I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book, but it definitely wasn't what I got. Deborah Harkness wowed me with her debut. It was siI'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book, but it definitely wasn't what I got. Deborah Harkness wowed me with her debut. It was simply one of those fabulous reads that I wanted to devour, but instead found myself savoring everything that was going on. It's a story that's part adventure, part mystery and one part a uniquely crafted paranormal historical read. I loved the story's fascinating mix of intrigue, rich history, exciting paranormal elements and it's good old fashion romance.
You guys know how much I love well crafted, intriguing, complex characters. Deborah's protagonists, Doctor Diana Bishop and centuries old vampire/renowned scientist Matthew Clairmount fit that bill perfectly! These two took intrigue and complex to a whole new level. The fact that these two were so highly intelligent added to their over all character appeal for me. They weren't intelligent in the "I have no idea what you're talking about" way, but in the wow, Deborah really had her work cut out with these guys. They were times I felt like I was sitting in on their conversations vs reading about them. It was refreshing for me to read about characters who have intellect, as well as history smarts.
Witches, Vampires, and Demons oh my! There's a lively cast of paranormal favorites here, or more like classic paranormal favorites. I felt like Deborah really did her homework on these characters and I enjoyed the own unique spin she gave each of them, which made for some authentic characters. Each character gave something back to the story. It also added some fabulous tension between Diana, who's a witch and the vampire Matthew. We all know witches and vampires don't go round holding hands and hanging out all the time together, but there's something these two offer each other aside from help and looking for answers they're both in need of. I loved the chemistry these two have. It's hot, complex and sometimes a little comical.
Aside from the characters I really loved this story's setting. Oxford was the perfect setting for this book, and I felt like it fueled some of the story's overall appeal for me. I also enjoyed this story's over all plot line. It was highly engaging and kept the over all story entertaining and engaging for me. Sure there's a few moments where it's a little slow, but the majority of the story just flows. One of the things I loved about Deborah's writing was how descriptive it was. Normally I would have said it was a little over done, but it really worked with this book, because there's so much to this story's rich history and historical setting. I felt Deborah's attention to details, both little and big went along way in this book. I can only imagine how much time she spent on researching.
A Discovery of Witches is an adult book with a ton of appeal for us "adult" YA readers who love a well crafted story with plenty of paranormal elements, historical references, fabulous character chemistry, adventure and a good mystery. It's one I'd highly recommend picking up!...more
Being a huge Beatles fan, I was really intrigued with this book's storyline and the role music played in it. It's not often you come across a3.5 stars
Being a huge Beatles fan, I was really intrigued with this book's storyline and the role music played in it. It's not often you come across a YA book that is centered on music, and incorporates the music of one of the best musical groups of all times. Not only that, I love that this book is a modern day contemporary with a good male voice and is set in London. I enjoyed the authenticity of the story, and reading about that UK slang I've heard so much about. For me, the musical element of this story is what sold me on reading this book, and I think it's going to be a key element in getting teen readers to pick this book up, as they'll be able to relate to the huge role that music plays in the characters's lives, as well as their own.
I Am (Not) The Walrus is the story of Toby, a teen who's recently moved from London to another party England in hopes of his struggling, single mom finding a better job. I liked the role Toby's Mum played in his life. She wasn't an absentee parent, but someone who worked hard to provide for her son, and treated him with the respect he deserved. I liked their relationship, as it is an open and honest one. It was refreshing for me to read about their relationship and to have a parent have a good presence in this story. With is older brother away in the military, Toby takes full advantage of his deployment and uses his bass and other musical equipment he's left behind. This bass ultimately leads him on a crazy adventure that includes a valuable lesson in friendship, and of course the inspiration from a few Beatles songs.
When Toby discovers a note in his brother's bass, it leads him on a wild adventure to find who the bass belongs to, that is, if the note claiming it was stolen is indeed true. I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this book's storyline, and dialogue. It wasn't a fast paced read, but one that just flowed perfectly, and kept me invested in the story the entire time. It's seriously one of those fun reads that you can't help, but laugh out loud numerous times while reading it. Plus how can you not love a guy who has a few mishaps and makes you cheer for him in hopes that he can get the girl, and get to the bottom of the bass mystery. I also enjoyed getting to read about Toby's loyal friend and fellow bandmate, Zach. These two have a fabulous chemistry that's witty, hysterical and real. These two kept me entertained the entire time I read this book. I loved how their differences made their friendship that much stronger.
With a mix of friendship, a tiny bit of romance and a lot of music, I Am (Not) The Walrus is a good read I'd recommend picking up! ...more
Burning Blue is one part thriller one part realistic contemporary. It's a complex story that connects the lives of two teens who are both dea3.5 stars
Burning Blue is one part thriller one part realistic contemporary. It's a complex story that connects the lives of two teens who are both dealing with some interesting situations, Jay and Nicole. Coming from two totally different back grounds, these two connect on a level that brings them both closer together, and allows them to slowly open up and confide in each other in a way that leaves them both exposed and vulnerable. Paul Griffin's writing is amazing! Not only does he weave together this incredible story of two teen's lives who suffered from life changing moments, but he creates this intense mystery surrounding Nicole's acid attack. Everyone is a suspect and when the real attacker is exposed it is down right insane, as in, I can't believe that's who was behind it, and I never saw that one coming.
This is story that is filled with suspense, fueled by an intense mystery, and in turn is given an intriguing storyline I couldn't stop reading. Written in a way that tells the story from the main character's POV of, Jay, along with the victims journal entries, Nicole, and from the point of view of one of the psychologists Nicole sees, made for an interesting read. I liked getting to see the story from so many points of views. It not only gave me an inside look behind these three characters, it allowed me to understand them a little more. At the same time is also created and deepened the story's complex mystery regarding the acid attack on Nicole. It's the type mystery that left me completely hooked, and I couldn't stop reading the book until I knew who did it. Believe me, you'll be shocked when you find out the who in the who dun it is.
Jay is a kid who once seemed like he fit in well with everyone at school, well for the most part, and suffers from seizures. After having one at school exposed the embarrassing after math of what can happen from the an attack, and having it posted on youtube made him withdrawal from school to be homeschooled. Despite having a father who's often times lost to his work, a mother who passed away when he was young, Jay often times is by himself. Jay doesn't hail from money. He's kid who seems like he has a pretty good head on his shoulders, and I admire him for doing things he things are right. Though he shouldn't get involved, Jay finds himself in the middle of trying to solve the shocking who done it case of beauty queen and fellow student Nicole's acid attack that let's her scared, exposed, and extremely vulnerable. Nicole is someone who most people would find themselves envious of. She's that drop dead gorgeous girl with the flawless skin, wears the trendy clothes, comes from money, and is dating the hottest guy at school. What I loved about Nicole is how grounded, and nice she is. Like the type of girl who's nice to everyone. Her beauty/looks also have her slated to be the new Miss New Jersey. That is until someone squirts acid on her at school.
In a story about beauty, infused with love, and given a jealous twit, Burning Blue will leave readers hooked until the last page. Paul Griffin's writing is one that I really liked, and I'm definitely picking up more of his book. I really like the way he unraveled everything that happens in Burning Blue. The way Jay and Nicole meet, the way they slowly start opening up to each other, and the twists into the attack were well written, and believable. I liked how everyone was a suspect and the way the real suspect was weeded out. I also liked that though Jay tries to solve the mystery himself, he does some not so legal things to solve it, and in the process has a few consequences he deals with because of it. I understood his motivation to solve the case, and why he does what he does, but I also like that he has consequences for those actions. Over all I felt like this was a good read. There is some mild language and a sexual reference in this book, making this one that may not be suitable for younger readers. If you're looking for a thrilling YA read I'd recommend picking this one up. ...more
A historical journey filled with adventure, danger, catastrophic events, and plenty of mystery, James Dashner's A Mutiny In Time is an awesome, jam paA historical journey filled with adventure, danger, catastrophic events, and plenty of mystery, James Dashner's A Mutiny In Time is an awesome, jam packed read that younger kids will devour. Set in a future America that is constantly plagued by natural disasters, the world which we live in now is much simpler compared to the one best friends Dak and Sera live in. If the deadly earthquakes, freak storms, and volcanic eruptions weren't enough, Dak's parents are now missing, and Dak and Sera are thrown into a secret society and world they never nothing about, until now.
On a mission to find his parents and fix what's been broken, Dak, Sera and Riq are armed with a ring that gives the power to travel back in time to fix/prevent things from happening that might change what we know history to be today. In the process Dak will discover some pretty interesting things about his parents. With this particular story, I liked how history and the future are tied together, and how these three characters had to not only work together, but trust in each other, and trust in what they have learned in order to make their mission a successful one. Kids are resilient and it was great seeing that resilience in action with The Infinity Ring. Plus the history buff in me loved the fact they could travel back into the past, and in this case they travel back in time to prevent something horrific that's to happen on board Christopher Columbus's ship.
One of the things I love have come to admire about Dashner's writing, is his storytelling. He doesn't just write a story, he tells it. He brings it to life. He creates these worlds that become real, and introduces readers to unforgettable characters, and takes us on these incredible journeys. James Dashner makes reading fun and exciting. Though this book is small size wise compared to the size of his YA books, it's the perfect size for MG readers. I think this is one book Dasher fans of all ages are going to love. This is a book I'd definitely recommend picking up. It's the first book in a series that promises to be action packed, engaging, and unforgettable. Fans of The 39 Clues have a whole new series to fall in love with!
The Infinity Ring series schedule:
Book 1 by James Dashner, released on 8/28/12 Book 2 by Carrie Ryan, to be released on 11/6/12 Book 3 by Lisa McMann, to be released on 2/5/13 Book 4 by Matt de la Pena, to be released on 6/4/13 Book 5 by Matthew Kirby, to be released on 9/3/13 Book 6 by Jennifer A. Nielsen, to be released on 12/3/13 Book 7 by James Dashner, to be released on 3/4/14...more
An edgy, true to life, gritty contemporary, Pushing The Limits quickly pulls you into it's story and both of the characters live's and leaves4.5 stars
An edgy, true to life, gritty contemporary, Pushing The Limits quickly pulls you into it's story and both of the characters live's and leaves you thinking about them long after you've closed the book. It's a story that's full of triumph, heartbreak, swoon worthy character chemistry and is one heck of an emotional roller ride. Both Echo and Noah have had their fair share of crap (and I say that nicely) to deal with in their young lives. Each one is trying to piece back certain parts of their lives that were tragically ripped away from them and have now put them on paths they never thought they'd be on. One is trying to remember the night she received her horrendous scares that now mars their body and the other is trying to fight a system that not only ripped his family apart, but abused him in the process. Brought together in their quest for truth, and hope, and a case worker/counselor who won't give up on either of them, both of their lives are about to get a lot more crazy as they both push each other to the limits of love, letting go, and moving on.
Told from alternating points of views, Katie McGarry ROCKED her story telling and the male POV! Not many authors have been able to pull off that point of view, let alone two points of view, but Katie just blew the few who have risen to both challenges out of the water. She nailed Noah's voice perfectly. He's the broken boy who acts like he's from the wrong side of the tracks, but there's so much more to him than meets the eye. I loved that Echo was the one who changed his bad boy ways. Oh yes, Noah is "that" bad boy in ever sense of the way, but you understand why, and you get why he doesn't care what those rumors say about him. Echo on the other hand is an emotional wreck, and and it was so heartbreaking to read her story, and to understand why she became that way. I loved how Katie allowed me to get inside both her and Noah's minds to understand their stories, their motives, fears, desires, and needs.
I love a sizzling character chemistry and well developed romance, wow, does Katie ever deliver on that one! Noah knows how to say all the right words and do all the right things, but Echo throws him off his game a bit. I LOVED that Echo isn't one to give up anything in a moment of weakness. She's someone I really came to admire, because of her strength. I loved that Katie created a relationship between Echo and Noah that is layered, and at times it's simplified and other times it's complex. Katie's intense and raw writing made it incredibly easy for me to not only feel like I connected with these characters on a deeper level than I excepted to, she also made me understand them, sympathize with them and at other times she made the mama bear side of me want to protect them from those who have done so much to hurt them. They're vulnerable, deeply scared, looking for answers, in need of love, hope. In each other they find trust, and understanding, as well a future outside of all the stuff they're dealing with now. Being that they both turn 18 and are about to graduate from HS, I liked getting to see the possibilities that Echo and Noah saw before them.
Despite some of the horrible things Noah and Echo come to terms with, there are also these fabulous moments of triumph that made me throw my fist up in the air and yell yes, and other moments that made me laugh out loud. Katie truly wrapped up so much into this one story, and did so in away that made her story realistic, and relatable. She made me feel every range of emotions while reading her book, and she layered her story perfectly. I laughed, I swooned, I got a little teary eyed and I felt anger. There are characters in this book who will make you wish you should go shadowhunter on them, because of the things they either do or have done prior to this story starting. But for the few horrible characters, there are also fabulous characters who bring light into some of the darkness, like Noah's brothers. I appreciated the fact that Katie allowed me to see this story from so many different angles. Through Noah's brothers we get to see that just, because Noah thought one thing about his brothers and their foster parents doesn't mean that was necessarily right. That's saying something without giving anything away. That was one of the bitter sweet moments in the book for me.
If you're looking for one of those contemporaries that makes me you fall in love with it's characters, provides you with the right amount of sexual tension that makes the pages sizzle, and leaves you wanting more, than you need to pick up Pushing the Limits. On a note caution, this is not a story I'd recommend to everyone, but it's one that I think a lot of readers will take something away from it. There are some sensual scenes, under age drinking, drug use, mentions of sex and abuse in this story, and a lot language. It's a true to life story that doesn't sugar coat the crap that happens when a system fails to protect those most vulnerable, and when a parent does more than just try to take their own. It's a story that reveals the selfishness of one set of parents and a self absorbed step parent, the love a set of foster parents has, and learning to trust in someone you think has it out for you, but really they help you find the voice you never thought you had. At the heart of this story are two teens who learn to love and trust again, and make something of the lives they can once again start living. ...more
A fast paced, exciting dystopian that's loaded with action, shocking discoveries, and non-stop surprises, FORSAKEN is a debut unl3.5 It's a good read!
A fast paced, exciting dystopian that's loaded with action, shocking discoveries, and non-stop surprises, FORSAKEN is a debut unlike any other book I've read so far this year. It felt similar to the likes of Lords of the Flies, the TV show LOST, and The Hunger Games. I'm by no means comparing this book to those classic and the tv show, because this book is an entirely different book and stands out on it's own. But, each of these books/tv show, along with FORSAKEN all have this similar feeling to them, and over all theme, which is this quest/will for survival, and this need to defy whoever/whatever it is that's controlling them.
There was something about FORSAKEN that made it hard for me to put it down, which is also the very thing that I despised about the book, it's government. I don't know what it is about this book's corrupt government that I found intriguing, because it was repulsive at how it treats and abuses it's people. At the same time, this is the very thing that kept me glued to the book. I wanted this certain group of outcasts to win, and to find the answers they were seeking. Their search also became my obsession with this book, because I wanted the same answers they did. I had to know what was really going on. WOW! Talk about shocking revelations. Lisa Stasse did a fabulous job at keeping me in the dark with the surprising secrets, and unpredictable plot twists she reveals during the second part of her book and at the end.
Aside from her well crafted storyline, and imaginative dystopian world, Lisa introduced me to some pretty interesting characters. I wasn't a huge fan of the main character, Alenna, because I needed her to be a little bit stronger than she was during the first half of the book. Given all the goes on, I felt like she relied too heavily on others to protect her. Given the island she finds herself on, I had expected her to step into the role of trying to survive a little more than she did. I also had a very hard time believing the romance in this book, even though I enjoyed the character chemistry. The romance isn't a huge part of the story, but it's still apart of the story non the less, and one I wanted to fall in love with more than I did. Liam, the love interest is definitely a character who's hard not to like, and I can see why Alenna was immediately smitten with him. I got their attraction to each other, but the insta-love thing isn't something I'm a fan of, though I did like how Lisa explained that connection the two felt later on in the story.
There's also a great cast of secondary characters whom all help tell Alenna's story. Each of these characters kept the story entertaining, as they each added a different element to it. They each had a purpose both within the story, and in their savage society. I liked that while some of their reasons for being in the story are still not revealed, the twists with a few of the characters were ones I didn't see coming. If you're a fan of dystopians, lots of action, survival, a subtle romance, and plenty of plot twists I'd recommend picking this one up! I'm looking forward to seeing what lies in store for Alenna, Liam and the rest of the cast with book 2! ...more
I've read part of Jeaniene's Night Huntress series, and being that Vlad is a character from that series I was intrigued with wanting to read more abouI've read part of Jeaniene's Night Huntress series, and being that Vlad is a character from that series I was intrigued with wanting to read more about him. And, well that's face it that synopsis alone sold me on picking up this book. Talk about an electrifying romance! Vlad is definitely one of those characters that one, you don't cross and two, who could make you cower in the corner. There's something about him that also draws you to him like a moth to a flame. He's a character who has this commanding presence both in the vampire world and through out history. I loved that it took a fire cracker like Leila to get under his skin, in a good way. The fact that there was not an insta-love between these two made me enjoy the book that much more exciting, and addicting. There's a big difference between chemistry and attraction vs an insta-love and this book definitely has a lot of that first element. It was well written and executed, but once these two got together, holy crap the fire works ignited.
Being that this is an adult book you can definitely expect to find a few sex scenes and some minor language in this book. I know that seems silly to mention, because that's expected, but I don't want someone reading this thinking that it's the kind that you'd find in a YA book, because this is truly an adult/romance book. Aside from the hot romance, there's also a great paranormal story with an alluring historical twist on Vlad, and a breathtaking setting. I'm a huge suckers for romance, and paranormal elements and Jeaniene delivered both of these to me on a silver platter. I don't know which I enjoyed more, the romance/character chemistry or the history, and paranormal elements to this story.
The characters themselves were well written, especially Vlad. Leila for me was a little bit harder to really like. I mean, I liked her, I just didn't like being in her head for the entire story. I wanted a bit more from Vlad, but I won't complain too much, because I did get a few glimpses into his past via one of Leila's unique abilities. I also loved Bones and Cat's cameo in the story! I loved these two from the Night Huntress series, and it was great to see them appear in this book.
This is one action packed, sizzling summer read that Frost fans will devour. There's plenty of danger, romance and that little bit of humor I've come to except and enjoy in Jeaniene's books. Once Burned has all the makings for a series fans won't get enough of. There's something about Vlad that will leave you wanting more. This book's ending will definitely leave fans wishing that Vlad's sequel was already out, instead of having to wait another year. *Being that this is an adult book I'd definitely recommend it to mature, older readers. There's a few sex scenes, and a few uses of the f word and mentions of sex in this book.
* Side Note: Mundie Moms is strictly a YA book review site, but every now and then I do branch out and read adult books, though I don't post my reviews on here, just like I don't post my reviews for other books I read outside the YA scene on here. When I say every now and then, that really translates into rarely, but again, I do get into those moods where I want to sit down with an adult book....more
Burn Mark intrigued me a few different levels. First there's the catchy cover followed by the synopsis. Those two alone made me want to pick this bookBurn Mark intrigued me a few different levels. First there's the catchy cover followed by the synopsis. Those two alone made me want to pick this book up and read it. Two, Laura Powell's witches aren't based on the well know Salem Witch Trials. Set in the UK, her witches have ties to similar witch trials that have gone on through out the world, as well as through out history and most notably the trials that continue in Africa today. Last, I was intrigued with both of the book's MC's history and their family ties. Glory hails from a long line of powerful witches and Lucas comes from a well known family of Prosecutors, who put the Witches on trail. Given their differences, I wanted to know what their ties were together and how the heck these two were going to work through their becoming Witches.
I love a good Witch book, and I felt this one had the makings to be just that. I enjoy a book that's rich in lore, is believable and has intriguing characters that make me want to keep reading their story to learn more about them. Burn Mark has this, but there was something about the way the story was delivered that made it very hard for me to get into it. The story starts off really slow, which I understood way. There was a need to introduce both characters, and give readers a little glimpse into the lives they both live, and the family life they both hail from, but despite that, the story never really picked up for me. No matter how much I tried to get into it, I felt the plot fell flat for me. That's not to say I didn't enjoy the history and the research that went into this story, because I did. I just needed something more than what I go out of the Glory and Lucas's story, and I can't even tell you exactly what it was that I needed.
Character wise, both Glory and Lucas are good characters. I was surprised over how much I liked Lucas. He's a character who was born into wealth and privilege and I loved that those things didn't define who he was. He wasn't cocky and didn't allow those things to go to his head. I really admired him and his strong belief in being true to himself and standing up for what he feels is right. He was a strong solid character with outstanding morals, and someone I felt does the best he can in the situations he finds himself in. Glory is also a strong character in her own right. She stands up for herself, and she doesn't stop in her quest for answers. She's a solid character, and like Lucas, I admired her strength, but in the end I didn't connect with either of like I had hoped to.
Overall this is a book that had a few things I liked about it, but not enough for me to really enjoy it like I had wanted to. I don't know if that's due to a combination of things I had going on during the time I spent reading this book, or if this is a book that really wasn't meant for me. Just because I didn't love the book, doesn't mean someone else won't. If you're in the mood for a Witch story that has a creative spin on Witch lore, and includes a touch of magic I'd recommend giving it a try....more
With it's original storyline and mix of science fiction, mystery, and fantasy, ORIGIN is debut I think a lot of YA fans will enjoy. Set in the heart oWith it's original storyline and mix of science fiction, mystery, and fantasy, ORIGIN is debut I think a lot of YA fans will enjoy. Set in the heart of a tiny village in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest, this story introduces readers to wide range of characters/scientist who's controversial work is both secretive and dangerous. At the heart of their project is Pia, a timid teenage girl who's had zero contact with the outside world and was born/created with an extraordinary gift. Despite the fact it was a little slow during parts of the beginning, it quickly turned into a high stakes, fast paced read with a lot of action, danger, and moments of suspense.
The story's incredibly beautiful, yet extremely reclusive setting really set the tone for this book. It's dangerous, secretive and adds that feeling of the unknown to the book. Jessica's vividly detailed writing made it incredibly easy for me to picture the lush, humid Amazon rainforest where Pia lives in her glass room at the compound where she's been raised. Ironically the jungle at first seems more secluded, secretive and dangerous than that of the walled place Pia lives in. As the story progresses further and as Pia starts to uncover the horrible truths about the place she thought was her home, and discover more about herself, the jungle is what starts to offer her safety and a glimpse of what the future can hold. I liked how the story and the mood of the book changes and shifts with setting, and Pia's discoveries.
Pia for me is a character who I normally would have had a hard time liking. For someone who's immortal, she starts off being incredibly naive, yet at the same time someone who's very book smart. She has zero experience with anything and anyone outside her compound, yet her quest for wanting to know more of what goes on outside the walls that confine her is one of the things that interested me the most about her. It made her more human like in many ways. Her quest for wanting answers gave me a small glimpse into the person Pia grew into. I admired the fact that she didn't always accept no as an answer or the half truths she was sometimes given.
Eio, the "wild" guy from the jungle on the other hand intrigued me from the moment he was introduced into the story. I really enjoyed getting to read about him, and learning about the ways of him and his people. I loved how strong, fearless, and resourceful he is. His mannerism, his actions and even his thought process fit the profile perfectly of someone who was raised in the jungle. The relationship between Pia and Eio grew in the way I had expected and hoped it would. At first it's timid and unsure, and then grows into something sure and fierce. It's accepting, promising, and real.
If you enjoy a well written storyline full of twists, secrets, and plenty of danger this one is for you! ORIGIN is a great stand alone read, and one I'd recommend picking up!...more
What an awesome read! I love it when I sit down to read a book and become enthralled with it's detailed setting, and utterly original storyli4.5 stars
What an awesome read! I love it when I sit down to read a book and become enthralled with it's detailed setting, and utterly original storyline. The Shadow Society was just that for me. I found the concept behind this story completely appealing, and I was impressed that Marie created a story based on someone's shadow. Not only is this something I've not read about before, but her story telling was so engaging that I read this book in one sitting. I couldn't but this book down. I had to know more. I wanted to know more about the characters, and their world or should I say the two worlds that exist in this story.
There's plenty of mystery and some fabulous twists that Marie throws into her story. Those twists are fabulous! I love it when an author makes me think one thing, and than wham, something happens and a shocking twist is revealed. One of the things I've had a hard time with, with reading lately is there have been a recent string of books I've grown bored with, because their storyline's are so predictable (no these aren't books I've reviewed on the blog). I didn't feel like The Shadow Society was predictable in anyway at all. Even the beginning when I might have cringed a little bit with the generic boy meets girl, and boy and girl have this immediate attraction turned out to be something entirely different than I first thought. Let me just say I didn't see that one twist coming, at all. I had suspicions, but didn't think that was going to happen.
I really enjoyed the way Darcy, our main character, and Conn, the love interest's relationship was developed. It goes from hot to cold quickly and as I mentioned above, that twist is fabulous! It's that twist that leads to a whole new set of twists, hidden agendas, lies and secrets. The story is seriously one fast paced, action packed read with an exciting plot line. I felt like the story got better and better as it went on. The other element I loved, was of course the forbidden love in this story. It's one that is exciting, scary, and changes the way both characters view the worlds around them, and what one of them stands for. I liked that this love challenged the characters, made them think, take action, and change for the better.
If you're looking for something engaging, highly entertaining, and a read that's unlike ones you've recently read, I'd highly recommend picking up this book! ...more
What a perfect way to ending to a great series. One of the strong themes in this series is choices. Each of the characters have choices to ma4.5 stars
What a perfect way to ending to a great series. One of the strong themes in this series is choices. Each of the characters have choices to make, and often times many of those choices involve sacrifices. The thing I've enjoyed the most about Caragh's Birthmarked series is the way her characters have continued to grow. The choices they've made have shaped them into the people they become and are in Promised, and play huge roles in the choices they make and the consequences that have followed them through out this series. There's a lot of things that have happened through out the course of this series, and I like how each of their choices and various consequences both good and bad played out through each book. As a reader I loved how various events that played out in Birthmarked and Prized are tied to things that happen in Promised. I really enjoyed how each book played off of the previous one. I feel sometimes in series that gets lost with each book, but not in Caragh's case.
Unlike the first two books in the series, Promised is more about Gaia's incredible transformation into a leader and a warrior for the rights of her people. I feel like she's the character who's grown the most in this series, as she should have been. Where Birthmarked introduced me to her character, Prized allowed me to see her relationships with others, which was fitting for that book as those relationships play key roles in this book. Promised gave me a strong leader in Gaia, and made her more relatable to me in many ways. She's a flawed character who sacrifices a lot for those she loves, and those she leads. Those I didn't agree with every choice she made, I understood why she made them. In a very relatable and realistic way, Gaia makes choices that sometimes have promising effects and other choices that lead to disastrous consequences. I felt that everything that she does was fitting for a world were survival was crucial, and war felt like a real possibility.
In this mix of everything that's going Gaia not only learns to trust herself, but her heart more as well. I seriously couldn't fall in love with Leon any more than I did in this book. The relationship between Gaia and Leon has been one of my favorites, and I loved the role it took and the stronger it became in Promised. It's one of those beautiful, broken, wonderful relationships that has come at a price for both them, but yet they both embrace what the other offers them. I don't even know how to explain what I really love about their relationship other than the fact it's so well written, and I loved every moment of these two together! That ending... sigh. It wraps up the series perfectly, while also leaving a few things unanswered, which for this series works great. It allows me as the reader to feel completely satisfied with how everything ends, and gives me hope for the future of the characters involved in Gaia and Leon's lives. I highly recommend picking up this heart pounding, sigh worthy, action packed book. ...more
Sometimes the only way to out smart a Villain it to become evil in order to become a super hero, or is it.... *evil laugh* If you took The Justice LeaSometimes the only way to out smart a Villain it to become evil in order to become a super hero, or is it.... *evil laugh* If you took The Justice League and X-Men and introduced them to the Breakfast Club, you'd get The Vindico. This well written, fast paced book is one both YA and adult readers will enjoy. It's at times humorous, other times action paced and yet at the heart of this story is a message readers can walk way with. The thing I enjoyed the most about Wes's writing is how he was able to blur the lines of good and evil. It was incredibly fascinating for me to see how my first notion that someone was wrong, or the choice someone else made was good, was in fact not necessarily the truth. Getting to see how someone on the "other side" of that action saw it was eye opening, and explained a lot about the history of two groups and the feelings towards each other.
Mixed into this story about Superheroes and Villains, are 5 proteges who were all kidnapped and in a round about way forced to join the world's greatest villains, The Vindico. Each of these kids are just your average teens, and yet there's something about each one of them that will help them grow into these amazing kids with superpowers. You know the kind of power you wish you had, like jedi mind trick powers, super strength, speed and more. As much as I loved getting to read about and understand the back story on how some of the villains came to be and their ties to the League of Hereos, I enjoyed getting to know about the 5 proteges more.
Wes's writing is fabulous, as he tells the story from all angles, and introduces each character into the story in a very distinct way, making it very easy to follow along with. This not only made the story flow well, but it kept me invested with this story, and all that was going on. I seriously love the Justice League, and really any sort of well created Super Hero vs Super Villain story, and The Vindico was the perfect mix of that. This is a story that I surprisingly read in one setting, I enjoyed it that much. It has all the right elements that I enjoy in my beloved super hero story's, and then some. Like humor, a little bit of romance, kick butt characters, characters who are trying to find their own destiny and can easily be persuaded to do good or to do wrong, and a back story that allowed me to understand the actions of both sides of the law.
Readers are able to get a glimpse into the lives of each of the teen characters that are introduced in this story, and are able to see how their back story's shape who they become, and the roles they now play in the epic battle of good vs evil. Given the fact there's still a lot left to know about them and their final decisions, I'm hoping that either each character will get their own book, or there will be at least a few more books in this series. I'm looking forward to reading more books from Wes and jumping back into this world with his next installment with this series. I think this is a story that both guys and girls, teens and adults alike with all enjoy, and it's one I highly recommend picking up!...more
A captivating storyline with plenty of romance, mystery, historical references, suspense and reincarnation. Transcendence introduces readers to an incA captivating storyline with plenty of romance, mystery, historical references, suspense and reincarnation. Transcendence introduces readers to an incredible world, fascinating characters and a unique story line. I've not read a lot of YA books that tackle reincarnation, and I was really surprised with how much I enjoyed C.J.'s story. I found it to be an incredibly intriguing, fun read. I didn't think this would be a story that I would get as swept up in as I did, and I really enjoyed it.
Being a fan of history, I loved the way past connects the characters now days. Their ties to each other, and glimpses into various moments into the past lives of Cole was well written, and interesting. There's a part of me that thinks it would be awesome to be able to remember past lives, and to have been alive during key events during history, than there's another part of me that feels that it would be daunting to remember all those lives, similar to how Cole first felt when she came into her powers. Cole, also known as Nicole was a fun character to get to know. I felt like I understood her freaking out over the various flashbacks she has, though she has no idea why she's having them at first and why. The more glimpses I got, the more I wanted to know what her past lives.
The other character I adored, who also shares the spotlight with Cole is Griffon. This boy doesn't just hold secrets into Cole's past lives, but he's that perfect gentleman who's always been a part of Cole's lives. I loved that while there was an immediate attraction and connect felt, which made perfect sense, there was a well paced build up to the romance the develops between the two. Griffon is so patient with Cole, and he does everything he can to help her grow into her powers and accept what she is and what she can do. I loved seeing how Cole was able to start trusting in him as well as fall in love with him. Griffon has always played a big role in Cole's lives, and I loved the role he played now.
Another thing I liked about this story is the way C.J. explains how reincarnation would effect a person now days. She created a realistic back story and made her book's reincarnation creditable with the history behind what Cole and Griffon are. They are what the Egyptian called Akhet's, meaning a people who can remember past lives they have lived before that can span hundreds to thousands of years. While both Cole and Griffon are both teens now, in past lives they could be different ages. She made it feel more realistic with knowing they would have relatives who are still around, despite the ages of some of the characters. C.J.'s vivid world building and writing was well paced, and really brought her story to life by giving it that realistic touch. Her descriptions, and her reasoning for why things happen was well executed and one of things that made this book so enjoyable for me....more
Eden brings plenty of action, romance, and uncertainty that dystopian and post-apocalyptic stories have in them, to the YA book scene. Keary not onlyEden brings plenty of action, romance, and uncertainty that dystopian and post-apocalyptic stories have in them, to the YA book scene. Keary not only created a story that relied heavily on these elements, she created a vivid world that was incredibly easy for me picture. I was fascinated by Eden, and the fact that the world as me know it now no longer exists. Technology rules and the few humans left are now on the run. It's here, in Eden where Eve's story starts. Being among some of the last few hold outs of humans, Eden has become both a refuge for those survivors. I do not envy the characters of this book, and all they have to deal with, but I enjoyed getting to read about them.
Eve is a character I didn't really connect with until towards the end of the book. Which was surprising to me, because I admired how resilient, motivated and tough she is. She will do whatever it takes to support and save those who live in her colony, which has become her family. She has some great butt kicking moments. This girl isn't afraid to get dirty or take a few hits, but she can definitely dish it out to anyone who tries to come after those she loves and cares deeply amount. Any girl who takes a stand and does whatever she can to protect those she loves gets high praise in my book.
This story's world building fascinated me, and I liked how descriptive Keary gets with her setting. It was so easy for me to envision it in my mind as I'm reading about. The colony of Eden was interesting to me. I liked how despite the various age differences, they all work together much like a family would. Each character has a different role and they all take turns hunting, caring for each other, growing food, etc. They world they live in is far from easy. They're constantly on the run and the look out for the Fallen. I enjoyed getting to know some of the characters that reside in Eden.
Aside from Eve, we get to meet Avian and West, the two main love interests. Though I liked West from the moment he enters the scene, Avian won me over. I should back up and say I liked that both guys would do anything for Eve, including risking their lives for her, but the history she had with Avian and the way they acted around each other made it so much easy for me to adore him. I loved their stolen moments together. I enjoy a well written love triangle, but I just didn't get into this one. I felt that Eve's feelings for both guys was believable, and I liked that she worked out her feelings for both guys. I even liked how she finally made her choice, but I personally didn't like how long it took her to make it. I started to lose interest in it, and then wham, something happens (keeping it spoiler free) and she made her choice, and the way she comes to that conclusion made total sense to me. I really wish I could talk about this part of the book, but I can't do so without mentioning spoilers.
I love the surprising twists Keary threw with the last part of Eden. I was not expecting them at all. Eden is a fast paced read with a good plot line, and lots of sizzling romance, and plenty of action. If you've a fan of dystopians and post apocalyptic reads, I'd recommend adding this to your lists! I think Eden is a book YA fans are really going to enjoy. ...more
I want to start off by saying I normally do not review adult books on Mundie Moms. That doesn't mean I don't read them, because I do. My main focus onI want to start off by saying I normally do not review adult books on Mundie Moms. That doesn't mean I don't read them, because I do. My main focus on my blog is YA books, but there was something about this story that made me say yes to reviewing it here on the blog. It's not a heartwarming story nor is it a paranormal, contemporary or historical YA read that you'd normally see me get all excited about. Instead, this story is a brutal, horrifying, eye opening story into one man's survival, courage and bravery in escaping the unescapable Camp 14 in Northern Korea. After all, how can anyone escape an camp that's "non-exisstant".
Part of me excepted this book to take place during a war. I foolish read camp and immediately thought of a prison camp. I've done a lot of reading up on WWII and the horrific things that happened then. I know all to well about the horrible things that happened in German prison camps during that time as my grandfather was a POW, but this story isn't one that happened during a war, this is a story that is happening now, in our day. Though the makings of this story started years and years ago, Shin's journey began in the early 1980's and ended recently when he escaped. Yes, I said recently.This is a story about incredible courage, the will to survive, and the unthinkable strength one man had to change his future, or to give himself a future he had no idea existed.
This story is one that would have never had been told had it not been journalist Blaine Harden's promoting and for Shin's willingness to educate others about the horrifying atrocities that happen in this prison camps North Korea. Really this camp sounds more like concentration camp than a prison camp. It was sickening to me to find out that things like this still go on in the world, and what Shin had to endure since he was toddler. Not only that, I can't imagine what it was like for his late mother who didn't have any control over had really happened to her son. There's so much about this story that has left me a little lost for words about what I just read.
Blaine does an amazing job at not only telling Shin's story, but he gives readers an understanding at how something like this has gone on unknown for so many generations. Shin's chilling details about his life in Camp 14 go beyond those that you'd find in a YA dystopian. The things Shin endure are unthinkable. Forced into hard labor at a young age, starved, beaten, and having to watch part of your family and even fellow prison mates killed in front of you are things I can't even imagine witnessing. What's more surprising about this story, is Shin is the ONLY known person to every escape Camp 14 and survive.
Escape from Camp 14 will not only allow readers to met an incredibly courageous person, but it will definitely give readers a glimpse into the disturbing things that happen in one of the world's most mysterious, dark nations. This is a harrowing story I'd recommend to older, mature readers as there are some very disturbing scenes in this book. This story isn't for the faint of heart, but it's a powerful, thought provoking book that will haunt you long after you read it. ...more
Faeries, the Depression, and mystery aren't normally three things I'd expect to find when reading a YA paranormal book. But Sarah Zettel's D3.5 stars
Faeries, the Depression, and mystery aren't normally three things I'd expect to find when reading a YA paranormal book. But Sarah Zettel's Dust Girl is not your normal faerie book. Her unique faerie folklore, vividly detailed historical setting and references during the Dust Bowl, as well as Callie's African American heritage make this story a fascinating read. I'm a huge of fan both urban fantasy, paranormal reads, and historical fiction, and I like the way Sarah gave me all there of these elements in her book. She gave me a beautiful mix of a variety of elements, and it worked well for her story.
Sarah is a fabulous story teller, and I was really impressed with her ability to make me feel like I had stepped back into the 1930's while I also reminded in present day. Sarah's use of that era's dialogue, her vivid descriptions of her characters, and the world they live in made it incredibly easy for me to not only picture Callie's world, but it made her world come alive for me. At first it took me a bit to get used to Sarah's storytelling style, and the way she was setting up her story, but once I got that, it was much easier for me to get into the story. Dust Girl puts readers right in the middle of the Great Depression, and more specifically the Dust Bowl, as well as an intriguing Faerie world. While it was a little confusing at first trying to figure out all that was going on, I liked getting to figure out what was happening along side the main character Callie. She's all the sudden thrust into a journey shrouded in mystery that and she has to unravel it one piece at a time in order to find her answers.
Given she knows little about her past, her father, and not getting much of anything out of her mother makes it harder for Callie to figure out who she can trust during her journey. As a reader it was hard for me to figure out which characters were trust worthy and which characters were Callie's enemy. Sarah does such an amazing job at introducing a variety of interesting characters that had me wondering who was trust worthy and who was dangerous along side Callie. This cast of characters is great! They're engaging, and each add something to the story. Callie and her traveling companion Jack are by far the most intriguing characters in this story. I admired the strength they both have, the support they offer each other, their humor, and their ability to work together. Individually they're great, but together they make a strong, united front in their quest to find Callie's father, her mother and the answers they're looking for.
Dust Girl is a good read. It's non stop action, twists, suspense and mystery. Being that it's the first book in a series, I think readers will get a more in-depth look into the mythology Sarah has created, and will get to see Callie continue to grow, and find the answers she needs as the series goes on. It's not that the mythology was bad in Dust Girl, but I felt it needed a bit more to it in order for me to love it, and I really think I'll get that as the series progresses. I loved that Callie is mixed race. I feel that's not something that's found often in YA books. Being half Caucasian and half African American, I wish the cover would have reflected that a bit more than it does. I think the girl on the cover is beautiful, but she doesn't quite fit the Callie that's in the story, or maybe she does and I'm off base on mentioning this.
If you're looking a for a unique urban fantasy with a historical twist I'd recommend picking this on up. It's one that both MG and YA readers will enjoy. Stop back by the blog next Tuesday when I share my interview I had with Sarah about her new release. ...more
Fans of fantasy will enjoy this new series from Michael Rothman. Packed with adventure, plenty of fantasy elements, and an age appropriate romance, reFans of fantasy will enjoy this new series from Michael Rothman. Packed with adventure, plenty of fantasy elements, and an age appropriate romance, readers of all ages will enjoy this new magical journey into a land unlike any other.
For the Riverton family, a fun summer vacation to AZ sounded like the perfect retreat from their beautiful home in the Pacific Northwest. Little did they know their trip would forever change their lives, as they are transported to a magical land unlike anything they ever imagined. It's here upon their arrival in a land full of magic, mythical beings, and danger do they learn their boys's arrivals had long been foretold in an ancient prophecy. In fulfilling their destiny, Aaron and Ryan both inherit strong magical abilities. In land where those who possess magic are banned/killed, both boys learn to grow up fast and quickly learn how to harness their new found abilities.
I really enjoyed the fantasy element of this book, and the adventure this family goes on. While this story follows the brothers, I liked that the story focused on the family and their new friends. I love that strong family bond that the Riverton's have, and how they're all in this together. The boys themselves are fun characters to read about, and I liked how they both embrace their difference, as well and learn to work together. Another think I liked about this book is the fact this story spans the course of two years, leading up into the second book in this series. There's also a cast of lively characters whom I enjoyed meeting as well.
What I had a hard time with is the story's pacing, and the length of the book. Don't get me wrong, I love a big book, but I feel that any book, whether it's fantasy, adventure, romance etc. is over 200 pages it needs to keep a good pace in order for the reader me to stay engaged with the story line. This book being 369 pages lost my interest a few times. There were times I felt the pacing was very slow, and other times I felt there were a few too many overly descriptive scenes that took me out of the story, vs keeping me hooked with it. I appreciated what the author was trying to do, but for me personally it didn't hook me enough to love the story, though overall I felt like it was still a good read.
If you're looking for a good, clean cut fantasy loaded with adventure, a close knit family, magic and a touch of romance I'd recommend picking this book up...more