Read. This. Book. Seriously, read this book. I've read over 100 books this year, and this is in my top 3 because it sucked me in completely. I read it...moreRead. This. Book. Seriously, read this book. I've read over 100 books this year, and this is in my top 3 because it sucked me in completely. I read it in one sitting (finishing at 3:00 a.m.) because I could NOT put it down. It was original, refreshing, and ROMANTIC. You can tell Sophie Jordan's a romance novelist--the romance in this book had me swept away with every glance, every little touch between Jacinda and Will. I LOVED THIS BOOK. Can I say that loudly enough?
It all started when my friend passed me a copy of this book and said, "Read it. It will be like reading Twilight for the first time." What she meant was it will suck you in, you'll stay up all night reading it, and you'll feel like a teenager in love all over again. Now, I read my share of the classics and the deep, literary-type books, but I LOVE a good escapist read. Firelight was one of the very best "let's get away from it all and escape into a fresh, new world" books I've read all year.
The premise (a race of human-like creatures descended from dragons) felt fresh and original. I've read about WAAAAAY too many werewolves this year, and Sophie Jordan's world felt new and exciting. AND THE ROMANCE. Seriously, I LOVED Jacinda and Will. They felt real and complex and had AMAZING chemistry. They become people I cared about, and by the end of the book, my heart was breaking, too. I was also intrigued by Cassian. I can't wait to read more about his motives and his true intentions regarding Jacinda in the sequel. And speaking of sequels, fall 2011 is feeling like a long way away right now! I have some predictions regarding Tamra's future, and I can't wait to find out if I'm right!
Jacinda was a strong heroine trying to find her place between two worlds, and I thought her anxiety and emotions felt very realistic. I didn't find her whiney at all---her mother was trying to kill a very real part of who Jacinda is in her mother’s attempts to protect Jacinda, and of course Jacinda's going to fight that. I have read the inner thoughts and MANY whiney heroines this year, and Jacinda's voice felt fresh and real in a good way.
Seriously, buy this book. After I read it, I had to have it for my shelf. It was the most "Oh my gosh--they're looking at each other and I can't breathe" book I've read in a long time. Intriguing characters, original premise, lush prose, and intoxicating romance. I am waiting with bated breath for Book 2... (less)
Judge this book by the cover. Seriously, do. I loved this cover so much I sat at the bookstore staring at it, and then when I read the book, I loved i...moreJudge this book by the cover. Seriously, do. I loved this cover so much I sat at the bookstore staring at it, and then when I read the book, I loved it, too! And the title? I LOVE THAT. The sequel's title, Supernaturally? Love that even more.
I heard a lot of great hype about this book, which can often lead to a letdown once you actually read the book. However, Paranormalcy was just as flirty, funny, and refreshing as promised. It had great characterization, hysterical dialogue, and just enough answers with just enough mystery still unexplained to have me eagerly awaiting Supernaturally. I loved all of the bleeps, the sighs, and the quirky sense of humor. Seriously, I just loved it all.
And the romance? I loved the innocence of it. Here you have two secluded teenagers falling in love for the first time, so I thought the innocence was perfect. I felt myself cheering for them to hold hands for the first time! One part I don't get? The quote by Aprilynne Pike about the other paranormal winning her heart. Was she talking about Reth??? Reth was so creepy. I thought he was a fantastic, intriguing character and I can't wait to read more explaining his motives, but stealing my heart? He was crazy creepy. Let's all just cheer now that Evie is still with Lend.
Paranormalcy. Loved it. I have to hold myself back from using some sort of "bleep" phrase to describe it because I really loved it that much. Like, loved it enough to stay up until 2:00 a.m. finishing it after starting it at 10:00 p.m. because I could not go to bed without knowing how it ended. Kiersten White, keep the funny, quirky, flirty books coming! (less)
I was looking for a quick, escapist read a few weeks ago and picked up "Wings." I had heard great things about it, and while it wasn't quite as amazin...moreI was looking for a quick, escapist read a few weeks ago and picked up "Wings." I had heard great things about it, and while it wasn't quite as amazing as everyone had said, it was enjoyable. I was intrigued enough by the character Tamani to want to find out more.
"Spells" was a decent read. Girls, say it with me: "TEAM TAMANI ALL THE WAY." "Spells" wore a little thin in a few parts, and here's why: Laurel cries. A lot. Laurel is needy. A lot. Laurel and David make out. A lot. Honestly, it felt like every few pages Laurel and David were making out, and it got pretty nauseating after awhile. I liked David just fine after reading "Wings," but after "Spells," I don't know how anyone could be Team David. All of the Laurel/David chemistry from "Wings" vanished, so every time they spewed lovey words and kissed, it felt really strange and forced. I like a good romance as much as the next girl, but I was SO tired of the make out sessions by the end of the book. I have hope that making David annoying in this book is all part of a big plan to eventually bring Laurel and Tamani together. I don't know how ANYONE could be cheering for David at this point.
And poor Tamani. Laurel's treatment of him was completely appalling. She toyed with him and strung him along to the point where I really couldn't stand her by the end. Let's hope Laurel was acting like this so we can see the process of her maturing and growing as a character in later books. Go Shar for finally putting Laurel in her place regarding her deplorable treatment of Tamani. Poor Tamani seemed a little defeated for a lot of the book, as he wasn't quite as confident and flirtatious as he is in "Wings." Pining for Laurel is just sucking the soul out of his character. Let's hope he comes back as his charismatic, charming self in Book 3 because I'm weary of selfish Laurel using him and bringing him down!
And the conclusion? Anyone who's read the book knows what I'm talking about. I kind of felt like how I did when I read "Little Women" for the first time and literally threw the book against the wall when Jo refused Laurie. At least there will be two more books for Laurel to mature and make the right choice.
I have faith in you, Aprilynne Pike, that you'll eventually give us readers the conclusion we're all cheering for. I understand that there are two books after this one so you can't exactly resolve the love triangle just yet. All I'm asking is that eventually Laurel will grow up and be with Tamani, and please give us at least one book where she and Tamani are happily together (conflict is okay...just let them face it together). Don't pull a Jane Austen (my favorite author) and make me read 400 pages waiting for the two character to get together, and then I only get to relish five pages where they're finally happy. (less)
WARNING: When you start this book, just take the day off from work or get the kids a babysitter. YOU WILL NOT PUT IT DOWN. I was both completely rivet...moreWARNING: When you start this book, just take the day off from work or get the kids a babysitter. YOU WILL NOT PUT IT DOWN. I was both completely riveted and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, and yet I wanted to savor every word, every captivating exchange. This is Julie Kagawa’s best work yet, and that’s saying something because I adored The Iron King and The Iron Daughter. Written with equal parts of romance, witty banter, and action, The Iron Queen is a glistening gem of a book. You’ll never look at a “faery tale” the same again. (And did I mention that gorgeous cover? Won’t that look pretty on your bookshelf next to The Iron King and the The Iron Daughter?)
My favorite part of this book? All things ASH. Julie peels back the icy exterior of Ash and leaves him vulnerable and open. In the beginning of the book after their exile, Meghan says she’s getting a glimpse of the Ash she always knew was there all along. As a true Ash fangirl from the first pages of The Iron King, I wanted to cheer and squeal because that’s what us Ash fangirls have been saying about him the whole time. And Julie doesn’t just give us a glimpse of this true Ash—she lets us gaze adoringly for page after page as we truly SEE Ash. He’s tender. He’s devoted. He’s caring. He’s ROMANTIC. AND HE TREMBLES. His love for Meghan tears down the façade, the emotionless mask, and his emotions are laid bare. I cannot wait for everyone to meet the TRUE ASH.
My, my how Meghan’s grown since those first painful pages of The Iron King. At one point, Ash tells her she’s not the same girl he met when she first came to the Nevernever, that she’s changed, and I agree. It has been a truly beautiful journey to see Meghan grow and change over the course of the three books. She’s become a strong heroine ready to face any threat head on, to fight side by side her loyal companions, and to embrace and exercise her immense power. No more will Meghan shy away or cower and hide—as she tells the false king’s messenger, she’s going to take the fight to him.
And the ending? I can’t remember the last time I cried reading a book. It was probably when I was 12 and Beth died in Little Women. Maybe I’ve just read too many books and have become jaded, but not only did Julie have me crying, I was WEEPING. Tears were streaming down my face. Ash’s words to Meghan at the end? Is there anything more romantic in literature? Julie’s writing pulls at all of your emotions.
Stunning from start to finish, Julie Kagawa’s Iron King series is the most riveting, most captivating faery series I’ve ever read (and with the explosion of young adult paranormal romances, I’ve read about A LOT of faeries lately). The concept of the Iron fey is original and compelling, and Julie uses her immense creativity to create a world and characters that draw you in, hold onto your heart, and take you on an awe-inspiring journey. Go on—immerse yourself in this enchanting world.
If you haven’t experienced this series yet, I highly recommend it. And that’s what it is—an experience. It will touch all of your emotions. You’ll FEEL true love, heartbreak, humor, friendship, sorrow, and suspense. I laughed, I cried, and I savored the romance. This book will haunt you…you’ll be thinking about it long after you turn the last page. How long until The Iron Knight is released?
As a footnote to my review, I just want to rave about the sensational Julie Kagawa. She is so gracious to her fans and treats us like true friends. Some authors seem to act like the fans are just a bother, but Julie is so kind and thoughtful to our league of Ash and Puck devotees. I mean, how many authors write an entire novella (“Winter’s Passage”) and let their readers devour it for free??? How many authors post juicy, delightful teasers EVERY WEEK for their fans? Julie Kagawa is full of awesomeness. (less)
It's always sad (and a bit scary) to say goodbye to a favorite series. Last books come with such emotionally-fu...moreJulie Kagawa knows how to end a series.
It's always sad (and a bit scary) to say goodbye to a favorite series. Last books come with such emotionally-fueled expectations. And after, some authors leave you feeling wrung out and crushed, while other authors make your heart sigh with happiness and contentment. Whenever I read a last book, I'm always overwhelmed with that feeling of Please don't ruin what you've created. Well, I am ecstatic to say that in The Iron Knight, Julie Kagawa gives us the perfect journey to the perfect ending that this stellar series deserves.
The Iron Knight was one of my most highly anticipated books of 2011, and WOW did Julie deliver. It was everything I was hoping for: adventure, anguish, romance, danger, and a slew of game-changing twists that left my head spinning. Within the first ten pages, Julie hit me with a whiplash twist that I just didn't see coming (the summary wasn't available then) and then she kept them coming for the rest of the story. Things that weren't anywhere on my radar were thrown into the mix, keeping the story fresh and compelling.
And let's talk about ASH. This is his story. His narration is everything my little fangirl heart was wishing for: some moments were pure bliss, and others, as Ash begins to thaw that icy cold heart, were harrowing and heart-wrenching. Everything about Ash--his emotions, his intense love, his regret--is laid bare. We see every vulnerability Ash hides behind that cold exterior, and we feel the extent of his absolute devotion to Meghan. And as Ash has told Meghan many times, there are horrific crimes in his past, and as Ash atones for those crimes to be worthy of what it will take to be with Meghan, we see how much his love for her has changed him--how much her love for him as already redeemed him.
For fans worried there may not be enough Meghan, I thought Julie devised some sneaky, delicious ways to fit in plenty of Meghan. Besides, we've had three books with her, and I'm a sucker for any kind of alternate POV, especially from the hero's perspective, to truly feel the extent of his love for our heroine.
So this Ash fangirl thanks you, Julie Kagawa, for creating such a satisfying, stirring end to this beloved series. I found myself re-reading entire chapters just so I didn't have to say goodbye so soon.
(And let's all give Julie's editor a big cheer for convincing Julie to write The Iron Knight and not leave that heartbreaking goodbye in The Iron Queen as the end like Julie initially intended. Yes, those parting words of Ash and Meghan in TIQ were tragic and all-sacrificing and made me cry, but oh, how I love my happily ever after instead.)(less)
Continuity Folks: Astley's eyes are green, not blue. (I'm so OCD that I even looked up the references in Captivate. Yes, I own that one, too. *hangs h...moreContinuity Folks: Astley's eyes are green, not blue. (I'm so OCD that I even looked up the references in Captivate. Yes, I own that one, too. *hangs head*) Who forgets the correct physical description of their own characters? I thought these imaginery people, like, lived in the authors' head for six months while they write their book. Anyway...
These three stars are all for Astley.
He's the only reason I'm still reading this series. I probably should have given up after Need, but then I read an Astley teaser chapter for Captivate so I'm still here. I want to know how the story ends for him (even though Zara totally doesn't deserve him at this point).
This book is middle-book-in-a-series at its worst. Pure fluff and filler. This book could have been condensed down to about three chapters and stuck at the beginning of the fourth and hopefully last book. Why are they dragging out this series?
The writing in Entice continues to be awkward and clumsy, especially the dialogue. The plot drags. and drags. and drags. Zara morphs into this selfish, self-absorbed girl who will do anything, sacrifice anyone to get her boyfriend back from the dead. I'm feeling a little nauseated right now.
Zara, it's the Circle of Life, honey. (I would write baby but Nick beat me to that word in Captivate a few hundred times.) I wanted to scream at her, "NICK IS DEAD. LET HIM BE. MAYBE HE DOESN'T WANT TO COME BACK BUT YOU DON'T CARE BECAUSE ALL YOU CARE ABOUT IS WHAT YOU WANT."
Let's take a tally of gains and losses. How many people did Zara lose getting Nick back? (view spoiler)[Dad, Mrs. Nix, some pixies (hide spoiler)] How many people did she gain? (view spoiler)[ NICK. Condescending, overprotective, baby-calling NICK. (hide spoiler)] Zara, you are running at a loss right now. You should be fighting your pixie war with Astley right now and actually saving some lives instead of obsessing over your boyfriend.
I'm sticking around with this series for the last book because I'm curious if Ms. Jones will take the untrodden road of picking the obligatory third vertex of the love triangle for our heroine. You know, Guy #2. Have you read a YA book in the past few years (since the dawn of the requisite love triangle) where the girl chooses Guy #2 who isn't even introduced in the first book? Here's hoping, Astley!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Let me just say I was torn between reading at a crazy, feverish, I-am-consumed-by-this-book pace...more5 SERIOUSLY SPARKLY STARS.
Oh, bleep! It was SO. GOOD.
Let me just say I was torn between reading at a crazy, feverish, I-am-consumed-by-this-book pace and slowing down to savor each delicious word and laugh-out-loud line.
As I ended up reading Supernaturally in 3.5 hours, I obviously opted to drink from the fire hose instead of sipping daintily from a tea cup.
Kiersten White, you are the word maestro. You really upped the hilarity quotient in this sequel with your clever turns of phrase and laugh-out-loud lines sprinkled on every page. You know that part where Lend gives Evie a gift (which she loves) and Evie says, "Well, you've set a ridiculously high standard for yourself. Should have started out with something tacky."? That's how I felt after Paranormalcy. You'd set the bar so high for yourself (no short jokes intended). Could you do it again?
My answer is a RESOUNDING YES!
It's been six months since Evie and Lend's escape from the International Paranormal Containment Agency. Evie's finally gotten the "normal" life she's always longed for: high school, a job, an apartment, a locker. But Evie's finding that normal is...kind of boring. So when Raquel and IPCA come calling, swearing they've kind of changed their ways, Evie's drawn back in by the lure of the excitement of her former life (and helping out Raquel). The best part for Evie: no more trips through the faerie paths with psychotic faeries thanks to IPCA's newest teenage phenom, Jack.
Oh, Jack. With your cocky attitude, all-kinds-of-funny wit, and dimpled audacity, you had me laughing from hello. Jack, thy name is Cheeky. (I just had to throw that little ode in to one of my favorite new characters of 2011.)
I don't know if Jack has a real-life inspiration, but if he does, heaven help that boy's poor mother.
Kiersten White knows her stuff. She seems well aware of YA tropes and avoids them at every turn with her refreshing characters, unexpected plot points, and authentic relationships. Kiersten seems to know we're tired of love triangles. And clingy, over-dependent heroines. And cliffhangers. (There is no the-building's-burning-and-we-don't-know-who-gets-out-alive for our Supernaturally ending. *ahem, Demonglass*) Kiersten lovingly pokes fun at many of these well-worn YA tropes and creates something fresh and fun--an absolute pleasure to read.
Each moment where I thought the story could descend into predictability, Kiersten White took it in another direction of total awesomeness.
And Evie. I heart Evie. There are YA heroines I respect. Others with which I sympathize. Some I relate to. But Evie, she's in the very tiny category of YA heroines I'd want to be friends with. SUCH A FRESH VOICE. She's sassy and clever and witty and relatable and sparkly. She's tough yet vulnerable. And she likes pink. Kiersten draws these characters with such a vivid hand.
The pacing? Genius. It was unputdownable. And unforgettable. I've read it three times now because it was that good. There was an "oh my gosh, what's going to happen next" read, an "I am so savoring this" read, and a "good parts--wait that's all the book" read. I am an unabashed fangirl at this point.
Fans of Paranormalcy, start counting down to July 26.
P.S. That cover is all kinds of gorgeous.
P.P.S. And Kiersten, I was waiting to see where you'd fit in the usage of "cleavagization" and now I know. =) (less)