Although using this trite doesn't mean that the fact is any less true, it is still at the risk of sounding cliché when I say that Jane Austen's classi...moreAlthough using this trite doesn't mean that the fact is any less true, it is still at the risk of sounding cliché when I say that Jane Austen's classic, Emma, is like a breath of fresh air when juxtaposed to the miasmal novels in the publishing market today; especially for someone who has been on a YA binge of late. You see, the reason why I went for Emma as my first Austen read is because my mother has seen the latest movie adaptation, and she claims it to be her very favorite. Mind you, she hasn't read any thing of Austen's—but she loves the movie so very much that she kept pestering me to watch it (I suppose I'll have to pester her to read the book now, won't I?). To which I continually said that, no, no, I will not watch the movie until I've read the book; I positively hate to watch the movie adaptation before reading the book; it virtually cancels out any chance of me ever finding enough interest in reading the actual book to its completion. So, after picking up Emma at least ten times in the past year, reading the first few chapters, only to sit it back down again, I finally—the other day—decided I wanted to read something of quality and something that is truly written well. Well, that is definitely Emma.
Emma, herself, is, for me, just as stunning as she is flawed; I started out thinking her a walking vexation, but somewhere in the 400+ pages I began to warm to her like you would with any inevitably lovable—albeit, at times, antagonising—character. Emma's devotion to her father is also very admirable. And by the end, Emma seemed so much more humble and less meddling that I couldn't help but be very pleased with her character. My thoughts on Mr. Knightley are not as easily expressed; in the beginning I found him merely interesting, but somewhere in the middle he began to hold my interest as much as a mother would hold her infant (if that isn't too much of an odd metaphor); by the end he managed to surpass virtually all of the other male characters of which I've been exposed to. Granted, Mr. Knightley isn't in Emma nearly enough for my satisfaction—but when he is, the aforesaid is all too true. I can't quite place my finger on what it is, exactly, about him that made such an impression on me—other than that I've always had a strong fascination with a true gentleman, being as that sort of thing is practically extinct in this day and age; also, I've grown very jaded with the often monotonous male characters of today. And I do believe that my reaction to Mr. Knightley has left me at a wonder as to just want my reaction will be upon meeting the famous Mr. Darcy. I'll doubtlessly swoon just as countless other lasses have since P&P debuted in 1813.
I really think that my hesitation in reading this—as well as Austen's other works—has nothing to do with the writing, or the story, or the pacing; because, and I know this will sound strange, but, I've always loved a book that is just about people going about their daily lives and doing things—little trivial things, even—and simply living; people say that Emma doesn't have much story and is really just people planning balls and Emma interfering in peoples' lives—but I loved all of that! I'll take everyday living over complex plots any day. No, I think the reason for my waiting so long is that I psyched myself out of reading something like this; I kept thinking that it would be too long or too boring or too archaic or too something or another, but in reality this is the very type of thing that I love to read about. Regency, Victorian, etc. . . . I love to read about all of the historical periods, and I'm so very glad that I stopped procrastinating.
So, I enjoyed this a great deal and I've set a goal for myself to read all of Austen's works by this time next year (although I kindly ask you not you hold me to it ;)). I plan to continue with her other slightly lesser known titles, and finish with what appears to me to be the most well known and highly esteemed, Pride and Prejudice. In a summary, I plan to save the best—or what is often said to be the best—for last.
FAVORITE QUOTE: "One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other."
Although I have many favorite quotes from this (the rest can be read below), that particular quote stood out the most because it is so very true. Expect to see it in my future reviews.
I highly recommend Emma to everyone; both lovers and reluctant readers of classics.(less)
When I made the decision to reread Shiver and its successor, Linger, in preparation for this trilogy's conclusion, Forever, I honestly got little butt...moreWhen I made the decision to reread Shiver and its successor, Linger, in preparation for this trilogy's conclusion, Forever, I honestly got little butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. I originally read Shiver back in October of '09, and it hit me like nothing had before — and nothing has matched it since. Shiver mixes some of the sweetest, most realistic and heartwarming characters with a wonderfully chilly and melancholy atmosphere and it is written with stunningly lyrical prose. If every author wrote like Stiefvater, I dare say I'd get nothing else done save for reading.
What is there to say about Grace? I feel like if I call her strong it will seem unoriginal, but that is just what she is; there is really no other way to describe Grace. She holds it together even when Sam is emotionally in shambles. Even when hope seems as far away as ten light-years, she keeps her wits about her. I can't help but love Grace any more than Sam can.
And there really is no other male character quite like Sam Roth; he is one of a kind. No other boy would turn away out of respect when a girl is scantily clad; no other boy would unabashedly sing to the mother of said girl; no other boy would treat a girl with as much respect as Sam shows for Grace. As I said, Sam is one of a kind. And he's definitely my kind of guy, if you know what I mean. (Oh! how I wish there were boys/men/male specimens like him in real life! But if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. *sigh*)
Moving on . . .
Just as with anything that is popular, not all people will enjoy Shiver. I think some people read the synopsis and expect a werewolf blockbuster — but that isn't what Shiver is; at its core, Shiver is a love story. The meat of the plot is simply Sam and Grace constantly fighting this physical transformation that is hell-bent on keeping them apart and stealing Sam's humanity. The only complexity in Shiver is the mystery behind what makes the humans turn into wolves - Stiefvater leaves the old-fashioned lore to the dogs and creates her own mythology — I, personally, have never read any "werewolf" story like Stiefvater's, and that's a large portion of why I love this series so much. Rather than
In the old days werewolves were men that were forever ruining their clothes and having to buy new ones — and all because of that blasted full moon. Stiefvater reimagines what makes these bitten but, in truth, innocent humans change form. And, to top that off, they don't get to keep changing. Eventually, they will stay in their wolf forms for the rest of their lives, thereby unwillingly having to give up their human life, loves, and wishes — forever. By writing it this way, Stiefvater has taken what was once a horror story and made it something beautiful and sad. And this reader can't help but love that.
This review would simply be too long if I added all of my favorite quotes (although you can read them all below), but if I had to choose just one it would be this:
FAVORITE QUOTE: "I fell for her in summer, my lovely summer girl From summer she is made, my lovely summer girl I'd love to spend a winter with my lovely summer girl But I'm never warm enough for my lovely summer girl
It's summer when she smiles, I'm laughing like a child It's the summer of our lives; we'll contain it for a while She holds the heat, the breeze of summer in the circle of her hand I'd be happy with this summer if it's all we ever had.
Between reading this and watching Becoming Jane the other night, my tear ducts are like dried sponges. And since I'll be reading Linger and Forever next, I felt that I should prepare myself; I had this sent to my house yesterday:
Never let it be said that I was unprepared in life.
I hear people say things about their favorites like, I've read this so many times I know all of the lines by heart. But I don't ever want it to be that way for me and this book; it is such a special read that I never want to read it and feel as if I've gotten all I can out of it. I want to start Shiver each time with the sense that it is both new and old to me, but always a favorite.
There's a reason why books like Twilight don't receive those. They don't give those to just any book, and when you factor in excellence . . . well, a...more
There's a reason why books like Twilight don't receive those. They don't give those to just any book, and when you factor in excellence . . . well, a lot of titles just don't make the cut. But it is clear to me why Melina Marchetta's third tribute to YA literature received a Printz award back in 2009. It is because it is excellent, to the very meaning of the word.
If all YA contemporary writers wrote like Marchetta, I doubt I'd play in any other genre playground very often. She writes these beautifully inspirational, relatable, and emotionally-charged novels that seem to affect me in an undescribable way.
Some of the passages in Jellicoe Road seem to beat with their own heart:
"These people have history and I crave history. I crave someone knowing me so well that they can tell what I'm thinking."
"'What do you want from me?' he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More."
I've always believed that an exceptionally good writer can take you places emotionally that others can't, and, for me, Melina Marchetta is one of those writers.
I'm going to end this review here for two reasons: 1) I believe this is the type of book that should be experienced first hand, without much knowledge of the story going in. So, go read it and remember, the beginning is confusing, but plow through it and I promise you won't regret it; 2) I'm tearing up thinking about this story and its characters, so all you'll be getting from me is the aforesaid and this: I love this book and I'm anticipating the day when I can read it again. I highly recommend Jellicoe Road to everyone.
While the covers never cease being hideous, each installment in the Kate Daniels series hasn't ceased to entertain me thus far. The fourth installment...moreWhile the covers never cease being hideous, each installment in the Kate Daniels series hasn't ceased to entertain me thus far. The fourth installment, Magic Bleeds, features a crocodile shapeshifter, a splendid impersonation of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and a battle to end all battles. It is one hell of a ride.
I think one of the best things about this series is that it is appealing to both genders. It has lots of action, which of course men like, but I think I speak for all women when I say that we like action, too. It keeps things interesting and wards off dullness. There's also just the right amount of romance. Not so much that would make guys squeamish, but still enough to keep the ladies satisfied. And, while I think the first book was slightly lacking in this area, the humor is now on par with my taste as well. Kate seems to have better quips with each installment and never looses her nerve, even with Curran. And the banter and antics between Kate and Curran are sure to entertain most readers.
I have theories on some of the reasons why Kate and Curran are attracted to each other. I think Kate likes Curran because he's one of the few people who could take her in a fight. Imagine if every guy you met you were superior to in fighting skills and he couldn't even win against you in a late-night arm wrestle. I'm sure there are plenty of women who enjoy being the stronger of the two in their relationship, but I don't believe that's the kind of relationship Kate wants. That is just one of the many reasons why Kate and Crest never would have worked out. I think Curran makes Kate feel like a woman for the first time in a long time. And although he'd probably never admit it, I believe Curran's attracted to Kate because she doesn't take any of his shit. Unlike everyone else in his life, she doesn't bow to him, literally or figuratively. I think, secretly, the Beast Lord wants someone to treat him like a normal man, like he's just another person, even if only in private. At times, Curran and Kate collide like fire and kerosene - but they truly fit together like two matching jigsaw pieces.
And do I smell a potential spin-off series in the oven? Granted, the buzzer won't go off for at least a couple of years, but when it does it'll surely be some good eatin'! Here's my reasoning: In Magic Strikes we find out through a conversation that Kate was nine when Curran was fifteen and made Lord of all Beasts. This, of course, tells us that Curran is six years older than Kate. Well, we know that Julie and Derek are thirteen and nineteen, respectively, as of now. Do you see where I'm going with this? Once Julie gets older, her and Derek could have their own series! Her abilities coupled with the adolescent attraction she currently has for Derek could really make for an interesting future series. . . .
I'll be honest: people with weak stomachs may not be able to stomach some of the talk of entrails and the bloody descriptions in this series. With lots of action comes lots of violence and gore. Normally that sort of thing would bother me, but I've gotten so used to it with this series that I don't even notice anymore. Plus it just seems to fit with this world.
I'm actually feeling a little sad now because I know that once I finish the next installment, Magic Slays, that'll be it until February of 2013 when the next book is released. I've quickly become addicted to this series and I'm reluctant to leave it.
P.S. But, luckily, Andrews won't leave us hanging until then! For the full info, go here.
"I want to speak with many things and I won't leave this planet without knowing what I came to find, without resolving this matter, and people are not eno...more"I want to speak with many things and I won't leave this planet without knowing what I came to find, without resolving this matter, and people are not enough I have to go much farther and I have to get much closer." — a portion of "Bestiary", from Extravagaria
I truly believe that if every person viewed the world and its life the way Neruda did it would be a much better place.
I never would've dreamed that words could be so beautiful when used to describe what I thought were the most mundane of things: socks, onions, salt, etc. The tame, the wild, the sensual, the beauty of life, the rush of life, the air that gives us life — it is all covered in this collection. No stone is left unturned and reading this has truly opened my eyes to help me see how beautiful those stones are.
This is a collection of Neruda's later poems, written when he was in his fifties. The translator, Stephen Mitchell, says of his selections in the foreword, "These are the poems of a happy man, deeply fulfilled in his sexuality, at home in the world, in love with life and its infinite particular forms, overflowing with the joy of language." After reading them I can attest to that statement wholeheartedly. These poems are vibrant, magnificent, and entirely beautiful.
If I had to pick favorites, I would perhaps say "Ode to the Artichoke" or "Ode to the Seagull," as they were both particularly special for me. But in all truth, I think the one below was my most favorite. By the bye, I have searched for other translations and Mitchell's seems to be the best.
"Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still.
This one time upon the earth, let's not speak any language, let's stop for one second, and not move our arms so much.
It would be a delicious moment, without hurry, without locomotives, all of us would be together in a sudden uneasiness.
The fishermen in the cold sea would do no harm to the whales and the peasant gathering salt would look at his torn hands.
Those who prepare green wars, wars of gas, wars of fire, victories without survivors, would put on clean clothing and would walk alongside their brothers in the shade, without doing a thing.
What I want shouldn't be confused with final inactivity: life alone is what matters, I want nothing to do with death.
If we weren't unanimous about keeping our lives so much in motion, if we could do nothing for once, perhaps a great silence would interrupt this sadness, this never understanding ourselves and threatening ourselves with death, perhaps the earth is teaching us when everything seems to be dead and then everything is alive.
Now I will count to twelve and you keep quiet and I'll go." — "Keeping Quiet", from Extragavaria
I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding when I finished reading that.(less)
Rebecca is a classic tale that weaves mystery, secrets, and romance into an intricate and stunning twine. It tells the story of a young girl who is sw...moreRebecca is a classic tale that weaves mystery, secrets, and romance into an intricate and stunning twine. It tells the story of a young girl who is swept off her feet by a much older man with money and possessions aplenty — and even more heartache in his recent past. Since his wife's tragic death eight months ago, Maxim de Winter has been doing everything he can to forget the horrific part of his past that has left him feeling bereft of happiness and aloof from others. But even with this kind of emotional baggage, the young heroine of the story — who's name is never revealed — still agrees to marry Mr. de Winter because she has already fallen in love with him. When our heroine moves into Manderley, the estate where Maxim lived not so long ago with his now deceased wife, Rebecca, she soon learns the story behind her new husband's late wife's death. She learns that Rebecca died by an accidental drowning while in a boat that capsized. As you can image, all of this is very disconcerting to such a young and naïve girl. And when she arrives at Manderley things are so very different from the life she had before: there's all the hustle and bustle of living in a mansion, and then there's Mrs. Danvers who doesn't like her simply because she's not Rebecca. Du Maurier's Rebecca deals with a lot of themes and raises a lot of questions, one of the most intriguing being, What happens when the woman that is haunting your husband begins haunting you, too?
For me, Rebecca was truly a delight. It is expertly crafted and beautifully written, and, while reading, I had one of those strange feelings you get when you think you're enjoying something too much, that you must be sinning because you simply can't remember the last time you enjoyed yourself so much.
What I'm about to say isn't going to juxtapose well with my earlier comment about this being a "delight," but I shall say it anyway: This book has just a little bit of a depressing atmosphere to it. This is mostly because the main character is often fixated on how she'll never live up to the standards which Rebecca set before her, but it didn't bother me in the least. No, no — in fact, it only made me want to wrap the heroine in a blanket and give a her cup of hot cocoa. Some may deem her weak for not simply standing up and being everything that she can be, but I saw her as worthy of so much and strong even in her cowardice. She starts out working for a nuisance of a woman, then all of a sudden she is married to a man much older than she and with a past for which she is unsure of all the details. I really loved the heroine in this; there were several times where my heart twisted for her character and for the situation she was in.
Do NOT read this spoiler if you've not read this book. It is the type of spoiler that will drastically take away from your enjoyment should you choose to ever read this. (view spoiler)[There is an exchange between our heroine and the resentful Mrs. Danvers about 2/3 of the way through the novel. During this discussion Mrs. Danvers informs our lead that while alive Rebecca had many male companions with whom she was physically intimate. Now, my first thought after reading that was, How, then, could Maxim mourn her to the degree that he does? How could he be so torn about her death if she cheated on him numerous times during their marriage? Well, it was because all was not what it seemed. When Maxim confesses to having killed Rebecca, I LITERALLY fell out of my seat. Granted, I let myself do so. But it was so shocking I just let myself go like a slinky. It was insane. The whole time I'm thinking that Maxim will never give up Rebecca even though she is dead, that Maxim and his new wife don't have any real chance of ever being happy because, apparently, Rebecca was just too wonderful! for anyone to compare to her. Ha! Ha! HAHAHA!! You can see that it has decreased my sanity a little. I just couldn't believe it! That revelation meant that every paling of the face on Maxim's part, every look of worry or dread was only because he had killed her, not because he was sick over her death. Gah! I shall never get over the brilliancy of this Epic Twist for as long as I live. Truly. (hide spoiler)]
The fact of the lead character's name never being revealed is just one of the peculiar things about this story. It is said early on that her name is often spelt incorrectly, making the reader think that it is perhaps a very unique name. My guess as to why this is is that, because the name Rebecca — and the person — is still so very dominant in the lives of the characters and in our heroine's mind, the author chose to leave out her name to add to the sense of inferiority the heroine feels towards Manderley's former mistress. Just a guess.
FAVORITE QUOTE: "I don't want you to bear this alone," I said. "I want to share it with you. I've grown up, Maxim, in twenty-four hours. I'll never be a child again."
Upon closing this review I want to be very clear about something: My enthusiasm and enjoyment of this novel doesn't necessarily mean that you, the reader of this review, will feel the same about this book. Rebecca is very dramatic and people that don't like classics may not find as much enjoyment in it as I have. I'll freely admit that I have a penchant for things/books like this, so I'm guessing that had a lot to do with my loving this so very much. But if you're interested in this in the least, if you think this may be something you'd like, please, give it a try.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
In the second installment to the Wolves of Mercy Falls series: Sam is having trouble believing in his cure, Grace is acting strangely and feeling like...moreIn the second installment to the Wolves of Mercy Falls series: Sam is having trouble believing in his cure, Grace is acting strangely and feeling like she doesn't fit into her own skin anymore, and a new wolf is in Mercy Falls: Cole, the once lead singer of a popular rock band, NARKOTIKA, is dealing with the issues of straddling the line between man and wolf. But honestly? He'd rather stay a wolf than deal with the problems that come with being human. Meanwhile, Isabel, the girl who had to deal with losing her brother twice, believes she is falling for Cole.
Maggie has said in interviews that she meant for Cole's character to be the complete opposite of Sam's. Well, in the beginning of Linger she succeeded and because of that I wasn't able to empathize with Cole upon first reading Linger. For personal reasons I've never been empathetic with drug addicts, and Cole was no exception. In Linger Cole tells Sam that he is just as bad as him, just as damaged. He is referring to Sam's issue with bathtubs. But the difference between Sam's problem and Cole's is that Sam had something terrible done to him by his own parents, whereas all of Cole's problems have been brought on by himself. Despite all of this, though, I truly liked Cole a lot more this time around than my first time reading Linger. For me, the best thing about Cole is that he's very redeemable. And if you look carefully enough, he has what I call "bright spots" where you can see that he is human – even though he doesn't want to be – and that he does care for others, even if it is an imperceptible degree. And the reactions and emotions Cole has towards the end of Linger give me hope that I'll like him even more in Forever.
Linger is quite different than its predecessor, Shiver – what with Sam now being human and the introduction of a new character, Cole. Plus, Isabel steps out of her former role as side character and into the forefront with her own POV – and what an interesting POV it is. Some may not like Isabel, and I can understand why, but I like her just fine. She's kind of . . . unconventional – especially when compared to Grace – but she's not bad. One thing is for sure: Isabel's definitely the perfect match for Cole. And then there's that pesky wolf smell wafting off of Grace – that can't be a good sign. You see, lots of things are different in Linger, which is probably why so many don't like it as much as they did Shiver. I will admit to liking it a minuscule degree less than Shiver, but that certainly didn't hinder me from enjoying it. In fact, I believe I enjoyed it even more the second time around. And Linger's ending is just as sad if not more so than Shiver's.
And besides – if you ever see me give a book with Sam Roth in it anything less than five stars, know that it is a clone and the real Lora has been taken by aliens.
FAVORITE QUOTES: "I'm trying to remember who I was before I couldn't stand myself." – Cole
"I wasn't sure if I admired him for feeling everything so hard and fiercely, or if I was contemptuous of him for having so much emotion that he had to spill it out every window of the house." – Isabel
"I was suddenly overwhelmed by what an incredible person this boy was, standing in front of me, and by the fact that he was mine and I was his." – Grace
"I wanted to take her hand and lead her upstairs to my bedroom and whisper, Stay. Just stay." – Sam
As cheesy as this may sound, I really do cherish these books. My copies of them still smell like the store I bought them from – that's how well I've taken care of them.
Often times, when an author is highly talented in their genre, they don't do as well when trying their hand at another. Especially when the two genres...moreOften times, when an author is highly talented in their genre, they don't do as well when trying their hand at another. Especially when the two genres in question are as dissimilar as realism and fantasy. Naturally, this sort of thing isn't a problem for an author like Melina Marchetta. As if being the fan proclaimed Queen of YA realistic fiction wasn't enough, she had to go and write Finnikin of the Rock and prove to her fans and critics alike that labels and genres mean nothing to her, that she's in the top tier no matter what the task calls for. Bravo, Marchetta. Bravo.
In the land of Skuldenore, there is a kingdom called Lumatere. Like all kingdoms, there is a King and Queen who rule over its people. These people and their rulers were happy until the day when a neighboring kingdom's rulers decided to use Lumatere as the means to eventually take over another kingdom, Belegonia. This leads to the slaughter of the King and Queen and their heirs, and soon after they are replaced by an imposter king and the majority of Lumatere's people become exiles. This is the ground work for what promises to be an epic fantasy saga.
I can't say that I expected anything less than a remarkable male lead from Marchetta (especially after recently meeting Jonah Griggs in another one of Marchetta's masterpieces, Jellicoe Road), but Finnikin still took me by surprise. I imagine it is very different and probably much more difficult to write a character in a fantasy world than in the real world, and for this reason I was curious to see how Finnikin would compare to Marchetta's other male characters. It turns out that he is just as brilliantly crafted as his competition. He feels envy, lust, and rage, just as any human does. But those emotions are equally matched by his level of compassion, endurance, and love for his father, his homeland, and one lucky lady. And what a lady Evanjalin is! She stirs the blood of the hopeless exiles and gets them on their feet and fighting. She carries a heavy burden, of which is unbeknownst to the reader for most of the novel, but she is resolute in her quest to restore the kingdom of Lumatere. I always appreciate characters who make you want to stand up and right the wrongs in the world, and Evanjalin's fierce determination did just that for me.
Because of her fabulous and utterly realistic portrayals of human life, Marchetta has garnered a legion of the most devoted fans an author could ask for. And I am proud to say that I'm among them. I'll be perilously balanced on the edge of my seat until the release of Froi of the Exiles.
P.S. If you'd like some snippets of info on Froi's book to tide you over until its release, check out this and this.(less)
**spoiler alert** WARNING: This isn't a review so much as a hodgepodge of gushing and complaining. Also, this gushing and complaining fest is quite lo...more**spoiler alert** WARNING: This isn't a review so much as a hodgepodge of gushing and complaining. Also, this gushing and complaining fest is quite long. You've been warned.
"Although it may not seem like it, this isn't a story about darkness. It's about light. Kahlil Gibran says 'Your joy can fill you only as deeply your sorrow has carved you.' It you've never tasted bitterness, sweet is just another pleasant flavor on your tongue. One day I'm going to hold a lot of joy."----Bloodfever
Mac wasn't lying when she said that. This story really is ultimately about light and happiness.
For me, the beginning of Shadowfever was quite disappointing. I don't know what happened to Mac while she was traveling through those dimensions toward the end of Dreamfever, but something must have happened, because she's been more dense ever since. I always thought that Mac was rather smart for a blonde (no offense to any blondes reading this), but starting with her not picking up on the fact that Barrons was the beast, and ending with when she decided to suck face with the man she presumes to be her sister's murderer, she lost all sense that she seemed to possess in the earlier installments. I realize that she was overcome with grief, thinking that Barrons was dead, but, come on, it was like she just threw caution to the wind and gave herself over to the dark side. In one passage she states that she's planning to actually sleep with Darroc in order to obtain the information needed to take control of the book and use it to erase her mistakes and bring Barrons back from the dead. She calls kissing and associating with Darroc a sort of self-inflicted "punishment" for her killing Barrons. Riiiight. I'm with ya there, Mac. And then, when Barrons comes back on his own, like I knew he would (oh come on, it would've ruined the whole series), she quickly decides that she was too hasty in her grieving and that she shouldn't reveal her true feelings to him. And my thoughts were, How could you be bawling, lying down in the dirt, kiss-the-corpse distraught with grief, and then have the reason for your grief eradicated, the man you love come back to you, and deside to let everything go? She acted as if Barrons interest in her was infallible and would never cease. There's a passage I'd like to share with you where Barrons finally sets her straight on this little misconception and gives her an ultimatum. It's one of my favorite scenes:
"How much longer will you dissemble?" "Who uses words like dissemble?" He leaned back against the door and folded his arms. "I won't wait much longer. You're on your last chance with me."
Over the course of the series Mac accuses Barrons of evading and being closed up all of the time, but, as you've just read, she's more than guilty of doing so herself. As I mentioned in my review for Dreamfever, I think that Mac is just as much to blame for her and Barrons' relationship not moving forward earlier as Barrons is. If not more so IMHO.
And then there's V'lane. Or should I say, Cruce. That pompous, over used prick was never one for which I was a fan. (Please excuse the language, that's just how I feel.) From the very beginning I sensed something fishy with his character. And I was right.
I found Barrons' cohorts to be very . . . interesting. Barrons may be the man of this series, but I see a lot of potential in his fellow men. Ryodan, Lor, Kasteo, Fade . . . all of them. I'd love to see more of them and learn more of their back stories.
Another character that I see a lot of potential in: Dani. Her story is just sort of left off and you don't really know what'll happen to her next. Ms. Moning tries to tie up her story with a few short sentences on the very last page, but I think she could be a good heroine in her own story. Provided that she grows up and starts speaking a little differently, of course.
Which brings me to another fact: I can't believe who Alina's murderer ended up being! I mean, I can, but I didn't see it coming. Rowena was another character that I wasn't very found of, but I sure wouldn't have guessed her to be Alina's real murderer.
And that wasn't the only shocker. Barrons' son . . . that was very sad. However I do think that the conclusion to his story was maybe a little too rushed.
And now I believe it's time for the quote's portion:
"I had a secret. A terrible secret that had been eating me alive. What did you wear to your senior prom, Mac? That had been the last thing I'd heard, Pri-ya. Everything from that moment on had really happened. I'd faked. I'd lied to him and myself. I stayed. And it hadn't felt any different."
I was both elated and shocked by that one.
For those of you who've read this and may not remember, these next two quotes are extracted from a scene where Mac and Barrons are kissing and Mac gets into his head. She's trying to find out what his feelings and thoughts were while they were together intimately in the beginning of Dreamfever:
"Keep hoping to see the light in her eyes. Even knowing it'll mean she's saying good-bye."
"When you know who I am. Let me be your man."
Those two quotes, and, really, that entire scene, undid me. Seeing that Barrons feels that way was easily one of the most emotional parts of Shadowfever for me. And it certainly makes their time together in Dreamfever have more meaning.
"And here we go. She's bristling and my hackles go up. Bloody hell, I feel fangs coming on. Tell you what, Ms. Lane," he said softly, "anytime you want to have a conversation with me, leave the myriad issues you have with wanting to fuck me every time you look at me outside my cave, come on in, and see what you find. You might like it."
He sure does have a way with words.
"We cannot restore the walls without the Song," V'lane was saying. "Who says we need the walls back up?" Barrons demanded. "You're roaches, we're Raid. We'll get rid of you eventually."
And I'm pretty sure I busted a rib on that one.
"You're Mac," he says. "And I'm Jericho. And nothing else matters. Never will. You exist in a place that is beyond all rules for me. Do you understand that?" I do. Jericho Barrons just told me he loves me.
"I was happy. I knew why you'd lied." His dark gaze was ancient, inhuman, uncharacteristically gentle. Because you love me."
And, of course, my very favorite:
"Don't leave me, Rainbow Girl."
Now, the second and third to the last quote are all you really get as far as declarations of love go. But I wasn't expecting either one of them to drop to their knees and declare their undying love for one another. But they both know that they love each other. And that's enough for this reader. For me, their relationship turned out exactly how I wanted it to. I think that the way Ms. Moning wrote it was perfect and true to her characters and very satisfying. And am I mistaken or was the scene where they finally give in to their feelings just as much emotional as it was erotic? When Barrons is fighting to stay in his human skin and Mac takes his head and cradles it to her breast and tries to soothe him? Wow. Just . . . wow.
And although I wasn't very pleased with Mac in the beginning of Shadowfever, she ended up making the right decisions later on and therefore I still love her. And don't even get me started on Barrons. That man . . . there are no words. I bow to Ms. Moning's awesomeness in that she was even able to create a character such as him. He's very special to me and for that reason alone I'm sad to see this series end. (I hear there may be some sort of spin off series or something? If so, you can bet your petunia I'll be reading it. I'll read anything Ms. Moning decides to publish. Seriously, grocery lists, anything.)
After everything just said, I have to take the good with the not-so-good and say that I really, really enjoyed this series and that, ultimately, I'm very pleased. And that is why I'm giving this one five stars. As a whole, I'd give this series ten stars. Because I love the characters, faults and all, I love Ms. Moning's writing (I have found a new favorite author in her), and I have enjoyed MacKayla's story immensely.(less)
I'm going to keep this brief since there isn't much to say that hasn't already been said. *clears throat* I think the reason I waited so long to read t...moreI'm going to keep this brief since there isn't much to say that hasn't already been said. *clears throat* I think the reason I waited so long to read this series is because I just couldn't imagine myself enjoying reading about an eleven-year-old boy and his adventures at a school of wizardry. I thought it would be too juvenile for my taste. I was wrong, of course. I can honestly say that I loved every minute of this. It's a spectacular little romp with funny, courageous, and endearing characters that you can't help but love. It has talking chess pieces, singing hats, a giant three-headed dog named Fluffy, a hilarious giant with a dragon fetish, a master wizard that's just a little bit crazy, mail carrier owls, goblins running a bank, unicorns, centaurs(!), trolls . . . and probably much more that I'm forgetting. And then there's the lead characters: Hermione, the young scholar who starts out prim and up-tight but soon becomes a true friend; Ron, the boy who has little money but who has an abundance of family and loyalty to his friends to make up for it; and then there's Harry, the boy who starts out sleeping in a closet and ends up being a hero. Harry is kind to those that deserve it, fearless when it counts the most, and wonderfully intelligent. What's not to love?
In regards to the ending: (view spoiler)[I feel silly saying this about a middle grade novel, but I didn't suspect Quirrell a bit! If there were hints that he was the true culprit and not Snape, I obviously missed them. (hide spoiler)]
FAVORITE QUOTE: "But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them."
It's probably fair to say that in all the years of Hitler's reign, no person was able to serve the Führer as loyally as me. A human doesn't have a hea...moreIt's probably fair to say that in all the years of Hitler's reign, no person was able to serve the Führer as loyally as me. A human doesn't have a heart like mine. The human heart is a line, whereas my own is a circle, and I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time. The consequence of this is that I'm always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both. Still, they have one thing I envy. Humans, if nothing else, have the good sense to die.
When you decide to write a book, you can never be sure how it will be received. Will people instantly be entraptured by the story your mind has conjured, or will they spit on the cover and rue the day they bought your work? Will any of your books make it on a bestseller list, say, the coveted New York Times? Or, will they end up on a dime store's shelf collecting dust for decades? And, perhaps most importantly, will the words you write touch someone's life at the moment they need it most? Will your story be the balm on a heart that has just been broken? Will a specific sentence from your conscious be the encouragement someone needs to make the toughest decision they've ever had to make? All dedicated readers know that books - stories - are a powerful thing. They're a relatable friend who'll always be there for you: to comfort, to encourage, to strengthen. This line of thought got me wondering if Markus Zusak had any idea of what a colossal impact his words would have on countless lives.
The Book Thief is the story of Liesel Meminger, a nine-year-old girl whom we shortly see earn her apt epithet. When her adoptive father, Hans Hubermann, begins teaching her how to read, she soon becomes entranced by words and their power. Over the course of several years, Liesel steals many books from the mayor's library as well as other daring locales. Although Liesel now spends her days trying to discourage Rudy Steiner's interest in kissing her and her nights reading with her papa and listening to him play the accordion, her life before Himmel St. wasn't an easy one. And soon The Book Thief's narrator, Death, lets the reader now that this isn't a story with a happy ending. But The Book Thief truly is a story of survival in a corrupt world, finding friends and family in unlikely places, and the eventual peace we all hope to find.
I can't imagine a better book to recommend, to give, to receive - than The Book Thief. Liesel's bravery and Hans' dedication to his daughter and Rudy's longing for just one kiss and Death's inner turmoil over the lives he's compelled to take. . . . I'l always remember these characters and their story. I laughed, I cried, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And I even learned a little German! Mostly curse words, but still.
Equally devastating and unforgettable, The Book Thief is rightfully beloved by many and will be remembered long after my lifetime.(less)
I can't believe no one mentioned this series to me, recommended this series to me, or spammed my profile with comments and PMs proclaiming this series...moreI can't believe no one mentioned this series to me, recommended this series to me, or spammed my profile with comments and PMs proclaiming this series' awesomeness. They should have. To everyone that didn't, you're on my shit list.
Luckily for me, I finally made the decision on my own, like a big girl, and decided to give this series a try. Once I did, it wasn't exactly love at first page, but I've quickly moved into the honeymoon stage. Here's to the honeymoon never ending. Very rarely do I come across a series that I don't want to end, but the Kate Daniels series is one of those cases. Every time I start one of these books, I know I won't be disappointed. This series has turned out one thousand times better than I ever imagined it would be.
This series takes time. The first book is good but not great, and it takes time getting used to the world as well as Kate's personality. It is more than worth it, though. Having not read a lot of UF titles prior to this series, I'm not claiming that my opinion on this genre is reputable. However, based on my meager experience with urban fantasy, I can honestly say that this series is the best for me in terms of characters, writing, pacing, and overall likability. (For a more reputable opinion on UF, please see Maja a.k.a. the Queen of Urban Fantasy's profile.) I knew when we met Saiman in Magic Bites that he would eventually play a bigger role. And he definitely does in Magic Strikes. In this we find out more about his heritage, his original form, and we learn that there is more to him than just a lot of knowledge and a high sex drive. His character is very unique and refreshing. Some . . . *clears throat* . . . progress happens between Curran and Kate in this. I like the way their relationship is developing and the rate that it is doing so. Too many series seem to be too focused on the romance aspect too early on in the series. I like the way the authors have teased us thus far, only giving us little hints that there is much more than hostility boiling under the surface of their relationship.
Series like this don't come around for me that often. I've tried the first book in a lot of YA and adult series, and, even though there isn't anything necessarily wrong with them, they've failed to make me want to continue on and see what happens to the characters. A lot of series I've tried just don't seem worth the effort. But lately I've been gobbling up these books like Americans do turkey during Thanksgiving. Earlier this year I was beginning to feel as if I was loosing my interest in reading. If you're a longtime book reader, you've probably been there. I have a back-up list, though: it is a list of books that I know can always pull me out of my reading slump, should I ever need them. This series will be added to that list. Right now Kate seems to have a lot of big things coming up in her life. (view spoiler)[e.g. meeting and killing Roland, admiting her true feelings to Curran, etc. (hide spoiler)] I'm very interested to see where things go and how some certain things play out. Easy as it may seem to just let this series go and read one of the many other UF series out there, I think people should at least give this series a try. And just like with any book, there's going to be positive and negative opinions. I almost skipped this series entirely because of some of the negative reviews I've read, and to think how terrible that would've been! I've been having a blast with this series and I implore anyone with even an ounce of interest to go get Magic Bites from their library and simply try it. Seriously, go start reading this series now. !
P.S. I thought chapter 15 was good, but that was before I read chapter 28. Yowzah.
My reviews of other titles in this series:
Book #1 - Magic Bites Book #2 - Magic Burns Book #4 - Magic Bleeds["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
My Life Next Door is the kind of story that you expect to be light and fluffy . . . but then it surprises you. I thought this book would be very clich...moreMy Life Next Door is the kind of story that you expect to be light and fluffy . . . but then it surprises you. I thought this book would be very cliché: little rich girl falls for the boy next door; gets a whole new perspective on life through the eyes of a financially-strained, but very happy — unlike her own — family; and learns something big about herself over the course of one short summer. In a lot of ways, that is what this book is about. But, in truth, it is about so much more.
Samantha Reed's character is, I think, one of the best — probably in the top ten, actually — YA heroines I've ever come across since I began reading YA fiction back in 2008. She stands up for herself and the people she cares about when it counts most, she thinks independently from her main influence in life — in this case, her mother — in a way that is smart and not just teenage rebellion. She is smart about sex choices, doesn't just jump into bed with the first boyfriend she gets — or even the third without some smart-shopping for Trojans (loved that scene!) — and is a generally well-rounded, intelligent young woman. I found being in Sam's head a very pleasant, refreshing, and, often times, spontaneously hilarious experience when compared to many of the female narrators of her genre. If Fitzpatrick's future heroines turn out to be even a tenth as good as Sam was, I'm in for a real treat. And Jase . . . he is the kind of boy you'd want your daughter to marry. Truly. He's down to earth, loves his family, loves his animals (he's something of a zoo-keeper), and treats his girlfriend like gold. What's not to love? I think YA paranormal authors should take notes from Huntley Fitzpatrick on how to write a good male protagonist. And Tim . . . I can't believe a debut author made me fall for a drug addict. Seriously. If the author decided to write a companion novel about Tim (maybe like Marchetta did with Thomas after Saving Francesca) and, hopefully, Alice, I'd be forever grateful to the Powers That Be.
The bulk of this novel is about Samantha getting to know — and fall for — both Jase and his family. But towards the end, as the publisher-provided synopsis says, there is a big obstacle that is dropped on Sam's and the Garrett's heads, an obstacle that is not overcome easily. I wish there could have been a bit more resolution at the end with it (view spoiler)[Last we hear of Mr. Garrett is that he's out of ICU, and Sam's mom is still checking to see how he's doing; I would have liked for there to have been a coming-home-from-the-hospital scene, or at least a mention of a full recovery (hide spoiler)], but as a whole I think the climax was handled well. And, on a side note, can I just say how utterly sexy some of this book is? I wasn't expecting that, either, but I love surprises.
Truly, I don't feel that my words can properly describe how much I loved this book, or how much I got out of it, or how much I wish more people would discover it and feel for it what I did. Does that mean this book was perfect? No, because no book is. But honestly, it was perfect for me. I'm extraordinarily pleased with it — so much so that I plan to reread it this summer — and will certainly be back for more from Fitzpatrick in future.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)