It's more a 3.5 to 4, whether then a solid 4, but I rounded up because it was rather good.
Everyone knows which two things in life are inevitable – deaIt's more a 3.5 to 4, whether then a solid 4, but I rounded up because it was rather good.
Everyone knows which two things in life are inevitable – death and taxes. But what if death wasn’t inevitable? What if you could live several lives? Would you act differently knowing you might be able to come back? Would you, maybe, take more risks?
Daisy takes on several last names over the course of this book, but for identification purposes let’s call her Daisy Appleby. It’s not her real name, but it’s the first one used in reference to her, so it’s the one I tend to associate with her. Daisy has been in a secret government project, titled Revive, for the drug, for the past eleven years. She didn’t ask to be a part of the project, but she was chosen and survived the treatment, so she became a part of it regardless. When we meet Daisy, she’s dying. In fact, she does die. It’s not pretty and it’s not elegant, but it happens. It’s happened four times to Daisy and she remembers each time. We don’t get all the specifics, but it’s enough to make you wonder if a company somewhere is developing this drug already and no one knows about it yet.
With each death, Daisy and her ‘handlers’, the agents who pose as her parents, must move and change their last name. At her new school, she meets and befriends a girl named Audrey. Audrey is her first real friend outside the program and I think finally having a tie to where she lives, a tie to the people who don’t know about Revive, starts making her question her life and what was done to her. Daisy doesn’t make some good choices, basically she does something I rant about in my notes that will ‘blow up in her face’, but because she’s a fictional character and I didn’t write the book, she does it anyway. And it does, in fact, blow up in her face.
The ensuing events that take place after the bad decisions start Daisy on the path to finding out more about the program, about herself, and the man behind everything than she ever wanted to know. In retrospect, I wonder if she would’ve done things differently. If she’d taken the safe route, things would not have changed so dramatically. Or maybe they would have. I guess we’ll never really know.
I really liked Daisy and Mason’s relationship. I also liked Matt and how Cat described hers and Matt’s connection. It was cute and fun and reminded me of my first love, of how consuming they are to you and how aware you are of every move they make. The first kiss was sigh-worthy and the small ways they would touch, like a bump of the shoulders or a small caress of the hand, made me smile fondly in remembrance of when those used to be monumental moments in time.
Overall, this was an interesting read. I wish Cat had gone into the science of Revive more, but I understand why she didn’t. It wasn’t about the program, but about Daisy. This is another standalone book, (I seem to be drawn to them recently), so we get answers and a conclusion, even though it could have easily been turned into a series. I marked it as science fiction, but really, it reads more like a contemporary teen book with a touch of science fiction to it.
Revived comes out May 8th through Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. This is the second book Cat Patrick has written and the first I’ve read from her. I have Forgotten, her debut novel, and look forward to reading it after enjoying this one so much....more
I was worried for a while since the first half of the book didn't pull me in like Maggie Stiefvater books usually do, but once they got into the mysteI was worried for a while since the first half of the book didn't pull me in like Maggie Stiefvater books usually do, but once they got into the mystery part of the story, I was hooked.
And that ending! Oh, man, I need the next book already. *waits impatiently*...more
Years ago I read Possession by A.S. Byatt. If you haven’t read it, it follows the discovery of an intense love affair between two Victorian writers anYears ago I read Possession by A.S. Byatt. If you haven’t read it, it follows the discovery of an intense love affair between two Victorian writers and how two people journey to unearth the entire truth about what happened to the writers. Along the way, they become entangled in the lives of these writers and start their own love affair with each other. It was made into a movie about ten years ago with Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart, which was okay, in case you don’t want to read the book.
Anyway, all that to say, when I read the summary for Illuminated, I immediately thought of Possession.
Illuminated is a medieval literature crash course. I honestly didn’t know anything about medieval literature beyond what I was forced to learn in school, so thank goodness for Wikipedia. I now know much more about medieval monks, poetry and just how much books from that era go for at auctions. (And holy crap, it’s a lot.)
The story is focused on Callie Matthews as we follow her from the moment she starts researching the history behind the palimpsest she’s been given by her uncle, whom she is staying with for the summer, to a wrap up of what happens after they discover the mystery behind it. And when the devastatingly handsome August Sokolov is introduced in the first couple chapters, I decided to become very interested in medieval literature.
There is an intense case of insta-lust, which turns to insta-love for these two, but if you decide to go with it, then it’s not that bad. As a standalone book, (yay for the standalones!) it works. If it had been pulled out over the course of more than one book, it would have grown stale, so I’m glad Erica stuck to one.
Overall, the mystery part to the manuscript was interesting and the romance between the two kids was very cute, with a HEA , which is a nice change of pace. It’s also a rather fast read that I finished in one sitting. If you’re looking for a cute summer read, I’d recommend reading this....more
I thought I knew what this book was going to be about based off the summary. Oh, it’s another one of those “Freaky Friday” switch-a-roo books, I mistaI thought I knew what this book was going to be about based off the summary. Oh, it’s another one of those “Freaky Friday” switch-a-roo books, I mistakenly thought. The only real reason I picked it up is because Roxanne St Claire wrote it as her YA debut novel. But I was wrong to force it into the same category as those books that share a similar plot. I should have known better. Serves me right, actually, for doubting Roxanne.
The first thing I want to point out is the SCIENCE in this book. It was actually explained! It wasn’t your typical “magical artifact mysteriously found and then used with unexpected results”. No. There was SCIENCE involved. Thank you, Roxanne St Claire, for fulfilling a wish of mine I didn’t even know I had until now for the young adult genre. Basically, we need more alternative universes where people are AWARE of the other universes. Can someone start writing a SLIDERS type series for YA? Because I want it. You’d have at least one loyal reader and I’m sure I could recruit some other people to read it as well. (Also, ten points to you if you know what Sliders is without having to Google it.)
While the first part of the story went pretty much the way I’d thought it would go, the second half was a pleasant surprise. A boy in Annie’s new life where she’s Ayla now becomes a more prominent character and kind of steals the show. He’s such a sweetheart and helps Ayla figure out why she’s here and how to get her back to her old life, should she choose that one over her current dream-like one. I adored him and wanted to visit this alternative universe where he existed because where was he while I was in high school? No, seriously. Where was he?
Overall, I thought this was a good book and a new twist on a previously overdone plot. I honestly wasn’t sure it would all work out until the very end, but somehow Roxanne pulled it off and it works as a standalone. (I do love standalones.)
Don’t You Wish comes out July 10th by Random House Children’s Books....more
I got halfway through and then had to skip to the end because I got bored with the story. Everything I thought would happen apparently did happen, soI got halfway through and then had to skip to the end because I got bored with the story. Everything I thought would happen apparently did happen, so I'm glad I didn't keep reading it....more
Such a disappointment, is more apt a title. Just about everything I liked about the first book was absent from this one. I really hope the next one reSuch a disappointment, is more apt a title. Just about everything I liked about the first book was absent from this one. I really hope the next one redeems the series, otherwise I'll be treating it as a first book standalone....more
If you’ve read Poe, then you should know the story of the Masque of the Red Death. It’s a short story that describes a sweeping illness across the lanIf you’ve read Poe, then you should know the story of the Masque of the Red Death. It’s a short story that describes a sweeping illness across the land and how its ruler, Prince Prospero, tries to outrun it by hiding out with a few hundred of his closest friends. But he soon learns, you can’t outrun Death.
While you can see the story Poe created in the book Bethany Griffin wrote, she also makes it her own by giving the illness a name, giving the country its set in a backstory, and focusing not on Prince Prospero, but a young girl who feels she doesn’t deserve to live anymore named Araby Worth.
At the beginning of the book, I felt like I was reading about a robot. Araby was essentially a blank slate who lived each moment only by blinking and breathing and refusing to feel a single thing. She’d cut herself off from the world and the tone of the book reflected that. Told in stilted sentences and jumps in times and places, Araby describes the devastated world around her in the wake of the Weeping Sickness.
A lot happens in this book; more than I thought would happen. Araby is kind of tossed around between two factions of the increasingly coming war between Prince Prospero and Reverend Malcontent, just because she’s the daughter of the scientist who created the air masks that can save lives and is also friends with the Prince’s niece. Slowly, she becomes more aware of herself and what’s happening around her, and toward the end of the book, actually starts to make a stand on where she wants to be in the upcoming fight.
The book tries to set up a love triangle, but honestly, there’s no contest. Simply because one of the guys is a jerk. And he never stops being a jerk. I have no idea why Araby puts up with him because he’s just a huge jerk who might be insane. If she starts liking him in the next book, I will throw it at the wall.
Overall, this was an interesting idea that became a fascinating world. The tone was a bit depressing, as was Araby, but it was still interesting enough to finish. And I want to read the next one just to see what happens next, which is always a good sign. If you like Poe, depressing main characters, and hints of steampunk dystopia, then I recommend reading this book....more
I got this book months ago and read it almost right away because the summary just grabbed me. Once you read said summary for this book, y’all are goinI got this book months ago and read it almost right away because the summary just grabbed me. Once you read said summary for this book, y’all are going to think I’m crazy for recommending it. BUT I hope you give it a chance because it really is a cute, sweet story, though kind of silly, but isn’t that what most fairy tales are anyway?
In case you can’t tell from the summary, this is a retelling of the Ugly Duckling with Emmeline as the Duckling. This poor girl didn’t have the best life growing up, but she perseveres through with her father and her favorite cows, who are pretty much her only friends. I felt so bad for Emmeline at the beginning of the story. As the book progresses, her circumstances change, especially when her special gift is discovered.
Btw, magically making chocolate from milk has to be the best superpower EVER. It may not be good enough to save the world, but it would save me from rampaging villages when I start having intense chocolate cravings.
Owen was adorable. The book does switch point of views once we reach the point in the story where Owen shows up, so we get a back story on him as well. The things he goes through for Emmeline, once he starts to like her, is just… *sigh*. I guess it’s romantic, although I’d rather he didn’t have to go through all that just to get the girl, but it’s a fairytale, so there’s always hardships for the otherwise happy couple.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but there is a lot more to this story than Emmeline magically making chocolate. There’s adventure and romance and devious schemes and near misses and heartfelt moments. It’s deeper than the summary lets on, which was great to discover since I went into it apprehensive of what kind of story could be taken from the Ugly Duckling. Suzanne Selfors did a great job here and I look forward to reading more from her. (Btw, her book Mad Love sounds really cute, too. I’ve already made a note to read it.)...more
WARNING: This review will likely have spoilers for the Mercy series by Rebecca Lim, which includes Mercy and Exile.
Caitlin: My favourite thing about tWARNING: This review will likely have spoilers for the Mercy series by Rebecca Lim, which includes Mercy and Exile.
Caitlin: My favourite thing about this book? ANSWERS! I love getting answers, don’t you?
Christine: I do. Some of them I’d already figured out before the main character, Mercy, but the BIG one was answered. Of course it was an ‘A-ha!’ moment, like yes, I should have realized that was the answer before and now I feel kind of silly that it took me this long to get it. *sigh*
Caitlin: Yes, I understand this feeling. I never figure anything out early. So, this time Mercy wakes up in the body of a young, hugely famous modal in Milan. It is days before her big runway show that is set to save her career but all Mercy wants is to find Ryan, the human she has feelings for, or Luc, the angel she is obsessed with. Or possibly she wants both. She is very confused on the subject of men.
Christine: Aren’t we all? By the end of the book, though, I think she’s clearly made her choice about that particular problem.
The fashion and model thing really threw me for a loop during this book. I’m used to her being placed in normal girls with not much going for them, someone she can embody in order to hide her from Luc. I know why they put her in who they did, but it wasn’t altogether clear at the beginning. It was, however, rather funny reading about her stumbling attempts to wear five inch heels and learning the art of standing still while wearing very expensive clothing.
Caitlin: It all seems like it would be so easy. Except for the heels. I’m no good with heels either. Besides fashion and drama in the fashion world, we get to see a lot more of the angels responsible for Mercy’s current situation. Which was good but also strange? Like how the world just stopped for like two chapters so Mercy could have a conversation with one of them. Right when she was in the middle of a busy…thing. It made me restless and eager to get back to the normal world while they were just chatting.
And we didn’t get to know her real name. This bothers me so much. I need to know. It was used by others in the book but we don’t get to know. Why????
Christine: Take a deep breath. I have a feeling we’ll learn it in the next and final book, Fury. Which by the way, I love that title. It’s definitely time for Mercy to fight back instead of being a doormat.
I’m actually okay not knowing her real name, probably because I’ve read other books where people’s real names are not used (The Time Machine, anyone?). It doesn’t take anything away from Mercy as a character.
Can we all just take a second to look at Ryan and his choices and his absolute faith in Mercy and how incredibly awesome he is? I want a Ryan. I want someone to love me so much he’ll fly to the other side of the world for me. Oh, Ryan. You’re too perfect to be real.
Caitlin: I’m hoping we see more of Ryan in Fury as well. It seems like we will because of…well…things. I’ve missed him these past two books.
I liked that there was some intense death and destruction at the end. Rebecca Lim is not afraid to just kill people off, just when you’re starting to care about them. It was a very exciting last couple of chapters and I like how everything came together at the end.
Christine: Yes! Very exciting. I hated putting the book down during those last chapters. I have no idea how that’s all going to play out, since you know there were cameras everywhere and people love stopping in the middle of the street to take video with their phones. It should make for a very exciting end book.
For as much as we’ve learned about Mercy and probably will learn, I liked how she kind of came into her own during the end of the book. In the first book and in Exile, you get a hopeless and almost martyr sense from her while she’s looking for answers about her existence. While I understand her reliance on Luc, I’m glad she finally got to see him as he is now, instead of how he portrays himself to be in her dreams. I also liked seeing her fight back. You saw small bits of that fire in her in the other books, but this one really brought it out of her.
Caitlin: I suspect she will continue to be a little angry in Fury. I mean, the title is a bit of a clue. But other than Mercy being angry I cannot quite imagine what is going to happen in the next one. Or where it’s going to leave us at the end. I realize April isn’t a terribly long wait for a book but why do we have to wait at all?
I need to know what happens to Mercy and Ryan.
Christine: Me, too, which is why I’m so glad I know you and will be able to read the book early. Silly US publishers and their weird publishing schedule.
Reviewed with Caitlin, a fellow reviewer on WhatchYAreading.net.
Caitlin: ALL THE RYAN!!!
Christine: Yes. That sums up aWarning: There will be spoilers.
Reviewed with Caitlin, a fellow reviewer on WhatchYAreading.net.
Caitlin: ALL THE RYAN!!!
Christine: Yes. That sums up all my feelings for Fury nicely.
Caitlin: After falling in love with not only the character of Ryan, but Ryan and Mercy together, in the first book it was so nice to see them working together again.
Christine: I have to say, I was kind of hating Mercy in the beginning of the book because she was SO HARD on Ryan about being human. Like it’s his fault for being so fragile in the fight against angels and demons. But she eventually came around and it was all Ryan, Ryan, Ryan! An entire book with Ryan in it was lovely.
Caitlin: I liked that they finally had time to talk about their relationship and get somewhere instead of just trying to find one another. It And I didn’t think she was being too hard on him for being human. More she was fully coming into the realization that she wasn’t human and that they were basically doomed. In more ways than one. Their relationship would never work and they Lucifer and all of his demon hordes after them.
So, there were problems.
Christine: I guess. I just felt bad for Ryan and the situation they were in.
I liked how the conclusion to the overall story arc happened. Fury was like one long fight that burned the night sky, full of yelling and blood, until the very last page. It was a LOT different than the other books, but in a good way because we finally get to see Mercy in her element.
Caitlin: And all of the other angels! I loved that we got travel around the world and see all these places that were important to Mercy (And Lucifer) and really see Mercy become a hero. I loved how she was just sick of being everyone’s butt monkey1 and took her life, Ryan’s life, and the fate of the world into her own hands. Refused to give in to what everyone else wanted and basically became a badass fighting angel with guns.
I want more of that.
Christine: Yes. Her becoming badass was awesome. Being incredibly stubborn, I could see her fighting against the other angels’ ideas of how she should react to Lucifer’s quest to possess her. There were a few moments I wanted to cry because of Ryan never admitting defeat with her, so I’m glad he was there for her.
Caitlin: I liked that the book ended where the series began. And that it came down to a battle of wits more than a battle of might.
Christine: I have so many feelings about the ending. Because I honestly didn’t see how it could turn out alright and have Ryan and Mercy be together and safe. The last scene was a surprise, but I’m glad Rebecca went that route. It certainly didn’t conclude everything about the conflict between angels and demons, but it did a good enough job for me to be happy. Now if she could write another book just about Ryan and Mercy in their new life, I would be uber happy because I don’t know if I could ever get enough Ryan.
Caitlin: Yes! I was perfectly happy with the ending! I was glad to see that it didn’t wrap everything up in a nice little bow but it wrapped up enough that I was left in a good place and I felt that the characters could go on to have a perfectly normal life or go on to have adventures. Whichever suited my need for their happiness. It’s always nice when an author does that.
The one thing I was upset about is that we never got know Mercy’s real name. Not cool. Not cool at all. It’s going to bother me FOREVER!
Christine: Maybe you can send Rebecca or her editor a quick email asking for it? For your own personal knowledge, of course. Because I would very much like to know it as well. I get that she’s not that girl or angel anymore, but it still would’ve been nice to know the big secret that everyone was in on except Mercy and Ryan.
Caitlin: Also, young adult books have forever made me happy that my “true” name cannot control me. It seems a common problem in fictionlandia and, well, everyone knows my true name.
Christine: It seems to be common with the Fae. But you never know if it can control you. Have you met an angel or the Fae yet? No. So you don’t know.
Caitlin: And with that chilling thought, I think we’re done here.
If you live in Australia, England, or Canada (possibly other Common Wealth Countries as well?) you can pick up the entire Mercy series wherever books are sold. If you live in the USA I believe book 2, Exile, comes out soon....more
Caitlin: So, I picked up this book based solely on its potential to be adorable. And it did not disappoinReviewed with Caitlin at Whatchyareading.net.
Caitlin: So, I picked up this book based solely on its potential to be adorable. And it did not disappoint.
Christine: Me too. I was very excited to see it at ALA. I love fairy tales of all sorts, and the sudden popularity of them in books, television and movies nowadays makes me very happy. Enchanted is like the culmination of all the fairy tales you’ve ever known in one book. Seriously, I lost count at how many were either hinted at or directly involved in the plot of this book.
Caitlin: Yes! The plot was a lot more complicated than I’d gotten the impression it was going to be from the blurb. I was expecting a Prince-former-frog to be doing all he could to win the affections of a girl who loved him as a frog but instead we got family drama, political intrigue, and more siblings than I knew what to do with.
Not that this was a bad thing. I loved Sunday’s family and all the different fairy tales they brought into the mix and how they were all more important than you think at the beginning of the book.
Christine: The family dynamic did take some getting used to. Just getting the siblings in order was confusing at first, but it definitely helps all the girls are named after a day of the week, Sunday being the youngest.
I don’t know why, but for some reason, I wasn’t expecting magic to be as prevalent as it was in this book. Like, does everyone have a fairy godmother? It was like that in Ella Enchanted, and they are quite common in other fairy tales, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty coming to mind. After reading about their fairy godmothers, I don’t want one. I thought when I was younger that having one would be cool, but no. I don’t want one. I’m good being normal and un-magic-y.
Also, what Rumbold went through just sounds horrible. I really felt bad for the guy. He was caught in the middle of something that wasn’t even his fault. Poor Rumbold.
Caitlin: I agree about the fairy godmothers, they seemed to cause more trouble than they warrant. I suppose it’d be nice to be the only person in the world with one, but if everyone has one then they all seem to cancel each other out.
And Rumbold, whether as a frog or a prince, was always so adorable and nice. I didn’t want anything bad to happen to him.
Christine: He was adorable and nice. But I have to wonder if he was like that because of his change or if he was like that before. Would he have turned out nice and adorable if he hadn’t met Sunday and gone through what he did? Without the change hanging over his head? It was hinted that his behavior that last year before he ‘went under’ was reckless and scandalous. I wonder what kind of man he’d have been if he hadn’t changed. Regardless, since I don’t think time travel is possible in this world, Rumbold is adorable. His love for Sunday and his utter need for her made me grin. This book was also funny, especially between Sunday’s family members. I also liked Rumbold’s friends, well, cousin, knight and servant… person. Can’t quite remember his title. Manservant? Butler? Eh, I guess it doesn’t matter. He was still Rumbold’s friend. The relationships in this book were very well written, even from people who didn’t physically appear and were only talked about. I very much want to learn more about Thursday and Monday and what really happened to Jack Jr.
Caitlin: Yes! I need a Thursday book so bad! And Trix. He was so intriguing. I need more about him. Also, I loved when he went to town to sell the cow and immediately you know they aren’t getting any money from the cow. Trix is so the type of person to think highly of magic beans.
I want to talk about the ending but we can’t really without going into too many details. But (a) wow, the situation in the castle was MESSED up. And (b) I just loved every little bit of the ending. I loved how things turned out for Sunday, and I loved that it was a little mysterious and bittersweet. And I loved that Sunday did not enjoy wearing shoes.
Christine: I liked the ending as well. It definitely wasn’t typical and wow, yes, the situation was messed up. I was not expecting that at all. Also, now that I think about it, I want to know more about Wednesday and why she is the way she is and what that’s going to mean for the fey. Oh, and also I want to know more about Victor, Rumbold’s cousin, because he was very intriguing and I think him and Wednesday would have interesting interactions.
Um, basically, can Alethea write a book for every person ever mentioned in Enchanted? That would be great, thanks.