Quite honestly, I have wanted to read this books for months but really had no idea why. I do love the cover and of course, that is what initially drew...moreQuite honestly, I have wanted to read this books for months but really had no idea why. I do love the cover and of course, that is what initially drew me in. But there was something about the synopsis that grabbed my attention enough to make me purchase the book. Even after the reviews started coming in (I didn't read them, but took a look at the ratings), I really still had no idea just what this book was about. Nevertheless, I am glad that I picked it up because it was phenomenal.
It really didn't matter that I didn't have a basic understanding of what the novel was about when I began reading it. The writing is so well done that it just sucks you in. I actually think I enjoyed the book more not knowing as it allowed me the opportunity to just read and not compare it to other books. It didn't lower my expectations for the book, but it did allow me to look read and approach it with an untainted outlook.
The interactions between characters was spot on. Michelle Hodkin managed to give everyone their own personalities and that came across clearly in both situations and dialogue. Conflicted and confused Mara, confident and endearing Noah, loyal and smart Daniel, mischievous and outspoken Jamie all added depth to the story. The interaction between Mara and Noah is really kind of epic.
The book itself is quite large at close to 500 pages. I think it's one of the larger YA titles I have read in the past year. Having said that, those 500 pages go by like a breeze. I got through this book in just over two hours because I just couldn't put it down and of course now I am eagerly anticipating the follow up which probably won't come out until next year some time!
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a fabulous read with enough suspense, mystery and romance to keep the reading turning page after page.(less)
This book had been sitting in my TBR pile for quite some time. On a whim, I decided to pick it up for what I thought was going to be some 'light' reading. Yeah, so not a good call. While I would consider this book an 'easy' read it is definately cannot be considered a 'light' read. Want to Go Private? reads as a cautionary take depicting the alienation and grooming of a vulnerable teenager by an online predator and her journey to heal.
The story is told mainly from the prespective of th emain character Abby. There are instances where a portion of the story is told by one of the cast of supporting characters. Watching Abby go from a happy, but insecure teenage to a victim is pretty difficult. Want to Go Private? is pretty detailed and in my opinion fairly accurate in showing jus thow Abby was being groomed and not even realizing it. There was something so disturbing about watching Abby descend down this path unaware while you, the reader, is fully aware where this is headed.
Reading Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littmas was like watching an episode of Dateline's How to Catch a Predator, but in reverse.(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)
So at the time I read this book, I hadn't yet read the Percy Jackson series by the same author. I own all five books in that series, but I stopped rea...moreSo at the time I read this book, I hadn't yet read the Percy Jackson series by the same author. I own all five books in that series, but I stopped reading them after the first one. I can't really say why. I picked up this book on the sole strength of how much I love the books in the Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan.
Can I just say that I throughly enjoyed this book? I can't really say that this book is better than the original Percy Jackson series as I haven't read them yet, but in my opinion, this book can hold it's own.
I could not stop giggling when I read this book. The humor in this book, just as it was in the Kane Chronicles, just didn't stop. I am not really sure what it is about the Satyr's that makes them so funny, but it just works. Give that satyr a bit of a complex and a megaphone and the hilarity just doesn't stop.
One thing I did appreciate about this book was not only the introduction of new characters, but the fact that each chapter or two was told from a different viewpoint. I find that with these stories, getting the different view points works very well as each character has their own part to play in the story. The best part of this book and in fact this series, is that not only does it get kids excited to read, but it teaches them quite a lot about mythology and in terms that they can understand. (less)
Let me just start off by saying that I love books by James Rollins. Specifically, I love the books in his Sigma Series. Having said that, I think that...moreLet me just start off by saying that I love books by James Rollins. Specifically, I love the books in his Sigma Series. Having said that, I think that this book is one of the best in his Sigma Series. Over the course of the series, you are introduced to characters who have pretty much reappeared throughout every one of the seven books. What I especially love, is that no one character is the main focus of the novel where he/she single-handedly solves the worlds problems and holds off the evil foe. Each of the main character’s in this series has their specialty and individual talents and they use them to form one hell of a team.
In the Devil Colony, James Rollins brings the Sigma team back to their home turf and as such the majority of the action takes place in the U.S. In this novel, we get more of a look into the shadowy organization that has been a thorn in the side of Sigma and the U.S. intelligence community. At the same time, Rollins provides a bit of history lesson on the founding of the U.S and ties a 200-year-old mystery to events happening in books modern setting.
There is plenty of action, and intrigue, and the suspense is enough to keep you flipping from page to page to see how it all plays out. Plus, I love all the various explanations and lessons that happen in the course of the story unravelling. As someone who works with engineers and physicists on a daily basis, I wish they would explain things as clearly to me as it’s done in the book. The concepts are fairly advanced, but the way they are explained makes them relatively easy to understand on a fundamental level.
One thing I was very pleased with is that the characters continue to develop and show hidden depths with each book in the series. The way that Rollins’ describes them and the situations that they are in, had me imagining that I was there as well watching everything unfold as it was happening. I have yet to come across another series or author that combines action, adventure, suspense, mystery, history, and various other scientific concepts and principles in such a way that they are not leaving the reader either out of their depth or feeling like the author has dumbed down the concepts for them to understand.
All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a well thought out book with plenty of suspense and intrigue.
*This is number 7 in the Sigma Series of books. While you can probably read them out-of-order, I wouldn’t recommend it as there is a natural progression in both character development and overall series plot.*(less)
I could just leave my review at that and I would have summed up what I felt when reading But I Love Him by Amanda Grace. Told in reverse chronological order But I Love Him chronicles the love story between Ann and Conner that was doomed from the very beginning.
I liked this book because it made me feel for the characters; both of them. It’s so easy when writing a story that chronicles abuse of any kind or the demise of a relationship to create at least one character, usually the abuser, that is just so horrible that the reader hates them. They often come across as having no redeeming qualities and by the end of the book you are waiting and hoping for them to get a dose of their own medicine. By contrast the victim is usually not really someone that readers can identify with, and spend the entire book shaking their heads wondering why they don’t just get out. That is not the case with this book.
In But I Love Him, Amanda Grace introduces two characters you can’t help but feel for. There is Ann who is the All American good girl who everyone loves and appears to be genuinely good person who wants the best for those around her. Conner on the other hand is not so much a bad boy, but a broken boy. He comes from an abusive home himself and seems to want to break the cycle of abuse, but he either doesn’t know or posess the skill set to do so. Ann wants to help Conner and wants him to be better, and it’s over this year that she comes to realization that she can’t save him, but rather she has to save herself.
I must say, that I am not really a fan of re-tellings. They have this tendency to be done really poorly. So poorly that it usually sends me into a bit of a rage for someone ruining a classic. After having read Cinder, I am going to have to revise my initial opinion. Cinder, by Marissa Meyer is wonderful and surprising take on a classic story.
I’m not really sure what I expected when I started reading this book. Actually, I didn’t have any expectations when I sat down and read it. I didn’t even read the synopsis and tried very hard to stay away from any reviews so that I would be able to form my own opinions of the story. I am so glad I did. Science Fiction is definately not something that I read very often if at all. Maybe that is part of why I was I liked it so much.
Cinder is fresh and exciting. Even though it was a re-telling, it wasn’t the typical paranormal romance that is just so popular in YA right now. Not to mention, it was pretty edgy. I loved that it dealt directly with some pretty huge and important social issues. Cinder didn’t cloak or hint at the issues, it confronted them head on. Plus, the heroine is pretty kick ass. Talk about awesome.
I honestly can’t wait to see what’s in-store for the rest of the Lunar Chronicles Series. If Cinder is any indication, this may just become the next big series in YA books.(less)
So back in August 2011 I got my first glimpse of the cover of Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood and it was love at first sight. I even went on to featu...moreSo back in August 2011 I got my first glimpse of the cover of Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood and it was love at first sight. I even went on to feature the book as one of my Waiting on Wednesday picks because a cover that pretty deserves to be shared with others. Then I read the synopsis and I knew that I needed to add this one to my wishlist. The only downside was that I had to wait until February 2012 to get my hands on a copy…except I ended up getting a copy at the end of August. I tried, I really tried not to read it right then, but it just kept calling me. I think I lasted like a week before I picked up it up and just devoured it in one sitting. Fast forward to today and I have read Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood three times.
This is not the first time I have been in front of my computer trying to write this review. Indeed, I’ve tried to write this review every time I read the book and I am still at a loss of exactly what to say or how to phrase my review so that I don’t sound like a gushing fan girl moron.
Born Wicked is one of those books where so much happens without really happening. Confused? Well don’t be. Born Wicked is a foundation book. It tells the background, it sets the tone, introduces you to the characters and the world the story takes place in. Born Wicked is written in such a way that while nothing huge is happening at any given time, the story is moving along so fluidly that you really don’t realize it. You get drawn into the story and are able to connect with the characters from the beginning to end. You have plenty of ‘didn’t see that one coming’ moments and usually when you least expect them. Born Wicked is a truly masterful debut that will leave you eagerly anticipating the next instalment in the Cahill Witch Chronicles.
That ending! Oh, that ending! As many times as I have read this book now, the ending still gets me EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.(less)
I love historical fiction. That being said, I always end up reading books from the same time periods which usually happens to be either Ancient Egypt,...moreI love historical fiction. That being said, I always end up reading books from the same time periods which usually happens to be either Ancient Egypt, or Tudor England. Partly due to my own interest in those time periods and partly due to the absolutely saturated market of books chronicling that time period. Try as I may, I have never been able to branch out, until I was given the opportunity to read and review The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. After reading this book I am extremely please that this was the book that I chose to broaden my horizons and read about a different time period.
The Winter Place brings us to Imperial Russia in the 18th Century and introduces us to Catherine the Great. But this is a very different Catherine the Great than the one that you are understandably thinking of. Instead when we first meet Catherine, she is still just Sophie, a poor German Princess as she is brought to the Russian court of Empress Elizabeth to become the bride of the Grand Duke. Indeed in Sophie we witness a softness and a vulnerability that isn’t really present in the woman we know her to become.
Told through the viewpoint of Varvara, which is the Russian version of Barbara, who is a cleaver orphan living in the Russian Court working as a seamstress. Varvara soon uses her cleverness and her talent for languages when she is put to use as a spy in the palace on behalf of the Empress. While conducting her new duties, she is put to spy on Princess Sophie, she ends up forming a friendship with the foreign Princess. It is through this friendship that we are able to bear witness into Sophie’s eventual transformation into Catherine the Great. It was fascinating to watch Sophie’s metamorphosis and to see the events that shaped her life and as a result, her empire.
Eva Stachniak has done an absolutely masterful job at depicting one of the most intriguing time periods. Stachniak’s writing introduces one of history’s greatest women, and while very detailed, her writing is never boring. She is able to mix fact with fiction so well that The Winter Palace is a book I have no doubt that I will return to time and time again.(less)
This is the first book I have read written by Kate White. I have to say, if they are all like this, then I need to read more of her work.
The Sixes, like The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon, is a book about a murder and secret society of mean girls. Actually girls aren’t just mean, they are sociopath’s. Sociopath’s with far, far too much time on their hands.
Phoebe Hall is a famous writer recently a part of plagiarism scandal. As a way to lay low and recover from this scandal she is offered a place teaching a writing class at Lyle College by her long time friend who is now the head of the school. Shortly after her arrival, a girl is found drowned in the river just off campus. During the investigation into her death, the school administration gets wind of a secret society of girls that may be operating on campus. Desperate to contain possible damage to the school, Phoebe is tasked with using her journalistic talents to investigate The Sixes.
Phoebe’s investigation, predictably, stirs up a hornet’s nest and makes her the target for this group of mean girls on crack. It’s actually scary the complete lack of respect for authority or personal safety that The Sixes show in their bid to intimidate Phoebe from finding out the truth about them. In the course of investigating The Sixes, Phoebe unwittingly becomes involved in the investigation for the killer that appears to be haunting Lyle College, its students and Phoebe herself.
Kate White has done a phenomenal job in weaving all the different back stories together into one cohesive and dynamic thriller. I guarantee that this is one ending that you won’t see coming.