3.5/5 stars Evil Librarian is a mixture of humor, and demon-y paranorma...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
3.5/5 stars Evil Librarian is a mixture of humor, and demon-y paranormal. There are also some cute high school crushes and some not so cute ones. All in all this book was unique and a lot of fun. I never quite knew how to classify it in just one word or category. Evil Librarian is a lot of things, and what it comes down to is that it makes a young adult book that is refreshingly different.
Evil Librarian starts out with Cyn crushing hard on a guy. It was nice to see high school students and teenage girls, act like teenage girls. Too often I see either one of the extremes played out. Super immature or way too mature for high school. Cyn was very age appropriate. She had the right amount of maturity with a splash of crush obsessive-ness. The funny part was with Cyn's best friend- Annie. She was the no-nonsense no time for a thing as silly as a crush- kind of gal. But then she meets the new librarian. And she goes completely gaga.
Michelle Knudsen had the perfect mix of levity and humor with demon backstory and lore. It was cool. I loved that throughout it all there was a school play going on. And that it was Sweeny Todd...AND that all the demons love Sweeny Todd. I think it was quirky and funny. Cyn enlists the help of her crush to try and stop the Evil Librarian. And it was great because there was no insta love, no unbelievable "omg a demon...thats crazy but I totally believe you". Everyone was the right amount of skeptical. But eventually Ryan and Cyn get on the demon train and try to stop him.
Evil Librarian is a very fun read. Minus the fact that Cyn falls prey to the same ploy that most heroines do, that I still don't quite understand- she tries to save everyone herself. Hello! She has someone helping her that believes her and wants to keep her safe, and she still goes off and keeps secrets and tries to do it on her own. But other than that, I have no complaints with Evil Librarian. It was fun, funny, with a of touch of bid bag villian and a cute romance to boot. The summary says it best- Evil Librarian is perfect for readers "who like their horror served up with a bit of romance, plenty of humor, and some pretty hot guys (of both the good and evil variety)." Check it out!
The Jewel is the first in the young adult Dystopian series c...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 3.5/5 stars
The Jewel is the first in the young adult Dystopian series called The Lone City. The set up is not a new one in the world of dystopian, but the story is still well done. I am interested in continuing this series. I like the set up of the surrogates and the augeries the most. I am very intrigued by the powers they possess, even if I still don't know quite why they do have them and why other people in their world doesn't. They are not your traditional "witches", if you can even call them that. I have a lot of questions about the world still left unanswered, but I grew to really like the characters and premise of the story.
Girls from the poorest circles are tested young, and all of the ones that show signs of having powers, called augeries, are sent away from their families to live in training centers to develop their powers. Once they are of age, they are sent to auctions where they are auctioned off to the royal and wealthy families from the inner circles to be their surrogates. Never to see their families again. This is the world we are thrust into head first, and you kind of have to figure out things as you go. I wish that I had a little more background information on this world. I didn't know how it came to be this way, or why it was structured the way it was, and a lot of my questions never got answered. But once the story picks up steam, you kind of get past that because the story-line is really interesting. I still had questions but I was more concerned with what was happening with Violet at her new house, with the Duchess of the Lake.
The Duchess herself was one of the most interesting characters to me. She is really complex. Sometimes nice, sometimes cruel, and I longed to figure her out. We do get some glimpses into what makes her tick, but not enough yet. I hope to learn even more about her in the next book. Violet is one of the most powerful surrogates in her class and there are big plans for her. I don't want to give too much away, but there are a lot of classic dystopian themes and similarities woven throughout the story, so if you enjoy that kind of story, you will probably enjoy the Jewel. It has all the makings of a great dystopian, it just left me with a few too many who why, where and how questions to make the leap from like to love just yet.
I really liked this book. I like Violet and Ash, and I love the concept of the Augeries. I think we will be seeing many more cool things from them in the next book. I can't wait to see what the author is going to do next, but I want a few more world building foundational questions incorporated into the next book. The romance in The Jewel is light but enjoyable. I have no idea what the author is going to do with Violet and Ash in the next book, and I am more than a little excited to find out. This review was originally posted on Book Briefs(less)
Storm Siren is going to be one of the Young Adult Fantasy greats. The k...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Storm Siren is going to be one of the Young Adult Fantasy greats. The kind of book that people are still talking about years from now and the kind of book where the hype gets bigger and bigger for each book. It already is that way for me. I absolutely loved this book! I devoured in one sitting. I was waiting to get my car repaired and it was the only time that I wasn't bored to tears in the waiting room. The book started off on the right note for me- it had a map of the world right at the start of the book. Personally, I think this should be a necessary addition to every fantasy book creating a new world. It just helps me paint the picture of the lands in my mind. So when the author is throwing out new locations and people, you are not as confused.
I loved the world that Mary Weber created. There are a lot a new names, and like any fantasy book, it takes a minute to gain your bearings in the new world, but Mary does a fantastic job immersing you within the culture right away. I never felt overly lost. I did wish for a little more back story on each of the different lands, but I think we will learn more in the next book. The action in the book starts in the very first chapter and we get a glimpse into the incredible powers that Nym has. She is a forbidden creature- an elemental and she can control storms and weather. Elementals are normally men and are killed on sight, so no one knows what exactly to make of her. She is a slave and after a fiasco at her slave auction, she is bought by a wealthy noble woman. That is where the real story starts. Watching Nym's powers develop was one of the most thrilling part of the book for me. She is incredible!
I loved the cast of characters. Nym and Eogan, along with Breck and Collin created a great group. I didn't love Breck as much as I wanted to and I was disappointed with Adora, but there were so many other things going on and characters for me to enjoy that I was never lacking in excitement while reading. I loved the hint of romance with Nym and Eogan. The romance is all about subtlety in this installment, but it plants the seed of much to come in the next book. If we can get past that nasty cliffhanger, that is! The less obvious romance, just made me love Eogan all the more. I can't wait for the next book. It is the kind of series that I know will jump to the top of my reading list whenever a new book comes out.
The Cinderella Theorem overall was a really great read. I had a few sma...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Cinderella Theorem overall was a really great read. I had a few small issues with the book early, but they were minor things and I am so glad that I didn't let them get in the way of enjoying the story, because this was a book that just kept getting better and better. I loved the concept of the story and the main character, Lily was a delight. Lily loves math, she likes logic and she likes being able to get the same answer every time she does the same problem. I loved her commentary throughout the story, told through math equations and footnotes. It was so funny.
Lily Sparrow is just a normal high school student when she comes home on her 15th birthday to find out that her dad is not dead like she thought, but rather the ruler of a magical land where all fairy tale characters go to live out their "happily ever after". A cool concept but it was in this initial phase that I had a couple of minor problems. First up, Lily's mom. Her mom is very nice and it is easy to see that she really cares for her daughter, but her flippant almost ditzy way that she dealt with telling Lily this crazy magical story was annoying. She didn't want to explain everything, she just expected her daughter to be fine with dead dad showing up out of no where, in her bathtub no less. And then she expected her to automatically understand all the crazy magical ins and outs of the land with no questions asked. Her dad was more understanding about the whole thing. The other small issue I had, was that I wasn't crazy about the name for the land. But other than that, I really loved the book.
The plot revolved around the happiness levels of the characters. Since each fairy tale character was supposed to live out their HEA, if they became truly sad they were in danger of disappearing. And if all characters in a story disappeared, then the story also disappeared from our world's records. When characters start disappearing left and right, Lily has to get to the bottom of it. I loved it. Mostly because Lily. She was such a treat for me. I loved her voice in the story. I hope the next book is done in the same fashion, with her math equations and footnote commentary throughout. That was my favorite. There was only a tiny hint at a romance to come, one that I hope is explored more in the next book. I can't wait to discover more Lily Sparrow!
The Description of Mortal Danger drew me in almost instantly. I was so...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Description of Mortal Danger drew me in almost instantly. I was so excited to read it. And then I committed the cardinal sin of book reviewers...I glanced at some goodreads reviews. And I saw that people were polarized on this story, they either loved it or they DNF-ed it. And I got nervous. But I am happy to say that I really enjoyed Mortal Dangers and I can't wait to continue the series. Now, it should also be said that I understand why some people did not finish this book. The start of the book does make the main character seem pretty shallow. I felt bad for her but I could see where her single-minded plot for revenge on her classmates could seem off putting. But the book is so much better than that initial impression!
The main character, Edie grows so much in this book. And actually, that first kind of shallow impression is a huge theme in the book. I think the author does a fantastic job of blowing all of those stereotypes out of the water. Watching Edie get to know the people beneath the meanness was a great way to handle the plot, in my opinion. Plus, the world that Ann Aguirre created was so dark and sinister and utterly riveting. I am dying to learn more about the "players" in the "game". The whole book had such a dark and mysterious vibe. I loved it.
I felt so bad for Edie. This girl has had it really rough. I can't believe the lengths that some of these bullies went to, to get to her. It was hard to reconcile some of how they treated her in the past with some of the awful things that happened to them in the later parts of the book. I didn't know whether to be happy or sad about it. But I will say one thing, this book really made me think. What would I have done in Edie's situation? I really am not sure. Edie is such a strong character that questions everything. She takes nothing at face value and she is whip smart. I love that about her so much.
Ann Aguirre does not hold any punches with anyone in the story. She is not afraid to make some bold moves and to kill anyone off. Mortal Danger is intense, creepy, and one heck of a ride. I am so excited to find out what is going to happen in the next book. There are characters that I hate, characters that I love, and the romance is so up in the air right now that I need to see what is going to happen. Mortal Danger is a fascinating new world that is so worth a read. I am glad that I stuck out this book and didn't listen to the DNF's because it was a book that just kept getting better and better all the way until the very last page.
The Homeroom Diaries is a hilarious story told in the form of a teens d...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Homeroom Diaries is a hilarious story told in the form of a teens diary, complete with tons of awesome illustrations. It is hard for me to decide which I enjoyed more- the story through Margaret, or "Cuckoo" as she has everyone call her, entries or her pictures to go along with the entries. It was a close call, both were equally awesome and both totally hilarious. The Homeroom Diaries is told from Cuckoo's point of view, but because it is her diaries it is told in a kind of easily accessible stream of consciousness. I loved every page of this book, even the sad ones.
Cuckoo does not have it easy. She has had more than her fair share of crappy things happen to her, but still through it all she is holding it together remarkably. I know the counselors at her school don't think so, but I do. I admired the heck out of her. And I loved seeing her with her friends. Check out how they describe themselves in one of these pictures from the book.*
The illustrations added a fantastic level of humor to the story. I lost count of how many times I flat out laughed out loud while reading Homeroom Diaries. And these were not dainty little giggles or chuckles, they were full out laughs, where I had to re-read paragraphs just so I could laugh again.
Homeroom Diaries is not just funny pictures though, there is a kick ass story in there too.Cuckoo and her friends are trying to implement this "project happiness" idea of theirs throughout the story, and you get a behind the scenes look at their everyday life. And trust me, tons goes on with them. I loved getting to know each of her friends, and I especially loved the alternate endings that she made for them. Cuckoo hates endings, and she is constantly writing alternate endings for books and movies and people. I hope that means there is another book coming out, because I am not ready to say goodbye to Cuckoo and her BFFs!
*Pictures were taken with permission from the book’s official Instagram. Check it out for some awesome sneak peeks at the artwork!
The Blonde is Anna Godbersen's first adult novel. And boy oh boy did she start off with a bang! (ha ha) The Blonde is the fictionalized historical tel...moreThe Blonde is Anna Godbersen's first adult novel. And boy oh boy did she start off with a bang! (ha ha) The Blonde is the fictionalized historical telling of Marilyn Monroe. Going off the premise...what is Marilyn Monroe was a spy. Does that sound cool? Well it really was. There is tons of classic Marilyn woven into these pages. Lot's of sexy, flirty Marilyn, and under it all- a very lonely woman. The story starts with a flashback to her childhood and from then on it flashes forward to the height of her fame. The chapters are each labeled with the location, month and year. It was a nice progression for the story. Sometimes there were multiple chapters per month and sometimes only a few.
The actual story line was wonderfully imaginative and addictive. I had so much fun reading about the actual historical events wrapped up in Godbersen's intriguing re-telling of it all. And the most impressive part was that she captured the spirit of Marilyn so well. I felt like I was reading some of Marilyn's lost diaries. Anna Godbersen introduces us to a russian man called Alexie who was the one that jump started Marilyn's career, simply saying that he would be calling in a "favor" later with her. And so started her secret career as a spy.
The espionage and spy thirller aspect of the story was the coolest melding of history and fictions. I just ate it all up. Anna Godbersen's writing is magic. That is the only way I know how to describe it. She casts this spell with her words as she weaves them into a story that even though you know is fiction, seems both too fantastical and yet somehow plausible. It is crazy. I had so much fun living in this re imagined view of history. I loved picturing Marilyn as this reluctant bombshell spy. It was a cool twist on her relationship with the President. The Blonde is so unlike other stories. It was so well thought out and expertly created. I loved The Blonde and I think you will too.
Death's Academy is a middle grade book that is just so much fun. I don'...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Death's Academy is a middle grade book that is just so much fun. I don't read many middle grade books for my blog, but every once in a while one comes my way that I just can't let slip by me. And Death's Academy looked like some magical fun. And it was all that and more. Death's Academy is a school for "hoodies" aka reapers and "halos" aka angels.
Midnight or Night for short is a reaper, who is scared of not passing his entrance exam to get into school. It doesn't help matters that his dad is famous for something- and not in a good way, and Night has no idea what it even is. I loved Night and his awesome tech savvy friend, Mal. The two of them made a great team.
The world that Michael Bast created in Death's Academy will appeal to readers young and old alike. It was hilarious to see some of his references and drawings in the book. The reaper families each had their own hellhounds and they were dachshunds!! How adorable. There are plenty of magical creatures in this book to hold any readers interest, and it was cool to see unicorns as the bad guys. Michael Bast does a great job of flipping the world on its' head and changing things up. I loved figuring out just what it was that happened with his dad all those years ago and along the way Night goes on quite the adventure himself to rescue his friend.
Death's Academy is a quick and enjoyable read. I think younger readers will really enjoy this funny and quirky book about reapers. The ending stops before school at Death's Academy even starts, so I hope that means there will be a second book where we can see Night at school. I think that this series is going to be an easy hit among younger readers, and even older readers will appreciate this book. It was a great read.
Blue is such a fun surfer lover's romance. Perfect for the summer and beach time, this book...more**See this full review and more at http://bookbriefs.net**
Blue is such a fun surfer lover's romance. Perfect for the summer and beach time, this book will make you want to lay out on the beach and dive right into the ocean. Blue even made me want to hop up on a surfboard and try to catch a wave. (but let's be honest, I'm not sure I would even be able to stand up. I would spend all my time wiping out.) The book mostly takes place on what is called one of the best surfing beaches in Europe.
Iris is refreshing. She is not the type of girl that would attract your average celebrity. Sure, she is pretty. But she is low key and relaxed. I loved that Zeke was so taken with her. It said so much about the type of guy that he is. Because Iris is a quality girl, and it is impressive that an 18 year old guy that is famous and on top of his game notices quality over all the other girls that are throwing themselves at him. I thought it was adorable to see Zeke around his brothers. It was so cute to see that he had been talking to all of them about Iris. They knew who she was. It was just cute to see them all kind of joke around with him and push his buttons to see him react and admit that he liked her. Iris and Zeke are just the kind of young couple that you will love reading about and rooting for.
The secondary characters are also a treat in Blue. All of Zeke's brothers, Iris' best friend, and her ex Daniel all were prominently featured in Blue. I enjoyed getting to know all of them, and seeing their story lines. I can't wait to see them again in the next book. Another pleasant surprise in Blue is how much you will learn about surfing. All of the lingo, and the description and detail about the sport was fantastic! For example, I learned that if I were to try and learn how to surf that the whitewater would be my friend for a very, very long time!
Lisa Glass did a wonderful job with Blue. The writing was fresh, fun and conversational. It was so easy to just let yourself get lost in this cute beachy story for a couple of hours. The characters were delightful and had a rich depth to them. People are not always what they seem and people often have more going on in their lives and in their past that shape them into the person they are today. You learn a lot of assumptions and changed perceptions of the characters throughout the story. If you are looking for a fun, and beyond cute summer surf romance, look no further than Blue!
How I got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love is part social commentary, part coming of age, and completely hilarious. I loved all of the pop cultu...moreHow I got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love is part social commentary, part coming of age, and completely hilarious. I loved all of the pop culture references and the main character, Emery is such a wise ass. I loved her. I lost count of how many times she made me laugh out loud. She does not hold back. At all. She is very self deprecating- it's her coping mechanism. How she deals with her family and the world. Her mom seemed nice enough, but it was easy to see that both of her parents favored Emery's sister, Angel. She was the "pretty" one. It was kind of sad really. But Emery is strong- I knew she would be fine no matter what.
How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love centers around a family style reality show and a weight loss competition all rolled into one. If Emery can lose 50lbs in 50 days then her and her family win 1 million dollars. Emery is a total standout star of this book. She is charming, and I loved seeing the story through her. She had an awesome "voice". Ken Baker did such an excellent job with her character development. I could so easily see her being one of my friends. She is really warm and inviting, which is super weird to say because she comes off as brash. But it's in her thought process and her moments when she was alone that I feel like the reader truly gets to know her. Plus, she loves Jenna Marbles- so she is automatically ok in my book.
I am a bit of a reality tv junkie, so of course I ate up all of the "behind the scenes" production stuff throughout the story. And the author, Ken Baker works at E! so I like to think that we are getting the real low down on what goes on behind the scenes with reality tv. Just reading parts of the contract that they had them sign was nuts. But I totally believe it.
How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love (man that is a lot to type!) was every bit as addictive as reality tv to read. It was so much fun to read. If you like pop culture, you will love this book. The only kind of sour note for me was the ending. And I will say that it was only half sour. It wasn't what I was expecting, that's for sure. I still have not decided whether I liked it or if I was disappointed with it. I think I need a second book to see what happens! Ken, please make that happen. (less)
I can't even tell you how excited I was for The Vault of Dreamers. I th...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I can't even tell you how excited I was for The Vault of Dreamers. I think most of you know by now that I am a little bit obsessed with reality tv. It is kind of like big brother, but instead of a house it is a school for the ultra artsy people. Nothing is as it seems in the Forge school though. The students each have their own live stream and people can choose which student to watch. An interesting concept for sure, that is just the tip of the iceberg. This book just kept growing and growing and changing. I never knew what to expect. Jen from YA Romantics described it as inception meets big brother, and I think that is the perfect way to describe it. (so credit to her for that!) It was a really interesting pairing for me, and the reality aspect mixed in with the dream harvesting. I couldn't put this book down.
We join Rosie on the day where the students with the 50 lowest popularity ranks or "blip scores" from amount of viewers their channel get are sent home from the school. She was pretty close from the bottom but she gets creative on her last day and raises her score just enough to stay by doing all sorts of things. This was actually my only hold up with book. I felt like she could have tried some new things before her possible last day. But other than that I really don't have any complaints. I loved how creative The Vault of Dreamers was.
Rosie is a curious girl. And when they get the assignment to fail at a project Rosie thinks it is the perfect cover to spy on the Forge school from the inside. I really liked Rosie's friends as well. I thought it was funny that at first Rosie thought Janice was kind of fake, because she was so genuinely nice. So was Burnham. I really hope there is more from him in the next book. I liked him just as much as Linus. (sometimes even more)
From the title it is clear something is going on with dreams. The forge school forces 12 hours of obligatory sleep on the students, stating that they need that much to optimize their creativity. They give the students sleep pills every night. Rosie sometimes skips hers to stay awake, and that is what gets her in trouble. I was so impressed with everything that Caragh O’Brien dreamed up. It was so imaginative and incredible really. There were so many times where I was questioning it all. This book is inception meets Big Brother, with maybe just a touch of Shutter Island thrown in to keep you off your game. Maybe. Maybe not. What is real, and what isn't? I bet you won't be able to figure it all out without any doubt creeping in. And that my friends, is what makes Vault of Dreamers BRILLIANT! You will just have to read Vault of Dreamers to find out.
The Shadow Prince is a whopper of a book. It comes in at over 500 pages long , and the only...more**See this full review and more at http://bookbriefs.net**
The Shadow Prince is a whopper of a book. It comes in at over 500 pages long , and the only thing I was thinking when I was done with it was, “That wasn’t long enough. I want more!” I love mythology and I really enjoyed all of the attention to mythological details that Bree wove into the story. Mythology really was everywhere, throughout the street names in the town to the class lectures at school. It was an immersion into the stories of Persephone and Hades, which just so happens to be one of my very favorite myths. For example, One of Daphne’s teachers was teaching her class about some versions of the Persephone myth and she was describing a thesis paper she wrote in college and I thought even that sounded fascinating. I would totally read her paper. So I may be a bit of a mythology nerd, but this book is perfect for both mythology enthusiasts like me and newbies alike.
I loved how strong willed Daphne was. She is not going to back down from anything or anyone. But she wasn’t so stubborn as to be pig headed. She could admit when she was wrong. That is a balance that I seldom see in main characters. They are normally all or nothing. And I loved how passionate Daphne was about music. She could see music in everything. It was pretty magical, and Bree made all of it come to life in the story through her descriptive writing. This is a book that would have one of the most killer playlists out there- that’s for sure.
Hayden is chosen as a surprising guardian. Right off the bat he is the underdog and I couldn’t help but root for him. I felt bad about the harsh reactions he drew from everyone in his home court. And throughout the book he kept alluding to this big, bad horrible thing that he did to earn his people’s hatred. It was driving me crazy trying to guess what it was. Watching Hayden fall in love with Daphne was really sweet. You know it is going to happen from the start, but even so it will make you smile. I am pretty in love with them myself.
The Shadow Prince is the first book in the Into the Dark Series, and I already know that I am going to freakin’ LOVE this series. Not only did this book have me on the edge of my seat over the action scenes, but it had me laughing out loud and awh-ing at some of Hayden’s parts. It is told in dual narrative, which served the story well. We got to see a peak into Hayden's head as well as get to see into his world. A great book for fans of mythology and for people who are new to the story of Hades and Persephone. This series is a hit! (less)
Carnelian is a solid start to what seems like is going to be a really interesting series. It has romance, magic and time travel, which I Thought was a...moreCarnelian is a solid start to what seems like is going to be a really interesting series. It has romance, magic and time travel, which I Thought was an interesting combination. I was easily drawn into the world that B. Kristin McMichael created. It was an interesting read and has me hooked enough that I want to continue on. There were some crazy twists and turns at the end of the story that I didn't see coming. They seemed a bit unbelievable, but they were a cool twist to the story.
I liked how self assured Mari was. She is not one to let someone push her around, but when she makes up her mind about someone, she is loyal and determined to stick by them. I liked that about her. She was skeptical about Seth, and rightly so. But eventually he wore her down, and from that point on she was committed. She didn't waver anymore. The romance was cute. There was a bit of insta-pull but it was more of the prophesy/destiny variety. I thought the tingles that they each got when they were near the other were adorable too.
I liked Seth and his brothers. They were interesting. I thought the author's take on time traveling. You lose some of your memories from the different times and there are some interesting side effects on healing when you are in another time. I thought the way the author worked those details in was a nice touch.
The ending of the story left open some really interesting possibilities for the next book in the series. I liked this story and I am interested in seeing what the author is going to bring us next. I can't wait to see what is going to happen in the past as well as where we stand with the romance.
Biggest Flirts is my first book by Jennifer Echols. (I know, what the heck have I been waiti...more**See this full review and more at http://bookbriefs.net**
Biggest Flirts is my first book by Jennifer Echols. (I know, what the heck have I been waiting for??) It was a lot of fun, and I love the idea behind the series. Each book will focus on different characters from this high school and they will center around which superlative they may be awarded in the year book. Since this book was a cute and fun summer read. Light and breezy with a few "issues" sprinkled throughout, it has the potential to be a fantastic summer series. I can easily see myself gobbling up book after book outside by the pool.
This was the story of Will and Tia, and they were voted....wait for it....Biggest Flirts! I bet you didn't see that one coming, huh? When the book started, I immediately got this flirt vibe from Tia so it was no surprise to me that she would be nominated, but Will didn't strike me that way at the start. My opinions on the two of them actually flipped as I was reading the book. Tia has some issues because of her older sisters dealings with guys. Because of that she keeps guys at a distance, only hooking up and never dating, but she came off as a little skanky to me at first. And Will came off as a total sweetie. But then when school started Will was flirting with Tia and dating someone else, and he went down a little in my book.
Don't worry though, the more I saw Will and Tia together the more they won me over with their bantering dynamic. I ended up enjoying both of them a lot. The plot uses the good ole: "Pretend-to-be-flirty/dating/fill in the blank,until-the-fake-feelings-turn-into-real-ones. But that cliche completely works for me. It was a lot of fun to read. I also loved Tia's friends, and I can't wait to see what their superlatives books will be. The writing in Biggest Flirts is smart and keeps the tone of the book very upbeat. Biggest Flirts is great for flirty fun if you are looking to get lost in a nice book for a couple of hours.(less)
Lover, Divine is the first book in the Gods and Lovers series. This is an adult series, but it is also a prequel series for the young adult Prophecy o...moreLover, Divine is the first book in the Gods and Lovers series. This is an adult series, but it is also a prequel series for the young adult Prophecy of the Most Beautiful, book 1 in the Oracle of Delphi series. I didn't know this until I had almost finished the book. I read Prophecy of the Most Beautiful towards the end of last year, and I thought it was a great read. I love that there are now two series living in the same world. The Adult series are the stories of the Gods, and the Young Adult series is the story of the demigod children and the Oracle. Two different generations. It's really a cool thing that A. Star/Diantha Jones has created.
Lover Divine is the story of Apollo and a mysterious prophecy that has brought Siobhan into his life. In this world there are "influentional" families on earth that know all about the Gods and their rules and regulations from their land of Myth. These families act as an intermediary for the gods and help them carry out their wishes as their agents on earth. Siobhan is the daughter of one of the oldest influential families, the Law family.
When she meets Apollo, or Liam as she first knows him, she thinks he is an immortal created by one of the gods. I really liked how they clashed. He drove Siobhan crazy. They bickered and went back and forth all the time. I loved how inquisitive and questioning she was. She never took what he said at face value. She hated that he kept things from her and it was a constant source of fights for them. It made me admire her spunk and strength. She was not just going to bend to his will easily. I really liked how so much of their bond was through music. Apollo is the god of music and music is something that is so prominent and important in Siobhan's life as well.
Apollo was annoyingly cryptic throughout the book. He didn't reveal much about the fates and what led him here and he didn't really go into the prophecy in any real detail. He said that it had to be that way. It was very easy to see the differences in the characterizations of the Gods and of the mortals in this story. It felt very true to mythology. I also loved how devoted Apollo seemed to be to Siobhan. He didn't have to be at all, but you can tell that he truly cares for her. I hope in the next book in the series we get to see more of the two of them.
I am loving the world that A. Star has created and I can't wait to continue both series to see how they turn out and how they intertwine. I can't wait to find out more about the other influential families as well. (less)
The Kiss of Deception is high fantasy at its' finest! Oh, how I loved it so. This book is almost 500 pages and I could not put it down. I finished it...moreThe Kiss of Deception is high fantasy at its' finest! Oh, how I loved it so. This book is almost 500 pages and I could not put it down. I finished it in one night. It was that good. I was that person that brought my book everywhere with me. I read at the gym, I read while people were talking around me, I became a hermit just so I could keep reading. You get the picture.
Mary E. Pearson did a fantastic job. I loved how she set up the chapters. This is what we know when we start the story. A princess runs away right before her arranged marriage. There is an assassin sent out to kill her, and the prince sets off to find her as well. The chapters are are told from different points of view titled Lia (the princess), the assassin and the prince. When Princess Lia gets to a town far enough away she acts as a barmaid, when two different guys come into town- Kaden and Rafe. Now we add chapters from each of their point of view to throw into the mix. We know that they are the assassin and the prince, but the kicker is that we don't know which is which. I loved how Mary E. Pearson did that. I had my guesses, but we don't find out who is who until pretty close to the end of the book. It was a brilliant writing style!
Each of the characters had such distinct personalities. It was easy to see why both guys were fond of Lia. She is strong, independent, spunky and a free thinker. I admired her bravery. Kaden and Rafe were each good in their own way. I am not going to go too much into them because the mystery surrounding their identities makes reading the book so much fun.
The action and adventure that you love from High Fantasy is very abundant in The Kiss of Deception. I enjoyed their adventures and learning about the history of the empires in their world through the prayers and songs. The world building was rich and detailed. This is a series that I know I will be continuing. It goes down in my book as one of the greats in young adult high fantasy. Fans of Maria V. Snyder and of fantasy in general cannot miss The Remnant Chronicles. The Kiss of Deception is easily one of the best books that I have read in 2014. (less)
Hungry centers around a very unique plot line. It is a dystopian, and in some ways it is set up very similar to your typical YA dystopian. A power hun...moreHungry centers around a very unique plot line. It is a dystopian, and in some ways it is set up very similar to your typical YA dystopian. A power hungry government that demands complete control over it's citizens, while holding onto tons of secrets of their own. But in other ways, Hungry felt very different. The descriptions of the world captivated me. H.A. Swain immerses you in a world in the not so distant future that is so utterly different than the one that we know. There are still some grandparents and parents that were around when the world started running out of food. That is how quick of a timeline we are talking about.
I was confused about some of the background information, and a couple of logistics, like the whole oxygen issue if there were no plants and fauna around, but H.A. Swain quickly sweeps you into her crazy new world and you are lost in the detail and story line. I was so wrapped up in the story that I didn't even think of those questions again until long after I had finished the book.
Thalia is the main character, and from what I can tell her generation is the first generation born into this world of synthetic food drinks that supply you with all the nutrients you need and also make it so that you never feel hungry. I have to admit, that the technology aspect of this world completely fascinated me. The cars, the personal gizmos that everyone had, the social centers, all of it seemed so freakin' cool! I want a personal assistant gizmo and I don't care if that makes me weird that I want something from this creepy society.
Another thing that H.A. Swain did that I thought was brilliant was working social media and youtube esque channels into society. The job that you would get out of school was based on what kinds of popularity your personal reality video channel was getting. The more popular channels would get more product placement and sponsors which would mean more profit for the government. The social aspect of Hungry kind of reminded me The Lego Movie (which is excellent by the way.) It was very in the vein of Ayn Rand, with their whole big business (president business) and "profit is good" motif. I loved those undertones in the story.
Thalia is a great heroine. She is a little wacky and marches to the beat of her own drum, but she will not stop asking questions until she is satisfied with the answers. She is a free thinker and that alone made me love her. This became especially apparent when Hungry took a huge surprise turn and we stumbled upon the second/new society. I was not expecting that at all, and it was even creepier than the city! H.A. Swain really impressed me with the thought she put into her story. The detail and world building was beyond fantastic and the plot was very original. You kind of get two dystopian societies/governments in one with Hungry and I want more stories set in this world! (a prequel, a companion, anything!) (less)
This book just makes me happy. I loved the characters, I loved the romance, I loved the fence chats, and I loved the self discovery that was all packe...moreThis book just makes me happy. I loved the characters, I loved the romance, I loved the fence chats, and I loved the self discovery that was all packed into this little sunny looking book. This is a great fluffy read- perfect for summer. But don't let that fool you, this book is more to it than cute boys and romance. Oh, it has that too and it that part is wonderful, but this book also has some great discovery in it for the main character, Charlie.
Charlie grew up with all brothers. She is such a tomboy, and I loved every inch of her tall athletic self. She can play practically any sport, and she is not afraid to get in there and school the guys. On the Fence takes place the summer before her senior year in high school, and for the first part of the book Charlie spends all of her days playing sports with her brothers and their friends, including her neighbor Braden.
Charlie, her 4 brothers, and Braden all grew up together, and even though it was easy to pick out Braden as the eventual love interest, it didn't take anything away from the book. I loved Braden right off the bat, and then I loved him more at the fence chats at night, and I loved him even more when he told charlie not to change for a guy. Charlie got in trouble with her dad when she got a speeding ticket. Her punishment- getting a job at the mall. The job brought Charlie out of her comfort zone, but it also brought new friends and new experiences into her life.
On the Fence is everything you are hoping to find in a summer ya contemporary romance. There is a great guy, a spunky and fun main character, fabulous plot development and oh so many smiles. The fence chats were beyond adorable, and I found myself awaiting night time as much as Charlie, hoping her and Braden would end up by the fence and play their "who knows the other better" fact game. It was super cute. This book is not one dimensional though. Kasie West does a wonderful job making Charlie face her past. I really felt for Charlie. Overall, On the Fence is a top pick for ya summer reads. I dare you not to enjoy it!(less)
Open Road Summer is a really heartwarming tale of two best friends. Dee is a country music r...more**See this full review and more at http://bookbriefs.net**
Open Road Summer is a really heartwarming tale of two best friends. Dee is a country music rising star. She is a teen music idol, and she is going on a summer tour. But what is awesome about the story is that she is the famous secondary character. The main character of the story is her best friend, Reagan. We still got to see Reagan and Dee be goofballs together, but this was Reagan's coming of age story. Hers and Matt. Matt was part of a family tween music group and now he is a solo performer. Teen heartthrob- all that. He is just a big ole sweetheart.
Reagan is a tough nut to crack. She seriously does not give anyone a pass. You can easily tell how much she loves Dee and how she would do anything for her, but other than Dee everyone kind of got the tough girl act. She would not give Matt an inch when she first met him. I thought it was cute that Matt liked her feisty side, and it was so much fun watching them banter back and forth. I loved how great of friends Dee and Matt were and I thought it was sweet when Reagan finally decided that Matt had good intentions and started to open up to him.
Matt, Dee and Reagan were each dealing with their own demons, and throughout the course of Open Road Summer we got learn about all of them and watch how they handled them. It was really a great story about each of the three friends. It was easy to forget how young they were(17 and 19) because they were handling with such grown up things. But they each snapped once or twice. None of them were perfect. Sometimes they were immature, sometimes they would lash out at another one without meaning too. But they always seemed very real.
Open Road Summer is a book that will make you smile, it will make you frown. It will make you feel connected to each and every one of the characters. Emery Lord did a wonderful job with her debut novel. It is so easy to fall in love with the characters- even Reagan will steal a piece of your heart. Even with her tough chick act, and her steel walls; she will make you believe in her and make you root for her. There are no love triangles, no unsupportive friends, no huge jerks(well there is one, but he was in the past the whole time. So I should say no current jerks.). It is just a really great story about friendship and love. (less)