You gotta fight! For your right! To paaaaaaaaaaarty!
That is pretty much the concept of Burn Bright. The one I got from it, at least. World in Burn BrightYou gotta fight! For your right! To paaaaaaaaaaarty!
That is pretty much the concept of Burn Bright. The one I got from it, at least. World in Burn Bright is not our own, so this is not a post apocalyptic-I was mowing my lawn when suddenly a terrible plague killed 2,75 gazillion people-world. It's completely fictional and contains a lot of "areas" one could have grown up in. The protagonist, Retra, is a Seal which basically means someone who is devoid of every pleasure in life, is very shy and doesn't have the right to express an opinion. On the other hand there is Ixion, where the sun never rises. A place where you don't have to sleep(only briefly)and you can party and indulge in pretty much anything you can think of all day. Retra, after enduring unbearable physiological and physical pain at home, risks her life to go to Ixion and reunite with her brother Joel who had run off to Ixion a while back.
So. Ixion- the party planet. At first I thought it was something new and original but then meh I don't know. I mean, an island you can party and have sex non stop? Granted, it sounds intriguing and I'm certainly not a prude, but how is this a solution to Retra's or Joel's problems, created by a dysfunctional environment? For not being allowed to look in a mirror because it was considered a sin to choking down "happy pills" everyday, it's kind of a long way. And I liked Retra in the first half because she refused to change. She felt free from her father's tyranny sure, but she didn't become a ho bag in a matter of hours. Until of course, god-like Lenoir touched her thigh and she had an orgasm. ... Then everything changed inside her and she decided to go with the flow and become like the other Ixion-ites, but slightly better since she was Lenoir's favorite.
I don't know what to tell you, I didn't connect with the story or the characters at all. Yes, the book had a nice gothic feel to it. While reading I kept imagining Ixion like a medieval Ibiza. With a bunch of churches and monsters lurking in the dark. Now, that's a pretty picture! But when it's all said and done, I am not sure the imagery alone is enough to make me like Burn Bright. I didn't get the romance between Retra and Lenoir, either. Story of Ruzalia was interesting, though. When people at Ixion stopped being young(it doesn't say how young or how old that is), rumor has it that they are withdrawn from Ixion. What does that entail exactly? Nobody knows. Ruzalia claims that the Ripers(Guardians of the Ixion youth) get rid of them once and for all. The Ripers claim otherwise. So Ruzalia and her followers live in a huge pirate - like boat, fight the Ripers and have built a whole new world where people who are withdrawn can go. Second book is supposeed to be Ruzalia-centered so I may give the series another chance.
Burn Bright was an OK book I guess. Nothing special for me and I struggled a little bit to finish it. It's worth a try for dystopian enthusiasts. ...more
When there's a book titled Flirting in Italian, you automatically fantasize about sunny summers in Italy, imagine yourself walking through narrow2,5/5
When there's a book titled Flirting in Italian, you automatically fantasize about sunny summers in Italy, imagine yourself walking through narrow cobbled streets and of course flirting with hot Italian boys in Vespas saying "Ciao" all the time. Right? Well, not quite. In its defense, Flirting in Italian had all that but not to the expected amount.
So, we have 2 british girls, 2 American girls and 1 Italian girl in Tuscany, Italy. Violet, one of the British girls, was the protagonist, smart, outspoken and determined. The American girls however were not painted in the brightest colors. They both were beautiful but one was arrogant and the other was kinda dumb. And that wasn't even what bothered me. What I didn't get was their relationship with the English girls. Until the end I couldn't figure out if they were friends or enemies. Violet herself says one thing one time and another thing the other. I guess whenever it suited Violet they were good but, when they contradicted her they were mean. It doesn't quite work that way, but yeah.
I also expected a fiery, passionate romance between one of the girls (Violet, most likely) and a hot as hell Italian. Well, I am Greek. I know first hand how Italians act when on holidays in Greece. Let me tell you, it's not pretty. And the way Henderson portrayed the alleged "sexy Italian boys" it reminded me of these guys a lot, and honestly I don't really care for them. If I had not experienced the Italian+summer+Greek island combo I would too find everything in the book pretty cool. But seeing that I have, I can say now that I'm not a fan. So, I was definitely not feeling the hotness of the Italian guys.
There were a lot of historical factoids about Tuscany and Italy in general which was cool. However, there were some dialogues in Italian which were not later explained in English so that was a little bit confusing. The story behind FIT sounded very interesting at first: Violet enrolls in summer courses in Italy after seeing a painting of a girl in the 1700s who is a dead ringer for her. She always thought herself different from her parents with her dark coloring, and she wants to explore her potentially secret heritage. Unfortunately, we didn't get a lot of that, as Violet doesn't find anything helpful till the end of the book, which mostly revolved around the girls' rivalries and not even develops the much anticipated romance between Luca and Violet.
I expected a lot more from Flirting In Italian than nonsensical conflicts and drooling tourists. I also thought this was gonna be a stand alone book but I was wrong. There is gonna be a companion novel called "Following in Love in Italian". No info yet about its release date. ...more
The love I feel for this series is ridiculous, really. The Ivy and Secrets were on my Top 10 Best Reads of 2011. And there I was with Rivals, thinkingThe love I feel for this series is ridiculous, really. The Ivy and Secrets were on my Top 10 Best Reads of 2011. And there I was with Rivals, thinking that the novelty will definitely wear off the 3d time around. Yeah well, that didn't happen. I'm glad, and in a weird way proud, to announce that Rivals was as awesome and amazing as its predecessors.
It's just keeps getting better and better! Lauren & Rina are always bringing something new to the table and they deliver every time. They have mastered that fine line between high schoolers and adults and got the perfect middle down pat. Having experienced Harvard life themselves can't hurt, either. Brilliantly written and devilishly clever, the beginnings of every chapter were my favorite parts of the book. That she-devil Alexis Thorndike can write! (Jessica was right, even her name sounds mean!). I smile at the thought that this is a column in a magazine of one of the most prestigious schools in the whole world, perhaps THE most prestigious. And it's mostly info about exclusive parties and the 15 hottest freshmen? With pictures?? Genius!
Speaking of Alexis, I gotta hand it to her. Even though I am supposed to dislike her, and I do, don't get me wrong, my imaginary hat's off to her. She is one conniving, cunning little…girl. ;) She mostly works behind the scenes in Rivals but that doesn't mean that her actions don't have a devastating effect. Trust me, she knows what she is doing and no one should ever underestimate her. No spoilers you guys, because A LOT is happening this time around in terms of story/plot and I don't want to ruin it for you. Especially after Secret's heart breaking cliffhanger, I bet you can't wait to see who Callie ends up with. Well, let's just say things for poor Callie are very complicated. And I'll leave you with that.
On second thought, no. I have something else I wanna say, to Lauren and Rina. WHY OH WHY?? I barely made it through Secrets' cliff and now you went and done it again?? Now I have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next *curses* I would hate you if I didn't admire you so!
Can I express my eternal love and devotion towards Gregory now? Because God knows he deserves it! I gave the other guys a chance, I really did, but I just don't know what it is about Gregory that makes me giddy every time he makes an appearance. Is it because he smokes?( I know most people find it disgusting but I think it's alluring. To each his own). Is it because he is a player that makes my inner teen giggle bashfully? I guess it's him being such a stand up guy in spite of that. I will, without any shame, admit that right now he is my literary crush #1!
Mimi, OK, Vanessa, Matt and co. were their old perfect and hilarious selves. I loved how the turn Callie and Vanessas's friendship took was showed and how their friends tried to make them see reason again. Also, the bench scene at the Leather and Lace party was one of the most unbelievable(and effective, if you're thinking of trying it) scenes of friends bonding I have ever read. And the most awkward. And awesome!
Finally, to those of you who still wonder how much of what's happening is true(writers' personal experiences) believe me, I was right there with you. But at the end of the day you'll find that it doesn't really matter. Enjoy the college experience and forget about your problems for a minute. Instead worry about Callie's complicated love life-much better! :) .... OK enough with the niceties. When is book #4 coming out?? I am not even entertaining the idea of there not being a 4th book, it's simply unacceptable. So when is it coming out? Please? Pretty please?? *now where did I put those cherries...?*
LAST MINUTE EDIT: YAYAYAYAYAY!! *jumps up and down* Just in, Lauren's tweet: "The Ivy is a planned 4 book series. SCANDAL (out Winter 2012) follows Callie & friends through the end of freshman year." I don't have to wait a whole year, yes! *fist bumps self* Deep down I am incredibly sad this series is almost over :(...more
This is an overall review of both The Ivy and Secrets.
Could I be any more in love with the Ivy series? The answer is: hells no!!!!!
After a series of OThis is an overall review of both The Ivy and Secrets.
Could I be any more in love with the Ivy series? The answer is: hells no!!!!!
After a series of OK books, I finally found something I was completely obsessed about and loved with all my heart. And that is the Ivy series. My friend M. and I have had endless conversations about books that we read and them being either too YA or too adult. We had yet to find the much coveted in-between book, the one that has good parts of each of the genres. In other words: college.
First came Beautiful Disaster by Jamie MacGuire which I absolutely adored. Unlike BD though, Ivy doesn't only focus on two college students' unrequited love, which is by no means bad, but rather on describing college life and in this case, life at Harvard University. Both authors attended Harvard, and though they don't admit to the books being biographical, they acknowledge that "..they are realistic". The places, the dorms, the parties, classes, professors, all of it is real. Personally, Harvard college life took me by surprise. I had no idea things like that happened at such a prominent, Ivy league university. I thought Harvard students were with their heads inside a book all day. Yeah, right!
As it is very well known, partying and debauchery in general, always lead to epic romances. Or epic mistakes. This series had both in excess. Each time you felt happy and relieved, something would happen to make it all bad and chaotic again. There's no question books are written around Callie and how she, a poor california girl, is adjusting to a new life in the East coast and how she struggles to hang in there and not crumble under the pressure of exams, initiations, mean girls and of course love! I liked all the characters in the series equally. Yes, even Alexis! She was something all right, but I liked her. There are a lot of characters in Ivy and Secrets and no one falls under the radar, goes unnoticed. Every one has a distinct voice and is memorable. In all honesty though, I cannot decide who is best for Callie. I like Clint and Greg both! I loved Greg right from the start because he is hot(duh!)and snarky, but Clint…I mean, what's there not to like? The guy is perfect. And I don't mean, boring perfect, I mean the right amount of perfect. I'm telling you, I did not want to be on Callie's shoes at the end of Secrets. Seriously. Speaking of, Secrets's ending? Huge, mind-blowing cliff hanger!!!
If you read contemporary fiction there is NO way you won't like the Ivy series. I got through both of the books so quickly, I kinda regret it now. I wish I would have taken my sweet time and savor them :( Ivy and Secrets made me wish I was back in college. Yes. With all the studying and everything. That's how much I loved these books! ...more
Going into Born Wicked I expected it to be a dark YA novel with witches, spells and mystery. I blame it all on the cover, by the way. Stop making3,5/5
Going into Born Wicked I expected it to be a dark YA novel with witches, spells and mystery. I blame it all on the cover, by the way. Stop making such misleading covers! Anyway, even though it is about witches, it didn't have as much magic, both literally and metaphorically, as I would have liked. I expected it to be intense, intriguing and mysterious and it wasn't.
First half was painfully slow for me. Nothing was happening and I was beginning to despair. Sure, the writing was nice and pretty accurate for a historical novel, but I really wanted a story to dive into, characters to love and hate. They were all so uninteresting and boring. I thought maybe something will give in the romance department. Turns out that was quite brutal, too. I get that it's early 20th century and it's a YA book and all but that doesn't mean that the romance part has to be so angsty by default. Nothing remarkable about it. Also, this is supposed to be a paranormal book about witches. Yeah, not many witche-y things going on. Where is the dark power, the spells gone wrong, the magic?
Despite all its initial flaws however, I decided to fight through the first half and continue reading. Have to say, second half wasn't that bad. It came nowhere near rocking my world, but at least it showed some promise and paved the way nicely for the sequel. At least in the end there was some semblance of action, important things actually took place and people started exposing secrets and leading the plot forward.
Fans of Michelle Zink's Prophecy Of The Sisters and those of you who like very light YA historical novels, will probably like this one. ...more
Let me start off by saying that those of you who have already read Half-Blood must have noticed its eery similarity to another very well known book ofLet me start off by saying that those of you who have already read Half-Blood must have noticed its eery similarity to another very well known book of the genre. Come on, don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about! Yes, Half-Blood is a great book. Yes, it has a nice romance and well built story. Yes, it has a very hot male character(or should I say hot male characters?) Half-Blood had all that and still couldn't reach Vampire Academy's (by Richelle Mead) potential, seeing as the former was almost identical to the latter.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about plagiarism. Nothing of the kind. I'm just saying that the story of Half-Blood is exactly the same as the story in VA. And I don't use the word "exactly" lightly. The whole mythology, the Moroi, the Dhampir guardians, their frowned upon intimate relations, Dhampirs' infertility, Strigoi and so much more was pictured the exact same way in Half-Blood, under different names of course. Granted, there are a few differences that thankfully are there to help us readers tell the books apart. But overall, it's undoubtedly a repetition of Vampire Academy's story. That's why I feel I don't have to "review" it, tell you my thoughts about the characters and the plot(ha!). If you know me, you know I love VA so you know what my thoughts are on the book(s).
I'm really sorry if I sound totally obnoxious referencing Vampire Academy so much. You know, before I read Half-Blood friends who had already read it warned me about the inevitable VA comparison. But I never expected for those two to be so alike! And I agree with what people say that there's no originality in art, especially in literature. Besides, expecting to read something truly original in the YA paranormal genre is utopic, to say the least. However, I draw the line in reading the same(almost verbatim "copied")story in two different books. And between you and me, Vampire Academy was way better.
I mean no disrespect to Armentrout, on the contrary. I enjoyed her book and applaud her effort. It's obvious she can write and she can write very well. I just don't understand why she didn't choose to build a new paranormal world of her own, instead of borrowing one from another book. I don't know, I just feel she can do so much better. I enjoyed Half-Blood, no question about it, but in all fairness, probably because it made me want to read Vampire Academy again....more
Anna Dressed In Blood is a book about super creepy and gory ghosts, with blood everywhere and bodies slashed in half. And it's awesome!
Anna Dressed In Blood is a book about super creepy and gory ghosts, with blood everywhere and bodies slashed in half. And it's awesome!
First off, I love it when books have male leads. I think after reading hundreds of YA books with a female protagonist, I sometimes feel like I just don't want to read about girls and their feelings anymore. I wanna read about distant and cool boys! And that's what Theseus Cassius was. I kid you not, that was his name. But everyone called him Cas, so the kid survived school. Not that being made fun of at school was his biggest problem. But we'll get to that.
You can tell when reading Anna that there was a lot of thought behind Cas's character. Blake didn't chose the easy way out. She didn't make him super hot or super popular. She didn't make him emo, angsty or the "student by morning-brooding poet by night" type. Cas was a "normal" teenage guy and acted as such. Granted, with a lot of baggage because of his father's death and let's face it, because of the fact that he has to kill disgusting ghosts. But other than that he doesn't act like the whole world is on his shoulders, or that he has to be the ultimate hero and save the world one ghost at a time, none of that. He is a kid who's been brought up in a certain way of life from a very young age. He does what he needs to do dutifully and without complaining, always keeping at the back of his mind that his father was murdered and that he would get his revenge when he was ready. With no unnecessary complications, the pure simplicity and the realistic way that Cas is portrayed, is what made this book so amazing, in my opinion.
The great story in the background, also helped a lot. Along with the blood-soaked scenes of dismemberment in graphic detail and a bunch of other very cool things that happened. Spooky and terrifying things aside though, the story was believable and with a nice flow and structure(distinct beginning-middle-end).
Other characters were also important and blended right in the story. I liked Thomas his grandfather and Cas's english friend, Gideon, who I hope we'll see more in the sequel (Girl Of Nightmares). I didn't quite see Carmel's place in the whole thing and how she jumped right into the paranormal freakish stuff she had never heard about or believed in, when before Cas's arrival she was this popular, queen B type of girl. Anna was OK I guess. Nothing special for me, just a girl. I think what make her stand out is that a) she was a bad ass ghost and b)Cas was always around her. Cas did bring the whole thing together, I'm telling you.
Those of you who haven't read Anna Dressed In Blood yet, you should. I get why you might be a bit sceptical, I was too. Trust me though, you won't be disappointed. THE perfect read for Halloween!...more
You Are My Only is a heart breaking story about a mother who lost her baby and a girl who is imprisoned by her mother in a life she didn't choose.
BethYou Are My Only is a heart breaking story about a mother who lost her baby and a girl who is imprisoned by her mother in a life she didn't choose.
Beth Kephart is an amazing writer, no question about it. I've been meaning to read Dangerous Neighbors for a while now but I never got down to it. So my first ever Kephart book was You Are My Only thanks to Egmont and NetGalley. Alternating between Emmy and Sophie POVs, Kephart gives us an inside into these girls' lives, the decisions they make and how these decisions affect them.
What got to me most in this book was that it was so sad! Both Emmy and Sophie are two very unhappy individuals, each one for the same reason: they never felt loved. Emmy's husband obviously never loved her and Sophie's mother doesn't know what love is, in my opinion. Most people think that it's because she loved Sophie so much that she did the things she did. I sincerely doubt it. Wonderful thing is though that Emmy and Sophie, despite their abysmal lives, are both very capable of loving people back. Emmy loves her daughter, who was her whole world, and Sophie loves the warmth and kindness of her neighbors. Their heart and feelings are still intact, which is miraculous considering how they've been treated in their lives and that is something I loved about the book. That it manages to remain hopeful throughout, despite everything.
I recommend You Are My Only to anyone who wants to read something moving and beautifully written, with real character development. Watch out for Beth Kephart, she is amazing. ...more