Wow. That’s the first word to come to mind after I finished reading Gabriel and the Swallows. There are certain books that, while reading them, you knWow. That’s the first word to come to mind after I finished reading Gabriel and the Swallows. There are certain books that, while reading them, you know will stay with you forever. This is one of those books for me.
Gabriel and the Swallows is a masterpiece of a novel. It’s one of the most unique books I’ve ever read, and it became a favorite even before I finished reading it. Esther Dalseno has an incredible, mystical way with words that pulls you into the story, breathing life into the characters and the setting, making you feel as if you are right there with them. I’m amazed and in awe at how she captured so many years of Gabriel’s life into one book. The story was perfectly paced, and I truly felt as if I got to know each and every one of the characters within it. It was full of so many emotions that I experienced right along with the characters — love, heartbreak, hope, despair … all of it. And of course, there was the magic. The magic in this book was unlike anything I’ve ever read. At first it felt like magical realism, and then it became more and more real as Gabriel grew to acknowledge and appreciate the magic that had been in front of him all along. All in all, Gabriel and the Swallows is a magical, emotional, beautiful, original story that will stay in my heart forever.
It’s hard to say much more without giving spoilers. But please — read Gabriel and the Swallows. Esther is a new favorite author of mine, and I CAN’T WAIT to find out what she has in store for us with the sequel! (I’m really hoping for more VOLATILE. I love her, and there’s so much I want to learn about her.) Thank you, Esther, for writing such an incredible novel! ...more
I couldn't put The Secrets We Keep down! It's so unique, and definitely a stand-out. I love books about people taking over lives that aren't their ownI couldn't put The Secrets We Keep down! It's so unique, and definitely a stand-out. I love books about people taking over lives that aren't their own, so I tore through this story, needing to know what happened next. I also love that it's a standalone, and that it tied up neatly at the end. It's now an all-time favorite of mine. Definitely recommend! ...more
Time Riders is one of my favorite series OF ALL TIME. It's rare that I love a series as much as this one. It's nine books long, and got more incrediblTime Riders is one of my favorite series OF ALL TIME. It's rare that I love a series as much as this one. It's nine books long, and got more incredible with every book. I was constantly surprised while reading. It's an incredibly well-thought out and researched sci-fi time travel series, and those of you who follow what I read know how much I love a great time travel story! Everything tied up perfectly at the end, which is a MUST for a fantastic time travel book. I got chills when the loop of time was figured out. It's like a puzzle, where you can't see the entire picture until the final piece is put into place -- but you know that every piece in the picture has a place and purpose that was planned ahead of time.
I'm constantly amazed by Alex Scarrow's research. In each book there's a main period in history the characters travel back to, and it's so well-researched that it felt like I was right there, time traveling with them.
I'm sad that this series ended, but happy to have read a series that will always be one of my favorites, that I'll never forget. It ended perfectly. I even cried while reading the acknowledgments. Alex Scarrow is awesome for encouraging his readers to write fan fiction to continue on the series however they want! Fan fiction is how I got started writing myself, so reading that was touching on a personal level.
READ THIS SERIES. You'll be happy you did.
(view spoiler)[This series deals with the Fermi Paradox, which is a fascinating scientific theory. I loved how it all came together at the end! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
By the way, I suspect that (view spoiler)[Mary is a ghost, and that's why she has powers. She actually did die when shLOVED IT! Couldn't put it down.
By the way, I suspect that (view spoiler)[Mary is a ghost, and that's why she has powers. She actually did die when she tried to kill herself, but she doesn't realize she's dead. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more
There are some books that you start reading and know it's going to be an amazing experience, and that you won't be able to put the book down until it'There are some books that you start reading and know it's going to be an amazing experience, and that you won't be able to put the book down until it's over because you love it so much.
The Selection was like that for me.
I love a lot of books that I read, and then there are other books that I LOVE. This capital version is a more elite category of love -- reserved for books that are super special. The Selection is in this category, and will therefore be added to my "favorites" shelf on Goodreads.
Now instead of gushing about how incredible this book was, I will try to put it in words for you in this review.
First, let's start with the fact that I love reality television shows that have elimination factors, and The Selection has that in it. That instantly made it something great for me. I love the anticipation of making it to the next round in the competition, and seeing what people do to make the competition work for them. For some reason I find it completely fascinating. The Selection also had the fairy tale aspect added in. America is swept into the castle where she gets makeovers, new dresses, awesome food, and is taught how to behave like royalty. It's magical to read about.
But there's more to it than that. The heart of this story for me was in America's character. She is such an amazing main character -- spunky, individual, gracious, and grounded, all without being full of herself. Keira Cass did a great job in creating an emotional connection to America while reading. I rooted for her through everything and felt like crying for her during other parts of the story. She's not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. I would root for America if I was an Illean citizen watching The Selection.
The love triangle was wonderfully done. There is zero insta-love in this book. Aspen is someone America has been with for two years, and her feelings for Maxon grow naturally throughout the book. I am very much Team Maxon after reading the first book in The Selection. I think he and America will make a wonderful couple, and I hope the series ends with Prince Maxon choosing America, and America saying yes. I like Aspen as well, but I think he is more of a first love, and Maxon is true, mature love. I can't wait to see how this love triangle progresses.
If you haven't gotten the message yet -- READ THE SELECTION! It's so amazing, and you won't be disappointed.
PS: I forgot to mention how some passages were so amazing that I read them over so I could enjoy and relish in them again!...more
This is one of my all time favorite books that I don’t see talked about nearly enough. It’s about a normal girl living in Pittsburgh who gets zapped iThis is one of my all time favorite books that I don’t see talked about nearly enough. It’s about a normal girl living in Pittsburgh who gets zapped into a parallel universe, where she’s a beautiful socialite living in Miami. Her life there is everything she ever thought she wanted, but it may not be as wonderful as it originally appeared. It’s an enjoyable, fast read that touches on how one decision can change your life, and questions if your ideal life is truly better than the one you have now. If you like fun, glitzy reads that also make you think, than this one is for you!...more
Have you ever read a book that's so amazing, and you love it so much, that you know even the best review can't give the book the justice it deserves?Have you ever read a book that's so amazing, and you love it so much, that you know even the best review can't give the book the justice it deserves?
Tempest was a book like that for me.
I was drawn to Tempest when I saw the "broken flux capacitors" reference in the summary. Back to the Future is my favorite movie ever, so I knew Tempest was going to be a book for me! And I was right. Just like the summary of the book says, the time travel in Tempest doesn't require a DeLorean, flux capacitor, or plutonium. (Or a Mr. Fusion once Doc updates the car in the future.) Julie Cross has created a whole new version of time travel, and I absolutely loved it! She brings alternate time lines into the mix, which adds a cool spin on things. It also made me think and theorize, which I loved. (Time-travel/alternate time-line/parallel universe topics always make me excited. I'm cool like that ;)
Jackson was a fantastic main character. He's a 19 year old guy, which we don't see much of as protagonists in YA fiction, so it was nice to read about someone different. He only recently learned he can time travel, but nothing he does affects his time line, so he has fun with it. What I liked best about him was how much he loved and cared for the people in his life, even if he wasn't big on showing it all the time. His actions said everything. His girlfriend Holly was great as well. We got to see her in both 2009 and 2007, and I liked seeing the two different Holly's. It was obvious from meeting both of them how two years -- especially between 17 and 19 -- can change a person. And Adam was awesome. He's the Doc Brown of the group. I imagine Doc's teenage self, if he was a teenager in 2009, would have been very similar to Adam! I also loved Jackson's twin Courtney, although I don't want to say much about her for fear of spoiling the book if you haven't read it yet. I'm hoping we get to learn more about her throughout the series, because I have a feeling there's more to her story than what we learned in Tempest.
And then there was the ending. Wow. I don't want to give away spoilers, but the end will tug at your heart so much. I'm just glad I know this is going to be a trilogy, because if that was really the end, I would get seriously sad. There are also so many questions (and theories!) I want answers to, so I can't wait to read the rest of this series.
Oh yeah, Tempest has also been optioned to become a movie! The book read very cinematically, so I can't wait to see it on the big screen.
Thank you, Julie Cross, for writing such an excellent novel! I wish I could time travel into the future so I could read the rest of the trilogy without having to wait. ...more
This book is amazing. It's one of those books that you don't want to put down, and are constantly thinking about when you can keep reading if forced tThis book is amazing. It's one of those books that you don't want to put down, and are constantly thinking about when you can keep reading if forced to take a break! Oh yeah, and Ash is perfect :)...more
Matched is one of the best books I've read in a while! It's a YA novel about a girl named Cassia living in a dystopian future where everyone is "matchMatched is one of the best books I've read in a while! It's a YA novel about a girl named Cassia living in a dystopian future where everyone is "matched" at the age of sixteen with someone who is supposed to be their soulmate. Everyone is given a datachip containing all the information they'll need to know about the person they're matched with, and they view it in private. However, there's a mistake in Cassia's datachip, and she sees two people on her matching screen -- one the Society wants her with (Xander, her best friend from childhood), and the other she wasn't supposed to see (Ky, the mysterious guy who she can't seem to stop thinking about). While she knows it would be best to continue her planned life with Xander, Cassia learns more about Ky and finds herself growing more attracted to him. She has to make a decision: continue obliging by the Society's rules, or to follow her heart.
I always love dystopian novels, and instead of the world in shambles, Cassia lives in a Society that has a futuristic communist feel to it. If you're a fan of the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, then you'll absolutely love Matched! Not only is the story wonderful, but it's written beautifully. Condie's writing has a melodic feel to it, making it flow as you read. Definitely put this one on the top of your list!...more