At the onset of the story, you'll get a glimpse of Creepy's life as told by him, and it wasn't necessarily unpleasanReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
At the onset of the story, you'll get a glimpse of Creepy's life as told by him, and it wasn't necessarily unpleasant. His parents fight, set a dog against each other, and Creepy likes to fly under the radar, unnoticeable, invisible. He likes to watch, especially Maud, his next door neighbor who also happens to be the girl he likes. But Maud is as different as Creepy was, and through each other's observations, their stories are revealed. And a highly unusual relationship develops among the two, taking them through the highs and lows of each others lives.
Creepy is an interesting specimen, mostly because his observations about humanity and the way we live our lives are those that are so obvious yet they're things that no one had to guts to voice out. He's the type of character whose observations, as condescending as they might sound sometimes, is something you can help but agree to because it's true. Creepy sees the things we can't and says the things we can never say, even if it's just inside his head. I like the way his mind works. It's unconventional, but getting inside his thoughts is pretty fun. His views might be unique to some, but it's not all wrong. He supports and accepts Maud in his own way, and tries hard to not understand what he can't, and just let her become who she wants to, and Creepy knows it's not the same person her parents was forcing her to be. It's amazing and, well, creepy how much he knows about Maud, basing all of it from what he sees. But what happens when the wallflower decides to come out of the shadows and be noticed? Ah, all of it for love.
Maud on the other hand is like a complicated canvass filled with shades and dark shadows. It's ugly at first, but once you get to look at it closely, you'll see something worth looking at. I'd like to say that I feel pity for what Maud is going through, but in a way I understand the reasons she does what she does. The world can easily misunderstood a person who can't voice out their thoughts as easily as everyone can. Maybe the world will be a better place if parents stop hiding the imperfections in their family, patching up the cracks that appear and acknowledging that their children needs help, because that's what should have been done to Maud. She's talented, if only she'll be given the chance. She's witty, if only they'll listen to the meaning of what she says. And it's a little sad to think that only Creepy, the next door wallflower, seems to be the only person who can see that.
There's something comforting about knowing that you're not the only person in the world who is screwed up, that you're not the only one who feels different. Maybe the saying "misery loves company" is more appropriate for Creepy and Maud's story, but it's not all sad and bad and dark. I found myself laughing at almost every page, though dark the humor is. What both characters are going through is not a laughing matter, and yet despite all of it, there's something to laugh about in Creepy and Maud's life. The misery and darkness in Creepy and Maud's life is not all there is to their story, because it gets better somehow. I love how the ending puts a smile on my lips and think that their love story, no matter how confusing it was, was finally moving a step forward. That they're both moving a step forward.
It's a complicated, sometimes sad, sometimes miserable story that is as unique as the characters inside of it. Readers will get the good (hilarious observations from Creepy), the bad (Maud's thoughts about her life) and the ugly (the dark side of both their lives and the people around them) in this one of a kind YA debut. One of the biggest surprise reads I have appreciated and liked, and is now one of my favorites. A little odd, and mostly dark YA story, which might not be for everyone, but I suggest you give this one a try....more
I've loved Nalini's writing ever since I've read the first book in her Psy-Changeling series, and I was oveOriginal review posted at Amaterasu Reads
I've loved Nalini's writing ever since I've read the first book in her Psy-Changeling series, and I was overflowing with excitement when I got this book.
Forget about what you've read. In this book, Vampires weren't born. They are Made. The creatures of the night are being sired by those far more powerful than they are, the Archangels, composed of the ten most powerful Archangels on earth, The Cadre of Ten. Among these powerful winged beings is Raphael, the Archangel of New York. And he's got a job for the best Vampire Hunter there is, Elena. Elena, who had secrets of her own to protect and nightmares to live through. This job will test Elena in the most dangerous of ways, for she isn't hunting just any vampire, but someone, something far more powerful and sinister. And amidst the danger, the killing, Elena couldn't help but be drawn to the lethal power Raphael holds.
I never thought there would be anyone else who would top my list of hot male leads, but Raphael bumped Wrath of The Black Dagger Brotherhood out of the number one spot as the hottest male lead in any Adult Paranormal book I've read.
Raphael may be young by the Archangel's standards, but he's deadly. The allure of dangerous men in this novel is irresistible. Cunning, lethal, and powerful, Raphael had me swooning the moment he appeared in the story. I love how despite his obvious immortality, he seemed different than the rest of the Archangels. He's arrogant, but righteously so. Calculating, careful, and... sweet? He's the ultimate alpha male!
Elena, despite her good looks, is dangerous in her own way. I always love reading about female leads who can stand on her own two feet, fight for herself and just be really brave. I love how Elena can be tough yet caring at times. She can be reckless and really stubborn, but she knows her place (though she often crosses the line whenever needed). She's one kick-ass female and she's not afraid to show it!
I have to admit that I got a bit "addicted" to Raphael and Elena. I love the sexual tension that seemed to be always present between them, the moment they saw each other, how they taunt each other, how they want to establish which one's the boss of whom. But most of all I just couldn't help but marvel at how the sexual attraction, the lust between them turned to into something more, to love. The Archangel fell once again, and this time for a human.
The world presented by Nalini Singh is alluring, yet familiar. I marvel how the Archangels seemed to fit well into the world of humans in this book. Humans worship them, revered them, and yet they live in a seemingly separate world, one far more darker than what it seemed. Readers get a general idea how things work in the world of the Angels. And I tell you, they are anything but Angelic in this book.
Angels' Blood is an action-packed front seat tour into the world of the Archangels, filled with steamy hot scenes, gorgeous vampires, and hunters! What makes Angels' Blood a thoroughly enjoyable read is that along the way, more characters are introduced into the story, all equally dazzling and intriguing, without losing focus on who the story really is about.
I tell you, my heart raced a couple of times especially in action packed scenes. I cringed at the violence and the carnage, got scared at the evilness, and swooned and loved the characters. Angels' Blood doesn't seem to run out of charming vampires and charismatic Angels (Dmitri and Illium, anyone?) you'd pine for.
Kudos to Nalini Singh for a great start of a lovely series!...more
I still get goosebumps whenever I remember reading this. A good kind of goosebumps, because if you want toOriginal review posted at Amaterasu Reads
I still get goosebumps whenever I remember reading this. A good kind of goosebumps, because if you want to read a YA horror that will give you ONE HECK OF A THRILL RIDE, you have a winner in The Body Finder.
I loved how simple this book looks on the surface, but it's something that you will immensely enjoy reading as you go along. It's scary. It's addictive, and you just can't stop! It's been a long time ever since I felt really scared while reading, and this book just made me jump at certain moments. Kim is a master of creating haunting scenes.
The Body Finder is told between the alternating POV's of Violet and the killer. Knowing what goes through the mind of a serial killer is scary. Readers are given an all access pass into the twisted dark thoughts of a monster, how he hunts, how he kills, and how he disposes of the girls. Kudos to Kim for writing such a character. It's not easy writing about something so evil.
I also love how Violet seems to be normal. Yes, she does have an ability to sense the dead, but I love how her character is not one of those typical female protagonist who possess abilities that others doesn't. She isn't isolated, without friends, or the typical freak that everyone in school hates.
Despite the paranormal theme, I love how the story goes beyond telling Violet's ability, but also gives us a glimpse of what it's like to be a teenage girl. Violet's story has more to it than just discovering dead bodies through their echoes, it also discusses Violet's life in general. Her growing attraction to her best friend, her closeness with her parents, her friends, homecoming. I love how these elements were all put together and created a very enjoyable story!
For once, there is no love triangle. Hallelujah! I can only read so much love triangle in books before I get tired of it, so reading this side of the story is like a breath of fresh air. This time, the best friend did not lose against the new guy (because there isn't one). Not in this book.
Raise your hands if you love Jay! Who wouldn't love such a cute, quirky, funny, protective guy?
The amount of romance in this book is just astounding! When you combine that with thrilling moments, you get an explosive book! I love how the romance between Violet and Jay played out. The tension between the two best friends is almost a real, tangible thing. It's very hard to ignore. When do you go from best friends to lovers? When you cross that certain line, is it ever possible to go back? This part of the book gave it a very realistic and captivating quality.
I think the key in making The Body Finder such a delight to read is how simple everything is. The characters weren't portrayed exaggeratedly, and the plot was kept simple and smooth. Reading The Body Finder is like riding a roller coaster. Slow at first, but it goes on full speed, through twists and turns, highs and lows, bends and curves, and the next thing you know, you're sitting there, stunned but very satisfied. Kim was able to figure out how to put just the right amount of creepiness, suspense, thrill and romance and combine all of that and weave one fabulous story!
Definitely a recommended read! The Body Finder just landed itself into my favorite reads list for 2010. :) ...more
It's Gossip Girl meets the Mean Girls in this intense teen novel. Told using Ally's and Jake's alternatingOriginal review posted at Amaterasu Reads
It's Gossip Girl meets the Mean Girls in this intense teen novel. Told using Ally's and Jake's alternating points of view, we get a glimpse of how life is for a girl who had "fallen" so far off the pedestal in this book.
Ally used to be rich, that is, until her dad made a big mistake and in a flash, Ally finds herself living a life that was different to the one she was used to. Gone were their eight bedroom house, her father's BMW, and, even her father, along with a lot of people's money. Leaving town without even saying goodbye to her friends, Ally came back two years later, her friends, the Cresties, were still there, but they were now treating her like crap, a Norm, for different reasons. And then there was this hot guy who now owns what used to be their house. Ally was caught in a complicated web of lies and secrets, and all she wanted was to try to put the pieces of her life back together, back home, but it's proving to be a lot more difficult than she thought it would be.
I have to say, never in a novel have I dislike this many characters. I am not saying this is how rich kids really behave, but the Cresties were some pieces of work, especially Shannen. Evil to the bone, these girls have issues they couldn't quite settle peacefully. The boys, Hammond and the twins, act like, well, boys and were not doing anything even when they know they can. Shannen just gets to my bad side, she's a hardcore bad girl, and Faith, a sad case, was trying so hard to just fit in with the Cresties she had to ditch her friends. But who would want to hang out with a bunch of nobodies if you can be with the popular ones? Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to high school.
It's amazing how Kieran Scott was able to write vividly how the situation was between the Cresties and the Norms, the rich and the poor. The great contrast between the two classes were made obvious through Ally's experiences, trying to get back with her friends, and finally setting down to a life of being a Norm.
I love Ally's character. I've always loved reading about strong heroines, and for me, Ally is strong. At sixteen, she had been through a lot and still she found courage and strength to face everything that was left of her old life, chin up, proudly. I like how she's also vulnerable at times, dealing with the aftermath of what her dad has done. I sympathize with her character so much it hurts to see how she was treated, but still, she keeps her head up high.
She's a heroine who comes off strong, sometimes even stronger than Jake. This is probably the first book I've read where the guy blushes more times than I can count. Jake is a charming male lead, but I sometimes think he lacks the backbone to protect Ally. He thinks too much of what his friends would think and even though he hates it at times, he likes to keep up with appearances.
Annie is an interesting character. I don't think you'd be able to understand how rich people think no matter how much "data" you gather from them. The kids in this particular book were unpredictable, but it's amusing how Annie seems to know their every move. Gossip Girl, I tell you. Any guesses who the speakers were at the start of each chapters?
But aside from the vengeful, snarky teens, I think readers can learn a lot from this book. Sometimes people find it hard, but at some point we have to learn how to forgive and move on. It's not easy but it can be done. Learn how to be mature, and really, talk. Most of the conflicts in the story wouldn't have happened if Shannen took time to hear Ally's side and not assumed anything. Then again, everything that happened is what goes typically in high school cliques. Very cliche, but very real as well.
Overall, I enjoyed reading She's So Dead To Us a lot. It's an engaging, fast paced read. I'm very curious to know what happens next! I was so relived when I found out that there's a sequel....more
While other teens their age get to do what they want during summer holidays and vacations, sisters Gabriella anFull review posted at Amaterasu Reads
While other teens their age get to do what they want during summer holidays and vacations, sisters Gabriella and Evangelia Betarrini spend theirs with their archeologist parents, searching for priceless artifacts, long-forgotten castles. Gabi and Lia are with their mother in another archaeological site, in the city of Tuscany, after finding an Etruscan city. Still recovering from their father's death six months before, Gabi and Lia just want to spend this summer on their own. But being transported to medieval 1332 in the midst of battle between two families isn't really their idea of summer. Or is it?
When I first featured this book on my Waiting on Wednesday post, I already have a feeling I'm going to love every moment I'll spend reading it. I was right. Sometimes you get a feeling like that about books and trusting your instinct works.
Waterfall just made me love historical YA fiction books more. Lisa was able to write about Tuscany, Castelo Forelli and it's surrounding cities in such a simple yet attractive way. It makes me want to visit Italy and explore the places mentioned in the book. The great world building adds to the attractive plot, making Waterfall such an irresistible read.
I am glad that YA books today portray female protagonists as strong willed women, stubborn but not to be trifled with. Gabi is a perfect example of that. Maybe part of it is because she's from another time, and ladies during the medieval times do not wield swords or ride horses bareback, but Gabi was a girl who would stand up for herself. I love her strong sense of family and sticking by what she thinks is right. Even Lia, younger and more oblivious of the ways of the world, with her amazing skill in archery, found courage in herself when Gabi was in danger. The Betarrini sisters are exceptional and loyal to each other. Their father will be proud of them! It's funny how they were only able to discover these qualities when they were transported back in time. It's what makes them attractive and fascinating to those in Siena, they really are she-wolves, brave women who only wants to save each other at first, and ended up saving hundreds of people.
And of course a great story wouldn't be complete without the element of romance. Waterfall had an abundance of Italian Knights, and it was highly entertaining and fascinating to read of how medieval men behave during those times, so different from the men of today. Chivalry and honor were very important then. Marcello share Gabi's strong love for family, and what started as a responsibility to help Gabi find her family turns out to be a new path for Marcello, one with Gabi in it. I'm still curious how Marcello and Gabi's relationship will work out. Time is a big factor, and you can see the flashes of struggle to understand each other in the book. Will love be enough for whatever it is they have, survive? I don't know about any of you but I am cheering them on!
Luca, Marcello's right hand man is such a joy to read. Charming, witty and funny, Marcello could use a few lessons on how to be a lighthearted, bright person from Luca. I look forward to reading more of Luca in the next two books. And I am still rooting for him to be with Lia. My hopeless romantic heart still thinks they have a chance together.
Waterfall has all the right elements that will make readers fall in love with it instantly. A story set in one of the most attractive cities in the world, with diverse characters brought to life by such wonderful writing, filled with action all throughout and knights you can't help but like. Grab a copy of this book and tell me what you think! But be warned, Waterfall is highly addictive. If you manage to fall in love with the book, it will leave you wanting for more! I am dying to read Cascade!
Waterfall is definitely on my list of 2011 best reads!...more
I only need to write one word to describe this book.
Just when you thought The Iron Fey series couldn't get any better, Julie Kagawa presents us with a book that has all the things we want to see happen and more. We want action? There's TONS in this book. Romance? Hell, yes! LOTS! More conflicts between the Fey? You bet! Julie has outdone herself in this book.
Meghan's journey is coming full circle in this latest installment of The Iron Fey series. It's time for the half-fey Summer Princess to face her destiny. Summer and Winter has decided to work together to save their home, and upon realizing that she has the power of both the Summer and the Iron fey, Meghan knows she's the key to winning the war against the Iron Fey, and to stop the destruction of the Nevernever. But choices had to be made, and Meghan knew she had to make them before time runs out.
I might have said this a few times before, but one of the things I love in this series is that the characters just grow. Never stagnant, but as their stories go on, so do they. Ash, from an unfeeling Unseelie Prince, slowly melts and becomes a hero we all love. Meghan, was far from the shy sixteen year old girl we first met in The Iron King. Even Puck, the ever playful Robin Goodfellow, has his moments of seriousness when it comes to Meghan.
In every turn of the story the action never stops. And I think, we get to see a softer side of both Oberon and Mab, with both their children playing important roles in winning the war against the Iron Fey.
It's heart breaking to read Meghan and Ash' love story unfold, and knowing just how much odds were against them. It's what made me emotional. Some things were out of their control, Meghan's destiny, being the Summer Princess, Ash being the Winter Prince, and well, Nevernever itself. But through it all, Meghan just... bloomed. Standing up on her own, fighting alongside the people she cares about and accepting the fact that she can never be the sixteen year old human she was, she overcame a lot.
It just made me feel a tad more sad that Meghan can't have both of the things she wants. Embracing her destiny would mean giving up that boy that has been with her through thick and thin. And from the start, turning her back on who she really is wasn't really an option. But I should have expected the Unseelie Prince wouldn't give up that easily. As much as I'd hope for Nevernever's safety, and the Summer and Winter feys winning the war, I'm still holding on to that tiny sliver of hope that Ash and Meghan were meant for each other after all.
The characters in the book felt like family. I cannot get enough of them. So in a sense its hard to part with them because I thought the story would end in this book. Thank goodness for The Iron Knight!The wait will be agonizing, but I know it will be worth it. Now we all get to see everything from Ash's point of view, which I am very curious to know....more
I rarely see books with main protagonists having mixed heritages. I don't know if its because they**spoiler alert** Original post at Amaterasu Reads
I rarely see books with main protagonists having mixed heritages. I don't know if its because they are more complicated to write, but S.L. Naeole took advantage of Grace's mixed parentage and created a character that is true and honest and real.
Half-american, Half-korean Grace Shelley has been an outcast all her life. A freak to most kids her age, having survived a devastating car accident that took her mother's life. When Grace survived unscathed, the rumours started and Grace was never "normal" in the eyes of everyone. She doesn't have any friends other than her next door neighbor, Graham, and when she fell in love with him, confessed and got rejected by him, Grace felt like her life was one big disaster. She was alone and friendless on her last year of high school.
I have to admit that my having the same name as Grace helped connect with her more. It was easier for me to feel her character. She was a girl who's one wish was to be normal. Yes, at some point I pitied Grace, however I don't think she's abnormal. She's just unique, and she lived in a town where being unique and different is a bad thing. There are times when I got irritated with her, but I learned, that dealing with death isn't easy. That made it easier for me to understand why her mother's death was very much an important part of Grace. Death was the beginning of a lot of things for Grace.
I have to give S.L. kudos for the way Angels were portrayed in this book. It was very interesting. They wear the same faces as us, though bound by a different set of laws. And they live amongst us. That's what Grace learned after that faithful day, bumping into a boy with eyes like liquid silver, Robert.
And her life was never the same.
Robert grew on me. I never liked male protagonists who are always described like he was the most beautiful guy in the planet, but Robert proved that he was more than a pretty face. He grew as Grace grew. Robert felt what its like to love and be loved not because of what he looks like, but for what he really is. Grace made him "live".
Reading the novel itself was a very fulfilling experience. I was skeptical when I first saw the page count. Keeping a 500 paged book interesting to the very end is a very big challenge for both the author and the readers, but S.L. wrote it in such a way that you wouldn't mind reading through it. Yes, the novel was long, but it was worth reading every page. Why?
Because, for me, as a reader, there's nothing more delightful than to see the characters grow with each turn the page. I cheered Grace on as she finally found friends, as she got back what she thought she had lost (Graham) and that she finally realized that she didn't need to be "normal". Grace looks at herself as someone different, but Robert showed her that she's not. There's a certain intensity when it comes to Robert and Grace's relationship/interaction that just makes you want to know more. I sure felt that way.
I guess one of the good things in reading a long novel is that there's so much room for the development of its characters. Also, you wouldn't get bored with reading about the same characters over and over, because Falling From Grace has a set of strong supporting characters. They are also an integral part of the story. Their back stories can be easily explored. You know there's more to look forward to, not just with Grace's and Robert's story, but even those around them as well. ...more
I was a mess when I finished reading. I can ignore the goosebumps I felt once or twice, but I felt the sadness and tReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
I was a mess when I finished reading. I can ignore the goosebumps I felt once or twice, but I felt the sadness and thankfully the hope when I've read the last pages of Cryer's Cross so much I almost tear up.
You can probably remove the mystery element in this book and it will still pass as a good contemporary novel. Kendall has OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and everyday she goes to school earlier than everyone else to fix things in school or else her OCD will kick in. Everyone expects her to be with Nico, her bestfriend since she was little. In comes two transfer students, Marlena and Jacián, the eternally brooding, extremely talented in soccer new guy, also a senior who is especially mean at Kendall. An instant love triangle.
Once you weave in the mystery in the story, you get something much more impressive and enjoyable to read. I couldn't stop flipping through the pages, reading as fast as I possibly can. I admit that I got lost and concentrated on Kendall's grief and the way she was coping with the sudden loss of Nico that I almost forgot there was something that will eventually make me jump a few pages later.
That's what I love about this book. You can be deeply distracted by the characters itself and then you suddenly find your heart racing because of the flashes of the paranormal and mystery coming up on the next pages. I do think of Kendall as one of the most fascinating characters I have read this year. Her OCD and the way she struggles to fight it makes her a unique character. I wish there were more Jaciáns in the world. Its difficult to find someone who can understand a person with Kendall's uniqueness and Jacián was not the least bit bothered with Kendall's condition.
As Kendall grieves for Nico, the mystery surrounding his disappearances and how its connected with Tiffany Quinn just intensfies and builds up along with the romance and the rest of the story. Lisa was able to write it in such a way that everything gets time to develop and not much has been left out.
The setting, also, was perfect. Cryer's Cross is a small town seemingly stuck in time, with one room school classes, horses used as a means of transportation and miles and miles of fields. The town itself makes the creepiness factor work.
In between cheering for Kendall and Jacián, I have to say that what makes the book bone-chilling and scary were the fact that in each chapter, the readers can read about "We". Each time a new graffiti appears on the desk, I'm filled with dread. These writings, the perspective of these "We" is what gives the novel the strong sense of evil lurking nearby.
Even with intense moments of creepiness, what made a mark on me was Kendall's strength and perseverance to know what really happened to Nico, and how she was able to deal with her feelings for Jacián amidst her grief. Knowing how the "we" had come into existence made my heart ache. It was sad and tragic to say the least.
This is the first Lisa McMann book I have read, and with her fantastic writing, I am now very much willing to try her other books. Despite the scary theme, Cryer's Cross can be an addictive read. I probably will look twice when I see a desk because of this story, but if you like to read about things that will leave you wide awake at night, which also has a great amount of romance in it, pick up a copy of Cryer's Cross!...more
Kate isn't really special. Or maybe that's just how she wants to think of herself. She's in love with her friend's eReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
Kate isn't really special. Or maybe that's just how she wants to think of herself. She's in love with her friend's ex-boyfriend, and she's the football team's resident medical genius. Imagine how horrified she is when the team's coach started pumping drugs to the players in hopes of making them stop being the crappiest football team in town. No one's going to believe her when she says they're in for an impending zombie infestation, and it's all up to her to stop the virus from spreading, while trying to catch the eye of the boy of her dreams and making sure her friends won't try to eat her.
I think Kate is the only geek who is a guy magnet, and is friends with the most popular girls in school. It's a unique disposition that makes her say amusing things because she's like a cross between the popular ones and the geeks, so she sees things from all sides. I love reading about her observations and musings, and basically, just reading the story through her point of view is so fun. She's smart, but she's so clueless when it comes to boys, she doesn't even know how to talk to them properly.
And for once, we get to see a guy who likes a girl for her brains. I love how Kate didn't magically become so pretty in order for Aaron to like her. I do, however, demand for more sweet moments, but really, I don't think you'll think of kissing first when you're in a middle of a town where zombies are just around every corner, right?
Surprisingly, this book didn't make me cower in fear and make me want to barricade my room while carrying grenades and guns, waiting for the familiar "brainzzzzz" chant to come. Granted, I was grossed out by some scenes, but really, what do you expect when you see a foot fall off a guy, or see blue gums from a guy who wants to zoom in on your jugular?
I think Carrie Harris must be on something when she wrote this. I mean this in a totally good way, because this book is just overflowing with funny situations but still makes a convincing zombie themed book! Bad Taste In Boys is a mindless zombie filled fun book that'll make you fall off your seats while laughing your head off. High School and Zombies? Pretty good combination, if you ask me! Clever, and awfully entertaining, Bad Taste In Boys is a healthy mix of high school antics, unfaltering humor and addictive characters!
Even if zombie books aren't your cup of tea, I guarantee you will enjoy reading this book! So what are you waiting for? Go grab a copy now!...more
Unearthly is just fabulous! Just when you thought any form of writing abouOriginal 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....more
Have you ever read a book where it just sweeps you off your feet and you realize you're not even past page 20?Originally posted at Amaterasu Reads.
Have you ever read a book where it just sweeps you off your feet and you realize you're not even past page 20? No? Try reading Anna and the French Kiss and you'll see what I mean.
Anna, our seventeen year old protagonist, has been shipped to a boarding school in France, specifically in Paris, which everyone knows is the most romantic city in the world. But Anna has a life in Atlanta, friends to leave, including a POTENTIAL love life, and she hates her father for sending her away, alone, for one year, in a foreign land, just so her dad can brag about his "money" and status to his friends. But Anna's sucky life in Paris had an interesting turn when she met Etienne, and the year she thought would be the worse of her life turned out to be the one she will never forget. Because Etienne, as it turns out, is the one guy she can never have.
I don't know where to begin telling you the things I love about Anna and the French Kiss. From page one, I was able to relate to the story. I know the feeling of being left alone in an unfamiliar country, barely speaking the language, and being stuck there for one whole year. Anna and I just clicked, because at some point in my life, I WAS HER, and she didn't let go of my heart until I turned to the last page.
Anna has every single familiar thing we can all relate to. I'm sure we all have our own Bridgette, that one friend who can cheer us on when we think the world can't get any worse. Our own Meredith. Our own Rashmi, who I learned to love. She's a great friend, not too emotional, but someone who can knock some good sense to you when you need it. Our own Josh, that one male friend who we can all rely to when things get tough. And our own Etienne, of course.
And I am not ashamed to say this, but the only other "person" who I have rooted for, screamed for, fangirled for this much was ASH of The Iron King. Etienne is not a fairy, nor is he a Prince, but he's just that someone close to reality, that one you wish you have as your boyfriend. For a lot of us, Etienne is the epitome of that one ideal person we'd want to fall in love with. I am so glad that Etienne's character felt real. He wasn't perfect, heck, his life is one big mess. Etienne is not your typical tall, dark and handsome boy who is a usual staple in YA novel. He's that eighteen year old boy, short, with fantastic accent, and despite his obvious popularity, is plagued with the same insecurities as everyone else. He's afraid of change, like everyone is! The conflicts and the ups and downs he experiences made Etienne a flawed, but very believable guy.
Anna is just fantastic. This confused, OC teenage girl, homesick and alone, who tends to overthink and over analyze anything and everything. I can't remember when I've laughed so much because of a female lead. Anna is hilarious!
Anna captured perfectly a teenager's life in that one year in Paris, her struggle in life and in love.
Anna and The French Kiss has everything, drama, a healthy dose of comedy, overflowing with romance, and filled with lessons we can all learn, teenager or not, kids and adults alike, all set in one of the most fascinating, beautiful and romantic place in the world. So if you're looking for a contemporary YA novel, you don't need to search too far! This is one of the best contemporary stories I've ever read.
If you're not yet in love with Paris, Stephanie's descriptions of the city will make you love it! I wanted to pack my bags right away. If only I can!
If I can give Anna and the French Kiss 1 star ratings, a hundred, maybe more, I will in a heartbeat! We only have 5, the maximum, but it far exceeds my qualifications for a mind-blowing book!...more
I don't think I will go into much detail in this review. Actually, I don't think I'll be able to since my thoughts are alFull review @ Amaterasu reads
I don't think I will go into much detail in this review. Actually, I don't think I'll be able to since my thoughts are all jumbled up into one big stew of disbelief, astonishment, relief and exhilaration. I wrote stew. Beef stew? Wait, I'm mumbling like Peeta now.
I've read mixed reviews about this book but I was and still determined to have my own view and opinion about this. I might not like everything that I've read, but one of the measures (for me) of a good book is its ability to move a person while reading. Just by reading the book, you cry, you feel scared, you feel sad. I felt all of that in this book, and then some.
If you think you've seen it all in Catching Fire, then you're wrong. Suzanne Collins had a few more fantastic tricks up her sleeve here in Mockingjay, and it'll leave you stunned into silence afterwards.
Like in all books I read, especially those who were part of a series, reading about character death was not easy especially when you grew attached to them. Yes, I cried once again. It's something you know was coming, but when it was finally there, you just couldn't believe it happened. It's painful to read about them, especially because I didn't know who will die. The lives of the characters may depend on the decisions they make in the book, but still, reading about their deaths and how it played out wasn't easy.
The ending is very much open to different interpretations. It was neat, though it felt a bit rushed. In a sense, I think it was fitting. If this had a very happy ending it would've ruined everything the series presented, and I'm glad it didn't.
It's a heart-wrenching end to a fantastic book series, that is very evident. I guess expecting a happy ending wasn't really going to happen, because Mockingjay stayed true to its genre. Dystopian. The feeling of hopelessness sticks with you until the end. But don't let that stop you from reading this book, because this is fantastic!
So excuse me for now, I think the terrible case of withdrawal is starting to kick in......more
I have to say that Suzanne Collins raised the bar higher in this book. It's more action packed, and a lot of things seeFull review at: Amaterasu reads
I have to say that Suzanne Collins raised the bar higher in this book. It's more action packed, and a lot of things seem to be happening all at once but you don't get confused. And more surprises and twists and turns as well! See in the first book, I have to say, compared to this one, the action there is nothing compared to Catching Fire. Here you really see Katniss give her all, and most of it happened in just one day!
You also see more of the background stories behind the characters, I think that's one of the things I love in this book. You'll have a deeper understanding, if not complete, of the characters involved. I think Katniss' character developed more in this book, and seeing her life after the games is quite refreshing. It was a very fun read seeing her cope with life so unfamiliar to her, and yet familiar in some ways. She was rich, but things in their lives weren't still that easy.
I also loved how the author was able to integrate new characters into the book smoothly. I have mixed reactions over Finnick, but I think overall he's a good guy, with a bit more character depth. Finnick has his own reasons, and he may look like it, but the golden boy is far from perfect.
I loved Haimitch. He might be a drunkard, but not without a reason, and he can say the harshest things to someone (especially to Katniss), but his words get through people. What he says is the truth. Underneath all that drunken facade is a cunning guy. Ah well, I should've known. He wouldn't survive one Hunger Games if he wasn't the type of guy that he is.
I think I've resigned myself with the love triangle going on (I don't want to analyze anymore), and I have to agree that Gale finally had more exposure in this book than in The Hunger Games, but for me that still wasn't enough for me to like him. Let's just see what happens in Mockingjay!
The ending was very much a cliff-hanger! If I've read this book the very same month this was released, I'll probably go crazy waiting for Mockingjay. That was definitely a good build-up for the last book, the type that would leave you curious and just asking for more.
And finally, the wheels have been set in motion. I can't wait to see what happens.
I have a feeling that this would be my favorite book in the series. I hope Mockingjay doesn't disappoint me because I have really high hopes for it. I try not to read reviews for the last book, and so far its got mixed ratings/receptions from readers, and I really want to be pleasantly surprised....more
From the summary, you'd probably think of Amanda Bynes' movie She's The Man. A girl who disguises herself as aFull 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....more
I have to ask, what can you do with a 19-paged short story? (17 really, minus the cover and About the Author pages). I aFull review at Amaterasu reads
I have to ask, what can you do with a 19-paged short story? (17 really, minus the cover and About the Author pages). I absolutely love the way the prose was written. Those 17 pages were worth it. Yes it was short, but it doesn't feel like it. It wasn't rushed, and it didn't feel like everything was crammed into those 17 pages.
I was hooked after reading the first paragraph.
I got this for free when Gwen tweeted that this was available for free read, but I would gladly pay those 99 cents to read this again. Now that I've read and sampled her writing, I think my expectation for her upcoming book, Falling Under, just shot up so high. I have a feeling I won't be disappointed though....more
I love Rules of Attraction as much as I loved Perfect Chemistry.
The elements that gave birth to Perfect Chemistry were veFull review @ Amaterasu reads
I love Rules of Attraction as much as I loved Perfect Chemistry.
The elements that gave birth to Perfect Chemistry were very much present in Rules of Attraction. We have our male protagonist, a boy from the slums, who has seen and lived on the harsher side of life, and we have a girl who was the exact opposite of this boy, one that seemed pampered and sheltered and different from all the girls this boy has ever met. Add that other “savior” that gives this boy a chance, one that gets this boy’s life inextricably tangled with the girl. Weave a beautiful tale about how love blossomed between these two unlikely people against all odds, despite the circumstances, and you have two wonderful novels.
Rules of Attraction have more hilarious moments than Perfect Chemistry. It was more laid lack, but not less serious than its predecessor. Less heavy plot, less intense emotions, but not less substance. Simone Elkeles was able to maintain that distinct feeling you get when you read about the Fuentes brothers, now Carlos, their family and friends, their lives, and that one girl they were willing to give everything up for, even at the cost of their lives. You’ll get to laugh, you’ll get to think, and you’ll get to feel and connect with the characters and hold your breath on emotionally intense moments. Which to me, is just brilliant!
I have no other words to express how much I adore this book. Like all books, it’s not perfect, but it’s… amazing. Even when I was just reading the first pages of the book, this quickly became one of my most favorite reads this year.
By the way, my most favorite scene is: *points at the cover* yep, you guessed it right, it was that moment when they kissed like that, in the middle of the rain.
Will there be a third book? I am curious to read about the life of the lesser known and the youngest of the Fuentes brothers, Luis....more
Kayla is the Oracle of Dating and she gives love advices to people who needs it, at a certain price. But what would hapFull 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!...more
I have much praises for this book. This is just fantastic. Siren was a very engaging read. It sucks you right into the sFull review @ Amaterasu reads.
I have much praises for this book. This is just fantastic. Siren was a very engaging read. It sucks you right into the story, and the next thing you know you’d be flipping the pages non-stop, holding your breath while trying to find out what happens next. It was like peeling off countless covers of a present and gasping in surprise when what was inside was finally unraveled. I especially love the twists and turns in the story, the feeling of constantly getting surprised by what you’re reading.
I love the way the bits and pieces of Vanessa’s character was unveiled. You’re finding out things about her as you go through the story, her character doesn’t seem to be stagnant, and despite her countless weaknesses (oblivious to herself, afraid of a lot of things, insecure, low self-esteem) Vanessa is a delightful character to read.
And don’t you just love having a cute geeky guy as your male protagonist? I do. It’s refreshing somehow, considering almost all YA novels have their lead guy seen as handsome and strong and very capable. Simon was, but in a very geeky, dorky way. He was this walking Weather channel, all into facts, and yet he was still able to accept that some things just cannot be explained by science.
Tricia Rayburn was able to re-create the legend of the Siren into a stunning novel, a fresh take on the story of these beautiful creatures that only exists in myths. She was able to weave an engaging and fascinating fantasy tale about love and death, grief, and that of the beautiful mythical creature, the Siren, who sings a lovely song....more
I can only think of one word to describe this book: Brilliant. As I've said, its a first in the dystopian fiction genreFull review at: Amaterasu reads
I can only think of one word to describe this book: Brilliant. As I've said, its a first in the dystopian fiction genre I've read and I'm glad that this is the book I've read.
When I first read the summary, I thought of Battle Royale. I'm sure some of you did too if you are familiar with the movie/novel. Yes, they are similar in the sense that kids are pitted against each other, killing themselves and win. But other than that, its amazing how Suzanne Collins was able to set apart her book and make it feel completely different from Battle Royale (I still think that book was too violent for me). This has more heart, and the deaths made more sense to me (which, in turn, made it a bit difficult for me to accept. I get emotional every time someone dies in the book). There's a reason why they're there, why they're competing, why they want to win.
Suzanne Collins was able to create a book with a complicated premise, yet you can imagine everything coming to life. Her descriptions are so vivid it felt painfully real and familiar. The stark contrast between the lives of those in the Capitol and in the district was so obvious, the rich and the poor, like the state of the society in my country.
It's scary to think of what might happen to the world if we have the same type of government as what is in the book. Every year they organize The Hunger Games to remind the people that they control their lives, that they own them, and that they can destroy them in a snap if they disobey.
This book has joined my list of the best novels I've read this year! If you haven't read it yet, please do! You'll be pleasantly surprised, trust me. ;)...more
**spoiler alert** A prince who looked like he swallowed the sun? A princess who looked like she's made from crystal sugar? Those words made me laugh w**spoiler alert** A prince who looked like he swallowed the sun? A princess who looked like she's made from crystal sugar? Those words made me laugh when I read them.
And who names their pet goat Dog? Only in this story, I think.
This is probably the first book in a while that I devoured reading as soon as I got a copy (and finished the book I was reading before) I had to read and find out what happens next! Who is Beryl? What is she? Even Peter kept me guessing.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Lucinda is such a lovable character. She's like Princess Sarah and Cinderella combined into one. With Beryl as her fairy godmother. Sort of. Except she's immortal and deathless.
My mouth literally fell open while I was reading the ending! I knew there was something about Peter! Who would've thought he'd be King? And Gregor's older brother too!
This is also the first book I've read (in a while, too) where the Prince cried. He felt more real than all the Princes I've read of. Heroic? Handsome? Sure, but never crying for a girl.
The side of the story about Beryl was a bit weird though. The way the angels played a part in the story. Was Beryl like her fairy god mother? With a story of her own?
Hmm... But I like the ending. I feel sad for Lucinda and her home, but happy for her and Gregor. I did wish for a royal wedding scene though, at the very least and a bit disappointed it didn't happen.