First Impression: I can't quite imagine a world where coffee and chocolate are illegal, so this intrigued me right off when I heard the premise. I peggFirst Impression: I can't quite imagine a world where coffee and chocolate are illegal, so this intrigued me right off when I heard the premise. I pegged it for a dystopian, but when I started to listen to the audiobook it wasn't quite like other dystopians I've read of late. Anya's voice starts off strong and I dove into the book wanting to know more of her story.
While Listening: Anya is the best example of a girl who had to grow up too quickly. Her parents are dead, her older brother has a mental handicap, her grandmother is dying and her little sister relies on her as well. She's an interesting character, obviously brilliant but doesn't care much about school in general. Her current boyfriend is a loser who you find out is using her to get illegal chocolate, her family being in the chocolate business. All in all, things aren't going her way and it only gets worse.
I loved the strength that Anya showed throughout the book. How she would give up love to help keep her family together, how family really was more important than anything else in her life. It's not something you see very often in YA literature. Usually the family is cast off for a boyfriend or some other dream. The story had some tragic and heartbreaking moments that really kept you entranced in Anya's world and how she struggles to keep things together even when everything goes to hell.
Verdict: Definitely a book you will want to pick up. It's not so much about the dystopian society as it is about politics, family, and learning to love....more
First Impression: I definitely felt the connection of this book to Alice in Wonderland right away. Just the way the book looked, felt and read when begFirst Impression: I definitely felt the connection of this book to Alice in Wonderland right away. Just the way the book looked, felt and read when beginning it had that whimsical and magical feeling to it. That and how slightly strange everything was.
While Reading: As I was reading, I felt transported to this other land. There was an extra vibe of steampunk to the setting which made it all the more strange. It's definitely an adventure that makes your brain churn through different ideas of how it connects to other stories like it and how it is unique in its own way.
September is a character that stands out. She's taken with the idea of an adventure and curious about the world around her. Never showing fear, she plunges into the land to do what she thinks is right - confronting the evil Marquess. What she'll find is an interesting character that almost makes sense. I love the mix of the world we know with Fairyland and how reality really does not belong in a wondrous land that has imaginary creatures.
Verdict: An enjoyable journey that is an interesting mix of strange and magical with a bit of a twist from the world as we know it. One I'd recommend for lovers of Alice in Wonderland....more
From the beginning, this novel drew me into its world, one of a girl who treads in both the human and mythical worlds through doorways. A beautiful maFrom the beginning, this novel drew me into its world, one of a girl who treads in both the human and mythical worlds through doorways. A beautiful man appears and changes everything for Karou, cutting her off from the mythical world she grew up in and forcing her to try to find a way back in herself. A darker world couldn’t have been built with so much beauty intertwined. There’s a mythical war that has been fought for ages that Karou has no idea about, she just runs errands for the creature that brought her up in the world, in exchange for wishes.
When Karou and Akiva meet, they almost kill each other, but something stops them. There’s a connection that is buried deep inside of them, one that isn’t revealed until the end of the novel. Taylor does a fantastic job of weaving an unforgettable tale, one that will keep you wanting more and reading on....more
Without a doubt, this is the best book I've read in a long time. Ruby Red has an air of mystery that settles in throughout the whole book and keeps yoWithout a doubt, this is the best book I've read in a long time. Ruby Red has an air of mystery that settles in throughout the whole book and keeps you thinking about it long after you've finished reading it. I was up late reading this one and couldn't fall asleep after having read it. The writing was fantastic and the way the plot slowly unravels pulls the reader in and keeps them until the end of the book.
Gwyneth is really my type of character. A bit negative at times, but she really rolls with what is going on and takes it as it comes. She's also not perfect and I love that her cousin is the more beautiful and sophisticated one, making her imperfections stand out. I love a character who isn't 100% sure of her self and always doing the exact right thing.
And of course, there is Gideon, the very good looking boy who is to be her partner. She thinks she doesn't have a chance with him at all (not with her cousin Charlotte, whom he seems smitten with), but certain events prove her wrong. I really enjoyed his appearances as he is the one who has to deal with a new partner, one he barely knows, to travel back in time with.
Overall, this book was a fantastic start to a trilogy that I really am dying to read the rest of. There's romance, danger, and some very pretty old fashioned gowns (and some ugly hats too). And who doesn't love a trip back to the different centuries in London, such lovely historical times....more
Why I read this: I absolutely loved the Maze Runner and had to read the sequel.
Plot: The Scorch Trials starts with a theatrical beginning, one that blWhy I read this: I absolutely loved the Maze Runner and had to read the sequel.
Plot: The Scorch Trials starts with a theatrical beginning, one that blew me away with the mind-blowing and gore level I really didn't anticipate. What happens at the beginning of the novel sets the stage for a gruesome addition to the Maze Runner series. There's twists that are added, a new set of characters in the same situation as the boys, as well as some gruesome new ways to die. My favorite of which was the head-eating slime. Definitely a series I can't wait for more of.
Characters: The new female characters are fiercer and you're not quite sure of their background while reading the story - but something fishy is going on. WICKED is as ominous as ever, pulling invisible strings in the background and making you unsure of the main characters as well as the supporting one.
Relatability: Fans of a more horrific dystopian series will enjoy Dashner's The Maze Runner series.
Cover Commentary: Definitely gives you a picture as to what type of scenery you'll see in this book....more
First Impression: I had heard awesome things about this book last year and I never got around to reading it. I won a copy a while back and was glad toFirst Impression: I had heard awesome things about this book last year and I never got around to reading it. I won a copy a while back and was glad to finally have time to pick it up. I knew it was about heroes and villians when starting it and found it engaging me from the first page.
While Reading: I could see this book being turned into a movie in my head. I loved the dynamics between Damien and his mother. A mad scientist who tries to love her son, even though he isn't quite fully a supervillian like her. It's funny to see Damien struggle, to really want to be the villian but can't help but have a little bit of good in him too. You see it come out in his relationships. This book will definitely have you laughing at parts but is also full of action and drama that keeps you turning page after page.
The characters were just phenomenally written, the plot kept you going and it was just so original I really fell in love with this book. Definitely a book I may reread in the future and will also hope for some sort of sequel, but not sure if it will have one. For fans of the anti-hero, awkward teen relationships and those who dream of having a supervillian for a mother.
Verdict: The Rise of Renegade X is a fantastic debut that really mixes a lot of issues and covers it up with some action, romance, and a couple of funny moments. I loved all the pranks Damien pulled on his father as well. This is definitely a novel not to be missed....more
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 wrFirst 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....more
First Impression: I have had this book on my shelf for quite some time now. It took my YA literature class to push me to read it. I needed a historicalFirst Impression: I have had this book on my shelf for quite some time now. It took my YA literature class to push me to read it. I needed a historical fiction and I knew that one had been raved about. Future award winner talk and all that good stuff you want to hear about a book.
While Reading: This book starts right in the thick of things, the night that Lina, her mother and her brother are taken from their home. Throughout the book, she remembers that night, how she wishes she would have brought the steaming fresh loaf of bread on her window. Lina seems almost dazed at the beginning of the book and it is painted perfectly in this novel, her emotions overwhelming her thoughts. Her mother's mantra is to stay together, no matter what. Her brother almost gets taken at one point and all the while I am cheering for them to prevail.
This isn't your usual novel as it is about the Soviet side of the war and they too killed so many people while occupying different countries. The beautiful part of the book is Lina's keen attachment to drawing, to trying to let her father know that they are surviving by leaving her artwork. It is hard to describe how wonderful this book is. There is romance, there is stubbornness and the characters are ones you will not soon forget. Most of all, it's a story about survival and finding the best in those around us.
Verdict: I love this book and hope everyone who reads it will as well. A touching and moving story that truly reveals human nature in every situation: the good, the bad and the ugly. ...more
Why I read this: As of late, I haven't been reading a lot of historical fiction in general and this era really peaks my interest, so I had to check itWhy I read this: As of late, I haven't been reading a lot of historical fiction in general and this era really peaks my interest, so I had to check it out. Also, it's a debut novel!
Plot: This breathtaking novel follows the daughter of Cleopatra as her and her brothers are brought into Caesar's home after Cleopatra takes her own life. Selene and her brother Helios are viewed by Isis worshipers to be the pair that will bring about a Golden Age. When Selene's body suddenly becomes engraved with bleeding hieroglyphics on her arms, she knows that she cannot deny that the goddess Isis is speaking through her - or can she? Selene is torn between trying to preserve the lives of her and her brothers as they adjust to Roman life and between her religion and beliefs. Filled with magic, mythology and such a colorful historical experience that I finished the book wanting more. Luckily, there is to be a sequel to this rich and wonderful novel.
Characters: Selene is a strong and smart young woman who realizes she cannot act like her twin Helios - who brays at the idea of becoming Roman, even if it may save his life. Selene must try to convince Caesar that she can be of use to him in a way that will benefit them both and possibly lead her and her brothers one day back to Egypt. She is still a girl in that she falls in love easily, but truth and wisdom keep her out of trouble. I really enjoyed watching her character grow and I cannot wait to learn more of her journeys and adventures in the next novel.
Relatability: I think lovers of Egyptian mythology and historical fiction will fall in love with this novel. I'm no historian, but Stephanie paints a world so real that she must have done quite a bit of research to make it seem so real.
Cover Commentary: Lovely, definitely one that will appeal to historical fiction lovers....more
Plot: The last of the Hunger Games trilogy did not disappointment me in the least - besides it marking the enWhy I read this: Do you even have to ask?
Plot: The last of the Hunger Games trilogy did not disappointment me in the least - besides it marking the end of a fantastic trilogy. Full of action and continued dystopian themes, I couldn't put this book down for long. I really like the way Collins wrapped up the series. The book played out in a way that will keep me thinking about the characters and world for a long time.
Characters: The only thing I'm going to say - is someone I love dies and it really broke my heart. I'm also not quite certain that I like the way it ended for the characters, but that's all I'm going to say. I really like the way the characters develop in this book and I hope that many more people will discover this trilogy in the future, because it is an amazing set of books.
Relatability: I liked that it stayed within the realm of dystopian - I was worried it would focus on a different theme too much and that it would lose the feel I so loved about the series. But, it didn't and I'm happy! :)
Cover Commentary: Very fitting for the book. I love the symbolism and I think it will be a trilogy that is later taught as part of an English course curriculum. ...more
First Impression: I had heard a ton of buzz about this book from both librarians and bloggers alike. It wasn't until I found an audio copy at the libraFirst Impression: I had heard a ton of buzz about this book from both librarians and bloggers alike. It wasn't until I found an audio copy at the library that I started to read this one and I found a lot of excuses to play an audiobook once I started.
While Listening: Briony's character is so unique. From the beginning, her voice takes the storyline and brings forward so many questions that you have to keep reading. The past and the present play a huge role in this story and the way it was narrated was brilliant. The storyline takes you to a path of mythical creatures, dealing with a sister who is not all there, and a love that Briony cannot help but deny because how can a witch have real feelings?
The book transports you to a different place, a place you won't want to leave, no matter how twisted and dark some of the areas may be. This book really blew me away with the fantastic characters, and dark and twisty plot. I also loved the narrator of this book, her voice definitely matched Briony's personality.
Verdict: Definitely a book you should not miss. If you like audiobooks, I highly suggest this one on audio. ...more
Why I read this: I'm always up for some good dystopian is why.
Plot: Full of zombie-like creatures (only without the rising from the dead and infectionWhy I read this: I'm always up for some good dystopian is why.
Plot: Full of zombie-like creatures (only without the rising from the dead and infection of the living), Enclave takes you on a journey underground to a small community that gets by with following rules that aren't afraid to sacrifice for the good of all. Deuce's goal is to become a huntress, to defend her enclave, but finds that all is not right and fair and is exiled to the dreaded Topside with Fade, a former topsider. There's a lot of fighting in this book and I love how kick-butt Deuce is. Add in a little romance, a lot of danger and you've got a great read here. I can't wait for more of this series.
Characters: Deuce is a strong female lead, who knows how to hold her own and stands her ground. I really liked her and hope to see more of who she is outside of the enclave in the next books. Fade is a bit of a moody character and one who I was unsure of but now has grown on me. I can't wait to see what blossoms between the two.
Relatability: I think fans of Hunger Games and dystopian or zombie fiction will enjoy this one.
Cover Commentary: I love it. Deuce uses dual knives, so it's very fitting....more
Why I read this: I just loved If I Stay. LOVED it, so when I heard there was a sequel, I had to pick it up. When it appeared on my doorstep it was likWhy I read this: I just loved If I Stay. LOVED it, so when I heard there was a sequel, I had to pick it up. When it appeared on my doorstep it was like fate. :)
Plot: Taking off a few years later from If I Stay, this book is from the point of view of Adam, who is a successful rock star, yet he feels like the world is slowly tumbling down around him. Without Mia, he seems to have little purpose and is a wealth of emotions that are ready to overflow. A chance meeting will change his life forever. I just loved the rawness in this book. There's such a twist in your heart as you read this sequel to a book that did just the same. I love the way this book played out, it was absolutely magical and absolutely realistic all at once.
Characters: Adam is such a wreck when we meet him at the beginning of this book. A lovable wreck, but definitely a walking disaster. I love the world we get a peak into with this book, with the infamy aspect of being a famous musician. You almost hate Mia when she comes back into the picture, but Adam's love is so huge you can't help but start to forgive her.
Relatability: Anyone can relate to this, those who have lost someone or lost touch with someone, people who are musicians, those who have had relationships.. there's so much in here that anyone could relate to.
I've always enjoyed Maria's novels, so when Inside Out came out, I was ecstastic that she had written a dystopian novel. And even more excited when thI've always enjoyed Maria's novels, so when Inside Out came out, I was ecstastic that she had written a dystopian novel. And even more excited when there was to be a follow up. The first book was really good and this follow up novel was pretty good as well. I like the ending the best, which I will not spoil. These books should be turned into movies they were so well done and had the perfect balance of action and romance. This book had some interesting twists and turns and really forced Trella to make a decision as to what her role was going to be.
Trella is definitely a difficult character. One that has her faults and makes mistakes, ones that she realizes later could have made things easier and less complicated. She has a stubborn streak to her that is relentless and causes more problems than needed. I love Riley, who is utterly stable compared to Trella. I love their interactions and am glad that there's no love triangle in this series for once.
If you haven't ever read any of Maria's books, you should. She a fantastic writer and I just love her books. I can't wait to see what project she comes out with next....more