I remember when I first heard about Cinder I was a little hesitant to read it, but then I heard from trusted sources that it was actually really good....moreI remember when I first heard about Cinder I was a little hesitant to read it, but then I heard from trusted sources that it was actually really good. And then I received a copy for review and when I started reading the book, I was drawn in right away. Who knew re-imagining Cinderella in futuristic world with humans, cyborgs and androids would work so well? I certainly didn't but I ended up enjoying every single page.
When she was 11 years old, Cinder was in a terrible hover craft accident which killed both her parents and caused her to undergo surgery that made her a cyborg. Now she works as a mechanic in the market in the city of New Beijing, all her earnings going to her stepmother. Not only does she have nothing to her name, but she gets blamed for everything including her little sister getting sick. But one day, none other than Prince Kai walks up to her mechanic stand to ask for her services. After that day, everything in Cinder's life changes and she finds herself being dragged into affairs she never even knew existed before. And she starts falling for Prince Kai, and against all odds, he seems to be falling for her too.
I am a big lover of fairy tales, so whenever I read a retelling I always go in with pretty high expectations. With Cinder, those expectations were beyond surpassed. It wasn't long before I forgot I was reading a retelling of Cinderella. The story definitely stood on its own and felt like it was a story that hadn't actually been told before. I loved the world that Marissa Meyer created, wehre humans, androids and cyborgs all live together and it felt really real. And her writing was also absolutely great. I was immediately drawn in, and when I finished reading the book, I just wanted more.
Cinder was a whole new kind of Cinderella. Right from page one I loved her and she pretty much made me forget all about the original Cinderella. Granted there were many aspects of her life that were very Cinderella-esque, Cinder was her own character and her own person. She wasn't afraid of standing her ground and doing what she wanted to do. And that was something I really loved about her. Prince Kai was definitely the dreamy kind of prince. My main issue with him was his occasional communication problems. I mean, why couldn't he just say what he meant when it was so obvious how he felt? But other than that he really was Prince Charming. Other than these two, one of the characters that really made the book for me was Iko. Basically she was the android equivalent of the mice in the original story. She was a great character and also a great source of humor and really added to the story.
Overall, Cinder was a really great read. This new take on the classic story of Cinderella will not let you down. If anything, you will forget the old story all together in favor of this new one. It will definitely stay with you once you have finished reading the book. (less)
When I saw Falling in Love with English Boys at the bookstore, I hadn't really heard much about it. All I really knew was that Melissa Jensen had anot...moreWhen I saw Falling in Love with English Boys at the bookstore, I hadn't really heard much about it. All I really knew was that Melissa Jensen had another book coming out soon. But the story sounded quite interesting, and as it turned out, I really enjoyed the book.
Cat has been sentenced to a summer in London while her mother researches a woman who's been dead for close to 200 years. While most teenage girls would die for the chance to spend a summer in England, Cat wants nothing more than to be back home in Philadelphia, spending the summer hanging out with friends. But then Cat meets Will, a handsome British boy and descendant of the woman her mother is studying. With Will in the picture, Cat all of a sudden finds herself a lot more interested in London and the history of the Percival family. Between spending time reading the 200 year old diary of Katherine Percival and complaining about her mother, Cat finds herself making new friends and maybe, possibly falling for a certain handsome British boy.
I am a big fan of stories that take place in two different time periods. In the case of Falling in Love with English Boys, there were two parallel stories, one taking place in the present tie and the other at the beginning of the 1800s. What makes the story even more interesting is that even thought the two storylines were 200 years apart, they were still connected, mainly by a diary. And because of the diary, Cat was quite aware of the story going on in the past. I really enjoyed seeing the two stories develop side by side and even more so, I loved seeing Cat get so wrapped up in Katherine's stories. Despite the two girls being 200 years apart, I loved seeing them come together.
Cat and Katherine were wonderful characters and I loved all the similarities between them. Both were new to London and felt kind of lost in their new environment and at times wanting to be elsewhere. But I still preferred Cat over Katherine, probably because we were from the same time period. At any rate, I loved seeing both girls grow and come into their own, neither one afraid of going after what they wanted, even if it had the possibility of ending in heartbreak. And of course, in the present day there was aslo Will. Will was the charmingly handsome descendant of Katherine's family. He was perfect for balancing Cat's slightly crazy personality, thought sometimes he kind of failed int eh communication department. But that flaw was easily overlooked and forgiven in the end. ANd not just because of the British accent.
Falling in Love with English Boys was a great read, one I really enjoyed from start to finish. I now can't wait to read Melissa Jensen's upcoming book, The Fine Art of Truth or Dare.(less)
It's been close to a month since I read Catching Jordan and I still don't know how to put into words how much I loved this book. It has definitely fou...moreIt's been close to a month since I read Catching Jordan and I still don't know how to put into words how much I loved this book. It has definitely found a place on my list of favorite books of all time. It was simply fantastic and I loved everything about it.
Jordan has always wanted to play football and wants nothing more than to play at the college level. Except that Jordan is a girl and not many universities will accept a girl on their team. But she's been lucky enough to play quarterback and be captain of her high school football team. And she's one of the best quarterbacks the school has had. Not only that, but she fits in on the team and all her best friends are her teammates. But then Ty Green shows up in town and he wants Jordan's position on the football team. Now not only is Jordan worried about playing college football, she also has to worry about Ty taking her sport on the team. But Jordan may have to protect more than just her position as quarterback. Because when Ty is around, all of a sudden Jordan feels more like a girl than ever.
Before I say anything else, I will say that I will try to limit the gushing. But I will say that I absolutely loved this book. Right from the start I fell in love with the story, with the characters and with Jordan's voice. I even enjoyed the football. Football isn't usually one o my favorite sports, but with Catching Jordan, it might as well have been. It was just perfect with this story and I couldn't imagine it with another sport. But in the end, football wasn't what was important in the story. What really matters is Jordan's story and how that story works with the story of the other characters. Really, all that to say that I absolutely adored this book.
Like I've said, what's important in this book are the characters' stories. Even though Jordan is the one who is telling the story, the book revolves around more than just her. But that doesn't mean I didn't like Jordan, because I loved her. It was refreshing to read about a girl who was into sports more than anything else. I loved seeing her struggle with feelings she didn't really understand and then seeing her act on those feelings once she figured them out. And of course, boys were definitely not lacking in this book. And my favorite was Sam Henry. I would love to have him as a best friend, Jordan was definitely lucky to have him in her life. Sam Henry was pretty much as good as they come, he was loyal and would have given his life for Jordan. And I'm glad things ended the way they did for everyone. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect ending.
Catching Jordan was a perfect read. I loved absolutely everything about the book and plan on rereading it over and over again. Definitely pick this book up if you get a chance, odds are you won't regret it.(less)
Touch of Frost is one of those books that didn't get as much attention when it came out, so I didn't really pay too much attention to it. But then I r...moreTouch of Frost is one of those books that didn't get as much attention when it came out, so I didn't really pay too much attention to it. But then I randomly decided to pick it up, and I am more than happy that I did. It ended up being a fantastic read.
Gwen Frost was perfectly happy living with her mother and grandmother while leading a normal life. But then her mother died in a car accident and Gwen was forced to transfer to Mythos Academy, a school for mythological warriors. Because the thing about Gwen is that she isn't exactly normal. Just by touching someone she can find out everything about that person. And that gift also applies to objects, which comes in handy to make extra cash off of her fellow students by finding things they lose. But then a student is mysteriously killed, and Gwen feels she should have beent he one killed. Even though she's alive, Gwen may still be in grave danger. Going to a school for warrior whiz kids may be even more complicated than Gwen originally thought.
I definitely have a soft spot for mythology, and the whole subject matter kind of fascinates me. All that to say that I'm always on the look out for a good book that deals with mythology. While there are many books like that out there, Touch of Frost dealt with the subject differently: instead of focusing on just one culture's mythology, this book looks at all the different warrior mythologies. It was definitely interesting and made for an action-packed story. Jennifer Estep wrote a story here that really captivated me and it wasn't too long before I found myself having difficulty putting the book down.
Gwen was a fantastic character and I loved getting to know her. Plus she had a great voice. She just had a way of telling the story that just made me smile, even at times when smiling wasn't necessarily the most appropriate thing to do. I also loved seeing her friendship with Daphne develop. It was definitely an unlikely one, but that's what made it special. And Daphne herself just had me laughing most of the time. She was full of contradictions and that just made me love her even more. And that leaves Logan Quinn. I can definitely understand why Gwen fell for him. But at the same time, he didn't seem quite right. Though by the end of the book, I totally felt the same way about him as Gwen did.
Touch of Frost was a fantastic and fast-paced read. Jennifer Estep definitely hit the mark with the mythology she chose to write about and definitely made me want to find out more. I was also very happy to have the second book on hand to start reading when I finished this one. It won't leave you hanging, but you still definitely want to know what happens next.(less)
When I read Touch of Frost, I immediately loved it, so I was more than happy to be able to read Kiss of Frost right away. And as much as I loved the f...moreWhen I read Touch of Frost, I immediately loved it, so I was more than happy to be able to read Kiss of Frost right away. And as much as I loved the frist book, I have to admit that I loved the sequel even more.
Now that she has discovered the truth about her heritage, Gwen Frost is finding it a little easier to fit in at Mythos Academy. Except that the discovery means that she has a lot of catching up to do, especially when it comes to weapons training. Now Gwen gets to spend all her mornings with Logan Quinn, the resident Spartan bad boy, and his Spartan buddies Kenzie and Oliver. On the bright side, this means more time with Logan, but unfortunately for Gwen, Logan still isn't available. But nothing is ever simple in Gwen's life, and it would appear that one again, someone wants her dead. Hoping to escape, Gwen goes to the Winter Carnival with her friends, but she may not be as safe as she thought, judging by recent events.
Where I found the action a little slow to start in Touch of Frost, with Kiss of Frost I was thrown right into it. With this being the second book in the series, there was a lot less background information that needed to be given, and I think that definitely helped the story move along at a quicker pace. And that is definitely something I loved about this book. The story kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. There were many plot twists that I definitely didn't see coming. And the mythology that I loved in the first book was definitely still there, and I got to find out more about it, which was fantastic. Kiss of Frost definitely didn't fall in the trap that a lot of sequels do. If anything, it was even better than the first book.
Gwen was still the same girl that I loved in the first book. She was still sarcastic and absolutely hopeless when it comes to weapons training. And of course, she is still totally in love with Logan Quinn, who incidentally, is still totally unavailable. He also still sounds as gorgeous as he did in the first book of course. I loved that Daphne and Carson were still present and they still make an absolutely adorable (and somewhat quirky) couple. I also really liked the addition of new characters in the form of Spartans Kenzie and Oliver. I feel like I got to know Oliver more, but I'm hoping to find out more about Kenzie in future books.
Kiss of Frost was an absolutely fantastic book and sequel. It was everything I hoped it would be and kept me guessing the whole way through in the best possible way. Now I just have to wait for Dark Frost to find out what's going to happen next.(less)
While I had heard of Charles de Lint, I hadn't read any of his books until I read Under My Skin. Let me just say that it was a great way to be introdu...moreWhile I had heard of Charles de Lint, I hadn't read any of his books until I read Under My Skin. Let me just say that it was a great way to be introduced to this author. I really enjoyed reading Under My Skin, it was fast-paced and very much action-packed, something that made it into a great pageturner.
Josh knows all about the Santa Feliz teens who have beent urning into wild animals, but he never expected he would end up becoming one of them. And from the moment he changes, Josh's life becomes absolutely crazy. He doesn't know who to trust anymore but still confides in Marin and Des, his two best friends. But as soon as he does so, his life becomes even more chaotic. Josh has to watch his every step, what with Federal agents following him everywhere he goes. And as they often do, things quickly take a turn for the worse. Now Josh may just have to fight so save his won life and to protect the lives of all the other Wildlings in Santa Feliz. Staying alive and keeping the fact that he's a Wildling secret might be more difficult than Josh thought it would be.
Under My Skin is the first of Charles de Lint's books that I've read, and I absolutely loved it. The story in Under My Skin is filled with action and is very much fast-paced. I find that often with books wehre a character transforms into something paranormal or finds out about being a paranormal, it always takes a while for that transformation to happen or that knowledge to be acquired. Here it was definitely not the case. Josh's transformation into a Wildling happens barely past the first page, which then makes it so the story can take off right away. This is definitely something I appreciated about the story, there was definitely no dragging out of certain parts and something was always happening. Under My Skin is also told from two different points of view, Josh and Marina, and I feel like that also really help create the fast pace of the story. There was always something that one of the two narrators didn't know, but wanted to know, which in turn caused more action. Basically all this to say that Under My Skin by Charles de Lint is a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat and there is never a dull moment.
Under My Skin also offers quite a fair amount of characters. The story focuses on Josh, but every other chapter is also told from Marina's perspective. And then through both Josh and Marina, the readers get acquainted with a whole other cast of characters. But in this book, having a large number of fully fleshed-out characters is something that really works and is almost necessary to the story. The book just would not have been the same had it only been about Josh, Marina and their friend Des. The other characters, particularly Chaingang, Cory and Elzie, really added to the story and were often responsible for a lot of the action that was taking place. While those other characters were there, Josh and Marina are still the two that I got to know really well. While the two are best friends, they have quite different personalities, especially when it comes to dealing with the whole subject of Wildlings. But at the same time they complement each other and it was great to see them work together, and with the other characters, to achieve their common goal.
Under My Skin by Charles de Lint was a fantastic read. The writing was addicting, the story will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat the whole way through. I am more than happy that this is the first in a new series because I simply cannot wait to get more of these characters and this world. (less)