Rose had everything I could ever want in a book. Magic, orphans and a Victorian England setting made it a novel I was looking forward to. When Rose i...more Rose had everything I could ever want in a book. Magic, orphans and a Victorian England setting made it a novel I was looking forward to. When Rose is given the opportunity to leave the all-girl orphanage to become a maid for an alchemist, she jumps at it. What she doesn't know is that she has her own magic inside of her and it will blossom as she spends more time in the house. The alchemist's apprentice is at first rude and abrasive to Rose, but slowly they become more friendly due to the sudden disappearance of children all over London.
Together, Rose and Freddie will try to solve the mystery with the help of the talking cat Gus and Rose's own magic. I really enjoyed reading this book, I often found myself relating the book to some of my favorite stories and characters. Rose is a bit unsure of herself and having magic is a new concept, one she is not sure what to do with. Possibly my favorite character was Gus the talking cat, who seemed to be taken straight from Cinderella, only given a much more accommodating demeanor.
The level of danger in the book really was shocking and I love a truly evil, selfish bad guy and this one definitely delivered just that. I love the way that magic plays into the story, not only with Rose discovering her own skills, but the manipulation and uses throughout the book.
Final Verdict: Rose is a book you will not want to miss. I loved the adventure mixed with magic and thought both those elements fit beautifully with the Victorian England setting.(less)
First Impression: Kate suggested I read this one sooner than later and said it was a solid fantasy read, so I dug into it this summer. I have to say, I...moreFirst Impression: Kate suggested I read this one sooner than later and said it was a solid fantasy read, so I dug into it this summer. I have to say, I was put off a bit by the Netgalley version, as it formatted it so horribly I had to scroll a lot more than normal just for a couple of sentences. I almost gave up, but pushed through anyways.
While Reading: Celaena Sardothien is an assassin, the most famous and talented in the land. Unfortunately, you won't see her assassinate anyone anytime soon. She's been in the mines for a year doing hard labor and has been pulled out as the Prince's pick for the King's Champion in a competition that he is sure she will win. At the beginning, her voice really put me off. Although Celaena had been doing hard labor, she was sure she could still assassinate nearly anyone she ran into and that's what she internally voiced time and again. I think I called her "cocky" when discussing the book with Kate, which would be a good way to describe her. I was hoping she'd try to assassinate or escape to see if she really did possess the skills she was rumored to have. Unfortunately, it never happened.
I had quite a few problems with this book. I didn't like Prince Dorian at all. He kept saying he was different than the King, who was a conqueror and was always looking to squash a rebellion or take over a kingdom. Yet he was too much of a coward to stand up to his father at any point in this novel. The only thing he had going for him was he was good-looking and seemed to think he could rule better and more fairly. And still Celaena falls for him. I'm glad I'm not a big fan of romance, so I let that slide a bit. My next problem came with the competition. So there's over 20 thugs going for the title of King's Champion, yet the few competitions they show (besides the last) are a bit .. easy. Firing arrows, climbing walls.. nothing that really seems too perilous. For a bloodthirsty king, you would think that these competitions would be to the death but that is not the case. Although a few do die.. mostly due to something else that is going on.
So, what did redeem this book for me? The curious murders of the competitors by an animal-like creature. Although I really don't think the guard took it seriously enough when looking into the matter. The magic and intrigue part of the story really pulled me in more than the romance and competition plots did. I think the next book will be better as there were some hints of interesting things to come. And then the end of the book was quite a stunner and I like the way that played out. I don't want to spoil anything so I will leave it at that.
Final Verdict: Overall, this one was a bit of a disappointment, but I'm hoping for more in the next book. (less)
First Impression: It's been a while since I read Beastly, which was a novel I enjoyed immensely and then instantly thought, geez I hope this author wr...moreFirst Impression: It's been a while since I read Beastly, which was a novel I enjoyed immensely and then instantly thought, geez I hope this author writes more fairy tale novels soon. So I was excited to see another fairy tale rendition from Flinn.
While Reading: I love the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. They are from a fairy tale and some I honestly have not read in a long time so it really resonated with the story and with myself as a fairy tale lover. So, this story is about Johnny, a boy who is good with shoes and runs a shoe repair business for his mother while she works another job just so they can pay their bills. So when the much talked about princess from a far off land comes to stay at the hotel he works near, he can't help but try to sneak a peak at her.
What ends up happening is being suckered into a quest for a beautiful woman involving a magic cloak, a frog prince and a whole wad of cash as incentive. If that was not enough, if he rescues the frog prince, he will get to marry the princess! Of course, he thinks she is quite insane to think magic exists at all, until he puts on the cloak and ends up in his own house by just thinking about wanting to be there.
From there out, Johnny ends up on a quest involving enchanted swans, a fox who can talk, and even giants. I love that this novel encompasses so many different fairy tales in one. It's a fun and funny adventure involving really finding out the truth about yourself and those around you. There's some peril, you really don't want to mess with giants after all, and even some budding romance as Johnny's best friend Meghan ends up along for part of the ride, having a special kind of magic herself.
Final Verdict: All in all, this probably is one of my favorite fairy tale retellings and it's because of the great writing and the fantastic characters. Definitely a book to read if you enjoy fairy tales as much as I do.(less)
I must say, this was a book that surprised me. I connected right away to the storyline, having had some problems in high school and spending some time...moreI must say, this was a book that surprised me. I connected right away to the storyline, having had some problems in high school and spending some time in the same type of setting this book was set in. Allison has woken up remembering that she may have murdered a girl, in a way that can't be possible.
As the novel moves along, you find that the girl Tori has actually disappeared and Allison has to figure out what has happened. Allison is unusual, having a gift that makes her sound as crazy as the people she is surrounded by. She begins to feel more hopeful when she finds someone who understands her abilities to see things others can't or rather, in a way others cannot.
I loved the twists and turns in this book. Anderson does a fantastic job of putting us in Allison's head and feeling how horrible it has been to keep this secret her whole life. I loved the twists and turns and definitely did not think it would turn out the way it did at the end.
I hope there is a sequel for I really want to read more. (less)
Spellbound was an entrancing read. I'm sketchy about romance in YA these days, especially when it involves paranormal elements, because it seems like...moreSpellbound was an entrancing read. I'm sketchy about romance in YA these days, especially when it involves paranormal elements, because it seems like every other one I read lets me down and annoys me. So, I was excited when this one really was different. The romance was great, both Emma and Brendan had to give up something, had to struggle to keep things going, to keep from dying (literally). There were still the typical ups and downs, but when they decided they wanted to be together towards the end, it finally all worked out and I went YAY inside.
I like the story behind this pairing, how it's a curse that needs to be broken and who actually ends up breaking it in the end. And to be honest, the side characters really made this novel for me. There's two supporting characters that really put themselves out there for Emma, one is a witch and the other is a gay guy. They were so colorful and had a larger role than normal side characters do and I just loved seeing them in the book. I definitely think that this wasn't the perfect novel, the action was lacking for me, but it was nice to have a normal bad guy for once (besides the curse).
All in all, something enough different with colorful characters really made this a stand-out book for me.(less)
First Impression: I'm a sucker for books about young boys who are thieves. My favorite book of all time is Oliver Twist (of course). So when I heard ab...moreFirst Impression: I'm a sucker for books about young boys who are thieves. My favorite book of all time is Oliver Twist (of course). So when I heard about this one, I couldn't resist picking it up.
While Reading: Peter Nimble is not only the greatest thief that has ever lived, he is also blind. When he must steal a set of glass eyes for his evil guardian Mr. Seamus, he puts a pair in and is instantly transported to an island. Here he sets off on an adventure that is amazing. Filled with interesting characters, evil villians to be conquered and children to rescue, Peter will need the other sets of eyes to help him. Just what will they do when he puts them in though?
This book takes the reader on quite the wild adventure and was completely charming. I devoured this rather thick book in a couple of hours and kept thinking about it any time I had to put it down. It is the sort of story that remains with you after you have completed it and makes you ache for more adventures.
Verdict: Definitely a book to pick up and read. It will not disappoint you. (less)
First Impression: I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. It's been on my Kindle a bit too long and since it made it to the YA Book Battle this ye...moreFirst Impression: I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. It's been on my Kindle a bit too long and since it made it to the YA Book Battle this year, I figured I'd start with this one.
While Reading: Between Two Worlds is definitely an engaging story with some similarities to Inkheart, only instead of having characters switching worlds, you can only enter the stories yourself and hopefully leave them as well. Yeats has quite a deal of problems with his parents always fighting and his dad always depressed. So, visiting his grandmother wouldn't seem too big of a deal until he learns of a magic wishing well, a missing girl and secrets hidden in the library.
Yeats soon find it is up to him to bring Shari, his father's childhood friend, back from The Arabian Nights story so as to keep his family together. What follows is a fantastic adventure involving pirates, sword fights, a near hanging, and a budding romance.
Final Verdict: Definitely a great tale that many will enjoy. (less)