In less words: Feeling very much like Maddie during a scene in which she has to define herself in a 29-question questionnaire, I abhor the idea of try...moreIn less words: Feeling very much like Maddie during a scene in which she has to define herself in a 29-question questionnaire, I abhor the idea of trying to manipulate your interest in reading this book by using a mere paragraph. Blech. Because you must be manipulated, cajoled, tricked, beaten into reading MIDDLE GROUND by Katie Kacvinsky. It may have just bumped itself up to my number one slot on my list of favorite books of the year. My wariness toward this sequel was utterly unfounded, and, honestly, I don’t understand why I was worried. The pacing melts into the events of the plot so that they work in tandem to deliver an exciting, action-packed, intellectually stimulating story featuring two strong-willed, constantly growing characters whose chemistry is based on nearly everything that could attract one person to another. It’s passionate and raw and beautiful. If you’re a fan, I have no doubts that you’ll be completely amazed! And if you’re just now hearing about this series, read Awaken and then hurry and catch up!
FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW COMING OCTOBER 12TH...(less)
my thoughts in a few sentences: Ever since I'd read Jen @ Makeshift Bookmark's review of Amplified (which yo...moreRating: Perfect Bed Partner Source: Library
my thoughts in a few sentences: Ever since I'd read Jen @ Makeshift Bookmark's review of Amplified (which you can read here) this book has seriously haunted me. I immediately bought it for my kindle, and, alas, it got swept to the backburner. Little known fact about me, I organize my kindle titles alphabetically so naturally this book was in my face every day until the curiosity bit the crap out of me and I HAD to read the book. Amplified by Tara Kelly is a story of rawness and nerves and flourishing character, in which Jasmine Kiss becomes all those things and fights to be the musician born of dreams long held silent and are finally set free.
Rating: Sud-Kissed Source: Borrowed from the Library
my thoughts in a few sentences: Awkward by Marni Bates is a delightful, short little thing that pac...moreRating: Sud-Kissed Source: Borrowed from the Library
my thoughts in a few sentences: Awkward by Marni Bates is a delightful, short little thing that packs a punch that's gone epically wrong. HOLD ON. You’re probably like, was the book really that bad? The answer is NOT ON YOUR LIFE. What I mean by that statement: You ever witness someone TRY to punch someone else, but when it doesn’t work and their fist flops back leaving no marks, bruises, or internal bleeding, you have to laugh hysterically because they look ridiculous and don’t care. Like Kristen Stewart in that one movie where she played that girl in my favorite books-turned-movies, and she hit that guy, her best friend, the one that turns into a freakishly huge dog. Awkward made me laugh hysterically, and while the story is light and frivolous, the characters do leave a mark, but in a place where it’s not visible. HINT: That place beats.
Review: I’d heard of Juliet Marillier of course. Luckily for me, I began reading Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier with a fresh p...more***4.5 out of 5 stars***
Review: I’d heard of Juliet Marillier of course. Luckily for me, I began reading Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier with a fresh perspective and virtually no expectations, making it quite simple for me to love this book, though I didn’t do all the work. If you’re going to read a questing fantasy novel, read one by Juliet Marillier. Because unlike some of the more verbosely written novels out there, with excessively lush depictions that can get very tedious very quickly, Marillier’s Alban is described with just the right amount of rich prose to make the world vibrant and easy to imagine without courting tedium. And in spite of the plot being primarily focused on Neryn’s journeying on foot, I was never bored. Sharp winds and treacherous passes coupled with the creeping tension and fear of capture, as well as many rocky encounters with mischievous beings, propels the fantastic structure of the plot. So, I ask you, would you give a frak that the girl is merely walking the whole time?
Two things I’ve seen mentioned as qualms for Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier are Neryn and her relationship with Flint, her mysterious on-and-off companion along her journey. Neryn shouldn’t be written off so easily as just an eyerollably sympathetic, angelic, do-gooder. For me, Shadowfell and Neryn’s goodness are about the struggle and difficulty behind ever attempting to do the right, honest, generous thing. And, though Neryn does her best, she still has a lot to learn about people, forgiveness, trust, sacrifice, and duty, and she is gradually taught the hard way. She is more than just the mistrustful, intelligent, naïve young girl from the beginning, and slowly, continually evolves into someone who can learn to be the hero the people will need. As for the mysterious, suspicious, stoic companion Neryn finds herself reluctantly attached to, the connection she shares with Flint builds following an agonizing pace. They’re both highly distrustful, yet they find themselves timidly slipping out of their armors while not quite aware of their doing it. Flint needs salvation; Neryn needs reliability and loyalty, and with this first book alone, it’s quite evident that the two will be able to give what the other is missing with time. Their romance is the kind of quiet, steady-building tension that bursts in a subtle explosion to carry us through the wait of their next encounter, the kind of relationship that rejuvenates.
Then, there’s the atmospheric and thorough writing involved in the story. Descriptions aside, even though the harsh, possibly evil king is never physically introduced, the reach of his cruelty and terrible power permeates Neryn’s journey with tension that is almost palpable. I will say that I am slightly disappointed that this king is only an elusively fearful presence, but the power and skill Marillier wields makes itself known in the mood alone. I also appreciated the depth of her research, her inclusion of fantastical elements such as magic, sorcerory, and the Good Folk which each possess a vivid, dimensional quality that makes them seem ancient, timeless. In Shadowfell, Juliet Marillier takes simplistic, common concepts and gives them an edge, writes them in a way that makes it almost unique without reaching a groundbreaking level. This is what makes it great, as it’s comfortably familiar whilst maintaining a memorable uniqueness. It’s that that makes Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier more than just a book, but an immersive, imaginative story alive with magical vibrancy that can be seen and felt so clearly, it’s quite incredible.
Most Likely to Be Enjoyed By: This is Scottish medieval high fantasy, guys and Gaga. It’s bound for awesomeness by default. My research says, however, that if you’re a long-time Marillier fan you won’t be as likely to fall in love with Neryn as she’s not the strong-willed heroine you might be accustomed to. That being said, impressionable non-fans might have an easier time meshing with this book, and enjoying it for what is as opposed to drowning in unfulfilled expectations. If you’re into perilous quests, an evolving heroine, a slow-paced romance, and beautiful world-building, then I can’t find fault with recommending this book to all lovers of fantasy.
Content Warning: There is a brief moment of sexual harassment, but nothing overwhelming. There is some violence that eventually progresses to the visibly bloody and painful stage, as well as death.
my thoughts in a few sentences: Unbelievably, I was happily surprised by the unique fantasy presented in Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. It’s not all about magical quests and slaying beasts and saving people, necessarily, but there’s so much going on without being overwhelming. The plot is centered around an engrossing murder mystery that left me scrambling to try and fit the pieces together. And I wouldn’t have guessed the biggest twist of all as to who the villain is! The prose is beautiful, subtly woven, and Seraphina herself makes this novel well-worth the read. I’m already so invested in the romance and the war to come that I’m antsy for the sequel!
Rating: Special Shelf Source: Harper Teen via Request to the Publicist
my thoughts in a few sentences: What do you do when your heart is squeezed so tig...moreRating: Special Shelf Source: Harper Teen via Request to the Publicist
my thoughts in a few sentences: What do you do when your heart is squeezed so tightly it breaks for characters whom you grew to love? Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson comes with a warning label right off—Tinker Bell warns there is a love story, “but not like any you’ve ever heard.” Do you know what it’s like to read a story about two dear characters whose outcome surprises you in the most ripping ways? Do you know what kind of shredding power first love has when it finishes but never ends? Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson is as bleak as if tomorrow won’t come, and as hopeful, tearing, and true as anything in life you see. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson rips out your heart and shows you just how fragile it is before carefully shutting it back inside.
my thoughts in a few sentences: What did I expect from Night Sky? A solid, fun, and light co...moreRating: Perfect Bed Partner Source: Publisher for Blog Tour
my thoughts in a few sentences: What did I expect from Night Sky? A solid, fun, and light contemporary indulgence. I didn't expect to love it as much as I did. Night Sky is a creeper. Not as in creepy but as in it creeps up on you and suddenly, you turn around and are taken by surprise when you see what's behind you. This is not a cutesy read. This is a sweet and emotional story about a young man with his heart torn in two over two girls—the one he hasn't gotten over, whom he never dredged up the courage to communicate his feelings to, to be honest with, and the one who takes his breath away and fascinates him at every turn with her confidence and spare traces of vulnerability only revealed to him, who demands honesty and gives it back in spades. Jameson is an attractive narrator right from the start, his vivid emotions capable of hooking us into the story with the barest effort, and his journey away from heartbreak to a more exciting, heartwarming, wondrous true love is as perpetually addictive as the girl he swiftly begins to fall for.
Rating: Sud-Kissed Source: Entangled Teen via NetGalley (not open to public without request)
The following review contai...moreMore like 3.5 Goodreads stars...
Rating: Sud-Kissed Source: Entangled Teen via NetGalley (not open to public without request)
The following review contains NO SPOILERS!
my thoughts in a few sentences: I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed in Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Obsidian is a fast-paced, entertaining, and sexy story about a boy and his sister in hiding, and about the new girl next door who uncovers their secrets. That line of the story may be the typical paranormal book plot, but it REALLY worked as a whole. The first book is addictive, strong, and the paranormal element is a nice little side bit. But, my focus is, and will always be, Daemon and Kat’s relationship. I liked the slow-burn Sexy Times tension in Obsidian, and the promise of a challenge for Daemon to work up to in Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout. But, Kat’s OVERABUNDANCE of RESISTANCE got to be irritating and with an obvious plot device feel. It distracted me from everything else that was going on, and ultimately brought down my enjoyment of the book. HOWEVER. The last hundred or so pages do REALLY WELL for making up for that.
Back in May, I read While He Was Away by Karen Schreck, which fit in with the military/war/death book tr...more**More like a 3.5**
A MUCH better military book
Back in May, I read While He Was Away by Karen Schreck, which fit in with the military/war/death book trend going on this summer. Prior to reading While He Was Away, it seemed, on the surface, to be a fabulous, relaxing, interesting summer read and I was letdown on all accounts. Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is my second time venturing into contemporary romance centering around similar themes as Karen Schreck’s While He Was Away and I felt it was executed loads better, with a much more exciting romantic spark and an intriguing, sympathetic male narrator and main character. It accomplished everything that was lacking in While He Was Away, and I barely fought back the overpowering relief—Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is one of my most anticipated books of this year, and a top contender, as far as anticipation goes, in the contemporary romance genre.
Despite my liking Something Like Normal by Trish Doller much, much more than the similar titles I’ve tried beforehand, I was still MARGINALLY disappointed. It’s that kind of vague disappointment that makes you feel crappy for feeling that way, particularly because Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is a GOOD book. It’s insightful, informative without being stuffy, and sweet. Authentic and raw. My expectations reached higher than what I got, and that’s mostly on me.
~A few minor problems~
My favorite aspects of Something Like Normal by Trish Doller all relate to the main character, Travis. I like books with male narrators if I can get my hands on them, so that’s a major plus for this story. I had no doubts that I was reading from a male point of view, and I loved that it still had a relatability to it despite the fact that the story IS told from a guy’s perspective. It’s always interesting for me to enjoy the way guy’s perceive things, the jokes, the sex and attraction, the more straightforward approach to their introspective inner monologues. Added to that, his flashbacks of his mind-numbingly terrifying and surrealistic time in the Middle East—I feel like I have a better understanding of what sorts of horrors are experienced there more than I ever did before. These moments are vivid and cutting, and it’s perfectly reasonable to expect Travis to have these kind of anxiety attacks over what has happened to him. Throw in grief over the loss of a best friend, and my sympathies were quickly evoked.
However, there are parts in the dialogue I couldn’t fully appreciate because of the not-always-realistic tone to what is said. It could get stilted and unrealistic to what adolescents like he and his friends say. Most, though, don’t have as much of a problem with that as I do. Then, there’s Harper. I enjoyed her role in Travis’s life and emotional recovery, and yet there’s this recurring issue I have with books told in the male perspective—I can never fully connect and appreciate the love interest, especially the female love interests. They aren’t written as in-depth as I’d like and so I can’t fully grasp why the main character ends up falling in love the way they do. Harper seems like a sweet-natured, strong young woman but they also strike me as only surface qualities more than anything else.
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is a well-written, interesting romance read that is more character-driven than anything else. Even so, the plot still managed to be engaging, and, I think, due to the page length more than anything else, feels paced quickly enough to drive away any impending boredom.
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is focused on the internal battle waged by Travis against some of the more horrendous memories during his time abroad and the grief and guilt he feels over the death of one of his comrades. There’s romance and some limelight on the workings of familial relationships. Overall, Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is a quick indulgence that’s honest and ultimately happy about an appealing guy trying to take back his normal, and I enjoyed most of it, down to Doller’s soft, simple prose. Definitely suitable for summertime! (less)
In less words: Frankly, more people should be interested and begin reading this book. It’s about acceptance, forgiveness, true love, and the importanc...moreIn less words: Frankly, more people should be interested and begin reading this book. It’s about acceptance, forgiveness, true love, and the importance of doing the right thing even when fear is escalating. The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors is both lighthearted and heavy, a quest for acceptance and truth, and full of situations gone awry—both comically so and otherwise. If you’re into fairy tales and can enjoy the charming ridiculousness they entail, and have a healthy interest in happily ever afters, as well as a fairly mild curiosity about cows—pertaining to their milk-giving prowess and magical effects—then you’re sure to dig The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors.
In full: The day Emmeline Thistle was born, and was left to die, she was saved thanks to a ring of cows that were drawn into the forest and stayed to guard the infant as the predators awoke. The next day, the milkman wandered in search of his cows and walked back with baby Emmeline in his arms, returning her to the care of her parents. Her father hasn’t been able to look at her since. The townspeople haven’t treated her with a kind word or offered a helping hand since. And, ever after, Emmeline has lived with the knowledge she was born unwanted, and the reason for her abandonment is obvious to everyone when they witness her lopsided gait.
For me, the classic fairy tales—those which I’ve read or the retellings I’ve watched—contain an emotional pattern: it begins with sorrow as a result of loss or a deprivation of some kind or both, then it flip flops between happy and serious before ending with a big joyous splash that never fails to conjure smiles on the faces of the stories’ recipients. The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors follows that well-charted routed, which lends the story a comfortable familiarity as Suzanne simultaneously whips up a fairly unique story. Now, I’ve never read or heard much about The Ugly Duckling fairy tale and don’t know much except the obvious, so I’m afraid I missed out on any nods to the original story. However, that didn’t take away my enjoyment of the book. In fact, I want to say that it added a kind of freshness to my reading palette and helped me enjoy the The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors even more.
Dual narratives generally make me leery, because I find that most times one voice, when both are well-written and distinct, can overpower the other, so that you’re more inclined to be actively interested in one more than the second, which then causes you to want to half-dismiss some of the story because you’re so eager to get back to the more preferred narrator’s side of things. I didn’t find that to be a problem with Emmeline Thistle and Owen Oak, the two main characters. At times, it even felt like they almost blended into one voice, which sometimes made it difficult to discern who exactly was telling the story until some jarring detail helped me identify the current narrator. This didn’t shake me out of my focus in the story—it was fairly easy to go with a flow, kind of like when you find a ditch in the road, and instead of stumbling you simply walk around it without a hitch in your stride. Though, some, I imagine, will stumble despite the warning.
Because I had such a smooth time with the pace and the switch in perspectives, I had no trouble at all avoiding logical reasoning as the story unfolded. The world Suzanne’s built for her fairy tale reimagining has a ton of quirks and a few holes that will make the more disbelieving, skeptical sort work harder to suspend disbelief. I’m someone who’s really easily convinced, and has no trouble at all immersing myself in the most unbelievable story lines—though, that doesn’t always mean I’ll enjoy them anyway. This one I did like. I found the weirdness of the story to be very fairytale-esque and quite charming. Emmeline’s odd and mysterious connection with cows saves her life not just the one time, but twice, and her bond with them persists during the tale, cropping up in useful, even lucrative ways. And I loved how it goes on to have an important link-up with the enforced segregation between Emmeline’s people and the outside world in Anglund.
The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors reminded me a little of The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy. The story neither debunks any faulty elements in fairy tales nor does it live up to the caliber of humor in his story portrayed by the omniscient narrator and other characters. But, the quirky, fun feel and the way in which Owen’s rescue attempts to retrieve the damsel go awry vaguely reminded me of one of my favorite books of the year! An added bonus, of course. Not to mention the way in which the overall plot kind of veers off in many engrossing directions, not only due to the dual perspectives but also all that’s happening within the story and how it’s intertwined. You’ve got the politics in Anglund, the suspicious exportation of Emmeline’s fellow “dirt-scratchers” to the dreaded mineral fields, the legend of chocolate and, inadvertently, that of the two peoples residing in Auglund, and Emmeline’s mysterious involvement in all of it.
Emmeline as a character is a deeply vulnerable one which she wards off with her strength, steadiness, smarts, and light sarcasm. The loneliness and the shame and embarrassment that go hand in hand with her deformity are almost unbearably sad, and I was brought uncomfortably near to full-on crying because I was so genuinely affected by the unfortunateness of her life. And as I grew to like her, and appreciate her more for her admirable qualities, that sadness just deepened. Her loyalty, hard work, and gentleness finally pay off when it paves her a way into the Oak family’s hearts—the mother still bearing unused love as a result of the loss of her daughter and eldest child, the solemn father who is a good, honorable, understanding man, and the son reluctant to fall in love for fear of losing his independence, of having his nature tamed, who enjoys a good barefist fight and sampling milkmaids too much.
None of the characters are one-dimensional—including the many villain-ish ones—and I appreciated that. However, the main highlight of The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors is definitely the romance. Although it happens somewhat quickly, it still retains a sense of believability, and any doubt you might have is quickly shooed away by the sweetness you don’t want to question. Because it’s so happy, and Emmeline is in desperate need of happiness and the chance to experience love and to be loved by someone else. It’s soft and subtle, and though he refuses to admit he’s falling quickly, you’re rooting for Owen the whole way. I was their own personal cheering gallery within the confines of my cave bedroom, and couldn’t quite contain my shout of joy when all the doubts and missteps are shoved aside for a happy, satisfying ending.
I don’t know what it is about this week, and my reading about sad and even sadder characters, but I’m too pleased to express in mere words my general sense of bliss after finishing this book. Which is what I think fairy tales should ultimately accomplish—it should gift you with a pleasant feeling to retain and fortify your belief in happily ever after. The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors is a questing fantasy, a half-lighthearted half-sober story, that, while it won’t be perfect for everyone, quenched my thirst for cheer and turned out to be more enjoyable than Selfors's MAD LOVE from last year.
my thoughts in a few sentences: I don’t think I’ve laughed quite so much in one sitting! When I first h...moreRating: Sud-Kissed Source: Borrowed from Library
my thoughts in a few sentences: I don’t think I’ve laughed quite so much in one sitting! When I first heard about Kelsey in Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin, I totally suspected her voice to be too juvenile for me, and I had decided, despite the book’s appeal, that I had to brace myself because I was probably too cool for her childish antics. Turns out? Kelsey is MUCH COOLER than me. She’s impulsive, sarcastic, and very… world-weary in tone and just generally dramatic. Her thoughts are so legit and relatable, like ironic questions about the mechanics of sex, attitude toward the parental unit, and a driving need to stand out among her peers. She does a lot of stupid shizz and is the epitome of the mood-swinging teenager, but that’s just what makes Kelsey all the more tangible, makes her more than JUST another character.
my thoughts in a few sentences: Peeps, The Selection by Kiera Cass so rocked my heart! Surprised? I was too. Afte...moreRating: *rating* Source: E-ARC Request
my thoughts in a few sentences: Peeps, The Selection by Kiera Cass so rocked my heart! Surprised? I was too. After all, there are only so many negative reviews you can take before you start to get worried. But you know what worked? Going with the flow, going in with no expectations. I figured, 'Asher, let’s not go into this book expecting some hardcore dystopian book with ALL THE CRAZY.' Besides, I wanted a love story. And, at The Selection’s core, that’s EXACTLY what I got, and I basked in it, burrowing into the promise of new love while dutifully, though miserably, resisting the temptation of love nearly lost. It also does help that the characters grew on me, The Selection part is coolness; and the tide of the story had me digging right in.
I think it's important to begin by saying that I'm deeply in love with Richelle Mead. She is the woman who created one of m...more"Sunshine" by Richelle Mead
I think it's important to begin by saying that I'm deeply in love with Richelle Mead. She is the woman who created one of my utmost favorite vampire series (Vampire Academy). So, of course, when I realized what her short story was going to be about, I *squeed* with unprecedented excitement and total fangirlish delight! "Sunshine" is the love story of Eric Dragomir and Rhea Daniels, Vasilissa or Lissa's parents. And even though they are a presence in the VA series, they aren't major characters. Reading their love story was like crack-candy to a crazed Under The Age of Twelve-year-old. It made Lissa's loss that much more pungent and poignant to remember. Still, the story is sweet and heartwarming, full of sexy thrills and a touch of danger. "Sunshine" is just another reason to love Richelle Mead!
"Bring Me to Life" by Alyson Noel
I'm not entirely positive, but I may be destined to dislike anything written by Alyson Noel. While "Bring Me to Life" is a well-written story, I couldn't mesh with it. The story just felt so familiar, wasn't something new to add to the table, which made it a let-down following Mead's glorious work. There are no striking characteristics about the MC or the romantic lead (well, other than the fact that's he hot). It seemed as if she tried too hard to put a unique twist on a classic vampire story. "Bring Me to Life" is a decent take, but I wasn't moved by it.
"Above" by Kristin Cast
I would love to hate Kristin Cast for writing this story. But despite the bittersweet closing, I just can't drum up hatred toward her. The truth is, the writing style was so new to me and I was purely amazed by her words and the way she strung them together. I'd honestly never read anything like it! The story itself, I learned, is breathtakingly beautiful and so heartwarming, even as it sets the reader up for a wrenching curtain-close. Out of all the stories in this book, "Above" is the one I remember with the most clarity. Even if all the other stories sucked, I'd buy this book just for this particular mini tale. Probably my favorite in the whole thing.
"Hunting Kat" by Kelley Armstrong
So I just very recently discovered the awesomesauceness that is Kelley Armstrong. I'd been hearing up and down the blogosphere about how incredible her Darkest Powers trilogy is for some time now. I'm happy to report, that I'm now among those bloggers who can't stop squealing or sighing dreamily whenever contact is made with anyone of the books or mentions of the characters. DEREK. So, of course, I was eager to read more of the same variety from this magnificent author. And I would love to know, is Kat part of her new series? If someone could answer me this, you'd make me a very happy book blogger. As always, Armstrong has superb storytelling skills and impressed me the whole way, as she shot me in the face with the action and lurking danger. "Hunting Kat" is fast-paced, sweet in the romantic glimpses, and entertaining as hell (hehe).
"Lilith" by Francesca Lia Block
I admit, I was interested in "Lilith" even as it confused the sugar honey out of me. The strangeness of it piqued my curiosity, but once I was done I didn't know what to take away from the story. It starts out with a concept I could get into, but ultimately left me utterly bewildered. I enjoyed it for it's different-ness but it didn't strike me as a favorite.
Alona Dare: It was easy enough to sneak out of school. I knew that from previous experience.
I love short books! Seriously, I appreciate a book that's...moreAlona Dare: It was easy enough to sneak out of school. I knew that from previous experience.
I love short books! Seriously, I appreciate a book that's under three hundred pages and still manages to hook me. The Ghost and the Goth - told in dual perspectives - takes the cliche - The Queen Bitch, with depth beneath the surface, befriending the loser, who's actually very cute and not a psychopath at all, at school - and revitalizes it, giving each MC a very distinct, likeable voice. And the characters aren't the only surprise! The book itself, while character-driven, delves into issues existing outside of the supernatural problem the two characters have on their hands. There are some heavy issues explored, though with an overarching light tone that manipulates the atmosphere of the book to stay anything but somber or severe. It feels as though it's been a long time since I've had this much FUN reading a book!
As much as I claim to be a nice person, I can't help but snicker at Alona's type. Then the weirdest thing happened - I sympathized with her character! But the most refreshing thing about that is Alona is an unapologetic character who doesn't ask for nor want sympathy or pity, something that gets across loud and clear almost as soon as you spend a few pages with her. Which is why I couldn't help but agree with Will in that he admires her almost as much as he gets irritated with her. Despite her pitiful home life, Alona doesn't sit back and play the victim card, whine, pretend no one else in the world exists to live in isolation. Oh, no, instead she climbs the top of the social ladder at school, snags the boy everyone is pining for, and is ruthlessly blunt to anyone who doesn't try as hard as she does at life. Alona is a mean girl, no doubt, but her outlook goes something like everyone has control over their own lives, so those girls and guys at school who no one accepts and likes aren't trying nearly as hard as they're capable. To her, excuses don't exist. And you have to admire someone who isn't afraid to take what she wants without checking for vulnerable shoes susceptible to being stepped on.
I didn't like Will nearly as much as Alona, I will confess, mostly because he just doesn't have Alona's drive or her brand of meanness. (I find mean girls terribly appealing, if you haven't already figured out.) But what makes Will attractive - despite the fact that he's really cute! - is his unshakeable loyalty and protectiveness of those he loves. And even though he has family issues and a heartbreaking past roughing up his home life and zero tolerance or sympathy from his school principal making his schooltime horrible, he stands on his own two feet and remains self-reliant. He may not be as goal-oriented as Alona Dare but he's no wimp either! And best of all, he doesn't become compliant under Alona's tactics to boss him around or her demands.
Now what do you do when you have two headstrong characters meant to fall in love? You grab a bag of popcorn, some soda, and pick a better seat! The romance here progresses gradually but does NOT border on nonexistent or subtle. The chemistry and tension is there, a reluctant sparking that crackles into oh-so-delicious moments. And as the two learn more about each other, seeing all facets of the other's personality, those feelings escalate into something you know is going to be explored thoroughly in later books.
While the paranormal element is more of a sub-plot, I didn't mind. I enjoyed that touch of the supernatural even as I dived deeper into the characters. The paranormal aspects only made the book more intriguing, without overshadowing the characters, and drove the book forward at a pretty steady rate. The mystery and conclusion wasn't top-marks perfect but it did its job and served as a great incentive (besides the romance!) to continuing reading the series. Because by the time you're done you have just as many questions as the characters do! Queen of the Dead, here I come!
my thoughts in a few sentences: Welcome to 15th century Brittany, a country holding down a tremulous peace...moreRating: Perfect Bed Partner Source: NetGalley
my thoughts in a few sentences: Welcome to 15th century Brittany, a country holding down a tremulous peace with France and it's protectors are searching for a means to keep their homes and their sovereign safe. With this comes a game of deceit brewing at court and among the lords and ladies filling it betrayal and treason sit heavily in the air. Who is friend to the Duchess, to Brittany, and who is not? The intrigue and slow unraveling of lies and spies along the subtly spun web of deception and duplicity fascinates the mind and lures it into yet another game of puzzle-solving. Frauds are abundant, and Ismae, an eerily well-trained assassin working in the name of St. Mortain (or Death), with her heart vulnerable to a certain brisk, protective, and warm Breton working fiercely to secure his sister's crown and her competent, death-dealing hands quick to whip out a crossbow or a dagger and aim true, meticulously untangles shocking truths about those she has blindly served and the "allies" with whom the Duchess seeks advice. LaFevers' writing is thin with overbearing prose and ripe with authenticity and vibrancy, as scrupulously depicted as Ismae's methods for scrounging facts and separating it from illusions of loyalty and done so with beauty in its simplicity.
According to the puppy-of-the-month calendar hanging next to the phone in the kitchen, my sister June died on a Thursday, exactly nine days before her...moreAccording to the puppy-of-the-month calendar hanging next to the phone in the kitchen, my sister June died on a Thursday, exactly nine days before her high school graduation...
I've never been into the Angry At the World attitude, like Harper (although, later, it becomes evident that this girl IS WAY MORE COMPLICATED then she thinks/lets on). That's just not me, I don't flow that way (did I just say that?). I've never been a hardcore music fan. And no matter how ripped or sexy, I've never before been able to get into the rocker look for dudes. Again, not my style. My sisters and I have a tremulous (yet somehow steady) relationship, but I could never picture either of them poised for suicide. Gives me chills to think of it. So in going into this book, I was bombarded with all of these... foreign concepts, aspects I wouldn't normally go for. And for my efforts, Harrington WOWed me with her intricate characters, deeply emotional plot, and a resolution I could accept and be satisfied with.
From the opening page, Harrington fed me line after line of elegant prose and amazing metaphors and a wonderful narrative. I only mention writing styles when they're WORTH mentioning, and Harrington will grip you with her unique telling of a contemporary theme we've all encountered in our reading travels. A bowl of onions is hiding behind Saving June's cover, and as much as I love a good crying jag-inducing story, I accepted early on that this would be another of those tales where the teens have left the couch warm at their last therapy session and someone had died and the journey onward (via roadtripping, of course, because what else?) would be full of love and forgiveness and acceptance. I wasn't too far off, I will admit. But Harrington spilled the beans after having cooked them with sofrito thrown in as opposed to just the tomato sauce. This book shares common ground with my contemporary romance favorites and yet it screams different in the most beautiful way.
And while I wouldn't name my first-born after the MC or suddenly throw myself onto the mercy of the Bible, reading frantically for the answers to all of life's conundrums, Saving June, and its characters, became my teachers.The religious aspects weren't uncomfortable. There was no full-scale preaching; instead, Saving June expresses the importance of faith in something. Or someone, some higher power, because we all need something to believe that the world isn't all bad and we're being looked after... I'm gonna cut myself off before I go all Samwise Gamgee on you. The point being is faith and confusion as to God's existence is touched on more so than any specific religious practice. And Harrington exquisitely ties this to loss and overcoming grief, making the story THAT much more appealing.
Harper, Laney, and Jake are a trifecta of flawed perfection in fiction, three people who connect in ways I can only dream of experiencing one day. Harper and Laney have been best friends since forever (isn't that always the way?), but unlike the unlovable duo of yesterday's review for After Obsession, their friendship has its treasured memories, ups and downs, and a clear understanding of one another. They love each other for who they are, tolerate the bad stuff, and just accepte each other. That kind of friendship can only be stumbled upon a few times in a lifespan, I'm thinking. Harper and Laney's relationship is a rare find, one that any reader enjoying this book will lap up as the story progresses. And JAKE. Remember when I said I had an aversion to the punk/rocker look? BOY DID I NEED A (fictional) REALITY CHECK. Because Jake Tolan is a sexy mothertrucker, you guys. Jerky, arrogant, and an eternal music junkie with an attitude problem. But underneath is a heart of gold. Though he makes some crappy decisions and messes up a few times, he doesn't do anything that could potentially invoke Harper's (or my) abiding hatred. One of the most delectable romances I've read in some time has been written in Saving June's pages. I assure you, much will be missed if this book isn't picked up.
But the necessity of this book reaching your hands goes beyond JUST the romance, but also includes the themes (acceptance at the head of the list), the heartwrenching journey itself, and the characters. I've never met characters so utterly real in their heartbreak and being lost. Or as strong, because they somehow manage to reach for the crazy glue and stick the pieces back together. My single piece of advice: break out the Kleenex, but you'll need it when you least expect it. I knew there was a reason why this book called out to me, and I'm patting tummy (because that's where your intuition is, right? O_O) and thanking Intuition for refraining from leading me astray.(less)
Touch of Power was my first taste of Snyder's work and it was a rich and delightful one. Avry's tug-of-war between the need to help and the knowing th...moreTouch of Power was my first taste of Snyder's work and it was a rich and delightful one. Avry's tug-of-war between the need to help and the knowing that if she does, she'll be executed for doing so, instantly pulls us in and leaps onto us, one part of us begging her to save the little girl screaming for relief warring with the part that urges her to stay hidden for fear of the horrors that are sure to follow. An overcast of the dark and the bleak blankets the opening chapter, giving us the keen sense that Avry's world isn't a joyful one. Avry's kind, the healer kind, are proclaimed war criminals, treated like abominations to be killed or handed over for money for reasons fortified by indistinct proof, in a world ravaged by disease and plagued by war and dreadful politics. It's deeply evident that Avry is tired of running, so when the inevitable happens, along with the fear moves a swift feeling of relief at no longer having to hide in abiding anxiety.
Rapidly and suddenly Avry finds herself in the company of five men eager for her to heal their close friend, a prince of a relatively distant land who has caught the horrible plague that has swept all the Fifteen Realms. He is meant for great things and only Avry can save him, but at a price so final Avry must decide what and who is worth actually saving. And the five men who desire her help are five characters that stole into my heart and warmed it, melted it, and, at points, cut scars into it, who not only move Avry into admirable action but moved me in ways I always hope for when I pick up the next novel. I found Avry and Belen's deep and swift friendship a sweet reprieve from their rough travels, her attachment to the other men in the group warming me while reading as events unfolded in the cold of their world. And her syrupy slow romance with a certain resistant, stone-faced character ignited feelings that overlapped from wishful to happiness that could barely be contained!
A few people have asked me how closely Touch of Power resembles Maria's Poison Study series, if at all, and whether or not it's better or worse. Keep in mind that I read Touch of Power first, but I instantly went in search of this highly acclaimed series and fell just as deeply in love. The two stories are matching in similar threads found in the plot, the characters, and even the romance, yet Touch of Power is completely, freshly it's own. I think fans of Poison Study will be pleased with the tenacious, lovable heroine, charmed by the amazing brood of men who traverse with Avry, defending her to the best of their abilities, persevering alongside her, and the enthralling, magical fantasy that paints the book's pages. Touch of Power is presented with a vividness that can't be ignored, a story that has thoroughly earned a place on my hard-to-reach Special Shelf.
Rating: Sud-Kissed Source: Harper Teen via Edelweiss
my thoughts in a few sentences: While a vast improvement in plot development, the romance and chara...moreRating: Sud-Kissed Source: Harper Teen via Edelweiss
my thoughts in a few sentences: While a vast improvement in plot development, the romance and characters are easily swept aside by the more dramatic issues in Dreamless by Josephine Angelini, which works to a disadvantage and not simultaneously. The organic world-building and Angelini’s rendition of some awesome Greek myths continues, arousing confusion and interest, but, unlike Starcrossed, not overwhelming. I didn’t necessarily enjoy the sequel more than its predecessor, but I did like it better in certain areas, where others dwindled and fell short in comparison. Still, I can’t get enough of the mythological aspects and with war churning in the hearts of both the gods, demigods, and mortals alike, I’m very interested in the outcome of this trilogy.
"You wouldn’t be here pickin’ pockets, would you?" Tiki jumped as the dark figure loomed over the corner where she sat, pretending to be half-asleep.
I...more"You wouldn’t be here pickin’ pockets, would you?" Tiki jumped as the dark figure loomed over the corner where she sat, pretending to be half-asleep.
I would label The Faerie Ring as intricate, with so many pieces being interwoven into this dark, suspenseful story. Some of those pieces worked for me and others didn't. I had two major reasons for being excited for this book: the first, FAERIES. In my list of Favorite Paranormals, faeries are located at the top of the list. And there's a reason for that. No, it's not just because these ethereally beautiful people sparkle. These magical creatures are tricky bastards, forever looking out for number one. I've yet to encounter a totally benevolent faerie in YA fiction, most inclining toward wonderfully dark and devious, and in that respect Hamilton definitely delivers. And what really had me jumping up and down in anticipation for this book was the setting. I can't get enough of Victorian London! While Hamilton clearly knew old London well by the time she started writing, I was disappointed because I was only exposed to a few key places. Nowhere eye-popping is invited into the book, sadly.
The Faerie Ring isn't nearly as mind-numbingly epic as I wanted it to be. The story is trapped in that in-between place where you're like, Oh, this is good! followed shortly after by, But... *blank* could've been better. I liked Hamilton's take on faeries, but I wanted them to have more of an appearance in the book! Especially since they are pretty much the main antagonists. Yet, the story focused elsewhere for a substantial chunk of it. The setting is well-written, but mostly portrays either London's "gritty" slums or the grand Buckingham Palace. I wanted much more! The rag-tag street orphans? They flitted between cute and worthy of sympathy to distant and dull. Small Review mentions that they are pretty much "stock cute orphan," and so it's hard to find any depth in these characters. What is there to like? I think, seriously, the only one that that didn't apply to was baby Clara, and it's because I'm a sucker for sickly little girls.
Tiki as a mother hen worked... to a point. On the one hand her protectiveness of her band of friends is endearing and likable, but... she's so confusing! One minute she's this Bad-Ass Thief and then the next minute she's doting on these kids as if they were her own. I liked one side of her personality more than the other. Aside from dressing up with her for the Grand Ball, my feelings toward Tiki flipped as much as her personality did. Rieker, on the other hand, as cheesy as it sounds, had me at "You wouldn’t be here pickin’ pockets, would you?" He's weirdly charming, laidback, with a perfect touch of the enigmatic. His mysterious past doesn't crush the plot, but instead makes you want to know more about him. If Hamilton had written this book as a dual perspective, Rieker's narrative would've so been my favorite.
By the end of the story I was thankful for the lack of instalove and cliffhangers, because, really? Aren't there enough out there already? Plus there's only a handful of authors I can think of who I know execute well what are now trite plot devices. However, this book didn't knock my socks off. There isn't anything remarkable about The Faerie Ring, nothing to cry over, SCREAM at, just plain no emotional response to dish out at all. A sweet closing and yummy simmering romance are obvious bonuses, but the fact that I couldn't conjure a single ounce of emotional distress or brimming joy after reading this book indicates that it isn't a very immersive or completely enjoyable read. I need more thrill, more edginess, just more, more, more, in order to be blown away with any of Hamilton's ensuing works.
Desires of the Dead begins in a way that made me feel as though I'd never left Violet's world. Violet has now aroused the suspicion of mysterious forc...moreDesires of the Dead begins in a way that made me feel as though I'd never left Violet's world. Violet has now aroused the suspicion of mysterious forces working under the FBI, unintentionally setting them on her trail thanks to her, shall we say, knack for tracking the murdered dead, in a moment of desperation. Not quite covering her tracks properly leads to accusations headed by the intriguing Sara Priest, out for answers Violet is unwilling to surrender. Trailing not too far behind the Priest woman is an enigmatic boy around Violet's age who seems to know more about how Violet's gift works than she does!
I loved The Body Finder, but I didn't enjoy Desires of the Dead quite as much. Maybe because being the object of a psychotic killer proves to be more exciting than the focus of someone else's obsession. And unveiling the identity of The Obsesser wasn't as much of a hardship as with uncovering the truth about book one's serial killer. The suspense sadly didn't serve as much of a motivation to get pumped up with excitement.
A combination of two major aspects resulted in my enjoyment of this book: The first? Jay and Violet, uh duh. I swear to Bob, these two are one of my favorite couples in YA. The childhood friend romance has never been done quite this way, has never been written in such an appealing manner. Jay and Violet have this connection that just runs so deep, and a romance that blooms so... sexily. Seriously, their romance has the perfect dose of sweet and soft and hot and busy *waggles eyebrows*. And even though they're friends, the two are exploring each other in new ways all the time now that their relationship has evolved. While in book one Violet was less concerned with how quickly they were making the transition, the ramifications of their progression into uncharted territory are expressed here. Violet is trying to balance herself on the thin tightrope between friendship and lovers. What should she tell Jay? What should she keep from him? Should she be keeping anything from him? All questions which dog her conscience as the book moves forward.
The other big thing about this book is chipping away at the mystery of Sara Priest and that guy, Rafe. Both are evidently not what they appear to be, and much more involved in the paranormal than I would've guessed. I'm all for new characters being placed in the game, so long as none of the other players get tossed aside. That "Spark" of Whatevs that keeps flitting between Rafe and Violet needs to take a hike, because I will not stand for a love triangle! I refuse to believe that this is where Derting is taking us, because I just can't imagine a world where Violet and Jay aren't together. (*winces* Gawd, that came out so cheesy and melodramatic! When did I become that cheesy peasy romance writer?)
My dilemma with this book is simply that it reads too much like an in-between-a-series book. No, I didn't miss the memo where it says that Desires of the Dead is a part of a series. But, I want my sequels to be as devastatingly amazing as I found the book that started it all to be. It should stand on it's own, and it should be just as exciting as the last book! I'm hoping that with The Last Echo, the intensity level gets spiked up to unbearable, the romance (WITH JAY) is dazzling, and that not a smidgen of disappointment will taint what I'm assuming to be the last book in this wonderful series!
Violet Ambrose wandered away from the safety of her father as she listened to the harmony of sounds weaving delicately around her...
The story kicks of...moreViolet Ambrose wandered away from the safety of her father as she listened to the harmony of sounds weaving delicately around her...
The story kicks off right away, with a riveting opening chapter in which eight-year-old Violet stumbles on something, or should I say someone, horrifying on what was supposed to be an innocent walk through the woods. This part was especially chilling for me because I kept visualizing this little girl with pigtails stumbling on this bloodcurdling scene. Derting hooked me as soon as I was done with that prologue.
Violet Ambrose has a unique skill -- a grim power in uncovering the dead. This, to me, was especially intriguing because yeah, there are the typical psychics, but never a girl with the ability to sense the murdered dead through strange echoes that emanate from the corpses. I got goosebumps every time she heard an eerie ring or saw bright flashing lights. Typically Violet only unearths small dead animals, but like when she was a child, The Body Finder really gears into action when teenage girls near and from her small town begin disappearing and their bodies start calling to Violet.
Violet is the kind of girl I'd want to take on shopping trips, jog with, and to drive me home when I'm intoxicated. I'd extend her a glittery invitation into my life anytime, because she would be good friend to have on my side. Violet equals caring, tough, and real. Unlike most FMCs, Violet has key traits that I desire in my MCs, the top of the list being tolerable, likable. She makes mistakes, falls into the perpetual angst lurking in teenagers, but, at the same time, I found her to be pretty amazing. Despite her initial struggle with the idea of a killer on the loose and the consequences that could ensue if she were to find the murderer hiding in the shadows of the town, she makes the decision to track him down, because, she realizes, she's the only one who can. That's courage. She likes her friends for who they are, puts up with insecure bullies, and just has this innate goodness that lured me further into the story.
And overlying all of this - the disappearances, the mysterious serial killer - Violet is struggling with her rising feelings for her long-time childhood best friend, Jay Heaton. I don't think I recall ever liking a Best Friend romance more. These two have such a good chemistry, a fabulous friendship between them that when the sparks start flying I was waving my pom-poms very enthusiastically. There's jealousy, miscommunications, and misunderstandings. Evil cheerleader bullies, hilarious best friends, and boy attacks in car-sittings. It seems like everyone but Violet has been aware of this connection she and Jay share up until this school year when Violet's romantic feelings finally surface. I got such a charge watching the friendship escalate into something... delectably intense.
Dreadful and disturbing were the chapters in between Violet's third-person point of view, in which Derting writes the shuddersome perspective of the serial killer/kidnapper himself. Homecoming, suspicious persons, and near-death experiences morph this book into a total and absolute page-turner! So why the lack of undying love that would result in a Special Shelf rating? While The Body Finder was a great and entertaining read, it missed that certain umph, that special something that burns the amazingness of it onto your mind, leaving it forever scarred by it's unbelievable awesomeness.
[Grady] held his hand up in surrender. "Stop! Stop!" Jay seemed to have a difficult time deciding. And then he leaned over, his fist balling up again, ready to strike, as he reached in and jerked Grady forward by the collar of his shirt. "Isn't that what Violet said to you, you jerk? Didn't she tell you to stop?" Grady recoiled... She watched as Jay let Grady fall back to the ground. Well, not fall exactly, it was more of a shove, releasing him and making him smack his head against the car as he collapsed backward. But he wasn't quite finished with his warning to Grady, and he snarled at him from between gritted teeth, "If you ever... ever...touch her again, I swear to God, Grady, I'll fucking kill you. Do you hear me?" (174-175)
Rating: Sud-Kissed Source: Macmillan via NetGalley
my thoughts in a few sentences: I’ve been reading a ton of mermaid books lately, but of them all Of P...moreRating: Sud-Kissed Source: Macmillan via NetGalley
my thoughts in a few sentences: I’ve been reading a ton of mermaid books lately, but of them all Of Poseidon by Anna Banks was the one I was most worried about and the one that surprised me the most! I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did! But this book is, seriously, HILARIOUS. Banks has got an awesome sense of humor and quickly becomes apparent as soon as we start on Emma’s inner monologue. I was already engrossed because the humor is so inviting, real, and in tune with the book. And technically this book is NOT about mermaids. It’s about something way, way, way cooler, with mythology that is intriguingly spun through the plot to make it equal parts interesting and puzzling. And the romance! Of Poseidon by Anna Banks isn’t totally lighthearted, good underwater fun. The romances—yes, Anna gives us the benefit of two—are steamy with tension build-up, tangled up with misunderstandings, and has this pervading sweetness. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks is fun, smart, entertaining, but, more than that, fascinating.
Alyxandra Harvey's books are like pockets of gleaming treasure; they typically have everything I want - great romance, a fast-paced, blood-pounding st...moreAlyxandra Harvey's books are like pockets of gleaming treasure; they typically have everything I want - great romance, a fast-paced, blood-pounding story, and characters and prose that are full of charm and humor. Personally, I think Harvey is a writing genius, so after hitting up vampires and ghosts, I was ecstatic for her take on faeries! Which are creatures Eloise Hart never imagined encountering in her relatively ordinary life. After being sought out in an open crowd by a guy clothed in an outrageously old-fashioned get-up, spouting out obvious nonsense about mysterious kidnappers on the hunt for her, Eloise hasn't a clue about the hidden supernatural world that's about to clash with hers. And it'll be up to the teamwork of she and her friends, along with unlikely relatives, to untangle the muddled mess born from this complicated, unbidden merging.
An inseparable, witty, hysterical trio, Devin, Eloise, and Jo are such enjoyable characters to read about, with their entertaining interactions being some of the highlights of this read, however they weren't as fleshed out as I typically come to expect from Harvey or as I'd've liked. Unlike with her other novels, I felt as if we absorb the surface of these characters and don't acquire a deeper look inside. Still, although I wouldn't say the three became my best buds by the end of the book, I loved how each of them balanced out their friendship and truly came through for each other, even when that meant trying to save their best friend from the capture of one power-hungry faery king or enduring the company of an irritated, bitter ancient faery with a penchant for insulting their intelligence. Despite their pitiable lack of knowledge for faery lore, they each brashly bust in guns blazing for those they care about, though the situation could be termed dire. It's damn near impossible to refrain from liking and admiring them.
With rapidly flourishing romances, the two couples that emerge in the story could be chalked up to 'instaluv.' But here's the thing: even when writing an instaluv-esque romance, Harvey still knows how put the swoon in swoon-worthy when it comes to the chemistry, and, oh, THE KISSING. Harvey should definitely be written down as one of the Kiss Scene Mastahs. I like how the romance was woven into the story, although I do wish there was more of it. And I enjoyed watching the sweet, tension-filled build-up in each relationship, leading to that first kiss, that first admission of feelings for one another. It was sweet and happy at times, sexy at others, and even wrenching. I'm no fan of a romance without substance, but I thought Harvey did a wonderful job considering the circumstances within the novel.
What's shouting in my brain is, I wish there had been more! I wish there was going to be more! Stolen Away did feel a bit rushed and not as thorough as I've know Harvey's novels to be; it should've been either lengthier or stretched out into, at minimum, a two-story arcing plot. While I won't say Stolen Away outshined the faery books that have dazzled the market, it was a fun, fast-paced adventurous tale that colors faeries in a sinister and exciting shade, and gave me another reason to love Alyxandra Harvey!
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people...moreMr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious...
I can never fully express to you how deeply I regret not embarking on this series sooner. I'm so late! Now the movies are over and its less likely I can parade my enthusiasm and the sheer joy I got from reading this. From the first chapter alone, it became increasingly obvious as to how J.K. Rowling ended up a millionaire (or is bigillionaire...?). I'd always been a BIG fan of the movies, but I didn't read the books based on my pre-Reading Obsession years when I didn't very much enjoy them. I realized, though, that at the time, I didn't have it in me to appreciate this series. Now, I do. Boy, do I! This book incites the fan girl (or boy) in you!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is full of magic and adventure, sparkling story-telling, and is the embodiment of nearly every child's dream to run off to some foreign, magical place where excitement and danger is around every corner to chase off the boredom. What is so purely great about this first book (and I'm sure the others as well) is the effortless world-building that mirrors our own world in past and present spaces in our history. Nothing is over-done and it's plain how deep Rowling's knowledge of the world runs. From wands and cauldrons to magical beasts to wizarding sports, The Sorcerer's Stone will fascinate you at every plot turn and through every character. It ensnares your attention and leaves you craving the next book!
I loved Harry. His book portrayal made me much more sensitive to his circumstances and feelings. Gosh, I can't tell you how many times this boy succeeded in making me cry! The cruelty of his care-givers had me fuming and crying all at the same time. And the feeling of loss for his parents strikes you throughout the course of the movie series, but it hits much harder after reading the books. Growing up with the movies, the movie adapted characters stuck with me while I was reading. I saw Emma Watson when I read Hermione, and Radcliffe and Grint and so on. It honestly made me love the book that much more!
I appreciated the Big Mystery, and it was nice to go through the motions of unraveling it, because I had forgotten almost everything from the first movie. It was like starting fresh, and as I read the book I slowly began to recall what was going to happen. Strangely, that made it all the more exciting.
Perhaps it is because Harry Potter has been dear to my heart all this time, being apart of the Harry Potter generation, that the entire book captivated me from start to finish, but I can truly say, without bias, that The Sorcerer's Stone is an enthralling, unique, and astoundingly overwhelming read! I can promise that I was as bewitched as Harry when, together, we stumbled upon the wizarding world, and absolutely guarantee that my friends will be finding the Harry Potter books in my bag until I'm done with the series!
Thought up by the lovely Small Review, Special Shelf books are unforgettable books that hold beautiful stories inside and characters you will forever be in love with... (My Rating System In-Depth)
"FRED, YOU NEXT," THE PLUMP WOMAN SAID. "I'M NOT FRED, I'M GEORGE," SAID THE BY. "HONESTLY, WOMAN, YOU CALL YOURSELF OUR MOTHER? CAN'T YOU TELL I'M GEORGE?" "SORRY, GEORGE, DEAR." "ONLY JOKING, I AM FRED," SAID THE BOY. (92)
"HAS ANYONE SEEN A TOAD? NEVILLE'S LOST ONE," SHE SAID. SHE HAD A BOSSY SORT OF VOICE, LOTS OF BUSHY BROWN HAIR, AND RATHER LARGE FRONT TEETH... "OH, ARE YOU DOING MAGIC? LET'S SEE IT, THEN." SHE SAT DOWN. RON LOOKED TAKEN ABACK... "SUNSHINE, DAISIES, BUTTER MELLOW, TURN THIS STUPID, FAT RAT YELLOW." HE WAVED HIS WAND, BUT NOTHING HAPPENED. SCABBERS STAYED GRAY AND FAST ASLEEP. "ARE YOU SURE THAT'S A REAL SPELL?" SAID THE GIRL. "WELL, IT'S NOT VERY GOOD, IS IT?" (105)
HARRY GRIPPED THE EDGES OF THE STOOL AND THOUGHT, NOT SLYTHERIN, NOT SLYTHERIN. "NOT SLYTHERIN, EH?" SAID THE SMALL VOICE. "ARE YOU SURE? YOU COULD BE GREAT, YOU KNOW, IT'S ALL HERE IN YOUR HEAD, AND SLYTHERIN WILL HELP YOU ON THE WAY TO GREATNESS, NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT--NO? WELL, IF YOU'RE SURE--BETTER BE GRYFFINDOR!" HARRY HEARD THE HAT SHOUT THE LAST WORD TO THE WHOLE HALL. HE TOOK OFF THE HAT AND WALKED SHAKILY TOWARD THE GRYFFINDOR TABLE. HE WAS SO RELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AND NOT PUT IN SLYTHERIN, HE HARDLY NOTICED THAT HE WAS GEETTING THE LOUDEST CHEER YET. PERCY THE PREFECT GOT UP AND SHOOK HIS HAND VIGOROUSLY, WHILE THE WEASLEY TWINS YELLED, "WE GOT POTTER! WE GOT POTTER!" (121-122)(less)