I randomly thought about this book today, as I usually do every once in a while. My mom, awesome lady that she is, fueled my passion for books at a yoI randomly thought about this book today, as I usually do every once in a while. My mom, awesome lady that she is, fueled my passion for books at a young age and this was one of the many books she purchased for me. Out of all of the books I owned as a kid, this is the one that I remember the best and read the most. It's been YEARS, maybe over 15, since I've read it and I still have vivid memories of reading this and crying.
In fact, I think this was the first book EVER that gave me all the feels. I still remember the signature line from the book:
"Love you forever. Like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby, you'll be."
This is by far my favorite Waldo edition! All seven books are bound in this travel sized book, perfect for long car rides, waiting in lines or air plaThis is by far my favorite Waldo edition! All seven books are bound in this travel sized book, perfect for long car rides, waiting in lines or air plane rides. Unlike Where's Waldo? The Magnificent Mini Boxed Set, the adventures aren't too small that you'd need assistance finding Waldo. Unfortunately, I still struggle with World of Waldos, Waldo: The Musical and World of Woofs. Those are easily the most difficult adventures to locate Waldo.
Other things I love about this edition:
1. The elastic bookmaker - This is one thing I wish the other editions had, but since this book is smaller, it works better in this format.
2. The sturdy, bendable cover - I love how this cover feels like a cross between a hardcover and paperback book. It could survive the love of a few kids and still maintain its practicality for flipping through the adventures.
3. Checklists: I was happy to see that the flip-out checklists were also included in this edition. The only thing is that the checklists only appear at the first adventure for each book. So, you'll have to flip back and forth to check off the found characters/items as you search. This works out better than having the checklists on each page. Otherwise, it would be too bulky.
Overall, if you are a Waldo fan, this edition is a must have.
I was provided a copy from the publisher for review via YABC....more
I remember looking for Waldo with my mom and dad as a young kid, pouring over the book for hours. Now that I'm older and have my own kids, I can say wI remember looking for Waldo with my mom and dad as a young kid, pouring over the book for hours. Now that I'm older and have my own kids, I can say with full confidence that this is the type of book that never gets old. It's still fun and becomes even more so when introducing it to a younger generation.
The artwork in Where's Waldo? The Fantastic Adventure is still as amazing and complex as I remember. I admire the skill and time that went into crafting every puzzle in the book, hiding the clues in just the right spots. It also has handy checklists for you to keep track of all the clues you've found, which definitely came in handy.
I read this book with my 5-year-old daughter several times and she thoroughly enjoyed finding the clues. They weren't overly difficult for her, but still challenging enough to keep her (and me!) attentive and searching over and over. The only puzzle we encountered difficulty was with The Land of Waldos, the last story in the book. The goal was to find him amongst hundreds of look-a-likes AND find his missing shoe. We did find his shoe, but Waldo himself eludes us constantly!
Final Verdict: Waldo is still as charming and captivating now as he was back in 1989 when it was first published. Young and old readers will find this edition a perfect book to enjoy together or apart.
A year ago when I first heard about The Winner's Curse, it was during the Fierce Reads tour where I had an opportunity to interview a few MacKids authA year ago when I first heard about The Winner's Curse, it was during the Fierce Reads tour where I had an opportunity to interview a few MacKids authors, including Marie Rutkoski. It was a lot of fun and remains one of my favorite interviews I'd ever conducted. I really enjoyed The Shadow Society, Marie's YA debut novel, and loved her writing style, so I knew I'd be more than eager to check out any of her future works. I asked what she and the other authors where working on and she mentioned The Winner's Curse, which I mistakenly called in my mind "The Winter's Curse." When she explained the premise, I was instantly intrigued. Later, when Kat and I were offered the opportunity to be early readers, we were both honored and delighted but, admittedly, hesitant. A novel exploring a relationship between slave and master can only go one of two ways: really awful or amazingly well. And for us, there's always that fear of disliking a book written by an author you like personally.
Our fears were unnecessary.
I remember it being well after midnight when Kat texted me saying she had finished the book. In one sitting. The same day we received it. She immediately demanded that I finish so we could gush. Gush? That was all the incentive I needed to carve out a few hours of the next day for reading. Me, being the slow reader that I am, sat reading all day and into the night. When I finished, it was late, my house was quiet and I was alone on my couch. It was the perfect opportunity to have a good cry. Kat and I FaceTimed and chatted about our favorite parts, swooned over Arin, admired Kestrel's tenacity and wit, discussed the intricately woven theme of Bite and Sting, fangirled over Marie's prose and cried together over the heartbreaking ending because parting from this book and characters was such sweet sorrow.
We knew this book was special so we did what any self-professed book nerd would do when they read an amazing book: We leveled up to Book Pushers and, as Gillian from Writer of Wrongs would say, started flinging this book at any and all of our blogger friends' faces. Many of them have loved it just as much as we did and have reviewed it to the point where I'm not sure what else I could say about it. So here I am, a year later, after reading The Winner's Curse twice and listening to the audiobook. Anyone who's chatted with me over the years would know that I don't re-read books at all. I don't have the time or usually the inclination, but I made time for this one because it really did a number on the feels, yo.
I'm going to give you five reasons why you should read this book and even consider giving the audio a chance.
1. The narrator, Justine Eyre
One word, guys: BOSS. The accent that she did was fantastic. It really put me in the rich setting of the Valorian society. My reality faded away as I listened to her describe the clothing, the buildings and the people. She has this gritty quality to her voice, that perhaps may turn some off, but for me it was perfect. It held so much emotion, especially when she did the dialog for Arin. When he talked to Kestrel, I could feel his heart breaking, his sorrow, his regrets, his resolve wavering. And when she did Kestrel, I could feel her resolve, her uncertainty, her sadness, her wavering loyalty between Arin and her people.
I was really, really surprised with it because I'm picky when it comes to narrators. Everyone knows a narrator can make or break an audiobook, and for me, Justine Eyre enhanced a novel I already loved. In fact, I come out feeling like I loved the audio slightly more than the print.
2. Arin & Kestrel's relationship
This isn't your usual romance. Theirs is a complex love that doesn't blossom overnight -- yay, no instalove! -- but it also sneaks up on you in a way. You get a sense that they have grown fond or used to each other, but you don't know if or when it's ever going to manifest into something else until it does. The problem comes with the issue of slavery. While they have these feelings for each other, the question remains on if it's real if the other doesn't have the true freedom to choose. Can you really love your master? They both know that a relationship between them won't be true unless they are both equal. Unfortunately for them, neither of their societies don't see them as such.
What I really loved about the book was that even though at the heart of the story it's a romance, neither Arin or Kestrel allows their relationship to dominate their common sense. In the midst of their feelings, there's a war and it is a very real threat. Both have high stakes in this game of love and war: family members, friends, loyalty to one's country. It's complicated. It's not so easy for them to run away from their responsibilities to be with each other, and that's what makes their relationship so fascinating and complex. There's no right or wrong answer and, as a reader, it makes it more unpredictable.
3. The Setting
I love how The Winner's Curse feels both Fantasy and Historical at the same time. The women wear gowns equipped with daggers, are allowed to fight in the army and have influence. The society lives for lavish balls, duels, high social gatherings and gossip. They are in no way technologically advanced since they rely on lanterns and horse or boat travel. It's one of those books where I'm not exactly sure what genre it would fall under. Let's shelve it on the Awesome Shelf, shall we? Because that's essentially what it is and that's the only thing that matters to me.
If you've read other reviews that mention the world building a little lacking, it's true. However, this did not bother me and I think it's less apparent with the audio version. I got such a great feel for the culture, that didn't get a sense that I was missing anything. It seems to me, based on how The Winner's Curse ended, that that'll be elaborated more in books 2 and 3. So I'm not too worried in that respect. There's was enough going on without having the geographical locations of all cities thrown into the mix.
Kestrel isn't your usual heroine. She's not a Katniss or a Rose or even a Tris because she's not a fighter. That's not to say she is weak by any means, but she's different. She, instead, is one of the smartest heroines I've read about. What she lacks in fighting skills, she more than makes up with her mind. She is sharp and even her father, a high official in the army, notices her tactical mind. He urges her to enlist and use her talents to help her country. However, Kestrel doesn't have any interest in joining the army and is faced with marrying, another choice she dreads making.
One of my favorite scenes with Kestrel involves a duel that she wins not by strength, but with strategy. She's cunning and the type of character you'd want in a game of chess. Or if the zombie apocalypse came, Kestrel would be the one to come up with the plan to get to the safe house. She might not do you any good protection wise, but the plan would be solid.
She's also fiercely determined. Kestrel knew her limitations, but still, she didn't let that stop her from her goal. She would find unique ways around her problems that didn't require brute strength or violence.
5. The Pier Scene
The first half of the novel may read slow to some, but then you hit the climax and everything from then on is pretty fast paced. It's where Arin and Kestrel's feelings for one another truly shine through despite the problems that arise. The tables turn and Kestrel finally understands Arin better, and because of what Arin went through for years, he doesn't want the same for her. And the feels, the feels, the feels!
The Pier Scene, and even the one before when Arin sings to Kestrel, was easily my favorite scene in the book. I don't even think there is much dialogue at that part, but wow. When Arin looks at Kestrel with that longing and she him with want, but resolve. It really emphasized how complex things were for them and it was so hard for me to read. I wanted one thing, but NHFHDJDBJFBFLFKDMGVDJBHJJVH!!!!!
Man, spoilers, I tell ya. I can say no more! But by the end it was like my soul was hurting from the emotional turmoil. Marie, why did you make me feel these things?
It's no secret I loved this book, guys. I'm not sure what else to say but: THIS BOOK, READ IT.
This book had everything I wanted. It's much too early to put a review up, but trust me, YOU WANT THIS.
It had some of this:
With a little of this:
And romance between two of the best characters that made me go:
And then my feels all went and 'sploded all over the place and made me feel something like this:
And with that ending just smothered in perfection, I'm not ashamed to admit some of this happened after I realized I'd have to wait until 2015 for the sequel:
Basically, I'll be re-reading this book soon and that's pretty much the highest praise I can give it.
Disclaimers: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for review. I also received the audiobook for review. However, I ended up purchasing the audiobook with my hard-earned cash money, so there's that. No monies or favors were exchanged for my review and high praise. I loved it all by my lonesome.
That's it. Kasie West is now one of my new favorite authors. After being completely swept off my feet by Pivot Point, West has once Actual rating: 4.5
That's it. Kasie West is now one of my new favorite authors. After being completely swept off my feet by Pivot Point, West has once again warmed my heart with so many cute moments. She continuously manages to create down to earth, relatable characters and all-around fun books.
The Distance Between Us follows Caymen Meyers, a girl who has certain opinions about rich people thanks to her mother's clear disdain. Her mom has raised her to think very negatively about the Haves verses the Have Nots due to her own troubled past with a rich ex-boyfriend. So naturally, when rich boy Xander Spence walks into their doll shop and "beckons" her, she's pretty much already had her mind made up. But in a strange turn of events they begin spending more time together on these "career days." What happens next can only be described as one of the most ADORBS books you can ever read!
While the novel is more romance centered, West never spares her characters room to grow and develop. The time Caymen spends with Xander shows her that her mother's bias is just that, bias based on her own experiences. In fact, Xander himself is the one to acknowledge that both he and Caymen aren't that different regardless of income level. Thus, these "career days" are born which helps reveal what they each want to do with their lives despite parental expectations placed on them. And through this, an unlikely friendship blossoms and later turns to first love.
I absolutely loved this story to bits. There was't a moment I was bored or not entertained thanks to the AWESOME sarcasm from Caymen. It's not the kind everyone will enjoy, but it was just right for me, leaving me laughing out loud at almost every page. And when I wasn't laughing, I was sighing at the perfect dialogue between Xander an Caymen.
“Caymen?” “Yes?” “You look terrified. Does this scare you?” “More than anything.” “Why?” “Because I didn’t bring my mints.” “And now the real answer . . .” “Because I’m afraid that once you catch me, the game’s over.”
Kasie West writes the type of romance I love to read. It's not cheesy or over the top. It's not unbelievable or unrealistic. It doesn't make you roll your eyes or make your head collide with a wall from frustration. It's the kind that makes you all giddy inside. The kind that gets your feels all "a meltin'" and the type that makes you twirl around in your living room like your a Disney Princess.
And that's the best kind of feeling ever!
Final verdict: I'd highly recommend this totally adorable book. If you're in a reading slump and you need a book to bring a smile to your face, this is your book. If you are looking to be entertained, look no further. If you are just looking for a cute read that will wrap your heart up in a blanket made of feels, read this book and twirl, my friends. Weeeeeee!
Okay, let's get right down to business: Easy is one of the best books I've ever read. I finished it almost two weeks ago and I still think about the c Okay, let's get right down to business: Easy is one of the best books I've ever read. I finished it almost two weeks ago and I still think about the characters because I was on such an emotional roller coaster, fully immersed, while reading. It says something about a book that can do that do you.
Easy surprised me right from the start with a very troubling scene of Jacqueline being attacked, making my heart jump into my stomach. And I'll admit to being worried about how Webber would handle such a delicate topic. But I think she did it very well and touched on many of the myths that are attached to rape. But Easy showed not only how a victim feels after an attack, but how a family copes and how a community reacts. And if there is anything I've taken away from the story it's that I need to enroll in a women's self-defense class in the near future.
This book was filled with so many moments that just made me sigh inwardly or cheer on. The playful banter between Jacqueline and Lucas during their email exchanges was incredibly sweet. The scene where the sorority leader gave that speech on rape had me in tears. And the entire ending was just sheer perfection! But I will give a warning to some: There are a few disturbing scenes and if this is a trigger for you, it may be best to skip.
It's been a while since I've added a book to my all-time-favorites shelf. This book was so powerful, so amazing, so emotional.
When Jacqueline was attacked in the beginning I was like:
Then she had to endure being harassed by that asshat again and endure shame from the student body, I was like:
Then another girl is attacked and that fucktard RUINED her and people were concerned about his reputation, I was like:
At that point, I needed to take a break, because this book was tearing me up inside. Some of this happened:
Okay, okay. Maybe some of this too:
Then Lucas and Jacqueline get into a spat and I'm like, "WHY??????"
THEN SHIT GETS REAL... AGAIN and I'm like:
By the end of the book, I'm in a glass case of emotions and I'm like:
So basically, what I'm trying to say: The highest of recommendations.
I always go into a second book in a series with fears that it will have the dreaded "Second Book Syndrome". I worry that the characters will regress,I always go into a second book in a series with fears that it will have the dreaded "Second Book Syndrome". I worry that the characters will regress, the plot will stall and surmount to overall ridiculousness, and in the end, become boring and lathered in disappointment. So even though The Grisha series is a new favorite for me, I still had these concerns. You cannot even imagine my glee when I discovered Siege and Storm did NOT suffer from any of these things. On the contrary, it was even better than its predecessor. If you loved Shadow and Bone, be prepared to be blown away!
There are so many things I want mention and squeal about in this review, but OH THE SPOILERS. And anyway, Kat did such a great job with reviewing in code already. So I've decided to just write letters.
You're so evil, but I can't seem to conjure up any feelings of dislike for you. In fact, I missed you in Siege and Storm. For most of the novel, you were gone from me, only appearing in Alina's dreams. How fair is that? Don't you know how much I need your evil goodness to be present at all times? Seeing you torture the poor peasants of the Grisha world, warms my heart.
And, oh, Darkling, what new skills you have. Wait, does that sound dirty? Because it totally isn't. Then again, you did tell us all to, "Make me your villain." It's only fair if I, too, am allowed at least one inappropriate pun. But seriously, you've leveled up faster than a Super Saiyan in Siege and Storm. Kat says you learned to line dance, but I think it's more along the line of baking cookies. You showed those cookies who was boss!
But your ending concerns me. I guess the cookie batter turned out to be much more difficult that you expected. Maybe you should take a page from Paula Deen and add more evil butter. I'm not sure this has anything to do with book 3, Ruin and Rising, but I just like cookies, okay? And you. I like you too. So be sure to be extra evil next time and give those cookies a run for their money.
Please do us all a favor and stop being so insecure over your relationship with Alina. The girl's got a lot on her plate. She has the responsibility of saving all of Ravka, which is kinda a tad more important than you. I need for you to be more understanding and supportive. I liked you in Shadow and Bone, but I'm starting to think I'm outgrowing my mildly inappropriate swooning of you. Just yesterday, I found myself wondering if Leigh might actually kill you off in Ruin and Rising. If that happens, it's possible I might only mourn you for half a page. No, no, no! I take it back! Don't you dare die on me, Mal-Mal!
True love is tough love,
P.S. I still love you, Mal. <3
I think I speak for everyone when I say, please become a real person.
You are evil. Evil, evil, evil. So evil, your stories leave me speechless. Your humor sends me into fits of giggles and tickles my tender pieces. Your plots make me wish I can pack my bags and vacate to your mind if only for a day. Please don't ever stop being this awesome evil. And because Troy gifs have become our thing:
Also, that ending is causing me to hit the Kvas pretty hard tonight. Look what you've done to me.
Mal, Darkling, Sturmhond... I must collect them all.
An ARC was received for a review from the publisher. No monies or favors were exchanged for a positive review. Thanks, Macmillan!
I have a confession to make. I actually bought this book without reading any reviews. That is highly unusual for me because I rarely buy any books (I' I have a confession to make. I actually bought this book without reading any reviews. That is highly unusual for me because I rarely buy any books (I'm a library girl through and through) and when I do, it's under two circumstances: 1) I've read it before, loved it and would read it again or 2) It comes with the highest recommendations from my most trusted reviewing friends. Chopsticks is a bit of an enigma for me because out of all the books to choose from at Books-A-Million, I chose it simply because of its first impression. I was just about to leave out the door, unable to decide on which book to invest in or which one to waste my money on, when this huge "photo novel" with the weird title caught my eye, sitting on the end of a top shelf. One glance through the book and I knew it was for me: The entire story is told in photos of everyday things. It amazed me in five seconds, so I bought it.
When you first look at the cover, what do you think it's going to be about? Well, for me I thought it was going to be your usual girl meets boy, yada, yada, yada. But Chopsticks is so much more than that. You see, depending on how you interpret the novel, it could actually tell two different stories. It could tell the simple contemporary story of sixteen-year-old Gloria "Glory" Fleming, a piano prodigy, who falls in love with Francisco Mendoza, a boy who becomes her escape from her stressful life. Sounds fluffy, right? Well, it can also tell the deep and dark story of a lonely, broken, child star pushed so hard to perform to perfection that she slowly loses her mind, causing you to question everything you see in the book or thought you saw. Do I have your attention yet?
Chopsticks is simply brilliant. The amount of time and skill it took to arrange the photos to tell this mind-bending story is commendable. The phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words" definitely fits the bill here because there are hardly any narrative text in the book, yet I felt a very strong connection to the characters. This book really doesn't need the extra words. Instead, the reader must follow the pictures of Francisco's drawings, Glory's concert programs, family photos, letters and images of household belongings. Chopsticks is very intimate in that way because it feels like you've been peeping into someone else's life for eighteen months in only 272 pages. It's the kind of book that you could zip through in thirty minutes, but by the ending it'll make you go back and re-read it more slowly. It's that easy to miss something.
I went out on a limb and purchased Chopsticks and I'm so happy I did. It took me on what I thought would be a simple fun read to an involved story that I couldn't stop thinking about after I finished. I know I could read again and still have a healthy appreciation for the complexity of the story. So, if you are a visual person like myself and you're looking for something totally different from your usual fair, Chopsticks may be the book you've been looking for....more
Once again I find myself at a loss for words and I do believe I'm suffering from Marchetta Fever. If you've read any book by her, you may know the sym Once again I find myself at a loss for words and I do believe I'm suffering from Marchetta Fever. If you've read any book by her, you may know the symptoms yourself: First it's the euphoria that sets in right after you complete the book. Then, you find yourself thinking about the book long after you finish. You have the inability to form a single, coherent thought to review the book. And in the final stages, your palms go sweaty with the need for the next book. There is a reason why Marchetta is considered a master storyteller and if that wasn't evident enough for me in Finnikin of the Rock, then it's now blatantly obvious.
Froi of the Exiles takes place a few years after Finnikin of the Rock's conclusion and is told from Froi's point of view. At first, I was leery of that fact because I really disliked Froi in Finnikin due to the rape attempt on Isaboe. How do you redeem a character that was once viewed as a monster? I didn't know if it were possible to pull it off or pull it off well, but I was wrong. Froi has come a long way since Finnikin and I think the other character's views on Froi really played a big part in my ability to connect with him. For example, we learn in the beginning that he's made a bond with Isaboe to never take another woman by force. Yet, he goes further and says he never will take a woman because he doesn't trust himself. With each chapter, I saw Froi battling his inner demons. But what's even more interesting is that, for me, Froi's redemption came through Quintana's characterization. Because, for Froi, Quintana is the product of what his actions could have created and at the same time falling in love with this very broken girl. I could go on and on about that dynamic, but I'll suffice to say that the character growth in Froi of the Exiles is phenomenal.
The plotting was nothing short of sheer brilliance. I've said this before, but the only other author that I find comparable to this level of plotting is J.K. Rowling. While I did find the pacing slower than Finnikin, there were so many twists and revelations that kept me on the edge of my seat. We learn more about Froi's past and I'm still blown how it all came together. There is simply no way to predict anything in this novel. And sometimes I feel like with being an avid reader, you get to the point where you start recognizing certain plot trends and twists. So by the time something is being revealed, it doesn't really shock you. But not with Marchetta. Her plot was woven so thick, I had to take it in piece by piece.
By the end of the novel, I felt the same as I did with Finnikin. I felt like I had gone on such an intense emotional journey because so many events had taken place and I needed time to process everything. I loved everything about this book and though, right after finishing I hungered for Quintana of Charyn, I knew I simply couldn't read The Lumatere Chronicles back to back. I'll need to take a mini break before I dive into the conclusion that is sure to turn me into a swirling vortex of emotions. And that, in my humble opinion, is the true mark of a fantastic series.
ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. (I'm just really late in getting to it.)
A Monster Calls has to be the most inventive book I've read this year. And I find myself struggling to put in words how much this book has touched me. A Monster Calls has to be the most inventive book I've read this year. And I find myself struggling to put in words how much this book has touched me. But it did. If you haven't read A Monster Calls, I suggest you immediately purchase it. Don't read the e-book because you would miss out on the amazing artwork. This book is stunning. Masterfully written and beautifully drawn.
I remember the first time a book made me cry like this. I was in eighth grade in my English class, sitting under my desk in the back of the room reading A Walk to Remember. If you've read that book you will probably understand why I cried. I'm naturally an emotional person, you see. I cry easily if I see another's suffering. At the time I was fortunate enough to not have yet experience the feeling of losing someone close to you. Unfortunately, I know that feeling all too well now and that is the reason I was initially afraid to read A Monster Calls. I saw my GoodReads friends reading and reviewing the book, but I couldn't bring myself to add it to my shelf. I had an idea of where it could take me emotionally, and it's not a place I choose to visit. I keep those memories locked up and tucked away. But this book made me remember. It made me remember the phone call. It made me remember the shock, the pain, the regret, the denial, the limo ride, the funeral, the casket, the anger, the depression, the trials. It made me remember my brother, who on some days I choose to forget because it's easier that way. Maybe that sounds horrible, but it's true. It's an awful truth.
So, how do you write a review for a book that makes you remember? How can I describe in words how unbelievably vulnerable this book can make you feel? How do I explain the beauty of the frailty? I simply can't. My advice would be to go into this book blind. You have to or you risk doing a disservice to yourself, this book and the wonderful story within its pages. I suppose you are just going to have to trust me when I say A Monster Calls is beyond amazing. It's about loss, acceptance, grief, facing your fears, and letting go. This book made me laugh, made me think, tore out my heart, made me cry, and healed me. I hope, no, I know it will do the same for others...
First, a cavet: This review willWhew. So much WIN I can hardly stand it!
Girls rule and boys drool!
Oh my sweet... just gimme the next book now!
First, a cavet: This review will probably be the most unhelpful review you might ever read because nothing I say will do the book justice. I'll just use this space to ramble and hopefully it makes some sort of coherency.
I remember the first time I heard about Melina Marchetta and her special fragrance of awesome she regularly emits whenever she publishes a novel. I had seen reviews of On the Jellice Road, Saving Francesca, and The Piper's Son popping up left and right in my GoodReads feed all proclaiming that this woman was the cat's meow. But still I resisted the urge to hop on the Marchetta bandwagon for whatever reason. I was the Grinch sitting comfortably on my hill watching all the citizens of Whoville fangirl.
Yup, that's me. Especially when writing a 1 star review.
Finally, my co-blogger, Kat Kennedy, shook me fiercely and demanded I get off my ass and head to my local library. Naturally, I did exactly as she said because when the Boss Lady gets bitchy, you don't ask questions. Unless, of course, you don't happen to favor your head. *shrug* Your choice. Always your choice.
So, I stared at the book when I got home and silently told myself, "This better be good or I'm going to troll the shit outta Kennedy's review." It wasn't a threat, it was a promise.
At about 15% into the book, I completely forgot about my vow to make her previous trolls look like cute bunnies.
At about 25% in, even though I checked the book out from the library, I purchased the Kindle edition for my iPad so I could read late into the night while my household slept.
At about 35% in, anyone who attempted to talk with me while I was glued to the book was met with silence or a growl. My husband made the snide remark that the iPad would be permanently affixed to my forehead if I remained in "that ridiculous reading position."
This is actually a real photo taken by my husband for mockery at a later date. Don’t worry. Vengeance will be mine!
At about 40% in, while at the bookstore, I raged because they didn't have Finnikin in stock. What the hell was their problem anyway?!
Somewhere between 50-100%, my husband began to worry I would run away to Australia and proclaim my love to Melina Merchetta. I won't pretend the thought didn't cross my mind.
Its been quite a long time since I added a book to my "All Time Favorites" shelf and out of all the books that reside there none ever truly came close to competing with my number one favorite: Harry Potter. Until now. Oh my god, this book was amazing!
Melina Merchetta, you humble me. This is one of the best books I have ever read. The rich world building. The realistic characters. The heartbreaking romance. You created a world I never wanted to leave.
Authors please take note. THIS is how you create a believable world, societies, and cultures. THIS is how you write a strong female character. THIS is how you show the unfair treatment of women in a society, having a heroine rise above, and yet your book still proudly waves its feminist flag. THIS is how you create memorable minor characters. THIS is how you write from a male point-of-view without him sounding like a wannabe. THIS is how you write an epic book.
Badass, Marchetta. Badass.
A piece of advice from the hard-to-please, Grinch of Book-land: Read this book. It is amazing, fantastic, brilliant and everything in between. When US readers get their hands on Froi of the Exiles, and later this year Quintana of the Charyn for those lucky Aussies, I'm sure GoodReads will resemble nothing short of gnats flying into the bright, blue light. And I will be proudly be one of them.
*clears throat* Now if you'll excuse me, I have a plane to catch.
So, yes this review was probably not helpful, but I hear there is a giveaway for a signed copy of Froi of the Exiles up on Cuddlebuggery! ...more
Let me go ahead and get this out of the way. I loved this book. Why in the wWhy?
WHY DIDN'T I READ THIS BOOK SOONER?!
It was so AWESOME!
Let me go ahead and get this out of the way. I loved this book. Why in the world did I procrastinate with reading it? I've had Cinder sitting on my Kindle for a few months now and I continued to put it off over and over again. What a HUGE mistake! I even had the nerve to go into my local bookstore twice, pick Cinder up, and put it right back down. But all that doesn't really matter now because I've remedied the problem and absolutely fallen in love with this wonderful story.
When I first heard of Cinder before it's release, it was gaining quite a bit of buzz known for the retelling of Cinderella. Marissa Meyer, my hat's off to you because a cyborg Cinderella in New Beijing, China? Badass. But then shortly before I read it, another blogger informed me that not only is it a Cinderella retelling, but also had Sailor Moon elements. OMG... someone had answered my prayers! I don't think you can understand my excitement for that.
Sailor Moon was my all-time favorite TV show and manga as a child. Reading Cinder reminded me of a simpler time before responsibilities, when the biggest thing I had to worry about was setting up the VCR (yes, a throwback!) every day because at 4pm, right before Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon would come on. If I were to miss one episode, I would cry my little eyes out because I just had to know what happened next to Serena! I have seen every episode including the fifth season that didn't air in America. I've even seen the live action series in all Japanese. And for those that watch subtitled Japanese shows, you know that there comes a time in your marathon watching where you stop reading the subtitles and start thinking Japanese in your sleep. Yes, I am super fangirling and not ashamed one bit! So I think it goes without saying that the reasons for me loving Cinder so much, aside from being blasted by a rainbow of awesome with its creative premise, is that it has a lot to do with sentimental memories. I tell you this so you can understand one big thing:
I wasn't sure about Cinder at first. As soon as the book started I noticed on every obvious downfall: Predictability. Seriously, the plot twist ran up to me and sucker punched me in the face at only 10% in. This concerned me, but it quickly became a non-issue as I continued to read. Why? Because the story was interesting. It was engaging. It was just plain old fun! And I haven't had this much fun reading a book in a while.
The plot was brilliantly done. Cinder is a mechanic, under appreciated by her mother and one of her step-sisters. The other step-sister adores her. As a cyborg she doesn't have the same rights as a normal person and her step-mother goes out of her way to remind Cinder this whenever she can. One day Prince Kai (*swoon*) requests her services to fix his android. And in true fairy tale fashion he begins to fall for her not knowing she is a cyborg. But this isn't just a love story. Oh no! The world has been suffering from a deadly disease that kills in a matter of days and it starts to become painfully obvious that Earth's only hope for a cure depends on an alliance with the evil Lunar Queen. And as you may have guessed it, she has plans for Earth. Dun, dun, duuuunnnnnn!
I loved all the characters in Cinder, especially the heroine. Cinder was independent, feisty, and relatable. She didn't always make the right decision, but this is a heroine that learns from her mistakes. And Tuxedo Mask Prince Kai? I loved him.
Ah, the memories!
The romance was so sweet. At first Cinder is wary of the Prince's advances because she is cyborg and doesn't want him to find out, but she can't help but develop feelings for him along the way. Basically what I'm saying here is that there's no insta-love. And you know how much I hate insta-love!
Oh, and that ending! Marissa Meyer, how could you do that to my little heart? I need to know what happens now! You took two of my favorite stories and twisted them into this big ball of badass awesomeness and now I'm expected to wait until next year for book two?! And just look at the character line-up for the next books in the series: Scarlet, Cress and Winter. Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White?! I am so there. Just so we are clear, I'm not above stalking.
I will have the next book and I will have it soon...
An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!
Another favorite shoujo and anime series is Sailor Moon. If you haven’t read this yet? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR IT’S LIKE THE BEST THING EVER. I’m sloAnother favorite shoujo and anime series is Sailor Moon. If you haven’t read this yet? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR IT’S LIKE THE BEST THING EVER. I’m slowly making my way through the new manga as they release them and let me just say that the colored pages are AMAZEBALLS. Also, SWEET NOSTALGIA. This was my face after I found out they were re-releasing the manga and rebooting the anime series:
You know that book you're reading right now? How about all those books on your "TBR" list? FORGET ABOUT 'EM!
I first stumbled across Laini Taylor when You know that book you're reading right now? How about all those books on your "TBR" list? FORGET ABOUT 'EM!
I first stumbled across Laini Taylor when I was encouraged by several of my GoodReader friends to read Lips Touch. So, I read it and while I enjoyed it, I wasn't blown away. However, I think it was a "It's not you, it's me" situation because anthologies and I don't really get along. I went into this book thinking it was just another PNR, Angel style. I couldn't have been more wrong. If Romeo & Juliet and the story of the Trojan War had a literary baby, that in turn grew up, rebelled, and decided to have paranormal creatures in a fantasy sort of world, it would be Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Okay, that makes almost no sense. Here, let me simplify it for you:
Karou is just your ordinary 17-year-old girl living as an art student in the beautiful city of Prague. She has blue hair, collects languages as birthday gifts, and runs errands collecting teeth. Okay, so maybe she's not so "ordinary." But one day, while running one of her "errands," she runs into a mysterious stranger named Akiva who attacks her. After that moment, her life forever changes and she finds herself on the cusp of unraveling the secret behind her most burning question:"Who am I?"
There are some stories that make you say, "Wow! That person's imagination was going into overdrive." Harry Potter, Star Wars and the Pendragon series immediately come to mind. While reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone I was mesmerized by Taylor's vivid descriptions and she easily fits in the above category as well. As with the first time I read a Laini Taylor novel, I had to get adjusted to her unique writing style. Karou and the mystery surrounding her past are so interesting you just sucked into the story. I literally could not put the book down and it took over my life for a few days causing me to abandon a few of my responsibilities.
Internal dialog: "I'll just read one more page then I cook dinner." "Well, I might as well finish this chapter since I'm halfway through it." "Dammit I forgot to feed the kids, but I'm hitting the climax...must.put.book.down."
Thanks to crafty little plan of mine, AKA take-out, no one starved. That just shows you how addictive this book was for me!
And let's talk about the love interest, Akiva. *sigh* Where do I begin with him?! Oh, ya! Hey Stephenie Meyer, this is how you write a tortured character. Akiva has a very real painful past that he carries with him. When he meets Karou is is drawn to her for some unknown reason and she to him. Wait, what's that you say? Isn't that insta-love? Preposterous! Laini Taylor is so above that. Don't be fooled young padewon like I was.
The first half of the book is so full of mystery it will have you begging for answers and Taylor does not disappoint. You've heard of that little rule "show, don't tell?" Well, Laini is the freakin' queen of doing just that. She shows you everything and by the end you're like: and then:
I can't say anything more about this book. I refuse to spoil anything. Just go read it now!
This is my favorite book of 2011! This review may contain extreme amounts of gushing!
The above was my immediate reaction after finis This is my favorite book of 2011! This review may contain extreme amounts of gushing!
The above was my immediate reaction after finishing this book. There simply were no words to describe how much I loved it, how it horrified me, shocked me, tore at my heart again and again. Brilliant.
2011 turned out to be a great year for Angel books for me. I know that might seem strange when you think of the more popular horrible ones **cough* Hush, Hush*cough*Halo*cough*Fallen*cough**. But there is indeed hope for this paranormal genre. I thought this genre couldn't get any better than Unearthly, Angel, or Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Then, I read Angelfall. Are the literary gods playing a joke on me? How ironic for me to find my favorite book of 2011 in the last week of the year.
I'm going to do this review a little differently. I'm not going to go in some extreme in-depth talk about how awesome this book is because there are a few other reviews that do that and I don't think I could do the book any justice even if I tried. Instead, I'm going to give you ten reasons why you should go purchase this book RIGHT NOW.
1.Angelfall kicks off right from the start with plenty of action and never settles down. Expect little to no sleep until you've finished.
2. Penryn is my pick for strongest heroine of 2011. In fact, I created a new shelf just for her: "Ass-kickin' heroine." Between how she sticks up for herself and her awesomely cool, Kung Fu Panda-type skills, she's a fuckin' boss. Bet on it.
3. Witty Dialogue. There are so many quotes I could paste into my review, but I can't because I'd end up just pasting the entire book. But I will paste my absolute favorite:
“My friends call me Wrath,” says Raffe. “My enemies call me Please Have Mercy. What’s your name, soldier boy?”
Yeah, he's a badass 'G.' Susan, how do you come up with this stuff? I was thoroughly entertained!
4. The post-apocalyptic world. It's shocking, horrifying, and any other adjective you can possibly use to describe the emotion you feel while reading this book. It's a world I could never live in. I'd pretty much put my head between my legs and kiss my ass goodbye.
5. Susan did her research. Angel books run the risk of not being true to their mythological "rules." I think you know what I'm talking about here. Halo: Only eight angels fell from Heaven? Let's get real. The Mortal Instruments: Nephilim are the good guys? You've got to be kidding me. The Succubus series: Angels hanging out with Demons playing cards? Really? Really, dude? Susan created a realistic world of angels while somehow managing to not sound preachy and staying true to their original mythical cannon.
6. Because I said so.
7. The plot twists will leave you twisted. You will never see the climax or the ending coming. It blows you away.
8.Angelfall is like a weird mix between Planet of the Apes, Resident Evil and Frankenstein. Yes, it is possible for a book to be that awesome. This is that book.
9. Did I mention the dialogue? I did? Oh, well...it was so amazeballs that it deserves another separate reason. Annnddddd...I quote:
I never kid about my warrior demigod status. "Oh. My. God." I lower my voice, having forgotten to whisper. "You are nothing but a bird with an attitude. Okay, so you have a few muscles, I'll grant you that. But you know, a bird is nothing but a barely evolved lizard. That's what you are.
“You're like a little girl demanding answers to questions during a covert operation. Why is the sky blue, daddy? Can I ask that man with the machine gun where the bathroom is? If you don't stay quiet, I'm going to have to dump you.”
“Leaking sacks of mutated maggots?" He raises his perfectly arched eyebrow as though I'd just failed my verbal insult exam.”
“Oh, please. Your giant head is getting too big for this forest. Pretty soon, you're going to get stuck trying to walk between two tress. And then, I'll have to rescue you." I give him a weary look. "Again.”
“Those pigeons couldn't take us out if they send their entire chirping flock.”
10. Let us not forget the most important reason of all: NO INSTA-LOVE FOUND HERE! I like my romance slow burning and taking a backseat to the plot and action. Angelfall did just that. I likey. I likey a lot.
It is only $.99! You have no reason NOT to buy this book! Go do it now!
And I know I say reviews are not for authors but for readers. However, Susan, if you happen to read this review I just have two things to say to you:
If Snakes on a Plane (view spoiler)[I'm tired of these MOTHERFUCKING snakes on this MOTHERFUCKING plane!! (hide spoiler)] and Mother Goose's Nursery R If Snakes on a Plane (view spoiler)[I'm tired of these MOTHERFUCKING snakes on this MOTHERFUCKING plane!! (hide spoiler)] and Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes had a baby it would be this audio book. It was pure genius to have Samuel L. Jackson narrate. I mean, who's inner Samuel L. Jackson doesn't come out when they are sleep deprived, right?
When I'm sleepy, I'm the nastiest person you would ever have the misfortune of meeting. But somehow fate would have it that I'd be cursed blessed with the world's worst sleepers. Where are all those people that told me all babies did was sleep and eat? After having two little monsters lovelies of my own, I no longer believe such babies exist. -_-
Last night at the ripe hour of 3 am, my 13 month old (who we have affectionately dubbed "Destructo" for his uncanny ability to destroy anything he gets his hands on) felt it was the perfect time to play with mommy and daddy. After one extreme acrobatic nursing session, our night went a little something like this:
*Destructo plays in between mama and dada on the bed*
Me: I can't function. The Mister: I told you not to put him to bed early. Now he won't go back to sleep. Me: IT WAS BEDTIME! The Mister: Shhh! You'll wake the Diva. Me: No I won't. She's done for the nig---
*In walks the Diva*
Me: Damn, damn, damn! The Mister: I told you so. Me: Shut up. Go put her back in bed.
*Destructo's toe lands in my eye and he appropriately laughs*
The Mister: She's back in bed. Me: Good. Now handle your son. The Mister: He doesn't want me. He wants to go play.
**Suddenly, the voice of Samuel L. Jackson fills my mind.**
You know where you can go? The fuck to sleep!
Me: Amen! The Mister: What? Me: Nothing.
*We head downstairs. He plays. I curse my life in the corner silently.*
About 2 hours later we finally got Destructo back to sleep. Around here sleep is more precious than gold. So if you ever happen to visit during bedtime, we have a strict OCD like ritual you must adhere to. We turn the portable fans on for white noise. If this makes you cold, tuff ninnies! Don't use the microwave. Cold food wont kill ya. Put your damn phone on vibrate. And for the love of all things cheesy, don't flush the fucking toilet! Goodnight.
There are so many great things about this book. How Hannah manages to cram them all into 272 pages is just amazing. After falling in love with Invinci There are so many great things about this book. How Hannah manages to cram them all into 272 pages is just amazing. After falling in love with Invincible Summer I was excited to read this. It's the first LGBT novel I've ever read so I didn't know what to expect. All I can say is that I loved it.
This book takes place during the Beltway Sniper Shootings, almost exactly a year after 9/11. The story follows Craig and Lio while they deal with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks and the current threat.
I remember exactly what I was doing September 11th, 2001. I was in 8th grade in my science class waiting for the bell to ring. I hated that class. Except that day, the bell rang and my teacher told us to stay put. Over the next hour, the PA system received an extensive workout when student after student was called down to he office to go home early. My teacher looked scared, but they weren't allowed to tell us anything or allow us outside of the classroom. Thankfully, my classroom was located right above the main entrance to the school and I was able to see loads of parents running in and out the school. I seized the first opportunity to yell out the window and ask a man what was going on while my teacher wasn't looking.
Me: "Hey! What's going on?"
Man: "They are attacking the U.S.!"
Me: "WHAT?! WHO?!"
Man: "I don't know. They hit New York and The Pentagon."
My heart literally sank. My first thought was, "OMG. My father." I ran from that classroom to my mom's (she worked at my school) and she immediately told me, "He's fine. He didn't go into work today."
I have never been so scared in my life.
And then the Sniper Shootings started one year later. My school cancelled all outside activities. Maryland lived in fear of white vans. I asked my dad not to go to work every morning. In hindsight, that was actually an unrealistic fear, he would be fine traveling to D.C. But we were scared. It was a scary time. Even though I didn't live in Montgomery or Prince George's county, we all knew it was just a 35-40 minute trip up the beltway for it to happen in our county, our neighborhood.
Hannah, you rock. I felt it.
Craig: Craig is black, sensitive, and loves his animals. You can't help but to love this guy. He over analyzes everything, but I didn't find it annoying. He was simply endearing. I wanted to hug Craig every time he cried. I loved his "voice" in this book. He thinks in run-on sentences. And you would think it doesn't makes sense, but there is something about Hannah's prose that makes it perfect.
Lio: Lio is a quiet, cancer surviving boy. It's too bad he doesn't talk because, man, this kid is funny. Thankfully, the PoV switches back and forth between Craig and Lio. I'd venture to say, he provided most of the comic relief in this book.
A few funny quotes from Lio: "I hang up because I sound like a jackass and that shit needs to end."
"He's babbling on about his first date, and his first car he drove to go pick her up. And how in his day they didn't have these fancy electric car window openers, you had to crank them down by hand. God, I want to crank my head off right now."
"Maybe she doesn't have any friends? At least that's something we have in common. That can be our conversation starter. Too bad I'm the official conversation finisher."
"I'm not even sure if there are any fabulous Jew or homosexuals at our school, but rest assured that if there are, I will find them. By Friday they will be my babies. Mark it."
"Plus, I'm a tough little son of a bitch, and don't you forget it."
SIDE NOTE: Lio seems to be the only character who realizes that they are in Maryland and not D.C. For whatever reason, I really appreciated this. Perhaps its just my Maryland pride (Go Terps!).
What's interesting about both boys is that regardless on how 9/11 screwed them up, they were not initially afraid of the sniper shootings. Craig essentially thinks he is invincible as many teenagers at his age do. He just doesn't believe he will get shot because he is *Craig*. Lio, on the other hand, counts on statistics, believing it is almost impossible that it will be him that gets shot. In fact, he measures tragedy simply by the amount of deaths. At first, I couldn't understand this logic. I mean, I was *scared* and I didn't even live in that county.
However, as the novel wears on and their relationship grows their perspectives change. Craig fears for Lio because he realizes anyone at anytime could get shot regardless of who they are or how invincible they feel. Likewise, Lio fears for Craig because he realizes you can not measure a tragedy by numbers. A life is a life and when it happens to you, it is 100% every time.
Beautiful. Craig is left so broken after his last boyfriend, Cody, went nuts and treated him badly. He struggles with allowing himself to heal and allowing himself to give away his heart to Lio. At the same time he is afraid of breaking Lio. Lio fights for Craig. He is much stronger than Craig gives him credit for at first. Hannah wrote this so well. She had my heart breaking in all the right places.
It flowed so well. Little things like words repeating three times reminiscent of the title (ie, "Lio, Lio, Lio" or "maybe, maybe, maybe") added charming character to the novel. Craig thinking in his choppy run-on sentences and Lio's short fragments were perfect. I found that very special and realistic because honestly, who speaks in complete, full sentences in their head? It was perfect and helped me get the full impact. Even though Craig seemed like a jumbled mess of words he somehow never said too much. And though Lio didn't like to talk, somehow his short phases were so profound they hit home every time.
I feel so honored to be able to read this a full year before it comes out. But you can bet your bottom dollar I will most definitely be purchasing a copy when it hits shelves April 17, 2012. And so should you.
ARC was received through Simon and Schuster's galleygrab program.
Oh, Cynthia Hand, how could you do this to me? I feel like this book should come with at least a warning. Hallowed is out! I can't wait to re-read it!
Oh, Cynthia Hand, how could you do this to me? I feel like this book should come with at least a warning. Something along the lines of:
WARNING: This book may cause readers massive amounts of fangirling/fanboying. Do not be alarmed if you encounter symptoms of swooning, emotional instability, and immediate depression after reading.
Yeah...cause that's exactly what happened to me. Many of you may remember that I expressed in my Unearthly review how I was initially reluctant to read this series. Angel PRN books seem to be the worst of the worst in YA literature. So you can imagine my happiness when I come across this gem of a series. If there were ever a reason needed as to why I voted for Cynthia Hand's Unearthly as Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction, it would be Hallowed. If you were thinking that Hand couldn't do it again, you were wrong!
First off let get this off my chest because it's seriously bothering me:
"This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Aprilynne Pike."
Excuse me while I hurl. Are you kidding me? Stop it. Please. Do not lump this series in with those sorry books. Hallowed, for starters, has a plot. The characters have real depth. The love interests aren't trying to kill Clara. What it should have said was: "For fans of real YA PNR literature." *Breathes* Okay. /end mini rant.
I think it goes without say that I loved this book. I stayed up past 4am to finish this it. Once again, I could not have predicted the outcome! There are so many plot twists and mysteries revealed and it's not what you would expect at all. And I have a sinking feeling that Hallowed is sure to upset quite a few fans...
If you think I'm going to sit here and feed you spoilers, sorry kids, not gonna happen. However, I can tell you some of the things I LOVED about Hallowed:
The character development Fans will be happy to know that we do indeed find out more about Christian, Clara's mom, Angela, Jeffery's purpose and last, but certainly not least, Tucker Avery. *Cues the swooning*
Clara's mother definitely sees more development. And at first I found myself really irritated with her for keeping secrets, but by the end of the book, I couldn't bring myself to be angry at her any longer. We were left with so many unanswered questions at the end of Unearthly, mostly thanks to Clara's mom, but rest assured, many are answered. And of course, with more answers we get even more questions.
The love triangle I'm sure you saw that coming, as did I, but here's the thing: I liked it. I usually hate love triangles because I find them a bit played out and predictable. But it worked so well in Hallowed. This probably has something to do with the fact that Hand wrote these characters so well. Their relationships are very believable and heartbreakingly realistic. We see a whole other side to Christian and Tucker. It's rather easy to love them both because they both care deeply for Clara and respect her. There are no semi-abusive love interests here. How about that? ;)
The prose, the pacing, and the plot I never thought I could come to love the use of present tense prose, but I felt it was so perfect. We are really able to connect with Clara on another level because of that, especially everything that she goes through in this book. And she goes through a lot. The simple sentences and Clara's ramblings really helped me feel everything Clara felt. The pacing was a bit slower in this book than the last, but again, it works so perfectly. Hand gives us the opportunity to let it really sink in. The pacing just goes hand in hand with the plot, which too is very subtle. At first you become eager to get to the end, but you will come to dread it. So beautifully written.
The dialog Cynthia Hand, you are so slick and I love you for it. Those Twilight burns you put in there? Oh, yeah, I think you know how brilliantly awesome that was.
Before I moved here, I never got the whole love-triangle thing. You know, in movies or romance novels or whatnot, where there’s one chick that all the guys are drooling over, even though you can’t see anything particularly special about her. But oh, no, they both must have her. And she’s like, oh dear, however will I choose? William is so sensitive, he understands me, he swept me off my feet, oh misery, blubber, blubber, but how can I go on living without Rafe and his devil-may-care ways and his dark and only-a-little-abusive love? Upchuck.
Yup, that's pure win right there.
The ending It was so heartbreaking. Clara just didn't get a break in this book and I felt for her so much. I just wanted to hug her. And at the end I felt like I needed a hug. Hand, you had me crying at 4am! I can't believe you went there in this book!! I mean, seriously, I was having a fit over here:
Disbelief: "NOOOOO!! She did not just do that! NOOOO!"
Depression: "How will I survive until 2013? I'm doomed. Doomed, I tell ya."
Cynthia Hand tore my heart out and made me eat it...
It's been a few months since I finished this book and I'm still swooning. You shall be read again soon my precioussssss...
Actual rating: Teetering on It's been a few months since I finished this book and I'm still swooning. You shall be read again soon my precioussssss...
Actual rating: Teetering on 4.5 stars
Hush, Hush, who? Halo, what? Fallen, huh?
After reading the catastrophe Hush, Hush, I had pretty much given up on reading any more books involving angels. As far as I was concerned it would be my first and last angel book. I resisted the urge (mostly thanks to my dear Goodreads friend's reviews) to pick up Halo and Fallen, even though they still remain on my TBR shelf. At first glance I thought, "435 pages?! This means 435 pages of misery or 435 pages of awesomeness." Needless to say, I was not very optimistic about this book, demoting it all the way to the bottom of the library book pile. But, I decided to give it a chance. And I can honestly say I'm glad I did. Unearthly will make you forget all about those sad, pathetic excuses for a book about angels. Unearthly is the real deal.
Unearthly tells the story of a 16 year-old girl, Clara, who is 1/4 part angel-blood. The book opens with her discovering her purpose in life. It appears she is destined to save a young boy from a forest fire. So, together with her mother and brother, Jeffery, they pack up their house and home and move from California to Wyoming.
At first glance, you think you have this book figured out. You're thinking, "Ok, I know what's going to happen. She is going to save this dude and they are going to fall in love, yada, yada, yada." And just when you're feeling really clever for single-handedly predicting the outcome of the book, Cynthia Hand shatters your preconceptions. I love a good plot twist and this book exceeded my expectations.
A few things I LOVED about Unearthly:
1. No disappearing parent syndrome. Clara's mother was very much apart of her life. Albeit mysteriously, she is always there to help Clara with succeeding in fulfilling her purpose.
2. Likeable heroine. Not once did I feel irritated at Clara for doing something dumb. She isn't overly whinny or a pathetic damsel.
3. Healthy relationships. You will not find insta-love in this book! No, sir! In fact, I would say Hand may have written one of the best developing relationships I've read in a long time. She let it build up perfectly. By the time our heroine actually falls in love it is believable. As a result, it is much easier to feel Clara's emotions. I could feel myself swooning! Clara isn't overly dependent on her love interest, either. She learns to draw on her own inner strength. Kudoos to Hand for handeling this very well.
If there is one complaint I have, it't that I didn't really like how it ended. It felt akward to me, like it was imcomplete. There are so many unanswered question left in the ending that it almost drove me insane! And to top it off, the next book doesn't come out till next freakin' year!
In conclusion, it pains me to think this book will be compared to Halo, Fallen and Hush, Hush. It's in a higher and better league then them, hands down. So, I've decided to do my own little comparison through a visual story. Enjoy!
Once upon a time there was a girl who loved life. Everything was wonderful!
Untill one fatefull day she picked up
and it left her in a state of
After finishing CoFA, she sank further into depression. The girl felt no one could understand the mental pain she felt.
Then, one day she came accross Unearthly and she saw the heavens open with rays of light.
The girl was once again happy.
Ironicly, if you google "Angel saving human" this pops up as an image:
I LOVE this series. It's really cute! This was one of the first manga series I've read. I own a few of them. As always, I won't add all of the books t I LOVE this series. It's really cute! This was one of the first manga series I've read. I own a few of them. As always, I won't add all of the books to my self. Way too many. ...more