Seen at Bookish Antics! Middle-grade novels are usually pretty hit or miss for me because I have such high expectations for them. Pennyroyal Academy isSeen at Bookish Antics! Middle-grade novels are usually pretty hit or miss for me because I have such high expectations for them. Pennyroyal Academy is an adorable, imaginative fantasy that will totally warp your view of fairy tales forever and will put a smile on your face. This isn’t your classic Grimm fairy-tale, there is no happily ever after and no one rides off into the sunset, but it’s still oh so good. Even when this book borders on ridiculous, it still manages to be a ton of fun and extremely entertaining.
Imagine a school where princes and princesses train to fight off witches and dragons — a place where princesses don’t rely on princes to save them. Evie is the victim of a memory curse and is drawn to Pennyroyal Academy where she becomes a student. Something that Evie doesn’t know is that her past is stranger than she could ever have imagined. If Evie can survive a year of Princess training exercise, she’ll be sent off into a war against the witches and nothing will ever be the same.
In one of the opening chapters, one of the characters is asked why they want to be a Princess and they’re kicked out of the Academy for saying it’s because they’re looking for Prince Charming. This simple plot point meant the world to me because it totally subverts the misogynistic nature of fairy tales and it sets such a gender positive role model for readers. Little girls shouldn’t be taught that they need a Prince to save them, they should know that they can be the heroes of their own stories and Pennyroyal really exemplifies that.
To prepare for an eventual war against the witches, the characters undergo training to weed out the weak and incapable. I really enjoyed reading about the diverse set of activities one needed to be a proper Princess, but it soon became apparent to me that they were way too many trials. Some of the trials were bland and blended into each other in my mind, making the plot slower and a bit tedious to get through at times.
I’m aware that M.A. Larson is a television writer and this really translates into cinematic, clever plot twists in Pennyroyal Academy. I truly didn’t see the twists in this book coming and they were perfectly thought-out, adding an extra layer of excitement to the plot. The plot was complemented by atmospheric world-building that immersed the reader in a world of danger and beauty, unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s clear that Larson’s isn’t just a fine television scribe, but also an excellent novelist. I’ve heard that Pennyroyal Academy is in development to be a movie with Reese Witherspoon and I totally believe that Larson should pen the script.
Pennyroyal Academy is an excellent middle-grade novel that will appeals to fans of The School For Good And Evil and The Land Of Stories. This is a novel that parents will love to read to their kids and kids won’t want to read just one chapter! I’m quite excited to read more of Evie’s adventures at Pennyroyal and I hope the sequel lives up to my high expectations....more
Seen at Bookish Antics! It’s been so long since I’ve read a great book about witches so I was drawn to Salt & Storm in hopes that it would be absoSeen at Bookish Antics! It’s been so long since I’ve read a great book about witches so I was drawn to Salt & Storm in hopes that it would be absolutely amazing. It took me a while to get into this one because this book is a bit slower paced than the majority of YA novels that I usually read. Kendall Kulper does craft a terrific magical society in S&S that’s extremely impressive, albeit a bit familiar and Prince Island is a setting that I loved reading about.
Prince Island needs the Roe witch, they depend on her to keep their whaling economy in check and to make sure everything runs smoothly. Avery always wanted to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and to be the Roe witch, but her mother refused to let her tamper with magic. When Avery dreams that she’s going to be murdered, she knows that this is it for her because she’s never prophesied wrong.
Salt & Storm has an exciting opening chapter which sets up the world of Prince Island wonderfully, but the plot loses a bit of steam after that. Kulper is an excellent writer, but the beginning of this novel is just too slow-paced and I have a feeling that some readers may abandon this novel a few chapters in. Once Tane is introduced, Salt & Storm really kicks off and this novel became a lot more engaging and interesting to me. I really liked Tane even though I’ve seen similar reiterations of his characters plenty of times before. The tattooed, vulnerable guy is a character that’s nothing new, but Kulper manages to make him extremely likable and makes his relationship with Avery feel fresh and exciting.
It’s odd, but my favorite characters in Salt & Storm aren’t any of the teenage main characters. My favorite characters are definitely Avery’s grandmother and Avery’s mother because these two women were so dangerous and spontaneous. One really never knew what to expect from these two matriarchs and they were such intense, complex characters.
I really loved the atmosphere and setting that Kulper created in Salt & Storm, readers will easily embrace Prince Island. The historical aspects of the island are pronounced well and the way Kulper intertwined the island’s whaling industry with magic was superb. I didn’t know anything about whaling prior to reading this but it’s obvious that Kulper definitely did her research and her take on whaling feels authentic. The world-building in this novel is excellent and extremely atmospheric; I practically felt the wind and seabreeze while reading.
The magic system in Salt & Storm is well-developed and I fell in love with it almost immediately before realizing that I’ve seen this riff on magic before. I did enjoy exploring Avery’s magic and her limits on her power, but it wasn’t extremely unique. That being said, I was able to predict the big magical plot twist towards the end of this novel and it felt rather obvious to me. I’m usually not the best at predicting plot twists and it’s not a good sign when I see what’s coming next in a novel.
Salt & Storm is a well-written stand-alone with a gorgeous setting, but parts of it feel a bit trite and like they’ve been recycled. All things considered, I really enjoyed this novel and I absolutely loved the historical aspects of this novel. I’d definitely read another novel by Kulper in the future and it’s exciting to hear that there’s a prequel to Salt & Storm in the works (hopefully about Avery’s grandma!)....more
Seen at Bookish Antics! Trial By Fire is one of those books that has an amazing premise, but I really wasn’t a fan of the way Angelini wrote it. A majoSeen at Bookish Antics! Trial By Fire is one of those books that has an amazing premise, but I really wasn’t a fan of the way Angelini wrote it. A majority of Trial By Fire is filled with info-dumping, telling and poor writing which made TbF a struggle for me to get through and I constantly had to push myself to read more. The plot and characters were also weakly constructed and I wish I had abandoned this book early on because TbF’s weaknesses greatly outnumbered its strengths.
Lily Proctor is angry at her sort-of boyfriend after he cheats on her and she is whisked to a parallel universe of Salem. This isn’t the Salem that she grew up in and this is a magical world ruled by Lilian (an alternate, doppelganger-esque Lily) who rules with an iron fist. Soon, Lily is taken under the wings of a group of rebels who want her to overthrow Lilian and restore peace to New Salem.
Right off the bat I knew I wouldn’t like Lily because she immediately decides to risk her health and well-being over a guy. He clearly wasn’t worth endangering her life over and I expected a character like Lily who is supposed to be extremely intelligent to realize that. I can understand if this happened once, but Lily decides to put Rowen (her love interest) before herself repeatedly. Lily makes countless foolish and rash decisions throughout the novel and I just couldn’t root for her character at all.
The romance in Trial By Fire was extremely disappointing and read like ‘insta-love’ to me. Even though Rowen wants to kill Lily initially that doesn’t stop her from falling madly in love with a guy she’s just met. I never liked Rowen because it was obvious that he wasn’t telling Lily everything and that he was trying to be secretive. Their relationship was never developed and it moved along at a lightning-like speed; Lily and Rowen’s relationship felt very superficial and I just didn’t enjoy their romance at all.
I didn’t expect Angelini’s writing to be so problematic considering so many readers have fallen in love with her Starcrossed Trilogy. I hate to say this, but Angelini doesn’t know how to use commas and it felt like she was randomly throwing in commas in certain spots just for the heck of it. Her comma usage in many sections of the novel disrupted the flow and the cohesiveness of TbF. Angelini also kept on telling readers information, instead of actually showing readers what was going on; a little bit of telling is fine, but when the majority of the novel is telling it becomes a problem.
I loved the idea of a matriarchal society run by witches, but I couldn’t handle how Angelini included so much info-dumping. Instead of easing readers into this magical world, she immediately thrusts them into the world and throws clumps of information at readers constantly. I definitely think Angelini had some clever ideas for the magical system in TbF, but I couldn’t become immersed in this world. The explanations for much of the terms that Angelini uses weren’t sufficiently explained and I felt like the differences between a crucible and other types of witches were weakly described. The way Angelini establishes the idea of parallel universes in this novel is shaky and a bit convoluted; the whole matter with spiritwalking was never cleared up and always remained a mystery to the reader.
I kept waiting for Angelini to integrate the Salem Witch Trials into the plot, but this never occurred. I expected that TbF would involve the witch trials considering it takes place in Salem and that Lily’s last name is Proctor (John Proctor was one of those accused of being a witch in Salem and is one of the main characters of The Crucible). There a few loose connections to the Trial, but Angelini never substantially links TbF to the infamous trial. It would’ve been perfect if Lily’s situation had paralleled the trials in some way and would’ve added another intriguing factor to the plot.
Trial By Fire was an extremely slow-paced novel where not much seems to happen for the majority of the novel. I zoned out several times while reading this novel and if I had skipped to the ending right after reading the opening chapters, I wouldn’t have missed much. The plot, characters, and writing didn’t sit well with me and didn’t allow me to become addicted to this novel. I doubt I’ll be picking up the sequel and I have a feeling that this series just isn’t for me, which is really disheartening. If Trial By Fire is anything like the Starcrossed Trilogy, I’ll probably skip that series too because I don’t think I’ll enjoy it!...more
What happens after the shocking conclusion of Beautiful Redemption? What happened to all of our beloved Casters who readers absolutely love? DangerousWhat happens after the shocking conclusion of Beautiful Redemption? What happened to all of our beloved Casters who readers absolutely love? Dangerous Dream answers all those lingering questions that readers had about the Caster Chronicles and sets up the spin-off, Dangerous Creatures. This is a short, but magical novella that fans of Beautiful Creatures will absolutely devour.
Dangerous Dream brings readers to Lena and Ethan's graduation where Principal Harper is attempting to rap. This short taste gives readers an excellent opportunity to revisit their favorite characters and experience Gatlin one final time. Just as Ethan and Lena are moving on to college, so must we readers move on and the tone of this novel is a bittersweet. Though reading Garcia and Stohl's writing style is like being reunited with a familiar friend, it's impossible not to feel upset about the closure of this series. Readers' time with Ethan and Lena feels a bit too short, but it is full of the swoon-worthy romance and hilarious banter that readers revel in.
The 2nd portion of Dangerous Dream is essentially a transition to Dangerous Creatures. It shifts the scene to NYC and now we get to hear what happened to Ridley after graduation. I really loved reading more about Ridley and how conflicted she was about her relationship with Link. Dangerous Dream truly ends on a cliffhanger and teases reader what's going to come next for Link and Ridley. My excitement for Dangerous Creatures has considerably risen after reading Dangerous Dream and I'm dying to find out what happens next.
Dangerous Dream is an excellent novella that does an excellent job of tying up the Caster Chronicles with a nice, neat bow and helps transition readers to the Dangerous Creatures series. This is truly a must-read for fans of this series and I think it's extremely necessary to read this before you read Dangerous Creatures. Though Lena and Ethan's story is finished in Dangerous Dream, their story lives on readers' hearts....more
Witchstruck is everything you'd expect from a book about a witch in a Tudor Court. There's secret paramours, court politics, magic, intrigue and tons of historical context. Witchstruck definitely delivers an exciting novel with a historical backdrop. I'm pretty impressed with Lamb's debut for the most part and it's definitely worth reading.
For me, the best comparison I can make regarding Witchstruck is "Grave Mercy meets Anne Rice." Readers will get all of the historical, court politics they loved in Robin LaFevers' YA novel along with the peculiar, magical happenings of Rice's novels. The difference between the two aforementioned authors and Lamb is that I didn't really fall in love with Witchstruck or it's characters. Yes, I enjoyed Witchstruck and it's characters were fairly interesting, but it's just not a book that will stick in my mind.
I really felt like I understood the urgency of being a witch in such a dangerous time. Lamb really conveys well the high-stakes, tense feeling that any moment Meg will be found out and hell will break loose. I really wanted to see more of Meg's magical abilities and I felt that the author really didn't take advantage of the situation. There wasn't nearly enough magic enough in this book and I really could feel its absence. You would a novel about witches wouldn't suffer from this kind of a problem? I understand that Lamb wanted to include historical events and romance, but I just couldn't believe that this book didn't have enough magic to satisfy me. The magic I did end up reading was extremely interesting and that made the absence even more noticeable.
The relationship Meg had with Alejandro de Castillo really mirrored Ismae and Duval's relationship in Grave Mercy. That isn't a bad thing per se, but the whole romance really felt like a deja vu to me and I couldn't shake off this feeling. I know it isn't Lamb's fault at all, but I just couldn't gloat over a relationship when it just felt so eerily similar to another literary couple. The romance in Witchstruck didn't really have as much depth as I would have liked.
I kept waiting for that moment in Witchstruck when Meg would finally surprise me with her strength. Meg is a witch so why does she need Castillo's help so often? I really didn't like how she seemed to rely on Castillo so often especially when the Spanish is supposed to be England's enemy. Why does Meg seem to shake off the idea that Castillo is the enemy so easily? Not to mention the fact that he's training to be a priest, that plot line didn't blend with the romance at all. The whole priest affair seemed to have been disregarded so easily and it never was dealt with in a proper manner.
Witchstruck isn't the best witch novel by any stretch, but it was pretty enjoyable. I'm not sure if I'd like to continue the series at this point, but I am not ruling out the possibility at the moment. Witchstruck really adds nothing new to the paranormal or historical fiction genres, but it's worth reading. For those looking for a quick, light read, Witchstruck will fit your criteria perfectly!...more
Spellbinding is a quick read about a girl named Abby who discovers that she is the descendent of a witch from Salem. It's an interesting concept bogged down by a mediocre plot, uninteresting characters, and a dreadful romance. I really wanted to like Spellbinding, but it was executed terribly. Spellbinding is filled to the brim with cliches and generic, overused paranormal tropes.
It's kind of ridiculous when a quarter of a book is devoted to something so painfully obvious. Even if I had not read the description for Spellbinding, I would have figured from the first chapter that Abby is descended from a Salem witch and is a witch herself. The author made it so obnoxiously obvious with so many clues and it was ridiculous that it took Abby so long to figure it out. When the fact that Abby is a witch is revealed, the author treated it like it was such an unpredictable plot twist. Too much time is devoting to Abby finding out she is a witch and my interest quickly slipped away due to the predictable nature of the novel.
Truthfully this novel reads like it could be for middle-schoolers or even younger. Despite the fact that this book is about a teen in high school, this novel feels very childish. Everything is so obvious as if the author thinks that her readers are dimwitted. I really don't think I would have even liked this in elementary school because this book is truthfully very transparent and it seems to lack any proper conflict. Any conflict is treated with such disregard and it didn't feel like there was any tension at all. The writing is extremely bland to put the icing on the cake and the characters are about as interesting as cardboard.
The romance feels like something out of elementary school where kids can hold hands and they are automatically "going out". I'm not sure if the characters even hold hands or kiss more than once. The protagonist Abby instantly falls in love with 2 guys creating a nonsensical love triangle, despite the fact that Abby lacks chemistry with either guy. Elementary and Middle School relationships are a lot more intimate and intense than the romance in Spellbinding.
The only thing I can say that Spellbinding has going for it is it's readability. This book was such a quick read and I didn't feel like reading it was a chore. I was surprised how fast I plowed through this novel despite the fact that it didn't look so short. If the author had included some substance in this book this could have been a fun, quick read.
Despite the fact that this book is plagued with cliches, it wasn't exactly a tortuous read. This is definitely one of the worst paranormal novels I've ever read, but I can't bring myself to give this book one star. One star would imply that I hated it, but my feelings for this book are more complex than a simple one star. Spellbinding is a poorly thought-out novel that was extremely unsatisfying and dull. ...more
Everything about Falling Kingdom made me desperately want to read it. Falling Kingdoms has received fantastic reviews, it hasSeen at Scott Reads It
Everything about Falling Kingdom made me desperately want to read it. Falling Kingdoms has received fantastic reviews, it has been compared to LOTR and Game of Thrones, and it is a magical high fantasy. I am seriously convinced that Morgan Rhodes (a.k.a Michelle Rowen) wrote this book for me exclusively (I am only kidding!). Everything I love in a book makes an appearance one way or another in Falling Kingdoms.
Falling Kingdoms has a really complex story line so I am no going to bother to explain the plot. There are 3 kingdoms called Paelsia, Limeros, and Auranos; a war is brewing between the kingdoms. The story switches from the perspective from 4 characters who are unrelated in the beginning but in the end their fates intertwined beyond measure.
I think the most remarkable thing about Falling Kingdoms is not the plot but the characters. All the characters in Falling Kingdoms are extremely well developed and believable. In the beginning I had a bit of trouble remembering who was who and what kingdom they were from. Once I found the character sheet, differentiating between the characters became a cinch. Trust me in the first few pages the character sheet will be an invaluable tool ! I really liked the way Rhodes portrays the antagonists because they aren't viewed as purely evil. The antagonists are not depicted as wholly evil and they are described as having a "kernel of good". To most people this may not seem like a big deal but I hate when villains are portrayed as being evil to the point where they are completely inhumane. In my opinion even the most evil of people have even the tiniest bit of good in me. When characters are solely evil, it becomes harder to connect and empathize with them.
Of all the characters in Falling Kingdoms my favorite was Princess Cleoina without a doubt. Through thick and thin Cleo proved herself to be a true heroine and I just loved everything about her. Even when Cleo managed to screw up royally, I couldn't help but continue to root for her. Cleoina is one of my favorite female protagonists due to many factors. First of all Cleo is completely believable everything about her felt so raw and genuine. Cleo wasn't perfect but her flaws never bothered her once. Unlike a bunch of female protagonists, she wasn't insecure and she didn't complain how she isn't drop dead gorgeous.
The way Rhodes manages to pull of the switching of perspective is quite brilliant because I really enjoyed seeing the story from so many different perspectives because you really get a sense of what living in all 3 kingdoms is truly like. I didn't think this technique would work so well because I thought the alternating perspectives would become convoluted and confusing.
Why do people find incest so fascinating? Honestly between Flowers In The Attic, Star Wars, Mortal Instruments and A Game Of Thrones I feel that the world has enough incest. Incest isn't something I enjoy reading about at all yet in Falling Kingdoms I feel the incest aspect was executed phenomenally. Even though I don't approve of incest at all, I really liked Magnus's character dynamic. His "romance" with Lucia adds a lot of tension, suspense, and plot twists. Even though incest creeps me out, I can't really imagine Falling Kingdoms without it because it feels essential to the story.
The mythology of the 3 kingdoms is truly spellbinding and intriguing. It amazes me how Rhodes managed to create such complex yet interesting myths. Falling Kingdoms just wouldn't have been the same without all the tales of the Watchers. Were-Hawks anyone? The incorporations of these myths into the main plot line kept me on the edge of my seat through out the novel. The complex mythology was not original but it also was executed well.
I could go on and on describing my fan boy love of Falling Kingdoms. Where can you go wrong with a fast paced plot, a complex plot-line numerous plot twists, and tons of magic? Falling Kingdoms has made me realize that it's been too long since I have read high fantasy. I look forward to the next installment in the Falling Kingdom series immensely. I hope Rebel Spring has all the gory battle scenes, magic, high stakes tension, and fantastic character development that made me love Falling Kingdoms. I hope to get to read A Game of Thrones this year but it's length is very intimidating. I highly recommend Falling Kingdoms without a doubt in the world to all fans of fantasy!...more
After reading the Hex Hall series, I agreed that I would read anything by Rachel Hawkins. So when I saw there was a Hex Hall spin-off, I just had to read it. I was to excited to return to the world of the Prodigium and I am pretty disappointed.
I expected at least one or two of my favorite characters from Hex Hall to make a cameo in School Spirits. You would think Sophie would visit her family members? Sophie and Archer are barely mentioned in this book and the reference is about making out. Izzy wonders how to make out with a guy and she thinks about her cousin making out with Archer. Sure Torin, Izzy, and her mother make an appearance but other than that this book is nothing like Hex Hall. The humor and wit that I loved in Hex Hall didn't really exist in this book. Almost everything that Izzy said wasn't fun in my opinion and I just didn't like Izzy as much I liked Sophie. All of the jokes didn't seem natural at all and they felt extremely awkward. I felt like Izzy was trying to way too hard to be funny but funny isn't really her thing.
Basically this book is an average YA contemporary book with little segments of paranormal events sprinkled in. For a good part of the Izzy is trying to be like a normal girl and she's constantly fawning over Dex. Why did Hawkins have to mention around 20 times the magazine articles about making out and being a teenager girl? I know Izzy is a teenager but she was extremely angsty to the point where I got irritated. The paranormal aspects of this book aren't really a major focus in this book. Hawkins is more concerned with writing about Izzy's guy problems and how she deals with them than the actual paranormal trouble.
The paranormal parts of the book are just your average ghost story. There is nothing truly unique about the ghost in this book and this ghost story reminds me of a 1000 or so stories I have read before. I feel like this story had the potential to be a spectacular story but Hawkins really let me down.
From this review it sounds like I absolutely hated School Spirits but that's not the case. I did like Izzy even though I didn't find most of her jokes funny (I do admit that I found a few of them funny). I also really liked Dex's character because he was kind of quirky in a good way. Dex isn't really your average YA character and I appreciate that Hawkins thought outside the box when developing Dex. Another thing I enjoyed is the lack of a love triangle because YA books are saturated with them. As usual Hawkins's writing style is a treat and makes this book extremely engaging to read. Even though there were a number of things I didn't like, I still felt this urge to keep on reading. The plot twist at the end of School Spirits completely caught me off guard and I didn't see it coming (The only thing that bothered me about the ending was Izzy's mom, I didn't really expect her to agree to that ridiculous arrangement. It seemed so out of character for her considering she is so strict.)
School Spirits is a pretty average contemporary/paranormal book. This book certainly isn't as good as the Hex Hall books but it is still a fun book. I was pretty disappointed with this book and I just hope the sequel to this book is better. Fans of Hex Hall will definitely enjoy this fun spin-off, I seem to be the odd man out when it comes to this book.
Check out Scott Reads It for reviews, giveaways, & more! The Hex Hall series is one of my all-time favorite YA series and ever since I heard abouCheck out Scott Reads It for reviews, giveaways, & more! The Hex Hall series is one of my all-time favorite YA series and ever since I heard about Rebel Belle, I had been dying to read it. Rebel Belle is just what you would expect from Rachel Hawkins: a fun, hilarious adventure with an incredibly witty protagonist. Rebel Belle is unlike anything I've ever read before and it is a perfect blend of romance, the paranormal, mythology, and humor. I can't emphasis enough how much fun I had while reading RB and how much I enjoyed it.
Rebel Belle isn't your average paranormal story. It all starts when Harper undergoes a weird, traumatizing experience at Homecoming. Instead of reveling in Homecoming, Harper is attacked in the ladies' room and she is mysteriously given super powers. Harper is now a paladin and her mission is to protect her enemy, David Stark. Rebel Belle is filled with magic, romance, and wit, this is a must-read for fans of Hex Hall for sure.
I loved everything about Harper Price from her no non-sense Southern personality to her intense determination to be the best at everything. Price is absolutely hilarious in all the right ways and readers will immediately fall in love with her. I really enjoyed her snarky humor and Harper always managed to put a smile on my face with her attitude that was a mix between a Southern Belle and an Amazonian warrior. Harper is an intense character and she's the type of character that doesn't take no for an answer, I absolutely love reading about strong female heroines like Harper.
David Stark is my favorite kind of protagonist, he's wonderfully nerdy. David is the head of the school newspaper, he loves to wear sweaters, and he always knows exactly what to say. David is such an interesting character and I absolutely loved reading about his interactions with Harper Price. In the beginning, I really didn't like David at all, but he grew on me extremely quickly. David is an unusual sort of protagonist that we don't often see in YA novels and I really appreciate how Hawkins decided to include such a refreshing character. Often when YA novels have nerdy characters they usually read like stereotypes, but David Stark is quite the opposite. I loved reading about David and I really can't wait to see more of him in the next book in this series.
If you thought that the paranormal genre is over saturated with werewolves, vampires, mermaids and angels, you're in luck with Rebel Belle. Rebel Belle takes classic Arthurian mythology and combines it with a Southern setting to create a brilliant story. This is one of the most original paranormal books I've read in years and there isn't a single dull moment in Rebel Belle. Readers will be engaged by the intense action, swoon-worthy romance and witty banter in Rebel Belle. You don't want to miss out on Rebel Belle, I promise you that.
Rebel Belle is a Southern delight that readers will absolutely savor and it's one of my absolute favorites of 2014. This is the perfect book to read on a dreary, rainy day because Rachel Hawkins's snappy, clever dialogue can put a smile on even the grouchiest of people. I'm beyond impressed with Hawkins and she managed to blow my mind with Rebel Belle. ...more
Thank you Sandy Klein Bernstein for providing me a copy of The Door In The Sky in exchange for a honest review. First of all when Sandy approached me on Goodreads about her book The Door in the Sky I was very skeptical because I don't usually read books like this. Anyway I decided I would go against my judgment and I'm happy I did.
The Door in the Sky is a book that readers of all ages will enjoy. It's a heartwarming, fun, and quick read that will convert reluctant readers into avid readers. Yes it's that good! The adventure begins when Ricky gets a message from the stars saying: "Come back here at midnight, Ricky" at a show in the Chicago Star Museum. Soon Ricky, and his sister are cast into the kingdom of Gladoren.
This is a book that will lure you in from the first sentence and you won't be able to stop reading. Sandy Klein Bernstein expertly creates a debut that is original as it is entertaining and funny. There were many moments while reading that I just couldn't stop smiling. I truly fell in love with Gladoren and I really wish the sequel was out already.
What really surprised me about The Door in the Sky is that it's self published? I think every publisher would clamoring to secure the rights to this series once they read The Door in the Sky. I really wish this book got more publicity because it really deserves alot more attention.
The Door in the Sky was a spellbinding and magical read that really engrossed me. Clear your To-Read lists and make The Door in the Sky your next read. I just couldn't bare to stop reading this at all. The Door in the Sky is a witty and original adventure that fans of Narnia and Harry Potter will immediately devour. I really liked how The Door in the Sky wrapped up nicely but still left opportunity for a sequel. I definitely want to read the sequel and I can't wait! The Door in the Sky is a solid debut that I'd definitely recommend....more
Check out my blog for reviews, giveaways and so much more! Siege And Storm was easily my most anticipated book of 2013. I passionately loved Shadow AnCheck out my blog for reviews, giveaways and so much more! Siege And Storm was easily my most anticipated book of 2013. I passionately loved Shadow And Bone, so I had extremely high expectations for this book. Siege And Storm is even better than Shadow And Bone, I didn't even think this was possible! Siege And Storm is easily one of the best books I've ever read to date. There are no spoilers for Shadow And Bone or Siege And Storm!
I love the world of the Grisha. Leigh Bardugo created such an original, intricate world that is so beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Ravka is one of all time favorite literary worlds and I would love to visit it. The map in this book is so beautifully done and I love the artist's interpretation of the stag. While I was reading S&S, I wasn't in my home reading, I felt like I was actually in Ravka. Leigh Bardugo is an incredible talented author and her writing is so immersive that I actually felt like I was in Ravka.
I'm sorry it's hard to express how much I love this book. The hardest reviews to write are definitely for the books I love, it's odd but I can write negative reviews in a cinch. Siege And Storm will mess with your emotions and tear your heart out. Bardugo is a master at manipulating her reader's feelings, one moment you can be laughing from Sturmhound's humor and the next second you could be crying your eyes out. This is an emotional novel so you might want to keep some tissues handy because the ending is a killer.
In Siege And Storm, the reader is introduced to some new characters. My favorite new character is Sturmhond who provided a ton of comic relief to this epic, dark tale. While reading there were so many times Sturmhound said something extremely exceptional so I decided to update my Goodreads status with the quote. Soon I realized I would be updating my status literally every 5-10 pages, so I decided to quit updating my status. The Darkling isn't in Siege And Storm for a good deal of time but that didn't bother me at all.
Leigh Bardugo's writing is spellbinding and gorgeous. I am convinced that Bardugo is some sort of Grisha that feeds off readers' emotions and uses the energy to write this trilogy. No ordinary person can write in such a captivating way, so Bardugo must be Grisha. There is no other plausible explanation. Leigh has confirmed that she bathes in our tears and feeds off our feelings. I just knew it!
The ending of this book was such a cliffhanger and I can't bear the wait till book #3 comes out. I was bombarded with so many emotions at the ending and it was too much to handle so I had to vent on Twitter. In Siege And Storm, Bardugo reallys know to mess with readers' minds and twist their emotions. I'm convinced that Leigh is related to the Darkling because that ending was so cruel yet so fantastic. Siege And Storm is a gut-wrenching book, I told you Kleenex would come in handy!
I can't recommend Siege And Storm enough! Thank you so much to Macmillan and Henry Holt & Co. (BYR) for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a honest review. Siege And Storm is easily of the best fantasy books and it is a must-read. Seriously I would highly recommend pre-ordering it because it's that superb. I am so excited for the Fierce Reads Tour so I can meet Leigh and discuss the trauma she put me through with that ending! If you haven't read Shadow And Bone, you are missing out one of the best YA books ever written. I kid you not. Siege And Storm has earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf, I'm sorry but I won't be posting a giveaway for this book! ...more
Check out Chosen At Nightfall's trailer! Ever since I read Born At Midnight, I have been an ardent fan of Shadow Falls and C.C. Hunter. It's been a reCheck out Chosen At Nightfall's trailer! Ever since I read Born At Midnight, I have been an ardent fan of Shadow Falls and C.C. Hunter. It's been a real honor and privilege being a Shadow Falls Street Team member. Chosen At Nightfall exceeded all my expectations, and it's the best Shadow Falls book. Chosen At Nightfall is by far one of the best conclusions to a series I have ever read.
Kylie has begun to learn more about who she is and what being a Chameleon really means. In Chosen At Nightfall Kylie has to decide whether she wants to be with Derek or Lucas. Not only does Kylie have to consider how she will be affected by her choice, but also the collateral damage of her choice. With both Derek and Lucas, there is so much at risk but so many different opportunities. Besides dealing with love and her powers, Kylie has to deal with her mother.
Chosen At Nightfall is a book that is not only touching, it's also extremely addicting to read. C.C. Hunter's latest book provides an emotional, heart-wrenching, and action-packed resolution to one of my favorite series. I loved how Chosen At Nightfall explored growing up, family, and relationships.
In my opinion Shadow Falls is not just a paranormal series, this is a series about learning and accepting who you are. Shadow Falls is truly a coming of age story that many readers will be able to relate to. Kylie has truly transformed since we met her in since we met her in Born At Midnight. She is still hard-headed and stubborn but now Kylie is alot more mature and rational. The fact that Kylie chose which guy she wanted to spend her life with, wasn't just a romantic gesture. Kylie's choice symbolized that she had fully matured and that she was ready to move on to the next stage of life. Kylie is now moving onto the next stage of her life and it's time for us readers to move on too.
Everyone is probably dying to know who Kylie ends up with but I think all Shadow Falls fans will be satisfied with Kylie's choice. It doesn't matter whether you're Team Lucas or Team Derek, you will love the ending of Chosen At Nightfall. C.C. Hunter concludes the love triangle in a way that's best for all 3 characters. You might not like who Kylie ends up with but you'll agree that it was the best choice for Kylie. The romance of the Shadow Falls is ended on such a high note and I loved the way C.C. Hunter neatly wrapped up all loose ends.
Chosen At Nightfall is C.C. Hunter's best book yet! I didn't think it was possible but C.C. Hunter out did herself with Chosen At Nightfall. Chosen At Nightfall has something for everybody: romance, intense action scenes, heart-breaking and emotional moments, and a bit of mystery. Shadow Falls outshines all the other paranormal books on the market. I am extremely excited to read the Shadow Falls spin-off and all of C.C. Hunter's upcoming books. Chosen At Nightfall is a must-read & I'd highly recommend it! If you haven't started Shadow Falls, what are you waiting for? ...more
I really don't think C.C. Hunter's Shadow Falls series could ever disappoint me. Whispers at Moonrise is a fast paced, funny, and action packed book that will definitely make you beg for Chosen at Nightfall. A part of me was so happy and a bit upset while reading this penultimate book in the Shadow Falls. I was happy because I was really enjoying reading Whispers but I was also upset because I realized there is only one more book left in this series. Thankfully C.C. is writing new books and I really can't wait until we found other more about these books.
Nothing is what ever it seems at Shadow Falls! Kylie is seeing the ghost of her mentor and camp director, Holiday but Holiday isn't dead! How can Kylie be seeing the ghost of someone who isn't dead? Kylie is still dealing with the pressure of finding out who she is and trying to figure out if she loves Derek or Lucas more.
C.C. Hunter is one of my favorite authors and Whispers at Moonrise is a fine example why I love her books so much. There is never a dull moment ever in any of her books because you get so involved and connected to each character. My favorite character in this series is probably Della because how funny she is when she's with Miranda. The love triangle in Shadow Falls is still going strong but I think I definitely like Derek better. Just read this book and you'll see why Derek is better!
Whispers at Moonrise was an enjoyable read that kept me on the edge of my seat. There were tons of plot twists that really caught me by surprise. C.C Hunter has definitely wrote another amazing book in this magical series that readers will love. If you haven't read any of the Shadow Falls books what are you waiting for.Fans o f True Blood and Mortal Instruments will definitely love this book! Whispers is just what fans of the series will love and will keep them yearning for the conclusion of this fabulous series! ...more
If you haven't read Born at Midnight what are you waiting for? Check out my review Not too long ago I read Born At Midnight and I really liked it. IIf you haven't read Born at Midnight what are you waiting for? Check out my review Not too long ago I read Born At Midnight and I really liked it. It was natural that I would read Awake at Dawn and I'm glad I did. Kylie has a spirit visiting her, saying that she has to save someone but the ghost won't tell her who. Lucas ran away with Fredericka but visits her in her dreams. Derek wants Kylie to forget Lucas but how can she? Shadow Falls is a series that is very addicting! C.C. Hunter created a world that is so interesting to read about. I feel like I really know Kylie and her Shadow Falls campmates because C.C. Hunter writes in a way that's just so realistic, and developed. Just when you think something is going to happen C.C. throws in a plot twist. The love triangle in this book is really great. Lately I have been tired of love triangles with the surge of love triangles in the YA Market. Shadow Falls is a love triangle like no other because you won't be able to decide who you like better! Lucas and Derek may not be human but they still aren't perfect. Awake at Dawn ended on a real cliffhanger and I must read the next book. If you're looking for a fast paced contemporary and paranormal romantic adventure you're in for a treat. Fans of Sookie Stackhouse and Mortal Instruments will love this well written story that will keep you on the edge of your seat! Also check out 10 Things you'll learn from Whispers at Moonrise! 4/5 Stars ...more
The Lineup: Cassandra Clare , Holly Black , Kate Milford , Diana Peterfreund, Sara Ryan , Scott Tracey,Robin Wasserman, Kendare Blake,Gwenda Bond, Sarah Rees Brennan,Rachel Caine, Sarah Cross, Kami Garcia, Michelle Hodkin, and Kelly Link.
The Review: It took a lot of talented and amazing people to make Shadowhunters and Downworlders great. I'm really impressed how great this book was and that's all because of the awesome lineup. Shadowhunters and Downworlders is definitely the best anthology ever, no questions asked.
I didn't expect to like Shadowhunters and Downworlders at all because I expected boring and voluminous essays. I am happy to say that I was definitely pleasantly surprised. Shadowhunters and Downworlders is nothing short of spectacular. You get a great analytical look at the Mortal Instruments series which really helps you understand Clare's series in a new way. I saw a completely different view of the series that was groundbreaking.
All of the essays in this Mortal Instruments Reader are very easy to read but very informative. Particularly my favorite essay was by far: "Simon Lewis: Jewish, Vampire, Hero. My favorite character from MI was definitely Simon and Michelle Hodkin's input on Simon was very interesting. This essay has so much to learn from it such as about Judaism, the history of Vampires, and what it means to be a hero.
Shadowhunters and Downworlders is an essential for all fans of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments. This anthology really proves again and again why MI is a phenomenal series. Shadowhunters and Downworlders is a spectacular insight into the universe we all love. If you're a fan of Cassandra Clare you must have Shadowhunters and Downworlders on your bookshelf. Read Shadowhunters and Downworlders you definitely won't regret it. This book really made me even more excited (and I didn't think it was possible) for the City of Bones movie, and the release of Clockwork Princess. ...more
Find this at City of Books! The 3rd His Dark Materials was entertaining but I felt like Philip Pullman dragged it out too long. I loved the mulefa an Find this at City of Books! The 3rd His Dark Materials was entertaining but I felt like Philip Pullman dragged it out too long. I loved the mulefa and the Gallvespians who are creatures who debuted in this book. I wish the book was only told from Will and Lyra's POV not Mary or anyone else because that added so many different plotlines. As Usual Pullman's world was very interesting and creative. The plot was very detailed and interesting but it was tedious. I really wish I had a daemon which is a person's soul in the form of an animal companion. I felt that having a daemon would be really awesome because who wouldn't want to have an elephant or penguin following you around? Pullman really outdid himself with all the amazing world building and creatures but the plot and pacing are good! If you liked the previous books in the trilogy you will probably like this book. I think that if the book was shorter and a little more fast paced I would have really liked it. Though The Amber Spyglass isn't the strongest book in His Dark Materials it is entertaining and wraps up the series nicely. 3 Stars -Scott ...more
Seen at Scott Reads It "Is death the end . . . or only the beginning?" Beautiful Redemption was a shocking but beautiful conclusion to The Caster ChroniSeen at Scott Reads It "Is death the end . . . or only the beginning?" Beautiful Redemption was a shocking but beautiful conclusion to The Caster Chronicles. I definitely enjoyed it but not as much as the other books in the series. For those who don't know, The Caster Chronicles is a 4 book series that started with Beautiful Creatures and it is a love story unlike any other. If you haven't read any of the past 3 books in the series or plan on reading the series, stop now because there will be SPOILERS.
Unlike most series, The Caster Chronicles is told mostly from the point of view of a teenage male. Ethan Wate is definitely one of my favorite male protagonists from a YA novels because he is realistic. Ethan isn't some sparkling vampire who saves his girlfriend from werewolves or he isn't fighting some fight to the death. Ethan is just a some-what average teen who just wants to lead a normal life. One day he meets Lena, a caster who changes his life for better (or worse).
Beautiful Redemption ended exactly where Beautiful Chaos left off with Ethan Wate dead after his heroic suicide off the Gatlin Water Tower. Ethan is dead in some sort of weird afterlife for people who still have unfinished business with the living. The whole execution of the afterlife was very original and brilliantly done. Ethan is trying to cope with Lena's absence while trying to find a way to get back to his love.
Beautiful Redemption, like all of the other novels in the Caster Chronicles are ridiculously long. I don't mind the length but more so the pacing. Beautiful Redemption starts off with a bang but from there it went a bit downhill. There was way too much moping Ethan Wate and not enough of the take action Ethan I find awesome. Once Ethan starts his quest at a second chance at life, the pacing really went alot faster. Ethan's quest was action-packed and gripping.
Another segment of Beautiful Redemption is Lena's point of view which sounded almost exactly like Ethan's point of view. I didn't really mind because it was definitely entertaining and interesting. I guess since Ethan and Lena spend so much time together, their voices sound very similar. Lena is trying to help Ethan with his quest from the real Gatlin but I did prefer reading Ethan's segment of the book.
As usual I love the second characters in the Caster Chronicles because they really complete the series. Linkubus was his usual hilarious self and he is still trying to cure himself of Ridley-fever. Ridley is supposed to be a dark and evil character but I can't help but like her. Ridley is really a lollipop craving teddy-bear inside, I just know it. Liv and John Breed are not my favorite couple because honestly they have some pretty tough competition (Ethan + Lena, Link + Ridley).
Gatlin, sweet ol' Gatlin! You may just seem like a Southern town but you're nothing short of extraordinary. The Caster Chronicles is one of those series where the setting isn't just a setting. Gatlin feels like home to me even though I have never lived in the South. Gatlin is an unique setting that is unparalleled in any novel. It may not be a dystopian society but I don't care! Gatlin may not exist in reality but it does exist in fans' hearts.
The conclusion to The Caster Chronicles isn't perfect but it's still pretty darn good. The writing adds a Gothic flair that adds a strange and mythical feel that really engrosses the reader. Beautiful Redemption started off slow but by the time it reaches it's final sentence, fans will be in tears. Beautiful Redemption was nothing short of addicting and I have high hopes for both Garcia and Stohl's upcoming books. I am so pumped for the Beautiful Creatures movie, I can't wait to be astounded.
Dead Reckoning is the 11th book in Charlaine Harris's bestselling Sookie Stackhouse serieSeen at Scott Reads It
There will be some minor spoilers.
Dead Reckoning is the 11th book in Charlaine Harris's bestselling Sookie Stackhouse series. It's not necessarily a bad book but I had difficulty getting through the first half of the book. I hate leaving books unfinished but I just couldn't read any more. I had started reading in August and didn't finish until this week (nearly 5 months later). I was in the mood for something light on New Year's Eve so I decided to pick up where I left off.
The Sookie Stackhouse series started off in 2001 with Dead Until Dark. In 12 years Sookie Stackhouse has really going through alot including murder plots, a bombing, an affair with a weretiger, being attacked by various supernatural creatures and so much more. She has fallen in and out of love multiple times with different men. There is something addictive about this series but the series started to lose steam with Dead In The Family. Dead In The Family was ridiculously slow paced and nothing seemed to happen as I recall. (I even went back on wikipedia and read the plot summary yesterday. I didn't miss anything by the way and I could tell why I hated it.)
Dead Reckoning was very mediocre for the majority of the book. Much of the book follows our protagonist Sookie Stackhouse following errands and talking to Eric about a murder plot on Victor. Sookie got on my nerves several times during Dead Reckoning and I hated how helpless she kept acting. In the first nine books Sookie would always be brave and couragous but lately she has been so helpless. When danger arrives at her home Sookie just runs to Bill's house, strips down, and jumps on naked Bill. Yes, you heard me right.
"Sookie" he murmered. "Bill, thank God you're awake." "You're unclothed." Trust a man to mention that first.
Sookie what is wrong with you? You come to Bill's house in the nude and you have the gall to think Bill is hitting on you. Personally Bill is one of my favorite characters but I wanted to cringe during this scene. It felt unnecessarily awkward and so unlike Sookie. I think Harris was trying to make it seem like Sookie isn't completely head over hells for Eric but it just made me feel disgusted. Then Harris being the writer she was, added some unnecessarily added a peculiar Alcide scene.
There was someone in my bed. "Excuse me?" I said. Alcide Herveaux sat up. He was bare-chested. The rest of him I couldn't see under the sheet.
Alcide decided to takes his chances now that Sookie and Eric broke the bond. Do you really think showing up naked in Sookie's bed will make her love you? I seriously couldn't stand many of the characters in this Sookie Stackhouse novel because they weren't the characters I loved in the first 9 books. All the characters were complete repulsive strangers to me that lacked common sense. The two characters I didn't mind in this book were Pam and Bill. I felt really bad for Pam with the whole Miriam and Victor situation. It wasn't Bill's fault that Sookie ended up naked in his house. So many of the scenes in Dead Reckoning were frivolous and were complete drivel. I don't understand why Harris added all these scenes that were unnecessary and as a result Dead Reckoning's plot didn't flow well. Literally half the book was scenes like this one:
Just in case, I stopped at the Piggly Wiggly and got some. Grabbed up some milk, too. And some bacon. I hadn't had a bacon sandwich in ages.."
I don't know about you but I don't like reading about a character doing errands. I wanted to see some awesome vampire action scenes or maybe a little bit of mystery. The name of this series is Southern Vampire Mysteries yet there is no actual mystery in this book. Besides the fact that Dead Reckoning lacked mystery and conflict for the majority of the novel, the novel also had some terrible dialogue. "What?" "You heard me. I am so angry with you." He really mean it. "Come here," I said. "No.." Where's the humor and the witty dialogue that I loved in previous books.
The last 1/3 of Dead Reckoning deserves it's own paragraph because it's the best part of the book. I actually enjoyed the ending so this book because there was finally some action! The ending was the most well written part of the book and it lacked the cringe-worthy dialogue that made the first half intolerable. I really liked the way this book ended and I will be reading the sequel. The ending reminded me of the previous Southern Vampire Mysteries books and it was phenomenal (compared to the rest of the book).
What made Dead Reckoning so difficult to read? It might have been the fact that nothing happened for most of the book. Dead Reckoning felt like a collection of random meaningless scenes, & the characters weren't acting like themselves. The writing didn't have the addictive quality that previous books had. I had to take a 5 month break from Dead Reckoning because it was that irritating. I feel like the series has been dragged out too long and that Charlaine Harris is in it just for the money. Harris's previous books were well-written and I felt like she put alot of effort creating the plot. I felt like Harris is burnt out and just wrote this book to get it over with. Whatever the reason that Dead Reckoning was a mediocre book, I will be reading this book only to find out who Sookie ends up with....more