I am only slightly ashamed to admit that I watch reality TV show competitions, like Big Brother, Project Runway, and basically all the cooking reality TV shows. So The Selection by Kiera Cass immediately sounded appealing to me just based on the summary.
Initially, I was a little put off by the writing in The Selection. There were a couple of instances where I thought there was more telling that showing and I wanted the showing.
But honestly? At some point, fairly quickly into The Selection, the writing didn’t even matter to me. I loved the story in The Selection so much. It was just a ton of fun – and dystopians aren’t usually fun, per say. I liked idea of the caste system a lot and the idea of competing for the Prince’s attention. It was a combination of The Bachelor and Cinderella. And bonus heaviness with the war going on and what not.
As for the characters in The Selection – I’m usually team original boy, but I honestly really only liked Aspen in the beginning. When Prince Maxon entered the picture, I was like Aspen who? As for America herself, I was rooting for her the whole time and I liked her, but she wasn’t the most memorable protagonist. I liked her independence and determination, and I think she’ll become more memorable with the second book.
And the ending is just kind of wait, what, there needs to be more! Because it wasn’t necessarily a GASP DID THAT JUST HAPPEN cliff-hanger, but it was definitely not an end point in the story and I wanted to know what happened next.
If you like your dystopians a little bit lighter (you know, minus all the sobs and heartbreak and with bonus giggles) and a good dose of reality competitions, definitely check out The Selection by Kiera Cass....more
How do I even start reviewing The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin? Actually, let me start off by saying if you haven’t read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, you shouldn’t read this review. I won’t intentionally spoil book one, but just in case.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer is freaking nuts. I was up super late last night and I legitimately had to turn the lights on in the other room because I was so freaking creeped out. And I had to leave them on ALL NIGHT. The Evolution of Mara Dyer is literally some of the scariest shit I’ve read. Like mysterious dolls, stalkers, sleep walking, knives, you name it.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer has it all.
But we get some much needed answers in The Evolution of Mara Dyer…which of course leaves us with a billion and twelve more questions. Not to mention DYING for the third book because holy what the what the what.
And the SWOON. I wasn’t super impressed with Noah in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, although granted I just got back from living in London for six months and all British guys had momentarily lost any swoon from me. But MY GOD Noah is just jfe[aijfoeafaei in The Evolution of Mara Dyer. IOJFEAJFIEIAOI to the max. For two people who barely kiss, there is a lot of OIFEJAFEA;OIFEA in this one. I mean, wow. And normally I would probably be like really they love each other already whatevvvvss, but it totally works in this book and I didn’t even care because it’s freaking Mara and Noah and they’re meant to be, obviously.
Did I mention the major creep factor? And the AWESOME storyline? I really enjoyed The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, but I think this one was way more up my alley. I loved the intense psychological thriller aspect because we’re still in the midst of figuring out if Mara is just a legit psycho or if this shit is real and man, I love wondering that kind of stuff while reading a book. I love unreliable narrators and Mara Dyer is the freaking queen.
Gah, that brings me to the characters. I JUST CAN’T. I love Mara Dyer’s family to bits. Her parents, who love her so much even though she’s cray, and her brothers and how well they all fit together even though their personalities are all over the place but they still remain fairly stable despite, as I mentioned, the fact that Mara is cray. And Mara, of course, is AWESOME. She’s headstrong and stubborn and so complicated. She is the very definition of a beautifully complex character. I don’t think, even after finishing this series, I will ever know everything about Mara because there are so many aspects of her. She’s such an evolving character but she still has so much personality. Mara Dyer is definitely a protagonist that will stick with me for a very long time.
So yeah. Basically I loved The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. She really kicked it up a notch with this book, I thought. The Evolution of Mara Dyer was such a page-turner, even at over 500 pages or something ridiculous, but I had to force myself to stop reading and go to work. I could not wait to get back to it. And even now, after finishing it nearly twenty-four hours ago, I can’t stop thinking about The Evolution of Mara Dyer. I might even reread it because I kind of just want to live her world for a little bit longer....more
I cannot talk enough about how much I loved Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill (and I don’t think I have stopped talking about it since I first read it)! Seriously, this book is me…but in book form. Very rarely have I ever felt like an author sat down and was like, “Hmm, let me think of the perfect book to write for Tara.” But I totally felt that way with Meant to Be.
First of all, the setting. I lived in London for half a year last spring and there was so much of Meant to Be that was so familiar to me. Some of Julia’s experiences in London were exactly like my first experiences – I went to the same places and ate at many of the same restaurants and it was like I was reliving my time abroad all over again.
And Julia, the protagonist, is totally a straight-laced, uptight, always on time and always following the rules kind of girl. In many ways I found myself relating to her totally (but in other ways I just wanted to shake her and tell her to go have fun). I think she’s going to be one of those characters that people either really like or really dislike, and I definitely feel the former.
And the swoon! The swoon! I loved Jason, even though he was a total butthead at the beginning of Meant to Be. He kind of ended up as a total butthead in an adorable kind of way.
Yes, there was plot too, besides the traveling abroad and romance thing. Which I found to be super entertaining, even though there were a lot of bits I predicted, I still enjoyed the ride. Oh, and there were some bits I totally didn’t predict and it made me MAD for Julia even though Julia didn’t really react the way I would have. But in any case. The plot of Meant to Be is a lot of fun.
Basically – go pick Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill. It’s hilarious with a side of deep and emotional, not to mention the swoony romance and the awesome experience of traveling abroad for the first time. Lauren Morrill’s writing style is one that I loved and she’s definitely already landed herself on my auto-buy list.
I can't wait to get my finished copy of Meant to Be in my hands and reread it all over again.
Anna and the French Kiss has been hyped beyond belief in the book blogging community. Sometimes hype turns out to be really right, and sometimes it enAnna and the French Kiss has been hyped beyond belief in the book blogging community. Sometimes hype turns out to be really right, and sometimes it ends up letting me down. Either way, I knew I had to buy this book the day it came out. There was no way I could not.
And luckily – Anna and the French Kiss more than impressed me. In fact, I would go so far as to say it was my favourite book of 2010. Really. I really, truly mean that. There was such an awesome combination of various elements in Anna and the French Kiss that really worked and made it what it was. Separately, I don’t know that I would have liked it as much, but the way everything in the story came together rocked.
I am a sucker for boarding schools. And books that take place in foreign countries. And books that deal with issues other than just getting the guy. This book had several other issues – friend problems, parent problems, etc. I’m also a fan of sexy guys. And you know what? Not only was the love interest in this book totally sexy, he was British. Do you guys see how all these elements are starting to add up?
And Anna? I loved her. And I love Stephanie Perkins. I AM SUCH A FILM GEEK. So add into the melting pot of awesome elements Anna’s film geekiness that rivaled my own. Seriously. I want her to be my best friend. Anna is my version of Anna Reads and Makeshift Bookmark's Jessica Darling.
Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. Etienne St. Clair. I have no other words. Isn’t his name enough?
What really, really gets me about Anna and the French Kiss, though, is that Stephanie Perkins is a debut author. And she is phenomenal. Her characters, her story – her writing. She is phenomenal. Here, see for yourself -
"If this were vacation, I’m sure I’d be charmed. I’d buy an Eiffel Tower key chain, take pictures of the cobblestones, and order a platter of escargot. But I’m not on vacation. I am here to live, and I feel small." – Anna and the French Kiss, page 19
I just don’t know what else to say about this book. It is SO FREAKING GOOD. Stephanie Perkins has another book coming out , Lola and the Boy Next Door (2011), and recently announced the sale of her third book, Isla and the Happily Ever After (2012). Both are companion novels to Anna and I am so freaking ecstatic. Stephanie Perkins has wormed her way up my “will read anything by” list and I am so pleased she did!...more
Oh my gosh. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin is absolutely soul-sucking. What do I mean by that? I don’t know. I can’t explain it it! This book stole my soul! I started reading and couldn’t stop. Every free second I had, I would pick it up and read – even if I only had time to read a sentence.
And yeah, okay, there are flaws. There are cliches, and some of it is a bit WTF-erish, but so what? While I was reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I wasn’t thinking “that is so cliche” – I was thinking “OHMYGOD what happens next”. It wasn’t until after I finished and read other reviews that I recognized cliches. SO the moral is – enjoy The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer for what it is. Don’t analyze! Let it steal your soul. Hell, even sell your soul. It’s worth it.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer starts out with a note. And guys, it’s not an ordinary note. The note sets the tone for how awesome the whole book is going to be. In fact, it’s a soulsucking note. (I really do wish I could think of some other way to describe this book.) But seriously, every page made me want to read the next and the next and the next.
As for the characters – love Mara. I love her psychotic episodes and her reactions. I love her brothers very much. Daniel was very supportive and Joseph was hilarious. Spin-off series? And Noah Shaw? Don’t hate me, but I didn’t love him. He was cute, fun, intriguing, but I will not spend the rest of the week wishing I had a Noah Shaw of my very own.
The writing in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was absolutely phenomenal. Michelle Hodkin did a great job with POV and setting and descriptions and I just…I felt like I was Mara. I felt like I was going psycho and hallucinating (although it turns out that I really did see a roach and am in fact not psycho – just have great peripheral vision).
Let me just say it one more time – I sold my soul to Mara Dyer and Michelle Hodkin. Her writing was brilliant, her characters kicked ass, and there was so much going on throughout the entire book. And that ENDING. Mind blown. Do not fear the hype, embrace the hype, experience the hype. Check out The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer ASAP....more
This review might be kind of spoilish if you haven’t read Jane Eyre or don’t know the general gist.
This review was hard for me to write because I hateThis review might be kind of spoilish if you haven’t read Jane Eyre or don’t know the general gist.
This review was hard for me to write because I hate it when I don’t like a book. I really, truly wanted to enjoy this book. I loved Jane Eyre when I read it when I was younger and I love modern retellings of older books and fairytales. So, naturally, I thought this book would be great. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
There’s nothing wrong with the writing – April Lindner is clearly a talented author and her descriptions are well-done. I appreciate her work, but I just didn’t enjoy the story.
The characters, however, irritated me to no end. I understand it’s a retelling of Jane Eyre, so the personalities of the main characters were already there, but they were all so flat and stereotypical. It’s something that worked well in the 1800s, but didn’t translate very well today. Take Jane, for example. She’s supposed to be a shy, quiet nanny, which is what she was, but everything about her was so blah. Her parents didn’t love her as much as her older sister, she was poor, shy, couldn’t stand up for herself, never had a boyfriend – her personality just seemed so overdone to the point that it was pathetic. Half the time she was described as hiding in the shadows while everyone else around her had a conversation. Nico Rathburn is the same older, arrogant guy as Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre, except this time he’s playing the role of the typical burnt-out rockstar trying to make a comeback who’s not a very good father and seduces the much younger nanny.
The storyline was a decent adaptation from Jane Eyre. It’s hard to make everything connect from Jane Eyre because it’s such an old, out-of-date story, but I thought April Lindner did a decent job of taking the important plot points in Jane Eyre and merging them into a logical plot point of a modern day story. It can’t have been easy to explain the crazy woman living in the attack or the various fires. My favourite parts of the story, however, happened to be whenever Jane was away from Nico – when she was in New York, and when she was living in New Haven.
And that’s what really, really bugged me – the romantic relationship between Nico and Jane. It just made me feel like I was reading a fan fiction. The shy, college-aged girl falls in love with the middle-aged rockstar (who, of course, she claims she doesn’t recognize when she sees him on the street). There was really no chemistry in between them, and I feel like I must have missed the part where they fell in love – Jane went from being slightly frightened/appalled by him to lusting after him with a turn of the page.
Maybe I just wasn’t feeling particularly sappy when reading Jane, because a lot of other people have seemed to enjoy it, but it just didn’t sit well with me. I’m glad I read it – I really do like modern day retellings, but I wouldn’t read it again.
Mostly I wish the characters had been better developed. If Jane had come off as a character who had real problems in her life, but was still a normal teenage girl, I think the character and the story would have been more easily identified with....more
Guys, I am such a Kody Keplinger fangirl. I loved The DUFF and I loved Shut Out, and here she is with A Midsummer’s Nightmare, and I think I love it the most! Which is really saying something.
What I love most about A Midsummer’s Nightmare is how honest Kody Keplinger is. She doesn’t shy away from drinking or sex or anything else teenagers do, because it’s so real. I mean, I’m not saying I approved with Whitley’s choices, because damn, she made some terrible decisions. But I had friends just like her in high school (even eighth grade) and that’s why I love Kody Keplinger so much.
Also because A Midsummer’s Nightmare was steamy and swoony and I loved Nathan so much. I feel like after watching Clueless so many times, I’m totally jaded to the stepbrother dilemma, but I can see some people having an issue with that.
Whitley was definitely my favourite of all of Kody’s protagonists. She was messed up and she knew it and at some point, she started to take responsibility for that. She was angry and frustrated, but even still – she grew up. I loved her character growth, and I definitely felt her pain. Families are not easy.
Basically – I love Kody Keplinger and I love A Midsummer’s Nightmare. It was brutal and honest, with a heavy dose of swoon, and I seriously want to re-read A Midsummer’s Nightmare all over again very soon....more
OH BOY. I mean, really. You know those books that have you talking out loud to it, going “OH MY GOD” and “HOLYYYYY EFF” and “WHYYY WOULD YOU DO THAT?” Yeah? Well Cinder by Marissa Meyer is one of those books. And to clear up any possible misreadings of this paragraph, THAT’S A GOOD THING. Because Cinder is AMAZING.
I was literally freaking out throughout at least half of Cinder because it is seriously such a roller coaster of action and plot-ness and monarchies and sci-fi and romance and murder and plague and the future and seriously, not a single down second. Once I started reading Cinder, I did not want to put it down.
And yet? I never wanted it to end! I wanted to savour Cinder slowly, reading as little as possible so I would always have more. Clearly, I was conflicted about how to read Cinder.
But the characters – the futurisitic retelling of Cinderella and making it even more badass – it was all just so well done. And even though Cinder is a book with cyborgs and and androids lunar people and crazy mind control, it’s so visual and I could really immerse myself in the world.
And, yes, I’ll be honest, there was one major plot thing I saw coming a mile away (or from the start of the book) – but that’s okay! I don’t care – I WANTED it to happen.
I’m basically just fangirling like crazy at this point, but seriously, if you were thinking about skipping Cinder by Marissa Meyer, don’t. I can’t even recommend it to someone who just likes one genre – if you like books at all, you will love Cinder. ...more
It's really, really hard for to accept that this series is over. I shut Hidden by Sophie Jordan and immediately wished for more. I want to know what happens to Jacinda next, and Cassian, and Tamra! I need to know!
Like with Firelight and Vanish, I am totally Team Cassian all the way. I have the worst luck when it comes to love triangles cause I always pick the wrong guy. BUT I DON'T CARE. Despite Jacinda's feelings for Will, I remained Team Cassian throughout the entire series.
Anyway, back to the story. A LOT happened in Hidden. It picked up basically right where we left off in Vanish, thank goodness, because what an ending that is. And then there was almost no downtime throughout Hidden because there were rescue attempts and escapes and fighting and twist after twist, dude. I thought Sophie Jordan really amped it up in Hidden.
There was lots of character growth in Hidden. Whereas with Firelight and Vanish, they were all still trying to figure things out, but in Hidden I thought everyone kind of figured out who they were, what they wanted to do, and where they belonged, you know? I loved that aspect of it and I really felt like I grew with them throughout the whole series.
I thought Hidden was a brilliant ending to Sophie Jordan's series, full of action and character growth and twists galore....more
You guys, I don’t know where to begin with my love for Just One Day by Gayle Forman. First of all, I’m the loser that still hasn’t read If I Stay so, you know, this was my first experience with Gayle Forman’s books and it was such a good one.
I absolutely loved everything about Just One Day. I recently (like two years ago so not all that recent anymore, I guess) studied abroad and I really connected with Allyson’s adventures and experiences in her first time abroad. And freaking Willem. UGH, THE SWOON. What a guy, you guys, what a guy. The romance just killed me. It was so perfectly done – even though it only took place over such a short period of time, I didn’t feel like it was rushed at all. I felt like I was savoring every bit of it.
And the rest of the story in Just One Day – you guys, I sobbed. Ugly cried. I don’t know if I just really reacted emotionally to it or if anyone else sobbed, but I was like crying throughout a lot of this because I just felt so much for Allyson and everything she was going through. It was such a relatable and realistic story.
I cannot wait to hear Willem’s side of things in Just One Year. I need an explanation ASAP and I need to read more from Gayle Forman. Just One Day escalated to the top of my must-read-authors list and I can’t wait to get devour If I Stay ASAP.
Just One Day by Gayle Forman was an amazing and emotional contemporary that took me on a rollercoaster of adventure, romance, and all kinds of crazy emotions. Definitely go pick it up as soon as possible....more
Awkward by Marni Bates is one of those books that you read and think, “WHY didn’t I read this sooner?” See the girl on the cover? That was me throughout all of Awkward – I was a giggly, squealing mess because I was having so much fun. I was giggling in parts of Awkward that weren’t even particularly funny.
And Marni Bates knows teens. I just wanted to hug Mackenzie and be like I KNOW YOU. Awkward is so unbelievably relatable and embarrassing and I swear I was turning red with embarrassment for Mackenzie.
Oh my gosh, and LOGAN. I loved Logan. Logan is going to be one of those male fictional characters that sticks with me for a long time. He was just so interesting and normal and nice but still guy-like and just, so swoon worthy in certain moments.
Yes, the storyline in Awkward is RIDICULOUS but awesome. I mean, oh my god, just thinking about what got Mackenzie youtube famous hurts my heart with embarrassment and I know, or I hope, rather, that this won’t ever happen to anyone but it doesn’t matter because it is such a fun ride.
Guys, if you’re in need of the perfect hilarious and sweet and cute contemporary, go pick up Awkward by Marni Bates. It made my night infinitely better and I’m sure Awkward would do the same for you!...more
**spoiler alert** I’ve been looking forward to read Halo for a while now, and I’m so glad I finally got the chance. The cover is phenomenal and even i**spoiler alert** I’ve been looking forward to read Halo for a while now, and I’m so glad I finally got the chance. The cover is phenomenal and even if I hadn’t read such great reviews of it before I was able to pick it up from the store, I would have definitely bought it anyway without even reading the description.
When I first started reading it, I had NO idea Alexandra Adornetto is so young! She’s only a year younger than me, but most authors I read got their books published when they were mid-twenties and older, so I was super surprised when I found out. It also caused me to have a, “what have I been doing with my life?” angsty moment which is both good and bad because it made me want to write write write, but also caused me to glare at her twitter with envy.
The descriptions in this book are amazing. They’re detailed and perfect and create serious imagery, which as I learned in every English class ever, is the sign of really great writing. Which Halo has – lots and lots of really great writing. Sometimes when I’m reading a book, I’ll skim rather boring descriptions, but Halo had my complete attention.
I was a little iffy when I heard it was about angels. I don’t think I’ve ever read any books about angels before, actually. I won’t get into my own personal religious beliefs, but Halo, despite being about angels sent to earth to do God’s will, is not preachy at all. There’s a lot about doing good deeds and community service and all that, which I think is really important whether you’re religious or not, but Halo didn’t try to shove religion and belief systems at the reader, so that pleasantly surprised me. I would have been very upset if I picked up a book with beautiful writing and characters only to have them try to shove their beliefs down my throat, whether or not I’m religious. The plot itself was really interesting when it started to delve into the deeper issues of why the angels were sent to earth.
The book is long for a young adult novel – a solid 480 pages, give or take, so it probably comes as no surprise that some of it drags on a bit. Now let me just say this – I am not a sappy person. So to me, the parts that seemed way too long were the the parts with Xavier and Bethany being mushy. I really do like romance, but I like the dark and dangerous guys, not the doting, good, protective guys. Which is Xavier in a nutshell. I liked him as a character, I just wasn’t captivated by their relationship. So the first half of the book was a little slow for me, but definitely still good. And of course, I got really into it when Jake Thorn was introduced. He’s BRITISH, dangerous, good-looking, etc. Thank you, Alexandra!
I really, really liked that Gabriel was in this book. His name is one of the few angel names that someone will mention and I’ll go, “Oh, I know who you’re talking about!” so I really liked that he was included as an important character. I’m not sure if Ivy is a figure in religious history or not, but I really liked her character a lot as well.
Bethany is a great protagonist. I was worried I wouldn’t relate to her because she’s an angel and that just implies she’s super pious, but she really wasn’t at all. She was experiencing many of the same things that most teenage girls go through, and her being an angel made the experiences all the more interesting because of her internal struggle.
I love it when endings to the first book in a series is resolved enough so that you don’t want to cry in frustration when you finish, but cliff-hangy enough so that you’re excited for the next book. Halo is the perfect example of this. I’m not sure when Book II comes out, but I’m excited for it
Definitely pick up a copy of this book, even if you just want to see some examples of beautifully written descriptions. That was probably my favourite part – I loved reading all the details of Venus Cove and the world Bethany lived in....more
Live Through This by Mindi Scott is an unbelievably stunning, heartbreaking story. I am amazed by Mindi Scott’s storytelling capabilities – I can’t even imagine writing a story like this and still being able to include the beautiful, fun, light moments in such a perfect way.
Because Live Through This is an important and upsetting book. Sexual abuse is something that happens entirely too often, and the way Mindi Scott tells Coley’s story is just…perfect. We have moments where we’re giddy with Coley over the dorky and cute Reese, or we’re laughing with Coley and her best friend Noah (who I love to death, FYI), but there’s also this heavy feeling while reading Live Through This that we realize Coley must feel all the time because of what’s happening to her.
I was so tense while reading Live Through This – I loved the way Mindi Scott kept the identity of Coley’s abuser under wraps for a bit. I was tense and nervous and accusatory and my heart just broke when everything was revealed.
It’s really hard for me to write a full review of Live Through This. Mindi Scott delivers a heart wrenching book that made me laugh and cry and want to curl up under the bed and hide from everyone. Live Through This is a beautiful contemporary that portrays an issue that ought to be brought to light more often....more
I want to marry My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. It was one of those books where I wanted to raise it above my head and shout “Hey, this is me! In book form!”
Because My Life Next Door totally is. I mean, I don’t mean that the story necessarily relates to me if you gave it to me in outline form, but the overall feel and writing style and setting and characters and lots of family dynamics and all the little things adding up – my perfect kind of book.
IN ANY CASE. The writing style of My Life Next Door was beautiful and lyrical – I wanted to read it slowly, so I could really, really read it.
And the BUILD UP. There was so much build up in My Life Next Door. Just from reading the summary, you KNOW something happens. But the romance and the family is so beautiful and you’re just reading this perfect summer love but at the same time you’re like OH MY GOD WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN AND WHEN. I was so tense throughout most of My Life Next Door.
The characters in My Life Next Door were so well done. I loved Samantha, and even her mom, and all of the Garretts of course, because they were all REAL. They all had personality and a story.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick is not a debut you want to miss. It truly has it all – the perfect combination of summer, love, family, and the tragedy that’s always lurking right around the corner....more
Review to be posted on my blog closer to publication date.
I don’t even know where to begin talking about The Archived by Victoria Schwab. I am head ovReview to be posted on my blog closer to publication date.
I don’t even know where to begin talking about The Archived by Victoria Schwab. I am head over heels for The Archived. If you thought The Near Witch was amazing, you are just going to be blown away by The Archived.
I mean, for one thing – the story. I loved the world Victoria Schwab created in The Archived. There are so many elements to the world of The Archived, like the Narrows and the Histories and the Librarians and the Outer and the Archives and I just can’t with how beautiful it all was. I want to eat whatever Victoria Schwab is eating for breakfast because she’s got some legit creativity.
I loved Mac without a doubt. She’s ballsy and real and more than a little bit heartbroken and I felt all the things for her. I have a feeling she’s going to be a protagonist that sticks with me for a very long time.
And, of course, there’s unexpected bonus swoon. I don’t know why, but from reading the summary I just didn’t really expect there to be a romantic subplot in The Archived but there was totally was and I am totally a fan.
There’s a lot of flashbacks between Mac and her Da and they really helped to build the story up, I think. It was a great way to learn more about the world of The Archived without having information jammed down our throat.
Basically, get to a bookstore and preorder a copy of The Archived by Victoria Schwab. Because The Archived is a truly amazing story. Victoria Schwab’s second book is just amazing (and even more so, I think) than her first, and you don’t want to be the lame-o who misses out!...more
Okay. So after I finished Matched and was telling my boyfriend all about how awesome it is, I made the comment, “I normally don’t like dystopian/post-Okay. So after I finished Matched and was telling my boyfriend all about how awesome it is, I made the comment, “I normally don’t like dystopian/post-apocolyptic themes…” and then of course, he was like, “Uh, yes you do. Some of your favourite books are dystopian! The Giver, The Uglies series, that one zombie book (he meant The Forest of Hands and Teeth), and now you’re going crazy over this book.”
And you know what? He’s totally right. I love dystopians. They freak me out, but I love them. And Matched is absolutely no exception. I was giddy from the very beginning (although to be fair, my giddiness might have been a result of my natural craziness). I absolutely loved Cassia and her family and Xander and Ky. Cassia’s narration provided great history and insight into her world, without sounding like the author was reciting background details at us. She really felt like a typical teenage girl (although she was missing basic hormones), but in an entirely different world than we’re used to.
I can’t tell you if I liked Xander or Ky better. I mean, really. I think I like Ky more, but Xander was so nice and it’s just so hard to choose for me. Anyway! When you guys read the book, please let me know!
Story-wise, I mean, it’s been done before. It felt like I was reading a mash-up of The Giver and the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield. But I didn’t think that was a bad thing! I love those books and while this definitely had a lot of the same elements, it felt like a new take on it. The ending wasn’t unpredictable or anything, but it definitely left a good set up for the next book.
So yes! I think you should read Matched, if you haven’t already. I really enjoyed it, and I can’t wait for the next one which come out sometime in 2011....more
My love for these books is pretty ridiculous. I just get so sucked into the world Kiera Cass builds in The Selection and The Elite. I love the drama aMy love for these books is pretty ridiculous. I just get so sucked into the world Kiera Cass builds in The Selection and The Elite. I love the drama and the competition and the characters.
I even love the characters when I hate the characters. You guys, everyone kind of sucks in The Elite - they make terrible decisions and same dumb things BUT IT'S OKAY. Because even when I was practically shaking my book in WHAT THE HECK MAXONness, I was also like "Oh, this is just so good."
I just love the story of The Elite. I'm a sucker for dystopianish stories and I'm a sucker for reality shows - there's nothing about The Elite that doesn't appeal to me. I had some issues with The Selection where I felt like there was a lot of telling vs showing (I know, it's annoying that I just said that, but it's true), but I didn't get tripped up on anything like that in The Elite.
I'm still Team Maxon. I love the idea of Aspen - and probably in any other case, I would be Team Aspen all the way because I'm always either Team Original Guy or Team That One Guy Who Doesn't Have a Chance, but for whatever reason, it's Maxon all the way for me. And I could still be Team That One Guy Who Doesn't Have a Chance - I genuinely don't know where it's going to go!
Either way, I'm beyond stoked for book three. If you're looking for a fun and engaging dystopian series, I definitely recommend picking this up! And if you enjoyed The Selection, be sure to pick up The Elite by Kiera Cass!...more
Alright, I really, really liked Reboot by Amy Tintera. I thought the concept was super awesome and Amy's storytelling skills are superb. I was just totally sucked in. I am a slow reader lately (sigh), but Reboot was one that I just had to finish the same day I picked it up.
I enjoyed both the story and the characters in Reboot. I thought Wren was a badass and I really enjoyed her character progression in Reboot. I loved seeing the process of her slowly starting to gain humanity and seeing the way it screwed with her head at first. It's amazing that we have a character like Wren who is so strong and cold and brutal, but then also we can also really relate to her because who doesn't remember their first awkward and strange crush?
I also really liked Callum and Wren's best friend. They were great characters and I thought Amy did a great job creating their characters and making their personalities pop. Callum didn't quite make my favourite love interests of all time list, but I have a feeling with the second or third book, it may be possible. He is kind of adorable.
And the storyline in Reboot - loved it. I loved reading about the future in Reboot and all the gruesome things people are going through. I'm a sucker for rebellion stories, and Reboot is no exception.
I thought the ending was pretty much perfect - just enough to leave me feeling content, but still dying for the next book.
You guys, I definitely recommend Reboot by Amy Tintera. It's a solid and enjoyable story - definitely a bit of fresh air to the dystopian/sci-fi genre. The story will suck you in and the characters will keep you there. Amy Tintera presents a fantastic debut with Reboot and I absolutely can't wait to get my hands on the second book in this series! ...more
“Oh my jeebus.” This was essentially the phrase that echoed throughout my head while reading Delirium. I am SUCH a huge fan of dystopians and with so many coming out lately, there are lots and lots for me to read. But Delirium? Was good on epic levels. Seriously.
I looveeeeed Delirium. I loved Lena and Alex and Hana. Seriously, almost all of the characters in Delirium probably made it to my top favourite literary characters ever. They all had such varying personalities and they all progressed and grew up throughout the course of just ONE of the books in this trilogy, which is what characters should do, and I just fell in love with them.
Lena, especially. I love how she was raised so strictly to believe that love was a disease, and she even had past events to back up her beliefs, rather than just being told. She’s seen the harm love can cause people. But she grows and she learns and she experiences and it’s just…great.
And – hello! What a genius idea for a book, by the way. Love being a disease? Being treated for it at the age of 18, thereby rendering it harmless? It’s like every other dystopian book in that, at a certain age, everyone conforms to the same idea, same system, etc, except in Delirium, Lauren Oliver used love as the central focus point. Freaking brilliant.
The writing in Delirium is just…I don’t have any words for how well Lauren Oliver was able to describe each character, each thought, each conversation, the beach, the evaluation room…I just thought the writing was absolutely phenomenal.
Seriously, pick up Delirium. It’s an absolutely fantastic dystopian by an absolutely fantastic writer. The storyline, the characters, the writing – it all just combines into one awesome book that sucks you in and you won’t want to put it down. I’m so glad it’s a trilogy, because I am really, really looking forward to reading more by Lauren Oliver....more
All of my blogger friends have been buzzing about Easy by Tammara Webber for some time – literally straight up raving about it. It took me a while to be up to reading Easy because I am a little wary about books with the relationship as the main plot.
But Easy seriously surprised and impressed me. For one thing, the sexytimes are abundant and they are definitely sexy.
Also, there is rape. Attempted rape and rape and it is such an important topic and I loved the manner in which Tammara Webber handled it in Easy. I want to hand Easy to every one I know and just be like “educate yourself but also enjoy this awesome book.”
I loved Jacqueline and Lucas. I totally saw that one twist coming, but I think it was supposed to be more of a twist for Jacqueline and boy, was it ever. But Jacqueline was an amazing protagonist and so relatable to college girls everywhere. She grows so much throughout the course of Easy and she learns about herself and what she wants from life and how to get what she wants. She’s admirable and gutsy and real.
And Lucas. THE SWOON, Y’ALL, THE SWOON. He is an AMAZING love interest and he has definitely made his way up into my top ten list (although I have not yet decided who he knocked off). He had character and baggage and brains and goals and I just love him.
The moral of the story is – if you were like me and you put off reading Easy by Tammara Webber, please make your way to the store (or e-store of your choosing or library or whatever) and get a copy. I absolutely loved reading Easy by Tammara Webber and I could not put it down. The characters are tangible, the sexytimes are so well done, the story is engaging and entertaining, and the subject matter is unbelievably important....more
I enjoyed Vampire Academy a lot. As the first book in the series, I thought it was excellent. So imagine my surprise/glee when I started Frostbite andI enjoyed Vampire Academy a lot. As the first book in the series, I thought it was excellent. So imagine my surprise/glee when I started Frostbite and I realized that they really do just keep on getting better.
Frostbite really gripped me from the first few pages. I loved the new characters that were introduced in this book, like Aiden and Christian’s aunt, and I loved getting more of Mason and Christian. There’s so many characters in this series and I can totally understand why it’d be difficult to make them all seem real, but Richelle Mead didn’t let it stop her. She clearly didn’t want any of her characters to be flat.
I also enjoyed reading the characters outside of St. Vladimir’s. As much as I love boarding schools, I really liked being able to see even more of the awesome world Richelle Mead built. Even if it was just a ski lodge and a town a little outside of it, it was still cool to see how the moroi/strigoi/dhampirs functioned outside of St. Vladimir’s.
And jeez, the main storyline was totally epic. The climax blew me away and I definitely cried. A lot. I won’t get into any spoilers, but I just felt so bad for Rose and all she’s been through, and she’s just so brave and strong and awesome. Seriously – Rose is an amazing protagonist. She definitely has her flaws, but that’s what makes her so real.
The further delving into the bond between Rose and Lissa, as well more explanation to why it existed was really neat. Richelle Mead really thought about what she wanted the bond to achieve and why it existed, and that was evident.
I also loved getting more of a backstory on Rose herself. Her mother played a role in this book and it was interesting to actually read her first hand, rather than reading Rose’s vague reminiscences of what childhood she had.
And, ooh, Dimitri! I mean, I don’t really have anything else to say about that, but I love all the bickering between him and Rose. It was cute. It was also very natural feeling. While I liked Aiden in this book (sort of), I wasn’t really all that into him. He’s way too cocky, but I’d have to see how he is in future books to really make up my mind.
Overall, Frostbite was fantastic. It exceeded the first in awesomeness. When I finished it, I knew I had to run out to the store and buy Shadow Kiss right away....more
No, but really. REALLY. Stephanie Perkins is a badass.
I loved Anna and the French Kiss on so many levels. I cannot say enough good things about. Which is why I was really, really, really excited to pick up a copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door at BEA. SO excited. I almost cried and hugged the Penguin publicist.
And it totally lived up to my expectations. Lola and the Boy Next Door is damn good – just as good as Anna and the French Kiss. I mean jumping up and down good.
Let’s talk about the CHARACTERS. Because Stephanie Perkins writes some badass characters. Lola is great. She’s so different than Anna and spazzy and original and artsy and creative and so utterly relatable in a way that only Stephanie Perkins’ characters can be. I know some people like Lola more than Anna and I can see why, but Anna is me in literary form and therefore she automatically wins. But Lola still rocks and it’s so much fun to be immersed in her book.
And Cricket! You guys have already heard a lot about Cricket but CRICKET! There’s really nothing I can say that you’ll understand until you read the book other than CRICKET!
And Lola’s two dads – I have so much love for diverse family relationships and I love reading about them and I love Stephanie Perkins for helping to create Lola’s character in such a complex way that involves these two dads who are so awesomely real themselves and I just….gah. All of the characters in Lola and the Boy Next Door are basically awesome.
Honestly, if you haven’t read Anna and the French Kiss, you need to do it like, last year. When it came out. And you need to read Lola and the Boy Next Door when it hits shelves this month. Because Stephanie Perkins is definitely one of my favourite authors ever. After TWO BOOKS. I mean, really. Go read these books!...more
I’ll admit - I was totally not expecting to love The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams as much as I did. I’m not usually a fan of reincarnation stories - it usually involves soul mates and blahness that I’m just not a fan of BUT. BUT. The Alchemy of Forever is totally different.
The beginning of the story was very set-up ish, but I’m glad for it. Otherwise we would have been dropped into the story with no real explanation. Which would have been really confusing. So YAY for the set-up. Also, it was pretty interesting, too!
But the actual story - I really liked Seraphina as a character. Her guilt over her past and her struggle against Cyrus and then the struggle with the fact that she’s enjoying being a normal teenage girl and all of that really kind of made her dimensional to me.
And the romantic interest - I loved him. And I felt SO BAD FOR HIM.
Okay and the ending. I was really, really not expecting that and I literally went “WTF!” on the last page and reread it like three times. I even had to explain the whole story to my boyfriend because I needed someone to WTF with me (he was not as helpful as I hoped).
Basically, The Alchemy of Forever is an awesome book, much more awesomer than I originally gave it credit for. If you’re a fan of immortal body swapping and cute romance and WTF endings, definitely check it out!...more
Excuse me while I fangirl over how freaking awesome Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock is! I mean, Hemlock is LEGIT. I thought I was kind of over werewolves and what not, but Kathleen Peacock sucked me right back in with Hemlock!
I mean, okay, first of all – the plot in Hemlock is EPIC. It’s werewolves, but it’s not your typical always hiding from people werewolves. Because everyone knows the werewolves are there and there’s organizations to get rid of them and organizations that support werewolf rights and basically Kathleen Peacock creates a world and storyline of epic in Hemlock.
OH AND OKAY, I’m jumping ahead here, but THE ENDING. I didn’t see the end of Hemlock coming at all. I legit had NO IDEA that’s who the killer would be and I was so happy with it.
Loved the characters. Cue lots of swooning over Kyle. I do mean a lot. And I thought Mac was such a teenager, and I loved it. Her best friend died and she blamed herself and she felt guilty and sad and I LOVED it. Because it felt so real, even though she’s surrounded by werewolves. She was also determined and loyal and normal. I mean, she got scared when she had a huge werewolf coming after her. She didn’t try to pet it or anything, she was terrified. NORMAL. LOVE IT.
To sum it all up – Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock is not to be ignored. Hemlock is an epic debut with awesome characters and a unique plot that is sure to suck you in. Even if you’re not into werewolves – even if you’re totally over werewolves, check Hemlock out....more
I was very, very hesitant about starting Bloodlines. Because I loved the Vampire Academy series more than I can adequatelREVIEW ORIGINALLY POSTED here
I was very, very hesitant about starting Bloodlines. Because I loved the Vampire Academy series more than I can adequately express in words. And what if Bloodlines wasn’t as good? What if it ruined the Vampire Academy series for me?
Okay, okay, so I was really nervous starting Bloodlines. You get that. Well, it turns out – I had absolutely no reason to be. Because Bloodlines definitely kicked this series off to a fantastic start.
Like the first book in the Vampire Academy series, there was a lot of world building in the beginning of Bloodlines, which had be a bit nervous. When I say a lot of world building, I mean a lot. A good 200 pages or so. So I remained nervous. But THEN I saw how all the elements in the world that was being built were coming together in this really badass storyline that I NEVER SAW COMING. Well, sort of. At page 352, or something like that, I was practically screaming at Sydney because she was taking forever to figure it out.
A lot of people have told me that, after reading Bloodlines, they like Adrian more than Dimitri. I didn’t get that, but I definitely do like Adrian more than I did in the Vampire Academy series.
And okay the ENDING. It made me giggle and squeal and when the hell does The Golden Lily come out? Freaking MAY of 2012? Not soon enough, Richelle Mead – not nearly soon enough....more
Oh my gosh, you guys, I cannot properly express my love for Decked with Holly by Marni Bates. I absolutely loved Awkward – I was cracking up like crazy throughout the whole book, but I thought Decked with Holly surpassed it.
I made the mistake of starting Decked with Holly late at night while my boyfriend was trying to go to sleep and I swear he almost shoved me off the bed, I was laughing so hard throughout the entire book. I absolutely loved the concept of Decked with Holly. I’m such a sucker for YAs involving famous people because they’re so much fun and I feel like Marni Bates really set the bar.
I LOVED Holly. And Nick’s nickname for her – “Holly Disaster” was so spot on. She was such a hilarious and real character with all sorts of insecurities but they were so relatable. I really liked Nick, even though he was a total jerk in the beginning, I was able to get where he was coming from.
The situations and interactions in Decked with Holly are phenomenal. I was absolutely in stitches in the scene where they first met. Like crying laughing. I just can’t even.
Y’all, Marni Bates is a hilarious and brilliant author. She had me laughing with Awkward and laughing so hard I was crying with Decked with Holly. I cannot wait to get my hands on more books from her – and if you haven’t read this series before, you really need to get started!...more
Witches kick ass. They’re seriously my favourite “paranormal” creature. Who doesn’t love magic and spells and what not? So when I first read Hex Hall, I loved it immensely. As such, I had very, very high hopes for Demonglass. Rachel Hawkins did not let me down.
All of my favourite characters were there in all their glory. Sophie was just as snarky and badass as she was in the first book, but her character grows. She’s starting to care about her responsibilities and the importance of self sacrifice. Archer, despite all the controversy surrounding him and his involvement with the Eye, totally stole my heart. Cal did try very hard to worm his way in, though.
I loved getting to know Sophie’s father more. We didn’t get much from in the first book, but he was featured more in Demonglass. Jenna wasn’t as prominent, but I enjoyed the bits she was part of very much.
Another thing I really liked about Demonglass was that it took place during the summer time. When you look at stories and shows that feature schools (think Gilmore Girls and several series by Tamora Pierce), they always take place during the school year and then the next installment picks up at the beginning of the following school year. But not Rachel Hawkins. She wrote the entire book set during the summer. That’s pretty awesome.
And of course, I can’t forget the storyline itself. I really only have two words for it – freaking awesome. There is way less world building in this one and it just keeps hitting you with twist after twist. I was not expecting more than half the things that occurred during Demonglass.
Overall, Demonglass just plain out rocked. Not even the ending was flawed. Rachel Hawkins produced a wonderfully exciting sequel to Hex Hall. I have no doubt it will leave many readers begging for the next book, as it did me....more
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer is one of those books that I thought looked interesting, that I thought I would like, but totally took me by surprise not only in story but also without how much I genuinely loved it.
Storm starts off with a bang. There’s enough so I can get a sense of Becca and what her character is like, but then there’s action almost immediately and I was immediately sucked into the story because I had to know what was going on in Storm.
I was initially concerned by the fact that there might be some sort of love square or love pentagon or something, because all of the brothers in Storm are smoking. I would have been happy to see Becca with any of them. Luckily, I guess, that of course was just my imagination and it sorted itself out. But man, these brothers. Love them all.
And the story that goes down in Storm? Loved it. Storm is the only real elemental focused book that I can think of off the top of my head, so it was all original and interesting to me. I loved the lore Brigid Kemmerer built up around the brothers – the backstory and lore was definitely well crafted.
I loved the way certain bits of information were revealed. There’s some pretty important pieces to the whole Storm puzzle that are only revealed a little at a time and I loved it. Sure, I was a little confused in certain parts, but I loved the guessing and I was shocked when I finally figured it all out.
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer hooked me, you guys. I picked it up yesterday and read half and literally could not stop thinking about it until I was able to pick it up again and finish. The story is exciting, the characters are smoking, and I cannot wait for the second book, Spark! Definitely do not miss Storm – it’s an absolutely amazing debut!...more