Wonderful, wonderful conclusion to an amazing trilogy! Everything wrapped up nicely, but it was a hard won victory. Kiersten White is a brilliant auth...moreWonderful, wonderful conclusion to an amazing trilogy! Everything wrapped up nicely, but it was a hard won victory. Kiersten White is a brilliant author and I can't wait to read her new books!(less)
Why I love this novel and will be following this series:
1. There is no insta-love between Ismae and Duval. This is a great relief. In fact, they can't...moreWhy I love this novel and will be following this series:
1. There is no insta-love between Ismae and Duval. This is a great relief. In fact, they can't stand each other, but slowly the tension becomes all too palpable and they act on it. Perfect buildup!
2. A kickass heroine who is an assassin nun! OMGGGG!!
3. I really liked the politics. They had me almost biting my nails because I was just so afraid for the characters. These are just too tense and dangerous times for them.
Things that can be improved on:
1. For a master assassin, Ismae didn't kill too many people. I wish she would just do more killing. She talked about her cool weapons and her array of poisons, so why not use them?
2. I've read that the sequels will be focusing on Sybella and Anninth, which is cool because I really want to know more about them, especially Sybella. But perhaps not as sequels per se but companion novels.
3. (view spoiler)[When Ismae had sex with Duval in order to neutralize the effects of the poison in his body, I mean, I knew she was immune to poisons; this was something introduced early in the novel, but come on. She's an assassin and by all counts, a kick-ass woman. No need to objectify her like that. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I rarely read novels involving time travel because most authors can't do it right but the River of Time trilogy is an exception. I read the entire ser...moreI rarely read novels involving time travel because most authors can't do it right but the River of Time trilogy is an exception. I read the entire series in 2 days and it was such a trill!
Basically, the novels are about a pair of sisters who travel back to medieval Italy. There, they find themselves in the middle of a territorial war and they have to do whatever they can to help the royal family who took them in and find a way to get back home.
I love the setting! Bergren did a great job in fleshing the setting out, down to the costumes and even the language, well, more or less. It was definitely more old-fashioned than usual.
I really enjoyed the character development of our heroine, Gabriella. Even though I really couldn't stand the fact that she fell in love with the first guy she saw in medieval Italy, I loved how her character started off as this impulsive teenager to a seasoned warrior by the end of the trilogy. The fight sequences were really good too, and I enjoyed how the story was really fast-paced and filled with action.
Marcello didn't make too bad of a love interest. Some of his actions are considered sexist but I think it was only because of how he was raised. Apart from that, he wasn't too bad. I actually preferred more of the secondary characters, such as Fortino, Marcello's older brother. For some reason, he really captured my attention from the beginning and I wished we could have seen more of him.
I wished Gabriella's sister, Lia, had more page time. She really matured from a terrified girl who would do anything to get back home, to someone who was willing to weigh all the options and see which was the best one. I hope there can be some kind of a companion series or a sequel told in her POV because I really wish to get into her psyche.
Overall, magnificent series! I can't wait to read more from Bergren!(less)
Jennifer E. Smith has a beautiful way with words. I remembered reading You Are Here and just being in awe of the descriptive prose and heartfelt emoti...moreJennifer E. Smith has a beautiful way with words. I remembered reading You Are Here and just being in awe of the descriptive prose and heartfelt emotions evoked with the writing. I actually found this way more deeper and more beautiful than The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight but it definitely has more serious themes. It's filled with more angst and certainly more relatable to teenagers. Overall, 3.5 stars.(less)
I love poetry novels and Carol Lynch Williams has never shied away from difficult topics, choosing instead to approach them in a sensitive and beautif...moreI love poetry novels and Carol Lynch Williams has never shied away from difficult topics, choosing instead to approach them in a sensitive and beautiful manner. I don't really want to reveal too much of the plot because prose novels really do thrive best when you go in wondering what's happening. I will say that I love how the story ended. There is a sense of completion but with an opening as well, somewhat hopeful, because that's what life is about.
Waiting really is a beautiful piece of work and I recommend it to everyone. It was hurt and it might make you cry but in a good way in the end, promise! :)(less)
The Story of Us is a moving and captivating YA contemporary about Cricket being on a journey to sort her life out. She's taking a break from her long-...moreThe Story of Us is a moving and captivating YA contemporary about Cricket being on a journey to sort her life out. She's taking a break from her long-time boyfriend, her mother is finally remarrying but after jilting two previous fiancés, Cricket's worried that her mother might get cold feet again. Everything seems to be going wrong on this wedding trip.
While it seems like the novel will have a love triangle, the truth is that this is very much Cricket's story. I didn't even notice "the third party", Ash, for very long. I loved how the story is told through Cricket's POV as well as her letters to her long-time boyfriend. Her back story also included the history of her mother's love life, as well as how her parents came to be divorced. It really pained me to find out that Cricket had an abusive father and that he really was a mean, mean man. I think the point where I realized that this book was going from good to great was when Janssen, Cricket's boyfriend, stood up to her father. I honestly cried while reading. It was just so moving.
I think essentially, The Story of Us is a story about love and the different kinds of it, and not just Cricket's story and her journey. It's the love between Janssen and herself, the love her mother has for her and her brother, the love between her mother and her fiance, and just the love all around them.
While I don't think this novel was as good as Caletti's previous Stay, I still enjoyed it very much. 4.5 stars from me!(less)
Born Wicked isn't a bad novel but considering that it's being marketing as a book with witches in them, aka The Cahill Witch Chronicles, it doesn't ha...moreBorn Wicked isn't a bad novel but considering that it's being marketing as a book with witches in them, aka The Cahill Witch Chronicles, it doesn't have a lot of witchery in it. It does seem to have quite a bit of a romance and while I liked it very much, I wished that more witchy things could have made an appearance.
Both Paul and Finn make cute love interests. I do like the both of them and I can't seem to decide which I like better. What I do appreciate about the novel is the mood and setting. Early 20th century New England is captured quite nicely here as well as with a nice dash of dystopia too.
Several twists and turns kept me interesting and the ending was just really surprising for me, which is probably why I'll still continue with the series. Final words: lovely romance, keep it up but more witchery, please! 3.5 stars! Bumping it to 4 for the lovely cover.(less)
Someone Else's Life is one of those rare contemporary YA novels that really grabs you and makes you sit right up. This tells the story of Rosie who ha...moreSomeone Else's Life is one of those rare contemporary YA novels that really grabs you and makes you sit right up. This tells the story of Rosie who had to watch her mother suffer and eventually pass away from Huntington's Disease. Her pain is intensified by the fact that she may have inherited the disease as well. But when she learns that she is in fact, adopted, it brings about a new set of problems and tough decisions to face.
I really don't want to reveal too much in my review because the novel has a crucial plot point that if revealed, it really will spoil the reading experience. But I must say that the character of Rosie was brilliantly written. The pain and suffering she had to go through, particularly at her young age, was so believable that it almost made it difficult to continue reading. The decisions she has to make are so life-changing, so agonizing that I am surprised by her strength and perseverance. She has a quiet grace about her and while I didn't agree with some of the decisions she's made, especially with her love interest, I can understand the place she's coming from.
Overall, Someone Else's Life is an amazing YA debut and it will definitely stay with you for a while. Everyone should absolutely read it!(less)
Elizabeth Eulberg writes one of the better YA stand-alone novels out there. I have adored her past 2 offerings and this third one is no exception. Tak...moreElizabeth Eulberg writes one of the better YA stand-alone novels out there. I have adored her past 2 offerings and this third one is no exception. Take A Bow is the story of 4 teenagers as they go through their senior year at CPA, a prestigious performing arts academy. It sort of sounds like Fame, as pointed out by a friend, but since I've yet to watch the movie, I cannot say for sure.
I did think that Eulberg writing 4 different POVs would confuse the readers but I felt like it was really done well. The switches only came in when needed and I thought that helped a lot. The characters were very well-developed. I thought that Emme would be portrayed as the stereotypical good girl but I'm glad I was wrong. I actually identified a lot with her and the other characters all had a few surprises up their sleeves.
The one thing I did have a problem was Sophie. (view spoiler)[I guessed that she was going to be the "bad guy" of the novel but I did find it weird that her POV was just dropped the moment Emme found out the truth. I suppose it could be a reference to how she never really cared about the rest anyway and she didn't had much to think about them and so, her story never really tied in with theirs but it still felt a little weird. (hide spoiler)]
Like with her previous novels, Eulberg wraps up her novel rather nicely but not TOO nicely and I liked that it had the realistic touch. Well done! 4.5 stars!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The Lover's Dictionary is really a work of art. It's been a while since I've read such a beautiful book. The Lover's Dictionary is a special book in t...moreThe Lover's Dictionary is really a work of art. It's been a while since I've read such a beautiful book. The Lover's Dictionary is a special book in that it breaks chronology and instead, tells the story through entries in a dictionary. The basis of the story is on an ordinary couple, in love and their journey through it, even after an affair.
The entries were short so this was a pretty fast read. Yet, the entries were insightful and beautifully written. There were so many nice quotes that I wanted to just frame and put it up against my wall. The entries lover and yearning were my favorite.
I liked that the narrator was kept anonymous the whole way because really, this book could have been about anyone. I really don't know what more to say about this book expect that it was AMAZING, BRILLIANT AND HEARTBREAKING ALL AT THE SAME TIME! PLEASE READ IT!
Love is a beautiful thing to happen to people but it can be a horrible thing too and The Lover's Dictionary perfectly illustrates that.(less)
I've heard quite a few good things about Cinder and I'm glad I gave it a shot. I mean, cyborg Cinderella? I'M SO THERE! Even though Cinder is describe...moreI've heard quite a few good things about Cinder and I'm glad I gave it a shot. I mean, cyborg Cinderella? I'M SO THERE! Even though Cinder is described as a retelling and I found myself trying to guess what's going to happen in advance, Marissa Meyer certainly has some tricks up her sleeve. She makes this story completely her own and the writing is just fabulous. I love the world she's created and Eastern too! I feel like I've been to those places and living in the East, well, I'm sure what we have here is a little bit like those in the book. :)
I love Cinder! She's snarky and brilliant and sort of like a teenager, being uncomfortable with her own self. She's loyal as well, and I just love how she's written. Prince Kai is such a delight too. I like that their romance takes a backseat in the novel, though their interactions were just so sweet to read, because obviously, Kai has other problems to handle, being Emperor to the Eastern Commonwealth.
Other minor characters I want to bring up: Peony, oh sweet sweet Peony. It was so good that Cinder had at least one person to count on. Cinder's stepmother = didn't like her that, still don't like her now. Luna Queen = evil and creepy and I hope she gets her comeuppance.
Oh, the ending! What a cliffhanger! I can't believe we have to wait so long for the sequel and more fairy tales too! OH, BE STILL MY HEART! Is it 2013 yet?(less)
I think Beth Revis has outdone herself again. A Million Suns is a great sequel to Across the Universe. What I really enjoyed about this novel are the...moreI think Beth Revis has outdone herself again. A Million Suns is a great sequel to Across the Universe. What I really enjoyed about this novel are the great twists involved. It feels like every chapter ends on a mini-cliffhanger where we're told one thing, contrary to what we know and it's like a mini-hyperventilating episode.
I thought that Elder's character had some really excellent growth here. We see him rise to the challenge and become the leader he was created to be. He doesn't do a fantastic job but given the circumstances, I think he did all right. He certainly has grown up a little. As for Amy, well, I thought it was good of her that she had to work through some of her personal issues like how she feels about Elder but apart from that, there wasn't much growth in other aspects.
Also, I found Amy's blind hatred towards Orion to be a little disturbing. There's a character whose done a lot worse than Orion and yet, Amy seems to be fixated on making Orion suffer, EVEN THOUGH he's been trying to help them for quite some time.
There were some plot inconsistencies. I don't want to say anything because I don't want to spoil it for anyone but it did leave me confused. The villain did surprise me though so well done there! The ending was such a cliffhanger! I really don't know how I can stand to wait another year! OMG, it needs to be here now!!(less)
I was a little apprehensive at starting Half-Blood at first because it wasn't published by one of those big names publishers and I thought it might be...moreI was a little apprehensive at starting Half-Blood at first because it wasn't published by one of those big names publishers and I thought it might be one of those vanity publishing pieces but I'm really glad I did, and no, it's not one of those pieces. :)
Half-Blood reminded me a lot of the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead and I mean this as a compliment. The story's pacing was well done and I love how our heroine is a strong character. As much as she loves her mother, she still secretly fights her decision and I love how headstrong she is. Despite her tragedies, I liked that she still pushed on when many would have just given up.
The romance aspect was another bit I enjoyed. I love me a good romance any day and the one we have here is one of the better ones. It's not love at first sight, but more of Alex having a crush on Aiden, which is believable. I liked how Aiden doesn't come off as just "the love interest" but instead, has an actual personality. He slowly comes to care for Alex and the tension between them was so well-written! Aiden being a gentleman and going through "real emotions definitely helps as well.
I know a lot of readers have labelled the world of Half-Blood to be very similar to the one in Vampire Academy and I won't deny this. But I'd like to say that Armentrout takes a similar idea and makes it her own. There's paranormalcy, fantasy, romance, general badassery, loads of cool fighting and miscellaneous teenage shenanigans. Well done!
The ending was surprising, for me at least. I really enjoyed the twist and I'd like to see how Seth plays into the next few novels. I had a feeling the novel would go this route but reading it really happening was just so satisfying.(less)