First let me start by saying how glad I am they changed the cover. The original (pictured here) was an eye sore. I would have never picked it up with...moreFirst let me start by saying how glad I am they changed the cover. The original (pictured here) was an eye sore. I would have never picked it up with that cover. But the new cover has a delightful, whimsical font that just called to me. I did not realize that this book is not brand new. In fact, it was originally published in 2009. Given that dreadful cover that looked like a bottle of Pepto Bismol exploded on it, it's easy for me to see why I never knew this existed.
Unfortunately, I read this book months ago and never got around to writing the review. By now, most of the finer details have escaped me. I can, however, summarize what has stuck with me.
First, I really liked Rose. She was plucky. Her sass was endearing. She wasn't over the top or annoying. She stood up for herself but still knew her place. I also felt like her character was really well written. Even though the setting is not present day, the author did a fine job of making it easy to relate to Rose. The supporting characters were also enjoyable. My favorite was the sarcastic talking cat.
I also enjoyed the setting itself. A magical house that sparkles with magic and responds to Rose's emotions. Pretty awesome! Add that to an old-timey location with just a dash of mystery and you have a very remarkable setting.
The other thing I remember most about Rose was how quickly the plot moved. I flew threw this book because it was packed full of action. For younger readers, this is so important because we know how short their attention spans are. I also thought the conflict was well placed and unexpected (to a degree). It was pretty easy to determine who the "bad guy" would be, but how the villain was vanquished was a surprise.
I can't wait to see what else happens in this series. I did not anticipate Rose's decision in the end, which makes the set up for the continuation to be very interesting. (less)
Some books do a fabulous job of showing what goes on inside of a hormonal teenager’s head. Anatomy of a Boyfriend is very honest and pretty accurate w...moreSome books do a fabulous job of showing what goes on inside of a hormonal teenager’s head. Anatomy of a Boyfriend is very honest and pretty accurate with its portrayal.
Dom is a hormonal mess. She’s been able to resist the lure of boys for most of her time in high school, but then she meets “the one”. Enter Wes. He’s everything that a young Cassanova isn’t. And he’s perfect for Dom.
There is instant chemistry… and a lot of sexual exploration. I mean a lot. They are both horrible niave, so some of the situations they find themselves in are entertaining. Classic teen stupidity.
I have to be pretty honest, however, I was really surprised by the amount of sex in this book. At times, it felt more like a teen Harlequin novel instead of a YA contemporary read. That did not keep me from reading it, however.
Dom is all over the place with her emotions, and I could not help but recognize my younger self in her character. The highs and lows of young (and most) relationships were realistic. The anger and ache that comes from having your heart broken, also believable. Dom is every teenage girl.
After reading the book, I thought about the dedication page. Anatomy of a Boyfriend is devoted to Judy Blume and Dorothy Teenov. That may not seem important at first, but when I started to think about things I realized something. Judy Blume received a lot of crap for some of her stories that discussed sexuality among teens and masturbation. Well, Anatomy of a Boyfriend is part of the new age of teen literature that explores these topics.
I will admit that I did not know who Dorothy Tennov was. So, I looked her up. She was a psychologist that—in simple terms—studied the compulsions behind ‘being in love’. She coined the term “limerence” to describe these feelings of needing to have your romantic feelings reciprocated. This feels pretty accurate for Dom, because a large part of the book deals with her efforts in her first relationship, and whether or not they were returned.
I will also go ahead and mentioned that I never cared for Wes. I think he had a lot of potential, but he always felt selfish to me. I kept waiting for some plot twist to show that he was taking advantage of Dom, or some other explanation to explain his behavior. When that didn’t occur, it left me a little baffled. I never fully bought the relationship and “love” aspect of Wes and Dom. It felt very rushed.
I would probably not be able to keep these on my classroom shelf due to explicit sex scenes that are on just about every page. I would also have a hard time keeping these out of my students’ hands if they knew I had them. They are so interested in this topic, and many don’t feel comfortable asking about it. They would, however, read a book. This series would definitely be the most requested book from my “secret box” in the closet. (less)
There are no words. None. I am done. Ok, so maybe I have a few words I can share. For instance, I can share how my heart has been ripped out and destr...moreThere are no words. None. I am done. Ok, so maybe I have a few words I can share. For instance, I can share how my heart has been ripped out and destroyed. I can share how my love of this series is forever tainted. I can even share that I no longer have shelf space reserved for my hardbacks—which are now looking for a new home. I am distraught. Devastated. In complete awe. ** SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ THIS SECTION IF YOU HAVE NOT READ ALLEGIANT** You were warned. But in case curiosity got the best of you, let me explain my dramatics. The ending for this book blew me away. I have waited an entire week to share my thoughts, and I still can’t come to terms with what I feel. I am beyond words. Veronica Roth took this series to a place I never expected. I admire her brazen decision, but it has left a hole. A deep, everlasting hole. When I read that fateful scene, I could not believe it. I read it, then I reread it because I just knew I was missing something. But then that ‘something’ never came. Am I satisfied? Heck no! I wanted it to be anyone else but her. I didn’t even feel complete knowing Tobias was still hanging around. What did I want? I have no idea. All I know is it wasn’t what I got! I just can’t… ack… ugh *** END SPOILER ALERT** The other thing that really got to me this time around was Tobias. I have enjoyed him so much over the years, but this time he just did not sit well with me. He constantly doubted Tris, and he came across whiny. I can say that having these HUGE character flaws did make the characters so much more believable. So that was a plus. I also didn’t mind the alternating points of view. I was pretty excited to see Tobias’s side of things. However, by the end, I found him to get on my nerves a bit. I now feel that Veronica Roth’s strength is writing strong female leads. I never found myself having a 100% buy in with Tobias. My final rant is the spin the final book took. We finally got to see the full outcome of this dystopian setting. It made sense, and I guess it worked, but… It didn’t wow me like I thought it would. Oh, let me also go ahead and say how awful the beginning was. It started right where Insurgent ended, but I was so confused! It’s been a year since I read that book. I need some kind of fill in to catch me up on things. Do you know how many books I read in a year?! These plots get muddled, and I do not want to have to reread a book just to make sense of the sequel. I’m thankful she did not info-dump, but I needed some more clues to help me make sense of the very important information being handed to me. Overall, this was alright. I have loved Divergent and Insurgent. They are some of the only books that I have pre-ordered. I have counted down release days with digital timers and Facebook updates. And now I feel horribly let down. I wish I would have just waited to read Allegiant when it arrived at my library. I do not know if my reaction has more to do with the high expectations I had for the book, or the outcome of the plot. Either way, it left me conflicted. (less)
I tried SO hard to finish this book. I tried for nearly an entire month, in fact. But try as I might, I just couldn't do it.
I thought this cover was...moreI tried SO hard to finish this book. I tried for nearly an entire month, in fact. But try as I might, I just couldn't do it.
I thought this cover was stunning. I thought it was going to be some type of mermaid book. To a degree it was, but the Aquarathi are not mermaids. I don't know what they are, other than water dwelling sea monster-like creatures. It is a mystery I did not solve in the 200 pages that I read.
What drove me crazy about this book was the lack of descriptions. It was as if a grade school child was telling me a story that they remembered, but left out all the vital details. What should be been described in more depth was glanced over. What did not need pages or paragraphs of details seemed to drag on endlessly. It got to be too much.
I also did not like the slow moving plot. This book literally put me to sleep at night. I think I spent one night reading for a few hours but that was it. The majority of the time a few pages had my eyes heavy with slumber.
There was one element that kept me reading: Lo. I thoroughly liked his character, even when the others felt unremarkable. He was witty and a tad bit sarcastic. My favorite type of love interest in a story. I know he was vital to the plot in some mystical way, but I never made it to the end to find out how. If you could stick with the book through the slow parts, I think there could be some promise in this series. It is a unique concept... book 1 was just not a home run. (less)
I read it. that one part was... I can't believe it. I'm not happy with the outcome, but I get it. I guess. I'm a bit let down by the conclusion to my...moreI read it. that one part was... I can't believe it. I'm not happy with the outcome, but I get it. I guess. I'm a bit let down by the conclusion to my beloved series.(less)
How do you like your mermaid stories? Do you prefer them to be Disney-esque? Or do you prefer them to teeter on the edge of creepy? If you prefer the...moreHow do you like your mermaid stories? Do you prefer them to be Disney-esque? Or do you prefer them to teeter on the edge of creepy? If you prefer the latter, Westward to Strange is for you! The mermaids in Westward to Strange are not friendly. In fact, they are downright terrifying. I have to give the author props for coming up with an original take on a siren. There is an element of mythology in the book that is new and unique, at least to me. I also thought the concept behind these killer mermaids helped heighten the mystery of the subplots. Don’t read Westward to Strange thinking it’s just about mermaids. There is so much more going on in this book! For fans of mysteries, there will be much to keep you reading. For me, though, it was the descriptions that kept me turning the pages. I enjoyed reading about this beach community. Being a Florida resident myself, I felt like I could visualize the setting in my own town. I also enjoyed some of the characters. I was instantly drawn to Jake. I didn’t connect with Cass at first, but he grew on me. I’m always on the lookout for books with mermaids. With so many books in the genre already on the market, it’s hard to find something fresh. Westward of Strange certainly delivered in the fresh and unique market! (less)
There is a lot going on in Stung. The opening scene begins with Fiona waking from a sleep she doesn’t remember and stepping into a fight for her life....moreThere is a lot going on in Stung. The opening scene begins with Fiona waking from a sleep she doesn’t remember and stepping into a fight for her life. The entire world has changed while she has been asleep, and it’s no longer safe for anyone. Enter the plot complications. Fiona meets someone that saves her life, but asks a high payment for those gallant efforts. In an attempt to pay back her savior, Fiona finds herself in a very bad situation. Things seem pretty bad, and they are-- until Bowen recognizes her. Now that made an interesting addition to the story. I read somewhere that this was a loose retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I’m not sure I see too many similarities between the two, so I would not venture to make that comparison on my own. I did enjoy the story and the setting. It was pretty intense. There are these zombie-like animals/people infested with some vaccine gone bad that are ripping people apart. Pretty terrifying. Not to mention the whole black market aspect of the story and what they want to do with these “beasts”. You can imagine. I think what I did enjoy the most what the subtle way the story unfolded. You get a lot of action in the present, but Fiona is clueless. She has no memory of her past beyond her 13th birthday (and she seems to be about 17 now). As events occur, little pieces of her memory come back until you get a huge realization during the final climatic scene. I thought the story was pretty solid, until the final page. That was a bit annoying for me and very predictable. I understand what it was meant to do, since it will obviously be what the next book focuses on, but I found the delivery a bit immature and quick. Overall, I enjoyed Stung. I will probably read the remainder of the series as it becomes available from my library. This wasn’t one that I would pre-order or stand in line for, but a good summer read. (less)
The ending of Shadowlands left me questioning whether I would like this series or not. I can say after reading Hereafter, I do like this series.
I fou...moreThe ending of Shadowlands left me questioning whether I would like this series or not. I can say after reading Hereafter, I do like this series.
I found Hereafter a bit more predictable than Shadowlands. If you read the first book, you understand what I’m saying because that ending came out of nowhere. Do not expect that same since of shock and surprise from Hereafter. There is nothing really surprising in this book. I saw the ending coming from the beginning. The setting is still great. The sleepy little island community of Juniper Landing is starting to be shaken. Things like hornets and dead animals and flowers are creeping in to the island paradise. It may seem like nothing for a typical Florida beach community, but it is not common in Juniper Landing. The cause of these mysteries is the focus of the entire book. In simplest form, something is amiss. Not only can you see what’s obviously going wrong in the community, but Rory and the other Lifers can sense it. Souls are going astray, and no one knows why. The creep factor is a bit higher in this one because we meet new characters. The new characters are dark and mysterious. It’s hard to say what role they will ultimately have in the series, but for now it’s not looking too good. I have to say, though, what really sold me on Hereafter is Joaquin. He never made much of an impression on me in the first book, but he shines in Hereafter. I adore him. Rory is in a tough spot, so I don’t know how things will turn out in that area. I’m very anxious to see where that subplot will take us. Kate Brian has definitely written a mystery that I’m curious about. This is typically my least favorite genre, but there was just enough of a hint of mythology (Charon and the golden coins) to suck me in. I will be waiting patiently for Endless to arrive. (less)
Sick was sick. These zombies are hardcore and not for the faint hearted. There was much gore and blood slurping, so teenage boys should be satisfied....moreSick was sick. These zombies are hardcore and not for the faint hearted. There was much gore and blood slurping, so teenage boys should be satisfied.
If you're looking for a solid plot, though, look elsewhere. There was a lot of action, but it was pretty uneventful during the most crucial parts. The virus that causes these bone marrow sucking zombies was never fully explained. You get some scientific sounding gibberish that might pass as an explanation, but it didn't feel solid. The characters in the book didn't even buy it, so you know the reader isn't going for it.
The characters were also somewhere in the so-so spectrum. Chad was a mess. He's a bigot and not afraid to show it. I got a little annoyed with some of his off-color statements throughout the book. I can't really say I was upset when he had his 'accident'. I did like Travis. He didn't leave a lasting impression, but I liked his role enough to think "that's too bad".
Some of the other characters were a bit cloudy as well. I am still trying to figure out Laura. The entire book was spent explaining why she is this delicate flower that cannot fend for herself. She's on panic meds and all this other stuff that makes her a mess. However, Laura is swinging flag poles and cutting down zombies by the time the end of the book rolls around. Call me crazy, but someone that is on heavy panic meds should not be making that kind of recovery in a 24 hour period. I don't care if the doctors were weaning her off the meds or not. You do not become Wonder Woman on Zoloft that quickly.
Overall, this was a fast read. I flew through it in a few hours. It had some disgustingly gory scenes that I'm sure teenage readers would like. But, there were some pretty raunchy sayings and talks about sex that make this most suitable for older YA readers. (less)
I am not a huge fan of contemporary books so I was not expecting much from The Cutting Room Floor. I was expecting a weird murder mystery, but that w...more I am not a huge fan of contemporary books so I was not expecting much from The Cutting Room Floor. I was expecting a weird murder mystery, but that wasn’t entirely what I got. There was some aspect of a murder mystery, but it was mostly about a deranged teenage boy’s obsession with the ultimate unattainable girl.
Dez has been in love with Riley for as long as he can remember. Unfortunately for him, Riley doesn’t prefer boys romantically. Of course, this isn’t a problem for Dez because he is so amazing that he is going to change Riley’s heart. You can guess where this is going, and it isn’t pretty. Dez was a super creepy character. His obsession with Riley was well into the freak zone. He is supposed to be her best friend, but everything he does is undermined by some selfish and twisted motive. He had a potentially redeeming moment towards the end of the book, but it still fell flat. That left Dez being stuck in the psycho section. Riley didn’t make much of an impression on me either. She was okay, but she seemed to float around in the book more than anything. Towards the end she became more grounded, but that was more of a result from other characters than anything else. I think what has bugged me the most was the ending. It didn’t seem very fulfilling. I understand that life doesn’t always end up in a box with a neat little bow, so it was fitting for this ending to be a mess. Had everyone walked off into a sunset holding hands and singing songs, I probably would have thrown the book across the room. I’m just not sure how I wanted the ending to go, but I was hoping for a little redemption and forgiveness. Instead, I got something that just hangs and lingers. The Cutting Room Floor will appeal to some readers, I’m sure. For me, it wasn’t all that. I read through it very quickly, so it was certainly a page turner. It just lacked that certain something that makes it unforgettable. (less)
Conjured was both captivating and terrifying-- all at the same time.
There is a mystery surrounding Eve. She's in a witness protection program, but s...moreConjured was both captivating and terrifying-- all at the same time.
There is a mystery surrounding Eve. She's in a witness protection program, but she can't remember why. People treat her differently than they do others; it's almost as if they are afraid of her. She's different... and she's powerful.
She can bring paper birds to life. She can change the color of her eyes with just a thought. But each time she uses her magic, she slips into unconsciousness. Entire days (sometimes weeks) are erased from her memory. Her life seems to be missing something.
Then she meets Zach. He's a super nerd working along side her in the local public library. He has no trouble telling her how he feels during their first meeting. He's also a huge believer in magic. Imagine his surprise when a simple kiss sends him and Eve floating above the stacks!
On a simple level, Conjured is a huge mystery. Every page is a puzzle to piece together. Every day with Zach brings Eve closer to a truth that she might not be ready to accept. And every day with Eve brings Zach closer to a life he desperately needs.
Eve was very unique. I wish I could say more, but it would blow the whole thing. Just know that Sarah Beth Durst (again) takes us to a whole new place with her characters and plot. Fans of her writing style will not be disappointed. Conjured is magical in every way. I was captivated by the setting of the magical realm. The imagery was beautiful and a pure delight for my imagination. I found myself longing to travel through my own portal and experience what Eve saw. (Only the good stuff, of course!) (less)
The Snatchabook is a delightful story for younger readers. When I read it aloud to my youngest son, we both fell in love with the story. I loved the m...moreThe Snatchabook is a delightful story for younger readers. When I read it aloud to my youngest son, we both fell in love with the story. I loved the message and art work; he loved the characters.
The Snatchabook is adorable. It's a cross between a flying squirrel and a fox-- or at least that's what my son thought. In our house, books are a treasure. So when we read a story about books being stolen, that was serious business! Jacob quickly guessed the plot, but that was okay. It was a great adventure to see the pictures and watch the Snatchabook win a place in everyone's hearts.
You cannot read this book without falling in love. It's impossible. On a surface level it promotes reading (reading teachers rejoice), but more importantly it promotes sharing and acceptance. Snatchabook is lonely. He steals the books because he has no one to read to him. Breaks your heart, doesn't it? One smart little girl discovers the truth and works to find acceptance for the Snatchabook.
Happy endings abound.
The simple rhyme scheme makes this a fun read aloud for younger readers. The set up on the page is gorgeous. The images are phenomenal. I loved seeing all the little animals tucked in their beds reading. This is a must buy book. (less)
This cover is stunning! Simply beautiful. I fell in love with it instantly. Then I read the synopsis and realized this was a mermaid story. Score!
I f...moreThis cover is stunning! Simply beautiful. I fell in love with it instantly. Then I read the synopsis and realized this was a mermaid story. Score!
I found the idea behind Water to be refreshing. There was a certain mythology that gave it an air of mystery. Also, there was a strong message of conservation and anti-pollution that was different. It's not your normal "mermaid" story.
For readers, you will find the setting interesting. It was hard for me to know if the geography in the book was legit or completely made up. I'm pretty certain it takes place in Africa, but I could be wrong. It was a bit confusing at times. I think the mystery of the "fish people" and the tribal stories were pretty fascinating, even if it all came together very quickly.
There were a few other elements of the story that I have mixed feelings toward. I'm still pretty uncertain about Merrick. Ok, I actually stopped reading at 65% because it was dragging on and I have other books to read. I hate to say I did not finish Water, but it's the truth. I gave it 3 solid nights of reading, but I was not connecting to the story or characters. I have a feeling that it would have picked up a good bit by the end, but I did not wait to see.
I wouldn't say this is my favorite mermaid book out there. It was rather hard for me to be swept away by the story. But, in the book's defense I do like the underlying plot of the Oceanids coming inland due to water pollution. This real problem doesn't get enough air time, so it was pretty snazzy to see it pop up in a fictional book. (less)
I'm going to be one of those people that bursts someone's bubble because I felt Endure lacking something special. I have said this in my reviews of th...more
I'm going to be one of those people that bursts someone's bubble because I felt Endure lacking something special. I have said this in my reviews of the other books in the series, but Nick annoys me. I was completely put off in book 2 with his over use of the word "baby". When he called Zara baby in this book, I felt the hair on my neck stand up. Instant annoyance.
Luckily, Nick only plays a supporting role in Endure. He's there, but he isn't the center of everything. Personally, I felt like he was a big pile of poo, but I went a long with the story. The only thing that kept me reading was the mythology. It is very hard to find YA books that incorporate Norse mythology. When I discovered the twist in the series during book 3, I knew I had to see where things would go. It was the mythology that drew me in. I would dare to say that fans of mythology would enjoy this to some degree because the author did do a nice job of incorporating the myths into a story about the Fae.
Do I consider this one 4 star worthy like many on Goodreads? Heck no. I'm not even sure I would rate it at all. It was just one of those things I felt inclined to read, but didn't care if I did or not. I hate to say it, but it's one of those take it or leave it kind of series, and you wouldn't really be missing anything earth shattering if you decided to leave it. (less)
Better to be tardy to the party than to never attend at all, right? That pretty much sums my main stream reading up in a nutshell. It seems like I am...moreBetter to be tardy to the party than to never attend at all, right? That pretty much sums my main stream reading up in a nutshell. It seems like I am always way behind the fan club when it comes to my reading. I just read City of Bones, despite numerous people telling me how awesome it was. I probably would have waited even longer to read this, had it not been for the movie coming out in a few weeks. (I have this thing about reading the book before I see the movie.)
That being said, I finally sat down and started reading City of Bones.... and I finished it a few days later. I would have had it read in less time than that, but I kept being dragged away from my reading spot by friends. When I did get to read, I couldn't put it down. I even found myself trying to read it all bleary-eyed and delusional from lack of sleep. Cassandra Clare has a way with words!
The story grabbed me from the start. Since I had seen the movie trailer at least three times before starting the book, I had a little something to go on. (I am going to stop right now though and say how horrible I think the casting for Jace is. He is nothing like the book character. I seriously hate Hollywood's choices sometimes. I can also deal with Clary, but I think her hair should be a brighter red.) My favorite aspect of the book has to be the wit behind the characters. Jace and Clary were uproariously funny at times. It did not seemed forced, either. I was impressed that there was a natural flow to the dialogue that seemed natural, almost as if I was talking with my group of friends. How can you not connect with the characters when they come across like that? Here is an example:
"So when the moon's only partyly full, you only feel a little wolfy?" Clary asked.
"You could say that."
"Well, you can go ahead and hang your head out the car window if you feel like it."
Luke laughed. "I'm a werewolf, not a golden retriever."
Love this! I seriously chuckled so many times as I read this book.
I also want to give props for the world building. The Shadowhunter aspect was original and captivating. A lot of effort was made to make the modern world blend in with this super secret alternate reality. Everything worked well together and was believable. You could imagine this setting as you read.
Obviously, I enjoyed City of Bones. I'm hooked. I shall be reading the rest of this series soon because I need more Jace. (less)