Why I Read This: I really enjoyed Beautiful Creatures, which is book 1 in the Caster Chronicles series, and wanted to know what happened next.
Characters: The characters in this book are really interesting and they each have their own distinct personalities. My favorite would definitely have to be Link. He was a very minor character in the first book, but he is a big part of the second. He is a very fun character and I find myself laughing out loud to certain things he says throughout the book. Ethan, the main character, is also a pretty cool guy. He is very smart and sweet, but not as entertaining as Link. He has a very important role in the Caster world that, at first, he was a little tentative to believe, but he eventually realizes that it is in fact true. The only character I don't really like is Lena, and I know she goes through some hard things throughout the book and there wouldn't even be The Caster Chronicles without her, but she just annoys me. She's always complaining and feeling sorry for herself which just makes me want to skip the parts she's in.
Relatability: This book is very relatable because of the normal things the teenage characters face. Yes, the book is filled with Dark and Light Casters, Incubus' and a whole bunch of other supernatural beings, but that's not all it's about. It's a story about love, lose and friendship which are three topics anyone can relate to.
Cover: I really like this cover. It's simple, yet gives us an inside look to the story inside the book. I'm pretty sure that it's supposed to be a picture of the Tunnels which is the main setting for the story.
Overall Impression: The beginning dragged on a bit which is why I had to take away 1/2 a star, but after the action-y things started to happen, I couldn't put the book down!
Characters: Vladimir Tod, the main character, is half vampire and half human and he struggles a lot with the fact that he does not fit perfectly intoCharacters: Vladimir Tod, the main character, is half vampire and half human and he struggles a lot with the fact that he does not fit perfectly into both worlds. His parents die in a house fire when he is very young and he blames himself for that. He is a very nice, smart and caring boy. My only complaint about him was the fact that, to me, he didn't seem like he was 18 in this book. I had a really hard time picturing him and his friends as seniors in high school and had to keep reminding myself that he was 18, not 13. My favorite character would probably have to be Henry, Vlad's bestfriend/drudge. He is very funny and entertaining and he is extremely loyal to Vlad which are great characteristics to have. Despite only being human, he does manage to kill a few vampires along the way. Overall, the characters were interesting and fun to read about. Each had its own distinct personality and together they made the book better.
Relatability: Despite this being a vampire book, that is not all that it is about. It is about family, love and what a person will do in order to protect the people they care most about. Most people will do just about anything to save the people they love and that is the most relatable aspect of this book.
Cover: I really like the covers for these books. The cover changes as the characters in the book change. The first book takes place during Vlad's eighth grade year and the boy on the cover represents that. This book takes place during his senior year of high school and that is represented by the older version of Vlad on this cover. Also, the smiley face with the fangs is pretty cool. I like how for each book the smiley face is a different color.
Overall Impression: Not my favorite, but it concluded the series nicely. There were no unanswered questions and there was even a mini cliffhanger at the end!
Why I Read This: I had heard a lot of things about this series and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
Characters: I absolutely love Clary and Jace, the main characters. They are both so different and they make the story amusing. They are constantly either fighting or flirting with each other and that really makes the book fun to read. Despite only knowing each other for a short amount of time, they form a strong friendship that helps them both grow and get through some of the tough things they have to face. Simon, Clary's mundane best friends, is also very lovable and adds something extra to the story. He has known Clary for years and has harbored a secret crush from her for half as long which causes an interesting love triangle. The Lightwoods, Alec, Isabelle and Max, are also prominent characters that each offer something different to the story. Each has a distinct personality that would be very missed if they were to not be in the book.
Relatability : Obviously, vampires, werewolves, and shadowhunters don't actually exist, but other than that, this story is very relatable because the characters face many situations that kids today can relate to. There is always that one boy/girl that you like but know will never be yours, nobody's family is perfect and their will always be disagreements and arguments, etc.
Cover: The cover for this book is awesome. In my opinion, it pretty much sums up the whole novel. Having Jace on the cover makes it that much better.
Overall Impression: AMAZING! If you haven't already read this book, what is wrong with you?
Emerson Watts is the farthest thing there is to a “girly-girl”. She prefers to spend her time playing video games with her best friend--and secret cruEmerson Watts is the farthest thing there is to a “girly-girl”. She prefers to spend her time playing video games with her best friend--and secret crush--Christopher, rather than obsessing over celebrities like her younger sister. So when she is forced to babysit Frida at the grand opening of the new Stark Megastore near their apartment, she is not thrilled. She has better things to do than drool over British singer-songwriter, Gabriel Luna, but her mom insists she go along. Who could have predicted that a freak accident would land Em in the hospital? When she wakes up from a chemically induced coma, no one will tell her what happened or why her voice sounds so different...like maybe it belongs to someone else.
First off, where do I sign up to be transplanted into the body of a Victoria’s Secret supermodel (preferably Adriana Lima but I’m not picky) because I am all over that. Who wouldn’t be, right?
Airhead is more of an introduction to the rest of the series. Nothing major happens except for the accident and then her ‘transformation’. Emerson spends the majority of the book in and out of consciousness at the hospital or trying to figure out why no one will tell her exactly what happened. Only towards the end does she take her place as Nikki Howard where she finds out just how complicated and hard it actually is being a famous and gorgeous supermodel. She also meets all of Nikki’s friends and boyfriends--yes, plural. There isn’t too much excitement or action in this one, but we do get a hint at a possible mystery--as well as a bit of romance--to come which got me excited for Being Nikki.
The characters are all very likable. Emerson is funny, witty, and smart. I found it amusing to watch her struggle to fit into her new life. She goes from wearing sweats almost everyday to being a fashion icon and she really has no idea how to handle it. I think a bit of Nikki might still be in there somewhere because I definitely noticed a change from how Em was in the beginning. When Lulu was first introduced I was expecting her to be bitchy and full of herself, but she wasn’t at all. She is a bit dumb, but very sweet and well-intentioned. Her theory as to why ‘Nikki’ is all of a sudden acting different is hilarious. As for the new and old boys in her life, I’m rooting for Gabriel. I mean, the boy wrote a song about her, is constantly saving her, and is British--what’s not to love?
This isn’t my favorite Meg Cabot novel (that honor goes to All-American Girl or maybe Avalon High...I still haven’t decided), but I did thoroughly enjoy it. I will definitely be reading the sequel soon!...more
My Thoughts: The book follows four American teens as they study abroad in Paris for their junior yeFOR MORE REVIEWS GO TO: www.best-of-ya.blogspot.com
My Thoughts: The book follows four American teens as they study abroad in Paris for their junior year of high school. There’s Alex, a pretty, rich New Yorker who just wants someone to love her, Olivia, a San Diego native who loves dancing and ballet more than anything, Zach, a closeted Memphis boy, and gorgeous PJ, who seems to be running from something back home in Vermont. Let loose in the City of Love, they get themselves into quite a few messy situations.
I really liked that each chapter alternated between the four teens. Not only do we get an inside look into what they are thinking, we also see how they feel about each other. I loved that extra insight! The book is very easy to follow, everything flowed together despite the constant shift in perspective. Unfortunately, the plot wasn’t that great and it didn’t pick up for quite a while. It took me some time to get into the story, but by the end I couldn’t put the book down. That ending left me craving more!
Luckily, the characters made up for the not so great plot. My favorite would definitely have to be Olivia--though I wouldn’t have said so in the beginning. She was the most surprising of the four and I was really shocked at how much she changes (in a good way) over the short period of time she spends in France. I thought I had her completely figured out at the start which made her a bit boring to me, but boy was I wrong! I was SO glad with her decision at the end.
The other three are all great and complex in their own ways. I found Zach to be really honest and a great friend. He starts his junior year terrified to come out to anyone but Alex, but by the end of the novel, he seems to be much more comfortable with who he is. I wish he had found the love he was looking for. Alex is a very difficult character to like. She is a bit annoying and bitchy at times, but it is obvious that it is all just for show. She is extremely vulnerable and has a hard time being honest and showing people who she really is. She goes to Paris with the hopes of finding someone who will finally love her, but ends up with even more heartache. And last but not least, is Penelope Jane, better known as PJ. PJ spends the majority of her time keeping people at arms length and worrying about what is happening to her parents back home. Although she does have reason to fret, it really makes it difficult for her to enjoy her time in Paris. I don’t think she has fun once which is a real waste in my opinion. You’re young, gorgeous, and in Paris (with basically no supervision), go out and do something crazy!...more
Cordelia Grey and Letty Larkspur have always known they don’t belong in the small Midwestern town they grew up in. Together they decide to run away toCordelia Grey and Letty Larkspur have always known they don’t belong in the small Midwestern town they grew up in. Together they decide to run away to New York City. Letty dreams of making it big--of seeing her name in lights--but so does every other girl in town. Unfortunately for her, some are willing to do almost anything to make it happen, things she isn’t comfortable with. Cordelia is in search of a father she’s never met. When she finds him, she is thrust into a world of money, glamour...and danger. She befriends Astrid Donal, her half-brothers girlfriend, who becomes her confidante. The three girls experience what the Roaring Twenties had to offer in NYC together, as well as apart.
I became interested in the Roaring Twenties my junior year of high school when we studied it in history, so I was super excited to read a historical fiction novel based in that decade. I’m not sure how accurate any of the information actually is, but it was still cool to read about. I particularly love how during this time women aren’t expected to be prim and proper at all times. Despite being set in this decade though, it mainly focuses on the three teenage girls and what they are going through which makes this relatable and relevant to teen girls now.
I also really liked that the chapters alternated between the three girls perspectives. It was nice because each was seeing a completely different side of the city. We get to see what it might have felt like to be a cigarette girl through Letty. Cordelia’s, as well as Astrid’s, perspective gives us a first hand look into the rich, powerful, and dangerous lives of the bootleggers. Each have very distinct personalities and are all very likable. I always end up having a favorite character by the end, but I don’t think that happened this time. They’re all great!
I adored Anna Godbersen’s Luxe series and this one is just as great. If you haven’t had a chance to read either, get to it! They aren’t too heavy on the historical fiction so these are great even if you aren’t into this genre....more
Why I Read This: I got an ARC from NetGalley. Plus, I absolutely loved the first two books in the series.
Plot: The world created by Kagawa is amazingWhy I Read This: I got an ARC from NetGalley. Plus, I absolutely loved the first two books in the series.
Plot: The world created by Kagawa is amazing and magical. The detail that she gives about this imaginary world really helps the reader understand and even care about where her characters are from. Iron Fey are completely unique to this series and I don’t think I’ve ever read anything about or like them before. The plot is filled with action, romance and suspense. There is never a dull moment and our heroic trio is always on the move. There are a lot of twists and turns throughout the story and even some unexpected endings. I can’t really say much more about it without giving away important details and events, so you’re just going to have to read and find out.
Characters: It amazed me how much the characters grew from the beginning of the series. Meghan, once an an insecure 15 year old, turns into a strong, confident young adult. She is ready to take on anything that is thrown her way and is not afraid to sacrifice herself for the ones she loves. She has quickly become one of my favorite heroines. Ash and Puck are also back for this book; it wouldn’t be the same without them. The two boys realize that they need to put their differences aside in order to help the girl they both love. Along with all the returning characters we also get to meet some new ones: Glitch, Razor, and the Clockmaker.
Cover: Once again, I loved the cover. So far they have all been similar, yet different and I love it when books in a series have a certain theme to them.
Overall Impression: AMAZING! Great ending to an even greater series. I am dying to read Ash’s story, The Iron Knight, which comes out later this year.
Plot: The first half of the book focuses on Charlie finding her way around her new school and making new, and much better, friends while the second half focuses on the actual hazing stuff and what some students feel they need to do in order to fit in. I can’t really say I related much to either because that sort of thing doesn’t happen at my high school, but I know it is a common occurrence in others. There was a lot more dialogue then I felt necessary. Really there were just a lot of unnecessary words in general. Overall it was a pretty predictable plot. Only a few things seemed to shock me, but only because I felt they were random.
Characters: I liked Charlie and could really relate to her need to ditch her middle school friends and find new, drama-free ones. I was glad to see her finally standing up for herself and doing what she knew was right. I love that she stayed true to herself. Will was a sweetheart and just a normal teenage boy trying to fit in and be liked by his fellow teammates and schoolmates. Their crushes on each other were very obvious and I saw then ending coming from the beginning. I’ve always been a fan of the best-friends-turned-into-a-couple romance and theirs was no different.
Cover: I felt that the cover and, even the title, was a bit misleading. It made me think there was going to be a lot of chemistry involved, but there wasn’t any chemistry between the characters and I don’t even think that was one of their classes. It’s still cute though.
Overall Impression: I had heard a lot about this book which set my expectations pretty high and unfortunately I don’t feel like they were met.
Fun Fact: The movie Mean Girls was loosely based off of Rosalind Wiseman’s other book, Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence.
Plot: I found the Magnolia League world very interesting and exciting. The fact that the girls could do and become basically anything they wanted due to the hoodoo was fascinating. I particularly liked how every few chapters there would be one that had information about hoodoo or about how the League was created. The facts about the League were evenly spread out throughout the story, not all clumped up in one very long chapter. This kept me interested and wanting to know more. Unfortunately, this was my favorite part about the whole book. The plot was not as exciting as it could have been.
Characters: The characters in this book are very unrealistic and that took away from my overall impression of the book. The characters just seemed bleak and hollow. Everything they did and said was like one big contradiction because it never made sense with what they had said and done previously. At the beginning of the book, Alex, the main character, is a pot smoking hippie. At first, she seemed unique and interesting, but then she randomly changes into a completely different person. This would have been fine, had it not happened after about 1 chapter and had it been the only time her personality or thoughts changed, but it seemed to happen often. Instead of growing and becoming wiser, Alex just got shallower and less interesting.
Cover: I think the cover is super cute. It almost has an Alice in Wonderland feel to it, or at least that’s what it reminded me of. I think it represents the mystery and enchantment of the Magnolia League well and that girl is a great Alex.
Overall Impression: Despite being seriously flawed, I still think people will enjoy it.
Characters: Molly is your average American teenage girl who gets thrown into the world of Hollywood after the death of her mother. She is looking for a fresh start and that is not really what she ends up getting. It is hard for her to leave her old friends, especially her boyfriend and best friend of many years, behind and she avoids dealing with the death of her mother. She is a really sweet girl that does not always make the best decisions and makes some mistakes knowing full-well that she is making them. Brooke, the only child (until Molly) of movie star Brick Berlin, has a hard time adjusting to having a sister. She does not want to share her already M.I.A. father with a complete stranger. Brooke spends most of the book trying to get Brick to notice her because he always seems to be off working or talking on the phone. She wants everyone to see her as a strong person who doesn’t need anyone, but the truth is that she’s lonely and wants her mother back. They were both endearing and different.
Plot: This was a cute, fun read but it also had depth to it. It really showed what celebrities and their kids face everyday because of tabloids and paparazzi chasing them everywhere they go. There were also sibling issues mixed in once the two girls were brought together. Brooke was jealous of Molly and all of the attention she was getting from her new father and the paparazzi and decided to make her life hell. This part of the story has been done before, but it was the other elements and characters that made it different. There are also a lot of misunderstandings which cause twists and turns that, while interesting, aren’t that unpredictable. The ending hinted at a sequel which I’m looking forward to reading as well.
Cover: I actually really like this cover. It’s girly, really cute and suits the book well. Since my copy is an ARC the cover isn’t final, but I hope that on the finished version, they make the lipstick and the nail polish gel-y so that it kinda pops out. (If that makes any sense...lol)
Overall Impression: Fans of The Clique and The A-List will definitely enjoy this book because it has elements of the two and is sort of in between both. I would recommend this to eighth grade - tenth grade girls though.
Why I Read This: It's a book about zombies & unicorns, who woudn't want to read it?
Stories: I really enjoyed reading all of the stories - some more than others - but overall they were pretty good and convincing. Even though they were all either about zombies or unicorns, they all showed the different aspects of the two topics. Each unicorn story represented the unicorn in a different way; some unicorns were killers, others healers, some "rainbow-farting unicorns". The same thing goes for the zombies; some were man-eating monsters, others just people trapped in their own heads with no way out. Overall, they were all interesting and unique, but my favorites would definitely have to be Purity Test by Naomi Novik (Team Unicorn), The Children of the Revolution by Maureen Johnson (Team Zombie), The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn by Diana Peterfreund (Team Unicorn), Cold Hands by Cassandra Clare (Team Zombie) and Prom Night by Libba Bray (Team Zombie). There were also some (Inoculata, Cold Hands, Prom Night) that would be awesome if they were expanded into series or just into longer stories. These ones kept me wanting more and wondering what would happen next.
Dialogue: The commentary before each story was hilarious and very useful. The information that was given really helped me understand the stories better or they were just fun, interesting facts about both of the topics.
Cover: I love how the picture of the zombie and the unicorn are all you need to figure out what the title is and what the book is about. It basically says it all without really doing anything.
Plot: This book has pretty much everything you would want to read about; romance, adventure, magic, fantasy, mystery, etc. There is a lot happening in the story-line, but it is not at all confusing and is really easy to follow along with. There were some parts that were easy to guess, but there were just as many that surprised me. I had a hard time putting this book down because of all the suspense. I needed to know what happened next! The magical aspect of the story seemed to be a bit detached at the beginning and just seemed to be an added detail that wasn't as important as everything else. However, once the story picked up, so did the magic. Sinda had a hard time with it at first and I admired the fact that she never gave up.
Characters: Sinda is the first false Princess and I thought she was a great main character. When she finds out that the first 16 years of her life were a lie and is sent to live with her only surviving relative who she has never met before, she tries to make the best of a pretty bad situation. She does not complain as most people would if they were in the same situation. Instead, she tries her hardest to be the best dyer she can be and to help her aunt with anything she needs. She is not very good at it, but at least she tries. All of this makes her strong and less selfconsious. Kiernan, Sinda's best and only friend, is pretty amazing too. He is extremely loyal, kind and a bit of a prankster who really helps Sinda get out of her comfort zone. He sticks by Sinda's side even after it is revealed that she is not the real princess and it is obvious that he is in love with her from the beginning. Then there is Orianne and Mika. They were both very nice, but my favorite of the two would have to be Mika and her sarcastic personality.
Cover: I tend to pick books based on their covers (which is a no-no, but I still do it anyways) and this one was no acception. I love the purple wallpaper background. I'm not quite sure which of the three girls it is on the cover, but I'm guessing it is Sinda wearing a locket with a picture of Nalia. It reminds me of the old Elle Enchanted cover.
Overall Impression: For anyone that likes fantasy, magic, wizards, kings, queens and a whole bunch of other things, this is definitely the book for you. This is the first YA fantasy I've picked up in awhile because there aren't that many and I really liked it. I will definitely be looking for more and other books by Eilis O'Neal from now on.
When both of her parents are chosen to be two of the people who will help colonize a brand new planet, Amy decides to go with them even though it means leaving the only life she’s ever known behind. Because landing is predicted for 300 years in the future, all three are frozen and put aboard the vast spaceship known as Godspeed. But Amy is unexpectedly woken up 50 years before schedule. She wakes to an entirely different world, confined inside a massive hunk of metal floating among the stars. What she discovers is that she was not unfrozen by accident and that she isn’t the only victim. If she doesn’t find out who is unfreezing people and leaving them to drown, her parents might be next. With the help of Elder, the future leader of the ship, she uncovers dangerous secrets that Godspeed and it’s leaders have been keeping for decades.
The world created by Beth Revis is incredibly detailed and amazing...but it is also kind of terrifying. Could you imagine being frozen and then suddenly waking up hundreds of years later in space surrounded by a community of empty, brainless people blindly following the command of a tyrant leader? Yeah, me neither. Luckily, we can read about it without experiencing it! I thought the plot was great. The beginning of the book was a bit slow but only because we are being introduced to the characters and Godspeed. Once Amy is woken up the action picks up and the story really gets started. From then on I couldn’t put the book down because I NEEDED to know what was going to happen next!
Besides the fantastic plot, there were two other things I loved about this book; the dual perspective and the new slang that people aboard the ship use. It seems like more and more books are taking the 2+ person perspective which I adore. Being able to see into both heads gives the reader a much better understanding of what is going on and what the characters are feeling. As for the slang, it was hilarious. I chuckled every time someone said ‘frex,’ ‘loons,’ ‘chutz,’ ‘stars,’ etc. Out of context they don’t make much sense, but it is easy to figure out what they all mean while reading.
This is a must-read even if you don't typically for go science fiction....more
Characters: I really liked Finbar. He is very sweet, smart, and extremely observant. He went from being the awkward, nerdy boy that all the other guys liked to pick on to being the confident, school badass that people were afraid to mess with. His transformation happened quickly, but was completely believable. He meets two completely different girls at his new school and they each help him realize that being himself is all he needs to make people like him. All of the characters in the story really help him realize this.
Plot: I’m not going to lie, I’m starting to get a little tired of all the YA vampire books because that’s pretty much all anyone will write about these days. I was a little hesitant to read this one, but I’m definitely happy that I finally decided to pick it up because it was completely different from what I had expected. The main character is a “vampire”, but that is only a small part of the overall story. He is just a normal teenage boy trying to figure out who he is and where he fits in. The only reason he even becomes a “vampire” is to get girls, but he soon realizes that it was a dumb idea when his plan backfires. Other than this, the book has nothing at all to do with vampires. It was fun to read about his adventures, but some of his thoughts should have been a little more censored. I didn’t need to know what he did in the shower or that he had a thing for librarians, lol.
Cover: The cover is so cute! When you look at it you know the book is going to be about vampires, but at the same time you get this feeling that it might not be. It has a very playful aspect to it.
Overall Impression: This was a really refreshing read and a very different take on the traditional vampire story. It has a great message; be who you are because that is who people will like, not some made up persona. I think that people who like, as well as people who dislike, vampire stories will enjoy this book.
Why I Read This: I got a NetGalley ARC for The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey #3), so I decided to start from the very beginning.
Plot: Although there are a lWhy I Read This: I got a NetGalley ARC for The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey #3), so I decided to start from the very beginning.
Plot: Although there are a lot of elements that are commonly found in other faery books (Seelie and Unseelie Courts, Summer and Winter Fey, etc.), the world created by Kagawa is still unique. She created her own Fey that I had never read about before. Meghan's journey takes her to many different places and there was no way to anticipate what would happen next or who she would meet. There is action, suspense, and a little bit of mystery as the characters try to find Ethan and figure out who the Iron King is and where he came from.
Characters: I loved all of the characters in this book. Meghan, the main character, is half human/half faery who also happens to be a princess. She is a pretty awesome heroine and I loved her sarcastic personality. She was also independent, selfless and extremely stubborn which made me admire her because she knew what she wanted and fought for it. I just wish she hadn't been so dependent on the boys to save her all the time. The other characters include Ash, the Winter prince, Robbie/Puck, Meghan's best friend and Grimalkin, a cat faery that helps Meghan along the way. I genuinely enjoyed each and everyone of these characters. They were all different and had their own distinct personalities. They all stood out in their own distinct way. However, my favorite would probably have to be Puck because of his great sense of humor. He had me laughing out loud quite a bit.
Cover: The cover is gorgeous! I love all of the swirly vines/tress. Also, the girl represents Meghan nicely.
Overall Impression: Awesome! Why did I wait almost a year to read this? I can't wait to start The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey #2)!
Plot: At the beginning of the novel, we are given two definitions of the word ‘warped’ which is the title of the book. One of the definitions had to dPlot: At the beginning of the novel, we are given two definitions of the word ‘warped’ which is the title of the book. One of the definitions had to do with weaving, the other was about traveling through time. I loved the fact that she took both meanings of the word and incorporated them into the story. This novel was a combination of action, danger, suspense, romance, fantasy and a bunch of other stuff all mixed in. Now on to what actually happened in the story! The beginning was slightly slow and the action didn’t start until Will showed up, but as soon as he got there, everything picked up. There are constant flashbacks that help explain why and how Will got stuck inside of a tapestry. They are really helpful in the overall understanding of the story and give us clues to what will happen next.
Characters: There were only a few characters in the novel, but that was enough to make the story great. I really liked Tessa and her best friend, Opal, but what I liked most about the two of them was their friendship. They are both very different; Opal is quirky while Tessa is the more rational of the two. When things in Tessa’s life start to get a little crazy and strange, Opal never doubts her and agrees to help right away. Basically, Opal is just awesome and a great friend that anyone would be lucky to have. I quickly became a fan of Will and was even happier with him and Tessa together. Tessa had a tendency of making fun of him which, at times was funny, but just make him feel even more out of place. He wasn’t used to anything from her world considering he was born 400+ years in the past and she should have been a little more understanding. However, my favorite part about Tessa was that she was just as sarcastic as I am. Oh, and did I mention that her dad owns a book store and they live directly above it?! Cover: The cover is gorgeous and I love it almost as much as I love the story. It sort of reminds me of the Uglies by Scott Westerfeld cover which I also like.
Overall Impression: I loved this book! If there is a sequel, I will definitely pick it up. Actually, I’ll probably read any book by Maurissa Guibord.
Plot: The Iron Daughter starts off right where The Iron King left off so this review might be a little spoiler-y if you have not read the first book.Plot: The Iron Daughter starts off right where The Iron King left off so this review might be a little spoiler-y if you have not read the first book. That being said, I definitely enjoyed this one better. And not just because they go to Silicon Valley which is what I like to call home. Lol But seriously, I think this one was a lot more action packed. Many new characters are introduced including Ash's brothers, Rowan and Sage, and we get to see some old characters from the first book including Virus and good ol' Ironhorse. We also learn a lot about Meghan and the things she can do. I can't really say that much more about it because it would give too much away, but let me just say that the ending was AMAZING and unexpected.
Characters: I was very disappointed in Meghan at the beginning of this book. She was totally awesome and cool in the first, but at the beginning of this one all she did was mope and whine and do nothing. Then 60 or so pages in its like she randomly woke up and was the Meghan we all know and love. She took charge, made a plan and set out to save the world. All of the other characters from the first book are back as well including some new ones. Puck is hilarious and finally reveals his true feelings, Ash is still the same brooding Ice Prince (I started liking him a lot more towards the end), and Grimalkin is as useful as ever (I don't know how he does it, but he always manages to pop up when they most need him). Ironhorse was a great new addition and will be missed.
Cover: Like the first, this cover is gorgeous. I like it even better because its purple, my favorite color. I like the swirls/vines that encircle the cover, they give it a nice faery feeling.
Overall Impression: This series just keeps getting better and better!
Plot: The plot of Chain Reaction was very similar to the plot of the first two; a Fuentes brother gets mixed up with the Latino Blood, his rich hoity-toity girlfriend disapproves of his gang affiliation and eventually loves trumps all. I was kind of hoping to see something at least slightly different with this third installment, but it fell short. Even though it was very similar, it didn’t have the same impact on me that the first two did. In Perfect Chemistry, the LB terrified me and I was constantly scared for Alex, yet in this one, the threats just didn’t seem as threatening nor did the danger feel as dangerous. There was honestly no reason for Luis to get jumped into the gang and I felt he completely overreacted when he found out the big “secret”.
Characters: To be honest, I didn’t really like either Luis or Nikki. The beginning of the book started off with them being 15 and then the book fast forwards to two years later, but it sort of felt like they hadn’t matured or aged at all. I had to remind myself that they were, indeed, 17. And both constantly said one thing and then did the complete opposite which was frustrating. My favorite thing about these Simone Elkeles books is the intense and sexy romances. This book didn’t have either. The romance felt too forced and rushed to me which really took away from my overall enjoyment of the novel. They went from hating each other to loving each other in 2 seconds flat. It was a bit unrealistic because they didn’t even really know each other, I felt. There was a lot more emotional connection with the first two books and I really liked those romances better.
Cover: Of the three books, this isn’t my favorite cover. I didn’t really understand the whole shower thing, but I do like that all the covers are really similar and that each features the appropriate Fuentes brother.
Overall Impression: Alex and Carlos will forever be my favorites, so if you haven’t at least read the first book in the series, you definitely should.
Plot: The very first scene is of Bridget driving and about to lose control of her car. After that, the first half of the book explains why she got into the car hoping she would crash and possibly die or just get majorly injured. The second half is after the crash and takes place in limbo. This part reminded me a little of A Christmas Carol. She literally steps into other peoples shoes to see how her behavior and actions have affected them. The repeating of the conversations made it seem like I was reading the same thing over again. I know it was from a different perspective and bridget was supposed to be in the other persons head while the scene is happening, but the repetition of the dialogue could have been avoided. We already knew what happened, it would have been better to read what was happening inside of the persons head and their thoughts a little more. I felt really bad for all the people she mistreats once we are inside their heads, but that was really the only time I liked or cared about any of the characters.
Characters: I did not like Bridget at all at the beginning of the story. She is self-absorbed, self-pitying, rude, dramatic, and whines way too much. I felt that she was trying way too hard to be “tough” and was just a complete jerk. Her teacher, friends, and step mom had absolutely no backbone when it came to her which is probably the reason she acted the way she did. I really liked Liam though. He was one of the few people that would stood up to her. This probably has to do with the fact that he knew her before she completely changed from their elementary school days.
Cover: The cover is cute and reminds me a lot of Generation Dead by Daniel Waters. The colors, font, and picture are all really similar.
Overall Impression: This book is definitely very relatable and leaves you with the message that second chances are always possible as long as you really want them.
Plot: This story reminded me a lot of She’s the Man with Amanda Bynes which is not a bad thing because I absolutely loved that movie and recently founPlot: This story reminded me a lot of She’s the Man with Amanda Bynes which is not a bad thing because I absolutely loved that movie and recently found out it was based on one of Shakespeare’s plays. The plot was a little predictable, but there were parts that were still unique to the story. I loved the theater components of and how they were incorporated perfectly into the story. What I had a hard time believing was how it was so easy for her to be enrolled into the school without any problems or people asking too many questions. That would not have happened in real life, but obviously the same rules don’t apply to books which is why they’re so amazing.
Characters: Natalie was hilarious, witty and sarcastic. She was very relatable and I loved her. I also really liked her two best friends, Chloe and Darcy. They couldn’t have been more different from each other, but that seemed to make their friendship even more believable and realistic. Emilio was super adorable and I loved that he was shy around other people, but very comfortable when he was with Nat (aka Natalie). I really liked them all, especially the three friends Natalie makes at the all-boys school she attends for a week. Cover: The cover is super cute and is what first drew me to the book. The girl is gorgeous and has the biggest and prettiest eyes ever!
Overall Impression: Hilarious! I found myself literally LOLing various times throughout the book. I had fun reading it which is what I was hoping for. I will definitely pick up other books by Jody Gehrman now that I know how great this one was.
Plot: This book had mystery, suspense, some espionage, and even a little romance, but as mystery novels go, this one was pretty predictable. I figured out most of what there was to know in the first 20 pages of the book, yet that did not stop me from wanting to continue reading because just as I thought I had everything figured out, there was a new twist to throw me off the trail. What kept my interest the most was the mystery behind the Mulo family which I found more compelling then the actual murder mystery aspect of the plot. It wasn’t too fast paced which was great, but it was a very fast read.
Characters: The characters were great and I really liked both Aphra and Seth. Aphra has this fearlessness to her that is uncommon in 16 year olds, she is willing to endanger herself in order to save the lives of almost complete strangers. Seth was sweet, charming, and also a bit fearless. Aprha and him are constantly saving each other. I feel bad for both of them because all they want is to be normal teenagers which is nearly impossible because one is constantly on the run while the other lives on a secluded island away from everything and everyone. I can’t wait to see where their relationship goes, or if it goes anywhere at all.
Cover: The cover is cute and I really like how the bikini parts are cut out so that the page underneath can be seen. The pictures on the bottom include a gun, fan, sunglasses and palm trees which tie in a lot better than just having a random bikini on the cover.
Overall Impression: When I picked this book up I was looking for a quick, fun read and that is exactly what I got. If you want something short to pass the time on a long flight or car ride, this is the book for you.
Plot: The biggest reason I decided to give this book 2 stars instead of 1 is because of the plot. It was somewhat unique and kept me interested untilPlot: The biggest reason I decided to give this book 2 stars instead of 1 is because of the plot. It was somewhat unique and kept me interested until the last couple of pages. The book is set in the future, but it’s a very different future than most people write about. It made me glad that I was born in this century and not 140 years into the future. But this was probably the only interesting aspect of the whole plot. Overall, the plot was very confusing and unorganized. Things just kept randomly happening and there was really no connection between them. Also, Nina was terrified of turning 16 from page one, but nothing ever happened that really explained why she was so scared. I thought this was going to be the major focus of the book, but it was barely ever covered unless Nina was complaining about it. At the end, I was just as confused as I was in the beginning and I feel that a second book is needed in order for us to understand and know everything the author wants us to because so many questions were left unanswered; not just for the reader, but also for Nina.
Characters: The characters were all pretty cool and they had the potential to be even better, however, they never reached that potential because the writing was just not there to help. I couldn’t connect with the characters and that really took away from the book. Something tragic happens to Nina’s family in the first couple of chapters, but I didn’t really feel anything for her or her family; I knew it was a very bad thing that no one wants to go through, but I couldn’t get myself to really care. Nina also seemed to overreact to almost anything. She would randomly freak out or not care enough which I just thought was really weird. She was very confusing, awkward and paranoid. The other characters were about the same. There was a lot of mystery surrounding Nina’s new friends and we never really get to know what they know or who they really are.
Cover: I like the cover a lot which is also one reason I even chose to read this book. I am sad to say that I do choose books by their covers most of the time.
Overall Impression: Not my favorite dystopian novel, but fans of The Uglies Trilogy or The Hunger Games might find it to be interesting and a good read.
Characters: The book focuses on Ophelia, her family, and the royal family. Ophelia’s father has worked as the King’s advisor for as long as she can remember so she lives at the castle and is close to the family, especially the prince. The poor girl is thrown into the spotlight just because she is the prince’s longtime girlfriend, but she handles it well (for the most part anyways). She is strong, funny, and clever. Her only fault is that she loved Hamlet too much. I don’t really blame her though because he was sweet, handsome, and funny and everyone else in the kingdom probably wanted to date him too. Unfortunately, he became drunk with revenge after the death of his father and that’s when everything started to go from wrong to worse. I could not stand the queen at all; all she cared about were appearances and nothing else. Claudius, the king’s brother and also his murderer, was awful and evil. Horatio, Hamlet and Ophelia’s best friend, was as loyal as anybody could be and he tried to help his two very best friends until the end.
Plot: I have yet to read the original Hamlet by Shakespeare so I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this modern retelling of the classic, but I actually really enjoyed it. I’m not sure how accurate it is to the original, but it is definitely worth the read. The book is told by Ophelia, who this time does not die. There are 3 parts to each chapter, kind of like a past, present, and future type thing. At the beginning of each chapter Ophelia is being interviewed on a talk show about the events that took place after the king was killed, the middle is the actual story of what happened, and the end is Ophelia being interrogated by the police because they think she was responsible for everything that happened to the royal family after the kings death. I really liked how the chapters were organized and did not find it confusing at all despite everything that was going on. That being said, the action only really starts about half way through the book. There was suspense, mystery, romance, some supernatural, and so much more. It had a sad ending, but that’s the point of a tragedy, right?
Cover: The cover isn’t really anything special. I don’t know…for me it doesn’t really represent what the book is about I guess. It’s kind of plain and boring, just two teenagers making out with a floating throne next to then…
Overall Impression: I wish I had read Shakespeare’s version before this so that I knew what the original story was, but it was still a pretty good book. I think that if anyone’s a little apprehensive about reading the original, this could really help push them to want to.
Eight months ago Willow and her parents got into a horrible car crash. And, unfortunately because her parents decided to drink a little bit too much,Eight months ago Willow and her parents got into a horrible car crash. And, unfortunately because her parents decided to drink a little bit too much, Willow was the one behind the wheel and the only one who survived. She is forced to move in with her much older brother, his wife and their new baby girl. Consumed with grief, and worst of all, guilt Willow starts to cut herself. It is the only escape she knows until she meets Guy who helps her overcome her self harm.
I’m not going to lie, I cringed every single time she cut. The author describes it so vividly it almost felt like I was there with Willow whenever it happened. And although it was slightly uncomfortable at times, I really did like the vividness. It made the book seem real. I felt like the book progressed perfectly. Willow and Guy don’t automatically become best friends and fall in love, which seems to happen in quite a few books, nor does Willow stop cutting all of a sudden just because she meets Guy. It takes time for them to trust each other completely, but once they do it’s perfect.
Both Willow and Guy are great characters. Despite everything she’s been through, it doesn’t feel like Willow is complaining when she talks about her problems which is great since I can’t stand when all characters do is whine, whine, whine. As for Guy, he is fantastic. He is caring and sweet, but also tough. He doesn’t give up on Willow no matter how hard or how many times she tries to push him away.
I originally bought this for my friend as her Christmas present a while back. But instead of giving it to her I decided to give her the first book in the Pretty Little Liars series and keep this one for myself. Kind of bad, I know, but I’m so glad I did.
Plot: To be honest, I wasn’t really sure about this one. The synopsis felt too 16 & Pregnant to me and I was expecting something along those lines. But that is definitely not what I found. This is a story of two girls, both lost and confused who are searching for something they didn’t even realize they wanted or needed. It was a story about family, how blood relation doesn’t really matter, as long as you are willing to be there for each other. There aren’t any major plot twists, it isn’t action packed and it isn’t even all that unique, but it is still a great book. Only after reading it and sitting down to write this review, did I notice that the ending was totally and completely predictable, but this didn’t take anything away from the novel because it was exactly what I hoped would happen. There was an annoying cliffhanger at the very, very end though, but I say “annoying” only because I really wanted to know what happened next and then, suddenly, the book was over. I just hope this means a sequel might be coming? Who knows...
Characters: This was very strange for me, but I connected with both Jill and Mandy despite how different they were. It was a little odd because I can’t remember the last time I agreed so much with a characters inner thoughts. I even caught myself nodding along as I was reading a few times, thinking: “That is so me. Thank God I’m not the only one”. Jill is moody, angry and bitter which is completely understandable behavior after losing a parent, especially considering the relationship they had. Mandy was a little more difficult to understand. She is very naive, very lost, but very well-intentioned. She is only trying to do what she thinks is best for everyone, even if she has no idea what her future will be once it is all done. The alternating viewpoints offered more of the characters personality through implication rather than outright telling. The fact that the characters were so relatable is probably the main reason why I liked this book so much.
Cover: I like the cover and it does show how lost Mandy is, which is a key part of the story, but it isn’t the only one and I think they could have designed something that tied in with the book better. It is still really cute though.
Overall Impression: This is the first time I am reading a novel by Sara Zarr, but it will definitely not be the last. I hope a sequel is in the works!
Plot: I’m not a particularly religious person nor did I even know that this was a Christian novel until after I finished reading, but I was hooked from the very first page and could not seem to put it down! The book follows the life of Finley Sinclair, a now high school senior who is still struggling with the death of her brother two years before. Along with that, an upcoming audition for a school in NYC and being the new exchange student in Ireland, Finley has to deal with anxiety that only seems to get worse as her audition nears. This was definitely not a light and fluffy read nor was it extremely depressing. It was a book about loss, crisis of faith, and friendship that had me in tears just as often as it had me laughing my head off.
Characters: I absolutely loved every character in this book, even grumpy Cathleen Sweeney. Both Finley and Beckett were great characters alone, but even better together because they seemed to strengthen each other. Their romance was sweet and fun to read about, especially since both were so adamant about not liking each other even though it was obvious from the beginning that they would be perfect together. The fact that Beckett constantly “forgot” her name and their witty banter had me laughing most of the time. Both deal with issues throughout the book that are relatable which just makes it even easier to fall in love with them.
Cover: The cover is strong, simple and gorgeous! The couple holding hands shows strength which is just what Beckett and Finley’s relationship is all about.
Overall Impression: The only thing I disliked about this book is that it intensified my already very intense desire to visit Ireland. This was my first time reading one of Jenny’s book, but it will definitely not be my last!
Katarina Bishop is not your average 15-year-old girl--growing up in a family of con artists and thieves made sure of that. But she isn’t your common criminal either. Instead of stealing for herself, she steals back what was taken and returns it to the original owner. That is why, when approached by a woman and her grandson, she can’t resist helping them--even when it means stealing the Cleopatra Emerald. Everyone believes the emerald is cursed which is why every attempt to steal it has failed. Even her great Uncle Eddie was unable to do it. But when Kat and her crew do the impossible and return the stone to who they believe is the rightful owner, they congratulate themselves on a job well done. What they realize a bit too late is that they themselves have been conned and now they have just two weeks to get the emerald back where it belongs.
I enjoyed Heist Society, but Uncommon Criminals was so much better! I don’t know how she does it, but Ally Carter has once again made a book about teenage con artists seem completely believable. I went into this thinking it was going to be a repeat of the first book with a few changed details here and there, but boy was I wrong. I love how much detail Carter puts into these books and the back story. There are so many twists and turns that there is no time for a dull moment. Every time I thought I had everything figured out, new details would be revealed--things I had never even thought of!
Another thing I love about this series is the characters. They are all well developed and likable despite all of their flaws. Kat is, by no means, the perfect thief, but she is great at what she does. Her friends and cousin all look up to her and trust her completely. I think she is also a good friend, but has a difficult time showing it. And then we have, W. W. Hale the Fifth. Hale is smart, rich, and devilishly attractive. He also happens to be Kat's best friend. Despite growing up in a completely different world, he seems to fit in just fine with Kat and her thieving family. I love their banter and how Kat is always trying to figure out what the W’s in his name stand for. I won’t say much about it, but I’m glad their relationship is heading in a new direction. ;)...more