I got Pushing the Limits in physical ARC form as a gift from a friend right after it came out. I rea...moreThis 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.(less)
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 it...moreThis 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!(less)
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'...moreThis 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"]>(less)
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 library...moreI'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.(less)
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 made...moreI 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.
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...more 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.(less)