In one word, Beware That Girl can be summed up as crazy. As you read, you can't decide if you like Kate or not. She's sneaky, two-faced, a bit selfishIn one word, Beware That Girl can be summed up as crazy. As you read, you can't decide if you like Kate or not. She's sneaky, two-faced, a bit selfish. But then she seems to change, right? Enter Olivia. Olivia is needy, damaged, and overly eager to have a friend. She spoils Kate, which again makes you not like Kate. Then you start to feel sorry for Olivia. Enter Mark. You know something is up with him pretty early on. Now you are pulling for both girls, hoping they don't get stuck in his web. But one of them does, and it has serious consequences for both girls.
Now you're like OMGoodness, and you want them both to have a happy ending. Probably one more than the other because she finally seems to have made an emotional breakthrough. and then.... and then... the ending leaves you with bug eyes. Now you're left thinking wtfizzle just happened, and oh this poor child. She's screwed. For life.
There you go. That's how nuts Beware That Girl is. The plot is pretty mellow and even paced. Nothing really psychological thriller about it until you reach the end. Then it jumps up into Single White Female/ Fatal Attraction territory. I'd say the twist in the end is what makes this one worth reading. You see the hints along the way, but just like with We Were Liars, you don't really understand how everything fits together until you're slapped in the face with it. ...more
This one starts off spookily enough. I was captivated by the idea that these kids returned with no memory of the previous 11 years. All kinds of theorThis one starts off spookily enough. I was captivated by the idea that these kids returned with no memory of the previous 11 years. All kinds of theories are thrown out there and sorted through, but the one that remains was a bit surprising and disappointing. But, as disappointing as it was, it was also the ending that made the most sense. I think if anything else would have occurred, I would have rolled my eyes.
The characters are just meh. Nothing earth shattering or really worth remembering long after the book is finished. I know that sounds harsh, but that's just how most books are. The Leaving isn't revolutionary, but it is a quick and mostly satisfying read. Overall, The Leaving wasn't as spenseful as I had hoped for, but it was a solid read. ...more
Oh man. If you are unfamiliar with the Docherty duo, get yourself acquainted now! They have to be one of the most adorable and extremely talented (andOh man. If you are unfamiliar with the Docherty duo, get yourself acquainted now! They have to be one of the most adorable and extremely talented (and amazing) team ever. Ever! I have been completely enchanted with everything they produce since I stumbled across The Snatchabook on Netgalley a few years ago.
When I saw they had a new book coming out, I got excited. I was a bit worried it would not live up to my expectations since I absolutely LOVED The Snatchabook, but The Storybook Knight did not disappoint. I loved that my 8 year-old son climbed up into my lap to read this one with me. (He knows how excited I was to read this.) As usual, the illustrations were AMAZING. Absolutely stunning and the perfect compliment to a charming story. I am always in awe of the talent these two have. I had a digital copy to review, and yet, the images were still vibrant and eye catching. We loved looking at all the little details included on the pages.
Little Leo is a reader, and I love him for that. It was great to see how he tackled a problem in his own unique way. I'm all for a character (person) staying true to themselves despite the challenges they face. What a great message for little minds!
I highly recommend this one. In fact, I think you'll want to add it to your personal collection. I know I do! ...more
Let's pause for a fan girl moment, please. I have loved Jennifer Estep's books since I stumbled across the Mythos Academy series years ago. When I sawLet's pause for a fan girl moment, please. I have loved Jennifer Estep's books since I stumbled across the Mythos Academy series years ago. When I saw Cold Burn of Magic a while ago, I really didn't think it could be as good as her mythology based novels, so I waited to read it. But when I finally got around to reading it, I knew within the opening chapter that I was wrong for putting it off.
I enjoyed this book so much!
It's fast-paced, full of smoldering romance, and a super kick-butt female lead.
Books that drag on bore me. I'm like a little kid. I want something awesome to happen in the first chapter and never stop. Well, Cold Burn of Magic did not disappoint in that department. The story is told from Lila's perspective, which is fantastic. She's full of snark and sass, which I fully enjoy. She's also incredibly resourceful, given her trade, and that makes for very interesting plot twists along the way.
If you've read the Mythos Academy books, you know what I mean by smoldering romance. One of the things that I like about Ms. Estep's books is that there is no love at first sight nonsense. But if there is, the characters are horribly resistant to it, so it takes a long time to develop. Needlesstosay, there is a lot of tension between Devon and Lila. Knowing how the other series played out, I can guess what will ultimately happen between these two, but that's okay. I enjoy the ride just the same. Even when you know what might happen in the end, sometimes just getting there is half the fun.
Cold Burn of Magic ended up being one of those books that I did not want to put down once I started it. In fact, I stayed up into the early hours of the morning so I could finish it in one sitting. And as luck would have it, because of my awesome procrastination skills, books 2 (Dark Heart of Magic) and 3 (Bright Blaze of Magic) are already available for my reading pleasure. So, yay me for getting to finish Lila's story without publishing delays. ...more
The Golden Braid is perfect for fans of fairy tales! While the synopsis promises a story like none you've read before, I don't think anyone familiar wThe Golden Braid is perfect for fans of fairy tales! While the synopsis promises a story like none you've read before, I don't think anyone familiar with Rapunzel is going to be overly surprised by this version. But that doesn't mean you won't enjoy it all the same.
Ms. Dickerson does an excellent job of creating a believable setting and complicated characters. One thing that does differ greatly in The Golden Braid is Gothel herself. Her possessiveness and manipulation of Rapunzel was emotionally compelling because it oozed with signs of mental illness. I often found myself torn between believing that she was pure evil and that she was pitiful because of her delusions. As her story unfolds, it's clear to see how it directly affects Rapunzel's story. And for that, I would say The Golden Braid is unique.
I have not read anything else by this author, so I cannot speak to how it fits in with the other books as The Golden Braid seems to be book 6 in a series. I read it as a stand-alone novel, and it worked nicely. All the plot pieces wrapped up in the end in a satisfactory manner. The book's pacing was adequate as well. There were moments where the action slowed down to give the characters a chance to develop, but it never slowed too much. It was constant and compelling, which allowed me to finish the book in one sitting. That's always a bonus. ...more
The Night Parade was such an unique story! I was worried it was going to be a bit slow, but it really ended up being fascinating. It reminded me a bi The Night Parade was such an unique story! I was worried it was going to be a bit slow, but it really ended up being fascinating. It reminded me a bit of A Christmas Carol, with the three visiting spirits, but don't think it's a retelling. It's not.
Saki is your typical bratty, self-absorbed teenager. She does bratty teenager things until she accidentally summons a spirit and evokes a death curse.Participating in the Night Parade is her way to save herself. But then something happens. Each night, she learns a bit more about the spirit world. She meets interesting guides and creatures through her struggles.
The imagery is so vivid in this book. I felt like I was walking along the Pilgrim's Path trying to reach the Midnight Prince right along with Saki. While the message and story was great, I think my favorite element of this book is the Japanese culture. I know nothing of Japanese culture, but here I was reading about ceremonies and beliefs that fit perfectly in this tale. It was just wonderful.
I have a feeling this book is going to pop up a lot. I fully expect to see it land on many school reading lists in the upcoming years. ...more
What can I say about Mechanica? It exceeded all expectations. You can't tell from here, but that cover glows. It's beautifulThis book has everything!
What can I say about Mechanica? It exceeded all expectations. You can't tell from here, but that cover glows. It's beautiful and perfectly captures this tale.
Plus, a steampunk retelling of Cinderella with magic and fairy folk? AND a strong, determined heroine? OMGee.
Mechanica- or Nic- is great. She shares many similarities with the original, neglected and poorly treated Cinderella, but she is also unique. She's witty, brilliant with machines, and has a purpose for her life that she is working so hard to achieve. I love that. There will be no waiting around for a prince to save her (or will there be?).
I am not sure what it says about me to love Jules as much as I do. The way the author described him gave him so much personality that I imagined him like a real animal. I wanted a tiny pet horse for myself.
I loved the writing in Mechanica. Every page was filled with prose that created such an extraordinary world. I wanted to be sucked in to Nic's life and experience her world. The descriptions were rich and dripping with detail, but they weren't wordy. It was the perfect combination. I flew through this book because it had me captured from the start. I did not want to stop reading. From what I can tell, there might be a sequel? It sure ended that way and my hopes are high that we will get to revisit this land and characters soon....more
I had high hopes for this one. Such high, high hopes. Unfortunately, I was left a bit disappointed.
I have mixed feelings on the characters. I like CarI had high hopes for this one. Such high, high hopes. Unfortunately, I was left a bit disappointed.
I have mixed feelings on the characters. I like Carter. Robin is ok. Some people might like Robin but she just didn't mesh with me for some reason. There really isn't anything wrong with Robin per se but I just did not like her much at all in some parts of the book. The musical references were over the top, even for someone that "loves music more than life". And this, is what probably put me over the edge. I get it; music is that thing they can't really share in the same way. It's like the line in the sand that they have to overcome (and really it's Robin). But even with her deep love of music all the references were too much. I don't keep current on pop culture, so most of them were lost on me anyway. But I was proud of myself for getting the Emmylou reference by First Aid Kit.
Now, Carter was unique. I felt the author did a great job capturing his personality and making him believable. She was on point when she wrote Carter, no doubt. His story was a very interesting look into what it's like being deaf and how people treat you. I do not know anyone that is considered deaf, but I would imagine his reactions were realistic. The only thing that left me wondering more about was how he was able to ride the motorcycle. I know there was an explanation thrown in there, but I guess it didn't make much sense to me? For whatever reason, it didn't stick.
So, I was pretty crazy in love with this book until the end. Everything mentioned so far was minor and didn't bother me too terribly much. Not enough for me just to say it was so-so anyway. But then the ending happened. I was infuriated by the ending! No sense of closure at all. I know life doesn't always give you closure, especially in the summer romance department, but this was crazy. You're left to speculate what might happen. Maybe I'm being overly critical, but I feel those kind of endings are a bit of an escape for authors to write. (Then again, some people love imagining their own version of happily ever after.)
In a nutshell, it was a pretty good read. It's certainly different, which is refreshing. I don't rank it as a favorite like I hope, but it's certainly something I would recommend.
Let me start by saying that this cover is even more beautiful in person than you can imagine. I just saw it yesterday at Barnes and Noble and instantlLet me start by saying that this cover is even more beautiful in person than you can imagine. I just saw it yesterday at Barnes and Noble and instantly swooned.
I am also extremely happy to learn that this is not the end of the series! The whole time I was reading I thought I would be saying goodbye to the characters, but I was pleasantly surprised at the end. Unfortunately, I have to wait another year for the final book. On a side note-- any guess for the final cover? Doon and Destined for Doon featured one of the girls each, while Shades of Doon has them together. Perhaps book 4 will add those delicious fellas into the mix as well?
I am in love with just about everything in this series. Those darn MacCrae boys have me flipping the pages faster than I can read at times. My only complaint is Jamie and Veronica were too over the top sappy at times. I was very close to gagging from the saccharine sweet exchanges on a few occasions. Luckily, some of the minor characters and Kenna's personality help cut down on the sweetness.
I enjoyed the modern setting for the majority of the novel this time around. Learning more about Veronica's home life gave her even more depth. I still think Kenna has too easy of an escape route, but this is a series I read for fun so I'm not picking it apart too much. I can still proclaim my love of all things Doon. And, like the other books before it, Shades of Doon has a great cliffhanger ending that leaves you yearning for more. ...more
I can't even give this book a rating because I cannot decide if this is a realistic portrayal of immature high school freshmen (tragic for our futureI can't even give this book a rating because I cannot decide if this is a realistic portrayal of immature high school freshmen (tragic for our future if so) or the biggest waste of anyone's time. These characters were annoying! I fought with the desire to stop reading many times. Since I am flip flopping on my opinion of this book, I'm going to just say what was good about it and what was less than desirable. You can decide from there. The good: I'll get back to you on this.Okay, there is one glimmer of something positive I could find for Forever For a Year. Let it serve as a lesson on unprotected sex and unplanned for pregnancy in children that think they are ready to be adults. Trevor and Carolina had a quick realization of how being careless can change your entire future. That's a pretty good lesson to learn. The bad:The characters. Are children really this obnoxious? I swear I don't remember being so bad when I was this age. Carolina is the worst. Trevor isn't much better, but he has a slight edge through most of the book. Trevor is supposed to be a year older than Carolina (15ish) but he's an immature trying to pretend to be mature 15. Caroline thinks she's older than 14 and most people treat her like she is. But do not forget that these are kids, and Carolina is just a baby. You can't pretend away age. Forever For a Year might have been better if the characters were a bit older. They found themselves with an awful lot of freedom and lack of parental supervision for such a young age. In fact, the majority of their time together felt more like the interactions between 16/17 year olds and not kids that could barely drive. That right there made this very unbelievable for me. Then, you add in their inner voices and I wanted to just slap them both. Carolina was the most annoying character I think I have ever encountered. I just cannot express my extreme dislike for her enough. She was needy, whiny and had to rehash everything in her head a million times before we could move on. It takes a certain level of patience as a reader to get through that. If that isn't bad enough, these characters fell deeply in love in the matter of sentences. Not pages, sentences. The rest of the book from that point on (and it was early in the book) was all about how they were soul mates and how much they loved one another. I rolled my eyes many times. Many, many times. The friendships in this book are pretty silly as well. Peggy drifts away from prudish Carolina pretty quickly, which makes me think they weren't that great of friends to begin with. But, unfortunately, that is fairly believable because people do change. Carolina also spends a lot of time commenting on the actions of others, but does not recognize she's doing the same things. The disguise of "love" totally justifies everything she does. Honestly, Carolina really comes across as a bit pathetic and very needy. She doesn't even try to understand what's going on with Peggy. Instead, she jumps to other girls. One of which loans her a dress for a party and suddenly the she-devil is the most interesting girl in school that she wants to get to know and be friends with? Lame. I guess there are more things in the bad category than the good. This book had potential, but it was so poorly executed. I think I deserve an award for actually finishing it (and thank goodness it only took a few hours to read). I'd be pretty mad if I wasted days on this books instead of a few hours, even though those hours could have been better spent reading something else....more
Some books linger with you longer after the last page, while others were good for a more "in the moment" experience. Kissing Ted Callahan and Other BoSome books linger with you longer after the last page, while others were good for a more "in the moment" experience. Kissing Ted Callahan and Other Boys is certainly one for the moment and not much else.
If I had to make a quick list of what I liked about the book, this would be it:
Reid was funny. I liked him. The hilarity of losing the Manifest was good even if predictable. Not really memorable because I don't remember much about it a few weeks after reading it. Quick, light read. Good banter between friends.
I don't really get what's so great about Ted Callahan, but whatever. It added an element of complication to the story. I feel bad writing such a short and not very insightful review of the book, but there isn't a whole lot to say. Reid is by far the best character in the book. If you read the book, you'll find the majority of the plot is very predictable, but it's still a cute read-- perfect for when you want something light and fun. ...more
When I started this book, I made it about 2 pages. Then I stopped and it sat on my Kindle for well over a month. In fact, iDo not give up on this one!
When I started this book, I made it about 2 pages. Then I stopped and it sat on my Kindle for well over a month. In fact, it sat untouched for so long, it disappeared off Netgalley. I almost didn't go back to it, but I decided to give it a try with fresh eyes. I am so glad I did!
A Breath of Frost ended up being very good! I'm not really sure what I thought it would be about, but I was pleasantly surprised by the message of sticking by family that I found. The unlikely heroines had some major road blocks to overcome, but they did it together. Each character had a unique role, but when they were in the scenes together the story became so much richer.
I have to mention the setting too. One of my favorite time periods for a book! That was a huge plus. Also a plus, was the way the multiple POVs were handled. Usually, I'm not a big fan of this technique because the voices all end up sounding the same. But, it was done really well in A Breath of Frost.
I highly recommend this one for fans of paranormal books. Alyxandra Harvey has done a fabulous job of creating a unique setting with surprising characters during a time period that seems to be overflowing with potential enchantment.
This comes down to being a powerful coming of age story and learning about your place in the world.
What I loved most about the book was its beautifulThis comes down to being a powerful coming of age story and learning about your place in the world.
What I loved most about the book was its beautiful writing. It almost had a lyrical quality to it. The descriptions were not overdone and perfectly placed to enhance the story.
The characters were interesting too. The back story of some of the characters develops slowly, which adds to the air of mystery and magic that seems to swirl among these pages. Clara's insecurities and love for her sister--despite the fantasy elements-- made their relationship believable. She has to learn to deal with unrequited love, as well as understand where she fits in the world. These are not easy tasks for anyone regardless of their age. Because of her very real emotions, she felt the most real despite living in a world full of magic. ...more
I've said it before and I will say it again: I love retellings. Spelled was a great addition to the genre. It has everything a good retelling should hI've said it before and I will say it again: I love retellings. Spelled was a great addition to the genre. It has everything a good retelling should have: new characters, familiar characters, humor, and pizzazz.
It should go without saying that Spelled is a fun read! It's overflowing with word play humor, which I adore. It also has quirky humor and interesting characters. I enjoyed reading through the novel and finding essential Oz items, and then finding them revisited in very original ways. (LOVED the Hans Christian Louboutin shoe reference.)
While there were "familiars", Oz was still retold in a fresh way. So, don't go into the book thinking you know what will happen. I guarantee you will find many surprising elements you did not expect. That is one of the things that makes Spelled unique on its own, even if it wasn't a retelling.
Also, for fans of plot twists, get ready. There are plenty! Lessons are learned, hearts are broken, narrow escapes made-- all the elements needed for a perfectly delightful summer read! ...more
I must be in a contemporary/ romance sort of mood, because One of the Guys is the second contemporary book I've read in a row. I would classify this oI must be in a contemporary/ romance sort of mood, because One of the Guys is the second contemporary book I've read in a row. I would classify this one in the "beach read" category, though. It was a very quick read with a few moments of humor, but I really felt it lacked much else.
Within the first few pages, I could tell that Toni was all about Loch. It was so obvious. I felt the lake monster hunting was a bit lame for a group of teenagers going into senior year of high school, but I kept reading.
Toni was a fun character when she paired up with Emma Elizabeth. Their shenanigans at Winston Academy (and beyond) lead to some pretty interesting situations for all characters involved. On her own, however, was just so-so. She's definitely a tomboy, but it felt off. She is resistant to Winston Academy and everything it stands for, but then proclaims she wants to be a girly girl. I didn't really buy it. Nothing about her actions in this book made me think she wanted lipstick and skirts.
My favorite characters-- by far-- in the book are the boys. Each one is very different and has inner demons to overcome. You have super nervous boy that is head over heels with a girl he's scared to approach. Adorable. Then there is super angsty boy that blames everyone else for his problems. He's a bit annoying, but luckily he's minor in the plot overall. You just have to put up with his loathing and jerkiness at a few points in the story. Finally, you have mega nerd monster hunter boy that doesn't know he's pretty cute. He was pretty solid in his role of best-friend-that-happens-to-be-a-guy.
As I'm writing this, I wish I could come up with something that really stands out to me in this book. But I can't. One of the Guys reads more like a journal of a high school girl than a YA novel. There is nothing that indicates "diary" by any means, but there are some pretty large gaps that just get skipped over. That's what gives me the diary vibe. It's as if Toni is telling her story and leaving out anything that she doesn't want to discuss in detail.
I won't say I disliked it or that I'm sad I read it. It was ok, and I flew through the pages. It's a good book to read if you have it around and nothing else is speaking to you. Light and fluffy and nothing heavy in this one. But I would almost guarantee that teenage girls would eat this up, especially if they have crushes on their guy friends. ...more
I'm not sure why Breathe, Annie, Breathe caught my attention. I'm not a fan of contemporary fiction, so that couldn't be it. Maybe it's because I hateI'm not sure why Breathe, Annie, Breathe caught my attention. I'm not a fan of contemporary fiction, so that couldn't be it. Maybe it's because I hate running, and a character that feels the same way spoke to me? Regardless, I picked up Breathe, Annie, Breathe and ran with it.
Annie's voice is easy to relate to. She's devastated by the death of her long-term boyfriend, and absolutely racked with guilt. One unfortunate event has her thinking about the 'what ifs' and paralyzed by her sense of loss.
The start of the book mirrored the beginning of a running program: it has spurts of energy, then lagged to catch its breath. But like a good runner would do, I stuck with it. As soon as Jeremiah crossed Annie's path, I was hooked. He was a mystery and I wanted to discover his secrets right along with Annie.
To be very honest, I think Jeremiah's story was the most interesting for me. Annie took the role of a secondary character because I really didn't care about her running struggles. I wanted to know why Jeremiah was so broken and flighty. He had a lot more depth than Annie, in my opinion. But to be fair, when Annie and Jeremiah interacted with one another, there were sparks and the story seemed to merge into one fluid path. Both needed something but didn't know how to cross the red ribbon to find healing.
For me, the ending wrapped up too quickly. As soon as Annie graduated high school it was like BAM! college life. That could have been a separate book easily, but I do see what the author was doing. The linear time period wasn't defined by a school year or calendar; instead, it was paced based on the time it would take to train for and run a marathon.
Overall, Breathe, Annie, Breathe was a quick read that had some emotional parts to give you the feels. There was enough sarcasm between the main characters to make you smile and believe their attraction (and resistance to it). If you want a break from your genre of choice, Breath, Annie, Breathe is a nice way to deviate from your normal path. ...more
This is such a fun book to read! Gilly is not exactly what you would expect to find in a fairy tale heroine. She's not as vile as a villain, but she'sThis is such a fun book to read! Gilly is not exactly what you would expect to find in a fairy tale heroine. She's not as vile as a villain, but she's far from princess perfect. Unfortunately for her, that makes her a prime candidate for Fairy Tale Reform School. She quickly finds herself booted from her shoe and plopped right into the middle of a school for misfits. But the school isn't what it seems; something is amiss.
Younger readers will appreciate this book the most. It's quirky and fast paced. With only 256 pages, there isn't a lot of room for deep character development, but that's ok. You can still connect with Gilly and her plight. The supporting characters add a nice touch of humor and warmth to the story. It's not just about getting back to her family or stopping a diabolical plan; Gilly also has to learn to look beyond stereotypes and discover who she truly is.
The writing was easy to follow, and I really enjoyed seeing the villain reimagined. The plot was quickly moving; no lulls here! Towards the end I began to think it was wrapping up too quickly, but then I realized it's the beginning of a series. I will anxiously await to see how Gilly's adventures continue. ...more
Move over Harry and Percy, Callum is in the house!
This series is going to be the next big thing. I guarantee it. How could it not with Holly Block anMove over Harry and Percy, Callum is in the house!
This series is going to be the next big thing. I guarantee it. How could it not with Holly Block and Cassandra Clare as the authors?
I'm almost scared to admit that I almost gave up on this one. Eek. I know. I came so close to putting it aside, but I'm glad I did not. If you feel like this one starts slow, you're not alone. But don't give up. The ending is worth it all.
I can't say much without giving away everything, but the setting of this book is awesome. Okay, I'm a bit biased since I know where the setting gets its inspiration from. I visited the Luray Caverns last summer. So when I read that the Magisterium is in Luray, VA I knew what I was reading! I was able to visualize everything, which sold me on this book. The Luray Caverns are spectacular; they fit perfectly with the mystery and vastness of the Magisterium. (Go ahead and look it up. You'll want a visual.)
For a middle grades book, The Iron Trial is packing a serious punch on the deep themes. Callum has issues. He's not hero material. He's weak, disfigured, and not at all what you would imagine a hero should be. He doesn't even think he's a hero. In fact, he has some major baggage to sort through. This book is certainly setting the stage for a kick butt series that is going to poke around at the meaning of nature vs nurture.
I will definitely be on the look out for book 2! ...more