Every so often a novel is published that is hyped so much you think it could never possibly live up to t...moreREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
Every so often a novel is published that is hyped so much you think it could never possibly live up to the lofty expectations. This is not one of those times and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is not one of those books. It not only meets every expectation set, it surpasses them in leaps and bounds.
Spanning decades, The Night Circus weaves a tale of magic and romance that captivates readers from the very first page. It begins with a contest, an unknown wager struck by two rival magicians which pits their two young apprentices, Celia and Marco, against each other in a competition that will span the apprentices lifetimes. Celia and Marco weave together The Le Cirque des Rêves, the stunning stage that encompasses the heart of the story and the amazing secondary characters who bring the story to life.
It’s hard to put into words why I loved this novel. The characters were superbly written, the story delicately woven, and the scenes painted for you in vivid, colorful words. I literally could not put this book down. I would take it with me to work in hopes that I would have a spare moment to slip back into this world. I was thoroughly engaged, trying to figure out what the strange competition actually entailed or to see what dazzling bit of magic they would come up with next.
Magic, romance, forbidden love, mystery, foretelling, and strange circumstances all add up to one incredibly well put together debut. I suggest that everyone put this on there TBR pile. Then get to it as soon as possible, because it will not disappoint.
Between, the sequel to Crossroads (read my review HERE), returns us to the vivid world Mary Ting has cr...moreREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
Between, the sequel to Crossroads (read my review HERE), returns us to the vivid world Mary Ting has created. We find Claudia trying to live her life, trying to be a “normal” teen in a world that she has learned is anything but. (Side note to Claudia... Normal is soooo last year. Embrace your inner uniqueness, young padawan!)
Okay... I have to say this. *mumbles and says really quickly* There were parts of Crossroads that moved a little slow for me. The same cannot be said about Between. This book totally brings it with the intensity and action. The writing is much more fast pace, the dialogue snappier. The wonderful imagery from Crossroads is present once again, making the settings easily visualized. Ting is awesome at painting with words, in my opinion.
The characters also continue to grow, changing as the words flow across the page. *raises hands and makes sing song gestures, encouraging my lovely BtCers to join me in saying* Character development is vital, and is well done in this book. Ting puts Claudia in real life situations, and I think that is the key to her appeal: watching her struggle with these things makes her much more believable and relatable. Ting is also one of the best at writing YA morals books I have come across, and she does it again in Between... the story reflects the author’s morals, and her belief that right will triumph over wrong, and good over evil is reflected in her books.
Filled with endearing characters, a love triangle (and who doesn’t love a face off between hotties), a battle between good and evil and plot twists I never saw coming, the sequel to Crossroads will draw you in and have you turning the pages well into the night.
It is rare that the middle book in a trilogy can be equally as captivating as the fist book, but A Milli...moreREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
It is rare that the middle book in a trilogy can be equally as captivating as the fist book, but A Million Suns by Beth Revis is just as grand and riveting as its predecessor Across the Universe. This fast paced, full speed ahead novel was one of my most anticipated books of 2012 and it did not disappoint.
Three months have gone by since Amy awoke aboard the Godspeed. Three months since the lies and betrayals that kept this ship in order were revealed and chaos is reigning among the inhabitants. Elder has taken control of the ship, but with out the backing of the people it seems to be in title alone. Elder and Amy make a drastic discovery and race against time to put the pieces of the puzzle together and unlock the truth of life aboard Godspeed.
I am in love with this story. I find it to be edge of your seat entertaining and original. The characters are on a continual growth pattern from the first to the second book, and remain true to there perspective. The twists and turns fuel the story, making it an adventure. I enjoy that this is part of the continual story for the trilogy, but that there is also a “stand alone” plot for this individual book. I think that this “stand alone” plot is what makes it different from most middle books in trilogies. Instead of being bogged down with gap filler from the beginning and ending, it carries over the underlying story but can also stand on its on merit as a book.
Beth Revis is a fantastic young adult science fiction author, one that adults will love too. She weaves a tale of science, intrigue, betrayal, and a hint of romance. For such a relatively new author she writes like a seasoned veteran, and I for one will be looking forward to not only the final installment in this trilogy, but to her future works as well.
If you lost the memory of the most tragic event of your life, would you want to remember or would you wa...moreREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
If you lost the memory of the most tragic event of your life, would you want to remember or would you want to leave it forgotten? What if it haunted your life, consumed your every waking moment? For Mara Dyer remembering is all that she wants, because if she can remember the night that haunts her then maybe she can live a normal life again.
Mara Dyer was a typical girl: she liked hanging out with her friends, living her life and going to school. She was normal until she woke up in the hospital with no recollection of the accident she had been in, no memory of her friends deaths, and unable to recall the events leading up to accident. Mara wants to start over, so her family uproots itself and moves to Florida in hopes that it will help Mara get past everything.
But starting over isn’t always easy. Mara is haunted by the tragedy of her friends death, by strange accidents that happen around her, and her attraction to a boy who isn’t exactly what he seems. Mara hopes that her memories will help piece everything together and not just prove that she truly is crazy.
I actually had no expectations with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I had heard all the buzz about it, but never any solid info about the plot. I ended up devouring the book, I just couldn’t put it down. I loved the subtle paranormal aspect, as well as the mystery within the novel. Mara was a very well developed character. I felt that she was an actual person and really felt for her with her emotional struggles. I had a little problem with the secondary characters, mainly Mara’s family. They were a little flat and they gave in to Mara a little to easily when she wanted to move. The romance aspect was very well done. It was easy and not too over the top like some young adult novels.
This was a very well written debut. I think that the author, Michelle Hodkin, has a very promising career and after reading this first book I think that people will be picking up whatever she publishes next. I know I will.
X-men is one of my favorite comic series of all time. So, when I read that Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi wa...moreREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
X-men is one of my favorite comic series of all time. So, when I read that Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi was a dystopian twist of the X-Men mixed with The Hunger Games, I was sold. In my mind it didn’t live up to these claims, but it was still a great start to a new series.
Juliette hasn’t touched another person in 264 days. The last time she did, she accidently killed a person. Locked up for her crimes, Juliette seeks companionship within her own mind. Then suddenly she finds herself with a cellmate. The cellmate is Adam, a boy from her past. Adam is a test, the Reestablishment wants to see if Juliette is crazy or if she can be used as weapon to further their agenda. Juliette has a decision to make: will she join the Reestablishment, or will she use her power for good?
I just want to get this out of the way to start: Shatter Me was not reminiscent of the Hunger Games at all. It was hardly a dystopian novel. It had dystopian elements, but the main focus was on Juliette and her touch, not on the society and what they have become. There were hints of a dystopian society, but not a lot of focus. I feel that as the series progresses we will get more dystopian, but for now this is defiantly a science fiction novel.
With my genre rant out of the way, let me say that I loved the how this book was written. I found Tahereh’s style of writing amazing. She writes flowing prose that brings the story to life. I loved that we had Juliette’s inner thoughts and then crossed over to she what she really said. It added an extra element to the story. I felt that we got to see Juliette’s inner workings.
I found this book to be very promising. The characters were well developed, and I felt that Tahereh really nailed the people in the book. The story left me wanting more. At the ending of this book I immediately wanted the next book and was completely bummed with the realization that I would have to wait. Overall, I was very impressed by this fantastic debut.
I love it when a book sucks me in and makes it impossible to stop reading, when I need to devour it all...moreREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
I love it when a book sucks me in and makes it impossible to stop reading, when I need to devour it all at once. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout is exactly that type of book. It is fast paced and entertaining, and before you know it you are at the end and pining for the next book.
Katy has been uprooted and moved to West Virginia, and she isn’t happy with it. She has resigned herself to a life of backwater hillbillies and being stuck inside blogging. After some pushing from her mother, she makes friends with Dee, her next door neighbor. Dee is outgoing and a little strange, but that is nothing compared to her brooding and unpleasant, but very attractive, twin brother, Daemon. Daemon is totally against Katy and Dee being friends, and does everything in his power to convince them that they should not be. Katy remains headstrong and assumes that Daemon is just a pompous jerk, and continues her friendship with Dee. Katy soon learns that there is something strange going on with her neighbors, and before she knows what it is she is sucked in and her life is turned upside down.
I was unprepared for this book. I knew it was a paranormal romance/science fiction, but it was a pleasant surprise to find that Obsidian was different from the current books out in the genre. I enjoyed learning about Daemon and Dee, and the unique and strong mythos surrounding their backgrounds. It is always enjoyable to have a new and unique view in a overcrowded genre.
Obsidian is very well written. Jennifer developed the story, built up to a very successful climax, and had a ending that left me wanting more. The only complaint that I have is that the characters lack a little in the development area. They are great characters, they were just a tad flat at times - like there was a spark missing. It was never enough to make me stop enjoying the book, there were just times they felt off. Obsidian is a great start to a new series, and I will be looking forward to the next book.
The blurb of On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane posted on NetGalley caught my attention and really made me wa...moreREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
The blurb of On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane posted on NetGalley caught my attention and really made me want to read this book. It sounded unique and mysterious. I requested it with hopes that it would become one of my favorites. Unfortunately, I am really on the fence with this book, even after a few days to digest. I still feel that it was just a mediocre book.
Abbey cheated death 5 years ago in a horrible car accident that claimed her mother’s life. She holds herself responsible for the accident and her moms death, and it consumers her life. It doesn’t help that she is constantly surrounded by the dead: she and her father live in the funeral home that he owns and runs. Abbey learns the hard way that death never forgets a person that escapes him and finds herself being stalked by the reaper of souls.
I have to say, I found myself utterly confused, and frankly a little bored, by the first three-quarters of this book. I couldn’t figure out what was really going on. It jumped from point of views and then from locations in a very confusing manner. The paranormal aspect that I had expected just never showed. We got an excessive amount of background info, some random plot points to extend the story, and a lot of mountain climbing information that I could have lived without.
However, I really enjoyed the last quarter of the book. I felt like this was when the story actually started, like it was finally the book that I read the description for. There was a plot that was going somewhere and the characters were amounting to something. If this part of the book could have been extended it would have made it an entirely different book.
Overall, this book just wasn’t for me. I had to push myself to finish. What I had thought from the book blurb would be a really good book turned out to be just middle of the road for me. The thing to keep in mind about reviews is that they are just one person’s opinion. I am sure that this book will appeal to many people, but for me it just fell flat. To find out what others think of this book, I suggest checking out these reviews from Marla at Starting the Next Chapter, Krista at CubicleBlindness Reviews, and Jennifer at Fictitious Musings.
Rating: 3 stars
Disclaimer: This eGalley was provided to me free of charge by the publisher via NetGalley. No monetary compensation was received in exchange for this fair and honest review.