I borrowed this book from a friend in high school. I was unsure about it, since his suggestions were not always good, but as soon as I started this boI borrowed this book from a friend in high school. I was unsure about it, since his suggestions were not always good, but as soon as I started this book, I could not put it down! Not only is the plot compelling, but the setting is fantastic, the characters rich and wonderful and funny, the illustrations mind-blowing. This book attacks you from all sides: the adventurous, the somber, the wondrous, the illustrious, the heart-warming, the heart-breaking.
Candy Quackenbush is a normal grew living in Chickentown, Minnesota, when one day she is kicked out of class. Instead of walking home, Candy simply walks straight into the vast fields surrounding Chickentown. It is there she meets an incredible creature named John Mischief that becomes her friend and companion on a journey into an incredible new world called the Abarat.
If you are a fan of fantasy and sci-fi, please please PLEASE read this book!...more
Fire is described as a companion book to Cashore's Graceling. It's a prequel to the first novel in Cashore's Seven Kingdoms Trilogy, which is to be completed with the publication of Bitterblue in September of 2011.
But in reality, Fire is its own force. It does not rely on the popularity of Graceling. It does not rely on the beautiful cover or the premise of the story. Fire is the story of one of the most wonderful protagonists I have ever read about: Fire, the monster-girl, the person who, against the odds, fought persecution and prejudice to find her place in a world where she is the last of her kind. A place where people want to do terrible things to her.
I absolutely love this book. As I wrote about on my writing blog here, this book totally captured me. It inspired to me to do something better with my own writing. This is because Cashore is an extremely talented writer. Her voice is her own and her characters are nearly three dimensional.
The story and plot in Fire was stronger to me than Graceling, but what was extraordinary in both of Cashore's works is her sense of character. The characters are real. They progress throughout the book. They develop into stronger people throughout the story, something that I find missing from a great many Young Adult novels.
Please read this! If you loved Graceling, you will love this more. And if you love romance, you will love Fire....more
Sophie Mercer is not your ordinary girl... she's a witch. A fact that seems to get her in a lot of trouble these days, forcing her mother to relocateSophie Mercer is not your ordinary girl... she's a witch. A fact that seems to get her in a lot of trouble these days, forcing her mother to relocate them every time one of her spells doesn't go quite right. Then, she's sent to Hecate Hall, a reform school for "others" like herself: Shifters, Faeries, Witches and even Vampires.
Complete with boarding school drama, a murder mystery, magic and Sophie's unparalleled humor, Hex Hall is irresistible! I couldn't put it down and I most certainly can't wait for the sequel. ...more
Poison Study is one of the best books I have read in quite some time. I will admit right now that I most willingly abandoned my homework and reading aPoison Study is one of the best books I have read in quite some time. I will admit right now that I most willingly abandoned my homework and reading assignments from school to finish this book.
There are so many reasons to LOVE this book. First off, the story. Oh my goodness, the story! I was enthralled with Snyder's mix of historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy and romance. It is a perfect blend of my most favorite genres and is written so well that it overcame any possibility of cliché. The plot itself is one part thriller, one part political intrigue and one part romance.
Then there are the characters. From Yelena's stubborn strength and will power to Valek's deadly power to Ari and Janco's playful banter, I fell in love with these characters. Each persona is carefully crafted with incredible detail by Snyder, so that you feel like you know them.
Then comes the setting. Poison Study, along with the sequels Magic Study and Fire Study are set in a world comprised of the countries Ixia and Sitia. Ixia is ruled by Commander Ambrose, whose strict ruling over the country lacks grandeur and condemns magic, while Sitia is ruled by the Head Magicians and reveres those with magical capabilities. I love the way Snyder unfolded her fantastic setting in the novels. She does so in such a way that enriches the already interesting landscape and adds dimension to her stunning characters and enticing plots.
On another note, there has been some debate over whether or not Poison Study is a Young Adult novel or not. I think this is a definite problem with the book, as it contains more (slightly) adult content than most other Teen or Young Adult fiction. This is why I've classified the book as Semi-YA.
Now, if you're wondering if I have any negative comments about Poison Study, here it comes: the only thing I can generally say that bothered me about this book, and Snyder's other books in the Study series, is her sense of fashion. Yes, I just complained about the author's fashion sense. This is because when describing the clothing of her characters, Snyder often picked styles and colors that I just did not find flattering to the imagination. And yes, that is my only complaint. :)
Please please read this book. Then read the other books in the series: Magic Study and Fire Study.
Overall Grade: A+ Would I read it again? Most certainly, YES! Would I recommend it to others? Yes. I just did!...more
One of my most favorite books ever. An intense blend of magic, history, war and the macabre, Clarke has an amazing mastery of language. Her tongue-in-cOne of my most favorite books ever. An intense blend of magic, history, war and the macabre, Clarke has an amazing mastery of language. Her tongue-in-cheek narrative left me chuckling under my breath and spellbound all at once. A book I will read over and over again throughout my life without tiring of it. Amazing....more
As fast-paced, gut-wrenching and intense as the first two books in the series, Mockingjay certainly lives up to the expectations of the series' loyalAs fast-paced, gut-wrenching and intense as the first two books in the series, Mockingjay certainly lives up to the expectations of the series' loyal fan base. ...more
Sydelle Mirabel's dreary life in her dusty corner of the kingdom is changed forever when the wizard Wayland North visits their village, and brSummary:
Sydelle Mirabel's dreary life in her dusty corner of the kingdom is changed forever when the wizard Wayland North visits their village, and brings their first drop of rain in over a decade. Along with the rain comes a band of soldiers from the neighboring nation, a move that North says is the beginning of war.
North is offered any help or favor he desires from the Mirabel family, both for bringing an end to their debilitating drought and an early warning of the army's invasion. But much to everyone's surprise, North names his favor: to have Sydelle accompany him on his cross-country quest to warn the leaders of the nation that they are about to go to war with the wrong enemies.
Although Sydelle has always dreamed of leaving her small village, she is distraught at having to leave her family and friends just as soldiers invade the town. However, to return order to her hometown, she must abide North and his frustrating ways, so that they may stop the war from the source.
As their journey progresses, Sydelle becomes aware of something awry with their journey. Firstly, North dodges all of her questions about why he chose her to accompany him. Second, everywhere they turn Sydelle finds herself nose-to-nose with other magicians who seems strangely interested in her, a phenomenon which, again, North fails to explain to her. And lastly, North himself: prone to mood swings, strange illnesses and vulgarity, Sydelle is forced to grapple with his confusing character even as she struggles with the feelings inside herself.
This debut fantasy novel by Alexandra Bracken completely blew me away! I fell in love with Sydelle's world, with Bracken's characters and the interesting places she took the story. I definitely could not put it down.
The story in Brightly Woven is a new take on the typical fantasy novel, complete with romance, adventure, danger, magic and dangerous secrets.
I loved the relationship between Sydelle and North and how the plot influenced their view of one another. Bracken expertly weaved the relationship with depth and mystery and frustration and magic. I especially loved the major plot twist about Sydelle that Bracken included. It really helped deepen their relationship and it most certainly made for an exciting read.
Wayland North himself has got to be one of my favorite characters of all time. His strange moods, lack of a sense-of-direction and the painful secrets of his past made him lovable, laughable and most certainly memorable.
An excellent debut young adult fantasy novel from a crazy-gifted author....more
Anna Grazinsky is not your typical Countess. Despite the palaces, royal relatives, and the finest jewels in all of Russia, Anna manages to remSummary:
Anna Grazinsky is not your typical Countess. Despite the palaces, royal relatives, and the finest jewels in all of Russia, Anna manages to remain unscathed by snobbery, entitlement or general unpleasantness. She is charming, happy, carefree and honest.
Then, when the political situation in Russia becomes unstable and later leads to outright revolution, Anna and her family are forced to free their land, their nation and their social status for England, where Anna takes up a position in the household of the Earl of Westerholme, to much opposition by her mother. Upon arrival at Mersham, it is clear to the head housemaid and butler of the home that Anna is of regal upbringing, yet after much begging and pleading by the Countess, they reluctantly take her on.
Although the staff at Mersham is completely set on hating the new Russian maid, they are victims of Anna's charisma, including her ridiculous reliance on a horribly out-of-date guide to housekeeping and her over-the-top curtsies. It is clear that no one is immune to Anna's charms, not even the Earl himself, despite his imminent marriage to the beautiful but horrible Muriel.
I was blown away by A Countess Below Stairs! Eva Ibbotson is clearly a master storyteller, as evident in her ability to make a book with very little action extremely exciting, to make a character like Anna gleam with happiness without becoming cliche, and to make this charming book a lasting fairy tale that I know I will read again and again.
I must reiterate how expertly Ibbotson crafted her characters, in that by the middle of the novel, you felt you knew each one as if they were your most intimate friends or enemies, and you loved the good ones, hated the bad ones, and sympathized with the more complex ones. I was truly amazed at how invested I felt in Anna's story only 30 pages into the book and I will again attribute this to Ibbotson's style and not to the story itself, for although the story is very very good, it would have become something trite and cheesy under a less expert author.
Overall Grade: A+ Would I read it again? Yes... oh my yes! Would I recommend it to others? Yes!...more
Divergent is not only the best dystopian book I've read since The Hunger Games series, it's also one of the most thrilling, touching, and captivating books I've read all year. In fact, it may even be close to knocking Suzanne Collins' epic trilogy off its pedestal if the next two books in the series are as amazing as the debut!
Beatrice, AKA Tris, is an amazing heroine. She is faced with the incredible task of deciding the rest of her life at the age of 16, with the pressure of her family and her faction's expectations on her shoulders. After she makes her choice, one of several difficult ones that she must make throughout the book, she launches into her new life.
I think what made Tris such a compelling main character is that even at the beginning of the novel, she is already at odds with her environment. As the books moves along, she continues to struggle with her surroundings, including the people that form them. Tris is the underdog of all underdogs and her struggles are at times difficult, and at times thrilling to behold!
Divergent is the kind of book that you cannot stop reading for hours on end. But when you finally do pause and glance up from the page, you are surprised to find that you are not Tris. That you are not right there fighting, learning, and scrapping to stay alive right along side her.
This book has an addictive quality to it, much like The Hunger Games. There is a constant sense of competition, survival, and violence that keeps the pace moving along at breakneck speeds.
However, the moral side of this story, as well as the romance, is just as palpable as the action. I loved the way that Roth explained Tris' world in relation to its governing factions. The principals that these groups represent create a great theme throughout the novel! Also, the romantic relationships in Divergent are very resonant for a book that sometimes borders on grizzly.
Read this book! The only reason you shouldn't get off the couch and run to your local bookstore... (or pick up your finger and click over to Amazon...) RIGHT THIS SECOND... is if you do not like to read amazing books. Well?! Do you?!...more
Jane has all the mystery, romance, and suspense of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. It is lyrical and intense. At times desperately sad, and at times blissfully wonderful.
What if Mr. Rochester was a rock star? A world-famous, honest to goodness rock star?
I absolutely loved this book. I have always loved the story of Jane Eyre, because of the decidedly different relationship between Jane and Mr. Rochester, the way that Jane grows, develops, and always stands up for her beliefs.
Lindner's adaptation of Jane Eyre is absolutely exquisite. I found her story to be a great mimic of the original, but with enough originality of its own to become a new Young Adult Classic. I seriously recommend this book to anyone that is a fan of contemporary novels, romance, and stories where the smart yet plain heroine gets the rock star. :)...more
You need to read this book. Even if you've already read it, read it again. If you first read a copy from the libOriginally posted at Redhead Heroines!
You need to read this book. Even if you've already read it, read it again. If you first read a copy from the library, like I did, spend $10 to order it from Amazon, like I did.
I felt an immediate, intense connection to Andi. We are thrown into her hard life as she struggles to succeed in school, compensate for her mother's mental illness, and battle the demons of her brother's death two years ago. Andi takes an anti-anxiety, anti-depression medication called Qwell, which she manipulates depending on her mood. If you know anyone that suffers from depression, or personally suffer from it yourself, Andi's life will certainly ring true.
Music and history reign supreme in Revolution. In the novel, you are only in Andi's head until one-third of the way into the book. That's where we meet Alexandrine, AKA Alex, living in Revolutionary France, acting as companion to the doomed Prince Louis-Charles. Alex's story was extremely riveting and her voice true. I found Alex's journal entries as compelling as Andi's voice in modern-day Paris and New York. Donnelly weaves these two narratives together with seriously impressive skill.
The music aspect comes into the novel right off the bat. Andi plays guitar, sings and writes her own songs. I loved reading about the way that music helped Andi along in the most difficult times of her life. Also, it was interesting to read about the subject of her school project, which is why she was forced to Paris with her father in the first place, Amade Malherbeau.
Just when you think you understand the type of book you've gotten yourself into, Donnelly completely throws a curve-ball and merges Andi and Alex's worlds into one in an amazing, unforgettable way.
I know that this review is all over the place, but that's only because Revolution has so much to offer: Music, history, loss, grief, triumph, mystery and yes, romance. Don't even get me started on the romance in this book. It's definitely one of my favorite love stories in all the young adult fiction that I have ever read. Truly.
Please read this book. You will never, ever forget it!...more