From the summary, you'd probably think of Amanda Bynes' movie She's The Man. A girl who disguises herself as a b...moreFull review posted at Amaterasu Reads
From the summary, you'd probably think of Amanda Bynes' movie She's The Man. A girl who disguises herself as a boy and went to an all boys school? Ring a bell? Or if you're familiar with Hisaya Nakajo's Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, which is also about a girl who went to an all boys school. Or if you want to look even further, I would say this also reminds me a bit of Drew Barrymore's Never Been Kissed. You're probably right in that part of the story, but I think that's where the similarity ends.
I have to give Jody Gehrman credit because as much as this book sounds familiar, she was able to make the story her own. Putting in her own spin using cliche elements from books we've read and movies we've seen, and injecting a healthy dose of hilariousness that will surely tickle one's funny bones, along with a dash of wit and comedy that will make you forget it was similar to another story, Babe in Boyland is an insightful yet very entertaining sneak peek in what happens when girls try to understand what really can't be understood. Boys.
I was already laughing my socks off after the first eight pages. Natalie's voice is distinct and very funny, even comical. Her editors from hell who insults her on a daily basis mocks her further when her advice column bombs and virtually all the males in school hates her because apparently she doesn't know a thing about relationships and boys. She's a failed love goddess and a journalistic joke, to quote her own words. So Natalie attempted to write her own expose, and maybe win the Story of the Year award while she's at it.
I can come up with a few adjectives to describe Natalie, a.k.a. Dr. Aphrodite. She's reckless, she's sassy, she's witty, she's awkward, and basically, she's just a girl trying to learn how it is that boys "operate". I love how Natalie puts in the effort to understand guys more, even though she's crazy as a nut for infiltrating an all boys school. She was trying to be more "dedicated" and more honest in her craft, which was mainly her driving force to do such a drastic action. And for her sanity as a girl, she had to find out once and for all how to give right advices to those writing to her, and not just what they want to hear.
Emilio somewhat reminds me a bit of Alex of the Perfect Chemistry, though somewhat tamer, more mysterious, and more laid back. He's the kind of guy you would love to just hang out with. Not really part of the popular cliques, but he gets along with everyone. I love how simple his character is, but easily lovable.
It's amazing how much I appreciated being a girl after reading about being a boy from another girl's point of view. Aside from the obvious luxuries we have that boys don't, what she had to sacrifice, Natalie had to pretend to be someone she's not, and along the road she had experienced all kinds of failures. I found myself rooting for both Natalie and Nat, and finding delight when they overcome situations (which otherwise embarrasses the world out of everyone in a normal setting) and basically existing in a world far different from her own, the world of boys.
The author's experience in theater is put into good use in this novel. Natalie's character, aside from being a writer, is also an actress, and Jody was able to give an authentic feel on how it feels like to be a high school actress, or just being a part of a drama club.
But what I really loved about this book, was the lessons and realizations that Natalie has picked up along the way. Sometimes its not about trying to decode or understand what "boys" want to say or do. It's about us appreciating what we are and what we have. Its true that Natalie had learned a few hard truths about relationships and boys, but what probably is the greatest lesson this book gives is what she discovered about herself. But seriously, reading Natalie's piece about boys towards the end of the book. It wouldn't hurt to think about what was written about the ever elusive, ever complicated... boys, and why they behave like they do.(less)
Forgive me if this review does not do this book any justice because I cannot put into words just how much I love this...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
Forgive me if this review does not do this book any justice because I cannot put into words just how much I love this book. The last time I've felt like this was when I've read Divergent, but this was a completely different experience!
Warner's personality made the biggest impact on me. He's captivating and all kinds of wrong but his appeal is so strong and unique in his own tortured, sadistic way. Warner has a warped, twisted grasp of the concept of power, it might be honest, true but frightening and ugly. He's passionate about things that would make him stronger and achieve greater things, mostly because of his insecurities that are still unknown. And for him Juliette is a destructive but a powerful and effective means to a grand end. What puzzles me is his almost tender, confusing treatment of Juliette. Is that how psychos show their love? One second tender, the other violent. Maybe he's as broken as Juliette is, with his own horrors in life and nightmares to chase away, but there's something about Warner that just fascinates me even when he's this disturbed, cruel, cold blooded, heartless young leader.
Adam is probably a few notch down the broken list than Warner, but he has his own charms and his own monsters and nightmares to fight off. He's trying to pick up the pieces of what's left in his life, trying to keep his brother safe from the horrors of life and is genuinely kind and heroic. The proverbial knight in shining armor, who has to keep up a facade to protect Juliette. At some level he understands Juliette's pain, they used to be friends after all. He was her only friend. He was the only one not afraid of her, understands her, knows that whatever she has done wasn't her fault, cares for her, loves her so much. Adam is this guy who protects Juliette unconditionally, willing to take countless blows and hurt and pain for her. Where do you find a guy like that now, much less in a future where the world is falling apart?
I don't think I have ever met two boys with personalities as intense as Adam and Warner. They're probably at the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to mental stability, but both are still too hot for words nonetheless.
Pity is probably the last thing I felt for Juliette. Sadness was what I first felt when I flipped through the first page and read about this girl who has not touched anyone in 264 days and has not been loved all her life. All she wanted was to be loved and treated like a human being. Not a monster, not the harbinger of death, not a freak. I felt anger for all the injustice and torture she has ever suffered, and suffered she did. A lot. Despite all of that, Juliette might not be as broken as she thinks she is. Even when death surrounds her, she still believes in the value of human life among anything else. She didn't end her life because deep inside she believes this life she's living, leading, will get better, will be worth it.
The supporting characters were also fabulous! Raise your hands if you like Kenji! I love a guy who can effortlessly throw off a scene or a bad moment with his sarcasm and unexpectedly good humor. Sure he curses a lot, but he's provided a lot of opportunities for light moments and smart comments to make readers like him instantly. He's excruciatingly persistent, and good natured.
And the plot? Brilliant. Heavy. Intense. Every single thing about this book is exquisite. It's wonderful.
Every single moment, every single touch, every single kiss Adam and Juliette shares is like a shot to the heart. Intense and overflowing with emotions it just takes my breathe away. It's hard to lose focus on either Adam or Juliette because they always seem to have very vibrant emotions which readers couldn't help but be attached to.
Tahereh Mafi brings to life Juliette's world in vivid detail, with beautiful words flowing and fusing together one by one. I tell you, this girl has talent. It was hard to continue reading because almost every single sentence in the book is worthy to be quoted. Juliette, Adam and Warner could not have been brought to life more convincingly were it not for the power of Tahereh Mafi's writing.
"I'm one piece of astonishment forged into being". I am completely flummoxed just by how Tahereh Mafi puts together words so easily and make them sound so wonderful. Shatter Me is a beautiful book with beautiful words, astonishing plot and heart stopping moments. Just reading isn't enough. You'd want to experience every single moment, you want to it come to life right before your very eyes. You need to have a really good imagination to give justice to the brilliance of the imagery, and the wide range of emotions you'll feel. I am shaking with feelings ranging from amazement, disbelief, and utter, total fascination. Shatter Me is intensity put into words. Every bullet fired, every punch thrown, every single second spent running for their lives will keep the readers wide eyed, wildly anticipating what happens next, if Adam and Juliette can escape.
The emotions slowed down a little bit towards the end, but if there is one thing I've learned from emotionally potent books like this, it's that the calmness at the end is the beginning of something more in the next book. Shatter Me's ending allows readers to catch their breaths after a highly entrancing experience.
Read it! This book definitely deserves all the hype and attention thrown it's way! Tahereh Mafi is a superb author to watch out for.(less)
I tend to shy away from YA Paranormal since I'm still recovering from reading paranormal romances even before I crossed...moreFull review at: Amaterasu Reads
I tend to shy away from YA Paranormal since I'm still recovering from reading paranormal romances even before I crossed to the YA genre, so I always am skeptical to try new books. Boy, this book just made me enjoy YA paranormal again!
How do I begin my review of this book? I'm not really sure, because this impressed me so much. The plot development is solid. Eventually you'll have questions as you go along (like who are the Nephilim? what are they?) and I have to admit that I thought I was going to have a hard time remembering the terms used since there were so many at the first few pages, but Ednah was able to explain everything clearly. The questions are eventually answered one by one, and the story flow is smooth.
The way Ednah wrote about Lil and her life as a gypsy is so vivid, I can just picture it in my head, clear as a bright summer day, the setting, where she lives, how she is as a person. You think it'll be difficult to imagine a world where Demons and Nephilims exist? Not in this book.
Ednah gave life the Angels and Demons, the battle between Good and Evil in a crafty way that will get you hooked from the first page! I did get hooked, right after I read the first four pages. There were a healthy amount of action scenes that made the read more engaging, and of course the twists and turns and surprises you come across that there isn't a dull moment while you're reading!
There are countless of books about Angels and Demons out there, but for me this was one of a kind, definitely one of the most refreshing YA paranormal books I've read so far. I'm definitely re-reading this once I have the time.
I'm also looking forward to the next book in the series! I wonder when it'll be released?(less)
Brie died on the very same day her boyfriend told her he doesn't love her and her heart just got broken into two, literally. Now Brie is stuck in a dingy pizza place and a replica of her town and she couldn't really quite get into the afterlife, not until she made sure her family and friends were okay. But as Brie tries to get through Death to be able to move on, she slowly realizes that not all is well in good in the life she'd left behind. Plus there's one Top Gun Tom Cruise look a like boy who's her only shot at making it through the after life and he makes her feel things about the afterlife she didn't quite expect to.
My heart broke for Brie for many, many times. To be able to see your family picking up the pieces of their lives after you are gone, seeing them struggle and yet you couldn't do anything about it was painful. Ironically, Brie's character felt more alive when she was dead than when she was living. You get this seemingly perfect girl at first and then you see her in her more fragile moments and you realize there's more to her than just having great friends and family. What made me love her is that spark in her personality, that spunkiness, even when she was betrayed and lied to when she was living. She didn't just accept it all sitting down, she got mad and got even. But even in her after life, Brie was determined to make life right, at least for those she had left behind.
Patrick is the most adorable Lost Soul in the whole world! I loved him from the very first moment he opened his mouth and started spewing out creative cheese nicknames for Brie to the very moment his character unraveled. I couldn't remember how many times I have laughed out loud with his cheesy, bad pick up lines. But most of all I loved how you'll feel like you're just skimming over the surface of his personality in most parts of the book, then you finally find out just how much he had sacrificed for the very same thing Brie hated, Love, you get this entirely different person and you'll just like him more. Plus he's good in Latin. Definitely a plus!
The Catastrophic History of You and Me is the first book in a long time that made me feel heartache, happiness, anger and sadness all at the same time. It's never easy reading about Death, let alone reading about someone going through it, so I was really surprised when I found myself being swept along with Brie's story, her emotions, her thoughts, her life. I felt like I went through the Five Stages of Grief myself. It's one thing to think that an author's writing is good, but to be completely enamored with it is an entirely different thing. It's a bit scary how much I responded to Brie's experiences as she went through all of it.
The Catastrophic History of You and Me surprised me in a lot of ways. It's about family, it's about friends, it's about love, it's about life. It's full of what ifs and what could have been. It's about trust and sacrifices, about sharing and listening. About being honest with yourself and thinking of not just yourself but all of those you love. Patrick and Brie's story made the afterlife seem so romantic!
Jess Rothenberg had this magical way with words and she'd make you evoke a swarm of complicated emotions that will sweep you off your feet while reading her book. I breezed through this book and I couldn't wait to read it again. It's THAT good! Fantastic debut, Jess!(less)
I always get nostalgic whenever I read stories about high school, given that it was such a fun time of my life. And th...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
I always get nostalgic whenever I read stories about high school, given that it was such a fun time of my life. And the collection of stories in Luna East Academy brought out a lot of warm, fuzzy feelings in me while I was reading. There really is a story for anyone and everyone who've ever been through the good and the bad times, the crazy ups and downs and the confusing, exhilirating time that was High School.
Short but meaningful, each of the stories will bring out a different feeling from the reader the moment they finish reading. I started off feeling 'kilig', immediately responding to that sweetness that started off the stories in Luna East. It gradually pulled me in with the myriad of characters I meet in each author's work, each becoming a little more interesting as I navigate through the world of high school cliques, the social hierarchies, and the common denominator that binds all of the stories inside: friendship and love.
I really think the idea behind Luna East is brilliant! I love how I get to read works from different authors with different themes and writing styles and you not only get to see the contrasts in their works, but you get to know the lives of those within the fictional Academy that is Luna East. You are bound to meet a character that you will like and dislike, read a story that will make your heart ache or jump with joy, one that will fascinate you a lot and make you think of it even after you've finished reading. I love getting that wonderful, happy feeling.
All of the stories were really good, but some of them stayed with me long after I finished reading the Kindle ebook and they are:
Sitting in a Tree by Chrissie Peria
I've read this first on the Luna East blog, and it didn't get less sweeter or cuter after my second time reading. It makes one miss school fairs and all those booths that serves as "bridges" for some of the students to express what they feel for other fellow students.
Fifty two weeks by Mina V. Esguerra
I had a big smile pasted on my face by the time I finished reading this story. Anything Mina writes always seem to get under my skin, leaving me with extreme feels.
Yours is the First Face that I Saw by Ronald S. Lim
This story surprised me completely. I've read a handful of stories with LGBT themes, but Ron's just made me fall in love with his story immediately after reading the first few paragraphs. It's delightfully interesting and was written really well. My only complain: why does it have to end there? More!
Something Real by Miles Tan
My first taste of sadness in the world of Luna East. Gigi's story took time for it to sink in! There was something about her and what she's been through that makes me want to just hug her. The poor girl... and that guy. I have no words to express what I feel about James. It was a mix of frustration and disbelief and a little bit of sadness thrown in the mix. I love how this story brought out complex feelings from me. One of my top favorites!
The Rumor About Me by Kristel S. Villar
This has got to be my most favorite story in this collection! I just love anything that involves a shy, timid girl who learns to stand up for herself along the way and the jock who was completely different from what everyone thinks he really was. I wish it didn't end. I wish there was more.
Senpai’s #1 Fan by Anne Plaza
I was sold the moment the words "Kaname" and "Danny Choo" were mentioned at the start of the story, and later "Quatre Raberba Winner". Anne Plaza gave the readers a sneak peek into the world of Otakus, enough to gave Jannie a good foundation for her character. If I was a character in Luna East's world I'd probably be hanging out with Jannie and her friends. I will thrive at anime conventions and fangirl over goods and cosplayers, and still be focused enough to notice someone like Adrian. I also love how it wasn't just about anime or mecha costumes, but the transition to music is a good addition too!
Wouldn’t Change a Thing by Jayen San Diego
"I am always the second best, and I hate it." After I've read that line I knew I was going to like this story. I love how stubborn Maan can be, and how that stubborn streak in her draws Nico helplessly closer. There's something good about getting inside Maan and Nico's head and knowing how they feel about those around them and each other, which made me love the point of view switching. And those sweet moments at the end? I had to re-read them over and over.
If you think of each story as a part of a world you've yet to fully see, you will find something worth exploring in Luna East. There's definitely a lot of room for new stories and characters to appear, all of them existing in a world where anything can happen. But more than that, these collection of stories urges everyone to come not just explore life in Luna East, but try to write their own story. Each and every single tale can inspire a reader to write something, anything, to contribute to the world of arts, music, money and sports. What a really lovely work this is! Kudos to each and every writer in this collection! You are all a talented bunch! (less)
I've been a Kpop fan almost half of my life and I am so glad I have read a book with Korean influence all over. It's the first I've come across, and i...moreI've been a Kpop fan almost half of my life and I am so glad I have read a book with Korean influence all over. It's the first I've come across, and it's really really good.
What made this a very enjoyable read for me, is how much I can relate to it. As a huge fan of Korean pop music, the references to a lot of Korean artists made me really proud, as this is the first book that had mentioned a lot of the most talented and most loved Korean artists I know. And it wasn't just mentioned in passing, it was an important part of the story, as Jo. Zee, the instructor being half-Eurasian and half Korean, draws out most of his influences on them.
I do think that the Korean pop audience would like to read this book as well, knowing how much they'll be able to relate to its characters (some of which are Asians).
The story reminds me a bit of Step Up!, with dancing as one of the main elements in the book, and of course, Suzie's brief two-week journey through internship and discovering the first sin, Lust.
The concept of writing about Lust is very interesting in my opinion. A friend of mine was asking if this book would have parts about sex, but it surprised me how it was delivered in a way that there was no need to write an actual, blatant, sex scene and yet you'll eventually understand what "Lust" is in this book.
One of my concerns when using foreign phrases in a book is that authors tend to use them and expecting the readers to get the meaning without having to explain it. I had to admit its also one of my concerns seeing that there are parts where Korean, Spanish and French phrases were used, but Jess not only managed to explain their meaning, the phrases added a tinge of uniqueness to the book and was able to integrate it well in the conversations without confusing the readers.
Also, I am very much fascinated with the way Jess was able to write the dance scenes. It was filled with such detail you'd imagine it easily as if you were watching it happen right before your eyes. Dancing is a very energetic and lively endeavor and I'm glad the book had the same energetic and lively feeling to it.(less)
See when Richelle Mead said The Hunt is "terrifying and fascinating", I should have taken her word for it. I really s...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
See when Richelle Mead said The Hunt is "terrifying and fascinating", I should have taken her word for it. I really should have.
I am writing this review with my heart still up on my throat, pounding frantically from the adrenaline rush this book provided. I'm pretty much feeling utterly terrified right now, and I am not exaggerating.
We are all humans, that's an undeniable fact. I am human, and I have never before appreciated being one until I have read this book. It saddened and somehow repulsed me to see humanity die and deteriorate to the unimaginable. You never appreciate humanity as it is now until you read of something like what is portrayed in The Hunt, where the population was reduced to flesh eating, merciless creatures. The few remaining survivors are stripped of even the most basic thing, to be called a "human", a live breathing person. Instead they are called "Hepers", nothing more but food, much like a cattle, for consumption and entertainment. They were educated, well fed and kept in a dome, unaware of the doom their young existence will meet shortly. How ironic the vampires in the book consider themselves superior when they behave the way they do, with insatiable thirst for flesh and blood, like savages. Like monsters.
The children in this book have my respect for surviving as long as they have. I would never last a day if it was me. Fear is a great motivator to stay alive. Gene has done all he can to live, even the unthinkable: to walk with the very same people who are out to get someone like him. Years of pretending to be someone he was not felt like he was slowly forgetting who he was. The father he has lost taught him these: Do not stand out, be like them, do not show emotions. The vampires are just like what I expected them to be, merciless and vicious. You cannot outrun them, you cannot escape from them, you cannot win against them. If you are a Heper, you will die. It was a fact in this book. He couldn't do anything to stop it, not if he wants to survive. Self preservation is an instinct, and Gene's reluctance to help the Hepers were understandable, but seeing and finally understanding that he and them were the same, he couldn't possibly let them die. Not for him, not for Ashley June. The only thing that gave hope in this book is the confusing and fragile romance between Ashley June and Gene and in some ways it is also sad.
The little details that makes the vampires who they are, no matter how horrific it was, fascinated me. They express laughter by scratching their wrists, they show affection by touching elbows and armpits. They do not smile. In a way it felt like they were dead inside. Imagine a whole place filled with creatures like them. They walk and they talk, but that's where the similarities end.
Gene had a front row seat to witness first hand the devouring of Hepers, of his kind, his people, when he was selected to take part in The Hunt. What a sick and twisted way of entertainment. But it wasn't just for that, even the government found a way to make it a tool for gaining support and popularity. I keep on asking myself "how is this all possible?". Why can't they just be satisfied with synthetic meat? With produced blood? To hunt humans as a sport? Make it a form of entertainment? Some sort of a campaign? This is what happens when the order of things change. What was natural for humans will never apply to these creatures. Basking in the sunshine, sleeping under the shade and eating apples were all but trivial things. What a horrifying society the world had in this distant future.
The Hunt is full of unexpected surprises and twists and turns tucked within pages of hair raising, high octane scenes. Expect carnage, expect blood, expect the unexpected. I felt my heart skipped a beat more times than I can count while reading. Andrew Fukuda paints a frightening, bloody picture of the future. What happens when the hunter becomes the hunted? The knowledge that you can die any minute is evident from the page one, like a dark cloud hanging over you, and it will not go away easily. I felt a myriad of emotions while reading this book, from total, utter fascination to something that made me sick to my stomach. But it's good. Very good. The kind of good that will leave you speechless.
Mankind's downfall will be ourselves, and The Hunt will show the readers just how hopeless, dark and savage the world can be if we become the very monsters we are all afraid of. (less)
A single moment can change everything. A tragedy can change lives forever.
Ezra Faulkner was your resident golden boy, good looks, good grades, great family. But all of that was before the accident, before he found out that he needed a cane to walk, before he had to give up playing tennis. Now hanging out with his usual crowd doesn't feel right anymore. Being homecoming king suddenly feels irrelevant, being popular felt like an unusual idea. In his search to find out just who Ezra is post accident, he crosses paths with his childhood friend Toby, who himself faced a tragedy of his own early in life, and his unlikely circle of friends. Then there's Cassidy Thorpe. She was like someone from a dream, smart, full of life and infinitely interesting. With Toby and Cassidy, Ezra's life was starting to take a bright, new shape, one filled with new adventures, opportunities and friendships that seemed impossible before. But as Ezra continue to fall for the mysterious Cassidy, the secrets and intrigue that seems to accompany her was starting to feel like another tragedy waiting to happen.
I will never get tired of saying this: Ezra has a great, strong voice. Throughout the novel, I absorbed each and every word he uttered, every thought of his. I never got tired just listening and feeling everything his character had to give and present to a reader. For a golden boy who should have sounded shallow given the initial set-up of his character, the depth of his personality is a surprise. The struggle he poses felt real at the very least, palpable and relatable at most. As much as I wanted to pity him, I found myself urging Ezra to be strong, because if there was anyone who could get through that one moment of tragedy to start anew, it was him.
Like Ezra, intrigue was what I felt when I encountered Cassidy Thorpe. In a sense, she was different. Smart, eloquent, deep, fascinating. Cassidy had a fresh, unusual take in life that attracts Ezra. Where Ezra's life revolves on parties and tennis games, Cassidy takes parts on debates and attends college lectures she's not even enrolled at. There were moments where I felt she was so real, so fascinating and so quaint. She was like a rollercoaster ride, with dips and high points, thrills and lulls. She's a joy to read, like a slice of happiness with a certain piece of sadness attached to it. She was the missing piece that completes a puzzle, but not Ezra's.
Toby was twelve when he faced tragedy in the face, quite literally. His quirks are what made me love him, and the fact that even though he and Ezra drifted apart as they grew up, he was there ready to be his friend all over again. Toby's quips and random musings always manage to make me laugh. He makes everything bearable because despite not being popular or school royalty, he knew how to have fun in his own geeky way. Along with Phoebe, Luke, Sam and Austin, they represent the misfits, with oddities and flaws that endears them to the readers in their own unique way. They were the kids you notice for not being part of the normal crowd, but are fascinating in their own way once you get to know them. They were my crowd, my kind of people.
The bittersweet romance that transpired between Ezra and Cassidy, as well the truths and lies that binds them both was worth the read. What happened to both of them felt right, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows. Life doesn't always turn out the way we want it to be and that's exactly what happened to them. Where one was urging the other to break out of the cage that confined him to a world that doesn't fit him anymore, the other could not break out of her own, trapped in a world full of regrets, pain and sadness even she couldn't escape.
There's a lyrical, almost painful feeling inserted in parts of Robyn Schneider's The Beginning of Everything. There was no need to use big words to express and pass on to the readers Ezra's feelings: regrets, sadness, loneliness, confusion, envy, wonderment, hate, love. The smooth, simple way the story was presented was enough to speak to the readers. It's such an interesting part of reading, always, to find out just how much lesson a story conveys, and Robyn Schneider's story drove several points home. Do we let a single tragedy define us for life? Where does one find the courage to start over and find one's self again? How good is being normal? Can you be different and still live a life filled with things that can make you whole? Ezra's story answered these questions and tells the reader something more.
Severed Heads and Broken Hearts, they were the perfect words one can use to describe, in essence, what this novel is all about and yet readers can still find something more in it. Something profound that can coax emotions that's sad and happy, good and bad, the what ifs, the whys and why nots, the realization that even though tragedy can change a person's life, there's bound to be at least one person who will cross your life and help you change it in a way you never expected it to be. Sometimes they stay, and sometimes, they don't.
Once in a while there comes a novel that just speaks to you unlike any other story you've read. The Beginning of Everything is that kind of book. I do not even need to recommend this to readers as much as I did for other books. When you come across this book and the urge to read hits you, remember that Robyn Schneider created a masterpiece worthy of reading. What beautiful story telling from Robyn Schneider!(less)
I should not be surprised of the unexpected twists and turns a Julie Kagawa book presents, but it still gets to me, e...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
I should not be surprised of the unexpected twists and turns a Julie Kagawa book presents, but it still gets to me, every single time. In this action packed sequel, Allison is on a race against time to save her sire, Kanin. Trapped in the hands of a psychotic vampire named Sarren who will do anything to inflict the same pain he has felt when Kanin betrayed their race, Allison is on a desperate search to find him, but she won't be able to do it without enlisting the help of an unexpected ally. As they track Sarren, Allison comes face to face with something much worse than the Red Lung virus, and it's infecting everyone, including vampires. Now Allison had the seemingly impossible task of finding Kanin, and stopping the virus before it kills everyone.
I've said this before and I will say this again: Allison Sekimoto might be small, petite to some, but she's never to be underestimated. She's got a heart bigger than anyone, and she's not afraid to do anything in order to protect the ones she loved. Her struggle to not become the monster she fears will drive away the people she had learned to care about is the main conflict for her in this book, and my admiration for her just grows. I agree with what Jackal and Kanin says: it takes a certain strength to become a creature of the night, and Allison got through it. There's a lot going on inside her head as she was wondering if embracing who she has become was the right thing to do, and what does becoming a vampire has in store for her in the future. What about her and Zeke?
Am I crazy, or am I just reading too much into Kanin and Allison's relationship? I never, not once, did I feel, that his actions were fatherly towards her. Not once. Granted he might be her sire, but I felt there were moments where they were just connected in a way Zeke and Allison will never be, and it's not just the call of blood. There was one particular moment where I still wonder if it was punishment and cruelty that Kanin wants to show or was it something leaning towards something more. This part of my review just confirms how I secretly will not object if Kanin and Allison will ever have that 'something'.
Trust Julie Kagawa to mess with my mind as I struggle to make sense of Jackal's true character. Even after the end of this novel I am uncertain if he's one who hides under the facade of evil but has something inside of him that might make him a little good, or if it's the reverse. Some of his intentions were good, and according to Kanin he's lost, but can someone who lost his way be redeemed? Jackal is a fun vampire to read, and though I hated him in Immortal Rules, he's showed sides to him in The Eternity Cure that can't be overlooked. Also, Jackal took over the limelight and stole it away from Zeke. Although Zeke's character tends to fade in the background a little bit because of his kind nature, he's shown flashes of strength and leadership that gives his character room for potential growth. I just hope he's able to withstand whatever the story throws his way especially with the trials he went through in this book.
The plot is nothing short of brilliant! I've always had high praises for Julie Kagawa for being such an imaginative writer and The Eternity Cure just takes me into a world unlike anything I've read of before. If you think Immortal Rules was a high octane read, The Eternity Cure was filled to the brim with action scenes one after another. Be prepared to plunge in to the fast paced story from page one because it doesn't stop until the end. And the best part is? You'll want more even after you're finished reading. It's a dark, bloody world and Julie Kagawa did a great job building it and creating characters who can kick butt and still manage to be complicated and deep at the same time. If you think the story ends when the race to find Kanin comes to a close, you have a new type of plague, Bleeders, deranged vampires and the potential threat of all life on earth ending to keep you going. An explosive story with rapid pace, highly volatile characters and unexpected plot twists, Julie Kagawa had the recipe for an amazing follow up down a tee in The Eternity Cure. I cannot get enough of this series!
I still remember that night when I woke up and my mom was staring at the TV in shock. That was September 11, the day...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
I still remember that night when I woke up and my mom was staring at the TV in shock. That was September 11, the day of the 9/11 bombing in the U.S. I think that will be forever etched in my mind, so a book written inspired by the 9/11 events will never go unnoticed by me.
A lot of families lost their loved ones that day of the terrorist attack, like 12 year old Ben. True to the summary, this book isn't just about that, but of Ben and his friends Preeti and Jed and what happened to them that summer.
Ben is a kid you would just like to hug, a kid you couldn't help but love. He was afraid to grieve for his parents because people will think he's being overly dramatic. And for a 12 year old to think of that just breaks my heart. And the hardships he has faced dealing with his mom's eating habits, that's a lot for a 12 year old who has also lost a father to take. Also, Preeti is so funny! She sounds very intelligent for an 11 year old, and I love how she always babbles, saying she's just trying to help cousins get rid of their emotional baggages. How can an 11 year old say that?
I loved this book for a number of reason. I was first skeptical when I first read that this is appeals to younger audiences, but I am glad I gave this a chance. Even with the MG feel of the book, readers will be able to relate to it in some ways. I feel like I'm seeing a younger version of myself through Ben, Jed and Preeti. How I had fun when I was young, with a very active imagination! Also, I love how hilarious this is. I've had quite a good laugh while I was reading this book. As if that isn't enough, there's also a very cute carton illustration in the end, which made the book more enjoyable than it already is.
We Can Be Heroes is not just all about fun. It also tackles issues like racism, through the eyes of children like Ben, Jed and Preeti. It's also about family, dealing with loss and grief, done in a very entertaining way. It was evident that Catherine Bruton knew what she was writing about with the way she presented sensitive issues and topics in this book. It tackled stereotypes, races, terrorism in a very good way.
We Can Be Heroes made me feel like a kid again, made me look back at those times and reflect on how good those times were. It also made me appreciate my family in a lot of ways, and seeing the friendship formed between all three children was so heart warming, that even when times were difficult they can still have fun. Set aside a few hours of your time and give this book a chance, will you?(less)
I can just imagine the first scene happening inside my head as if it was real. Alex and her twin brother Marcel, stand...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
I can just imagine the first scene happening inside my head as if it was real. Alex and her twin brother Marcel, standing in front of the destruction left by the fire that stole their parents away from them. The horror evident on both child's faces as they realized what awaits them as orphans in the kingdom of Antion. At that moment I decided that I will read this book through the very end.
The summary was deceiving, readers are not shoved head on to battle at once, but into a world of careful re-imagining and building by Sara Larson. We see Alexa years after she had lost her parents as she lived her life as a boy with her twin brother, Marcel. She was the best guard, the captain if only she wasn't so young. With Marcel by her side and friends like Rylan and comrades like Deron, her job becomes bearable, that is if the Prince wasn't being the stubborn, pampered Royal he always was.
I loved Alexa, the way her character was built, through death, destruction, the loss and sacrifice of the ones she loved, and it has made her a strong, tough person. The life she was leading wasn't easy, having to hide her true identity, lie and deceive people, all the while serving a man who has done unspeakable horrors to her fellow citizens. I cannot imagine how it was like to be in her shoes, aside from being forced to masquerade as someone she's never going to be (a male) if she wanted to live, she was given such daunting tasks one after another. Her struggle to hide her identity as a woman intrigued me at first, and that was what kept me going through most parts of this book, always anticipating that moment when she was discovered. That, and her electrifying, tension-filled interactions with Price Damian.
Cliche as it might look, I was caught in the emotions Sara Larson was able to weave in each and every encounter Alexa had with Damian. He comes off as a spoiled Prince who throws tantrums in the most irrational way, but Damian's just as deceiving as Alex was, and his infuriating, smart way of exchanging words and banter with Alex was such a delight to read. He was, in a sense, swoon worthy, especially when more of his character was revealed when he was abducted! I have to say that the secrets he was keeping gave way for a lot of confusion and questions, because while we wait for each secret to be revealed, readers also wait to see what his character as a whole has to offer. Was there more to him than the flowery words and magnetic charm? There was, and I'm glad that his past was revealed because it gave him the needed backbone for his story, a reason for why he was acting the way he was. It was frustrating, however, how he and Alexa always seem to tease each other, but when they get too close, they pull back without warning.
Like Alexa, I seem to have been torn between Damian and Rylan. While Damian's title definitely adds to his charm, Rylan, as a Royal Guard, only has that to compare against Damian. But I did feel like Rylan's character was a lot more stable and consistent than Damian was. Granted, he might be a little to kind and a martyr, having been that guy who decided to give way and wait for a girl who he knew doesn't love him, but Rylan had his own charms. In a perfect setting, he would be better suited for Alexa, and at times I felt just that. I felt bad for him quite often. Maybe good guys do finish last, but his supportive attitude, understanding and acceptance of Alexa should have earned him a little more credit for her. He was suffering there, watching as Alexa's and Damian's story happen right before his eyes and he can't do anything about it. I hope he becomes more assertive in the next book. Fight for what you want, Rylan!
I give Sara Larson a salute for creating an interesting world for Defy. This might be her debut novel, but I loved how she painted such a convincing world for her story. Antion, Osgard, Dansii, the inner workings for each kingdom, the Royalty, its citizens, the state of their lives and how they are all connected gave the book a solid setting that served as a great backdrop for Alex, Rylan and Damian's story to unfold. Though it was largely a story of a girl keeping her true identity a secret, it was also that of a war torn world, the terrors that comes along with it and the struggle to make it a better place for everyone. The motivations behind Damian's actions, the force that drives Alex to keep her secret and protect her people, all of it contributed to a solid, entertaining read.(less)
You know when you've read something entirely different from what you always read and you can barely sort things out i...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
You know when you've read something entirely different from what you always read and you can barely sort things out in your head because it's so unique? That's how I feel about Heaven.
Heaven's heart got stolen, literally. That one night she was up the roof, admiring the night sky and the stars, solving the puzzle that has turned into a mini obsession for the last few years, she bumped into David Pettyfer, courier of hard to find, obscure books. He didn't believe her at first, but something in David compelled him to help Heaven. And when he did, he was suddenly in on a dangerous adventure. And Heaven wasn't just one without a heart, she's also something else. Someone closely connected to the reason why London's sky hasn't been quite the same for years, and he's about to find out just what Heaven is.
Heaven and David are two of the most unlikely pair of teens I've read in quite a while. She was born in a privileged family, orphaned and has been living a double life: one where she's free to study the night sky phenomenon and the other a quiet, rich miss. David escaped from a suffocating family and got acquainted with the rough side of life, a small price he had to pay for his freedom. Both Heaven and David are mature, serious characters but that doesn't make them less interesting of a read. The experience is a little different because they seem less foolish and less frivolous but I love seeing the strength behind each of their personalities.
Most of the time I'm trying to grasp a hold onto the world where Heaven and David are, but since it feels like it's shifting all the time, it's hard to keep track of it. There were times when I feel like I'm in Old London, what with the almost obvious absence of technology at some point, and then in another moment I see Pods, they talk about the internet and mobile phones and so I'm hurled into the present, and then the author introduces something completely out of the loop, something supernatural, that it completely throws me off balance again. It's the kind of confusion that I think comes along with the way the story was made. It makes you really think what this book is all about, and figuring it out is part of the reading experience!
Heaven is a good kind of different. The kind that makes you wonder what's real and what's not. It'll make you skeptic and doubtful but despite the constant unreal feeling, Heaven and David will certainly make you feel much alive. Thrilling, intriguing with a brush of reality and what's beyond it. Christoph Marzi's got a special way of blending the supernatural with adventure, adding a dose of angst along the way and gave it a unique spin. Heaven's got it all: mystery, thrilling (rooftop) chase scenes, evil villains, magic, ghosts, dynamic characters and a solid plot. If you feel like reading a book that has a fascinating unique tone, give it a try!(less)
I can't really find the words to describe my feelings after reading, but I can say this...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
This is such a beautiful book.
I can't really find the words to describe my feelings after reading, but I can say this: There You'll Find Me is heart wrenching and emotional. It's a wonderful story about loss and love and one girl's struggle to put back the pieces of her life shattered by a tragedy.
I had to pause for a while and gather my bearings after I finished reading this. I was a bit misty eyed when I leafed through the last page.
One of the most adorable and charming pairings I have ever had a chance to read about is Beckett and Finley. There were moments where I just drowned myself in laughter over how entertaining they are just throwing random verbal exchanges to each other. They were over the top, certainly, and very funny. But there are also times where my heart feels like its breaking a little more and its those parts I find the hardest to read, but they're also the ones I love the most. Grief is a delicate and a difficult emotion to deal with. It doesn't go away for a long time, and sometimes it stays too long with people to the point that it's all they see, it takes over their lives. But once a person is over that, then what? What is left? The aftermath is what scares Finley. She was so afraid of losing grip in her emotions, her pain for the loss of her brother that she thinks she wouldn't have anything left once she gets past that.
I guess in more ways than one, Finley and Beckett were similar. Both living fake lives, pretending to be happy and just fine. Beckett lost himself amidst the new persona created for him to become a star, and when the time came for him to be just himself, he couldn't go back. He's probably a little selfless, always thinking of other people and he has yet to stand up against a father who treats him as an investment, a tool for money. I love how Beckett has his moments where he was himself even when he's a disguise. Even when their relationship went downhill, they're good for each other. They understand each others pain and suffering and the need to be honest and come clean once and for all. Finley's lucky to come across a guy who can help her through the darkest moment of her life, a popular actor even!
I have to admit I hated Finley, at one point, with all my heart. A person will never admit he/she's an addict, or sick, until someone notices it, sometimes not at all. I've had a hard time connecting with her during those first few moments when everyone keeps on telling her she's sick, that she needs help, that she needs to fix her life (which is not easy, I have to admit) and not be like Mrs. Sweeney but what did she do? Get angry, throw a tantrum, lock herself in her room, refuse to talk to her only friend and ruined her relationship with the only guy who can ever see through her. How is that for ruining yourself big time? I just get so frustrated when main leads act so out of it when you can clearly see what the right thing to do is, when it's right up there staring at their faces and they just won't take it.
Ireland just sound a little bit more magical to me. My mind conjured up images of lush green fields and hills, great scenery and friendly people. There are points in our lives where we feel the need to connect in a deeper level with Him and I felt it while I was reading this book. I am not a very religious person but I loved this particular aspect in the book where Finley travels to Ireland and just drink in every thing, every gravestone, every cliff, every field she sees, and they're all part of God's wonderful creation. Those moments make me appreciate life even more. It makes you want to stop for a little while and think of life even for just a little moment.
That little rant there just goes to show how emotionally invested I have been with the characters. Readers wouldn't help but empathize with them. There You'll Find Me has such dynamic characters with colorful personalities which will touch the reader's hearts. Every single one of them, especially Finley and Beckett, will fill nooks and crannies in your heart.
There You'll Find Me is a touching journey of finding something you once have that you've lost: yourself, love, your faith in people and in Him, in a place where you least expect it to be. It has a little bit of everything; drama, romance, heart breaking and breath taking moments which makes it worth reading. It talks about faith and religion without being preachy, and its something everyone can appreciate reading once in a while.
I have a new favorite author and that is Jenny B. Jones!(less)
Unearthly is just fabulous! Just when you thought any form of writing about...moreOriginal post at Amaterasu Reads
Wow. I am totally blown away by this book.
Unearthly is just fabulous! Just when you thought any form of writing about Angels couldn't get any better, Cynthia Hand proves us wrong! It's new and fresh, and simply stunning you just can't help but wonder how she was able to write something this good.
The pacing was slow at first, but as you go through the pages, the story just picks up and the next thing you know you're so absorbed in it and you only have so few times to catch your breath to think and absorb what's happening. I couldn't put down this book!
Clara is not your typical angel. For one who is with Angel Blood, you'd think luck is on her side, but a lot of things had gone wrong for her when she received her purpose. She had to leave the only home she knew and the friends she grew up with, all for the sake of "saving" the boy in her dreams.
I loved how Clara seems perfectly flawed. Her hair color was a disaster (Carrots!), and from being popular back home, she struggled to make her way through school, which seemed like an unfamiliar territory. She was disliked on sight by the most popular girl on campus, because the guy she had to save happens to be her boyfriend. I love how Clara is quirky, sassy, witty and generally a fun character. She tries hard to make sense of how it was to be an angel, and decipher what her real purpose is. And despite her being an angel-blood, her character is very easy to relate to. Like Mulan, she "followed her heart", and that's what I liked most about her, being true to herself.
The romance build-up fooled me so much. Who in here did not expect Christian to end up with Clara? My prediction was way off the mark! And for the first time I found myself rooting for the underdog! Christian had the advantage in so many ways against Tucker. The money, the looks, popularity, but I can't help but feel more for Tucker. There's a certain depth in Tucker that Christian surprisingly lacks, or maybe it's because we get to know Tucker more in this book, and I adore his character! *raises Tucker banners*
There's a certain intensity in the love triangle involving Clara, Tucker and Christian that just draws you. At least that's what I felt. Christian and Tucker may be different as night and day, but for some reason, they are both fitting to be with Clara. One of the reasons why I love Cynthia Hand's writing is her way of just putting into words powerful emotions. You can feel a lot through her writing.
I simply cannot get over the fact that Cynthia Hand's writing is very simple. There were no flowery words used, no steering around corners to lengthen the story, and yet you find yourself in Clara's shoes, in her world, with all these wonderful characters and great stories around you that you can't help but be fascinated.
I know there's more to look forward to in this series, and it has a lot of potential! I can tell that it's going to be a big hit! Like most of the reviews I know, I wasn't the least satisfied with the ending. I was stunned, to say the least. It's a long wait for the second book, but that is one wait I'm gonna have to endure.(less)
London's brain resets at 4:33 am. Everything she has done for the day, fighting with her mom about the secrets she's...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
London's brain resets at 4:33 am. Everything she has done for the day, fighting with her mom about the secrets she's been keeping from her about her dad, talking to her bestfriend Jamie, getting hit by a dodge ball in the face, borrowing hideous clothes from a snarky schoolmate, and meeting that one boy who she'll love, she forgets all of them. Whether she likes it or not, the moment her eyes open the next day, she would not remember any of it.
If you think that would be fun, you're wrong.
Living a life filled with notes you need to read to get you through day by day, meeting people, experiencing life changing moments and having all of them erased, wiped clean in a day, I can't imagine how one can live a normal life, let alone build one at that.
First, I would like to say that I'm humbled to be introduced and read about a character like London. Sure she's not a perfect character, but because of what she's going through, I appreciate all the little things I used to take for granted. Because I will remember all of them and they will always stay with me. For London's case, no matter how hard she tries, it wouldn't. Ever. I admire the strength she has and her determination to live life as normally as she can.
It's a lot harder because London can only see what's in the future. She can never look back even if she wanted to. How can you come into terms with the fact that you know what's in store for you tomorrow, even those years from now, and not what HAD happened today? It's heart breaking and very sad. If you had the power to see them, would you want to change it? Will you tell people? It's hard to be London.
Here's what made me love Forgotten even more. Aside from the uniqueness of the plot, I loved how the characters behave. Specifically Luke. He's vulnerable, sensitive, awkward at times and weird. Who paints ears anyway? He cries in front of London, he does sweet things for London, tells her the cutest things, like when when he told her she snores. Even with London's reluctance to have Luke know of her secret, he was there, doing the littlest things, making the effort to make sure that even when London forgets everything, she'd still remember him. The guy she likes. Now that's a love that's enduring despite all the difficulties they face and will face in the future.
I think he's the one person you would not want to be erased from your memory, or from your notes, no matter what happens.
Forgotten is a one of a kind read. It's an amazing debut novel. It has a captivating plot, with real and emotional characters, and that one girl who will leave us contemplating about the things in life we tend to ignore. Forgotten will rouse powerful emotions from readers once they are immersed in London's world, filled with notes and things to remember, yet filled with love and hope that sometimes, the mind can forget, but the heart will always remember.
You wouldn't want to miss such an UNFORGETTABLE novel, right?(less)
There was an archaeologist, an airman, a painter, a ghost, a vampire and a Viking, but it all started with a journali...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
There was an archaeologist, an airman, a painter, a ghost, a vampire and a Viking, but it all started with a journalist sent on a mysterious island for a story. These people all had their own stories of horror, tragedy and love told, but how are they all connected?
Markus Sedgwick's story telling filled me with awe. When I first started reading this book all I ever felt was confusion, and for the next three stories that feeling stayed with me. But then time rewinds itself, and where the horror started for a journalist named Erik, stories from Winter, Harvest to Blood Moons featuring different characters presented itself and the reader like me was left to wonder if everything will make sense in the end.
I had felt different feelings as I read through all seven of the stories. The first was utter confusion, the second provided hints but muddled the story a bit, the third made me feel skeptical, the fourth broke my heart a little bit, the fifth left me wide-eyed, the sixth made me feel afraid, and the seventh was just utterly tragic and that was what tied the other six together and gave way to such a great story in such a roundabout but surprisingly neat way. I rarely read nor have the patience to pick up subtle clues and connect one story to another but just when I was about to give up trying to put everything together for this book, by the time I was reading the sixth story, the author gave away hints that just opened up the story and widened my understanding of it and I suddenly realized how differently the way this story has been told and I felt really impressed.
Midwinterblood showcased a wide range of seemingly unrelated stories, filled with seemingly unrelated characters and even though they share the same names, or a variety of it, it will still make the readers wonder what the point is of showing stories all tackling the same topic: love in its various forms and the sacrifices one is willing to make to obtain it, if not now, maybe in another place, in another time. There was an odd sense of melancholic beauty in all the tragedies, deaths and horrors each and every character has encountered, and the readers brave and patient enough to march into the story further and further will get to experience the magic of Markus Sedgwick's writing. Different, but lovely. It's my first Markus Sedgwick book and I am just happy that my first had to be a unique story like this. Unexpected read, but I am delightfully surprised!
I wish I can describe the individual stories and the characters a little more, but giving general opinions about the book is the safest way to tackle this as anything else I say will give the whole story away. This, however, is a book that must be read in the daylight, especially if you are someone whose rich imagination runs wild at first and scary the next. It takes a while to get used to the feeling of confusion as you try to anticipate how the next story is connected to the previous one, but I promise you, the last 60 pages will be what makes this story such a worthwhile read. Is this recommended? Yes, definitely! (less)
What struck me the most was the realism. It's very obvious and powerful, and it...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
I'm a little bit in-between this book.
What struck me the most was the realism. It's very obvious and powerful, and its what really urged me to read through it all. I loved and hated the emotions it roused in me while reading. A very strong sense of hate for what happens to the children, fear for their lives amd pity for Carly and Mitch.
What Carly and her younger brother Mitchell experienced is horrifying and disturbing to say the least. No child should ever experience what they went through. I instantly hated the parents that brought them into this world and left them in the hands of Richard. The guy was a lunatic! It was no wonder Carly felt abandoned and resigned to a life of torment. What can a teenage girl and a five year old boy do?
I instantly sympathized with the characters as soon as I read the first page. But it took me time to understood Carly. I could not fully comprehend the reason why Carly had to "click". Even the explanation confused me a little, which made the somewhat paranormal angle of the book lost to me.
What I did love though, was reading the entire book through Carly's point of view. It was scary seeing all of it from her side, but its like a tangible thing that you can feel. All of it. Her emotions, her thoughts, her constant worry over Mitchell.
In a way, it was depressing. I thought with all the beating and emotional torture Carly went though, she'll deserve to have something better, and she did eventually, but not fully. Morgan is the one bright spot that added a touch of romance into it, a welcome feeling for a book with such a sad theme.
As I said, I love the emotions that In the Storm invoked in me, and I always loved reading books that made me feel. The worst way to feel for a book is apathy, and I'm always wary of reading books with powerful themes and not feeling anything for it, but that did not happen for In the Storm. I think adding a few more pages and turning this into a full length book will allow the plot, as well as the characters, develop for a clearer, stronger story with a more solid foundation.(less)
So you want to be a part of a bit adventure. How about in the near future? And you want to be with two drastically di...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
So you want to be a part of a bit adventure. How about in the near future? And you want to be with two drastically different people trying to survive in the harsh world with a Sky that mostly kills than saves. You don't need to look far, because Under the Never Sky is the book you need.
It might just be me, but I took great delight in seeing Aria forge a strong character when she was out in the wastelands. She's a girl who, all her life, has lived in her own bubble inside Reverie where she can control everything, never knowing the outside world, and Aria learned just how it was like to truly live when she was thrown to the Death Shop for death to cover up a sinister deed. With an outsider. With Perry. There was a particular scene in the book, when Perry had to tell Aria that she had her 'first blood', that made me realize how constricted Aria's life really was. Even with all the technology, the freedom she enjoys in the Reverie, there were things she didn't even know. But the harshness of the terrain, every blister, every twinge of hunger, every single time she braved a storm when the Never Sky goes haywire, all of it contributed in creating a new Aria. A better Aria, one who knew the secrets behind her birth and what really happens inside Reverie.
Ah, Perry. How do I begin to describe this wonderful character? I was greatly fascinated with him. Perry's story is much more complicated than Aria's and I like a great mystery, something I want to figure out. He was raised in a world completely different from Aria's, but filled with the same familiar complexities. He has to kill his brother to become the Blood Lord, the leader of his tribe, but he couldn't do it because of his beloved nephew, Talon, is dying. He's strong, a bit headstrong for his own good. He has plans vastly different from his brother, most of the time clashing opinions with him. Perry is Marked, a Scire. Rare, with two gifts instead of just one. He can smell emotions and see better than anyone else in the dark. It must be hard to possess both a gift and a curse. Perry will worm his way through the reader's hearts with his unusual charisma. Rough, hardened by life but smart and strong. Someone who's capable of loving so much and be harsh if needed. Experienced. Vulnerable. Wouldn't you like a person like that as well?
Veronica Rossi took the time to develop Aria and Perry's relationship. I am not a fan of insta-love myself so I am deeply impressed with the way Veronica made the shift of emotions between Perry and Aria from hate and disdain coupled with curiosity, to trust and ultimately, love. It takes time to build all of that, and surely enough the trials Perry and Aria went through were enough to show them the good side of each other. They grew on me. I was swept away by the story and I didn't even realize it until I was holding my breath during scenes where they faced great dangers and had to fight for their lives countless of times. The wastelands were an unforgiving place, either you fight to live or you die, it's as simple as that.
I think what made me fascinated with this book, aside from the great romance and dynamic characters, were how the settings were written. Veronica's world building is just amazing. Scary, but amazing. You can see the glaring difference between the Reverie and what was beyond the Wastelands. One was progressive, the other one simple, maybe even considered primitive. I don't think you can even call it a wasteland because people exist in those places. Granted it was with a life much more crude and harder than in Reverie but when you look closely, they also have startling similarities no matter how advanced or how 'outdated' both places are. After all, people live in there, they're ruled by basic instincts, with desires and wants, though it might not be exactly the same. The Reverie needs to find a way to correct the mistakes they made in their ruthless pursuits of technology to live better, and The Blood Lords will do anything to make their tribe survive.
What's more amazing is that there's an abundance of supporting characters that readers will also love. Roar is one particular interesting fellow. I knew from the moment I've read of him that I will like him. Roar has superior hearing, his gift. I'd like to read more of his story with Liv, Perry's sister. He's a great friend to Perry and to Aria. And probably the first person who will get your attention aside from the three is Cinder. A great mystery surrounds this boy who harnesses a deadly power, one which can potentially change the whole story.
There's a lot to look forward to in the sequel, which I am excited to have, but for now I will say this: Under the Never Sky is a phenomenal debut for Veronica Rossi. Like the Ether filled sky, this book will entrance you from start to finish. To simply say I love this book is an understatement. I devoured it, I absorbed every single word, page by page. Brilliant and simply wonderful! (less)
My first Maggie Stiefvater book and I'm not sure how to put into words what I feel. I think she's one of the very few...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
My first Maggie Stiefvater book and I'm not sure how to put into words what I feel. I think she's one of the very few authors I've read that rendered me speechless.
Blue has quite a gift: she amplifies the powers of her clairvoyant mother and her psychic friends. The night of St. Mark's Eve was one Blue will never forget. She met Gansey or more appropriately, a manifestation of him, walking on the Corpse Road. Gansey is an Aglionby boy, and he is going to die soon. All her life, Blue has been told that she's destined to kill the person she'll love with a kiss, and that's why she's staying away from boys, especially those in Aglionby, the Raven boys. But soon enough, Blue's paths crossed with the real, breathing Gansey and she was swept along his lifelong desire to find what has been eluding him all his life: Glendower, who, according to tales will favor the one who wakes him up. Finding Glendower alone was difficult enough, now Blue finds herself in the middle of the complicated lives of these boys. But she knows one thing: she will not let Gansey die.
It's quite stressful to read this book. I mean it in a good way, because Maggie Stiefvater just has this knack for making the readers feel so much emotions coming from her story all at once, especially her characters. I had to stop quite a few times to catch my breath. Maggie Stiefvater took great time in developing each and every character in this book, giving them believable, and oftentimes very complicated, back stories. Maggie had a knack for laying bare a lot of things about her character and still leave room for guessing, for mystery. The depth of each and every one of them is one of the reasons why I held on reading. They all seem so broken, like a fundamental part of them was missing and only the search for Glendower will make them whole.
I was so absorbed in Gansey's search for something more, that something beyond having power and money, that something worthwhile, that reason why he was born the way he was, privileged. Ronan was, in all intents and purposes, broken beyond repair. The anger and the hatred he had appeared when his father died, that devil may care attitude, his penchant to challenge death every single chance he gets, his sarcasm. How did he become like that? These two characters are my favorites, so different but oddly meshing together. Adam's life was marred by violence, all his life he wanted to prove that he can be something better, that there's something big and positive to look forward to than letting his father hit him, that even though he's poor, his credentials from Aglionby will create an opportunity for him to be someone, to be like Gansey, maybe even more. And then the empty shell that was Noah, extremely shy, barely there. Each and every Raven Boy had something dark shadowing their pasts, and it felt like I was dipping my toes in a pool of extreme sadness, forlorn feelings each and every time a bit of their lives is revealed.
If you are the type of reader who easily gets bored, however, let me tell you now that the story took quite a while to coalesce. You will need a lot of patience before you see where the story is headed. There were parts that can easily confuse the readers and there seems to be a lot of elements that needed to be presented and discussed, the occult, psychics, magic and the individual lives of the characters that readers might find themselves lost a time or two. Hold on, dear readers, because after the struggle in the first half of the book and the lethargic pace of the story, there are things to look forward to. The way Maggie Stiefvater infused magic and intrigue into the story was very interesting. If you are expecting The Raven Boys to be an outright romantic book because of the prophecy surrounding Blue, then you might be in for a little bit of disappointment. The story goes beyond who Blue will kiss. It became a great frustration of mine that I couldn't seem to feel any chemistry between Blue and Gansey. There were momentarily glimpses of possibilities on romance, but even those were fleeting and unsure. And there are just a lot of elements in this book that are very uncertain and unclear that it might seem a torture to a lot of people to know what will and will not happen.
It was very tiring to cope with the feelings this novel conveys to the readers, but I wouldn't have it any other way. The magic in Maggie Stiefvater's writing is evident in her strong character building, with enough depth to entice the readers to get to know them more. There's a certain eloquence in her writing that you will just admire. The plot and its pace was a sweet torture, but it's one that will almost immediately make the reader have that driving need to find out what happens next. The Raven Boys is a very promising read, and with the first book, Maggie Stiefvater opens the story to a lot of possibilities. (less)
Kayla is the Oracle of Dating and she gives love advices to people who needs it, at a certain price. But what would hap...moreFull review at Amaterasu reads:
Kayla is the Oracle of Dating and she gives love advices to people who needs it, at a certain price. But what would happen when an advice to a friend goes horribly wrong? And when the Oracle got herself a little love dilemma, how will she deal with it?
It's really a joy reading a book like this. One of the reasons why I say I enjoyed is because this hits close to home. I have a friend who reminds me of The Oracle.
I have to say, I learned a lot in this book. It's funny how Kayla seemed to know more about love than her older sister, and I agree that sometimes, you don't need to go through the same thing someone did for you to learn from it.
I'm giving this 5 stars because I love the way it was written and what is written. Even if you're grown up, or in high school, I recommend you read this. I'm 24 and let me just say that this book has a lot of stuff in it that is very entertaining and interesting to read. Give it a try. You can never learn too much or too little when it comes to dating, and of course, love.
I was happily surprised when I saw there's going to be a second book, The Oracle Rebounds! Can't wait for that!(less)
The premise, to me, was attractive and intriguing. I have to admit that i...more**spoiler alert** Original Post at Amaterasu Reads
What happens after we die?
The premise, to me, was attractive and intriguing. I have to admit that if there are references in this book about the Evermore series, I am not aware of it since I haven't read any of Alyson Noel's other works. But this book held my interest enough to make me decide to read the Evermore series. Now that I know the story behind Riley's death, I wanted to know how Ever is coping with her loss.
Riley died at the young age of twelve, and has "crossed over". She was stuck in Here and Now.
The concept was very interesting. What if everything was exactly the same thing on the other side? You have the same house, you live in the same neighborhood, you're still, well, you. What do you do?
Riley's attempt to continue her life on the other side is a very nice read. I got the vibe that she's a spoiled kid, a brat. Riley thinks it was unfair that her life was cut short, but when it came for her to know what she is to do in the afterlife, Riley had a pretty big dose of reality given to her. Through her own eyes, she found out how she was when she was alive.
Her persistence was a very handy tool when she was assigned the job of being a "soul catcher", a fact that her guide, Bodhi, the dorky guy slash almost pro skater boy slash Zac Efron of the dead, doesn't like. Despite her obvious flaws when she was living, Riley was able to understand more of her life when she was dead.
I was going to give this book three butterflies, because despite the attractive plot, I couldn't connect much with the story. The writing is okay, but it felt like something was lacking. However, the ending redeemed it for me, so I am rating this 4. I like the realization that Riley came to. Yes, she's dead, but that doesn't mean she can't do anything anymore. She can guide souls to the other side. She has a purpose. Those in the earth plane, the living, might not see her anymore, might forget her eventually, but she still has something to "live" for.
This has a potential to be a good series. There was a sneak peek for the 2nd book, and I hope Radiance picks up the pace and entice the readers more. The last two pages sure is a cliff hanger.(less)
Her parents have made a name in disproving that ghosts exists. All her life Char...moreOriginal post at Amaterasu Reads
Are ghosts real? Ask Charlotte Silver.
Her parents have made a name in disproving that ghosts exists. All her life Charlotte hasn't settled in one place, never having a chance to with the nature of her parents' work. They might be famous, but once people find out who Charlotte is and what her family does, she starts attracting all the wrong attention. All she wants is to be like a normal seventeen year old and not be treated as the Princess of the Paranormal once everyone finds out what her parents do.
When a filming in Charleston went wrong, her older sister, Annalise, decides its time for the family to settle down in one place and finally make a home. The family heads over to Copper Court, living in a new house, and hopefully, its time for a new beginning for Charlotte. But when they left Charleston, they brought along with them something. The very thing her parents sough to disprove. Ghosts. And they're stalking Charlotte.
The novel portrays ghosts as energies. There are no ghosts, but when we die, we leave behind energies, oftentimes in the places special to us or those that we frequent, and it is these energies we left behind that people sees as "ghosts". It's a very interesting concept/premise for a paranormal novel, and Mara Purnhagen was able to create a unique book combining paranormal investigation theories, elements and ghosts.
Charlotte is a character we can all relate to. Her need to be "normal" is very understandable, growing up not belonging anywhere and not really establishing ties with anyone other than her family. Her longing to belong to something and establishing roots somewhere is evident in the book, going so far as to keep her identity a secret in an attempt to make new friends.
Annalise, Charlotte's older sister is the big sister we all want to have. She's very sensitive to what Charlotte's been going through, and as an older sister did something about it, going to such great lengths as compromising with her parents and finally forcing them to settle in one place for Charlotte's sake. She's supportive and smart, and its no wonder why Charlotte sometimes feel jealous of her older sister. Annalise doesn't care what people will think of her, and faces problems with a smile, while Charlotte tends to hide and avoid it, being bothered that people thinks she's a freak because of what their parents do.
I love how Charlotte's has a close knit family. They're a team, and though their lives are anything but ordinary, Charlotte's parents take into consideration what Annalise and Charlotte were feeling.
Past Midnight is a very engaging read and a fantastic start of a series. Fast paced and thrilling, its a fun novel you shouldn't miss. Fans of the paranormal genre have to read this! I'm a slow reader, so I didn't make it in time, but this is a perfect read for Halloween as well.(less)
Those were the words inside Taylor's head as Anubis tries to capture her. Coinc...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
Retribution, vengeance, justice, death.
Those were the words inside Taylor's head as Anubis tries to capture her. Coincidentally, these four words also describes a lot of what The Weight of Souls is all about. And those words made the story so very, very interesting.
Taylor see dead people, but it doesn't end there. They pass along a mark, and Taylor needs to find the killer and pass the mark or else the Darkness will come after her. She's a freak in school and has almost no friends and her dad believes she's having hallucinations, just like her mum. She's also a target of bullies, led by Justin Hargreaves who wants to make her life hell. But then Justin died, and suddenly she's the only one who can help him move on.
Taylor strikes me as a person who was forced to face a destiny she wasn't ready for very early in her life. She had a hard life, and people who don't understand what it's like, to be in contact with something unexplained every day, just judge her. There were moments where I pitied her for being so misunderstood and lacking in so many ways, but I admire her for trying, accepting a destiny forced upon her by an ancestor and trying to make a father understand that she needed to do what she's doing and by no means is it easy.
Justin did not immediately register on my list of potential love interest for Taylor. I told my friend in a conversation over Twitter a few minutes ago that he was a bona fide prick, and I think he was. He was an insufferable person who kept Taylor in an emotional rollercoaster. Does he hate her? Yes? Why? But as I read about him, my perception of his character changed. I love it when someone gets a chance to redeem himself, grabs that and turn into someone likable, like Justin.
Some might say that Taylor and Justin's relationship needed a lot more building to become a little more convincing, but I firmly believe that it only takes a single moment to change things between friends and foes. Justin and Taylor had enough moments to change their perception of each other in the story, and I do believe there were a lot of hints that signified that they had interest in each other long before Justin became a part of Taylor's unusual life. And Taylor deserves that kind of ending! I was so absorbed with the tale of Oh-Fa and the frequent switch between Taylor's life and her ancestor provides a solid anchor and foundation to the story that made it believable.
Reading Bryony's first novel, Angel's Fury, has made me familiar with the peculiar mix of themes, a play on the psychological and the supernatural nature of things and now with The Weight of Souls, Bryony Pearce introduced yet again an odd, interesting mix of Egyptian myth and an opposing scientific nature in an attempt to explain a girl's encounter with the undead. She has a way of writing a story with something you wouldn't expect to work and yet she convinces the readers that it's possible. And then there's more. The Weight of Souls touches base with things such as bullying, the power of cliques, what people perceive as mental illness when encountering the unexplainable and a romance with such an awkward start.
The Weight of Souls greets you with a dark, heart thumping start that transforms into something more complicated involving something ancient. There's no shortage of romance in this book and it provides a good breather in between Taylor's search to uncover the truth of a boy's death. Another great story from Bryony Pearce which I thoroughly enjoyed! With a thrilling storyline, an unlikely heroine, a breath taking, sometimes exasperating ghost of a love interest, it's a novel that made me swoon, anticipate and ultimately fall in love with Bryony Pearce's writing once more. Did I enjoy it? Yes, definitely! Do I want you to give this a try? Yes, please!(less)
The Bettarini sisters are back, and this time, they have their mother in tow. After convincing Lia and her mothe...moreFull review posted at Amaterasu Reads
The Bettarini sisters are back, and this time, they have their mother in tow. After convincing Lia and her mother to go back in time to see Marcello once more, they arrived to Castle Forelli a few weeks later. Gabi was forced to leave when a serious injury caused her to be on the verge of death, but now, her mother joins them. Siena is eagerly anticipating to see the She-Wolves who defended them and a new danger awaits both sisters.
Once more, we readers are re-acquainted with all the characters in Waterfall. This time, double the suspense, double the action, double the intrigue. Gabi and Lia only wanted to go back to their own time, and suddenly they find themselves exalted as heroes, fierce warriors who finds themselves thrust amidst danger and politics of an era a few hundred years before. More challenges were brought forth when the sisters realized they were at the brink of war with Firenze, and that they were weeks, maybe days away from the start of The Black Plague. A disease that wiped out thousands of people, not only Marcello and Luca were in danger of being infected, but both the sisters as well.
Just when I think the series couldn't get any better, Lisa Bergren has managed to raise the bar a little further. If anything, Gabi and Lia's adventures on this book cemented the fact that they are saviors, heroes of a land they have come to love. Lisa must love testing her characters for not only did The Bettarini sisters get to fight a powerful foe, but another one much more devastating, an invisible killer that threatens to wipe out everything they have learned to cherish. The maturity, strength of character and perseverance of both Gabi and Lia were once again showcased in stunning fashion in Cascade.
While this is Gabi and Lia's story, readers will get to see more of Marcello and Luca. And if you thought these boys who grew in the face of war couldn't get any more charming, you're wrong. The Forelli cousins will bewitch more readers in this lovely sequel. Marcello and Luca faced dire situations that gave them a more solid character, the hero of our heroes. They were men who were capable of enduring even the plague and the countless dangers and perils of war for their beloveds. My admiration for both Marcello and Luca grew in this book. Near death experience became the norm in this book and with the knowledge that they could die anytime, brings a whole new level of intensity in Marcello and Gabi's relationship. And finally, we get to see a great progress in Lia and Luca's side as well.
A few new characters were introduced in the story. Lia's mother, the scientist, settled comfortably into the plot that it became natural for her to be there. There was no doubt where the Bettarini sisters got their prowess, with such a remarkable woman as a mother. Gradually she came to understand what it was that endeared the 14th century to her children. And a key character, Rodolfo, came in a time of need for the Bettarinis. I'm not sure if his story arc will be pursued in the next book, but maybe he can give Marcello a challenge for Gabi's hand.
Waterfall had all the right ingredients that made it a great book, but Cascade easily topped that and gave us more than what we have asked for. Full of adrenaline pumping action scenes, daring escapes, breath taking plot twists, political intrigue, and dangers of a time long forgotten, time travel became a lot more entertaining through Gabi and Lia's adventures. Stellar writing, Lisa. Kudos for crafting another wonderful book!
Do not miss the chance to read one of the best series ever written this year. Grab a copy of both Waterfall and Cascade. If you have not loved the characters as you will your own friends and endeared them to your hearts, I'm sure Cascade will do it for you. I highly recommend this book!(less)
I think started a bit slow, but it got better as I go along reading, and before I knew it I was enjoying the read.
Yuki can smell the dead. Literally....moreI think started a bit slow, but it got better as I go along reading, and before I knew it I was enjoying the read.
Yuki can smell the dead. Literally. It was her indicator that a ghost is around when she smells something. With her recently discovered powers, Yuki was helping the world, one ghost at a time, and her latest haunting was from a ghost smelling like vinegar.
Enlisting help from her friends, Emma, hardcore vegan and against anything with meat who’s got a knack for concocting salves to nasty teas using herbs, and Calvin, the boy who was into all things mystical, the one who’s spirit animal was a wolf. But was it really just a spirit animal, or something else entirely?
I had an impression that this was a ghost story, and that’s what you will initially think when you read the summary, so imagine my surprise when I found out there were wolves as well. I had my reservations, wondering how this element of the story will play out, but it was an interesting mix. Wolves and Ghosts. I don’t think I’ve read anything with both.
I liked the way the plot worked out. E.J. was able to blend ghosts and wolves and turn it into something very convincing and believable with her writing. I think this was such a fresh idea, a very promising premise that, if worked out effectively would be a really good story. It’s enchanting and very entertaining!
The ending was such a cliffhanger. It makes you wonder just what will happen to Yuki. I myself am anticipating how she’ll be able to deal with her powers and the upcoming Samhain, when she’s most vulnerable against ghosts.
It was the chance of a lifetime. When Five got an invite to travel for free and explore Macau in exchange for writing...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
It was the chance of a lifetime. When Five got an invite to travel for free and explore Macau in exchange for writing a blog post about the experience, she was beyond excited. A seasoned traveler, Five wouldn't pass up such an opportunity. The trip was supposed to be enjoyable, except for the arrogant jerk who rubbed Five the wrong way from the moment they first saw each other. And as it turns out, they were to be travel buddies. Will her trip to Macau be as enjoyable as she hoped? What adventure will she be in and will she ever change her opinion of her jerk of a travel buddy?
I was barely 5% in the novel but I knew I was gonna love it. Five is such a fun character to read of! Even her name makes one very curious of her. I like getting inside her very organized, very workaholic head. And I couldn't blame her for thinking ill of Jesse because the guy had it coming. I didn't think I'd like Jesse because his attitude rubbed me the wrong way as well, but who knew he can be such a charming person underneath?
It all started from a misunderstanding. They were enemies who became friends, who bonded over things they didn't expect to have in common. I love the romance build-up between Five and Jesse. The moments they shared together were nothing overly dramatic or grand, but you feel the transformation with every scene. That budding feeling of something good between a guy and a girl, uncertain, questionable. That moment when you realize that maybe, it's love. And ultimately, the moment when you realize that maybe it's not. That you're the only one feeling that way. Five's pain at thinking it was nothing but a ploy to be a better blogger twisted my insides. It was such a bittersweet experience for her, and I could very well relate through all the motions she went through to face what happened. I liked Jesse for being man enough to say sorry, for bridging that gap to end the misunderstanding. They seriously both need to work on communicating with each other better.
I have never been to Macau before, but this story just makes me want to pack my bags and take a flight straight to Macau and start exploring. I miss the thrill of going through a journey to a new place outside of my own country. I wanted to explore all the places Five and Jesse explored, taste the food they ate, conquer my fear of heights and do bungee jumping and just capture the beauty of a foreign place with so much to offer.
Novellas like this one are hard to come by, because despite being short and sweet, it gives you complete satisfaction, that feeling of completeness, that even though it is short, you know that the story has been written thoroughly and very well, that that shortness is enough for a reader to fully enjoy the story and that not a lot of words are needed to create such a sweet love story. All's Fair in Blog and War is such a cute, endearing romance that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside when you finish reading. I loved every moment of it!(less)
The sound effects you'll hear if you were sitting beside me while I was writing this review was the sound of me bashin...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
The sound effects you'll hear if you were sitting beside me while I was writing this review was the sound of me bashing up the keys on my laptop.
The events in The Hunt immediately follows what happened after Ariane and Zane escaped GTX. Now they're on the run, trying to get as far away as they could from the company that made Ariane who she is: half-human and half-extra terrestrial. With the rival corporations hot on her heels to eliminate a "superior specimen", was running enough for Ariane to gain the freedom she wants to have and be normal? Or can she stand up and fight for herself once and for all?
There were so many things going on at once that I felt like I was in over my head even at the start of the book.The dynamics in Zane and Ariane's relationship were shifting wildly while they were on the run. While Ariane is torn between leaving Zane behind for his safety, Zane was mulling over the potential repercussions of him being there. Ariane was, in all ways superior than he will ever be. That struggle in Zane's part was what made his interactions with Ariane so enjoyable for me. Oftentimes you'll see the guy always taking charge, always the one with the solution, but Zane finds himself powerless more times than he can count, and he knows it. The gap that the fact that he's human and Ariane was partially not was bigger than what I expected, what with the way Ariane was treated and seen in the eyes of outsiders. At one point I felt as frustrated as Zane with everyone, seeing Ariane treated the way she was: an experiment, an abomination, inhuman. Why can't she be treated better?
The story was pushed forward in a good pace with the actions Ariane took in solving her current dilemma. Her persistence to end the sick kind of competition the tech corporations were having was admirable, though a bit irritating at times, but it just goes to show that she too was human. She makes mistakes, is rash and sometimes ruled over by her emotions. She was "more" in this novel, more responsive, more emotional, stronger, more in conflict with herself. You get the sense that something was happening, that she was trying to do something. The addition of Ford, Carter and Nixon to the story is an interesting twist that moved the story further. Ford is an interesting character. Her motives were questionable, but she was someone worth taking a closer look at, so much like Ariane and not like her at the same time. Just a piece of advice: never get attached to any new character you come across.
The Hunt has a wonderful combination of being a thriller with romance and all the sci-fi elements that had all the action packed, catch your breath type of scenes that was lacking in the first book. I loved how I get more out of this novel than the first one! Peppered with scenes alternating from cute to hot, giving us more answers, and more amazing developments in the story that made this such an occupying read that will make you realize you're near the end and you still wish there are twenty more pages just so it doesn't end at once. But it did, and the cliffhanger was the killer moment of this book. Just when you thought there was more to it, that you have more seconds to enjoy it and soak in the adrenaline rush, there was none. It ends there, and the rush of feelings catches up with you and you sit there stunned, trying to process what happened and wonder why it ended there.
Stacey Kade masterfully captures a reader's attention with this amazing follow up to The Rule, and you wouldn't want to let go even when you reach the last page. What an intense, roller coaster ride! And what a clever, evil way to end it! But then the realization comes that there at least is a third book to look forward to. If you're looking for a fast paced read which you can breeze through in a flourish, pick up a copy of this book, will you? With the way The Hunt ended, I am desperate more than ever to find out how this deadly game of hide and seek ends, and what's left to look forward to in Ariane's story.
Zane! The one star removal was my frustration for the rest of the characters in the story. I often find myself saying "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?" and "Are you seriously human!?". With Zane's mom, the doctors, Zane's dad and sometimes even Ford, Nixon and Carter. Can't Ariane catch a break? Can't Zane catch a break?(less)
I've always admired authors who can re-invent fairytales we grew up reading. I love fairytales, especially the D...moreOriginal post here at Amaterasu Reads
I've always admired authors who can re-invent fairytales we grew up reading. I love fairytales, especially the Disney Princesses. Little girls, at one point, dreamt of being swept off their feet by Prince Charming and taken to their castles in a faraway land, like I did.
It's very challenging to put a different spin into familiar stories we've come to love, and I have great respect for authors who can extend their imagination further and write about the same story in a different way, like Joanna did.
Snow White and the Seven Dorks:
Yuki "Snow" White and her father moved to a small town following her mother's death. Trying to recover from losing her mother abruptly and adjusting to a new school, finding new friends, Yuki struggled with everything, never quite belonging in a school where everyone is either blonde and blue eyed or brunette, being half-Asian, Yuki found friendship with the geeks who spends almost all their time in the library. Yuki only wants to feel "normal" again, and she thought she was going to be when she caught the eye of the most popular guy in school, Jason. But is Jason really the Prince Charming Yuki was waiting for?
I felt like I was a bit off-track since I was trying to figure out who symbolizes which characters in the original Snow White story while reading this, but over-all I enjoyed it. Joanna was able to re-write the story and brought a fresh, modern twist to a classic tale. Although I was a bit confused with how it ended, maybe because of the additional "love angle" added before it ends, I enjoyed reading it nonetheless.
A gay fairy godmother, a teenage girl named Cindy who is addicted to a popular reality show and its main guy. Is this really a tale of Cinderella or not? It is! I wasn't expecting the fairy godmother to be like Matt, but having a fun, more perky gay bestfriend as your godmother is an interesting concept! Cyberella is a tale of a timeless Princess in a modern setting, complete with modern technology, blogs and chats.
This short story reminded me a lot of Selena Gomez' Cinderella Story. Short, sweet and fun, Cyberella is a version of a classic tale that teens would be able to relate to!
Out of all three, this is my favorite, and probably the saddest one.
Adriana wants to sing, and she has the voice. If only she has the looks too. Obsessed with getting rid of her big nose, she was willing to go under the knife to get what she's lacking, sure that her ticket to fame is a change on her appearance. But would striving to look better bring the success and fame Adriana is seeking?
It's sad how Adriana felt like changing her face was the only way for her to achieve her dream. Her schoolmates sure aren't helping her change her mind. Looking deeper into the story, Swan Song is not just a re-invention of the Little Mermaid (in fact, I think its also part "The Ugly Duckling" but with a sadder ending) but tackles important issues as well. Bullying, for one. Loving yourself, being comfortable with who you are, what you look like and appreciating what God has given you.
Teens will learn a lot in this short but very insightful read. Of all three, this, for me, is the story with most substance, and will teach a lot to teens who will read it.
Overall, the book is a good read. It lived up to the pitch of being "Happily Never After", and is a worthwhile read for everyone who wants to sit down and browse through a good collection of fairytale retellings!(less)
R is a zombie, and thus he eats people in order to survive. Strangely enough, he hates doing it. The world has d...moreFull review posted at Amaterasu Reads
R is a zombie, and thus he eats people in order to survive. Strangely enough, he hates doing it. The world has died along with countless people and became like R. He doesn't remember much about his past, or his name, just that he's there, a zombie. The moment R ate a boy named Perry's brain, everything started changing. Suddenly he was saving Perry's girlfriend and he was starting to... feel. For Julie. It was like he's starting to live again.
This book is definitely out of my reading comfort zone, and I had reservations when I started, but I came to love it as I flip through page after page. R is a character I have not encountered before. Highly unusual and very intriguing, he's a character I'd love to read about over and over. How is it that Isaac Marion was able to create an undead who felt more human than those still living? R's journey back to humanity is a ride filled with emotions, interesting characters and chilling moments, but I loved every moment of it.
Isaac Marrion painted an undead world not much different from those of the Living. R had a "life" in the airport. He was "married", had a wife and kids to look after. They have elders. Zombies were still trying to copulate, undead children are being taught how to "live". R had a best friend named "M". Readers get a glimpse of a new, yet familiar world through R's life as a zombie. A lot of trivial, yet highly amusing things still happen even to those devoid of life, yet R still craves the one thing he doesn't have. Humanity. Life. And he was slowly gaining it back through Julie, with an occasional kick and pat from Perry and his memories. If anything, it was Perry's memories and thoughts who helped R understand what was happening to him.
Warm Bodies is highly addictive and fascinating. Seeing the world in the point of view of the undead like R puts a new perspective on how the readers view zombies. In Warm Bodies, they are not merely flesh eating undead. They are changing, and this new and very fresh portrayal of the undead we fear is something I've never seen before. I have not read much zombie books, and I might not have enough knowledge about it, but Warm Bodies tops my list of the best zombie book for this year effortlessly. Emotions were put into R, and I can't help but sympathize with him. And though I care for the surviving humans, it's the zombies that I loved in this book. Sometimes I even forget that R is undead. Sometimes I think what really the difference is between the dead and the living? Is it just the state of being? A state of mind? R challenges a lot of ideals and concepts just by being who he is.
Julie's story arc provided the piece of the puzzle that will complete this terror filled future world. Through her point of view we then see what it's like for the surviving humans to live, all secluded in a dome, fighting to stay alive by ridding the world of the undead. But Julie starts to question all of the efforts the remaining survivors were doing once her paths crossed with R. She was realizing a lot of things the more time she's spent with R. I just love how her character seems to fit perfectly with R's, and despite the obvious and glaring difference between them (one was dead, the other was living), the unlikely bond they have and their love for each other is so touching.
Dark yet enjoyable, Warm Bodies paints a familiar and scary world readers couldn't help but be curious about. Hats off to Isaac Marrion for creating such a great novel. Moving and hopeful, Warm Bodies is definitely not another zombie novel. Though Isaac Marion's story is not without fault, it's a very entertaining read with a gripping storyline that a lot of readers will enjoy. This book stays with you long after you have finished reading it.
Warm Bodies is definitely a recommended read!(less)
Maddie is a privilege teen who just wants to get away from it all. A mother who wants to sweep her away to Tuscany, a...moreReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
Maddie is a privilege teen who just wants to get away from it all. A mother who wants to sweep her away to Tuscany, a father who wants her to go to Harvard and a grandmother who wants to bring her overseas, like a thing to brag about to her peers. On top of it was a cheating boyfriend and an overly demanding bestfriend. Maddie longs to live the simple life she had when she was little. Her paths crossed with Anna, an Amish girl who wonders what it will be like to live like "Englishers", in the city, to explore the life there. Anna and Madison look alike, and each wanting to experience the other's life. And so a switch was made, and it was the beginning of a week that will change Maddie and Anna's life forever.
Amish life is completely different from that in the city. You can see the contrast in Anna and Madison's life as they try to live the other's. The big things that matter and the small ones they took for granted made Anna and Madison re-examine their choices and actions and ultimately, their decision if they truly want the simpler life or a life in the city. In times of doubt, they found strength in God. Madison had a fresh perspective in Anna's life, and living Madison's made Anna realize how much she lived being Amish.
Anna's life in the city wasn't uneventful, as she had a taste of modern living, and pursued Jacob, a boy who opened her eyes and made her appreciate being Amish more. Jacob questioned everything and even though Anna loved him, it was clear he wasn't intent on being Amish. Meeting Malachi made Madison think of what it might be to be truly Amish, but in the end, she loved her city life more. The saying "you don't know what you got 'til it's gone" is appropriate for both Anna and Madison.
I am humbled by the things I learned in this book. Amish people tend to be frowned upon even today, but even if they are different, they live their life the way they want. It might be strict and rigid but reading about their life gave me a new understanding of their ways, and if anything, my respect for their way of life grew.
Double Take is an insightful read. A coming of age story, humorous and funny at times but filled with lessons we could use in our lives at one point. It tells the readers to appreciate what they have. Teenagers will relate well to this book, and I hope a lot of people get to read it as well. A familiar storyline resembling the Prince and the Pauper, filled with truth and morals we can all relate to. (less)