Corinthe has been exiled from her home in Pyralis and sent to the human world. There, under the guidance of her mentor, Miranda, she must complete sev...moreCorinthe has been exiled from her home in Pyralis and sent to the human world. There, under the guidance of her mentor, Miranda, she must complete several tasks before she can return home and be with her sisters. Her tasks involve making sure people's fate turns out as they are supposed to, including making sure they are in the right place at the right time for death. But her final task is new... she must actually kill. Problem is, she's feeling more and more human these days and she's starting to fall for her target, Lucas.
Not gonna lie, I was drawn in by the cover of this book. I was searching through NetGalley for something new and the blues and greens of this cover really drew me in. The description sounded like something I would like, so I requested it. Good job, Delacorte, for this gorgeous cover that's sure to draw readers in.
Fates really made me think about the question of choice versus fate. Do we have free will or is everything planned out for us? Sure we have choices, we make them every day, but are we really choosing or is the outcome already predetermined? These are fun things to ponder, especially if you're into Philosophy - it reminded me a lot of my PHL101 class in college. Although I spent time reflecting on this while reading, it wasn't something the author spent a lot of time on.
Like I said, Fates has a gorgeous cover, but a cover alone does not a good book make unfortunately, and I found more problems with this book than I found things to love. What stood out the most to me was the author's writing style - it seemed simplistic to me and I noticed it a lot more in the second half of the book. Also, I don't know if this was a formatting problem with my eGalley, but there didn't seem to be much of a distinction between scenes. That, combined with the fast paced nature of the book, made me feel like I was on a literary bullet train. I love fast paced novels, but it seems like the book lacked some detail that would have enriched the text.
Three stars. There were more downsides to this book for me, though ultimately I liked it enough to give it three stars. Fates might not have done it for me, but I can see a readership out there. I think fans of Aprilynne Pike's Wings series would adore Fates. If you're a fantasy or mythology fan, this one's for you.(less)
Oh, what a bummer. I absolutely loved The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch, and I thought Magisterium was pretty good, too, so when I saw The Darkest Pa...moreOh, what a bummer. I absolutely loved The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch, and I thought Magisterium was pretty good, too, so when I saw The Darkest Path on NetGalley I was like, "Hell yeah I want to read that!" I feel kind of deflated now and this review will probably be short because I hate writing bad reviews.
There's a civil war going on in the United States, or what's left of it anyway, and Callum and his younger brother are in the Glorious Path - a militant religious group slowly taking over the country. But Cal wants out, so he and his brother set out with a dog named Bear. His brother returns to the Glorious Path, but Cal continues on... battles, trouble, and convienient help ensue.
The Darkest Path is a boy book. Now before you get all up in arms about gender-izing books, let me tell you I'm the last person to believe in "boy books" and "girl books." Books are books if you like them, great, and if you don't, I don't think your gender has much to do with it. But as I read The Darkest Path, all I could think was that it was a boy book and it's hard to say why specifically. Perhaps it was the violence or the crummy romance story, but I've enjoyed plenty of other books filled with violence (Quarantine, for example) or crummy romances (hello, Twilight was my first book love).
Let me get off of that topic though and give you some real reasons The Darkest Path didn't do it for me. The plot didn't hold my attention - that's number one. I kept putting the book down and picking it up days later. Number two - it was a bit confusing. Every time I picked the book back up, I had to remind myself which side was which and who was winning. And thirdly, the romance. As I mentioned before, it was pretty crummy and didn't do much for me, which is fine I guess because the romance was the main point of the story.
On the positive side, I do think the book has a serious and important political message. But I hate talking about politics in public places, so it's up to you to read and figure that one out for yourself.
Augh, I just don't know, but this one gets only two stars, unfortunately. But if you're a dude, pick this up and give it a try. Maybe I should make my husband read it and tell me what he thinks... (less)
I'll admit it up front, I've never read anything by A.S. King before, so I didn't really know what to except out of Reality Boy, except that its descr...moreI'll admit it up front, I've never read anything by A.S. King before, so I didn't really know what to except out of Reality Boy, except that its description on NetGalley really drew me in. I didn't get anything close to what I excepted though - I thought I was going to get a fluffy comedy piece about a kid who used to be on television and is now struggling with the after effects. I expected maybe a three star book filled with humor, instead I got a hard-hitting, honest book, filled with realistic, raw emotion... a five star read hands down and you should pick up a copy today.
Gerald was five when a camera crew came into his home to film some episodes for Network Nanny (think Super Nanny). Soon Gerald was known across the country as "The Crapper," the kid who crapped on the kitchen table, his sister's bed, and his parents' shoes. But now Gerald is seventeen and the world still knows him as "The Crapper." Gerald has anger issues and he desperately wants to escape his public persona, but how?
I immediately realized Reality Boy wasn't going to be fluffy at all, but that turned out to be for the best because what I did get was a book I couldn't put down. I was sucked into the story right away, which alternated between Gerald's present time and scenes from episodes. The stories unravel simultaneously and it becomes apparent quickly that Gerald isn't crapping on tables for a simple "behavior" problem. Instead, there are deeper family issues at work. But evidently deeper family issues don't sell interesting television, because for the entire book "Nanny"did not pay attention to what young Gerald or his siblings were trying to tell her. Instead, the shows were scripted and scenes were filmed repeatedly. The story the public saw was fake, so is it any wonder they thought Gerald was just some dumb kid who crapped on his family's things.
But I really and truly felt bad for Gerald for the emotional abuse his sister and mother put him though. As the novel continues both Gerald and the reader learn about what really happened and I was appalled at his mother. I don't want to spoil it, but I don't understand how any mother can act in the way she did and then try to get pity for herself. I certainly didn't give her any.
There's also a love connection in Reality Boy and while it was a significant part of the novel, it wasn't a love-y dove-y romance at all. In fact, Gerald's anger coach and told him repeated to not get involved with girls because eventually they would just do things that angered him. But when Gerald met Hannah and they started to fall for each other, I knew he had no choice but to give love a chance. Their relationship added a real balance to the story line and helped keep Gerald grounded. They had their cute romance moments, but it was clear that each of them needed the other for a little bit of saving.
And how incredibly poignant at this day in age, when "reality" television dominates the airwaves, the more dramatic the better for ratings, but who really thinks about what it does to people? How about the young children on these shows, what will their lives be like when they're teenagers? I was thinking about the Gosselin children the most as a I read this book - America was fascinated with their family and then there was all kinds of fallout regarding both of their parents. How will they grow up? Only time will tell, but maybe we should be using Reality Boy as a warning.
Sixteen years after a virus swept the nation killing most of the population, Clover, her brother, and her father still survive by taking daily injecti...moreSixteen years after a virus swept the nation killing most of the population, Clover, her brother, and her father still survive by taking daily injections that keep the virus from taking hold of their bodies. Clover, who is autistic, is sixteen now and ready to continue her education. But when she's told she cannot attend with her dog, Mango, she is instead sent to the Company where she's on the fast track to become a Time Mariner - a person who travels two year into the future on missions to gather news. But one of Clover's missions throws her for a loop when she learns that her brother is in trouble, and now the most important thing is saving his life before it's taken away.
Clover's story struck me as unique right away, since she is autistic. She was immediately an endearing and realistic character, and her helper dog Mango was fantastic as well. I felt for her right away when she was denied entry into the Academy but I also admired her ability to throw herself into her new "job" and enjoy it. Clover is probably one of the best characters in recent YA. She alone is a reason to read Viral Nation.
Of course, what's going to keep you reading is the plot. It's been a long time since I've read a YA novel with a plot that was so well crafted and with so many intricate layers. That's a true testament to Shaunta Grimes' writing skills. I loved the time traveling aspect of the novel, it really lent itself to an interesting plot and really made me think.
On the other hand, even though I loved Clover and I thought the plot was so well crafted, I did find that Viral Nation didn't hold my attention. My mind was wandering, particularly around the halfway to three-quarters part. Still, by the end of the novel I found myself excited to see how the story will continue in the next book in the series.
Three stars. While Viral Nation was a well thought out novel, it failed to hold my complete attention. However, if you're a hardcore dystopian fan I really recommend this one. Viral Nation is the start of what appears to be a fantastic series.(less)
Mallory killed her boyfriend Brian, but she's not entirely clear on the why or how, but everyone knows it was self-defense so she isn't charged in his...moreMallory killed her boyfriend Brian, but she's not entirely clear on the why or how, but everyone knows it was self-defense so she isn't charged in his death. Instead, her parents send her away to a private school for a fresh start. Her classmates are suspicious, however. She's ostracized by practically everyone except for Reid, a childhood friend. But her dreams haunt her in a disturbing way and when a student turns up dead... Mallory is once again the spotlight.
That cover. Look! It's what drew me to this novel from the beginning and I couldn't wait to read it. The description made Hysteria sound like a great psychological thriller, and while there was some definite psychology, the thriller aspect was lacking a bit. I wasn't at the edge of my seat, but I was very interested to learn what happened with Mallory when her boyfriend died, and then of course what would happen to Mallory after that fellow student turned up dead.
Mallory can't quite remember what happened that evening with Brian. As the novel goes on, we catch bits of pieces of memories that we as the reader must piece together along with Mallory. I've seen this plot device used before and it's never bothered me, but I found the execution in Hysteria to be a bit disjointed and confusing. I have to admit, I'm still a little puzzled over both murders.
What I did find extremely interesting was the psychological drama Mallory put herself through. Every night she could hear whispers and footsteps. She couldn't help but think Brian's mother was there to get her. Handprints showed up on her skin after she took her sleeping pills, and she never could remember what happened overnight. This part of Hysteria was so engrossing to me! I really wanted Mallory to feel better, because let's face it, she was pretty much a good kid who had to deal with some unfortunate circumstances.
Three stars. Three and a half if I was into half stars. I wanted to love and adore this novel, but the disjointed plot, particularly at the end, left me a little confused and uninterested. However, if you're a fan of psychological YA novels, you really should give this one a try. I wouldn't hesitate to read anything else by Megan Miranda; in fact, Fracture has been on my wish list for quite some time.
When Molly turns sixteen she has a dream about Anubis in which she agrees to serve him as a reaper. When she wakes up, she discovers her world has bee...moreWhen Molly turns sixteen she has a dream about Anubis in which she agrees to serve him as a reaper. When she wakes up, she discovers her world has been turned upside down. Turns out that dream agreement in binding and now Molly must attend Nekyia Acadamey - a special boarding school where she will learn to hone her skills and serve Anubis as he wishes.
Undeadly was totally not what I expected, but I loved it! Michele Vail creates a vivid world filled with reapers and zombies and souls that reminded me of balloons... I loved immersing myself in this world from page one. But Undeadly took it a step farther for me and included something I'm a sucker for in YA novels... boarding school. Give me a paranormal boarding school with a main character who doesn't feel like they belong and I'm all over that.
The boarding school in Undeadly reminded me a little bit of Hogwarts, but smaller. It just sounded very old and stately. The legacy families in Undeadly reminded me a bit of the founders of Hogwarts - okay okay, I know you can't really compare any book to Harry Potter, but there was something about Undeadly that reminded me of those hallowed halls. It also reminded me a bit of Hex Hall, but a little more intense and a lot more zombified. In addition, I liked the format Michele Vail used when writing Undeadly. The book is told from Molly's point of view, but also includes Molly's diary entries and quotes at the beginnings of chapters. The format really tied the whole book together and made the world feel cohesive.
A note about the boys. Molly's boyfriend Rick randomly shows up at her new school and I thought that was kind of odd - although there was something odd about their relationship to begin with. Enter Rath - an angsty, dark kind of a guy who Molly keeps running into, and who then turns out to be her independent study instructor! Hello! Of course, the plot is complicated by the mysterious deaths (is there any other kind?) of some of Molly's fellow students.
I'm totally loving this new world that Michele Vail created and I can't wait to see how the series and Molly's story fleshes out in future novels. It's obvious when reading Undeadly that this is just the beginning of something huge.
Four stars! Undeadly was a great start to what's sure to be a wonderful series. I'm looking forward to reading the next book already! If you enjoyed the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins, you'll probably also enjoy this one. Give it a look!
This is going to be a short review, because when I found this title on NetGalley I didn't realize is was the third book in a trilogy. This wasn't a pr...moreThis is going to be a short review, because when I found this title on NetGalley I didn't realize is was the third book in a trilogy. This wasn't a problem at the beginning of the novel, when I felt confident i knew what was going on. I really, really enjoyed the first half of the novel. But in the second half, Petunia's sisters are (re)introduced and I knew nothing about them and their back story from the first two novels. It left me a little confused, but this is entirely my fault. Princess of the Silver Woods was extremely well-written and enchanting.
Jessica Day George does a great job with world building in this novel. The series is based off the fairytale The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which is one of the best fairytales, in my opinion, to retell. George's world is filled with kingdoms and stately characters, which are great fun to read about. There was also a little hint of Robin Hood and Little Red Riding Hood, as well. Really, if you're all about fairytale retellings, this would be a great series for you to pick up.
Four stars! If the first two novels in this series are as enchanting as Princess of the Silver Woods was, I just may have to go back and pick those up. If you're interested in this book, I highly recommend starting with the first two in the series so you've got the whole backstory in mind. And look at the covers, they're so pretty!(less)
Two and Twenty Dark Tales is a charity anthology by Month9Books, containing twenty-two short stories by some of your favorite YA authors. Each story i...moreTwo and Twenty Dark Tales is a charity anthology by Month9Books, containing twenty-two short stories by some of your favorite YA authors. Each story is a dark retelling of Mother Goose rhymes.
Anthologies are notoriously difficult for me to review and this one is no different. As expected, there were stories I loved and there were stories that I didn't care about or simply "didn't get." But there were enough stories that held my interest that I ultimately really enjoyed reading this collection. I did find as I read that I tended to enjoy those stories that leaned more to the contemporary side rather than those that took place in the past or were very heavy on fantasy. It's hard for sufficient world building to be included in just a few pages, I think.
While I did recognize some of the Mother Goose rhymes included at the beginning of every story, there were some I wasn't familiar with at all, so it was interesting to read those. I think some of my favorite stories were "Clockwork" by Leah Cypress were a girl can transform herself from human to mouse and back; "Life in a Shoe" by Heidi R. Kling where a woman whose husband is away at war finds a way to have as many children as she can even though she cannot provide for them; "Candlelight" by Suzanne Lazear, which had a definite "HA! Serves you right!" vibe to it. Finally, my absolute favorite story in the collection was "Wee Willie Winkie" by Leigh Fallon. This was one of those Mother Goose rhymes I'd never heard before, by Leigh Fallon wrote such a creepy little story, I read it twice.
Three stars. While every story wasn't necessarily for me, I do believe there's a little something in this anthology for everyone. So if you're a fan of short stories, Two and Twenty Dark Tales is definitely worth picking up, especially since the proceeds go to charity.
Covet is the second book in The Clann series. The first book, Crave, I read last fall and loved. Covet had that same special magic in it that Crave di...moreCovet is the second book in The Clann series. The first book, Crave, I read last fall and loved. Covet had that same special magic in it that Crave did, that something indescribable that drew me in and reminded me what a fantastic series this is. As with the first novel, I found the characters to be fully developed and distinct, particularly Savannah and Tristan. Even though they had different though processes on their relationship, it was obvious they still wanted to be with each other. It was interesting to watch them struggle with the same issue in different ways.
Of course the plot was intensely interesting, as well. There was always something going on in Covet. It starts with what happens to Savannah's grandmother and the action and plot just doesn't really stop until the end of the book. Oh, the end of the book! I was flipping the pages on my Nook just as fast as I could for the last twenty pages or so. I absolutely cannot wait until next year to find out what happens next. I have a feeling that the next book is going to be just as great as Crave and Covet were.
Four stars! The book dragged a little in the middle but despite its almost five hundred pages in length, I was addicted and didn't want to stop reading for most of the novel. The ending was utterly spectacular and has me wanting more... now! But I have to wait for the next book, Consume, to come out in 2013. If you haven't started this series yet, I highly suggest that you do!
The book's description immediately caught my attention. Obese high school student "Butter," weighs in at 423 pounds. His days are pretty much the same...moreThe book's description immediately caught my attention. Obese high school student "Butter," weighs in at 423 pounds. His days are pretty much the same, get up, eat a massive breakfast, go to school and sit alone to eat a massive lunch, got home, play the saxophone, have some dinner and chat with his crush online, who doesn't know who he is. But when Butter makes the decision to commit suicide by eating himself to death online, suddenly his classmates are paying attention to him. With some newfound popularity, Butter isn't sure whether he wants to go through with it after all, but if he doesn't will he still be popular?
Butter was such a fantastic novel and it didn't disappoint me one bit. There have been novels about bullying in the past, but Butter takes it one step further and really captures that dynamic between the bullies and the bullied. Butter is riveting, dynamic, and just so extremely significant in this day in age.
I really liked the way Erin Jade Lange wrote the character of Butter. She really illustrated the relationship between emotions and eating - something a lot of people struggle with on a daily basis whether they're overweight or not. There's so much discrimination against the obese these days, people fail to realize the obese are people, too. That really came across in Butter. Sure, Butter was massive, but he also had a sense of humor and he was a killer saxophone player. There was so much more to Butter than just eating and being fat.
Above all, Butter just seemed realistic to me. Thank the Lord I've never been 423 pounds, but I know what it's like to be teased and used. I think there's a bit of Butter in each of us and that make him a very relatable character. Anna and her friends also seemed realistic to me. I can identify people I went to high school with who acted the exact same way about one thing or another. As for the subject matter, unfortunately in our modern world is was also realistic; our youth are becoming more and more obese with every study that comes out; high schoolers are bullied and encouraged to kill themselves everyday. Sadly, it wouldn't at all surprise to me to read in the paper at a teenager somewhere killed him/herself over the Internet.
But Butter isn't all doom and gloom! As I mentioned before, Butter has a sense of humor and his interactions with the adults around him, from his high-school's band teacher to his doctor whom he sees very frequently, are all rather up-beat. Butter is able to laugh at himself and with others, taking the edge off what would otherwise be a very heavy novel.
Five stars! Butter is such a breakthrough novel. It's an absolute must read. Erin Jade Lange has the ability to tackle several serious subject without making the book feel heavy. Butter was a delight to read and I'm looking forward to reading more by this author in the future.
Rachel is about to give birth but is still reeling from her husband's untimely death, which she blames herself for. She spends her time on her Amish f...moreRachel is about to give birth but is still reeling from her husband's untimely death, which she blames herself for. She spends her time on her Amish farm, waiting to give birth, when a stranger appears and tells her he can take her away and has a way he can save her husband. Desperate, Rachel goes with him but soon realizes that Akiva is a vampire who wants to use her baby for an unfortunate vampire ritual...
I'd been wanting to read this book a long time. What an interesting and promising concept, I thought, combining the simple Amish lifestyle with the paranormal. It's obvious that the Amish would afraid of vampires and against them as a lifestyle choice, so I thought it would be interesting to see how an Amish community would deal with vampire outsiders. What I didn't realize, however, was that Plain Fear: Forbidden is actually second in a series after Plain Fear: Forsaken. I still do not know how much of these books overlap, but I feel like I would have done better to read Forsaken first.
At least for me, it felt like there was a lot of filler information surrounding Akiva that detracted from the plot I was really interested in: Rachel, the survival of her and her baby, and her relationship with Roc. Ultimately that's what I was looking for here, an old-fashioned Amish romance where the Amish woman falls in love with the Englisher with a little paranormal thriller thrown in for fun. I wanted to see Roc save Rachel from the vampires and while some saving did happen, it wasn't enough of the focus of the novel for me. I'll admit, I skimmed the parts toward the ending that focused on Akiva just to get back to Rachel's story. I will say, the last couple chapters were fantastic.
And I really did like that part of the book. If the idea of vampires mixed with the Amish appeals to you at all (and why on earth wouldn't it!?) I recommend this book, but I highly suggest you read Plain Fear: Forsaken first. (less)
Sultry with a Twist is a small town romance with big heart. There were so many enjoyable things about this little romance novel! The first thing that...moreSultry with a Twist is a small town romance with big heart. There were so many enjoyable things about this little romance novel! The first thing that struck me was the author's voice - Macy Beckett has a fantastic writing style; she's great at describing a scene and infuses little bits of humor throughout. As a result, Sultry with a Twist had me smiling throughout.
The characters were fantastic; I don't think I've ever cared about romance novel characters as much. June was, obviously, my favorite. She was making her own way in the world and didn't need a man to save her, except for that one time she was bitten by a snake. June was a bit accident prone and it made her that much more likable. Luke was a great character as well, but for different reasons. He was very hard on himself, but it was obvious to me (and June) that deep down he's a good-hearted man. And pretty sexy, too!
Four stars - Sultry with a Twist was a step-above your average romance novel. It had an adorable plot and great characters that I actually cared about. Macy Beckett writes with humor and charm and infuses her characters with the same spunky personalities. If you're into romance at all, I highly recommend you get a copy of this when it comes out October 2nd. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to reading the next books in the series when they arrive in 2013.
It seems like everything is stacked against Noah and Rose from the beginning, despite their mutual attraction. Noah has no desire to be "English" and...moreIt seems like everything is stacked against Noah and Rose from the beginning, despite their mutual attraction. Noah has no desire to be "English" and Rose really has no desire to become Amish, either. Rose is completely ignorant of the Amish lifestyle, focusing more on their "antifeminist rules" rather than their faith; she has plans to go to college and wait to get married until her late twenties. That was the one thing that really bugged me about Rose. You cannot view the Amish as "antifeminist" because they are a faith group. At the heart of the Amish lifestyle is their faith, not a set of rigid rules, and Rose completely failed to see that. Rose doesn't seem to have any faith at all, so for her to consider turning Amish to be with Noah seemed a little out there to me, like she would be doing it for all the wrong reasons.
But that didn't detract from my reading of the novel at all. Rose might seem ignorant, but that was probably the point. There were times during the book that I felt Rose and Noah should just give up, but there were also times where I felt they could overcome anything to be together. Even now that I'm done with the book, I cannot decide if I want them to make it or not - I'll have to wait until the next book in the series to find out if they do or not!
Despite all that, I found myself really empathizing with Noah and Rose. Even though it seemed really obvious to me that their relationship was doomed, the chemistry between them was very intense and appealed to me. Who doesn't want to have feelings like that when it comes to their significant others? But a part of me felt it was just lust, and that for Noah and Rose to actually be together as man and wife... well it just seemed impossible. Or maybe not. I don't know! I love that this book got me thinking about what was the right thing to do here; it's not black and white at all, it's obviously a hard decision for anyone involved. While Rose and Noah spent a great deal of time thinking about it seriously, I felt like both sets of their parents didn't give it as much thought, and maybe gave in too easily.
This novel of self-discovery was amazing. I highly, highly recommend it for fans of YA contemporary romance. The Amish aspect is a fresh new theme on the YA market and was very enjoyable. I'm eagerly looking forward to the sequel so I can find out if Rose and Noah will make it!