I loved this book from start to finish and what a great contemporary read this is. I love Sarah Dessen and this book reminded me very much of her writ...moreI loved this book from start to finish and what a great contemporary read this is. I love Sarah Dessen and this book reminded me very much of her writing style. I was in the mood for a deep and soulful kind of contemporary novel and this book was just what I've been needing to read. After an overload of fantasy and paranormal, this book was just like a breath of fresh air.
How To Love follows the main character of Reena, a young women whose life has been turned upside down by an epic romance she shared with a guy named Sawyer. The book alternates between her life before she has her daughter and after the return of the mysterious Sawyer. This style of writing has the tendency to go horribly wrong, even in books that have the very best intentions. But in How To Love it just fits perfectly with the story. Not once did I lose the plot of the book and I actually really enjoyed getting a chance to read from different points in Reena's life. I loved the main character and I found it very easy to relate to her. Her thoughts and ways of putting everyone before herself was something I felt made her easily loved. Sawyer...oh my goodness...talk about the irresistible pull of a bad boy! Even though he is totally a bad guy whose more on the wrong side of the law than on the right side of it, I couldn't help but not fall for him as well. Because of my love for these main characters I found myself unable to put this book down.
How To love is a great read and, for it's hard hitting subject matter, I didn't find the book heavy at all. For a contemporary novel I thought it was fantastic and I definitely see myself rereading it again.
More Than This by Patrick Ness is a book best appreciated in one epic sitting. It is a book that can only be fully understood by reading it in one go....moreMore Than This by Patrick Ness is a book best appreciated in one epic sitting. It is a book that can only be fully understood by reading it in one go. This book is mindnumbingly brilliant!
More Than This follows a boy named Seth who drowns and wakes up in what seems like a giant world of a waiting room for heaven...or hell. Without divulging any spoilers Seth must try and make sense of events that led to his death and how he make all the wrongs right.
I went into reading More Than this with a total misunderstanding of what I was getting into. It had been hyped to me by fellow bloggers, co-workers and even publishers. So I had to move it up on the to-read pile and I'm so glad that I did. Patrick's writing is astounding beautiful. His world building, amazing and the character development is like none other I've ever come across. Reading More Than This has left me awed and slightly confused, thinking about things in different ways. Some aspects of the story I still grapple with, even though its been a couple of days since I put the book down. But this one of my favourite things about this book. It has stuck with me and will continue to be with me for quite some time.
More Than This sends you on a roller coaster ride of emotion and the characters somehow integrate themselves into your life and stay there. More Than This is a fantastic read and has left me wanting so much more than this (ha-ha...had to put that in there) from Patrick Ness! My Blog Review(less)
The Alchemy of Forever has to be one of my favorite reads of 2012 so far. It was the first time I had read a story involving reincarnation and it defi...moreThe Alchemy of Forever has to be one of my favorite reads of 2012 so far. It was the first time I had read a story involving reincarnation and it definitely made me fall in love with the concept. It was a quick, easy and enjoyable read and I cannot wait to see what happens next!
The story follows the main character, Seraphina who becomes an Incarnate at the hands of the alchemist's son Cyrus. His love for her turns into obsession and leads him to keep her captive over hundreds of years until, they reach present day, and Sera is able to escape the cult of Incarnates Cyrus has created. On a mission to end her miserably long life Sera accidentally takes on the body and life of a girl she tries to save from death. Stuck inside this new body and surrounded by Kailey's loving family and friends, Seraphina must decide whether to continue running from Cyrus, or to try and hide from him in Kailey's world.
I found Seraphina to be a very likable as well as a relatable character because even though she is over a hundred year old, she is still flawed in some ways. She isn't perfect and she makes some bad decisions along the way but, all the while she is always trying to do the right thing. Her years on earth haven't made her selfish in any way, which I found surprising when compared to her fellow Incarnates. I very much enjoyed following her story and as a character I found her very well rounded. The character of Cyrus was very well written and he is one creepy dude! I loved how sly and scary he came across and through that you could understand Seraphina's desire to escape his evil clutches.
With the book being so short the rest of the characters aren't explored as much as I would have liked them to have been, and I think that works against the story in a way. I hope that in the second book we get to hear/see a little bit more of the Incarnates and some of Kailey's family and friends.There were some small issues that were brought up but they weren't fully explored, and at the end I was left wondering what had happened with those issues. I hope that maybe they set up for book 2.
Overall I enjoyed The Alchemy of Forever. I was looking for a quick read and I definitely found it in this book. The pacing was really good. I was never wondering when the story was going to pick up again. The characters were enjoyable and I am very excited to see what happens in the next installment.
There comes a time in every avid reader’s ‘to-read pile’ when you pick up a book and have absolutely no clue that the book you hold in your hands will...moreThere comes a time in every avid reader’s ‘to-read pile’ when you pick up a book and have absolutely no clue that the book you hold in your hands will change the way you see or think about certain situations, forever. Sometimes that change is small, a minor blip in your day to day life. But, on the rare occasion, that change is like a huge bomb dive into a swimming pool, and it ripples through to the very core of your being. The Fault in Our Stars is one of those rare books that had that very effect on me. The story centres around Hazel who, at sixteen, is a walking cancer miracle, having been diagnosed with stage 6 Thyroid cancer when she was 13. Thanks to the advancement in medicine and a powerful and effective drug, Hazel is still around, but she has become very disconnected from the world she was so prepared to leave 2 years earlier. Through her cancer support group she meets Augustus Waters, an attractive, smart and very funny guy whose cancer is in remission. Hazel and Augustus are seemingly perfect for each other and a beautiful romance ensues. But, this book wouldn’t be a perfect tear-jerker if there weren’t some heart-breaking twists along the way. I fell in love with these characters from the moment I picked up this masterpiece of a novel. I found Hazel to be wonderfully charismatic and extremely funny when sharing her views on the world, which had me laughing at all the right moments. Even though she has a terminal illness, she never came across as depressed or self-centred, which made her even more endearing as a character to me. Augustus Waters has to be one of my all-time favourite male characters. He is such a kind, gentle and funny character and he makes the perfect match for Hazel. He is an all-round good guy and the world would be a much better place if we had more men like him around. He is, literally, the perfect boyfriend. The plot made my heart ache at times and had me laughing out loud at times as well. The pacing was perfect, right down to the final full stop, and the writing was flawless. The Fault in Our Stars is a book I fell in over heels in love with and I cannot fault it in any way. The journey I went on with these characters was a magical rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, but I loved every minute of it. The Fault in Our Stars is a book that will stay with you for a very long time after you’ve turned the last page. http://ya-reader.blogspot.com/2012/06... (less)
What can be better than a quick contemporary read with adorable characters and the sweetest love story ever? Well, not much actually. They say dynamit...moreWhat can be better than a quick contemporary read with adorable characters and the sweetest love story ever? Well, not much actually. They say dynamite comes in small packages and that is exactly the case with The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight.
This novel has to be one of the cutest contemporary reads out there. It's such a quick read as the story is set over a twenty-four period, so it's not going to take you forever to get into it. In it we meet Hadley, a young American girl who has just missed her flight by four minutes. She is on her way to London to attend her father's wedding to a British women whom Hadley is not too fond of, even though she has never met her. Still coping with the divorce of her parents Hadley is emotionally lost and cannot comprehend the fact that her father is getting remarried. In the airport Hadley meets Oliver, a young British college student returning to London for a family affair and, over the course of the journey they unknowingly change each other's lives.
I really enjoyed being part of the journey of realization that Hadely goes on without her even realizing it. Meeting Oliver, talking to each other about their pasts and reliving some of their childhood memories had a very strong emotional effect on both characters. It was endearing to read about how each had of them had been affected by their different circumstances, and I loved seeing how one airplane flight changed two people. Hadley matures greatly over the course of the story and Oliver develops a better understanding of himself as well as his family. The fact that they both end up falling for each other was just the cherry on top of a very cute cupcake!
The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight was a very quick read and it was the perfect break from a slight over load of Paranormal fiction I had been experiencing. The plot development was flawless and even the secondary characters were well explored.
I would highly recommend The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight as a fun, sweet, quick read to anyone who has a couple of hours to spare. It was an extremely rewarding read and the story stays with you long after you've turned the last page!(less)
I have to admit that once in awhile I do underestimate certain books, especially when they take a turn down an unfamiliar path. But as Robert Frost sa...moreI have to admit that once in awhile I do underestimate certain books, especially when they take a turn down an unfamiliar path. But as Robert Frost says, the road less traveled certainly makes all the difference, and that was definitely the case with Switched.
Before I began Switched I was rather skeptical because I am not really one for fantasies. I have yet to try the fairy books that are going around and I was apprehensive to have trolls feature in my to read pile. But I applaud Amanda for having the 'guts' to take them on and to make them into such enjoyable and relate-able characters.
The story follows Wendy, a social outcast and misfit in the human world but a respected and powerful element in the troll, or as they are referred to in Switched, Trylle world. I related to Wendy from the beginning because all of us at some point in time have felt out of place. Wendy is a very strong minded character and I admired that about her. She embraced her new life as best she could, even though it turns out to be slightly worse than the human world she came from (and that wasn't great either). I felt alot of empathy towards her and at times I wished her situation would turn around for the better. Surprisingly it did, in the form of the dark and brooding Finn.
Finn is a tracker sent out to bring back the children from the Trylle world. He is regarded as the best in his profession and is assigned to bring Wendy back. Throughout the course of the story a forbidden romance develops between Wendy and Finn. Being the noble gentleman that he is, Finn does his best to hinder any feelings he has for Wendy. Now, I have mentioned in the past that 'love at first glance' romances don't really appeal to me but this one was just too good not to get caught up in, probably because it is completely forbidden (and no I'm not going to tell you why). Finn is the ultimate paranormal hunk being that he is super sexy, a total gentleman and completely off limits.
The side characters are really well developed and each has their own mystery and intrigue surrounding them. They all have a little something that they are hiding and I can't wait to find out what happens next. Even the villains bring a good scare factor to the story.
Switched is a quick read, with good pacing and story development. The characters are different and very exciting, and the romance is rather thrilling. Amanda's take on trolls blows the typical stereotype completely out of the water , and it's both refreshing and exhilarating. Trolls have never been sexier!(less)
I won't keep any suspense going in this review because I have to started off by saying that I loved this book. This was my first try at a book with a...moreI won't keep any suspense going in this review because I have to started off by saying that I loved this book. This was my first try at a book with a historical setting and I really enjoyed it. I was so, so lucky to be given an advance copy of this book by the author and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
The story is actually a retelling of the Greek myth of Psyche and Eros. Before I read this book I looked up the actual myth on Wikipedia, just so that I had a foundation of the myth going into reading Destined. I have to say, this retelling is better than the myth. I thought it was really well told and is totally age appropriate. If I had young teens, I would be happy with them reading Destined. I liked the fact that it was kept young and lighthearted as well. It was alot of fun to read.
What I liked most about this book is that although it is set in ancient Greece the dialogue is still kept very modern and thus I could still relate to all the characters and the story line as well. It wasn't like I was reaching for my ancient Greek dictionary every five minutes and thinking 'what the heck is going on here?'. I liked the fact that characters used funny, modern day sayings and phrases, and I often found myself laughing at their reactions to the situations they found themselves in.
The main character, Psyche, is the perspective from whom the story is told and I fell in love with her from page one. She was kind and caring but also very stubborn and self assured. I like the way she changed throughout the story, going from a naive and innocent young girl to a strong and independent young woman, who wasn't afraid to risk her life for the loved she believed in.
Another two characters I loved were Aphrodite and Eros. Aphrodite was so "kick-butt" and it was so fun whenever she was in a scene. She just brought this wonderful spunk and attitude to the story that I totally loved reading about. And the twist at the end (trust me no spoilers shall be leaked) really made the story interesting. In my opinion, Aphrodite could have a book all of her own *hint, hint*. Eros was everything a romance story needs and more. He was dreamy and sweet, kind and loving and I think his character was written really well. I just really wish he hadn't been so stubborn and closed up in the beginning of the story, but then we wouldn't have had a story at all. It was like I wanted to shake him and say 'be a little bit more open minded!'. But throughout the story he does develop an open mind and he changes quite a bit so I was really happy for him.
Another thing I have to say...I love, love this cover! I am so in love with it. I am going to have to find myself a hard copy just so that it can look pretty on my shelf. But also because I really enjoyed the whole story and I loved having the chance to review it.
Destined is a great, fun read that will keep you entertained right up until the very end. Jessie Harrell, I look forward to seeing and reading more of your work in the future! Well done on Destined!
It is rare to come across a book that has all the elements of a fantastic Young Adult novel and that can also entertain and enthrall readers of all ag...moreIt is rare to come across a book that has all the elements of a fantastic Young Adult novel and that can also entertain and enthrall readers of all ages. This is one of those books. I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone from the minute I picked it up. It is a very unique story and with its mix of paranormal with a twist of fantasy and a dash of passionate romance it will leave you not only wanting, but begging for more.
The story centers around the main character, Karou who has grown up in both the human world and the mythical world of 'Elsewhere', as her "adoptive" father calls it. When the comfort of Elsewhere is suddenly snatched away from her, Karou comes into contact with the foreboding angel Akiva, and together they piece together the mystery that surrounds her and her true identity.
Karou has to be one of my favorite main characters of the year. I loved that she was very independent and quite feisty. Although she is about 17/18 years old she never once acted like it and that makes a very welcome change in the YA genre, in my opinion. She always came across as much older and I liked reading from a point of view that was mature and sensible.
Brimstone, her father for all intense and purposes, was also a character I enjoyed reading about. He was comical but in a serious way (if that actually makes any sense) and I loved his cryptic way of speaking. I found Akiva, the angel in the story, to be very conflicted which becomes understandable as the story progresses. He is everything a reader wants in a YA book and definitely encompasses the whole brooding, attractive, self loathing character that makes a YA book so addictive. I really enjoyed having him around in the book. Zuzana, Karou's best friend, added some rather hysterical sarcasm and I really hope to see her in the next installment.
I loved the fact that the story was set in Prague because it made a wonderful change to read about such a beautiful city. I think it also added to the story as Prague is such a mystical and timeless place, it added that extra 'wow' factor to the story.
This story has romance verging on epic proportions and I loved every bit of it! The constant tension between Akiva and Karou is so thrilling to read about, and the the way the pieces all fit together at the end (sorry but no spoilers here) just had me sitting on the edge of my seat! I cant wait to see what happens next.
The book was fast paced but it wasn't too rushed. Important scenes were given time to expand sufficiently and I never felt like the story was grinding to a halt. It was a relativity easy read.
I also have to mention how beautifully this book is written! It was such a pleasure to read. I wish I could get my copy signed because this book is definitely one of my prized books on my shelf.
If you haven't yet read Daughter of Smoke and Bone I highly recommend that you beg, borrow or buy a copy because it is truly one of kind. The characters are well developed, the story is amazing and the cover (both US and UK) is just so pretty! But in all seriousness, this book is a work of stunning imagination and I enjoyed every bit of it.