The Shadow Reader had everything I love in a fae book. Seriously, I have a special place in my heart for fae characters. Ahem, Ash and Puck. *Wink, wiThe Shadow Reader had everything I love in a fae book. Seriously, I have a special place in my heart for fae characters. Ahem, Ash and Puck. *Wink, wink* It had action, hot Fae guys, adventure, romance, hot Fae guys, court intrigue, witty dialogue, and epically cool fight scenes. Oh, and did I mention the HOT FAE GUYS?!
Excuse me while I fangirl.
McKenzie Lewis is a special human. She can see the Fae and read their shadows. This ability makes her a very important ally in the war raging between the Court and Rebels because she can tell where the Fae are teleporting to. Just think of her as one hell of a blood hound and you get the picture. For years she has helped the Court track down and kill Rebels, until one day she is kidnapped by a rebel leader named Aren, who henceforth in this review shall be known as: "Le Hottie." While in captivity, she discovers the war she once considered black and white, just gained a whole lot more colors in between. As a result, she starts second guessing her alliance with the Court and her awkward relationship with the King's sword-master, Kyol, "Le Steamy".
First off, this is a really awesome debut novel for Sandy Williams. The Shadow Reader grabbed me from page one and held me in a choke hold that would make "Stone Cold" Steve Austin proud. And considering the last two books I've read had me in a "two-star" reviewing slump, I was extremely grateful for a fun read. That's not to say this book is without its flaws. Oh, no. Lol. But, there is just something about it that makes me a lot more forgiving. The Shadow Reader is like a toddler just finishing up a cherry Popsicle on a hot summer day. She's a little messy with sticky fingers, but she's just so darn cute you want to hug her anyway. And that's exactly how I felt about this book. Even though McKenzie did irritate me at times and the romance was toeing the "insta-love" line, I couldn't help but really enjoy reading this book.
Two words: Action packed. I don't even think this book had "down time." It was just back to back revelations, fight scenes, sexual tension. You know, all those things to keep you on the edge of your seat. This was a solid plot with pretty good world building. I easily got a feel for the Fae's world, but the only thing I would have liked to see was a freakin' map! McKenzie's ability to track the Fae's shadows is reliant upon her knowing where the locations actually are. I would have liked to have been able to see where these places were myself on a map. There is a lot of traveling done in the book between "fissuring" (think: teleporting) in and out of the human world or between the providences of the Fae world. So, yeah, it would have been nice to be able to flip to the map and see exactly where they were.
McKenzie's goal in the first half is to escape Le Hottie (Aren) and his Rebels and return to Le Steamy (Kyol) and the Court. She firmly believes they are evil and remains loyal to the Court. But, she never expects to fall for her captor and grow sympathetic to the Rebels cause. When she finally does return to her sword-master, she finds that her loyalties no longer lie with the Court.
Le Hottie (Aren), McKenzie, and Le Steamy (Kyol) were smart, sassy and classy respectively. I usually don't like love triangles, but this is one of those rare occasions where an author tells me to, "Shut it, Stephanie and read the damned book. You will like it!" And lil' old skeptical me goes:
Hmm...We'll see about that Ms. Williams. Well, here I am eating my words because I loved this love triangle. If I were McKenzie, who would I chose? Le Hottie or Le Steamy? Jeez, I don't know! They were both awesome guys! Aren's the cocky son of a biscuit eater that has you wanting to smack that ridiculous grin off his face and kiss him at the same time. While on the other hand, Kyol is the mysterious silent type that will keep you up all night trying to puzzle out the secrets hidden in his eyes. (AHHHH! Hot Fae guys! I.CAN'T.EVEN!)
Of course, we have our heroine McKenzie. I won't deny that there were times when she really irritated me because I thought she just couldn't see the bigger picture of the war and how the Court treated her all those years. The Court specifically didn't want her learning the language of the Fae and she not once thought that was strange. And one of the first things Aren does once she is kidnapped is have her taught the language. This should have been a gigantic red flag to McKenzie, but she remains loyal to the Court until it nearly very dearly costs her. But, she's supposed to be a stubborn heroine. I get that. I just wish she was a little more observant. However, she is a strong-willed heroine because she never does give up trying to escape her captives. I have to give her props for that. Even when she knows her attempts are in vain, she continues again and again. I have to admit, though, I did wish she didn't need quite so many rescuing from our hot Fae guys. In fact, why does she even have a sword on the cover? I kept waiting for her to kick someone's ass in the book, but it never happened. (view spoiler)[Okay, so maybe she did kill someone, but that was an accident on her part. (hide spoiler)] No matter. That wasn't enough to stop me from enjoying the book at all.
Ah, here is where the gushing review dies a painful death. Oh, insta-love, how I hate thee!! You manage to ruin it for me every time! When will you leave the awesome stories and their characters alone?! *Evil fist shake*
Darn you insta-love. You've gotten Tink fired up again. I'll be beating the pixie dust out of my sofa pillows for days now. Thanks.
First of all, I want to say I loved Aren and McKenzie together. They had great chemistry, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why they liked each other. Apart from the little zings of electricity shooting from each other, I don't understand why they were in love. It's your typical, "Oh he's hot, but he's the bad guy and I'm not supposed to notice that. Oh my damn, I can't look away!" As for Aren, I didn't even realized he really liked her until he kissed her and by then I'm like, "Wait, you actually like her? You were for real?" Then, by the end he's telling her he loves her. -_- Case and point, I found there attraction rushed and underdeveloped.
McKenzie and Kyol's relationship was a bit more believable because they had been working together for ten years compared to her brief few weeks acquaintance with Aren. The King had forbid Kyol and McKenzie from being together and despite their intense feelings for one another, Kyol tries his best to keep their relationship strictly business. McKenzie waits for him for ten years. Ten years. But when she returns from captivity he realizes this has been a mistake. By that time, he has kept so much from her (and Aren has laid a claim on her heart) that it damages their relationship. I really applaud McKenzie for standing up for herself and telling Kyol that she shouldn't have waited for him and that she was moving on. But, something tells me that his hold on her heart has not yet loosened its grip...
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Shadow Reader and can see this appealing to fans of Richelle Mead. This book falls somewhere in the 3.5-4 star category for me, but what they hell, I'm rounding up to 4 for the special unputdownable quality (view spoiler)[and the hot Fae guys! (hide spoiler)].
More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog. ["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"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
My kids and I really enjoyed reading this book. We've been in a slump recently reading Little White Rabbit over and over again, but I finally convince My kids and I really enjoyed reading this book. We've been in a slump recently reading Little White Rabbit over and over again, but I finally convinced my 3 year old to try one of her other library books out. She LOVED it.
Mister Buds has his routine down pack and one day it is all interrupted with a new addition to the family: Zorro. My daughter loved the reactions the two dogs had to each other. It was very comical. When Zorro climbed on the couch, hugged his toys close, and yelled at Mister Buds,
we both fell out laughing so hard. Soon, however, he discovers that having Zorro around is not as bad as he originally thought. It's definitely a book that needs a permanent residence on her shelf.
My daughter and I really enjoyed this one. The illustrations were beautiful and eye catching. It's very different from the illustrations I'm used to s My daughter and I really enjoyed this one. The illustrations were beautiful and eye catching. It's very different from the illustrations I'm used to seeing in children's books because the technique used gives the pictures great depth making them very vivid. One thing I noticed from the start was that the family featured in the story was multi-racial. That was pretty cool. This is yet another must buy for the kids' library. ...more
This is a phenomenal children's book. The illustrations are very well done. A great-grandson tells the story of his great-grandpa's life with the help This is a phenomenal children's book. The illustrations are very well done. A great-grandson tells the story of his great-grandpa's life with the help of drawings of artistically manicured shrubbery. This was very well done and sure to become a favorite among kids and parents alike. ...more
Coincidences; mix-ups; harmless mistakes and switches. And so a story is born.
I usually do not read children's books, but when my good friend, Wen
Coincidences; mix-ups; harmless mistakes and switches. And so a story is born.
I usually do not read children's books, but when my good friend, Wendy, told me about it, I knew I couldn't resist. And I'm so glad I didn't. This book has that unputdownable quality to it. Lauren Oliver, this is the kind of magic that I fell in love with when I read Before I Fall.
Liesl is a young girl locked in an attic by her evil stepmother. It has been almost a year since she left the attic, let alone stepped outside the house. One day her father dies and she, sadly, was not allowed to say goodbye to him at the hospital. So, for three days she does not light her oil lamp and or draw. It is then that she meets a lonely ghost named Po, who lives on the Other Side. Meanwhile, there is Will who is also horribly mistreated by his adoptive parent, an Alchemist. He is sent on an errand to deliver the Greatest Magic in the World to Lady Premier, but takes a detour to Liesl's house as he usually does, which leads to a mix-up. As fate would have it, Liesl ends up in possession of this Great Magic. She along with Po, Bundle, and Will travel on a journey where they discover friendship, say goodbyes, and find a new and brighter beginning.
This book was very charming and I'm quite impressed with Oliver. I found the characters Liesl, Will, Po and Bundle to be very lovable and I constantly worried for their safety. They'd all been dealt very sad cards in life and I kept thinking, "Those poor children. Give them to me. I would love them." The mistreatment of children is just something that deeply bothers me to the core. But through all their difficulties, I loved how they kept on moving forward. Even when situations seemed very bleak, they did not give up. It reminded me of the 1995 version of The Little Princess. I simply adore that movie and the main character, Sara, possessed the same fighting spirit of Liesl that I looked up to as a small girl. Sometimes awful things happen to you in life and it can be hard to pick yourself up, but you must, but more importantly, you can do it. It's a wonderful message to present to young people. This is definitely a story I see myself reading to my kids when they are older.
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...
I usually don't pick up many high fantasy novels. For example, I hate Lord of the Ri Actual rating: 4.5 stars
Oh yes, Rachel Hartman. YES!
I usually don't pick up many high fantasy novels. For example, I hate Lord of the Rings. Don't flame me! It's just that it's not usually a genre I mesh well with. In fact, I think aside from Seraphina I have read a grand total of two high fantasy books this year: Eon: Dragoneye Reborn and Eona: The Last Dragoneye. Coincidentally, all three have dragons in them. Hmm...perhaps the universe is trying to tell me something there.
Dragons?! Yes, dragons. I know what you're probably thinking. So, let me help you.
Who's a good boy, Toothless? I could watch him chase that little light all day. But, no, not those kinds of dragons.
Burn, baby, burn. Now, that's more like it.
Sixteen-year-old Seraphina Dombegh lives in a world where dragons have the ability to transform their bodies into humans and walk amongst mankind. Previously, dragons and humans have warred against one another, but for forty years there has been strained peace thanks to a treaty. The time arrives for the peace treaty to once again be signed and a member of the royal family has been found murdered. What's even more interesting is that it appears to be the work of a dragon. With Treaty Day swiftly approaching, Seraphina finds herself in the midst of the investigation, assisting Prince Lucian Kiggs in discovering the murderer, all the while trying desperately to hide her own secret: being half dragon.
A few things I LOVED about Seraphina:
The World Building:
I really have to commend Hartman because this is a brilliant debut and I feel very fortunate to have read it months before the release. She has created a very believable society and I can just imagine all the research she put into this crafting the religion, clothing, races, philosophers, customs, ect. Initially, when I first started I felt a bit overwhelmed because of the names and culture. It's just that rich. But once I got into the story, I was just amazed at how well constructed the world building was.
I have to say, I was not once irritated at the main character, Seraphina (BTW: awesome name!). She is very headstrong and determined. When she first discovers a plot to disrupt the peace, she does not hesitate to get to the bottom of things even if that means doing things herself. This, of course, is her strength and her weakness. Having to hide her secret her whole life has left her unable to trust easily. This directly impacts her relationship with her partner in the investigation, Prince Lucian Kiggs. But as the novel wears on, we see a growth in Seraphina and her ability to trust and rely on her friends.
My favorite character has to be a toss-up between Princess Glisselda and Orma. For secondary characters, I felt they were very well developed throughout the novel. It's kind of ironic that they would come to be my favorites since in the beginning I didn't really care for either one. They possessed qualities (or at least I thought they did) that I found ugly (rudeness, apathetic, tactless, and uncaring). I suppose this is just another cool point for Hartman's writing style and character development for changing my mind completely before the novel's end.
The Plot and The Pacing:
Simply brilliant. The best way I can describe it would be to say it's like a cross between Sherlock Holmes and dragon lore fantasy. I found the novel's length to be perfect for the pacing, giving just the right amount of time for relationships to develop, the mystery to be solved, and ending realistically.
Very well done! I never saw the ending coming and was left completely satisfied with it. There are some series where the installments feel more like a part one or part two of a story, but then there are others like Seraphina that could stand alone just fine. While I know Seraphina's journey is not yet over, the immediate threat in the novel is resolved. I really appreciated that. This novel speaks for itself and doesn't need to rely on a cliffhanger to keep a reader interested in a sequel.
Seraphina is definitely a book you should look out for in 2012. I, for one, cannot wait for the sequel!
Disclaimer: An ARC was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes and while Rachel Hartman is a GoodReads friend of mine, these are my honest thoughts on the book.
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:
Ultraviolet was such a pleasant surprise! I've been thinking about this review for a few days because it's hard to say something about it without givi Ultraviolet was such a pleasant surprise! I've been thinking about this review for a few days because it's hard to say something about it without giving too much away. It's one of those books that you just have to go in knowing absolutely nothing. So, I will try my best to keep this short and sweet. :)
Ultraviolet is about a girl named Alison who ends up in a mental institute after she has a psychotic break, during which she confesses to murdering a fellow classmate. What makes this book so cool is that she has synesthesia, a neurological phenomenon, which allows her to see sounds and taste colors.
The way Anderson wove this beautiful story had me mesmerized. I fell in love with the way Alison described the world in her senses. I seriously felt like I was watching the Aurora Borealis while reading Ultraviolet.
The plot was solid and left the reader to catch up to the mystery surrounding her classmate's death. I really enjoyed that because it added to the suspense. I will say that the plot twist was a tad predictable. There was quite a bit of foreshadowing going on, so it wasn't hard to see where things were going. BUT that did not stop me from really enjoying this book and the ending did surprise me.
Things were tied up nicely in this book at the end, but in this case I'm really hoping there will be a sequel. And I eagerly look forward to any other books from R.J. Anderson!
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...
I don't even know how to begin reviewing this book. I fear that anything I describe about the book has the potential to ruin it for anyone reading thi I don't even know how to begin reviewing this book. I fear that anything I describe about the book has the potential to ruin it for anyone reading this reviews. And to do that would be a huge disservice to this book. Because believe me when I say it was truly remarkable.
There are three things I believe I am safe to say. (1) The main character's name is Anax. (2) The book is basically her interview with a panel for acceptance into The Academy. (3) It is a dystopian type book. (4) It's not a long book, but the story grabs you.
I had no expectations going into the story. I had no idea what it was about. And it is my belief that that is the best way to get the full experience of the story. This book will make you think. Oh, ya, it makes you *think*. It's one of those books you might have to read a second time, even with how short it is. I had no clue where the author was going with this book until the very end. It just sneaks up on you.
If it seems like my review is a bit scatterbrained, I apologize. That is just that state in which this novel has left me.
This.Was.Good. It seems like every dystopian book that comes out now is being compared to The Hunger Games. Well, i Whoa.
Breathe, Stephanie. Breathe.
This.Was.Good. It seems like every dystopian book that comes out now is being compared to The Hunger Games. Well, if there was ever a book that might come close to that comparison it would be Enclave and now Divergent.
Veronica Roth's debut novel Divergent is getting some major hype and you know what? I think it deserves it. It's no secret that I have a dystopian society book addiction right now, but Divergent is just what I love in a book. It had loads of action, strong heorine, slow building romance, extremely flawed society, ect. I mean I could go on and on here.
Now, I know what you are thinking, "B-b-b-but what about your status updates complaining about the world building?!" Yes, kiddies it's true, I did complain. When I first started reading Divergent I thought the world builing left much to be desired. And even still, the faction Dauntless just doesn't sit right with me (which is why this is a 4 star review and not a 5 star review. Don't worry, I'll address that later.). But, even with these world flaws, I still really loved this book!
Divergent thrusts you into a world where society is divided into five factions each representing a particular virtue. You have Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent) and Abnegation (the selfless), which our heroine 16-year-old Beatrice is from. In her world when you reach the age of 16 you must choose which faction you want to join. Will you remain with your family in your current faction or risk it for the biscuit learning a whole new way of life? Thankfully, the government graciously provides an aptitude test to help determine which faction you would most likely belong in. But, you always have a choice (or so they say) to pick whichever pre-determined life you want you want regardless of the results. Awesome! High fives all around for free will!
So, what does Beatrice choose? Well Dauntless, of course! This would be a rather boring book if it had been any other faction. If I had to describe Dauntless I would say they are a cross between xtreme sports thrill seekers and a blood thirsty gang. Everytime I turned around the Dauntless were trying to hurl themselves off another building, moving object, or beat the crap out of each other for the sake of being called brave. None of that is brave. It is stupidity at it's best.
This was a constant pet peeve of mine. And the worst part is: beatrice just.accepted.it. Not only that, but she joined in the craziness! And that brings us to the big old negative of the book. There were a few big holes in the world building. Such as, how did the world get to where it is? What is beyond the walls of Beatrice's society? What's the point of having the factionless? They kinda felt like page fillers to me, and most importantly: WHO RUNS THE TRAIN?! I need to know! It's bothering me! Now if you know anything about me, you will know I can not stand when an author builds a world and tells me, "This is how it is. Just accpet it." No. Just no. Seriously, it makes my eye twitch.
But, once you get past the sketchy world building the book is good. I think the second half was definately noticably better than the first half. The first half was a bit slow, but once the book got going it hooked me and never let me go. I stayed up until 2 am to finish it and that it epic for me. LOL. Like Power Rangers meeting the Ninja Turtles epic.
The plot and characters and pretty solid to me. I did like Beatrice and her character development. I also felt like the love intrest between her and (view spoiler)[Four (hide spoiler)] was slow developing and not rushed. It provided a nice build up. For a YA book to do that nowadays, you get bonus points.
And I really loved the ending. It left me frazzeld and wanting more.
And best of all there was no cliffhanger! I'm growing to hate clifhangers in YA novels. You don't need to leave me hanging to keep me reading your series. If your writing/story is good enough, I will continue regardless. So I really appreciated things being tied up nicely in this book even though I can tell things are not over.
So, if you are digging dystopians right now, do yourself a favor and check out Divergent. It's definately one of the best out right now.
More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.["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"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Ummm....WOW! That is how I felt after reading The Iron King. Simply amazing. I was lost in this book for a few days and I never wanted to leave the be Ummm....WOW! That is how I felt after reading The Iron King. Simply amazing. I was lost in this book for a few days and I never wanted to leave the beautiful world Julie Kagawa painted. This is the best "Fey" book I have ever read!
What I liked about this book: everything! There is not one thing I would change. I rarely give books 5 stars unless the story really calls to my soul. And boy was this book singing! The characters were totally believable and realistic. Puck is my favorite bc he is simply hilarious! The second book is on hold for me at the library and I'm going to pack my kids up and go get it right now! Lol.
I sort of went back and forth on the rating for this book. I couldn't decide to give it 3 or 4 stars. In the end I decided on 4 because this book didI sort of went back and forth on the rating for this book. I couldn't decide to give it 3 or 4 stars. In the end I decided on 4 because this book did keep me up till around 2am. So, for a book to do that to me when I know full well I have to wake up super early with my kids, it pretty much earned those 4 stars.
Let me start by saying I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did. In fact, I was kind of ignoring it as it sat on my shelf collecting dust. I wasn't sure how I felt about the whole polygamy with young girls. I can't imagine sharing my husband. Honestly, I think I would feel like 3rd wheel.
However, I really came to appreciate the relationship between Rhine and her sister wives. They looked out for one another. And even though Rhine wants to escape, she worries about leaving them behind. I absolutely LOVED the premise for this book.
DeStefano explains the reason for this dystopian society is because of childhood vaccines received by the 1st generation. Now before I continue, I think it's important for me to touch on a few points about childhood vaccines so you can see where I'm coming from. Wait-- let me grab my soap box.
In the US our babies are given so many vaccines within the first year of life. Sometimes as many as 5 or 6 different vaccines in just ONE visit. That is a lot of medicine to pump in a baby, whose immune system is not even considered mature until around age 6. However, the CDC and FDA tells us these drugs are completely safe. Rarely will the pediatrician go over the side effects with you (which can range from a low-grade fever to brain swelling or seizures). Hell, most won't even ASK you if it's ok to give the shots. The nurse just walks it to administer the meds and you, the dutiful parent, don't question it. After all, why should you? The government says they are safe and anyway they have been rigorously tested. They wouldn't give it to our precious newborns if it wasn't safe.
And my question to you would be: What testing? There are no long-term studies to show what effects these vaccines have on our bodies long-term. They literally don't exist. Why? Because they are too new. Half of the vaccines they give out today wasn't even around when I was a kid. And I'm only 23! So if you really think about it, we and our offspring are the study. Experiments, if you will. One thing is for sure, we aren't passing on natural immunity anymore, because we don't have it. So, who knows. Maybe we are destroying our bodies and we don't even know it.
While that sinks in, I'll move on to the rest of the review.
Can you only imagine living till age 20 (female) or 25 (male)? Can you imagine a world of human trafficking girls as young as 13 to become child brides and mothers, only to have their babies experimented on, desperately searching for a cure? Sounds horrifying, right? That is the world 16 year-old Rhine lives in. She is kidnapped by the gatherers and sold off to Governor Linden Ashby along with Jenna (18) and Cecily (13).
I loved Rhine. I truly felt her pain throughout the book and understood the overwhelming urge to escape her luxury prison and return to her twin brother Rowen. However, she doesn't expect to develop a true sister relationship with her sister wives.
I wasn't sure how I felt about Linden in the beginning. He seemed like a weak character to me. I just couldn't understand why he never apologized to the girls about taking them from their homes. Then I realized he did not know. In reality, his father, Housemaster Vaughn kept him a prisoner as much as he did the girls. This allowed me to actually have sympathy for him. I found myself secretly wanting Rhine to tell him his father's dark secrets. I felt a bit sad when she would lie to him because he truly did care for her. But can I really blame her? No, I suppose not.
Jenna and Cicely viewed life at the mansion drastically different from Rhine. Jenna looks at it as living her final two years in style before the virus takes her life. As a result, she is a little reckless with her actions because she feels she has nothing to lose. Cicely, on the other hand, envisions it as a privilege to live in the mansion where she can be waited on. For most of the novel she is oblivious to the severity of their situation.
Housemaster Vaughn is the villain. I'd liken him to that of a mad scientist. It seems he is willing to risk any and everyone to find the cure. He truly disturbed me with his methods and sinister plans.
I really liked Gabriel, but unfortunately I still don't feel I know him that well. I'll be interested to see him develop further in the next book.
Even though Rhine's brother, Rowen, doesn't formally make an appearance I feel like I still got a good idea of him as a character. Something tells me we may see him in the next book.
I loved DeStefano's writing style. It pulled me in quickly and I found myself irritated whenever I had to put the book down. Lol. The ending, IMO, was a little rushed, but I am still really looking forward to the next book.
This is easily one of the best series I have had the pleasure to read. I read all of the books back to back and let me tell you! Noth I.Am.Speechless.
This is easily one of the best series I have had the pleasure to read. I read all of the books back to back and let me tell you! Nothing ever prepared me for this epic adventure let alone the ending!
I struggled to actually sit and write a review for the first two books, because I was so caught upon the adventure. I knew there was no way I could write a review until I read all three of the books. So instead of just reviewing The Iron Queen, this will be an Iron Fey review. Got it? Ok, off we go!
The Iron Fey series is about a girl named Meghan Chase. When we first meet her he day of her 16th birthday, she is a normal, quiet, teenage girl struggling to fit in at school. However, when her brother is kidnapped by the fey, she travels to the Nevernever to rescue him alongside her best friend, Robbie Goodfell, who is the legendary Puck or Robin Goodfellow (unbeknownst to her until then). Along the way, she meets a Cait Sith named Grimilkin and the Winter Prince, Ash. She also finds out she is a half fey and her father is non other than Lord Oberon, King of the Summer Court. Along the journey, they discover a new breed of fey called Iron Fey. They are growing in number and threaten to destroy the Nevernever as they know it.
However, she never planned on falling in love with Ash and he her. It is forbidden for summer and winter to fall in love. I loved watching Ash and Megan's love grow for each other in this series. It was beautiful. I did think that in the Iron daughter, Meghan got a bit obsessive, reminding me of Bella swan, but it can be over looked because this series is just that amazing.
The character growth is brilliantly written. By the end of the series Meghan is no longer a shy girl; she is tough and knows what she wants. And even though Ash vows to protect her, he realizes that she has changed and become strong.
The banter between Puck and Ash was classic. And I swear no one can insult and compliment someone in the same sentence the way Grimilkin did.
The battle/fight scenes were epic! Very descriptive. I felt like I too was fighting besides Ash, Puck and Meghan.
The best part of the series was the ending. The last book. Seriously. If you pick up The Iron King and The Iron Daughter and are wondering what the hell I'm hyping this up for, READ THE LAST BOOK. It's one of the best books I have ever read. It was perfect. I think I cried for the entire ending. I felt the hope, desire, and love. I keep thinking there could have been another way Julie! But that is what I love about this series, it's realistic fiction. We don't always get what we want, no matter how hard we want it to be so. Living a fairy tale doesn't change that. And for that, I believe there was no other way to end this series with changing the book cannon.
Hats off to you Julie Kagawa. That was truly remarkable.
In the words of Meghan Chase, "It was...quite a ride. Wasn't it?"
It sure was.
I desperately look forward to The Iron Knight and any future works from Julie Kagawa's imagination.
I have read a few YA dystopian society books and I have to say, I really enjoyed this one. It would have gotten 4 stars, but I Actual rating: 3.5 stars
I have read a few YA dystopian society books and I have to say, I really enjoyed this one. It would have gotten 4 stars, but I found the ending to be a bit predictable. There were also a few things I didn't like. There will probably be spoilers in this review, but I'll indicate where I'm about to reveal something.
Across the Universe is a really cool story about a girl named Amy who is frozen in time for 250 years aboard the space ship Godspeed. However, she is violently awaken 50 years before the ship reaches it's destination. She struggles to adapt with the strange life on the space ship, while she attempts to solve the mystery and unravel the lies surrounding it.
One thing I really liked about the book was the changes in POV from Amy to Elder. Often times when I'm reading YA novels, I'm constantly wondering, "What the hell is he *really* thinking?" I also really liked Amy. She was a strong female character. That is a breath of fresh air considering so many female characters to are not strong and are damsels in distress. That irks me.
I really enjoyed the premise behind the plot. Frozen people aboard a huge ship in space, traveling to a new planet to colonize. There were no supernatural creatures, just a mystery that Amy and Elder are determined to solve. I really enjoy sci-fi, so naturally I thought this book was perfect for me.
Now on to the flaws: *This part of the review will probably have spoilers*
Let's take a look a the characters in-depth, shall we?
Amy: As I said before I really did like her. However, every time she referred to her father as "Daddy" drove me up a wall. Do 17 year-olds really do that? I tried to choke it up at first to the fact that she missed her parents. But then she kept calling him "Daddy" to the other characters and each time I felt mildly embarrassed for her. It was just odd. And what about her mother? She didn't give a rats ass about her. She was mostly concerned for "Daddy" not "mom." But the biggest problem I have with her was her willingness to just go against what Eldest said. Yes, I know you want to protect your family. I get it. But this dude just told you he will eject you into space if you become a disturbance, and you have the balls, excuse me, "chutz" to back talk him to his face? Really? Do you want to die? Can we at least be sneaky? Do you have no sense of self-preservation?
Elder: Where do I begin? He was a little wimp most of the book. One minute he is a toddler whining to Eldest about not be taught everything and the next he is a dog with his tail between his legs. He can't decide if he wants to still trust Eldest or not even though he constantly verbally abused Elder. The whole time I was just waiting to Eldest to bitch slap him. I kinda understand why he unplugged Amy. He was pretty much obsessed with her. A stalker. Dude was staring at her naked, fantasizing about "what they could do together." How creepy does he sound?! What wasn't clear was when he actually unplugged her. He seemed really shocked when he saw her drowning in her ice box. In fact, he was in the garden when the alarm sounded. So by the end of the book, I'm wondering, "When did he actually do it and why did he just leave her out and leave?" That doesn't make sense to me.
Harley: I really liked him. He was my favorite character. I was sad he was killed off. I also think he would have developed a stronger relationship with Amy. He just seemed better for her.
Doc: He kinda reminded me of a mad scientist in a way. I think he was just as responsible for the crap that was happening on that ship as much as Eldest. I hope he gets some just desserts in the next book.
Eldest: He believed Hitler was a great leader. I was glad when he died. 'Nuf said.
Orian: A true crazy amongst them. But I found it terribly obvious who he was from the beginning. When Revis told us about his scar in the beginning, I knew exactly what that meant. And that made me angry, because it made Elder look like a total idiot that he didn't know.
The people, the plot, the ship: Wow, the people in this book through me for a loop. When the Season hit they just ran around naked having sex wherever they pleased. This made me extremely uncomfortable. I guess this was the intent. Mission complete Revis. The ship and the science was totally believable. I could follow it and see it a possibility. The biggest con in this book would have to be it being a bit predictable. But, it did keep me very interested in the story once Amy awakens. I read it in one sitting from that point on. So it's defiantly not boring by any means.
So all in all, it's a decent read and I look forward the other sequels.