? I'm not sure? I don't want to give anything away, but there is a hint of what could be and might have been, but I have no idea how Thomas will pull this one off. I've only ever read the Elemental series by her and I adore it. One of the main reasons is the romance, so the lack of it in this book felt like something was missing. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed it immensely, the mystery itself was enough to keep me hanging to every word.
The plot is divided between the mystery that Sherlock is helping Inspector Treadles with and Charlotte finding her place in life outside of her parents house. The mystery is very intricate. I could not tell who'd done it for nothing. There is constant action and detective work and disguises, and Baker Street, and Watson... It's like visiting with an all friend :)
Other characters worth mentioning are Mrs. Watson, Inspector Treadles, Lord Ingram, and Livia. Mrs. Watson is a widow and she takes Charlotte under her protection and becomes her partner in crime (so to speak), encouraging Charlotte to use her talents to help others - for a fee, of course. Inspector Treadles works for Scotland Yard and is a young and smart inspector that has big ambitions. He has requested Sherlock's help through Lord Ingram for certain puzzling or unsolved cases. Lord Ingram is Charlotte's childhood friend and I feel like he really understands her so well. He made a catastrophic mistake on choosing a wife, but is willing to live with the consequences of his decision. He does care a lot for Charlotte. Livia is Charlotte's sister and loves her dearly. However, Livia is very unsure of herself and has very low self esteem and is not willing to stand up to her parents. I really liked all the characters, but some added more to the story than others. I loathed Charlotte's parents.
"What do you fear the most, Miss Holmes?"
"I..." Charlotte exhaled. She know what she feared, but she wasn't accustomed to voicing it aloud." "I fear always being beholden to someone else. I want to be independent - and I want to earn that independence. But I can no longer believe that fortunate state of affairs will ever come to pass, not with all the mistakes I've made."
The story is told in a third POV, so we can participate in all the story and the mystery as it's discovered. The ending was definite in respect to the mystery. Sherlock's life as a detective is just starting and she gets a new client right at the ending. I'm just now sure about the romance or lack thereof, then again Sherlock Holmes is not necessarily romance.
The characters - There is an incredible cast of characters. To be honest, the interaction and relationship between these two is worth the ticket for admission. Our main characters are Catalia (Cat) and Griffin. Cat has suffered unspeakable horrors, escaped and was "hiding" at a circus and earning her keep as a soothsayer. She has real powers that were granted to her by the gods, but is stubborn, distrustful and careful to show her true self to any one for fear of discovery. She's kidnapped by Griffin, which is a warlord and her match in every way. The banter between these two is priceless! It's funny, and heartfelt and a slow burning romance. I'm not sure that Cat completely trusts him yet, but she definitely loves him and is trying to get used to having a family. One of my favorite couples for sure!
World building and plot - The world is based on Greek mythology which I love. There are dragons, gods, griffins, and all that good stuff. The plot is so good. We learn the truth about the characters slowly and I'm sure we still have more to learn. It's complicated, fascinating and just pure awesome. There is war, shenanigans, jealous ex-girlfriends, best friends, lying, truths, fantastical creatures, gods, best friends and a circus. Amazing!
I'm happy with the ending, not a cliffhanger in site, BUT I suspect that all hell is going to break loose very soon. Just saying...
I truly loved this one. I adored the writing, the plot, the world building and above all Cat and Griffin :) I cannot wait for Breath of Fire, which I was granted access to recently. If you are an adult and you love fantasy this is a series for you. Read and you won't regret it!
After reading Thirteen Reasons Why by Asher I added What Light to my TBR list as soon as I learned about it (and look at the gorgeous cover!) I was mistakenly expecting a powerful and heartbreaking read, but that's not what this book is about. What Light was really good in a completely different way.
Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon and every year right before Thanksgiving, they leave for a lot they own to sell trees in a small town in California. She's always have this life and looks forward to the trip and to spend time with her friends and working in the lot. Sierra is very down to earth, smart, loving, a bit sarcastic, responsible and sweet. She almost seems too good to be true.
Caleb meets Sierra when he goes shopping for a Christmas tree. He sees in her a pretty girl that doesn't know about his past and takes the opportunity to make a new friend. A few years before Caleb did something that he regrets ever since. In a small town, no one allows him to forget about it and made him a pariah. I felt bad for him because deep down he felt guilty and he didn't forgave himself either. Caleb is handsome, sweet, generous, loyal, and fun.
I like how Sierra gave Caleb the benefit of the doubt, how she allowed him to prove himself, to be innocent until proven guilty. She made his life better and try to understand him and even fight some of his battles. They made a cute couple and got to know each other well, but developed feelings for each other quite fast-like.
I'm always happy to see parents that are involved in their teens' lives. I mean, my mom was that way and I'm that way with my sons, so it seems more realistic to me. That's the case with both Sierra's parents and Caleb's mom. I like how they kept tabs on them while giving them advice, but enough freedom to make their own mistakes.
I felt like the ending could have been better. It was not a cliffhanger per se, but it left a lot of questions for the future wide open. Of course, Caleb and Sierra only new each other for less than a month, so it's just the beginning for them and not the end. The writing is insightful, and thought provoking.
Overall, What Light was an easy, and fairly happy read full of holiday spirit and the power of second chances, redemption and truth.
The narrator for What Light is Mandy Siegfried and I think she did a great job. I had listen to some of the books in the Wings series in audio (by Aprillyne Pike) so I was familiar with Siegfried's work. The voices were distinctive from each other, even the male voices which I appreciated. The pace and the acting were booth great too.This review was originally posted on Quite the Novel Idea...more
I really loved Everything, Everything and I was eager to read Yoon’s new book, The Sun is Also a Star. I have to confess that I didn't love it as much as her previous book.
Natasha cynical, pragmatic, realistic, and a science nerd. She’s from Jamaica, from parents that are illegal immigrants and the family is being deported that day. She’s out on a quest to find a way to stay in the US when she meets Daniel.
Daniel was my favorite part of the story. He is the son of Korean immigrants that want his son to be a doctor and never have to be “poor”. He’s on his way to an interview to get into Yale when he meets Natasha and everything goes haywire form there. He’s a poet, a dreamer, an optimist.
Now, the story takes place in a day (less than 24 hours, really). AND Daniel and Natasha fall in love in that period of time. Now, being the romantic that I am, I do believe in love-at-first-sight. BUT I think that while somewhat believable, things went to fast for me.
I have to give Yoon kudos for the diversity that lives within the pages of the book and for her portrait of NYC. It probably hits close to her own situation and it feels like a more personal book from her. I really like the writing, however this book is not for everyone. I felt that the “insight” chapters (that’s what I’m calling them, but they are kind of intermissions within the story form others POVs) like an interruption to the natural flow of Natasha and Daniel’s story. Are they relevant? Sometimes. But I felt I could have done without.
After the last chapter, I was about to have a conniption, but the epilogue was this book’s saving grace. That’s all I’m saying about it.
I hope I could say that I loved The Sun is Also a Star as much as I did Yoon’s debut, but I didn’t.
The audiobook for The Sun is Also a Star has three narrators. Bahni Turpin for Natasha, Raymond Lee for Daniel and Dominic Hoffman for the multitude of other POVs and “insight” chapters in the book. I really like when books from multiple POVs have more than one narrator, however I just didn’t like Natasha’s voice. I think the acting was really good, but the not the voice. Lee as Daniel was excellent and Hoffman was more of a monotone since it was mostly narrating/informing as an objective party.This review was originally posted on Quite the Novel Idea...more