Anna Dressed in Blood was so much more than I was expecting, and I absolutely loved it. Creepy and thRead this review and more on my blog From A to Z.
Anna Dressed in Blood was so much more than I was expecting, and I absolutely loved it. Creepy and thrilling, haunting and tragic, gothic and romantic, it is everything you could possibly want in a ghost story and everything you would never even think to ask for.
Cas has been hunting ghosts almost his whole life, ever since his father was murdered when he was just a kid. But there’s something different this time. Cas knows it from the moment he hears Anna’s name, and as he arrives in Thunder Bay and first meets Anna, he realizes this job is unlike anything he’s experienced before.
Cas is an incredibly relatable narrator, despite the fact that he hunts ghosts for a living. And he’s a boy! I love me a good male protagonist, it’s so refreshing to read. And Cas is suuuuch a boy. He’s a little overconfident and full of himself, but he’s also been through so much in his life and has a vulnerable side as well. It’s very endearing and the male perspective didn’t feel forced at all, which can occasionally happen with a female author. Not the case here.
I loved the development of the relationship between Cas and Anna. She’s absolutely terrifying and deadly, and yet we get the occasional glimpse of something else yearning to break through and be seen. This contrast between the scary, bloody Anna and softer side of the mortal girl she once was is riveting, and there are some really wonderful moments between Anna and Cas.
Anna is the first in a series, and I’m so eager to read more about Cas and his friends and their ghostly adventures. And at the same time, this is a completely satisfying stand-alone story. With so many novels these days ending on heartwrenching and jaw-dropping cliffhangers, it’s kind of awesome to have the first book in a series end on a conclusive note. Of course, having said that, I can’t wait for the next one. :)
Anna Dressed in Blood is a deliciously spooky and bloody ghost story, definitely one you don’t want to miss. It’s chilling and spine-tingling, managing to tug at your heartstrings and also completely freak you out at the same time. You might want to leave the lights on for this one.
*Thanks so much to Cindy from Around the World ARC Tours for letting me be a part of this tour. :)...more
I love these audiobooks, and that's saying something because I dislike most audiobooks and barely ever listen to them. I much prefer reading somethingI love these audiobooks, and that's saying something because I dislike most audiobooks and barely ever listen to them. I much prefer reading something myself. (I even gave this 5 stars while I gave the print version 4 stars! Shocking, I don't even recognize myself.)
Chris Colfer (the author) reads the books himself, which makes such a huge difference (and the fact that he's an actor definitely doesn't hurt), and his voices for all the different characters are just delightful. I look like a fool grinning by myself when I'm driving alone listening to this. (Especially when he sings the songs for the harp, oh my lord.)
I feel like I need to put a disclaimer here and admit that I am pretty much in love with Chris, so there may be some bias in anything of his that I review. However, I don't think that his books are THE MOST AMAZING BOOKS OF ALL TIME and I definitely see a lot of flaws with them. I'll address those if I get around to reviewing the print edition. My glasses aren't completely rosy.
But if I'm talking purely about the audiobook, it's just so hugely entertaining and the way he reads it makes it completely worth spending the 10 hours or so it takes to listen to it. Even if you've already read the book. (I just made that number up, I don't actually know how long it is.)...more
THIS WAS SO PERFECT I AM CRYING. I just feel so happy and satisfied and I am sighing so giddily right now.
This was EXACTLY the closure that these bookTHIS WAS SO PERFECT I AM CRYING. I just feel so happy and satisfied and I am sighing so giddily right now.
This was EXACTLY the closure that these books needed, oh my goodness. I loved both Just One Day and Just One Year so so much, and I understand 100% that those books were more about the individual journeys of the characters during their time apart, but I'm not gonna lie, I was so bummed with where they both ended. The romantic in me wanted the REUNION! I wanted them to find out just how close they'd gotten during that year and how hard both of them had looked for each other.
AND THIS WAS EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED. It's short and sweet, and at first I thought it felt a little rushed, but it ended up being the perfect length. And we got little snippets from everyone's points of view, which was so fun.
Just One Night is like the bow that ties the present together, the sprinkles on the cupcake, the perfect little conclusion to Allyson and Willem's story.
Do you NEED to read it to complete the story? No. BUT YOU WANT TO....more
Review will be posted on my blog closer to the release date.
SPOILER FREE REVIEW!
I loved Marie Lu’s debut novel Legend, so I was thrilled to4.5/5 Stars
Review will be posted on my blog closer to the release date.
SPOILER FREE REVIEW!
I loved Marie Lu’s debut novel Legend, so I was thrilled to get the chance to read the sequel. I’ll admit that I didn’t remember everything from the first book (it’s been a while since I’ve read it!), but Prodigy picks up pretty much right where Legend ended and it wasn’t hard at all to get absorbed into the story again. There’s something about this world that just completely sucks you in.
Prodigy continues the dual narration, which I really love. It’s so interesting to get to see both June and Day’s perspectives, especially considering what different backgrounds they come from. We also get to see a lot more of the society that Marie Lu has created, which was something I was definitely hoping for from Prodigy after finishing Legend. I feel like I have a much better sense of how the society came to be and what’s really going on, rather than just the vague feeling we got from the first book.
We also see a lot of familiar faces in Prodigy, as well as several new characters, who I can’t wait to get to know more in the third book. And Metias! God, I don’t know what it is about Metias, considering how early he dies in Legend (not a spoiler!), but I’ve always felt such a connection to him and I mourned for him SO HARD, which just continues with Prodigy. I don’t know how Marie Lu has made me care about him so much, but I love it. There were tears, I’ll tell you now.
Prodigy is such a fantastic second novel. It’s packed with action and surprises and teasers of things to come. And oh my goodness, that ending! Ack, my heart. It’s both heartbreaking but also oh so perfect and I am SO excited for the next book. I cannot wait to see how this story ends!...more
It’s no secret that I ADORE Jennifer Echols. And whenever I’m asked which book is my favorite, I say The Boys Next Door pretty much automatically, because it is. But overall, between her romantic comedies and her romantic dramas, my heart melts a little more for her dramas. SO. What does this have to do with Such a Rush, you wonder?
To me, Such a Rush felt like the perfect combination of The Boys Next Door and her romantic dramas. Some of my favorite elements of The Boys Next Door are there: a girl getting caught up in the drama between two brothers, fake relationships, real fights, and more secrets than anyone knows what to do with… But it has that mature, intense feel of her dramas, both in terms of actual content (we all know Jennifer can write a steamy love scene like nobody’s business), and in terms of motivations and consequences. This isn’t just fun, high school fluff, this is real life, and the tension (sexual and otherwise :P) that Jennifer builds is fantastic.
And through it all is that signature style of sass and humor that she does so well and that I am so in love with. One of my favorite lines, and I’m not even sure why it stuck with me so much, is after a helicopter unexpectedly lands at the airport and a group gets out and heads toward Leah and the other people working at the airport:
“The lieutenant leading the group was a tall blond. I couldn’t tell for sure since he was wearing mirrored shades, but I thought he was boyishly handsome, like Alec. He came straight for me because, dressed in a bikini top, I was obviously in charge of this airport.”
HA! The whole book is full of that snarky kind of humor. I love it.
And if you’ve ever harbored any kind of secret desire to become a pilot, Such a Rush will completely hit the spot and make you look up the nearest flight school. Both the emotional and the practical details of flying a plane were incredible; I felt like I was right there with Leah every step of the way. Oh, and going to prom in a limo? Officially not cool enough. (No offense to any limo-goers out there.)
I absolutely LOVE Such a Rush. Jennifer Echols has totally outdone herself and this is possibly my new favorite from her. I’m so excited for her next book (as always) but at the same time I just want to bask in the awesomeness of this one. Such a Rush has characters that will wrap you around their little fingers and make you care SO MUCH about them, drama that will make you laugh, cheer, and growl in frustration, sexy times that will make you sigh and swoon, and a last line that will put a smile on your face and (if you’re as emotional as I am) a tear in your eye.
You MUST read this book. This is contemporary at its finest, folks, right here. <3...more
I have been looking forward to this book ever since I finished TITHE, and Holly Black most definitely does not disappoint. IRReviewed for TeensReadToo
I have been looking forward to this book ever since I finished TITHE, and Holly Black most definitely does not disappoint. IRONSIDE picks up soon after the events in TITHE and VALIANT, and takes the reader on another breathless journey into the amazing and deadly world of Faerie.
Things have been uneasy ever since Roiben assumed the throne of the Unseelie Court, and with the threat of war in the air and Roiben's coronation drawing near, everyone is on edge. Changeling Kaye Fierch knows that she loves Roiben, but she feels increasingly unwelcome and out of place in the Unseelie Court. So the night of the coronation, determined to prove herself to Roiben and the rest of the court, she makes a formal declaration and pledges herself to him as his consort. However, faerie custom demands that a quest be undertaken before anyone can sit as the Lord's consort, and Roiben grants Kaye an impossible task: to find a fairy who can tell an untruth. Now she is forbidden from seeing or speaking to him until she completes something she knows cannot be done.
Kaye doesn't know where to go, because she has been feeling uncomfortable at home as well, knowing that she stole a human child's life. In a moment of desperation, she tells her mother the truth: that she is a changeling that was switched with Ellen's real daughter, the real Kaye, and she vows to retrieve her from the Seelie Court and return her to Ellen. She feels that this, at least, is something she can do, even if there's no way she can complete Roiben's quest.
But with all the tension between the courts there is nowhere safe, and in venturing into the Seelie Court to find her human counterpart, Kaye puts herself within reach of Lady Silarial. Silarial wants Roiben's throne, and she's willing do anything, including use Kaye, to get it. Once again Kaye finds herself in the middle of Faerie politics, but this time Roiben's not there to save her, and she may not have a way out.
In my personal experience it is rare that a sequel ever lives up to the first book, but IRONSIDE does just that. Full of court rivalry, deception and betrayal, sword fights and murder, faerie curses, new romances, and even characters from VALIANT, IRONSIDE is another wonderful foray into the dark, gritty world of Faerie and will not leave readers disappointed. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you pound your pillow in frustration and clap your hands in delight. My one and only complaint is that this is the last book set in this amazing world....more
I absolutely loved this short little story! I adored Fracture, and I especially adored the friendship betweeOriginally posted on my blog, From A to Z.
I absolutely loved this short little story! I adored Fracture, and I especially adored the friendship between Delaney and Decker, so getting to read about her accident from his point of view was wonderful.
I thought the way this story was written was phenomenal, and the reader was really able to get inside Decker’s head and feel everything he was feeling. He’s experiencing a lot of pain and guilt and anguish, and the format of the story portrayed that SO well. I thought I loved Decker after finishing Fracture, but Eleven Minutes made me love him so much more.
It’s not absolutely necessary to read Fracture before reading Eleven Minutes, but I’d definitely recommend it. I think it means a lot more in the context of the whole story. Plus, Fracture is amazing all by itself. :)...more
This book is so HUGELY entertaining and I absolutely loved it! Despite the potentially heavy subject matterOriginally posted on my blog, From A to Z.
This book is so HUGELY entertaining and I absolutely loved it! Despite the potentially heavy subject matter of needing to undergo a fake kidnapping in order for the FBI to protect you from dangerous terrorists, it’s a really light, fun read, and I had a huge smile on my face the entire time.
Digit is absolutely adorable and so hilarious, both in her inner monologues and her interactions (particularly with John, the hot FBI agent assigned to protect her) and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud so many times. From her obsession with bumper stickers to her shyness about her crazy math skills, she is such an enjoyable character. And she and John have fantastic chemistry together. I loved watching the development of their relationship and it was so sweet when they eventually got together.
I also really loved Digit’s evolution throughout the book and her gradual acceptance of “Digit” as an important part of herself. Watching her grow in confidence (and particularly John’s role in that growth) was incredibly satisfying and added a subtle layer to what would otherwise be a fairly fluffy contemporary novel.
My one complaint is that this book is so short! I wanted to spend so much more time with Digit. Although I’ve seen rumours that a sequel is in the works, which makes me very happy. :) Be sure to check out A Girl Named Digit when it releases in June; it is pure fun and entertainment and you definitely don’t want to miss it....more
On a purely surface level, Grave Mercy hits sooooo many of my buttons (my good buttons, not my bad buttons. And not in a dirty way. Oh, you know what I mean.). Let’s review, shall we?
THINGS I LOVE: A map at the beginning of the book. Traveling primarily on horseback, with stops at inns and taverns along the way (serving wenches!). A convent of assassin nuns. Swords. Poison. Bows and arrows. Castles. Secret tunnels in the walls of castles. Battles on horseback. Horns as communication in battle (I had SUCH a Lord of the Rings moment at one point *swoon*). ASSASSIN NUNS. Going undercover as a mistress. Court intrigue. Bracelet weapons. Poisoned pearls as decoration in hair. Chess. Did I mention the assassin nuns?
Are you swooning yet?
Happily, all of these superficially awesome things combine to make a deeply awesome story. In case you can’t tell (haha, yeah right), I loooooove historical fantasy, and it’s been a long while since I’ve read one that I enjoyed as much as Grave Mercy. The overall feel of it reminded me a bit of Graceling, which was so wonderful.
One of the things I love about historical fantasy is its ability to completely take a reader back in time and suck them into the world, and Robin LaFevers has done this flawlessly. I felt like I was there with Ismae, and definitely wished I could be there in real life. I swear, I was born in the wrong century.
And Ismae herself is BRILLIANT. She went through a lot (understatement!) before ending up at the convent, but she grows into this sassy, resourceful, funny, smart, totally KICKASS creature who can kill a man about a million different ways. Navigating the murky waters of the court of Brittany with her – never sure who should be trusted and who should be of victim of her poisoned hairdo – is SUCH fun. I loved every second of it.
My one teensy weensy thing (I don’t even want to call it a problem) was the romance. And don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike the romance. It was very sweet and lovely and I definitely enjoyed it, it just seemed a little tame and predictable. For a book about assassin nuns, with two characters as fantastic as Ismae and Duval, I just wanted a little more spice! More suspense, more potential heartbreak, more sex, more intensity, more whatever. But you know, that’s okay. The book was so awesome otherwise, I can pretty much overlook this.
I really can’t recommend Grave Mercy highly enough. If you like historical fantasy, if you like adventure, if you like court intrigue, if you like action of the archery and swords variety, if you like the idea of a convent of female assassins, if you like getting completely sucked into a world... READ THIS BOOK. Or even if you don’t like any of those things, you should still read it. Because it is awesome. I’m SO excited for the rest of this series.
*On a random note, I’ve seen some speculations about how old Duval is (most people seem to think he’s around 30?), but even though it never specifically says, based on my calculations from information we’re given in the book, I think he’s about 24. And Ismae is 17. So there’s not that big of a gap between them. That is all. :)...more
When mischievous sisters Maggie and Kate Fox hear that their dreaded niece, Lizzie, is coming for a visit, they immediately sReviewed for TeensReadToo
When mischievous sisters Maggie and Kate Fox hear that their dreaded niece, Lizzie, is coming for a visit, they immediately start thinking of ways to get rid of her. Their prank takes the form of rapping noises that spell out messages from the dead, but instead of making Lizzie flee in fear, their plan backfires, and soon they have not only Lizzie and their family convinced, but the whole town.
All of a sudden, neighbors want to hold séances to give messages to their deceased loved ones, an innocent man is accused of murder, and a reporter comes to investigate, turning their harmless little prank into something much bigger.
The girls are thrilled with all the attention, but when their older sister, Leah, makes a visit and witnesses a spirit rapping for herself, she immediately sees through their shenanigans and recognizes that it is one of their tricks. Rather than turning them in, however, she gives them a choice: come with her and allow her to take charge of the rappings and make the decisions, or be revealed as frauds. Under Leah’s control, the spirit circles turn into a business venture, as she starts charging admission and adds a vast arsenal of spooky tricks to the evening’s entertainment.
The sisters travel around holding séances, and their fame grows, giving rise to spiritualism and mesmerism, and causing many more “mediums” to be discovered. Not everyone is impressed, though, and more than once they find themselves confronted by disbelievers and skeptics, even having to flee for their lives on occasion.
One of these skeptics is Elisha Kent Kane, a charismatic and well-known Arctic explorer who, despite his misgivings about her occupation, takes a great liking to Maggie and begins to court her. He insists that she give up the spirit rapping and the deception, even offering to provide her with an education and place to stay in order to improve her social status. Maggie finds herself with a decision to make, as she is torn between her feelings for Elisha and what he can provide, and her old way of life and the acceptance of her family.
HIGH SPIRITS is a fascinating book, made even more interesting by the fact that the story of the Fox sisters is based in truth. I enjoyed every second of reading it, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Readers will be swept along with Maggie and Kate as they bamboozle an entire nation, and will feel for Maggie as she debates whether or not to leave the profession and then has to deal with the consequences of her decision.
Dianne K. Salerni has written a brilliant debut novel and I am eagerly awaiting her next....more
I have been anticipating this book ever since I first heard about it ages ago, and I was so eager to get my hands onOriginally posted at From A to Z.
I have been anticipating this book ever since I first heard about it ages ago, and I was so eager to get my hands on a copy. Stories about childhood friends or sweethearts that are separated and then reunited years later (or ‘reunion romance’ as my tag on Goodreads calls them) are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. I cannot even tell you. So I was thrilled when For Darkness Shows the Stars totally delivered and I LOVED it.
The world that Diana Peterfreund has created is so interesting and different. I would have loved to have more background information about how the Reduction came about and how everything happened, but the story didn’t feel like it was lacking at all without that extra information. It also didn’t feel like she was trying too hard to create this incredibly unique post-apocalyptic world, if that makes any sense. These days I feel like so many dystopian-type stories are trying so hard to be the next big “thing” and I didn’t get that feeling from For Darkness Shows the Stars, which I definitely appreciated. It just felt very naturally original and appealing.
Elliott and Kai are both absolutely brilliant and incredibly frustrating at the same time. I loved each of their journeys as individual characters, and I definitely loved them together. This is my favorite kind of love story, you guys. The tension between them is palpable; you feel everything they’re going through so much. They’ve had a difficult history together, and Kai is just harsh enough with Elliott for it to be perfect. I will say that the romantic in me wanted a little more of the lovey-dovey stuff (yeah, I’m a sap), but honestly it didn’t even matter, I still loved it. And the whole story is peppered with letters that Kai and Elliott wrote to each other as they were growing up, which was a wonderfully sweet window into their back story and really allowed the reader to see their growth and maturation.
I haven’t read Persuasion, so I can’t really comment on its relationship with For Darkness Shows the Stars, but I can say that I will most definitely be reading it after this. I love the idea of a futuristic take on an originally historical setting, and I can’t wait to read the story that inspired Diana to write this amazing book! Whether or not you’re a fan of Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a unique and emotional read, and I highly recommend it....more
Oh my goodness, I have SO MANY FEELINGS for this book. Reading it was such a whirlwind of emotion; these chaOriginally posted on my blog, From A to Z.
Oh my goodness, I have SO MANY FEELINGS for this book. Reading it was such a whirlwind of emotion; these characters just completely caught me up in their lives. Colby especially. It is really really rare that I connect so much with a male narrator, but oh man, I fell for Colby. I just love him. I want to squeeze him. I think I’m going to name my car after him.
And Bev. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about Bev. I spent a lot of the book kind of hating her, because she totally betrayed Colby and she’s really withdrawn throughout most of the book. She did grow on me enough by the end so that I didn’t want to chuck the book at the wall every time she appeared on the page, but MAN, she frustrated me. I don’t think that she herself is a bitch, she just did a very bitchy thing that I honestly still don’t really understand and I’m definitely not ready to forgive her for. BUT, even though I am still outraged on Colby’s behalf, I do completely understand his feelings and reactions to her.
This was a rare kind of book where I wasn’t necessarily rooting for the romance (although heck yes I wanted them to work things out!), but I was totally rooting for Colby. And if you know me then you know that I am ALL about the romance. So this is amazing. Nina LaCour is amazing. The fact that she’s made me love and understand this boy so much? I’m in awe.
There’s so much more I could say about the amazing music, the road trip, the people that they meet along the way, Colby’s art and Bev’s sculptures… but I’ll let you discover all of that for yourself. Hopefully all my Colby-gushing is enough to intrigue you. :)
This book is painful and beautiful and raw and I LOVED it. It made my chest tighten and my heart hurt, it made me laugh and get teary-eyed and grin uncontrollably. Books like this are why I love contemporary. <3...more
I’d like to offer my apologies in advance for the excessive use of capslock in this review. My enthusiasm juOriginally posted on my blog, From A to Z.
I’d like to offer my apologies in advance for the excessive use of capslock in this review. My enthusiasm just COULD NOT be contained.
Okay, Hannah Harrington, WHERE have you been all my life? I am STUNNED that Saving June isn’t waaayyyyy more talked about. I am officially recommending it to every single person I know and insisting that they read it.
Saving June is so beautiful and heartfelt and raw and honest and I am just so so in love with it. Even though it’s a book about grief, it’s not as depressing or heavy as I was expecting. Harper has such a fresh, lively voice, and going through the grieving process with her feels so realistic and natural. I completely ADORED her. And her best friend Laney is such a hoot! As far as road trip companions go, these three are fantastic.
Okay, and the romance?? YES PLEASE. Talk about slow burn! Swooooon, my heart. This is my FAVORITE kind of romance, you guys. MY FAVORITE. It has everything I could ever possibly want. Snarky arguments and playful banter and the love-hate push-pull relationship that is just soooooo DELICIOUS to read about. Plus that oh-so-slow-building sexual tension that just builds and builds and builds until it EXPLODES on the page. Oh my god, it was so good.
And it’s all accompanied by the MOST AWESOME SOUNDTRACK EVER. (Yes, even the sexytimes. I have maybe been listening to ‘Touch Me’ by The Doors on repeat ever since I finished the book. MAYBE.) Music is such a huge part of my life and I absolutely LOVED how integrated it was into Saving June. As I started to get near the end of the book I began to regret not writing down every single song that had been mentioned, so imagine my utter delight when at the back of the book the lovely Hannah Harrington has provided us with the three main mixes mentioned in the story! THANK YOU, Hannah. Now all I need is to find a recording of ‘Saving June’ and I’ll be all set. :D
Saving June is sweet and sexy and funny and so lovely. YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS BOOK IF: you like contemporary novels, you like books that deal with grief in a non-overwhelmingly depressing way, you like road trip stories, you like books that have a strong focus on music. But seriously, I recommend this to EVERYONE. I can’t believe I didn’t read it earlier. Hannah Harrington, I’ve got my eye on you. <3...more
I was so wonderfully surprised by One Night That Changes Everything, having gone into it with the expectation that it would just be another average contemporary young adult novel. I should have known better, because for one thing, it’s Lauren Barnholdt (I’m totally trusting her from now on), and for another, this is one of those awesome books that takes place all in one night (think Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist), so how can you go wrong, really?
The writing is so breezy and easy to get into, and it’s often unexpectedly clever and funny. I read the majority of One Night late at night while the rest of my household was asleep (I’m resisting the urge to make a bad “one night” joke), and I was constantly having to stifle my giggles, because this novel just makes you feel good. You can’t help but chuckle sometimes.
Eliza’s voice is so realistic and so fun to read, and she does this thing where she’ll think something during her inner monologue and then immediately say the exact same thing to the people she’s with, which had me laughing out loud several times. At certain points I was frustrated that she wasn’t trying to stand up the 318’s and was just doing whatever they told her to, but I could mostly understand her thought processes and it ended up working with the flow of the plot and her own personal growth. Her friends Marissa and Clarice are also hilarious, and they added so much to the night’s adventures.
And of course I have to mention the boy. Duh. :P Cooper manages to be the perfect combination of jerk and awkwardly adorable dork, and I thoroughly enjoyed his interactions with Eliza. He’s the bad boy we love to hate but secretly really love, and right from the beginning somehow you’re rooting for him and hoping that he’s not actually as awful as he seems.
With genuine, quirky characters and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, One Night That Changes Everything is a fun, heartwarming read that I can’t recommend enough. Lauren Barnholdt has definitely secured her place on my list of authors to keep an eye on....more
Oh my goodness, I looooooooooved this book. It is an absolutely amazing debut and definitely stands out amonOriginally posted on my blog, From A to Z.
Oh my goodness, I looooooooooved this book. It is an absolutely amazing debut and definitely stands out among YA contemporaries. To be honest, I was expecting a pretty standard story, but Huntley Fitzpatrick blew me away and I got so much more than that. I read it as part of an ARC tour and almost didn't sign up for it, but I'm soooooo glad I did. I barely put the book down once I started, and after I finished I kept wishing that I was still reading it.
The Garretts are, hands-down, my favorite part of the story. They are such a wonderful family and I fell completely in love with them almost instantly. (Especially the darling four-year-old George. Can I please please have a George in my life??). I adore stories about big, loving families (the Weasleys, anyone?), and this is no exception. From the minute Sam entered their world I was grinning like a fool pretty much the whole time. I want to have a large family myself (although I think I’m planning to stop at six kids, haha), and this book totally reaffirmed that desire. The craziness and love is just portrayed so perfectly. I also really love the contrast with Sam’s own family; how she escapes into the world of the Garretts and finds a whole new life for herself. I loved watching her grow as a result of her interactions with a family so different than her own.
And the romance! Oh my. The romance in this story is so achingly sweet. Sam and Jase are ADORABLE. I felt like they had such a mature relationship, which was a really refreshing change from the silly drama that seems to be present in so many other high school romance stories. I was pleasantly surprised by how they handled certain situations, and many times I could be found clutching the book to my chest in happiness. And although the focus of the book is on Jase and Sam, I would be remiss not to also mention Nan, Sam’s best friend, and her brother Tim, both of whom I loved – the story would not be complete without them.
I knew from the blurb that there was going to be some kind of Bad Event, and once I got a little more than halfway through the book I started anxiously anticipating. I had several predictions about what might happen (and was very nervous for the safety and happiness of all my beloved characters), but I absolutely didn’t see it coming. It’s a shocking and heart wrenching twist, and it makes the story that much more compelling. My heart ached for Sam, but at the same time it allowed for some really wonderful moments between her and various other characters, as well as for her own personal development. There were just a couple of things that I wish had been resolved a little more before the book ended, but they were fairly minor.
My Life Next Door is a beautifully written story that captures a summer romance perfectly. Your emotions will be all over the place and you will love it. This is one of my new favorite contemporaries and I am so so excited to read more from Huntley Fitzpatrick. If you’re a fan of authors like Sarah Dessen, Elizabeth Scott, or Sarah Ockler, you WILL NOT want to miss this book.
And just as a final note, I read this in February, but it happened to be a rare 80 degree day and I just went outside and sat in the grass and ate a popsicle and enjoyed the sun and read nonstop and it was SO PERFECT. I’m so glad this is coming out in June, because it is JUST the thing for an amazing summer read. You can feel the heat coming off the pages. Take it poolside with you, you won’t be sorry....more
Okay, here’s where I feel like an idiot, because even though I’d seen everyone raving about this book, I hadOriginally posted on my blog, From A to Z.
Okay, here’s where I feel like an idiot, because even though I’d seen everyone raving about this book, I had Wanderlove in my possession for SIX MONTHS before I read it. Six. Months. And now that I’ve read it, I can see that this is totally unforgiveable, because you guys, this book is AMAZING. Amaaaaaaaazing.
Wanderlove is escapist fiction in the absolute best sense of the word. Kirsten Hubbard transports the reader so completely into backpacker Central America, it’s incredible. I’ve been lucky enough to both live and travel in the Caribbean and Central America at various times in my life, and everything is portrayed perfectly. The mentality and atmosphere of the Caribbean, the heat and discomfort of traveling by bus, the children playing soccer, the food, the gorgeous beaches, the little critters in the hostel, the cold outdoor showers… I got so nostalgic while reading, I looked up plane tickets almost immediately after I finished (once I was done grinning like a fool, that is). Kirsten Hubbard is an avid backpacker herself, and it definitely comes across in her realistic and affectionate portrayal of Guatemala and Belize.
Bria is such a unique and fun character in the world of YA contemps and I absolutely loved her voice. Wanderlove is both a physical journey through Central America as well as an emotional one, and I love how Bria developed as a character throughout the story. Both she and Rowan have a lot they need to work through, and watching them do this as they traverse mountains and beaches and villages is a special joy.
And speaking of Rowan, I want to apologize in advance for this next paragraph, but I just need to take a minute to be a total girl. Holy. Crap. This boy is so damn attractive. Quickened pulse? Check. I don’t know what it is exactly, but something about him just works for me. He has that dangerous edge to him because of his shady past, but he’s working hard to move past that which is so endearing to me. He’s also incredibly smart and well-traveled, reads all the time, and he’s a dive instructor. This is like my perfect guy, people. I’m still fanning myself. Kirsten, if you come across a boy like Rowan in your future travels, feel free to send him my way. ;)
And the romance! This is slow burn romance at its best. Totally swoonworthy. This is the kind of love story where you can feel their connection from the start, and even though you’re kind of dying for them to just make out already, you don’t actually want it to happen because you know that the slow-building tension and the little moments along the way (late night conversations while sharing a hammock are my favorite) are just going to make it so much better when it finally does happen. And hoo boy, Kirsten makes it happen. I’m still swooning.
If you can’t tell already, I am freaking IN LOVE with this book. I decided to start reading it around 1 am one night before I went to sleep (yeah, I’m a night owl), and I seriously didn’t sleep all night because I just couldn’t put it down. Eight in the morning rolled around and I could be found lying there clutching the book to my chest and grinning and sighing with happiness. I was pretty nonfunctional the next day, I can tell you that. But it was so worth it.
Whether or not you’re interested in traveling yourself, I guarantee you will enjoy Bria’s journey, bugs and all. And Wanderlove has gorgeous illustrations that are not only completely relevant to the story, but are drawn by the author herself! So. Cool. This book has a permanent place on my favorites shelf and I seriously can’t recommend it enough. Thank you so much, Kirsten Hubbard, for such a fantastic and heartwarming story!
And just as a final comment (I’m stopping soon, I promise! :P), <>Wanderlove happens to come out on my birthday, and I am so happy to be sharing March 13th with this beautiful beautiful book. And in the tradition of hobbits (because hobbits are awesome!), I want to give YOU a gift on my birthday! Well, one of you. I’d love to actually buy everyone a copy, but alas, my pockets are not that deep.
Wow. What an incredibly awesome debut novel! I went into this book not expecting it to be A) high fantasy, or B) just quite as amazing as it was. I LOVE high fantasy and don’t read nearly enough of it for some reason, so this was such a fun surprise for me.
We are thrust immediately into the world of Pelimburg – and what a world it is! An oppressive caste system, tightly controlled magic, selkies and sea-witches and unicorns… it’s dark and dangerous and oh so magical. Cat Hellisen has created a wonderfully imaginative and complex fantasy world that feels just like you’re stepping straight into the novel. You can feel the mist coming off the water and the magic sparking off your skin; it’s fantastic. It takes a while to get accustomed to the world and some of the terminology can be a little confusing at first, but if you pay attention you’ll be fine.
Though it has familiar themes, this is not your average fluffy YA novel; there’s so much more going on here. It is an incredibly unique and well-written story, with very relatable and real characters. Felicita is an immediately likeable and wonderful heroine – smart and brave and strong – and I really enjoyed exploring the underbelly of Pelimberg with her. The group that she takes refuge with is made up of a fascinating group of street kids, both friendly and not so much, and Felicita and the reader both get swept up in their lives without really knowing whether or not they can be trusted. Things going on in Pelimburg are much bigger than Felicita realizes at first, and by the time she understands what is happening she has ended up right in the middle of it.
The two other main characters, Dash and Jannik, are each incredibly different and charming in their own ways, and I loved Felicita’s relationship with both of them. The romance in the story isn’t necessarily the typical kind of love triangle or the kind of happily-ever-after romance that you find in most YA novels, but I thought it was absolutely perfect and realistic and fitting for the story. It’s a little darker, a little grittier, and a little more bittersweet at the end, but it works very well for the characters and their situations.
When the Sea is Rising Red is one of those books that is nearly impossible to put down. I kept telling myself I would only read one more chapter before I went to sleep and before I knew it it was three in the morning. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you like fantasy, if you like your stories dark and intense and magical, if you’re looking for something a little different in your YA, you don’t want to miss When the Sea is Rising Red. It is a beautiful and haunting story that will stay with you for a long time....more
For the past few months I’d been seeing reviews of Anna and the French Kiss everywhere I looked, and eRead this review and more on my blog From A to Z
For the past few months I’d been seeing reviews of Anna and the French Kiss everywhere I looked, and everyone was absolutely raving about it. Maybe I’m just cynical, but I kept thinking ‘There’s no way it can be THAT good, come on, it’s just another YA contemporary chick lit.’ BUT HOO BABY I WAS SO SO WRONG.
This book is SO GOOD. I am absolutely officially on the Anna and the French Kiss bandwagon, waving my hat and hollering at the top of my lungs. Everyone needs to go out and read this NOW.
On the surface (as evidenced by my earlier cynicism), there’s nothing particularly original or special about the storyline. But the thing is, it doesn’t even matter, because Stephanie Perkins pulls it off SO well that it doesn’t feel like anything you’ve read before.
It’s funny, sweet, romantic, and heartbreaking, and the characters are all incredibly wonderful and fleshed out and you just want to be best friends with all of them. Anna’s voice is so realistic and fun to read, and Étienne St. Clair is pretty much the perfect real boy, with perfect real boy flaws. He isn’t one of those brooding and mysterious types, he’s REAL. And lovely. So so lovely.
My absolute favorite thing about Anna and the French Kiss is the evolution of Anna and Étienne’s relationship. Although Anna immediately has a crush on him, they end up becoming friends first, and not just friends, but best friends. And that trumps everything, even her interest in being with him romantically. I LOVE that. It’s such a refreshing change from so many novels where the love interests experience “love at first sight” and everything is so intense and all-consuming right from the beginning. This is slow and gradual and their friendship is so beautiful that the fact that they do eventually get together is just the cherry on top. (Although I will admit, heads would have been rolling if they HADN’T ended up together. Haha.)
This book is like the perfect YA contemporary romance. I was giddy and grinning the entire time I was reading it, and then when I finished I just lay there for a while clutching the book to my chest and sighing in happiness. And then I proceeded to go back and reread all my favorite parts. It is just SO WONDERFUL.
I realize that this review is only somewhat coherent, but when you read the book you will understand. Trust me. Go read it. Now. It’s one of my favorite books of all time and I will be rereading it forever....more
Initial thoughts: I'm having a lot of trouble being coherent right now and not just a giggling, grinning, squeeing mess. <3
Full review (can also beInitial thoughts: I'm having a lot of trouble being coherent right now and not just a giggling, grinning, squeeing mess. <3
Full review (can also be found on my blog From A to Z):
This has been by far one of my most highly anticipated novels for the last several months. Ever since finishing Anna and the French Kiss I was ready to jump right back into another Stephanie Perkins masterpiece, and I’m so happy to say that Lola and the Boy Next Door does not disappoint. At all. I LOVE THIS BOOK.
Everything about it is wonderful: the fun and quirky cast of characters (including the reappearance of two of our favorites from Anna and the French Kiss *happy squeal*), the setting of San Francisco (which I was lucky enough to visit for the first time earlier this summer), and a heartwrenching and smile-inducing story of old misunderstandings, teenage longing, and childhood friends finally falling in love (which caused a lot of excited squeaking and happy sighing on my part).
Just like in Anna, the supporting characters are all fantastic and made me wish the book was ten times longer so we could get to know each of them better. Lola’s two dads are such wonderful fictional parents; supportive and loving, yet firm and protective too. Even Calliope, though pretty unlikeable at first, ended up being quite an intriguing character, and I’m really looking forward to the possibility of seeing her (and others!) in the next book, Isla and the Happily Ever After.
Lola herself is fantastic, of course, and her fashion sense is SO FUN. She’s like a young, slightly toned-down Lady Gaga. And even though I could never BE her (the time and effort it must take her to get dressed every day! I’m exhausted already!), I absolutely loved reading about it. We could totally be friends.
Although if we WERE friends, we would definitely get in a fight over Cricket, that’s for sure. Oh my gosh, you guys, THIS BOY. Cricket is quirky and sweet and geeky and awkward and adorable and I JUST LOVE HIM SO MUCH. Watching him long for Lola made my heart hurt (Psst, take me instead, Cricket!). One of the things I loved about Anna was how REAL it was, how realistically Etienne acted and how beautifully their friendship unfolded. Somehow, Stephanie has managed to kick it up a notch in the “real” department with Lola. Cricket is so real. And kind of perfect. He’s the kind of guy I would love to date. He’s the kind of guy I would love my daughter to date (I don’t have a daughter yet, FYI). Plus, he’s TALL. Like, really tall. (Sorry Etienne.)
It’s not that I don’t love my paranormals, but sometimes you just want to read a story that could actually HAPPEN. A story where you can shamelessly insert yourself into Cricket’s arms and know that it could be real life. Something sweet, painful, romantic, awkward, heartbreaking, and totally swoonworthy. The joy in reading this book isn’t in the mysterious love interest, the main character discovering she is a (insert supernatural creature here), or the shocking twist at the end, it’s in the sweet little moments that make you smile and sigh with happiness. It’s in bridges built between windows and conversations with the moon. And it has completely stolen my heart.
Reading Lola and the Boy Next Door was seriously the most fun I’ve had in ages. I literally had to put it down several times while reading so I could get up and do a crazy dance around the room because I was so giddy. I’m pretty sure there were happy squeaking noises coming from my room the whole time.
In addition to the adorableness of Cricket, a considerable amount of these fangirl reactions was thanks to Anna and St. Clair, who are in the book as actual characters, not just cameo appearances (yay!). There were several tiny little references to things from Anna and the French Kiss, which made me sooooo happy, and after casting several adoring glances at my copy of Anna on the shelf, it eventually just moved to the bed with me. Let me tell you, Lola, Anna and I had an AWESOME party.
I absolutely cannot wait for Isla and the Happily Ever After, although having to leave all these fantastic characters for the final time is going to be heartbreaking. If I could live in a fictional series it would totally be this one (except that all the awesome guys are already taken! :P Stephanie, write my life, please? Kay, thanks.).
Oh, and the best thing about Lola and the Boy Next Door? *points upwards* Check out that release date! IT’S OUT TODAY, PEOPLE! What are you waiting for? You don’t want another minute to go by without reading this book....more
Legend is told through the alternating viewpoints of our two narrators: June and Day. June was born into a privileged family, got a perfect score on her Trial, and is set to become the military’s next star, though she does have a bit of a rebellious streak. Day is from the slums and is the nation’s most infamous criminal, living his life in secret and on the run. When June is sent to capture Day and their lives collide, secrets are revealed and they begin to question everything they thought they knew.
I love the dual narration; June and Day are excellent windows into the world that Marie Lu has created. Their voices are distinct and equally engaging, and I was never bored with either of their stories. I quickly became invested in both of their lives – their love and protection of their families, their struggles with their places in society, and their desire for justice. They’re both brave and intelligent and incredibly kickass, and I loved watching their relationship evolve as they met and got to know each other.
Lu’s writing pulls you into the world immediately, and with such a gritty and intense story this can be absolutely heartbreaking. June’s brother, for example. Even though I knew from the summary on the back of the book that he was going to die, it was still heart wrenching when it happened, and June’s few flashbacks throughout the novel only served to make me miss Metias more. Legend doesn’t shy away from violence and death, but it also has softer, more emotional moments, and the combination makes for a brilliant read.
One small issue that I did have with Legend was the incredible ease with which June and Day were both able to do everything. Their special skills and abilities seemed a bit too simple and perfect, and I would have liked them to need to try at least a little bit. While I could definitely relate to them emotionally, they felt somewhat superhuman otherwise, especially considering they’re both only fifteen years old, and there was no real explanation for why they were both so amazingly skilled.
Legend’s plot is pretty much the standard dystopian fare, but it’s done well and it is fast-paced and engrossing. The world is an intriguing one, although I would have liked more backstory explaining how the Republic and the Colonies came about. This is the first in a series though, so I’m hoping we’ll get more of those explanations in the sequels.
Admittedly, there are a ton of dystopian novels out there these days, but Legend is definitely not one to miss. Beautifully written and captivating, it will leave you waiting desperately for the sequel, wondering what’s next for June and Day....more
I wrote this many many months ago, right after I first finished Where She Went, and I’ve never posted it for a couple of reasons. First, I’d always planned to write a review for If I Stay, and I thought it made more sense to post that one first. And second, I thought this needed some editing because it has always felt less like a review and more like a ridiculously incoherent outpouring of feelings from an emotionally unstable person.
But I’ve decided that it’s silly to wait any longer (today is the one year anniversary of its release!), and I want to share how I truly feel about this FREAKING AMAZING story. It’s become one of my favorite books and every time I open it to reread part of it I just start having ALL THE FEELINGS.
So here, in all its unedited, emotionally unstable glory, is my review for Where She Went:
I’ll be honest, I very seriously considered not writing a review for Where She Went. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely fell in love with the book, it had nothing to do with that. In fact, it’s because I loved it so much that I almost didn’t review it. I know this may seem counterintuitive: if I liked it that much, why wouldn’t I want to tell everyone about it? But Where She Went was such an intense read for me, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do the book, and my feelings for it, any justice at all. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to try.
But I decided I couldn’t not tell the world how much I love it, so here I am, trying to put my feelings into words and form coherent sentences from the jumble of emotions this book left me with.
I’ll be the first to admit that I get way too (“too” being a subjective term) emotionally invested in the lives of fictional characters, and Where She Went is a prime example. This book absolutely wrecked me. And I loved every agonizing second of it.
It was devastating to see what had become of Mia and Adam since If I Stay, and reading from Adam’s point of view absolutely broke my heart. Gayle Forman is such a beautiful, lyrical writer, and she has the ability to make you get completely sucked into the story and feel every little thing that the characters feel. The setting, too, was a living, breathing place, and their night in New York City came alive from the pages.
There are so many things I could talk about, but I don’t want to give anything away. Part of the wonderful torture of reading this book is really having no idea where it’s going to end and what’s going to become of your beloved characters. My heart ached for them the entire time and my insides were tied up in knots. The more I read, the higher the pile of tissues grew beside me.
It is extremely rare that I like a sequel better than the first book, but Where She Went has done it. As amazing as If I Stay was, Where She Went has captured my heart just a little bit more. It’s been a long time since I read a book that affected me on such an intense emotional level. I couldn’t even bring myself to start another book for several days after finishing Where She Went because I wasn’t ready to leave the story and just wanted to bask in it for as long as possible.
Filled with angst and hope and pain and beauty and longing, this book makes you hurt in the best way possible. Your heart will be shattered and put back together so many times you won’t know what to do with yourself. When a book can make you feel for the characters that much, you know the author is doing something right. Gayle Forman has forever secured a place on my favorite authors list, and I’m ready to buy anything she writes.
On a parting (and less dramatic) note, I really really wish Adam’s band, The Shooting Stars, was real. Every other chapter begins with song lyrics from one of their songs, and I would just love to be able to listen to them. One of my favorites:
I’ll be your mess, you be mine That was the deal that we had signed I bought a hazmat suit to clean up the waste Gas masks, gloves, to keep us safe But now I’m alone in an empty room Staring down immaculate doom “Messy”
First of all, I just want to say that the description above doesn’t do the book justice at all, or evRead this review and more on my blog From A to Z.
First of all, I just want to say that the description above doesn’t do the book justice at all, or even really give an accurate summary. So expect a lot more when you crack this one open! :) Now, on to the review!
Oh my goodness, I LOVED this book. It’s just pure fun and cuteness and completely enjoyable. And at the same time, it’s not meaningless fluff and actually handles some real issues. Jordan is an awesome character, and she’s dealing with a lot in her life. Yeah, sure, she’s crushing on the cute new player on her team, but she’s also juggling being the female captain of her high school football team, wishing her dad would support her, trying to get college football coaches to take her seriously, and handling somewhat delicate relationships with the other guys on her team as well as opening herself up to the possibility of friendships with other girls.
And in case you couldn’t tell from all that, most of her life revolves around football. Which is totally understandable. I was a dancer and musical theater geek in high school, so I definitely get the whole focus thing. The great thing about Catching Jordan is that even though it is definitely about football, it doesn’t feel overwhelming and the football never takes over. I know next to nothing about football, but I still thoroughly enjoyed every second of this book. It even made me wish I could go back to a high school football game (which is not a normal wish for me, trust me :P).
Hands down, my favorite thing about Catching Jordan was Jordan’s relationship with the rest of the guys on her team. They are so wonderfully protective of her and it is just adorable, and those rare moments when Jordan needs a “girl talk” and tries to go to her guy friends are wonderful and hilarious. Her best friend Sam Henry is a particular favorite of mine. He and Jordan have been friends forever and have such a sweet, comfortable relationship. Watching them together was great fun and left a grin on my face the whole time.
And of course this review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention the love story, right? :D But all I’m going to say is that I LOVED it. It’s sweet and heartbreaking and completely feels like high school. (Which isn’t a bad thing, in this case!)
Catching Jordan is a lovely, realistic portrayal of one girl’s journey through senior year, and it is definitely a book I’ll be rereading when I want an awesome, feel-good, make-me-smile story. This is definitely one you don’t want to miss!...more
Who doesn’t dream of meeting the perfect guy in an airport? Anybody could end up sitting next to youRead this review and more on my blog From A to Z.
Who doesn’t dream of meeting the perfect guy in an airport? Anybody could end up sitting next to you on a plane, so why not the guy of your dreams? To everyone who has ever had a thought similar to this, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight will be total wish fulfillment. It was for me, and I loved every single second of it. I read the entire book in one sitting with a smile on my face the whole time and a happy sigh at the end of it. I LOVED it.
Now, normally I am not a fan of love at first sight stories. I usually like my romance to happen slowly, growing out of friendship with lots of tension and gradually building up to that final payoff. But somehow I was totally on board with everything in Statistical Probability. Despite the title, and the fact that the story takes place over only 24 hours, this does not feel like one of those insta-love YA romances. It’s not cheesy or hokey, and it feels totally realistic and believable. Which takes great skill, in my opinion. Way to go, Jennifer.
I adored Hadley, fell in love with Oliver, and even grew to like Hadley’s parents and her dad’s new wife. Hadley and Oliver are both dealing with their own issues, making Statistical Probability more than just a love story, and their romance doesn’t overshadow the other things going on in each of their lives. Every facet of the novel was well-balanced and it all meshed together incredibly well.
Aaaaaaand let’s talk just a little bit more about Oliver, shall we? SWOON. Oliver is… well, he’s absolutely wonderful. (He wasn't listed as one of my favorite book boyfriends from 2011 for nothing!) He’s incredibly clever and sweet, and he has a wicked sense of humor. He’s adorable and funny and charming, he’s BRITISH (so many automatic points right there), and he and Hadley have fantastic chemistry together. Airport gods, can I meet an Oliver the next time I travel? PLEASE? Great, thanks.
I absolutely adored this book, and if you’re a fan of contemporary stories you definitely won’t want to miss it. My one complaint would be that it’s too short, but in some ways that just makes it feel like a perfect little bite-sized treat. :)...more
There are absolutely no words for how much I LOVE this book. This is probably going to be less of a review aOriginally posted on my blog, From A to Z.
There are absolutely no words for how much I LOVE this book. This is probably going to be less of a review and more of just a gushing love letter to Graffiti Moon and Cath Crowley. I fell in love when I first read it back in August last year and then I fell in love all over again when I reread it just a few weeks ago. Everyone needs to go preorder it RIGHT NOW, because this book is amaaaaaazing.
Graffiti Moon is one of those rare books where every element seems to come together and blend pretty much perfectly. The plot, the execution, the dialogue, the characters, the writing…they’re all flawless and create this perfect little package, this wonderful gem of a book.
I knew I wanted to read Graffiti Moon the moment I read the synopsis. A group of teenagers, giddy and celebrating the end of high school, going on an all-night adventure to search for a mysterious graffiti artist? And then add in the fact that the two main characters have an awkward past together? Oh yes please, sign me up. And what a group of friends! These kids are AWESOME, you guys. Funny and clever and witty and they have the BEST conversations. There are some truly hilarious moments where I couldn't help but laugh out loud. Seriously, I wish I had conversations like this with my friends. The dialogue and banter between Ed and Lucy in particular is enough to make me grin, but all the other side characters are just as awesome. Even Lucy’s parents are fantastic. This book just crackles with chemistry and the magic of this kind of night when anything can happen.
And the writing. Oh my goodness, the writing. I could go on and on about how beautifully this book is written. It took me longer than usual to read Graffiti Moon because I kept stopping and reading certain segments over and over again. My second time reading it I decided to highlight all my favorite passages, and then I stopped because I realized I was highlighting almost the entire book. The writing is just gorgeous and flowing and perfect. Cath Crowley paints beautiful pictures with her words and the entire night comes alive for the reader. This is particularly magical because of all the art happening in this book – Shadow’s painting and Lucy’s glassblowing and Poet’s words. She makes me want to put on a smock and create something.
The story is told through alternating points of view, going back and forth between Lucy and Ed, with occasional short chapters of Poet’s poems. I loved this format, and I think it worked really well for the book. It was so fun being able to get inside both Ed’s and Lucy’s heads. At times the chapters would overlap a little, and even though this sometimes felt unnecessarily repetitive, at other times it was really interesting to see the same scene from both sides. Both characters are so incredibly real – they make mistakes and say stupid things and life isn’t a fairy tale, and that’s part of why this book is so delightful.
Graffiti Moon is a stunning novel, one that I will be rereading over and over and over again. With fabulously clever dialogue, gorgeous descriptive writing, and an all-night adventure you won’t ever want to leave, this is officially one of my favorite books of all time.
Some favorite quotes: (I don’t usually do this for books but I just couldn’t help it. Also this is not NEARLY all of them. I had a hard enough time limiting myself to these.)
‘The night didn't go so well because I broke his nose, which was an accident that happened when I hit him in the face because he touched my arse.’ ~~~~~
‘“I know about graffiti,” I say, and the words come out as if I’m an old lady saying she likes the hip-hop.’ ~~~~~
‘Mum says when wanting collides with getting, that’s the moment of truth. I want to collide. I want to run right into Shadow and let the force spill our thoughts so we can pick each other up and pass each other back like piles of shiny stones.’ ~~~~~
‘He was leaning back in his chair and staring at me. And every time he stared I felt like I’d touched my tongue to the tip of a battery. I was nothing but tingle. After a while the tingle turned to electricity, and when he asked me out my whole body amped to a level where technically I should have been dead. I was pretty sure we had nothing in common, but a girl doesn’t think straight when she’s that close to electrocution.’ ~~~~~
‘I liked that he had hair that was growing without a plan.’ ~~~~~
‘For that week after Ed asked me out and before we went on the date, I felt like the world was heated glass and I was glad to be trapped.’ ~~~~~
‘“I know that” I say, trying to act like I’m not embarrassed for thinking love and sex are the same thing. I know they’re not, but I want them to be close enough to at least brush each other as they pass. ~~~~~...more
Jodi Meadows has created a fascinating world in Incarnate, one where there are a finite number of souls that are continuously reincarnated. Can you imagine? Knowing that if you die, you’ll just be reborn in a few years with all your memories intact? Never meeting anyone new; spending thousands and thousands of years with the same people; knowing their personalities and habits as well as you know your own. Each person has specific skills and a certain role in society, and this is just the way it’s always been.
But Ana is new. A newsoul (or nosoul, according to some) who has been kept isolated and treated like a nobody for her entire life. And now she has decided to journey into the city of Heart and try to find answers about why she exists and what will happen to her after she dies.
I think this is such a fascinating way to look at reincarnation, and I loved getting to explore the world of Heart through Ana’s eyes. It did feel like a lot less than one million people existed though (where did they all live?). And the way the reincarnation works has the potential for some pretty weird situations – someone who was your mother in a past life could end up being your child in a future life, or even your lover. It’s so unique and creative, but I still have so many questions about how everything works! I’m really looking forward to more world-building in future books.
Ana is a fantastic character, and although initially she has very low self-esteem and is apologetic for her feelings and actions, she also has incredible inner strength and bravery as well as being smart and curious and resourceful. This unlikely combination of qualities makes for a really interesting and enjoyable narrator.
Ana’s growth throughout the novel is also due in part to Sam. Oh, lovely lovely Sam. Sam, who is so wonderfully sweet and caring, and slowly makes Ana believe that she’s worth something after a life of being told she’s nothing. It’s beautiful watching the two of them interact and seeing Ana’s gradual transformation.
The development of their relationship is also incredibly sweet and lovely, and it happens so delightfully slowly. It was natural. I’ve never been a huge fan of the insta-romance that we see so often in YA novels, and Incarnate definitely has the slow burn that I love. Things just continue to build and build between Ana and Sam until you’re dying for them to just kiss already.
The dialogue was a bit choppy at times, and it was often difficult to tell who was saying what, though this could be because I was reading an unfinished advanced copy. I also felt like the ending was a little bit rushed and not intense enough. Which just makes me want the next book to come out even faster, but I think that more could have been done with the ending of this one instead of leaving so many questions unanswered. Regardless, I’m seriously looking forward to the rest of the series and I can’t wait to journey back to Heart and visit Sam and Ana again.
With captivating mythology, a brilliant heroine, and a wonderfully sweet romance, Incarnate is an entrancing novel and definitely not one to miss. I absolutely devoured it; you’re not going to want to put it down!
*Also, how gorgeous is that cover?! LOVE it....more