I think I should give you fair warning that at the time I decided to read this book I had already marked some of Cassandra Clare’s other work, namely...moreI think I should give you fair warning that at the time I decided to read this book I had already marked some of Cassandra Clare’s other work, namely the Mortal Instruments Series, as DNF. As a result I was very hesitant to even begin any of the books in the Infernal Devices series. In the end, I was convinced to give it a try by some of my fellow Ontario Blog Squad members and I am very glad that they did.
For me the first half of the book was a whole lot of nothing. Well, maybe not nothing, but not a lot happened. It was all talk and getting to know the characters, but really very little action. While I did like having the opportunity to really learn about the characters, it was hard holding my attention when I just wanted something to happen. I do have to say that when the action started, it pretty much didn’t stop. It wasn’t over the top gory incidents either. I didn’t get the feeling that the events taking place weren’t realistic for the story, but rather they seamlessly fit right in.
While I did enjoy the book, I can’t say that I was really fond of a lot of the characters. Tessa annoyed me for some reason. Maybe it was her dependence on others, or her inability to see things clearly that drove me nuts. Was she a product of her environment and times? Yes! Does that mean I should make allowances for her character? Probably. Did she still annoy me anyway? Absolutely! And that was the best part. As annoying as she was, she was authentic to the times, her upbringing and her character. I really did not like Will, but he too was authentic. What I don’t understand is this need for the main male character in every YA book to be a borderline douche. Jem on the other hand came across as a very likeable, albeit, tragic character. Jess made me want to light myself on fire every time she appeared in the story.
There was something about the setting for this series that just worked for me. The setting of Victorian London was spot on and had me believing in the world of Shadowhunters, Demons and the like. Something about London during that time period comes across as a lot more believable than the backdrop of New York City that we find in The Mortal Instruments. What we know of London during that time due to historical record lends a great bit of credibility to this kind of world within a world that Cassandra Clare has created. London, as described in Clockwork Angel, is a cross between being seedy and posh and it is that dichotomy that makes the story work so well.
So I have finally started getting back into reading Romance Novels and decided that I was going to start by reading some that have been on my to-read...moreSo I have finally started getting back into reading Romance Novels and decided that I was going to start by reading some that have been on my to-read list for awhile now.
Enter The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton.
Yeah, so I am going to admit that I was first drawn to this book by the cover. I mean, take a look at it! Who wouldn’t stop and stare at that cover? Who doesn’t love a hot, sweaty, muscular and topless man? If you don’t, then please stop reading right now. For those of you who do, let’s carry on!
Now while the cover is enough to grab your interest, the real question is does the book hold your interest? The answer: YES!
The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton was the perfect mix of interaction, plot, development, romance, and dialogue. It’s so easy for Romance novels to come across as completely unbelievable and phony, even when they are meant to be contemporary. The Perfect Play felt more realistic in the interactions and dialogue between characters, while still managing to maintain that bit of fantasy that draws readers into a romance novel in the first place. Oh, and I guess that I should mention that the sex scenes were hot, hot, hot.(less)
I had been waiting to read this book for some time. In fact, I think this book was one of my Waiting on Wednesday picks sometime back in May or June....moreI had been waiting to read this book for some time. In fact, I think this book was one of my Waiting on Wednesday picks sometime back in May or June. Every time I went to the bookstore in hopes of acquiring this book, it never quite worked out and I finally just ordered it online sometime back in October. Of course as soon as I got it, I began reading it. Sad to say, I was disappointed. I was so disappointed in fact, that this book was originally classified as DNF on my shelf and after about 50 pages in, I put it down. Usually, when I classify a book as DNF, I don’t pick it up again. But for some reason, I decided to give this one a second chance. I can honestly say that I am glad that I did.
Lie is told from multiple POVs and as such you really get to hear the viewpoints of everyone in this particular community. The sad part is that all those POV’s really do mirror each other and still adhere to the line ‘everybody knows, but no one’s talking’. It’s really disturbing to see just how everyone lets the fact that the victims were Mexican and the perpetrators were white cloud their minds to the fact that a crime was committed, and that lives were put in danger. The really sad part is that Lie, even though fiction, mirrors events that have happened in real life.
I have never been more disgusted with a character than I was with Skylar. She uses her loss as a way to make her apathetic to the suffering of anyone else. The fact that she has gone through a loss should have made her appreciate life so much more. Instead she has this pity me, poor me attitude that leads her to rely on the very racist Jimmy for absolutely everything. For Skylar, I really didn’t see the struggle between right and wrong. She clearly couldn’t tell the difference if it slapped her upside the head. The sad thing is that she was not alone in that viewpoint.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew that Lie wasn’t going to be a book about fluffy bunnies and as such was likely going to provoke some intense reactions. I was expecting outrage, frustration and maybe even a little sadness and anger. What I was not prepared for was the absolute rage and disgust I felt while reading this book. The tag line of Lie is ‘everybody knows, nobody’s talking’ and that one line should be enough to set anyone’s teeth on edge. The fact that Lie is a book based around a hate crime, ‘everybody knows, nobody’s talking’ should outrage and disgust you.(less)
So I am not too sure just why it took me so long to finally read Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly. The book was released in hardcover in May 2011 and while it was on my TBR list, I wasn’t rushing out to pick up a copy. Fortunately, with the release of the paperback version being released in December 2011, I was given an opportunity by the Publisher to read and review a copy.
What I liked:
Bad Angels – Umm, yes please. It’s certainly much more fun to think of them as being bad than as completely benevolent characters. It also makes much more sense than them being all fluffy and light. If you actually look at depictions of Angels in the Bible, they seriously don’t look or act like the little cherubs you see in paintings. The Angels in the Bible are God’s warrior’s and messengers and as such it’s more reasonable to think that they could possibly have more of a dark side than we as people, tend to think they do.
The General Story – I have already said that I like the idea of Angels not being all goodness and light, but what I really like is that this story ties that same disturbing twist and ties it to most of the world’s health woes. They don’t have the Angels just running around and behaving badly for the sake of doing so, rather there is a reason for what they are doing, regardless if it is right or wrong.
What I didn’t like:
The Romance – the relationship between Willow and Alex just didn’t make sense to me. I mean I know they are teenagers, but going from the ‘I hate you’ to ‘you are the most important thing in my life’ in the blink of an eye was a bit much for me. There was no buildup in their feelings at all. They went from not speaking to one another to all over each other the next day. I think I would have believed it more if they built up to the romance and had time to actually explore their feelings.
The Whole CIA Thing – More specifically, Alex being recruited by the CIA while still in his early teens. I mean I know the CIA is all secretive and stuff, but this isn’t believable at all. Not by a long shot. You are talking about this happening in the U.S., where you can’t vote until you are eighteen and you can’t drink until you are twenty-one. It is not reasonable by any stretch of the imagination that the CIA would recruit a teenager, give him a gun, and send him on his way to be an Angel Killer.
For me, this was a good book. It had action, suspense, romance, and an interesting back story. I personally can’t wait to see what happens in book two and continue more of the journey with Willow and Alex.
Keep an eye out for book two in the Angel Burn series. Angel Fire will be released on January 24, 2012. (less)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is absolutely masterful and after having read it, I can say that it has been without a doubt my favourite book of 2011. The Night Circus is one of those books that you come across very seldom and it's one of those books that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. The kind that you find yourself picking up and reading more than once, and every time you do read it again, another facet of it's brilliance is revealed.
The prose is lyrical and almost poetic and with that same sense of fluidity Erin Morgenstern has created a world that leaves the reader with a longing to experience it for themselves. The book is a feast for the senses. As you are reading you feel the silk of a dress worn by one of the performers, taste the food at one of the midnight dinners, or smell the caramel in the air as you walk from tent to tent exploring all of the delights that the circus has to offer.
I personally don't understand the comparison to the Harry Potter series. To me, the only thing that they share in common is that they are both written by extremely talented women, on paper, and they both deal with magic! That's it. To say that The Night Circus is the second coming of Harry Potter does a great disservice to both stories. The Night Circus is not a series, but rather one stand alone book. It is a richly written tale that uses the circus itself as a backdrop. It is not a book about magic. It is not a book about vanquishing the most evil wizard of all time. The Night Circus, at the end of the day, is a love story.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is to me, much more than a book. It is an experience to be savoured and treasured by all of those who read it. (less)
Why, oh why did I take so long to read Wither? I picked this book up sometime back in June. While initially intrigued enough by the premise to buy the book, it languished on my shelf unread until October. Of course once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. The book was freaking fabulous.
You know the book is good when it takes you from one end of the spectrum to the other emotionally. There were times I was totally creeped out (Sister Wives?), enraged (a 20 something sleeping with a 13 year old), happy (every time Rhine pulled the wool over Linden’s eyes), and so on. I found myself shaking the book sometimes imagining that I was shaking some sense into a few of the characters.
I think this really had to be my first experience with the Dystopian genre since I started blogging. Wither was such a good introduction to the genre that everything else that I have read since hasn’t quite measured up. I think it dealt with some really controversial topics and handled them quite well in the context of the story. It was easy to get lost in the book and to make Rhine’s story my own. What I did like was that Rhine wasn’t all rage against the machine. She was wronged, she knows it, she has a plan and she knows she needs to pick her battles. That is someone who knows how to strategize and play the game that is life.
I will say that no character annoyed me as much as Linden did. There were so many times I just wanted to grab him and help him pull his head out of his behind. To me, he was the worst kind of character. Not because he was cruel or anything, but rather because he just was. He was just willing to bury his head in the sand and except whatever fate or his father told him. That kind of blind faith, when your life is on the line is just inexcusable and unexplainable. Here’s hoping that he experiences some personal growth in book two.(less)