Oh, shadow-prince, young thief of night, Ye intice in me much of spite; For though thou've set mine soul alight-- What I next read must show as trite.**
T...moreOh, shadow-prince, young thief of night, Ye intice in me much of spite; For though thou've set mine soul alight-- What I next read must show as trite.**
This is one of those rare books that I both love and hate.
I hate it because I love it so much, and I know there's nothing out there like this--exactly like this--at the moment and I now wander bookshelves with all the zombie-eyed charm of an addict desperate for my next high.
The writing is smart and sharp. Much like our dear protagonist, master Benvolio.
However, there is a heaviness to the story as well; if the writing bites like a dagger, the story cleaves like a broadsword. You find yourself reading slowly because to read more quickly, though very, very tempting, would be almost disrespectful--like jogging through a cemetery.
Readers of the original work will recognize actual lines from the play throughout. These sections will force you to consider both the pacing of the story (ie, how close am I to the end?) and how true Caine is willing to stay to the plot.
Let me say this: if you loved Romeo and Juliet--how romantic, you might think--you will like this book. If you hated Romeo and Juliet--they were horny teenagers! you say. Nothing more!--you will like this book.
Go read it.
** from Ode to The Way You Finish A Book And Then Immediately Wish There Were Still Pages Left And Are Then Very Sad For Many Hours And Days by Your Dear Reviewer, Truly: Alyssa Udall **(less)
I'm sitting here trying to think of what to write for this review and all I can think is how this book is the kind I spend hours searching for.
It's no...moreI'm sitting here trying to think of what to write for this review and all I can think is how this book is the kind I spend hours searching for.
It's not a pretty book, or a light book. It might make you laugh sometimes. It's not so heavy that it knocks you off your feet emotionally while you're reading it. Well, okay, it does, but only for a little while, because the book lets you get back up again.
I read on the author's blog that when she first wrote this story it was on index cards and notebooks and the backs of receipts and I think that maybe that's how this book should have been read--or not read, but discovered. Found.
If you're looking for a book that is well-written, that has characters full of anger, vitriol, and angst (and for good reason), that is romantic and surprising and refreshing, that never makes you wonder halfway through reading it, where is this going?, because at a certain point you just don't care about the "point" or the "plot" anymore, and that is so good from page 1 you want to make out with your Nook screen just to taste the words, then read this book. (less)
Wow. You guys. This book. Seraphina, Orma, Kiggs, Lars, Fruit Bat, Selda, even Comonot... just some of the amazing characters that had me tearing up an...moreWow. You guys. This book. Seraphina, Orma, Kiggs, Lars, Fruit Bat, Selda, even Comonot... just some of the amazing characters that had me tearing up and shaking my head and holding my breath. Such an amazing debut. I haven't been this affected by a fantasy novel since Kristen Cashore's Fire. This is one to pre-order, folks.(less)
You are probably wondering whether or not you should read Feeling Sorry for Celia. I know this about you because you're reading this revi...moreDear Reader:
You are probably wondering whether or not you should read Feeling Sorry for Celia. I know this about you because you're reading this review of the book, which is supposed to tell you whether or not you should read it. If you think about it, this makes book reviewers pretty arrogant people.
Like I should know you well enough to know if this book is any good for you. Who am I? A complete stranger. Yes, a slightly clever stranger who reads lots of books, but still a stranger.
In my opinion, you shouldn't care so much about the opinions of strangers. I know that you care about the opinions of strangers because you're reading the opinion of a stranger right this second.
See? You're still here. You care.
But in this case, maybe you should care about what people say about this book. Maybe they'll tell you that this is the best book they've ever read. If they do tell you that, you should buy a copy of the book as soon as possible. Or request it at your local library. If you're bored while waiting for the library to get the book for you, you can think about things that are purple. What are some really purple things?
Or maybe they'll say that this book is not worth the time, because they thought it was about the circus when they picked it up. I understand why someone might think that because there is a girl on a tightrope on the cover of the book. But it turns out the book is really just about some people named Elizabeth, Celia, Christina (NOT TINA), the mysterious J_____, and Saxton.
Which is actually kind of boring compared to the circus.
Then there will be some opinions that gently say that the book is readable and slightly entertaining and those are really no help at all, because why else would the book be published if it wasn't at least slightly entertaining, hmm?
I think that with any of these options, you're pretty much screwed, because you can never know what you'll think of the book until you actually read it. But you're not reading the book, are you? You're still reading the strangely written review of the book from a complete stranger, which I've already told you, is pretty much useless.
So go read the book already.
The Society of Why Book Reviews Are Silly, But Sometimes Helpful, But Sometimes Completely Off-Base, and Why Don't You Just Read The Book Yourself Already?!... Oh Yeah, Because You're Still Reading This Review(less)
Written with unique rhythm and lyricism, I Am The Messenger is one of my favorite young adult books ever.
It's that good.
To give those that haven't read this book a better idea of just what the heck it's about, we'll start with the bank robbery.
Because even if the gunman is useless (and we all know it), this scene is incredibly funny and surprising, and it changes Ed's life forever.
Ed and his friends are caught in a bank while some idiot tries to rob the place. For some mysterious reason, Ed has the nerve to run after the gunman, pick up the gun he so clumsily dropped during his escape, and stops the bad guy before he can get away with the cash.
After that, Ed becomes a short-term celebrity, being recognized on the street by strangers as "that guy who stopped the bank robbery." Then, the first ace arrives in his mailbox. No name on the envelope, no postage, just a battered playing card, the ace of diamonds, with three addresses and times scrawled in pen on the face. After it becomes clear to Ed that the sender of the card is serious about him doing something with the ace, he begins to investigate.
What results from this situation is heartbreak, compassion, bravery, beauty and empathy. The journey that Ed takes is incredible, and we learn that even when we believe that we could never be better, that we could never just come out and tell the truth, that we could never leave our comfort zone, we have the potential to do great things every single day.
From the opening scene at the bank, just one of many hilarious situations, you are pulled into Ed Kennedy's world. I love the way that each of Ed's best friends, Marv, Ritchie, and Audrey, are given their own dimension. We see them through Ed's eyes. We observe them, we watch them struggle and grow, we watch Ed's perceptions of them change.
One of the most resonating messages in I Am The Messenger is that every person has some great need within them that they try to hide or avoid or work around like a giant pothole in your driveway. These needs are often most visible to those that know you best, like friends and family members, but most of the time, they are ignored. Never acknowledged or talked about, because they are difficult.
Although much of this novel is serious and compelling, the narrative is lightened by humor and the camaraderie between Ed and his friends. Ed as a main character is fantastic... he is richly drawn, a supremely regular person that becomes epic and unforgettable.
I Am The Messenger is a truly unique and memorable young adult novel that will leave its mark on every reader that follows the journey of Ed Kennedy. Please, please read this book!!(less)
A Little Wanting Song is an amazing young adult contemporary novel that manages to make seemingly unremarkable c...moreOriginally posted at Redhead Heroines!
A Little Wanting Song is an amazing young adult contemporary novel that manages to make seemingly unremarkable characters three dimensional. Cath Crowley creates characters that we both love and hate, makes them bend a little and break a little... with a whole lot of fun, mischief, and love along the way!
Throughout this book, both Charlie and Rose come to realize that people and places that they have known their whole lives are... different. Not what they thought. Unknown. And as their friendship grows and breaks and grows, as romance begins and ends, each girl realizes that not only did they not understand each other, but they did not understand themselves.
Like Graffiti Moon, this novel is largely a coming-of-age, character driven work. However, also like Graffiti Moon, it is fast-paced, entertaining, and very very un-boring!(less)
I loved this book. The world that Carson created was beautiful, but the real star of the book is Elisa! It was so refreshing to have a main character...moreI loved this book. The world that Carson created was beautiful, but the real star of the book is Elisa! It was so refreshing to have a main character that was overweight and didn't feel sorry for herself about that fact. She is realistic, religious, caustic, and heroic. I seriously love her!!(less)
I started reading The Disreputable History one night and did not go to bed until after 2:00 AM, after I'd turned...moreOriginally Posted at Redhead Heroines!
I started reading The Disreputable History one night and did not go to bed until after 2:00 AM, after I'd turned the final pages.
This book immediately drew me in. The narrative is 3rd person, but you never feel distanced from Frankie's thoughts or feelings. In all actuality, the writing actually helps to further develop Frankie's world and everyone in it.
I loved that not only is The Disreputable History about prep school, pranks, secret societies, late night parties, and other thoroughly entertaining events that make for a fast read, but Frankie also struggles to see how she fits in as a girlfriend, sister, young woman, friend, and student.
How does she reconcile all of these traditional notions with her thoroughly real and physical self?
This is something that Frankie continually struggles with and puzzles out, to the delight and entertainment of all those reading her story.
Here is an awesome example of Frankie's wit and her love for the underused words in the English language:
"I have a serious and justified love for Kermit that I will parage to the end." "Parage?" "Parage. The neglected positive of disparage." "You mean defend. You will defend Kermit to the end." "Parage." "Praise?" "Parage. I will parage him. And Animal, too. I love Animal..." Trish changed the subject. "We should do facials and paint our toenails Friday before they pick us up. What do you say, blow through dinner and come back here for girlie stuff?" Frankie said, "You're on. When we're finished, we'll be absolutely sheveled." "You'll be sheveled," said Trish. "I'm a normal person."
Without a doubt, you will love reading about Frankie and her shenanigans! And if you're anything like me, after you finish this book, you will want to pick up anything else that E. Lockhart has written and devour it whole!(less)
Veronica Rossi's new paranormal dystopian series is surprising, well-crafted, and romantic as heck! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I grew to love the two protagonists of the novel, Aria and Perry, and the skill with which Rossi's 3rd person narrative told the story with emotion and tension.
The novel's opening, showing Aria and several others in Reverie, is probably the weakest point of the novel. It was difficult to understand the technology that Dwellers like Aria use on a daily basis, mainly the Smarteye devices, and the way that they function in everyday life. However, despite the fact that readers may feel confused by the lack of world-building at the beginning of the novel, the action picks right up, forcing them to turn pages despite their lack of information.
Perry and Aria are great protagonists, each with their own set of strengths and weaknesses. I felt that Rossi allowed each character to overcome their own separate prejudices against the other slowly, but surely. Their relationship is believable, as is each character's growth throughout the novel.
Each section of Under the Never Sky is told from either Perry or Aria's perspective. This is a great way for the reader to get to know each of these characters very well! I felt that Perry's world was very well-developed. He was a character I instantly loved... his personality and story managing to be both heart-warming and heart-breaking, even if his painful secret, that we learn towards the end of the novel, is a bit melodramatic and predictable.
Aria is another great protagonist: she is strong, even in her weakness and ignorance of the world outside of Reverie, and she shows herself capable of change. The romance between Perry and Aria can be compared to Romeo and Juliet, in that each comes from a separate background that is at odds with the other. This drives up the sexual tension to the max! If I had Perry and Aria dolls, I'd smush 'em together and make kissy noises.
Although the characterization and romance were both spectacular, Under the Never Sky also delivers as a thrilling dystopian and paranormal tale. The plot was fast-paced and varied, keeping the reader on their toes at all times! When you weren't worried about Perry getting caught up in an Aether storm, cannibalistic tribes bent on munching on Aria, or Dweller hovercrafts snatching people, you were wondering when they were going to shut up and make out already!
Overall, Under the Never Sky is not only one of my favorite new dystopian books, but one of my favorite reads of 2011. Pre-order your copy before it's released on January 3rd, 2012!(less)
From the blurb on the cover, you would expect this novel to be romantic and cheesy, dealing you extraordinary and unbelievable events on every page.
But this is so, so not what this book is about.
Yes, Hadley and Oliver do have a chance meeting. Yes, there are "twists of fate" and "quirks of timing" that are romantic and sweet. But no, this book is not the touchy-feely, chance-happening-with-a-beautiful-stranger book that will either sweep you off your feet or make you puke, because it is believable.
When Hadley and Oliver meet, there are no perfect one-liners or smoldering glances, because when you meet a stranger, especially a handsome stranger, it is bound to be a little awkward in real life. It is no different in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Hadley knows that when she agrees to let Oliver help her with her bags that he is a complete stranger, yet her circumstances, as well his, make it possible for them to connect despite their disconnect.
While most of Hadley and Oliver's interactions are endearing, they are also seared with grief and heartache, both known and unknown, as well as the uncertainty that comes with getting to know a person and trying to decide when they actually qualify as a friend instead of a stranger.
The way that Smith infused this quirky love story with Hadley's past experiences with her father, her parent's failed marriage, and the anger/confusion/grief that comes along with these types of situations was poignant and emotional. I felt very connected to Hadley during these moments. The story was definitely richer with the addition of a complicated, messy divorce, as well as Oliver's own story. Without these serious elements, the story would have felt like just another teen romance; without substance and not worth your time.
After reading this story straight through, I pre-ordered the hardback version, which I plan on marking up with my favorite lines and quotes.
If you love contemporary stories, or books about travel, or stories that are as heartbreaking as they are heartfelt, or books that aren't cookie-cutter, or novels that are written by a clearly talented author, then please. Please. Buy this book. (less)
Possibly the best book of 2011, in my opinion. Addicting. Lyrical. Heart-breaking. Lovely, lovely, lo...moreHOLY SHIZ THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING!!
Possibly the best book of 2011, in my opinion. Addicting. Lyrical. Heart-breaking. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Incredible. Terrifying.
This book was almost perfect. With this type of lyrical writing, it can be easy to cross the line between poignant and cheesy, which did happen on several occasions. I was willing to overlook these instances because of Juliette and Adam and even Warner and sometimes Kenji. I was also willing to overlook the overt environmental overtones, as well as the genre transition from Dystopian to Paranormal that has turned me away from other novels in the past.
Buy this book now. Hardcover. Carefully remove the jacket and set it aside in a safe place. Begin reading.
Graffiti Moon is quite simply, the most delicious book I've read in recent memory. It is poignant and at times h...moreAlso posted at Redhead Heroines!
Graffiti Moon is quite simply, the most delicious book I've read in recent memory. It is poignant and at times heart breaking. It is lyrical and quick and hilarious and romantic. It is not just about Lucy, Ed, Poet, Shadow, Leo, Jazz, Daisy, Dylan, Bert, and Al, even though they are important.
It is about the incredible ability of art to translate from that kind of high-art that you see in museums to the kind of high-art that sprays from Shadow's brain onto a brick wall. (Little bird, what are you thinking? You come from a can.)
It is about that feeling that you get sometimes (I got a good feeling... I got a bad feeling... as many of the characters in Graffiti Moon say) that is more about the people you're with than the time of night or the excellence of the party you're at. It's more about how your feelings are echoed by those around you in a recited haiku or a bicycle helmet with lightning on it or a brick wall that traps birds in mid-air.
But if this review doesn't quite do it for you, (don't be embarrassed if it doesn't, I'm not doing a very good job at it), then you'll be happy to hear that Graffiti Moon is also incredibly entertaining. It takes place during one long crazy night after Year 12 and involves some illegal activity, a few parties, an even more cases of mistaken identity. Let the hilarity ensue!(less)
Across the Universe is one of those rare books that I know I will read again and savor every word. Beth Revis be...moreOriginally posted at Redhead Heroines!
Across the Universe is one of those rare books that I know I will read again and savor every word. Beth Revis begins this book with serious, heart-pounding action, eases us into the life of Elder and others on the Godspeed, then races us to the ending with a murder-mystery, dystopian drama, science fiction, and romance.
Yes, apparently, Across the Universe has it all!
However, I must say that I saw right through the murder mystery from the beginning. I hate when I already know who the murderer is, and who that mysterious missing person is, without the author surprising me in some way.
Besides that small qualm, I highly recommend this book! Across the Universe is unlike any book I have ever read. I loved the social commentary brought about by the contained society of the Godspeed. I loved the way that history, ancestry, and the human condition were discussed. I loved how Revis portrayed love and sexual relations.
I felt like the point-of-views from both Amy and Elder were very real. Their inner dialogue didn't ignore often tabooed topics. Their voices were different for each character, but both distinctly Revis.
I don't know what else to say about this book, besides this: you will not be disappointed by Across the Universe!
I'm anxiously awaiting the sequel in this set trilogy, A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2), set for publication in 2012!(less)
For fans of Maggie Stiefvater's paranormal trilogy, The Wolves of Mercy Falls, The Scorpio Races offers a new go...moreOriginally Posted at Redhead Heroines!
For fans of Maggie Stiefvater's paranormal trilogy, The Wolves of Mercy Falls, The Scorpio Races offers a new gorgeous setting, enigmatic and unforgettable characters, higher stakes, and a perilous paranormal element.
For those that are not fans of her previous work, or that are simply unfamiliar with her, be prepared for a suspenseful, fantastic, lyrical and romantic thrill ride in The Scorpio Races!
I am a big fan of YA novels that go outside the realm of predictable, cliché, and "regular," especially when those authors tell their stories with lyricism. This is why I am a huge Maggie Stiefvater fan.
The Scorpio Races drew me in immediately with it's dual-narrative, told intermittently by Puck (Kate) and Sean (I almost said Sam--HA). Although I don't think that comparing this stand-alone historical/fantasy venture with Stiefvater's bestselling paranormal series is the best way to review this novel, it seems that most readers who come across this book will be familiar with her other work and will therefore be wondering how this novel compares.
In all honesty, a direct comparison is unfair, because each work is very different in terms of scope, theme, and extraneous elements, such as paranormal shape-shifting vs. fantasy fairy-lore.
However, the modes of operation present in Stiefvater's Shiver trilogy that make the series so wonderful in my eyes are also present in The Scorpio Races. For instance, Stiefvater's lyrical writing is still the delivery system for her ideas and still resonates with readers that are bored with straight-forward prose. Stiefvater's characters are also very well constructed, in that they are not shells of people or caricatures of characters (nice, huh?)
Rather, I can still picture the main characters, and several well-sketched minor characters, clearly in my mind even after reading several novels in between The Scorpio Races and now. With a normal novel, this added fictional database would wipe away less carefully crafted characters, but this is thankfully not the case with Stiefvater's work!
Another main difference between The Scorpio Races and Shiver, Linger, and Forever is that the romance element is not as overtly present. This is not to say that there is not romance, because there is. But, I feel that Stiefvater did a great job of using this plot line to complicate and progress the more important plot: that of the Scorpio Races themselves.
This dissection of the novel may not be the best way to review it, so I will give a few thoughts about the general experience of reading The Scorpio Races as well.
Firstly, this novel is a fantasy, first and foremost, that takes place on an island called Thisby that is plagued by a race of magical creatures called the capaille uisce (copple ishka - or ooshka). These creatures, in short, are incredibly powerful and dangerous flesh-eating water horses that live in the sea. When not surrounded by ocean, these horses are the most powerful and fast of their kind, far surpassing the abilities of regular "ponies" like Puck's mare Dove.
Puck is the nickname of smart and hot-tempered redhead Kate Connelly, who enters the Scorpio Races against all odds in order to overcome a desperate situation. Sean Kendrick is the four-time winner of the Scorpio Races and the only person that is able to somehow speak with, control, and connect with the capaille uisce, like Corr, the blood-red stallion that has helped him win.
At the center of The Scorpio Races is the danger of the races themselves, as the contestants ride these flesh-eating monsters at the base of Thisby's cliffs. The horses at once longing to pull their rider's down into the ocean with them and to rip into the flesh of the humans on their backs, spectators that get too close, other capaille uisce that ride alongside them.
Other plot devices and elements in The Scorpio Races include Puck's struggle in an all-male society, financial and economical hardship, differences in societal classes, connection to animals and animal cruelty, and the duties associated with protecting those you love.
Amazing. This book is amazing. How amazing, you ask? Well, if your favorite YA paranormal author (Maggie Stiefvater for me) or YA contemporary author...moreAmazing. This book is amazing. How amazing, you ask? Well, if your favorite YA paranormal author (Maggie Stiefvater for me) or YA contemporary author (Cath Crowley) wrote a book outside of their usual genre, would you read it? Would you read a mystery written by Walt Whitman, or J.K. Rowling's poetry?
Okay, so maybe I'm moving away from the point, because these questions provoke a whole new set of ideas which, while I would love to discuss them, are not exactly on topic.
In many of the cases above, you would most likely say NO. No, I don't want to read Stephanie Meyer's new literary fiction. No, I do not want to watch Michael Jordan play baseball. No, I do not want to buy a car made by Hewlett Packard.
But in this case, where author of contemporary young adult fiction, Melina Marchetta, authors a new fantasy novel, the results are spectacular, rather than disappointing and confusing.
This is probably because the main difference between the fantasy and contemporary genres is world building. In her contemporary work, Marchetta is great at building the world of a novel based on the characters in them, what they notice about their childhood home, whether or not they talk to the bum on the corner, what each piece of a city feels like to them.
In Finnikin of the Rock, the world building is more centered on the characters in the land of Lumatere, what happened to them, how they tell their stories, if they tell them at all, and what they must do in the future to secure their place in this imaginative world. It's like the best contemporary novel you've ever read, with sword fighting, magic, prophesies, royalty, intrigue, mystery, and a stunning romance.
While it does take a few chapters to get fully immersed in the story, and it can be difficult to imagine where each nation is located in this new world, once you are hooked, there is no turning back. You must follow Finnikin and Evanjalin to the end!
Please read this book. If not for the fantasy, which is not the strongest point of this novel, for the people of Lumatere!(less)
I love these books. I love the writing, I love the way that an otherwise ordinary story...moreOriginally Posted at Redhead Heroines!
Sam. Grace. Cole. Isabel.
I love these books. I love the writing, I love the way that an otherwise ordinary story is made extraordinary with words and lyrics and poems committed to memory.
But most of all, I love the characters.
Maggie Stiefvater has done an incredible job with The Wolves of Mercy Falls. Each book adds complexity on complexity, as the characters are fleshed out and kissed and lost, but found again.
When Forever begins, each character still has their own set of problems that make their lives particularly difficult. By the end of Forever, these problems are addressed and resolved, but not SOLVED. There is no neat solution to the overall problems... Cole's guilt and tortured past, Grace's relationship with her parents, Sam's love/hate relationship with Beck, Isabel's explosive family life.
Nor is the problem at the heart of these novels, the mystery of the werewolf... disease? toxin? affliction? explained away and wrapped in a box with a shiny red bow. Rather, the issue escalates into a conflict where death, for every main character, is not only probable, but almost imminent.
While this book serves as a perfect conclusion to the series, in that it doesn't feel like a set conclusion, yet leaves very little lingering questions, it also stands out as a seriously enjoyable read on its own. Not only are we able to escape back into the heads of Grace, Sam, Cole, and Isabel, but we are also shown more romance, conflict, and complications than any of the previous books.
Forever is essentially a paranormal coming-of-age story with equal parts romance, thrill, and mystery. It is lyrical and poignant, but very, very readable. It is funny, yet brutal, honest, yet idealistic.
For those readers that are tired of overused clichés and characters that fall flat on the page, read this book. Well, read Shiver and Linger first... then read this one.(less)
I think I was smiling for 90% of the time while reading this book and laughed out loud at least once every page.
I don't read many contemporary fiction books, but this is definitely one of my top three books of 2010.
The characters are thoroughly awesome. The dialogue is great. The humor is amazing. The romance is... palpable... [fans face with magazine]...
Anna is such a great main character. She is relate-able, accessible, funny, and sometimes unsure of herself... but aren't we all?
I loved how Perkins somehow managed to create a whole cast of characters so rich in detail that I can describe all of them thoroughly... even those that only have minor roles. Her writing is so excellent!
I am seriously resisting the urge to just write: "OH MY GOSH YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED TO GO BUY ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS RIGHT THIS SECOND AND READ IT TONIGHT SO WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT--OH MY GOSH I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!"
Because guess what? I do "LOVE LOVE LOVE IT," but I want to keep the shouting and giggling and hyperventilating to a minimum.
This book is funny and romantic and exciting and swoon-worthy. I loved every second of it, and I'm sure I'll love every second of the companion novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door, which is out in September of this year.
PS: I already pre-ordered it.
PPS: Read this book or die!!!
PPPS: I realize that might be a little harsh, but I kinda meant it.(less)
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.(less)
I came into this read with high expectations. I had been hearing about The DUFF for months, on fellow book review blogs, on Twitter, on Goodreads... this book was everywhere! Plus, it had just received a few prestigious awards for young adult fiction. I knew I had to read it for myself.
I am happy to say that The DUFF did not disappoint! I felt immediately drawn into Bianca's world. A lot of times, I am not a fan of the 1st person point of view in YA lit, because so many authors are not up to the task and end up creating whiny, shallow protagonists that are painful to read. However, Bianca is anything but whiny and shallow! Keplinger did a stellar job of writing Bianca's voice. I enjoyed her intelligence and guts, wishing that I was more like that in high school.
However, something that I had trouble dealing with in this novel is the sex. It's no secret from the description that Bianca starts an intimate relationship with a guy she barely knows... in fact, a guy she hates. To say that I was surprised to find such casual sex in a novel about high school kids would be an understatement. However, just because this was not my experience in high school, or the experience of my close friends, does not mean that this doesn't happen. I was trying to keep an open mind when it came to the sex in this book, but I can't help but say that I feel like Bianca should have been shown to treat the subject with a little more care in the novel.
(When I say that there is "sex" in this book, I don't mean graphic descriptions. I mean that there are sexual situations, relationships, and talk about sex. It is by no means pornographic or anything.)
That being said, I have to say that I loved The DUFF. I think that Keplinger took a story-line that could have been disastrous and instead crafted a well-written, memorable YA book.
I loved the characters in this book! Bianca, her best friends Casey and Jessica, Wesley, and even good-guy Toby were all three-dimensional to me. I believed these characters and I have to say that I loved Wesley. I think that writing this sexy man-slut must have been incredibly difficult, but Keplinger did a great job. His witty banter with Bianca was easy and natural, not seeming contrived like many characters in YA can.
Overall, The DUFF is an example of why I love contemporary YA as much as fantasy, dystopian and paranormals. A great read from a promising debut author!(less)
I'm officially a Maggie Stiefvater fan-girl. I absolutely love her lyrical writing and the ability she has to create emotion on every page.
The characters in this series continue to amaze me! Not only are Grace, Sam and Isabelle explored further, but we also meet the tortured and seriously-hot Cole. Cole is my new favorite! I loved his interesting story and his struggle to abandon his painful past in favor of a future without human emotion. I loved his relationship with Isabelle, as well. What a couple, huh?!
Linger just might have been better than Shiver. Probably because of the addition of Cole and the constant shift in POV from Grace, Sam, Isabelle and Cole. Some people don't like this, but I loved getting into the heads of characters that I have grown to love so much.
Although there have been some complaints about Linger being more slow-moving than Shiver, I didn't mind the pace at all. I found myself savoring each paragraph as I heard each character's story. Stiefvater is so amazing at making every sentence lyrical and interesting.
The only complaint that I have about this series in general is the use of the wolves howling. It seemed like too many chapters were ended with "And then the wolves began to howl." Yes, it's a poignant and appropriate ending, but I started to get sick of it after awhile.
A great sequel to one of my favorite paranormal series ever! Can't wait to read their conclusion in Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3) out July 12th, 2011!(less)