I’m always a bit hesitant when a former classmate posts on Facebook (or Twitter, or Instagram, or any other social media) about this AMAZING THING theI’m always a bit hesitant when a former classmate posts on Facebook (or Twitter, or Instagram, or any other social media) about this AMAZING THING they’ve done and how it’s the GREATEST THING EVER, how EVERYONE should check it out. We have quite a few wannabe rappers in my graduating class. But I was actually pretty stoked when I saw that someone I went to school with, Kelsey Garmendia, had self-pubbed a novel. She’s one of the few people coming from my high school that, in my opinion, have actual talent. So I jumped on that shit.
I went into Burn Our Houses Down with a completely blank slate. I had read the synopsis of course, but had no idea what the “big bad” was. So naturally, since I have a problem with needing to know spoilers, I IMed Kelsey on Facebook and asked. I asked about vampires, all the while secretly hoping that it wasn’t, because I’m so done with vampires, and didn't want to have to put the book down already. I asked about aliens, all the while secretly hoping it was, because it takes place in our small town, which was known for alien sightings (DON’T LAUGH, I’M BEING SERIOUS. GOOGLE IT). She wouldn’t tell me, and I’m so glad she didn’t, because….
WHAT THE SHIT! WENDIGOS!? Yes! I’m all about old legends, especially ones coming from Native American tales. So, if you don’t know what a wendigo is, it’s basically a demon-creature that possesses humans and eats human flesh. Similar to a zombie (which I also asked Kelsey about), but the difference being zombies eat brains and are the undead. Windigos are typically humans that occasionally eat people. You know, no big deal. My only, ONLY comment on this book is that I wanted more of the mythology and lore about wendigos. But that’s just because I’m a junkie for that stuff.
Burn Our Houses Down was very fast-paced. In most novels out now, there’s usually a moment of relief, where the characters are able to breathe and reassess. Not this one! And I actually loved that about it. I was never bored. I sat on the edge of my couch, flipping pages on my screen as fast as I could go. And then when it was over, I needed more.
Garmendia’s writing is amazeballs (and I think I’ve only ever used that word once or twice here on BB, so that should tell you something). Not too flowerly and full of purple prose. Not too info-dump-y. Her characters are sarcastic, flawed, and three-dimensional. Her dual POVs from both of the main characters, Hayley and Xavier, worked. It’s rare that I think a woman writing from an early-20 year old’s man’s voice works, but she did it expertly. I l really liked Hayley and her snarky comments. And let me just take a minute to acknowledge how much I enjoyed 9 year old Aisley.
I’ll be giving this one 4.5 stars (what’s up with me and the half stars lately). More of the legend of wendigos, and this would be a 5 for me.
I was on the fence about reading this, to tell the truth. I am kind of "over" the whole vampire thing, because once Twilight came out, vampires were e I was on the fence about reading this, to tell the truth. I am kind of "over" the whole vampire thing, because once Twilight came out, vampires were everywhere. There were tons of vampire books, TV shows, movies, etc. It just got to a point where whenever another vampire book came out, I'd automatically pass by it in a bookstore. But I kept seeing reviews from bloggers that were all saying how fantastic this was, so I decided to check it out. It did not disappoint.
Allison Sekemoto lives in a world very different from our own. Vampires do not hide from humans. On the contrary, they keep humans as "pets." Sort of like their own personal blood banks. Every human is required to register with the vampires, and they "donate" blood. For humans who choose to hide out and not register, life is hard. They have to search for food and go beyond the city to find it. This wouldn't be a problem normally, but all is not normal in Allison's world, and rabids prowl the land beyond the walls of the city.
A rabid is exactly what causes Allison to become one of the creatures she hates the most. When she and her friends are attacked, she is rescued by a vampire, Kanin. He gives her the choice - let him turn her into a vampire, or die as a result of the rabid attack. Allison realizes she would rather become a vampire than die, so Kanin turns her.
Kanin starts to train Allison to help her learn how to be a successful vampire. He teaches her how to fight, how to burrow into the ground to sleep, and most importantly, how to feed. He encourages her to leave her old life behind, forget her friends back home, but she can't do that. She decides to go back and see her friend, Stick, thinking that everything will be okay.
Stick is not the person Allison thinks he is, however, and he tells the vampires who run the city where Allison and Kanin are hiding out. This leads to the vampires coming to the old hospital where Allison and Kanin are staying, and causes Allison to go off on her own.
The Immortal Rules was the first book I've ever read of Julie Kagawa's. I've had the Iron Fey series on my to-read-list for what seems like forever, but for one reason or another, have never read them. I think it's because I normally don't read fairy/faery/faerie books. I'm a definite fan of her writing after reading this book. It took me a little while to get into the story, but once I did, I had to be dragged away from my Nook to do things like eat dinner, go to sleep, go to work. You know, the not-so-important stuff, when you're reading a novel like this.
Probably my favorite part of this book, as crazy as it sounds, was the parts with the rabids in it. I mean, come on! They were like...part zombie, part vampire monsters! I can't remember ever reading a book with anything like the rabids. Whenever they came near Allison, my heart was pounding and I was rooting for her and her traveling companions to escape. Especially towards the end, in the last 50 pages or so, I was biting my nails, sitting up in bed, keeping my fingers crossed for them to make it to Eden.
I also loved that The Immortal Rules had a dystopian feel to it as well. It's no secret that my favorite genre is dystopian, but to be completely honest, I have been getting kind of bored with all the dystopians coming out lately. The Immortal Rules put a completely new spin on it.
I especially enjoyed that the book was split into the four parts. It really helped with connecting to what Allison was feeling at each particular point in the story. I actually could feel that she was a monster during that part, and same with each of the other divisions. I'm hoping that Julie Kagawa will continue those splits into the rest of the series.
All in all, The Immortal Rules was a fantastic vampire story. Everything about it was just perfect. Perfect characters, perfect writing, perfect story. This will be a book that I need to buy an actual copy of, not just an e-book, to put up on my shelf of favorites with Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and the Gone series. Thank you, Julie Kagawa, for making me a fan of vampires again....more
It should be stated first that I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I've been rewatching the series with my husband since he's never seen it before, and iIt should be stated first that I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I've been rewatching the series with my husband since he's never seen it before, and it is still just as good. I've wanted to read Season 8 for some time now, so I'm pretty excited that I finally did.
I'm going to be putting the next part of the review in spoiler alert, just in case you've been living under the same rock my husband has, so it doesn't ruin the TV show for you.
(view spoiler)[ The Long Way Home opens up shortly after the series finale. Sunnydale is gone, there are thousands of Slayers now, Xander is missing an eye, Dawn is a giant, and Willow has disappeared for a little while. Buffy is still doing the Slayer thing, and is training new Slayers along with Giles. There were a couple huge surprises.
1. Buffy and Xander, together? What!? I told my husband and he didn't believe it either. It's an interesting storyline, although I was kind of confused by Xander's head popping off while they were kissing. I mean, I'm entirely sure that it was part of the dream state that Amy was keeping her in, but still. Bah!
2. Speaking of which, Amy! She's back! If you don't remember Amy, she's the girl from the first season whose Mom switched bodies with her so she could relive her glory high school days. Then again in season two, she helps Xander do a love spell on Cordelia that backfires. Pushing forward to The Long Way Home, she's basically insane.
3. Along the same vein of people returning, Warren is still alive!? What!? He was literally flayed alive by Willow. Granted, he's only kept alive by Amy's magic, but really!?
One thing I love about the Buffy show is that it contains a lot of dark material (vampires, demons, etc) but does it all with a sense of humor. I was extremely glad that the humor was continued into the comics.
The art was awesome. The cover alone, they all look like the actors/actresses who portrayed them. They lose a little bit of that in the actual comic, but they are still recognizable. There are also a couple really well-done portraits throughout the book.
In general, this was a really great continuation of the TV show. I'll definitely be continuing on with the rest of this series, not to mention picking up the Spike, Angel & Faith, and Willow comics.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I had never read Hourglass until I saw Timepiece on Netgalley. It was on my mountainous TBR, but I had just never remembered to get a copy. Once I gotI had never read Hourglass until I saw Timepiece on Netgalley. It was on my mountainous TBR, but I had just never remembered to get a copy. Once I got auto-approved for this, I requested it from my library, waited (im)patiently, and read it within a day. Then read Timepiece the very next day.
I don't want to do a synopsis because I feel like anything I write will be very spoiler-y. So I'm going to skip that part and just write my opinions on the book, hopefully without telling anything about what's going on.
Hourglass, the first in the series, was written totally in Emerson's point of view. With Timepiece, the point of view switched to Kaleb. I had mixed emotions on this. On one hand, I was super excited, because I fell in love with Kaleb in Hourglass, but on the other hand, it left me a bit disconnected. I felt emotionally pulled in with Emerson, and opened Timepiece expecting to continue reading from Emerson right where we left off at the end of the first. I got confused for a bit until it finally connected with me that it wasn't Emerson talking. Once I understood that, it made things a bit easier. From that point on, I liked Timepiece a lot more.
In Timepiece, Kaleb really grew as a character. He went from a womanizing guy to a man who fell in love with Lily, Emerson's best friend. In such a short amount of time, he became someone that made me love him even more. I really loved his relationship with Lily and how he didn't get her easily. She actually made him work for it, which he had never had in the past.
The time travel in this series is still my favorite by far. There's a ton of rules to it, which is hard to keep track of, but the intricacies and twists and turns make it so much more fun. It continuously grows and morphs into something new, so it makes each page have an unexpected twist.
Timepiece was a great book, and I loved everything about it. It's going to be a book I buy an actual physical copy of once it comes out.
**spoiler alert** I'm a HUGE fan of dystopia-type books. I'll read just about any of them. 1984? Amazing. The Giver? Also very good. And don't even ge**spoiler alert** I'm a HUGE fan of dystopia-type books. I'll read just about any of them. 1984? Amazing. The Giver? Also very good. And don't even get me started on The Hunger Games. Because of that, my review might be a little biased. As another warning, it's very hard to discuss this book without some major spoilers, so PLEASE BE PREPARED.
Gone is a fast-paced account of Sam Temple. Imagine, being 14, sitting in your class in school, and all of a sudden, your teacher disappears. As if that wasn't strange enough, one of your fellow students has also vanished into thin air. Well, that's exactly what happens to Sam. After investigating a bit, he finds out that it wasn't just his teacher and classmate, but every single person in the town of Perdido Beach over the age of 15 has suddenly disappeared.
The novel continues with the story of the kids of Perdido Beach. How they managed, how they policed themselves, etc. Pieces of it reminded me of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, but with superhero powers. Of course, it has the obligatory "bad guy," Caine, who just happens to be Sam's twin that was given up for adoption. That story-line frustrated me a bit because of the cliche. One good twin, one bad twin, fighting each other. But the book also has some surprising twists (Little Pete inadvertently being the cause of all the adults 'blinking out'? Did not see that coming AT ALL!), which was a nice change from the overused twin issue.
I'd also like to bring up Quinn, Sam's friend and surfing 'brah'. I would have LOVED to see more of his character, and not just in an "appearance" sort of way. I'm talking about what was going on inside his head. He seemed like one of the most conflicted people in the whole story. Sam is clearly his best friend, but he doesn't want to be punished by Caine and his gang of thugs for taking Sam's side. He's jealous of Sam because Sam has power and Quinn has none. That alone has to be hard, feeling second class to someone who is your best friend, not that Sam intended it that way. He switches sides so many times in this story it was unbelievable, but for some reason, I couldn't help but sympathize with him.
Gone, at 558 pages, is by no means a light read. It had me wondering how our society would function in this type of predicament. It is, however, one of my favorite books. 5 out of 5 stars!
P.S. Can I just say I imagined Quinn looking like Sam from Glee? And Drake like Drake Bell? Weird. ...more
The Gone series is one that I've loved from the very first page of the very first book. There hasn't really beenThis review is also posted on my blog.
The Gone series is one that I've loved from the very first page of the very first book. There hasn't really been a point where I've thought about not continuing with the series. Now that the series is over, I'm more than a little upset.
Light picks up soon after Fear ended. The kids inside The FAYZ are now visible to the parents, media, police, and military that are stationed outside the dome, and vice versa. Children are communicating with their parents, telling them what happened for the past year. The gaiaphage now has a body, the daughter of Diana and Caine. The kids are tired, hungry, and stretched too thin. They don't expect to escape the FAYZ alive, but aren't ready to give up yet.
I found this book more graphic than the previous five in the series, if that's even possible. I didn't think it was. According to my Kindle, I was 10% of the way through when I had to put it down to take a minute and digest.
The characters that I've loved were all still huge players. Major characters died, ones that I've loved since book one. I think I actually teared up when two different people were killed.
Light was a really solid ending to a really fantastic series. It didn't have a "happily ever after" ending, because this wasn't a "happily ever after" series. It was a series of death, of fighting, of pain, of anger. I'm extremely glad Michael Grant didn't end it with something along the lines of "they all escaped the FAYZ, went back to school, and continued their lives without any problems" because it would have been unrealistic.
I'm going to miss this series. I'm going to miss buying each book on it's release date. The FAYZ was a fresh story in the YA world, where there's a lot of the same stories repeating themselves. If you haven't read Gone yet, I suggest you do, and continue it all the way through to the end, Light....more
**spoiler alert** (Side note - My first official review on Goodreads!)
I picked this up at a used bookstore, not thinking it would be any good, but it**spoiler alert** (Side note - My first official review on Goodreads!)
I picked this up at a used bookstore, not thinking it would be any good, but it was cheap and I needed something quick and easy to read.
Well, I was right on two out of three. It was definitely a quick read - if I had the time, I could have read the whole thing in one sitting. It was easy. It was also very good.
The book is told from the Semirah's point of view. She, as well as 49 others, win a contest to be part of the British Young Conservationists who are working in Ecuador. On the way there, their plane crashes, and Semirah, Miranda, and Arnie are the only three survivors on a deserted island. After some time though, they find out they're not as alone as they thought.
Dr. Franklin is a scientist involved in the works of transgenics. He's coming up with a way to create animals mixed with humans. Think about it - a human, who can change into a bird. He kidnaps Semi and Miranda and makes them his first human guinea pigs, turning Miranda into the previously mentioned bird, and Semi into a manta ray.
This book was surprisingly well-written and interesting. I honestly read until late at night, fell asleep reading it, and then continued it the next morning once I woke up. I'd highly recommend it. ...more
Ellen Hopkins hosted a contest a while back for photos of military families. I sent one in of Mike and I, just for the heck of it. I didn't think I'dEllen Hopkins hosted a contest a while back for photos of military families. I sent one in of Mike and I, just for the heck of it. I didn't think I'd be one of the winners, but when she contacted me via email, I was so excited. I love Ellen Hopkins. I've read every one of her books, with the exception of Triangles. I'm a huge fan of her writing style.
Collateral is the story of Ashley, a 20-something year old woman who meets a Marine named Cole and falls in love with him. She is a bit apprehensive at first, but eventually falls head over heels in love with him. She sticks by his side through everything, including multiple deployments. Eventually though, she starts to re-evaluate her relationship with Cole when she realizes just how hard being a military wife/girlfriend can be.
Have you seen those memes that say "NAILED IT!" on them? There needs to be one of those for Collateral. It was so bizarre reading the words that I've been saying since Mike joined the military. I remember when he first left, and not hearing from him for weeks at a time. It was scary, it was upsetting, and it was so hard to explain the rollercoaster of emotions to people who hadn't personally dealt with it. I always said that unless you've lived the military lifestyle, you can't even begin to understand how hard it is. Ellen Hopkins proved me wrong with Collateral.
Ashley and Cole's story is filled with ups and downs, just like any real relationship. On top of the normal struggles of being young and in love, they're dealing with long-distance. On top of that, they're dealing with the military.
The characters in Collateral were all supremely realistic. I know women like Ashley's friends, who assume that because they're husband/boyfriend is gone, they can flirt with other men. I was furious at the way Derian treated Spencer, but I know it happens.
And Cole. Cole, Cole, Cole. My heart broke along with Ashley's by the end of the book. What an ass.
It was so great to read a book that recognized the struggle that those left behind by military members face. I can't compare what I've gone through to those overseas, and I'm not going to try. But I loved that for once there was a character in Ashley that I could identify with. Someone who I could say "YES! I know exactly how that feels!"
Ellen Hopkins created an amazing novel with Collateral. I think this has been one of my favorite books written by her to date.
This review can also be found on my blog. When I was browsing Netgalley, looking for the next book to read, I saw this one and immediately requested itThis review can also be found on my blog. When I was browsing Netgalley, looking for the next book to read, I saw this one and immediately requested it. Brigid Kemmerer is on my "Buy-ASAP" list, and anything she writes I will automatically get. I love her writing, and the Elemental series is one of my favorites by far.
Nick is yet another gorgeous Merrick brother. He's the twin of Gabriel, older brother to Chris, and younger brother to Michael. But he's been hiding a secret for years from his brothers, not to mention himself. In Breathless, he faces it head-on.
It's hard to write a huge review on this, as much as I'd like to, because it was a novella. There isn't much to write about that wouldn't give too many spoilers, and I don't want to do that. So here's what I can say...
THE GOOD : One thing I really love about the Elemental series is that, despite that each book is from a different brother's point of view, the other brothers are all a crucial part of the story. That continued here, into Breathless. Gabriel, Chris, and Michael were all characters who interacted with Nick, not just remained in the background.
I also really loved Quinn. I loved that she was hard on herself. It made her even more realistic and believable as a character.
And then the secret. WHAT!?!?!?!? And that's all I'll say about that, except that I might love Nick just a tiny bit more than I already did. You go, Nick.
THE BAD : It was only a novella. Seriously! If Nick doesn't get a whole book to explore what happened in Breathless, I'll be so upset. I need to know!...more
I'm a Gleek. Let's just throw that out there right now. That being said, I'm normally a little hesitant on piThis review can also be found on my blog.
I'm a Gleek. Let's just throw that out there right now. That being said, I'm normally a little hesitant on picking up books written by actors/musicians. I feel like sometimes they piggyback on the success of their TV show, movies, or music, and the books end up being on the not-so-great shelf. But when I saw that Chris Colfer was writing a book about fairytales, I was intrigued. Especially since it was all the fairytales in one book. And, ya know, it's Chris Colfer. I'm a Gleek. It was kind of a given that I'd be reading this at some point.
Alex and Conner are twelve year old twins who live with their mother after their father dies. Alex is unhappy and a bit of a "teacher's pet." Conner on the other hand, is popular, lazy, and would rather sleep through school than pay attention. On their birthday, their grandmother comes to visit, and gives Alex a book of fairytales that was read to them when they were younger. But when the book starts glowing, Alex becomes curious about what the book really is.
Eventually, Alex's curiosity gets the best of her. She leans too far over the book, and falls in. Conner sees her go, and follows. They wind up in The Land of Stories, where all the fairytales are real, and the characters actually exist. But how are they going to get home?
For some reason, I'm on a retelling kick right now. Mythology, fairytales, anything. I love seeing the stories that I know, twisted into a newer version. But I haven't read one yet where all the characters interact with each other, and Colfer did that perfectly here.
The Land of Stories was divided up into sections based on different fairytales - Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, trolls and goblins, etc. I loved traveling through all of them with Alex and Conner.
One of the things I liked the best about The Land of Stories was the way Colfer continued the fairy tale. The Evil Queen (from Snow White) is in jail, Snow White is happily married. Cinderella is pregnant and has a beautiful castle with Prince Charming. And of course, not all the endings were happy - Goldilocks is a fugitive. That story line had me cracking up.
This was a really solid debut novel, and I can't wait for the rest of the series. ...more
Syrenka, a mermaid, and Ezra, a human, meet and fall in love. They would spend time together, Ezra in his boat, and Syrenka in the water. They knew itSyrenka, a mermaid, and Ezra, a human, meet and fall in love. They would spend time together, Ezra in his boat, and Syrenka in the water. They knew it was frowned upon, so they kept it secret. Until Syrenka decides she wants to risk everything and become human. Over 100 years later, a teenage girl named Hester meets a stranger on the beach named Ezra. She had sworn to never fall in love because of a history of women in her family who fell in love and then died soon after. She decides to look more into her family's story and find out exactly what is causing these mysterious deaths.
Elizabeth Fama made me a fan of mermaids. All I want to do now is read about these creatures from under the sea. Monstrous Beauty was so creepy, so weird, and I loved every moment of it. The mermaids were so strange, definitely not the "Little Mermaid" vibe that I thought it would be. When I read the synopsis for this, I instantly was reminded of Ariel - mermaid meets boy, falls in love, gives up everything to become human. I was so happy that Fama took that story line and made it twisted.
I LOVED Syrenka. What happened to her was so depressing but so beautiful at the same time, if that's possible? It's hard to write without giving too many spoilers away, but I wanted to cry for her. Not to mention she was such a well-rounded character, which may seem strange if you've read the book, but she was. She loved Ezra enough to do whatever it took to be with him, but also did some horrible things. She wasn't good, but she wasn't evil either. She was a character that you wanted to root for, but at the same time condemn her for some of the decisions she made. It's normally very hard for me to feel that way about a character - usually, I either love them or hate them. But Syrenka provided me with an up and down rollercoaster.
I also really loved Fama's writing. Normally I don't comment on writing, because I feel that I'm not a good judge of it, but everything about it was just beautiful in this novel. It wasn't repetitive, it didn't drag on and on.
All in all, Monstrous Beauty was an awesome read. It was mysterious, twisted, creepy, and everything I needed in my first mermaid book. I only wish it was going to be a series.
Charlie Blake is a 14-year old orphan who, after four years of hoping for a family to take him in, goes to live with a man named Jacob. Jacob is nice,Charlie Blake is a 14-year old orphan who, after four years of hoping for a family to take him in, goes to live with a man named Jacob. Jacob is nice, caring, and opens up his home to Charlie. Charlie goes to school, and while he is bullied, he befriends a girl named Alex, and his life starts to take a turn for the better. Charlie soon realizes, after being forced by Jacob to participate in a robbery, that his new life may not be as great as it seems. During this robbery, Charlie meets a homeless boy named Richmond, and becomes friends with him.
Charlie, Alex, and Richmond accidentally stumble across a man that Charlie has dreamed about, Derkein Odessa. But this Derkein is a little different - he's a 27 year old man trapped in the body of a 60 year old, and he keeps aging.
The foursome enter Arcadia, a world in the core of the earth, filled with angels, demons, gods, and magic, to try and stop Derkein's aging before he dies, and to find Derkein's father. While there, Charlie finds out that everything he has thought about himself and his deceased parents might not be the truth.
I loved this book. The world building of Arcadia was phenomenal. All the descriptions were so vivid, and I almost wanted to draw everything, because I felt like I was seeing it all play out right in front of me. The names were inventive (I might name my first child Derkein. If Mike will agree...) but at the same time not too unique where I stumbled over pronouncing them. The characters were all lovable and had me wishing I knew them all personally. If I had to choose a favorite, I don't think I could decide between Ash, Derkein, or Richmond. I loved that Alex wasn't a cookie cutter girl, like in so many fantasy novels. She wasn't a damsel in distress, wasn't too "princess-y", but wasn't tough to the point where she was a stone wall.
I also loved that the angels, demons, and gods weren't too biblical, and kept more along the lines of mythology. I've always loved reading about Greek and Roman mythology, so I was extremely happy to see it in the world of Arcadia.
My only complaint was the hierarchy of Arcadia had me a bit confused at times. I couldn't keep straight which level had which abilities. I had to write it down and refer back to it quite a bit. But that was so minor, it didn't detract from the plot itself.
Mike, my boyfriend, literally had to force me to put the book down at night because he wanted to sleep and I wanted to keep reading. As soon as I finished, I told him he had to read it, despite the fact that he doesn't read much. I can't wait until he does, so he can be a new fan of this trilogy like I am.
My review might be a little biased because I've followed this series from the beginning and I love it. I've pThis review can also be found on my blog.
My review might be a little biased because I've followed this series from the beginning and I love it. I've previously reviewed Heartsick, the first in the series, here. I think Chelsea Cain has created one of the sickest and most twisted villains in any book so far that I've read. Every new installment in this story makes me cringe, but I just can't seem to put it down.
Kill You Twice is, again, the story of homicide detective Archie Sheridan. Of course, Gretchen Lowell is again a presence, although she's not as major of a player as she has been in previous books in the series. She's imprisoned again but in a psychiatric ward. The medication they've been giving her has made her looks fail her, so she went from drop-dead gorgeous to a woman who is barely recognizable. Archie makes a serious effort not to visit Gretchen, but eventually breaks down when Susan Ward goes to visit her first. Gretchen wants to admit to yet another murder, and she gives Susan the information, knowing that Archie will eventually come to find out more, which of course he does.
I did figure out who the killer was about halfway through the book. That was something new to me, I've never been able to do that with a Chelsea Cain novel before. However, there were still some things that surprised me. Pearl's history and story line was something I would not have seen coming in a million years.
As usual, the characters were fantastic. I feel like I say that a lot, but Archie Sheridan, Susan Ward, and even Gretchen Lowell are all well-rounded and three dimensional.
There really wasn't much about Kill You Twice that I didn't like. I think, aside from the first in the series, this has been my favorite Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell book so far. ...more
Torn was hard for me to read and review. I think I had such high hopes for this, and it didn't live up to them. Don't get me wrong, I really liked cerTorn was hard for me to read and review. I think I had such high hopes for this, and it didn't live up to them. Don't get me wrong, I really liked certain parts of this, but after I finished, I wanted more from Stella, more from Ruby, and ultimately, more from the book overall.
Stella Chavez is the girl in school who floats around, from group to group. She's not, to use her words, "top-tier popular," like the cheerleaders, but she's well-liked. Until Ruby Caroline moved to town and chooses Stella randomly to befriend. Ruby is the girl in school who stays on the outside, the one that everyone is fascinated by but afraid to actually talk to her. Although they make an unlikely pair, they become best friends. Torn is the story of their friendship, and how far a best friend has to go in order to protect their other half.
Let me just state that I have a best friend very similar to Ruby, so I totally understand Stella's point-of-view throughout. She wants to help Ruby, but doesn't want to interfere, and she needs to decide where to draw the line between watching her friend being lied to and minding her own business. It's a hard place to be in, and I think Stephanie Guerra really hit the nail on the head with the thought process and emotions from being in that situation.
I think the premise behind Torn was fantastic. I had actually seen this on Goodreads a couple months ago (I think, maybe less) and wanted desperately to read it. It has the makings of a great book dealing with a lot of really important issues in our society right now - drugs and drinking, abusive relationships, bullying, the list goes on and on. And for the most part, Stephanie Guerra really did well with showcasing all of those issues, but not letting them go overboard.
Unfortunately, the ending of the story felt a little too quick for me, and that's what makes me so iffy about Torn. It just felt like the last 10 or so pages were rushed just to reach a conclusion. I would have much rather seen the story unfold at it's own pace, even if it made the book a little longer.
This review is probably going to be a little on the long side because there's SO much I want to say.
When The Madman's Daughter first came out, I wasn'This review is probably going to be a little on the long side because there's SO much I want to say.
When The Madman's Daughter first came out, I wasn't sure if I'd be reading it. I'm somewhat familiar with the classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, and tend to cringe when it comes to animals being experimented on. I can handle any horror movie with piles and piles of blood and guts, watch TV shows or movies where awful things happen to people. It doesn't phase me. But hurt a dog? Play the Sarah Mclachlan commercial? See a PETA ad? NOPE. So that made me a bit hesitant. But I've been seeing all these amazing things about the book, so I decided to try it. If worse came to worst, I could always return it to the library, DNF-ed.
Hoooooly crap. Like. I just. I can't with the words and the sentences and the...ugh. Let's try this again.
So if you aren't familiar with The Island of Dr. Moreau, it's basically the story of a man named Edward Prendick, who is shipwrecked. He's rescued and brought to Dr. Moreau's island. Dr. Moreau is a scientist who practices animal vivsection - surgery on animals while they're alive for experimental purposes.
The Madman's Daughter is a re-imagining of this story. It's told from the perspective of Juliet Moreau. Dr. Moreau has disappeared and let everyone think he was dead. He's been called a "brilliant criminal" for the torture he inflicted on animals. And Juliet Moreau is the daughter he left behind, fallen from society to work as a maid. When she runs into an old friend named Montgomery, he reveals that her father is still alive, hidden on an island where he can continue his experiments. Juliet, confused and angry, asks Montgomery to take her with him to the island. On the way, they come upon a man, Edward, floating on a dinghy in the sea. They rescue him and bring him aboard the ship, back to the island. When they finally get there, Juliet realizes her father may be as insane as everyone says he is.
This book had so many things that I normally can't stand - the aforementioned animal torture, it was set in a time when women weren't allowed to study or think for themselves. But surprisingly, none of that mattered to me. The Madman's Daughter was so beautifully written, I couldn't stop reading it.
The animal experimentation had me in TEARS. It was so powerfully shown, and Megan Shepard didn't shy away from any details. I was cringing, but had to keep going.
The characters were three dimensional and real. They all had flaws. Heck, even the two guys who were the main love interests weren't perfect, which is a rarity in YA. Juliet wasn't a girl who let people tell her what to do or what to think, and I LOVED that about her. And can I just take a minute to sing praises for Alice and Balthazar? (view spoiler)[Poor, poor Alice. Never have I been so devastated by a character's death before. (hide spoiler)]
And the ending! GAH the ending. All the feels! And while ultimately I understand the decisions of everyone involved, my heart was breaking. I will be reading the sequel, Her Dark Curiosity, and I'm sure I will love it just as much as this one.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Ten days. Ten long, gruesome days. That's the amount of time detective Archie Sheridan was tortured at the hanI just....
I can't even...
Where to begin.
Ten days. Ten long, gruesome days. That's the amount of time detective Archie Sheridan was tortured at the hands of a sadistic, but beautiful, serial killer, Gretchen Lowell. Those horrible ten days ended when Gretchen inexplicably called 911, told the operator where she and Archie were, and turned herself in after an eleven year killing spree and over 200 victims.
Two years later, Archie is divorced, pops pills like they're candy, and refuses to contact his two children. He also has an unhealthy obsession with his former captor, Gretchen, and visits her every Sunday. He explains it away and says she's revealing one of her victims each week, but throughout the book his partner and ex-wife question if that's the only reason.
Archie is also asked to be the head of a new task force, his first since going on medical leave after Gretchen's torment. He agrees, and the hunt for The After School Strangler begins. This killer is one who is kidnapping young girls, raping them, dousing them in bleach, strangling them, and then leaving their body somewhere to be found.
Susan Ward is the other main character of this novel. She's a journalist that is shadowing Archie as he works his way through the case. She's a sarcastic, witty, intelligent woman, and my favorite character in this novel.
This is Chelsea Cain's debut, and right out of the gate, she is one of my new favorite authors. There isn't really a dull moment in this book, each page left me wanting more. Everything about this story worked for me.
Gretchen Lowell is, by far, one of the worst serial killers that I can recall, but there is something about her that made me want to skip ahead to the parts where she is mentioned. I was squirming when I read about the pain she inflicted on Archie (and not just because of my fear of needles) and when she described how she methodically tortured another of her victims.
I'm so glad I already have the next in this series, Sweetheart, because it won't be long before I need to devour more of Cain's writing.
I'm going to divulge a little secret quickly, before I get to the review. I'm a total music junkie. I need to have some sort of music playing at all tI'm going to divulge a little secret quickly, before I get to the review. I'm a total music junkie. I need to have some sort of music playing at all times, whether it's country, metal, rap, whatever. I listen to it and love it all. But my even bigger secret is that I love musicals. Go ahead, laugh. I can recite, word for word, Grease from beginning to end. Hairspray? Don't even get me started. When I found out my husband had never seen either of those, I almost went into shock and immediately pulled them off our shelf so we could watch them.
Now, when Glee came out, I wasn't really interested in yet - yes, it was a musical, but I wasn't really watching much TV at the time. My best friend said to me one day, "you know, I'm surprised you don't watch Glee, it seems like something you'd like." I simply shrugged it off. Until, one weekend, when I was doing a weekend-long babysitting stint while the parents were out of town, I was bored. The little one was asleep for the night and I needed something to do. So, I went on Hulu and watched one episode. The 'Furt' one, where Kurt's dad and Finn's mom get married. And from that point on, I became obsessed. I blame my best friend all the time, because I'm so in love with that show it's not even funny.
Anyway, when I got an email about the blog tour for Murder for Choir, my heart skipped a beat. Murder mystery. Glee club. Books. Three of my favorite things, all combined into one. Of course I wanted to be on that tour.
Paige Marshall is an out-of-work opera singer who takes a job at a high school teaching show choir. The kids aren't really big fans of her, she doesn't want to be a teacher, and she's living with her aunt and her aunt's poodle, nicknamed Killer. Basically, her life is nowhere near where she wants it to be. Teaching is supposed to just be temporary while she waits for an opportunity to get her career back on track. Until she finds the dead body of show choir coach at her school's biggest rival. From that point on, Paige becomes an amateur sleuth while she tries to figure out who killed him, all while dealing with her crazy aunt, putting together dance numbers, and trying to keep herself alive, because the killer wants her out of the way.
This whole book was just perfect. From the very first sentence until the very last page, I loved it. Paige was an awesome heroine, and I loved that the author didn't make her turn out to be some kick-butt lady out of nowhere. For me, that's always a huge issue with some mystery books - the main character is just an average person, but by the end turns out to be kicking rear ends and taking names. That didn't happen with Paige, she was even afraid of a dog. All of this made me love her more and more.
The plot was great. There was never really a moment where I said to myself, "come on, already, just figure out who the killer is!" Every part of the story was essential to keeping the whole thing together. And when I finally found out who the killer was, my jaw hit the floor. Totally unexpected, but once it came out, I started putting all the pieces together that had been there all along. I liked that I really couldn't solve the mystery until Paige did. The only thing I figured out was Devlyn's secret.
I'm definitely going to be raving about this one for a while. It's currently sitting on my shelf with my favorite books, where I imagine it will sit for quite a while. This is definitely a book I can see myself re-reading - a rarity with mysteries because I already know how it ends. Murder for Choir was good enough that I just don't care, I'll read it again just to visit with all the characters again.
This is one of the first indie books for review that I was sent that was a mystery, so when Justin Stanisic contacted me asking for a review, I jumpedThis is one of the first indie books for review that I was sent that was a mystery, so when Justin Stanisic contacted me asking for a review, I jumped at the chance. I've been reading mysteries since I was about 12 years old, and, other than YA, it's my favorite genre. There's something about getting lost in a case and trying to solve it before the detectives/police do that just makes me keep coming back for more. I was so glad I got the opportunity to read this.
Mary Lowry is a woman who doesn't have an easy life. She has a 21 year old daughter who is away at college, and a jerk of a boyfriend who I spent the whole book hating. She works as a waitress, and I imagined the diner she works in as one of those tiny diners with the greasy food that I absolutely love. While she's at work one day, a man comes in, orders something to drink, and shows Mary an old picture of a woman he claims is his sister. He explains how he hasn't seen her in twenty-two years, and asks if she recognizes the girl in the photo. She doesn't but tells the man, Father Robert McCullen, that she'll ask around. While doing so, she finds out some disturbing facts about Father McCullen and the man he really is.
Surprisingly, my husband actually read this book before I did, and he enjoyed it. He's not really into mysteries, more sci-fi and fantasy, so I figured it must have been good for him to say that he liked it a lot. I grabbed it off my shelf, and within the first 10 pages, was immersed. Hubby went to bed, I stayed up reading. Chewie wanted my attention, I kept on reading. 1:30AM came, I was still reading. I finally finished it, kicked myself for staying up so late, and then sat there and said "wow."
There really wasn't much about The Last Confession that I didn't like. All the characters were fleshed out and very realistic. I loved that the author, who is a man, was able to write in the tone of a 40ish year old woman, and I actually read it as a woman. It wasn't like it was forced, it was believable. In most books I read where the author is one gender but the main character is another, I can distinguish between the two, but in The Last Confession, I forgot about Justin Stanisic writing it and read as Mary. Kudos to Stanisic for doing that, because it's so rare. Robert McCullen, with all his secrets, was creepy in ways I can't describe without giving away too many spoilers.
I think the only thing I would have liked to see more of in The Last Confession is more with Father McCullen's mother. I think having more background info on what happened would be really great.
All in all, The Last Confession was a fantastic read. If Stanisic writes anything else, I'll definitely be checking it out.
I have seen so many people rave about this book, and I was on a dystopian-kick, so I was never even interested. I finally broke through that and madeI have seen so many people rave about this book, and I was on a dystopian-kick, so I was never even interested. I finally broke through that and made myself buy a copy on a trip to Barnes and Noble.
I fell in love with this book from the beginning. Miles was a great male (!) character. Right now, with the YA market mostly dominated by female characters stuck in love triangles, Miles was a refreshing, much-needed break. He's a kid I would have loved to be friends with. I especially liked his obsession with "last words".
One of my favorite parts of Looking For Alaska was the "after" section, where Alaska's friends are all trying to figure out what happened. My heart ached for them. Losing someone, especially a best friend, is never easy. Losing someone and not knowing why is even harder. John Green did an amazing job with going into detail about the ride of emotions that the people left behind can feel.
I loved everything about this book - the characters were believable, the teenage life was realistic, and the book as a whole was beautiful. This was the first John Green novel I'd ever read, and it's not going to be my last. I'm already reading Paper Towns right now, and I will continue to read everything he ever writes, because Looking For Alaska was the perfect YA book.
Yes. That's really all I can say. Just, yes. This book was everything I was hoping it would be and more. I can't even remember the last time I had sucYes. That's really all I can say. Just, yes. This book was everything I was hoping it would be and more. I can't even remember the last time I had such high hopes for a book and it didn't let me down. Something Like Normal is probably the best contemporary novel I've read in quite a long time.
Travis, a member of the United States Marine Corps, comes home from a deployment in Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder after the death of his best friend. He quickly realizes that everything has changed. He doesn't want to be around his group of friends from high-school, the girlfriend that he left behind has dumped him for his younger brother, and his parents don't have the marriage they had before he left. Most importantly, he's grown up, and can't wait to get back to the Marine life he has.
While at a bar one night, he bumps into Harper, a girl he spread rumors about in middle-school. From that point on, his life changes even more, as he slowly falls in love with her.
I don't even know how to begin a review like this. So rarely has a book had this sort of effect on me. My husband was watching one of the Resident Evil movies, and normally, my response would be "yay, zombies!" when he asked me to watch it, but I just shook my head and kept reading. I started and finished in less time than it took him to get to the end of the movie. When I had finally flipped the last page, he turned to me and said "are you really crying???" I was, so hard.
The characters in this book were exactly what every contemporary character should be. They had strengths and weaknesses, could be serious and humourous, and were just all-around realistic. Despite the fact that Travis was the main character in the book, he was probably one of the biggest jerks with the way he treated his brother. I was so happy that he made mistakes, and the whole novel didn't consist of him being the perfect person.
The supporting characters were well-fleshed out as well. Moss and Kevlar were two of the best backround characters I've read about since...I couldn't even tell you when. Even Paige, with her amazingly unlikeable personality, was believable.
And then, of course, Charlie. As someone who's lost a best friend (though, admittedly, not in the same fashion as Travis did), Trish Doller NAILED the emotions. The letter that Travis wrote on the last few pages is where I completely lost it and started bawling. I could practically feel the heartbreak Travis was going through.
I feel like if I continue this review, it will turn into a whole separate novel, so I'm going to end this here, although there are so many more aspects I can rave for hours about.
When I first heard that there was going to be a retelling of Peter Pan, told from the POV of my favorite character, Tiger Lily, I was excited. I rusheWhen I first heard that there was going to be a retelling of Peter Pan, told from the POV of my favorite character, Tiger Lily, I was excited. I rushed out to buy the book on it's release date, and then...never read it. But now that I'm on a Kindle binge, I saw it was on sale in the store, bought it, and read it right away. I know, it makes no sense.
Anyway, Tiger Lily was both exactly what I thought it was going to be, and nothing like what I thought it was going to be. I'm going to break it down into The Good and The Bad, because for some reason it's hard to organize my thoughts on this one.
The Good : The story. Tiger Lily and Peter Pan loved each other, in their own ways. It was beautiful in a non-conventional way. The lost boys were stellar, and I liked that there was more of a backstory to them.
The Bad : Despite what I originally thought, it wasn't from Tiger Lily's POV. It was from Tinker Bell's. But Tink could read minds, so the book switched back and forth from third person to first person, without any warning. It got confusing at points.
Overall, this was a really decent book. And I absolutely loved the cover. However, it did take me a little while to get through because of the switching POVs constantly....more
I'm not into werewolves. I picked this up for the cover and the cover alone. Something about it just called to me. "Danie, check me out of the libraryI'm not into werewolves. I picked this up for the cover and the cover alone. Something about it just called to me. "Danie, check me out of the library. Do it. Now."
So I did, because when a book talks to you, you listen.
Lupine Syndrome is spreading throughout the country. Those who fall victim turn into werewolves. Mac's best friend Amy was found torn apart in an alley, presumably by the white wolf that has been terrorizing the small town of Hemlock. Because of this, the Trackers come to help enforce their own brand of punishment on all werewolves by rounding them all up and putting them in "rehabilitation camps," which is more along the lines of torture camps. Along with her two friends Kyle and Jason (who was Amy's boyfriend), Mac decides to try and figure out who the white wolf is on her own.
This book never slowed down for me. It kept me hooked from the prologue until the very last word. The werewolves weren't the "nice" kind (I'm looking at you Jacob Black). Even the people that Mac knew that she found out along the way were werewolves, they were bloodthirsty as well.
I was a big fan of the whole murder-mystery thing as well. Some of you might know that if I'm not reading YA, I'm reading mysteries, so I think that made me like this book even more. And as far as who the white wolf was, I would have never, ever seen that coming.
Since it's YA, there was of course a love triangle, it seems like that's everywhere nowadays. BUT the love triangle wasn't a typical one. It wasn't really Mac having feelings towards two guys. It was more one guy liking Mac, and Mac being in a relationship with someone else. And it didn't overpower the actual story.
I can't wait to read the sequel, Thornhill. Definitely going to go check it out from the library. I need to know what happens next....more
I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. The synopsis sounded interesting, and I hadn't read much abThis review can also be found on my blog.
I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. The synopsis sounded interesting, and I hadn't read much about witches lately, so I figured this would be a refreshing change of pace.
But it just didn't click for me. I couldn't really get into it and it just dragged on and on. The plot didn't really pick up until the last 20 pages or so, and even then, it only lasted about 5 pages.
The main character drove me INSANE. She had multiple guys falling all over themselves to be with her, and her attitude was "oh, I don't know why they like me I'm so average" and so on and so forth. And not only that but she had absolutely NO problem with changing in front of a ghost who was seriously one of the biggest creeps I've ever read about.
There was also the insta-love factor, not once, but TWICE. I don't know why that is present in so many novels now-a-days, but I'd really like to read a book where that's not in it.
Also, the writing was repetitive. The word "glittery" was on the same page three different times. And if I heard one more mention that Rand's aura had "tinges of purple," I would have screamed.
The story had the potential to be awesome, but instead it just fell flat. I don't think I'll be continuing with this series....more
Rah! I finally got a chance to start this trilogy!!! So excited.
Belly is a 16 year old girl who is head overThis review can also be found on my blog.
Rah! I finally got a chance to start this trilogy!!! So excited.
Belly is a 16 year old girl who is head over heels in love with Conrad Fisher. Every summer, she, her brother and her mother go to Cousins Beach, and stay in a beach house with Susannah, Jeremiah, and of course, Conrad. Her mother has been going since before Belly was born, and together they've gone every year since. This year though, things are different. Conrad has changed, and Belly isn't the annoying little sister who wants to tag along anymore.
I really needed something light to read when I picked this up. I've been reading quite a few heavy, depressing books lately, and a palate cleanser was desperately in order. I felt like nothing could be happy again, ha. The Summer I Turned Pretty was just what I thought I needed - cheesy romance, summer vacation, and cute boys. While it did have all of that, it also was a lot deeper than I expected.
Jeremiah was probably my favorite character in this book, and I'm guessing that will continue through the rest of the series. He was likable, funny, and sweet. Conrad was a (for lack of a better word, so I apologize,) douche. Susannah was beautiful, and Belly was just....Oy.
Belly is what kept this book from getting a higher rating. Yes, she was 16, and Jenny Han did an amazing job with making her sound like a real 16 year old, not an adult woman posing as one. But Belly herself drove me nuts. It just seemed like she followed Conrad around like a lost puppy, and I just wanted to shake her and say "COME ON GIRL!" Then she loved Jeremiah, then she didn't love him, she loved Conrad, then Cam came into the picture, then she didn't like Cam anymore because she loved Conrad. I know that was a run-on sentence, but that's a bit how the whole book felt. I just got tired from the love...square? Rectangle? Diamond? Although it was a nice change from the YA love triangles, I must admit.
I touched on this briefly, but the writing and story-telling was superb. Jenny Han really knows how to "be" her characters, and make them come alive. Not only that, but you pick up this book thinking it's going to light and fluffy, and then BAM! You get hit in the face with Susannah's problems (trying not to give away any spoilers). Right in the feels, Ms. Han, right in the feels.
All in all, I will be continuing this series. Hopefully I'll see Belly grow as a person and won't be so irritated by her actions anymore....more
I got Pushing the Limits in physical ARC form as a gift from a friend right after it came out. I reaThis review is also posted on The Bookish Brunette
I got Pushing the Limits in physical ARC form as a gift from a friend right after it came out. I read it immediately and loved it so much, and I knew I needed to read Dare You To as soon as I could get my hands on a copy.
Beth is just trying to do all the normal teenage things – get through school, hang out with friends, oh and that small detail of protecting her alcoholic and drug addicted mom from her abusive boyfriend. So it’s an easy decision for her when she chooses to take the blame for her mom during an argument with said boyfriend. She gets arrested, and is bailed out by her estranged uncle, Scott, who informs her that if she wants Scott to protect her mom as well, Beth needs to go live with Scott, and Beth’s mom needs to sign over custody. Which, Beth’s mom does.
When Beth moves into Scott’s house with he and his wife, Allison, she is resentful. Allison doesn’t like her, Scott is making her dress like a completely different person, and she isn’t able to see Isaiah, Noah, or Echo anymore. When Scott has Ryan, the star baseball pitcher, agree to show Beth around the school, Beth realizes she can use Ryan to her advantage. But what she doesn’t expect is for Ryan to be someone like-able.
For those of you who are hesitant to read this because it isn’t about Noah or Echo, breathe a sigh of relief. Katie McGarry still has them in this installment, although they’re more of secondary characters.
Beth was the girl I wanted to be in high school. The tough-as-nails, hard ass girl that nobody wanted to mess with. Granted, that was just the show that Beth put on, but still. Ryan was the jock who had more to him than what everybody saw. And I think, ultimately, that is what the Pushing the Limits series is all about – looking beyond what someone shows on the outside, and seeing who they really are.
The writing in Dare You To was just as amazing as I remember of Katie McGarry.
“And he wondered what happened to the world around him. Did it also collapse into chaos? Had everything ceased to exist as it was, just like how his life spiraled into nothingness? Or had the rest of the world continued on like normal, because in the end his position within it never really mattered? – Ryan’s short story
Overall, Dare You To was just a really fantastic follow up. I’ve already requested the third, Crash Into You, on Netgalley.
A copy of this book was provided to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way for this review....more
All These Lives has been on my radar since about two weeks before it's release. When I was browsing in the library, I finally picked it up and decidedAll These Lives has been on my radar since about two weeks before it's release. When I was browsing in the library, I finally picked it up and decided to give it a try.
GOOD : Very interesting idea. I don't think there are any books with this sort of premise behind it out in YA right now, at least not that I can think of. Also, I really loved Jack as a character.
BAD : I hated Dani as a main character. I'd be fine with her being snarky or rude or sarcastic, but I felt she went overboard at times.
OVERALL : Mixed feelings. The characters (with the exception of Jack) just didn't do it for me, and the ending was too quick.
Apparently I am the black sheep in the book blogging family, because I DNF-ed this one. I really, really wanted to enjoy it but just couldn't. Maybe IApparently I am the black sheep in the book blogging family, because I DNF-ed this one. I really, really wanted to enjoy it but just couldn't. Maybe I'll give it another try at a later date, but for now I'm putting it down....more