Wendy Higgins’ The Great Hunt is loosely based on the Grimm Brothers’ “The Singing Bone” a taMore of my reviews can be found at Literary Exploration.
Wendy Higgins’ The Great Hunt is loosely based on the Grimm Brothers’ “The Singing Bone” a tale of two brothers who set off to kill a wild boar terrorizing their kingdom in hopes of winning the hand of the princess. There are some additional similarities, but this is where the main connection ends.
The Great Hunt focuses on Princess Aerity, the eldest daughter of King Charles, King of Lochlanach. In an attempt to free his kingdom from this enigmatic creature’s violent attacks, King Charles promises Aeirty’s hand in marriage to any man who can kill the beast. Now, you may think this isn’t that big of a deal, especially for a story based off a Grimm tale, but in Lochlanach, they strongly believe in marrying for love. Aerity is not thrilled about the idea of marrying a complete stranger, but she understands that this is what is best for her kingdom.
I absolutely loved Aerity. Wendy Higgins has this way of writing female characters that are complete badasses while still maintaining their femininity. Aerity is a princess, she’s not a fighter. She can definitely handle a bow and arrow, and she is fit and strong, but this isn’t the focus of her abilities. She’s smart and kind and seeks the good in people. I absolutely loved her. The witty banter she and Paxton share is hilarious and quick.
And Paxton. Gird your loins, ladies. He’s an absolute ass, but not an asshole. He’s somehow broken and he holds people at arm’s length. He wants to kill the beast for his family, not the princess. However, he’s also willing to look at people in different lights and he’s willing to accept when he may be wrong about someone. The story itself is fabulous. Everything about Higgins’ world is magical and well-built. The magic that the Lashed Ones use can both help and harm and this plays a huge role in the character development. I think I’ve told everyone to read this book; whether you’re a fan of the Sweet Evil series or you’ve never heard of it before, this is a great place to jump into Wendy Higgins’ writing.
The Great Hunt has a drastically different premise and one I think any fan of fantasy or fairy-tale retellings will enjoy. The characters and writing style still have the same feel of Sweet Evil making this story accessible to those who are already fans of Wendy Higgins. Overall, The Great Hunt was a delightful read from beginning to end and I had a hard time putting it down! ...more
I'll admit that I haven't read any of Kirsten White's other books, but if they're anytMore of my reviews can be found on my blog: Literary Exploration
I'll admit that I haven't read any of Kirsten White's other books, but if they're anything like Mind Games I know I'll love them! Mind Games is a total roller coaster ride, switching between the POVs of the twins, Annie and Fia. While Annie's blind, she has the ability to see the future and Fia's abilities are unknown, but she's definitely special. Mind Games is just a taste of what's coming, but I'm really looking forward to whatever White has in store next!
The story alternates between Annie and Fia's POVs, as well as jumping between past and present. White does an awesome job of creating a clear voice for each girl. When Annie's narrating, the language is more mature and rational, but when it's Fia's turn, the words blend together creating an erratic tone that matches well with her thought process. I loved both sisters, but Fia's kick ass attitude and irrational behavior made her a little more interesting to read. Annie is pleasant enough, and I liked that she didn't let her disability get in the way of what she wanted. There is even a gorgeous, sexy love interest who is kid of a jerk, but I totally fell for him! You know how I love bad boys :)
The actual plot is mostly character-driven, involving chase scenes, fights, kissing, and lots of super powers. I loved the sci-fi elements, but the whole "damaged girl who is kick ass awesome and insecure" got old after a while. I also think that the story was too short. I know that there's going to be a second one, but I think it would have paid off more to combine the two books into one to make it longer and help explain some details more. By the time I was finished I was still a bit confused by some things. The best part of the book was definitely White's ability to switch voices so well. I could always tell who was talking without even looking at the chapter title. I did think some parts were a bit rushed and, as I said, some elements weren't explained, but since the story is told from the view point of two girls who are equally as confused, it was an understandable plot point.
Mind Games was a quick, exciting read and I'm looking forward to whatever she's got coming out next. I'm excited to learn more about Fia and Annie and their abilities and I really hope we'll delve deeper into this world of psychics. Hopefully, both sisters will get some therapy and work out their deeper issues so they can fight the bad guys together and stop complaining all the time. If you're a fan of thrillers and mind benders, you'll definitely enjoy this one. Mind Games is a good read for fans of Darkest Minds and Shatter Me....more
Oh. My. God. As well all know, after Starling by Lesley Livingston and now Valkyrie RiMore of my reviews can be found on my blog: Literary Exploration
Oh. My. God. As well all know, after Starling by Lesley Livingston and now Valkyrie Rising, Norse mythology is on the rise in YA fiction. Say goodbye to the Greeks and say hello to those tall, blond Norse hotties! Alexander Skarsgard anyone? Valkyrie Rising definitely kept me on my toes and the characters were all incredibly real. I loved the lush setting of Norway and Paulson's amazing descriptions that had me feeling like I was right there. If you haven't already picked up a copy of Valkyrie Rising you need to get on that RIGHT NOW. Valkyrie Rising will have you on the edge of your seat and the ending will leave you begging for more!
Ellie is an amazing character. She's kind of weak and helpless at the beginning of the novel, but she really grows into her own by the end. I loved seeing her become such a strong and independent female. Ellie really developed as a character which was amazing to see. And Tucker, oh my God Tucker. He was so delicious and such an amazing love interest. There are so many scenes in which Ellie describes Tuck and how appetizing he is and I loved every minute! Even Graham, Ellie's brother, grows throughout the story. I loved all of the different characters for different reasons, but they were all so life-like that it was easy for me to fall in love with each of them.
The story itself is fantastic. I have a huge love for Norse mythology now that it's become so popular in YA fiction. I've even begun doing my own research on the topic just to understand the origins of some of the characters, and I can't wait to see what else is coming out. Paulson's take on the Valkyries was wonderful. I loved reading about these strong women who could easily take on anything and were so connected to each other that it physically hurt to be away from the rest of their kind. And there were so many plot twists and turns! I found myself gasping out loud on more than one occasion! As I said before, Paulson's writing is just fantastic and beautiful. She's incredibly descriptive to the point where you actually feel like you're in Norway, or even Valhalla, and I was completely immersed in the story.
Overall, I absolutely loved Valkyrie Rising. It's an amazing story about learning who you are and where you come from while staying strong and protecting those you love. The characters are fantastic and the writing style is gorgeous. I loved every minute of the story and it's hard to believe that this is Paulson's debut novel. The ending is definitely a bit of a cliff-hanger; some things weren't wrapped up so I'm really hoping there will be a second one! I just can't wait to see what she's coming out with next! If you're a fan of mythology and need something different and refreshing, Valkyrie Rising is one you won't want to miss out on!...more
Lesley Livingston's Starling is an epic adventure filled with Norse mythology and fantMore of my reviews can be found on my blog: Literary Exploration
Lesley Livingston's Starling is an epic adventure filled with Norse mythology and fantastical elements. I've always been a fan of mythology, but Norse mythology is a rarity in YA fiction. Livingston did a wonderful job uniting the fantastical with reality. Sometimes mystical creatures are hidden right in plain sight! There was little that I didn't like about Starling. It's an epic adventure filled with strong characters and intriguing new ideas. Norse mythology based stories are definitely a new favorite of mine, and I can see them rising in the ranks of YA fiction. I am so incredibly excited to read the next one and find out what's going to happen with Mason and Fenn!
Mason Starling is such a strong female protagonist. She's an amazing fencer (yes! fencing!) and she doesn't let anyone tell her what to do. She's strong, independent, and she can easily take care of herself and the people around her. Fenn is the perfect match for her; equally strong and protective, but doesn't see Mason as an inferior female. He is incredibly protective of her, but he respects her and teaches her how she can take care of herself, treating her like his equal. Although I haven't seen the movie yet, Fenn really reminded me of Thor (maybe just the looks?). All of the side characters are equally as exciting, whether they're good, evil, or just watching from the sidelines. Mason is incredibly easy to relate to even if she is being thrust into such a fantastic world.
Livingston's writing style is gorgeous and elegant, filled with intricate metaphors and similes. The way she builds things up is just amazing, leading to spine-tingling moments of realization. Even though Norse, Greek, Roman, and other types of mythology are all mentioned, it is explained how they're all connected which I really appreciated because it's a huge pet peeve of mine when several types of mythology are just thrown together without any explanation. The one problem that I did have was Fenn's language. He's supposed to come from some magical other world, although I suppose he's been living in our world, but his language constantly fluctuates between the modern and formal which drove me nuts. I honestly think that a more formal language style would have suited him better.
Overall, I absolutely loved Starling and everything about it was just so new and refreshing. Starling is definitely spawning a new love for Norse mythology and I can't wait to see what's coming next. I definitely recommend this one to fans of fantasy, adventure, and mythology. I remember comparing this story to that of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Chronicles of Narnia and I definitely stick by that. If you're looking for something new and exciting you definitely need to pick up Starling!...more
Team Human is just one big cliche after another (in a good way!) The writing is funny,More of my reviews can be found on my blog: Literary Exploration
Team Human is just one big cliche after another (in a good way!) The writing is funny, witty, sarcastic, and satirical, poking fun at all the different vampire myths and stories we've grown so accustomed to these days. It was incredibly refreshing to read something that wasn't taking the insta-love, vampire romance seriously. Mel is the complete opposite of Bella Swan, and Cathy is a seriously hilarious version of the popular protagonist. Imagine all of your favorite vampire stories rolled into one and performed as a skit on SNL. That's Team Human, and that's why I loved it!
Mel is such a great character, and I loved reading from her point of view. She's completely anti-vamp and when her best friend, Cathy, falls for one she does everything in her power to sway the girl's mind. This is the kind of friend that Bella Swan needed when she started making googly eyes at Edward! Not only is Mel loyal to her bff, but she's also incredibly funny! Some of the things she says just made me laugh out loud! I didn't find anything particularly swoon-worthy about either of the love interests, and some of the side characters had minor plot twists that I didn't think were necessary, but overall I enjoyed this eclectic group of friends.
The story itself is so weird. There's a lot of romance as well as mystery. The kind of mystery I like where the protagonist doesn't stop searching for answers despite the danger that might be lurking in the shadows. There were a lot of twists that I wasn't able to guess, and the ending definitely had me shocked! I always love being surprised with plot twists that that was definitely one of them! The actual ending was pretty predictable, but I wasn't disappointed in the least! Even the writing is so well done, both Larbalestier and Rees Brennan were able to capture the voice of a witty teenage girl and I loved it! Job well done ladies!
Overall I definitely enjoyed reading Team Human. While it did have some flaws, it was an excellent satirical take on the modern day vampire love story. There are even a few zombies thrown in for good measure! The story is fast-paced, exciting, and laugh out loud funny, you won't want to put it down! Fans of all vampire novels will get a kick out of this one, and I'd really love to see these ladies write a spin on another popular creature! Werewolves anyone!?...more
I just can't get enough of Hartley Grace Featherstone! That girl has me in stitches! GMore of my reviews can be found on my blog: Literary Exploration
I just can't get enough of Hartley Grace Featherstone! That girl has me in stitches! Gemma Halliday's novels are so fantastically written and her ability to understand the complicated minds of teenagers is just a thrill! Also, it doesn't hurt that Hartley allegedly lives in Lost Gatos, which is about 10 minutes away from my home town. I love that I can personally connect with this story! Social Suicide is a laugh a minute investigation into the Twittercide of one of Hartley's classmates and I loved every page of it!
As always, I loved the characters in Halliday's story! Hartley is such a smart and go-get-it kind of girl! She doesn't let anyone tell her "no" and she works so hard to do the right thing. If I was back in high school I would definitely want a friend like her around! Chase, as always, is totally swoon-worthy. I always go for the bad boys and he is SUCH a bad boy, I was drooling all over him the entire time I was reading Social Suicide! Seriously, could that boy BE any hotter? And him and Hartley are just so great together, and I love how slow and realistic the romance is. All of the characters are really well written, and I can definitely imagine myself hanging out with all of them in high school.
The writing is just fantastic, as always. Gemma Halliday's writing tends to be witty, sarcastic, and hilarious which are three things that I love most. I tend to forget that I'm reading a book written by an adult, because Hartley's actions and thoughts are just so genuinely teenage. The fact that the story is set in the Bay Area also makes things so wonderful for me to read about. At one point, Hartley was even standing in my old work place! When she talks about Oak Meadow park and the little train station that's there? Yeah, I worked there. MADE MY LIFE. I just absolutely adore Gemma Halliday and I can't WAIT to see what she's coming out with next.
When I first read Deadly Cool I knew that Social Suicide was going to be a new favorite! I adore Gemma Halliday's writing style, and her ability to draw me into a story, if only for a short time, is wonderful. Social Suicide was hilarious, thrilling, and exciting all in one! Although, the ending was a bit predictable, I enjoyed the story and I was definitely guessing about who the killer was going to be multiple times. I can't wait to see what Gemma Halliday comes up with next! Fans of Clarity will definitely enjoy this one!...more
* Warning: This review may contain spoilers. I tried to limit what I said, but I couldn't help spilling my heart out. If you've read the story and you come across something spoilery please let me know! I apologize if you stumble upon something you didn't intend to!
I just have to start out by saying that this book broke my heart. It tore it into little tiny pieces and made little effort to put it back together. I fell so head over in heels in love with these characters, immersed myself into their lives so much, that their love and heartbreak nearly tore me to pieces. Tiger Lily is from Tink's POV, who remains an outsider to the lives of those around her, but I loved this method of narration because it really allowed me to become part of the story. Tink lets us in on everyone's secrets while never being accepted into the story herself. Jodi Lynn Anderson is an amazing writer and story teller, and this story has imbedded itself so deeply into my heart that I can't shake the pain it's caused me. The raw emotion that radiates from Tiger Lily is a roller coaster experience that will tug at your heartstrings and leave you begging for more.
Tiger Lily is one of the best female protagonists I've read about in a long time. She's tough, unconventionally pretty, stubborn, but loyal to a t. Being raised by a community of people who fear and hate her has hardened her heart and made it hard for someone to penetrate her rough exterior. Peter Pan is just as tough, just as stubborn, and just as jaded. Peter, however, is willing to take a leap and extend his heart. Their relationship became something I loved watching, and despite knowing how this fairy tale ends the ephemeral qualities easily slipped past me.
Seeing such a unique twist on both characters really made me think back to watching all of those Peter Pan movies, which I was obsessed with, and Anderson makes it easy to see such a different spin on this classic fairy tale. Tinker Bell, a fairy who has always ben viewed as being a jealous wench in my eyes, is turned into something heartbreaking and loyal. Tiger Lily, a girl we learn very little about in classic movies becomes a heroine with whom we fall madly in love. The world building is also impeccable, wrapping Neverland up into something attainable while still remaining mysterious. The idea that Neverland is a physical place that can be reached only served to fuel my need to find this place for myself.
Jodi Lynn Anderson has worked her magic into my heart. I've fallen in love with her stories and her characters and I can't seem to get her out of my head. My heart rarely aches for characters in the way this story did, but I found myself experiencing real, physical pain while attempting to piece back together my broken heart. This story will have you twisted in so many ways you'll never want to let go. I can't recommend this book enough, I know I don't give ratings anymore, but 5 stars wouldn't be enough. If you're a fan of Peter Pan, I definitely suggest you pick this book up right away. It will grab you by your heartstrings and never let go....more
I first fell in love with this book because of its gorgeous and striking cover. That gMore of my reviews can be found on my blog: Literary Exploration
I first fell in love with this book because of its gorgeous and striking cover. That girl in a blue dress is just so fantastic and so refreshing compared to all the girls in red dresses that have been around lately. I wasn't too sure about the concept at first, because it sounded a bit cheesy, and the comparison to "The Bachelor" made me cringe since I really dislike that show, but for some inexplicable reason I was so drawn to it! I eventually borrowed a copy from my friend Molli and I couldn't put it down! America Singer is a fantastic and strong female protagonist who will do anything for her family and who doesn't let the world choose for her. The story enveloped me in a blanket of romance, friendship, and competition that has me so excited for the upcoming CW show!
America Singer is on the lower end of the social ladder and her boyfriend Aspen is even lower. When she enters the lottery for a coveted spot in the competition for Prince Maxon's heart she never dreams she'll be chosen. And then she is. Even though America resists the entire situation completely, she decides she's going to make her own decisions. I loved how passionate she is about her family and taking care of them, but also about not being something that she's not. There is a bit of a love triangle, but I actually enjoyed the way it played out. Honestly, I can't really choose between either of the boys, I liked them both so much!
The story itself is rather a loose form of what we know as dystopian. I would say it's definitely a fluffier dystopian novel, but it works. Most of the novel just focuses on Maxon choosing a bride and his relationships with all of the girls. The competition definitely gets heated, and I loved all the catty behavior that goes down! It almost made me want to start watching The Bachelor!!! The story itself is pretty fast paced, but there are some slower parts that had me skipping a few pages. Overall, though, I definitely enjoyed what was happening and I can't wait for the next one!
The Selection by Kiera Cass isn't a work of art, nor is it a life changing story, but it's entertaining and the characters are well written. The world building is minute since most of the story takes place in the actual castle, but America isn't afraid to speak her mind and the men in her life are glad to listen. I'm definitely excited to see where Cass is going to go from here, and I'm eagerly awaiting the upcoming CW show! Fans of The Bachelor, softer dystopian, and romantic stories will definitely love The Selection!...more
When I first saw Sweet Evil on someone's WoW post I immediately ran to Goodreads and added it to my TBR. I love books about angels, preferably when demons are involved as well, so I was incredibly drawn to it. Plus, that cover is GORGEOUS. I honestly don't have a bad thing to say about Sweet Evil, Higgins did a fantastic job dealing with both the romance (no love triangle!) and the religiousness of it all. I commend her and I can't wait for the next one!
Anna (she has my name!!) is a great protagonist; she's strong, smart, brave, honest, and just an overall kick ass girl! I really felt like I could relate to her, because she's not a big partier, she spends a lot of time with homework and she doesn't have a lot of friends, but she's happy with her life. Of course, she meets bad boy Kai who totally changes that ;) Kai... ah *sigh* he is just SO dreamy and drool-worthy. I really need to get my own Kai. The rest of the characters are also developed really well, I felt like Anna's friends were my friends! Everyone is just written so well, I connected with them all on such different levels.
The story is so different from what I've read before, Higgins does a fantastic job with writing an original angel story! I never once thought, "Now what can I compare this to?" because I really couldn't compare it to anything! The originality is so refreshing, and I can't wait to see what's going to happen next! And did I mention no love triangle?!?! Because there isn't one!! It's fantastic. The religious aspects are also done really well, while Anna is spiritual and moral, she doesn't shove religion down anyone's throat and she makes mistakes and lives life just like a normal teen. I was talking with Molli from Once Upon a Prologue about the difference between Religion and Spirituality and I think Higgins really captured that which was an awesome ability!
Overall, I absolutely loved this book and I don't have a bad thing to say about it!!! The characters are fantastic and so easy to relate to, and the story itself is just so well written, fast paced, and exciting! If you haven't ordered your copy or added Sweet Evil to your TBR you really need to!!! This book is amazing on so many levels and I definitely recommend it to angel lovers! If you're not a big fan of angels, I bet you'll still like it because of all the AWESOMENESS and hot Kai that is going on :) I definitely recommend buying over borrowing!...more