When my sports-obsessed husband gets super excited about a game he’s watching he yells out, “Instant classic!” Well, that is exactly how I felt after only a few chapters of A Darker Shade of Magic. INSTANT CLASSIC. ADSoM has all the makings of a classic fantasy story – a detailed setting (that you want to get lost in, yes, even if it’s impossibly dangerous), a fast-paced plot (I may have wished that my kids could walk to and from school on their own just so I could keep reading) and characters that you wish you could meet in person.
The setting is unbelievable. Four, separate Londons. I KNOW. Four of one of my favorite cities. And all four Londons are linked by magic. They are also linked by Travelers, people who can use magic to transport themselves between the different cities. Kell is our main protagonist and he’s also one of these rare Travelers. Kell’s main job is to deliver messages from the kings and queens of the different Londons. Can you imagine my excitement as the political intrigue and betrayals begin to build?
But, Victoria doesn’t leave it at that level of simple, fantasy plot. No, she introduces more characters (don’t worry if you’re like me and have trouble keeping track of a larger cast of characters, you won't have that issue here) and she efficiently tells you their story before using them to further the impossibly fast-moving plot.
Oh you guys, I looooooooved Kell and just wait until you meet Lila. She is the perfect live-for-adventure heroine. The two of them grow to depend on one another and their chemistry and quick wits made me want to ship them forever. And then there’s the prince of Red London, Rhy. Those three, Kell, Lila and Rhy, have my heart.
Now I’m going to leave you to discover the villains for yourself. They are complex, motivated and yes, my hatred for them was deeeeeeep. In other words, they are the very best kind of villains. You get them and you still hate them.
Don’t wait to pick up your copy of ADSoM and be sure to bump it up on your TBR pile. This is a classic fantasy tale that is just waiting to be picked up and read. Warning: symptoms after you finish reading will include – a pounding book hangover, a desire to test out your Traveler skills and an overwhelming urge to own a cool multi-layered and flippable coat. The only known treatment is the next installment of the story. For that, we will have to wait an entire year. I know, I know, it will feel like forever. ...more
This was an interesting book, as it's not one I'd normally pick up and read, but it's one that I read shortly after I received i2.5 stars- it was okay
This was an interesting book, as it's not one I'd normally pick up and read, but it's one that I read shortly after I received it for review back in the fall. There was something about Anthony, the story's main character that made me want to read more about him. It didn't take long for me to feel bad for Anthony. Everything he's been told about his dad and his whereabouts has been a lie. Once Anthony learns the truth, he wants nothing more than to be with his dad. When his father, a criminal escapes, Anthony runs away to be with him.
Anthony's dad has never been around for him, and even though he did make some bad choices, Anthony has this innocence to him that makes him believe that everything will turn out okay for him and his dad. Anthony's father on the other hand is a character who doesn't try and hide what he did. He explains to his son what he did, and though Anthony still looks up to his dad, his dad also tries to make his son realize this isn't a place his son needs to be, on the run. Anthony's place is back home with his mom and sister.
Though the story is very predictable and not an in-depth read, it is one that was interesting for me to read, because I got to see Anthony's world through his eyes, and it changed how I as an adult first perceived his father and the situation these two are now in. Over all this wasn't a book I fell in love with. The writing was unique and gave the story it's own distinct voice and feel, which I liked. Over all this is a book that connected me with on a much different level, though it might be on someone will really enjoy. ...more
If there is one children's book series you pick up this year, this needs to be it! I am in LOVE with William Joyce's The Guardians series. These are nIf there is one children's book series you pick up this year, this needs to be it! I am in LOVE with William Joyce's The Guardians series. These are not only priceless children's books to have, they're also ones that as a parent remind me of the joys that come from reading, and having stories like this to read to my kids. Story's like this are the kind that stick with us all through childhood and as we continue to grow older, they find a small corner in the back of our memories, and our minds to go, so that we can draw on it at some other time in life, and be reminded of the fun, and imaginative times we spent as kids getting lost in books. As a parent, reading these books with my kids allows me to relive the magic, the innocence and the joy that makes up childhood.
The Sandman is the first Guardian chosen by The Man in the Moon. His role is to help children have good dreams. While the Man in the Moon is only allowed to be on the moon, the Sandman is one of the Guardians on earth, who's role is to protect the children of the world from Pitch, the Nightmare King. If you read The Man in the Moon, you'll know who Pitch is (if you haven't read it, I highly recommend that you do). I love that this book continues with the rich mythology, and story telling that I have come to love with William Joyce's series. Just like the first book in this series, The Sandman has incredible illustrations that alone bring this book to life. The Sandman is a richly detailed, magical story that soothes children of their night times fears as they realize there is a pint size Guardian who is waiting to send them warm, happy dreams.
The Sandman is part of the The Guardians series, which is made up of two picture books, The Man in the Moon and The Sandman. These two books are in addition to The Guardians series which is made up of Nicholas St. North and the Nightmare King, E. Aster Bunnymund and the Battle of the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core, Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies. This past holiday season Rise of the Guardians the movie was released, and is based on William's book. Well in honor of the movie coming out on DVD this TUESDAY (I can't wait), I had to feature one of my favorite characters, whom also plays a huge role in the movie, THE SANDMAN! ...more
Nate is destined for big things, and one of those things will be when he can "surpass all others". At least that's what his fortune cookie says, and wNate is destined for big things, and one of those things will be when he can "surpass all others". At least that's what his fortune cookie says, and we all know how often those are right. In Nate's case, it is right, but it's what Nate surpasses others on is one of the comical moments in this book. Nate is a kid who just can't seem to catch a break, and he's definitely in a class all by himself. I felt bad for him at times, and other times I couldn't help but laugh with him. No matter what he does, or doesn't do, something always happens and he finds himself blamed for it. No matter what happens during his day, Nate can at least meet his obstacles with humor, and a bit of sarcasm.
This is the first Big Nate I've read and now I can see why it's a huge hit. This along with The Diary of a Wimpy Kid are both series that we couldn't seem to keep in stock with the latest Scholastic book fair I helped co-run. I kinda of wish I had books like this when I was a kid, as they would have made me realize I wasn't the only one feeling the way they do. ...more
Romance, danger, vampires and a whole lot more! This book was packed full of surprises, twists, and one seriously awesome butt kicking heroine who wilRomance, danger, vampires and a whole lot more! This book was packed full of surprises, twists, and one seriously awesome butt kicking heroine who will do whatever it takes to protect to her twin sister. This book was not at all what I was excepting it to be, it was so much better. When I sat down to read this book I wasn't sure what I should except, and I can tell you I wasn't excepting to be hooked from the get go, to read it in one sitting, and to fall in love with some of the characters. Emily McKay's The Farm is an awesome read and one I really enjoyed it.
One of the things I liked about this book is you don't have to be a fan of vampires to enjoy it. Sure vampires are in this story, but the main characters aren't vampires. Set in a world that's best described as a cross between a paranormal nightmare and a well crafted dystopian one, everything has been devastated by vampires and ticks, zombie like vampires. People are wiped out in some areas. Families are driven apart, homes and cities are destroyed, and parts of the US are in ruins. Teens are all that seem to be left, and they are sent to farms. Nope, I'm not talking farms that grow fruits and veggies on either. At the heart of this dark, troubled and dangerous world is where we meet Lily and her twin sister Mel. Forced to live on the farm, a place where survival of the fittest is key, Lily does everything in her power to keep her sister and her safe. She's even devised a plan for them to escape, and all seems like a go until Connor, Lily's crush from the Before arrives, and he's looking for her.
I adore Connor! I love the relationship that he and Lily have. It's complex, and it's realistic given the history between them and all that's going on around them. There's a few things I'm leaving out to avoid spoilers, but their relationship and the relationship he has with Lily's sister Mel is fabulous! Mel is different, and I loved that while Lily is so busy trying to keep her safe, Connor bursts onto the scene and immediately gets through to her. Mel is a character I fell in love with right of the bat. Through she doesn't communicate how we do, she's a character her sees a lot that goes on around her, and understands way more than Lily thinks she does. I love how protective Lily is of her sister. Lily herself is a tough cookie. Part of me felt bad she had to be that way and another part of me admire her for it, because she is the protector. She's fearless, and isn't afraid to kick some butt. Connor, well he's a strong hottie with a secret agenda. I love that Connor and Lily both throw each other off their games a little it. It's fabulous!
Being that the story is told from all three of their points of views makes this story that much more addicting! It wasn't confusing, nor did it ever hinder the flow of the storyline. It added depth to the characters and I liked getting to see them from three different points of views. The paranormal elements in this story are frightening, creepy, exciting and intriguing. I like there's this mix of humans, "special abilities" and vampires. The world building is fabulous. It's meant to be a little dark, laced with danger, and has this unknown feel to it. It's unknown what lies to the north, and what's going to happen to them now that they're on the run after their escape from the farm and yet there's this hope that Lily, Connor and Mel find and cling to.
This is a story of survival at it's finest. It's driven by will, made possible by sacrifice, and touched with love and the will to endure. There's plenty of danger, fabulous character chemistry and some great action packed twists that kept me hooked with this book. Oh that ending! Just as I thought I had the very end of the book predicted, Emily throws in a twist that might have left me a little teary eyed. I need the sequel like now. This is a great read and one I'd recommend reading. There is a tiny bit of gore, and some very mild language through out the book....more
I feel like my review needs to start off with an evil laugh. After all this is a review for Dark Lloyd, or as he's known in our world Dirk Lloyd. KnowI feel like my review needs to start off with an evil laugh. After all this is a review for Dark Lloyd, or as he's known in our world Dirk Lloyd. Known as The Dark Lord, Dirk Lloyd is now a human, in our world and has no powers. Once the powerful ruler of a dark world, Dirk some how fell into our world and without his ring, and his power, he's unable to get back into his world. Forced to live life as a human, Dirk goes through various tests, and his given a foster home to stay in, since no one knows where he's from, and no one believes he's the Dark Lord he keeps claiming to be.
Written in a way that's both comical, and for the most part engaging for kids to read, Dirk is forced to go to school, discovers a few new friends, deals with a few bullies, and finds ways around doing things without his old powers. Dirk's story is told through a fun narrative, his journal entries, and some of his illustrations. Though I found some of his wordage to be repetitive, I think Dirk and his story are one young readers are really going to enjoy. It's funny, it has situations they can relate to, mentions of sports, a good vs evil plot, video game talk, and friendship. Above all it has a character that's both an evil genius, funny, and some one who learns a lot about friendship. Not to mention we get glimpses into the world The Dark Lord once ruled.
With a cast of unforgettable characters both in our world and from The Dark Lord's world, Dark Lord is a book I think a lot of readers will devour. It has a little bit of a Vordak feel to it (another great MG book), and a little bit of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Though this a book that is entirely it's own. It's a fun, adventurous, engaging read, and one I think even reluctant readers will enjoy. That ending will leave readers wishing the next installment in Dirk's story was already out. I'd definitely add this book to your list for MG readers!...more
Infernal Device fans will enjoy this adaption of Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel. Really I should say, "Will and Jem4.5 stars
Infernal Device fans will enjoy this adaption of Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel. Really I should say, "Will and Jem in magna form, need I say more", and be done with my review. haha. I don't know what it is about seeing my favorite characters illustrated, but man it made me sigh over the Jem scenes and want to slap Will up side the head and tell him to just kiss Tessa already. Oh yes, wait till you read/see their kissy moments. These scenes will have you sighing all over again as will a Jem and Tessa scene. I'm a huge Will fan, but secretly I'm torn between Jem and Will. They're both such fabulous character, and after seeing them illustrated in manga form I'm even more torn over them. I don't envy Tessa and the choice she has to make in picking between the two, because I couldn't choose.
I loved the way Will, Jem and Tessa were illustrated. Over all I enjoyed most all of the illustrations in this book. I felt like Hyekyung captured the look and feel of this book perfectly. I'll admit it took me a bit to get used to Magnus's look, but once I did I felt that his long hair fit for the time period the book is set in. I just never pictured him w/ that kind of hair style, but it ended up working for him. I was not impressed with Henry's illustration at all. His illustration is my biggest complaint with this book. I felt the rest of the cast were illustrated perfectly. Will, Tessa and Jem had that manga look I really like. I felt that Hyekyung captured the look I had excepted with them, along with Charlotte, Jessamine, Nate and the rest of the cast, but Henry's look was, I don't even know how to explain it. It was bad and didn't fit in with the rest of the cast's illustrations. At all. I'm not sure if the intent was to make Henry feel awkward, or have him stand out, or what. It didn't work for me for at all. In fact I'm surprised someone didn't catch it and have it re-drawn. Being with a cast of well illustrated characters, Henry stood out like a sore thumb, and not in a good way.
I thought they did a good job on the scene selection for the book. Being an adaptation I know not every scene can be included, though I'm a little surprised there was no mention of A Tale of Two Cities in it. I liked how each chapter was separated, making it easier from me to know where one chapter ends and the next one begins. I enjoyed the illustrations, and I like that the first 6 pages are in color. I had hoped the rest of the book would be in color, but when you're reading Jem and Will in manga I'm not going to complain about them being in black and white or color. Oh and you know who else was in this book, Brother Enoch, and he's just as frightening looking as I had pictured him. Over all I really enjoyed this 8 chapter book. It's the perfect size to get that refresher of the events that happened during the first part of Clockwork Angel. I'm really looking forward to reading the second manga in this series! I'd definitely recommend this book to Infernal Device fans, and I wouldn't hestiate to call it a must have for ID fans. I would recommend reading the Clockwork Angel before you pick this one and read through it. ...more
Lisa McMann you've done it again. You've created another great contemporary with a fun twist! I know every time I pick up one of Lisa's YA books she'sLisa McMann you've done it again. You've created another great contemporary with a fun twist! I know every time I pick up one of Lisa's YA books she's going to hook me. Here's my internal thought process when I grab a Lisa McMann book, ie. Crash: "Oh sweet! I'm so excited I can finally sit down and read this. I've only got about 20 mins, which is just enough time to start it..... " *30 mins later* Shoot I really need to stop reading this book I've got x,y and z to get done, but I can't stop reading this. *20 mins later* Okay, my to-do list can wait, this book is good! I can't stop reading it. *more time passes* I can not stop now. I can not believe the crap this girl is dealing with! I need to know what's going to HAPPEN!! *closer to the end of the book* Yes! FINALLY!! *the end* Are you serious? That's the end.... *flips to the blank pages at the end* No way! I need to know what's about to happen! That can not be the end. They had to have left out a few sentences or pages or something...."
Crash is one of those books that doesn't just tell a story, it allows me to feel like I'm getting a glimpse into a person's life vs a characters. I love how Lisa makes her characters feel so real. With Crash, the story centers on Jules and her crazy, close knit family. I enjoyed the family dynamics in Crash, because they were realistic. I loved the unity that Jules, her older brother Trey have, and the relationship they have with their younger sister Rowan. Trey by far was my favorite. He's a great older brother, and I loved the connection he has with Jules. I liked that the siblings all worked together. There were times I felt bad they were forced to work as much as they did, and that they didn't have an option to not work at their family pizzeria, but at the same time, it was the foundation for what drove the family, kept them close, drove wedges between them, and Jules's old best friend's family, and it was the cause for a lot of problems at the heart of this story.
Jules for me was a character I went back and forth on. There were times I felt bad she had to deal with not just these crazy visions, but she had to deal with being a social outcast because of her family's business. Part me of loved that she just didn't care, but the other part of me felt bad that because of this business and her father's dislike for the other family pizzeria in town, she lost her best friend. Now, Jules at times does seem like a creeper with her stalking tendencies toward Sawyer, but at the same time I totally understood why she was acting the way she was. The more I understood her visions, the more I understood her action. I can't say I blame her. It's kinda of a twist in the story, which is why I'm not going into details about it. That's just say betrayal, a brutal family rivalry, a secret crush, and a family dealing with past issues are what Jules is up against.
Don't worry, this story isn't without it's lighter moments. There's a tiny bit of humor with Trey and Jules, and the list Jules creates, and a slight touch of romance that keep this story going. And oh Sawyer. Once I got to know him my heart broke for him, and I didn't blame him at all for how he acted. He's one of those characters that's just, I don't even know. He's hard not to like, and he's someone who once he knows the truth of certain matters tries to make things right. I love how he and Jules are bound to fix that which was made wrong with their family rivalry. In true Lisa McMann fashion, she touches on the more realistic things in life. She creates moments of heartbreak, sweet moments, moments of hope, and throws in a dash of hope and romance along the way. This is a book I'd recommend to fans of Lisa's Wake series. There is some mild language in the book, a few uses of the f-word. ...more
An entertaining read that will leave readers laughing out loud, Horrid Henry and the Zombie Vampires will definitely be a hit for fans of this series.An entertaining read that will leave readers laughing out loud, Horrid Henry and the Zombie Vampires will definitely be a hit for fans of this series. With Francesca's easy to read text, some laugh out loud moments, and the book's smallish size make this a fast paced read even the most reluctant reader will enjoy. This book's 4 short stories will entertain just about anyone with a second grade reading level and higher. ...more
Every now and then I like to mix it up a bit and read something outside of the YA realm, and this was a book that was too good to pass up. Aside from Every now and then I like to mix it up a bit and read something outside of the YA realm, and this was a book that was too good to pass up. Aside from already being a huge fan of Jennifer's writing, I was hooked the moment I read this book's synopsis. WOW! Talk about hot, witty, and addictive. Jennifer's hot character chemistry is something I've already fallen in love with from her YA series, but she takes that to a whole new level with Chase!
Jennifer definitely knows how to write characters who are snarky, a little broken, and have an electrifying character chemistry. In other words she knows how to write hot. I loved the history that Madison and Chase have. Chase always been apart of her life given that he's one of her older brother's best friends. The chemistry the two have always had is something the both have denied despite it being obvious to everyone else. When things go from bad to worse for Madison at her brothers wedding, I couldn't help but laugh at the situation she finds herself in. First her car troubles, which Chase comes to rescue her from, and then accidental lodging at that puts Chase and Madison in the honeymoon suite together. It's comical, and hot to say the least, and what transpires is, well what you'd except. It's funny, it's raw, and it's complicated and holy wow it's hot!
Aside from the hotness (I mean this is an adult book so of course there's lots of that), I loved the family dynamics. Madison's family is like a family to Chase and his two brothers and I loved feeling like I was apart of their reminiscing, their jabs at each other, and all this also allowed me to understand Chase more and his actions. I also loved the brothers and the relationships they have, and the relationships all the main characters have with Madison's parents. They're the type of parents you wish your friends in high school had so you could go hang out at their house.
Aside from a good storyline with rich characters, this is an adult romance book and believe me there is plenty of romance, and um other things that take place in this! This is one of those fabulous guilty pleasures that will wish you leaving book two was already out.
*this is an adult book* and not one I'd recommend to younger readers....more
Oh my Gamble Brothers! If you thought Tempting the Best Man was hot, wait till you meet Chad. He gives his brother a run for his money is this steamyOh my Gamble Brothers! If you thought Tempting the Best Man was hot, wait till you meet Chad. He gives his brother a run for his money is this steamy sequel! I've not read a J. Lynn book I've not loved. She really knows how to give me it all in one hot little book. She knows how to write steamy, mixes it up with sarcasm, and gives me characters I can't help but fall for. Chad is a character I fell for.
Brothers of Hell, demons, Fallen angels, rich mythology, sizzling romance and plenty of supernatural excitement, this sequel surpassed all my expectatBrothers of Hell, demons, Fallen angels, rich mythology, sizzling romance and plenty of supernatural excitement, this sequel surpassed all my expectations. I loved it! Trinity Faegen gave me everything I wanted and much more. There are many things I've come to love about the Mephisto brothers, but what I didn't expect to do was fall in love with the leader of the group, Keys nor did I except to love Eryx, the eldest brother who just so happens to be their sworn enemy. There's something to said about an author who makes you love the villain as much as you love the heroes in their story.
This storyline not only continues to surprise me, but it keeps me wanting more. I want to know more about each brother, and find out what's going to happen next. Like the first book, I love that this book continues the story of the brothers. It also dives deeper into the mythology and lore that makes up the Mephisto brother's history as well as that of the Anabos, and it introduces new characters to the series. I love that each book seems to follow a different brother and their love interest, while keeping the over all flow of everything that's going on with the family. This time around the story follows that of Keys and Jordan.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a much more vulnerable side to Keys. He's this distant, strong, commanding leader of the family, but things change once he meets/saves Jordan. Seriously, he couldn't find a more perfect match for him, than with Jordan. She is just as stubborn as he is, strong willed, beautiful and someone who isn't afraid to speak what's on her mind. The fireworks can definitely fly when these two are in the same room. I also like the more realistic side to their relationship. They both bring things out in the other person that no one else can, and they both learn to not only rely on the both, but trust the other. With Jordan and Keys I felt like I was able to understand the sacrifices that they've both made and have to make in order to become who they are, and accomplish what's required of them. On the flip side of that, I loved that everyone in this book has choices, and of course consequences.
The romantics at heart might swoon over some of the choices and sacrifices these brothers are willing to make for the girls they love. Speaking of brothers, what happens when you have two brothers who are equally matched in god like looks, strength and intelligence? You gets Keys and Eryx who both have their eyes set on Jordan, and while one of them gets her heart, the other does everything in his power to claim her as his. Let's just say the battle of wills between these two is dangerous and at times comical. Curse you Trinity for making me love your evil villain. Against my better judgement I ended up feeling sorry for Eryx, which is not something I wanted to do. The more I got to know him, and the more I understood him, though I didn't agree with his actions. I couldn't fault Jordan for falling for his antics. Eryx knows just want to say and how to twist things to go in his favor, vs his brother Keys who's straight forward, blunt and brutal honest.
Aside from these two brothers I loved Jax! He and Phoenix are the two brothers I fell in love with reading The Mephisto Covenant and I couldn't help but loving them more. I am really hoping we more of Phoenix's story in the next book. It's so heartbreaking and hopeful all at the same time. I'm holding out that there's hope for him in the future based on some turn of events that happen at the end of the book. There is definitely no shortage of hot bad boys, strong female love interests, and plenty excitement in this book. There's plenty of action scenes, unexpected twists, and the right amount of romance that YA readers are going to want much more when they finish this book. I highly recommend picking this series up. There are some sensual scenes, mild language, and mentions of sex in this book.
Thank you for JeanBookNerd for asking me to be on her blog tour for The Mephisto Kiss, though I ended up missing out on posting on my date. ...more
This book was a pleasant surprise for me. I'm trying to branch out a bit more in my reading of YA contemporaries, something I don't read a lot of, andThis book was a pleasant surprise for me. I'm trying to branch out a bit more in my reading of YA contemporaries, something I don't read a lot of, and I really liked Janet's writing style and her story telling. She did an incredible job at creating a realistic story that deals with heartache, grief, love, learning to forgive, moving forward, choices, consequences and variety of other topics readers will easily relate to. The thing I was most impressed with in Who I Kissed was Janet's ability to bring awareness to food allergies, and mental illness without it being preachy or heavy. While both things are a huge factor in the lives of the teens in this book, it's their relationships, and the choices they make that really drew me into the story.
Life is about choices. No matter how big or small they are, they shape us, and our future. I liked that, that was a theme with Samantha's story. It's those choices no matter how planned out or spur of the moment they are, that turned her life upside down, and took her on a different course that she had planned. Like that time she ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, not realizing the deadly effect it could have on Alex, the guy she barley knew and kissed at that party. I really enjoyed getting to know Samantha. She's someone I felt like I connected with right away, and I enjoyed her strong voice. I sympathized with and I cheered her on. I understood her pain, and sorrow as well as her motivation to continue on. I liked that while she had a support group of her dad, her close friend and her aunt, the choice was always hers to get through the tragic event that has now changed her life.
In this web of sorrow, heartache and grief, comes something powerful, and it's Samantha and her will to just live. To take one day at a time and to try and cope with all that's gone around her and try to make things right in a new kind of way. The thing I loved about this book is how real the characters felt. It's not just Samantha, but her dad, her aunt, her crush Zee, her best friend, and Alex's family. I got their emotions, I understood their motives, and I liked that there is more to what really happened that night at the party than we're first made to believe. This is a book that unravels perfectly revealing just enough I need to know at all the right moments. It's a story that includes first kisses, the first kisses you wish you got, new romances, hope, hate, bullies, crushes, family relationships, and so much more. Most importantly it's book about forgiving and moving one. I love the way Janet tackles all the emotional sides that happen in this book, and puts it in a realistic high school setting. It's not just about Samantha, but about Alex's family, his best friends, and those that surround both Samantha, Zee and those who knew Alex best.
There's so much more I want to say about this book, but I'll just say it's one I'd recommend picking up. I really enjoyed Janet's writing style and I'm looking forward to reading more of her books. There is some mild language, mentions of sex/fooling around, and tastefully written sex scene, and a lot of talk about grief and coping with the loss of a loved one/good friend. It's a book that may not be for everyone, but it's one I felt was realistically written, and one I'd probably read again....more
Shadowhunter/Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader is Shadowhunting 101 at it's finest. If you were to take a course on Shadowhunting and DownworlShadowhunter/Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader is Shadowhunting 101 at it's finest. If you were to take a course on Shadowhunting and Downworlders, I would venture to guess this book is what the class would be made up off. Shadowhunters and Downworlds is an interesting anthology that brings together authors who not only talk about various subjects and topics that are found within Cassie's books, they support what they're saying with quotes and references found through the The Mortal Instruments series, as well as actual fact, like with Michelle Hodkin's easy. I can honestly say I enjoyed reading this book more than I thought I would. I felt like I was having an in-depth discussion/lecture with other fans who really got and understood what Cassie's worlds, her characters and her books are comprised of.
Smart Pop Books's newest release is edited by Cassie herself. I LOVE that Cassie not only had a hand in the book, but prior to each new chapter she includes her thoughts on each author's essay about The Mortal Instrument world. Speaking of those essays, I loved the in-depth insight each author gave to their topic. For example I loved what Sarah Cross concludes in her essay The Art of War, about Clary when she says:
"Clary is what I think a lot of us hope we could be, if we found ourselves in her situation: someone who becomes a hero out of necessity, who is not on an even playing field with the rest of the players-but who, out of sheer determination, finds a way to turn her natural talents into the tours of her survival.
Clary saves lives- her own, and those of her friends. She draws a better world into existence, and she never lets the word impossible stop her.
In Clary's hands, the stele is truly mightier than the sword." - page 33
I'm not one who normally writes in my books, but I totally highlighted some of my favorite passages from this book. How could I not? There are so many insightful quotes to highlight. I loved it. I enjoyed the in-depth topics of discussion that are made through the book. Robin Wasserman made an excellent point in her essay When Laws Are Made To Be Broken, when she says,
"There's a choice after all. There's always a choice. There is the lesson our heroes need to embrace before they can grow up.... and before they can triumph. To win they need to do more than just question the rules. They need to change them." - page 64
One of the essays I was most fascinated with is Michelle Hodkin's, Simon Lewis: Jewish, Vampire, Hero. In this chapter Michelle does an incredible job at digging into the rich Jewish religion, as well as vampirism. I know that nothing Cassie does or writes about in her series is for lack of filling space. What Cassie includes in her series always has a purpose, no matter how big or little the moment or the passage is. In this chapter I felt that Michelle really clued me in and educated me more on the complex world and turn of events Cassie truly created with Simon, and him becoming a vampire. Not only that, but some of the comments Clary makes to him have far more greater significance than I picked up on.
Michelle describes Simon perfectly here when she says, "Simon Lewis isn't perfect. He sins. He "misses". He is tempted in City of Fallen Angels, and even though he isn't a literal angel, he certainly does fall. But in City of Lost Souls, despite his mother's rejection and his wandering and his loneliness, despite flirting with the idea of giving up and giving in, Simon returns to himself. He never let go of the things that make him Simon: his Jewish identity, his beliefs. He sinned-he missed the Mark-but he returns. And in returning, he shines." - page 86
I really enjoyed this anthology. Normally I'm not a fan of them. I've not been impressed with ones I've previously read in other big fandoms. In fact I swear I'd never read another, and then this lovely book arrived, and I went back on my word and read it. I'm glad I did. Honestly, when I first sat down to read it I wasn't excepting to enjoy it as much as I did. Luckily this anthology is one that lives up to it's hype. You'll find essays from authors: Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Kami Garcia, Robin Wasserman, Michelle Hodkin, Sarah Cross, Diana Peterfeund, Kendare Black, Gwenda Bond, Kate Milford, Rachel Caine, Sara Ryan, Scott Tracey, and Kelly Link. If you're a fan of Cassie's work I'd highly recommend picking up!...more
Don't you love it when you sit down to read a book and find you're pleasantly surprised with what you read? Not Your Average Fairy Tale lives up to itDon't you love it when you sit down to read a book and find you're pleasantly surprised with what you read? Not Your Average Fairy Tale lives up to it's name and is definitely not your normal fairytale. One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is the spin that Chantele gave the Fairy Godmother. Not only is this story's Fairy Godmother a guy (yep, a guy as a Fairy Godmother, it's fabulous!), he's a smart, a hotty and a student to boot. I'm thinking many readers wouldn't complain over Ash Summerland being their Fairy Godmother. It's his reluctance at being the first guy to be Fairy Godmother that made Ash a character I loved reading about. I couldn't help but smirk at his sarcastic comments and his destain for becoming the Fairy Godmother, even if it's for a short time. A guy like Ash Summerland isn't someone who enjoys sprouting wings, wearing tights or using a wand, that might at first be pink. His attitude toward's his new assignment was comical, and made him a character I enjoyed reading about.
His assignment is Kendall, a broken character who once had it all, but after a serious accident all but ruined her. Ash's challenge is to grant her three wishes, and in the process hopefully grant her, her happily ever after. Easier said than done, but Ash is up for the challenge. Kendall in her own right was a great character as well. I was impressed with way she was written. It made it easy for me to understand what she was going through, even though I didn't feel an emotionally connect with her. I was also surprised at how much I adored Kendall and Ash together. These two didn't have that swoon worthy chemistry I normally love when reading YA, but what they did have was plenty of sarcasm, a lot of fun, and something sweet, which was enjoyable and, a fun change of pace for me.
Storyline wise there are some minor things that happen through out the book, but the real plot twists and action happen within the last 20 pages providing the perfect set up for the sequel. Though this isn't a long in-depth read, it is however one of those fun, feel good, quick reads that you can easily spend part of your afternoon enjoying. I'll admit, I was pleasantly surprised with this book. It's one that's going on my shelf of books I turn to when I need a good filler, or when I find myself in a reading slump and I want to just and read something fun. If you're looking for a fun, clean, enchanting read I'd recommend picking this on up! ...more
This is one of the book I received from my recent visit to the lovely office of Simon & Schuster, Canada. Though I read it not too long after I reThis is one of the book I received from my recent visit to the lovely office of Simon & Schuster, Canada. Though I read it not too long after I received, it's taking me a while to digest my thoughts on this book. Prior to reading it I heard nothing but great things about from a few of my friends, which is what really curious about reading it. Let me just say this is not at all what I was excepting, and it's a read that stuck with me a few days after I read it. Not only that, this is not my normal cup of tea book, so to say.
The thing that struck about this was not just the fact it takes place during the same time I was in high year (okay, I'm not that old, but yeah I'm old enough), but the character's voice is one unlike any I've read in awhile, and the writing style was a little unique. I liked that the story was directed to me as the reader, but really told through Charlie's journal entries. It made for a completely raw, truthful, and honest read, while at the same time adding touches of innocences to the story. I laughed, I got teary eyed, and no matter how hard I might have tried to stop reading the book I couldn't. I got to a point where I needed to know how all the characters in this book were going to turn out.
Though the book is a quick read, it tackles so many issues with it's short length. From finding yourself, sexuality, drug use, family dynamics, mental heath, etc, etc. It's one of those coming of age stories that doesn't hold back. Now I can see why they made it into a movie. I will say this is a book that has a little bit of everything in it, and one I'd recommend to mature readers. In the end it's still not quite my cup of tea, though I can see why so many enjoyed it....more
This a fun Halloween read following the misadventures of 4th grader of Henry Wolowitz, and his pumpkin eating invisible Inkling. Unfortunately for HenThis a fun Halloween read following the misadventures of 4th grader of Henry Wolowitz, and his pumpkin eating invisible Inkling. Unfortunately for Henry, his invisible pet has discovered how delicious pumpkins are, and this not only spells trouble for Henry, it gets him into a situation or two that only his Inkling can get him out of. I think this a Halloween read readers in second grade and up will enjoy. They'll laugh along with the different situations Henry finds himself in, how he gets out of them, and how he's coping with having an invisible pet that constantly gets him in trouble. If only Henry would just speak up and tell the truth.....but who would believe a kid when he says his invisible inkling did it? Certainly not his own mother, his Sister or even some of his friends.
Emily's writing not only makes this book an easy one to read, but her writing is such that readers will be able to relate to Henry on a few different levels in regards to how he feels, how he's treated, what it's like having an older sister you don't always get a long with and dealing with people saying the not so nicest things about you all the time. Henry his a lovable character and I think he's one readers will enjoy reading about. The illustrations through out the book make it that much more enjoyable! This is a good read and would make a great addition to add to any classroom, personal library and school library with the fast approaching Halloween right around the corner. ...more
Celtic mythology, forbidden romance, and plenty of intrigued, Silver is a debut that introduced me to a timeless world set within it's own, as well asCeltic mythology, forbidden romance, and plenty of intrigued, Silver is a debut that introduced me to a timeless world set within it's own, as well as modern times, and left me wanting more. The pacing of Silver was great. It's a story that left me trying to figure out what was going along side the main protagonist, Brianna, which I liked. I liked not knowing everything, and having the story's mythology and the mystery behind what exactly Brianna is unravel slowly. It's through Blake, the story's romantic interest that we discover more about the world Brianna has been trying to hide, and what Blake is sworn to protect. By not giving me everything at the same time, Talia allowed her story to develop more, and at the same time kept me completely intrigued with everything that was happening.
I'm a sucker for mythology, the supernatural, forbidden romance, danger, self discovery, and the possibility that fate might turn out differently that it's been predicated. All of which are well defined and helped make this story what it was for me. Silver is full of twists, surprise, and characters are definitely not all they first seem to be. I loved the story's rich Celtic lore, and Greek mythology. There's not very many YA books that have both of these lores together, and it hooked me. I liked the two different variations of the same legend that have been passed down from generation to generation with both the guys and the girls in this story, and ancient feud that has come from it.
The Sons of Killian and the Daughters of Danu is a lore I think many readers will enjoy. It's about love, lust, romance, protection and heartache. The history of these two lines is incredibly fascinating. I loved the magical aspect of the lineage and the history that binds the two together. It also provided the perfect back drop for the forbidden romance, and the unsuspecting twists that occur in the book. The other thing that hooked is the way this story is told. I love it's rich history and they way this other world was set within our own. Silver is an engaging story with a mesmerizing folklore that had me reading this book in one sitting. I would definitely recommend picking this one up. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens to Brianna, Blake, Austin and the rest of the characters in it's sequel, Gold. ...more
With a touch of Lewis Carroll's classic, Alice in Wonderland, A.G. Howard's original twisted debut is utterly entertaining, brimming with madness, andWith a touch of Lewis Carroll's classic, Alice in Wonderland, A.G. Howard's original twisted debut is utterly entertaining, brimming with madness, and sprinkled with plenty of magic, romance and adventure. Much like the beloved classic, A.G. Howard does a beautiful job at creating a world that's unforgettable. I loved that while much of this story is given a unique spin, there are some minor similarities that were flawlessly incorporated into Alyssa's story that paid homage to Carroll's work. Unlike Carroll's story, this modern day/fantasy story doesn't include any dreaming, instead it focuses on a family curse passed down from generation to generation. Sadly the curse that Alyssa's mother passed to her, is what is keeping her in the mental institution. Armed with the determination to save her mother, Alyssa enters the rabbit hole and from there unravels one crazy mystery and twist after the other.
Having a part of this story focus on Alyssa's worry of going mental like her mother fit in well with this incredibly complex, and hauntingly mesmerizing world. I liked that dream like quality the story has. It made it all the more charming and intriguing. The further Alyssa and Jeb venture into this world, the crazier it gets with all that's unraveled. It takes a rather strong character to travel through the rabbit hole, and venture out the other side in tact. I loved that the more Alyssa learns to rely on and trust herself, the more it makes her realize that she's got much more potential than she ever thought she had. There's something about Alyssa that I couldn't help liking. She quirky, she has her flaws, and there's just something about her that drew me to her, even if I didn't always understand the reasoning behind her actions. She's a character that made me rooting for.
This story is not without romance, and it's different kind of love triangle. There's Jeb, the best friend who's been there for Alyssa, and seems to get her even without her ever needing to tell him anything. It might take a trip through crazyville for the two of them to finally admit their feelings for each other (FINALLY), but when they do, it's fabulous! I love that this relationship is not without it's flaws, and imperfections. It's realistic, it's a little complicated, and beautifully developed. Then there's of course the odd natured, yet fitting relationship between Alyssa and her childhood friend, Morpheus. He's that dark, mysterious, brooding character you feel yourself drawn to, even though you know you should stay away from him. There were times I wanted to despise him, and other times I couldn't help but like him. He's definitely a character who knows how to seduce not only Alyssa, but this story's readers. Though I liked both relationships, there were times things didn't quite add up for me in regards to the revelations between both guys and Alyssa.
Over all I did enjoy this story. It's unlike anything I've read before, and I love that. Lewis Carroll gave us a classic. Walt Disney re-created an Alice in Wonderland for kids to enjoy and A.G. Howard created a brand new Alice in Wonderland story that YA readers are going enjoy getting their hands on! This is one book I'd recommend picking up if you enjoy an unforgettable adventure, love fairytale retelling with a twist, and enjoy fantasy story's with a touch of romance. I'm looking forward to reading more of A.G.'s books in the future....more