So bummed! My sister loved it, and told me it would get better...but no. Not for me. By the end i still didn't care at all for any of it. It had good...moreSo bummed! My sister loved it, and told me it would get better...but no. Not for me. By the end i still didn't care at all for any of it. It had good moments and funny moments, but overall definitely not for me...(less)
Tempest by Julie Cross (Tempest #1) Pages: 344 Release Date: January 17th, 2012 Date Read: 2012, March 15th-18th Received: Library Rating: 5/5 stars Recomme...moreTempest by Julie Cross (Tempest #1) Pages: 344 Release Date: January 17th, 2012 Date Read: 2012, March 15th-18th Received: Library Rating: 5/5 stars Recommended to: 17+
SUMMARY - Jackson Meyer was always the average, normal teenager...until a year ago, when he discovered his ability to travel through time. First it was freaky. Then it was all fun and games. And now, with the help of his supergeniusfreak friend Adam, he wants to find some answers. But when men come looking for Jackson, killing his girlfriend Holly right in front of him, he must use his extraordinary gift - and an accidental "jump" to the past - to save her and uncover a few family secrets that could mean a change...in everything.
MY THOUGHTS - I am feeling this incredibly strong urge to buy everyone a copy of this book. (Everyone as in...I don't know.) Not all would like it, but holy gracious, it was so stinkin' good I can't even help but try.
You guys, come on! Julie Cross if flipping awesome! How Did She Do It?! I loved literally everything about this book. (Ok, well, there could have been a little less language...BUT...) I loved Jackson, seeing a male perspective in first person. Holly, Adam, cool CIA stuff, time travel that isn't hokey, perfectly paced plot-line with a perfect train of thought that never breaks.
I've never understood time travel so well. I suppose I should try out my own abilities soon... ;)
Julie Cross writes like nothing I've ever seen. The brilliance of her style is her clarity, her way of describing. It allows her to show, not tell. To bring the reader into the story. I was one of those readers. I really was.
CHARACTER NOTES - Let's just put this out there now - Jackson and Adam totally remind me of the Neal/Mozzie duo from White Collar...and in all the best ways. They're not copies, either, just similar, and if I absolutely love the Neal/Mozzie duo (which I do!!), you can bet on me loving Jackson/Adam.
Jackson rocked this book to the very core. He radiates total and complete excellence - as a character in literature and as a real person. I connected with him and - guilt as charged! - totally fell in love with him. He's far from perfect, but shows tons of personal growth and strength in doing the right thing. At first I thought Holly might be too good for him, but no... He totally deserves her!
Speaking of Holly. She's way too cool! She's a dream come true for Jackson, but she's real, flaws and all. She added so much meaning to Tempest, being at the lead of Jackson's drive to search for answers.
There are so many great characters here, I wish I could name them all. Some start out bad and end good (like as in good guy/bad guy...not quality...they're all great quality characters!). Some totally tricked me and flipped the story upside down. I found I was second-guessing myself more than once on a lot of these people. They're very involving!
STORY NOTES - But that's not the only aspect of Tempest to turn things around. This story is freaking crazy!!! Every two seconds my ideas/plans/theories about the story line were blown up in my face by some insanely incredible twist.
Tempest starts fast and ends faster. So much happens, which could have been so confusing, but I never once wondered about the theories or experiments. Everything made sense...okay, except for that one thing at the end. But even that didn't bother me too much. I know Cross will tie it in in the second and third books...I trust her that much. *please don't break my trust!*
Highlight this if you want to read - it's the biggest spoiler in the book so if you haven't read it, I don't recommend reading it!
(view spoiler)[I thought that going back in time to a different "timeline" meant you couldn't change the future? Like, he went back, saw and talked to Courtney, and yet nothing in 2009 changed. When he went back in time to avoid meeting Holly in the very beginning, it was to change the future. But it doesn't work that way. So am I missing something or is that a hole in the story? (hide spoiler)]
In any case, whatever my issue was with the end...it was still breathtaking, gut wrenching, and totally heartbreaking. I definitely cried some in this book because the whole thing had a very emotional undertone...and some of the scenes...GAH! Don't get me wrong - Jackson is this a total guy and not a mushy gushy softy - but he has the perfect mix of manliness and a sensitive side, which only adds to the brilliance of Tempest. (And which only works to make me fall head over heals for him because that's like my dream guy!!)
The love story was just wonderful. It reminded me some of Everneath in the fact that it had already happened, but needs to be "relived". That was one of the factors that sold me in Everneath, and it worked again with Tempest. I love the slow progression of things between Holly and Jackson, and the fact that it was still so intense. Like, emotional (not the dramatic type) and beautiful and so stinking sweet.
SUMMING IT UP - Tempest sucked me into its timeline! ;) Yes, I'm hopelessly lost in the world of Jackson. I'm hooked. I didn't think I'd love it, but wow I was wrong! And now... Second book please come out very very soon!!!!!
For the Parents - Quite a lot of foul language... F bombs, GD, b**ch, s**t, d**n, etc. For that alone I recommend to older ages. But on top of that there are some crude sexual remarks and, yes: college age Jackson and Holly are practically living together. A few minor details (Julie Cross is really good an implying and leaving out unneeded details), but it happens at least 4 times, and with enough detail to make me squirm at the thought of my 15 year old sister reading it. Recommended to older teens, 17+.
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An incredible addition. Ugh these books. I canNOT get enough. Particularly of Percabeth. TOO MUCH GOOOODNESS. I thought...if either of them thinks/spe...moreAn incredible addition. Ugh these books. I canNOT get enough. Particularly of Percabeth. TOO MUCH GOOOODNESS. I thought...if either of them thinks/speaks about kids/future/being together/dying together ONE MORE TIME I will probably have a fatal feels attack. Book 5 better hurry it's butt up - even though the title scares the crap out of me. :'((less)
This book! THIS BOOK! What the flip!! Riordan, how do you manage to be so brilliant about everything? Just, stop. Ok? Actually, don't stop, because it...moreThis book! THIS BOOK! What the flip!! Riordan, how do you manage to be so brilliant about everything? Just, stop. Ok? Actually, don't stop, because it's all too wonderful. GUYS! THIS BOOK!! I mean....WHAT?! THAT ENDING. I'M STILL IN SHOCK AND AMAZED AND TOTALLY IN LOVE. Percy Jackson. I love him.
This was so great! I ended up listening to the BBC radio audiobook while I drove to and from work. DAVID TENNANT FOR THE WIN!! I was immediately sold....moreThis was so great! I ended up listening to the BBC radio audiobook while I drove to and from work. DAVID TENNANT FOR THE WIN!! I was immediately sold...the dramatized version made it come alive in a way that I wasn't quite grasping while reading it. I recommend this play if you want something hilarious and gripping. :) (Especially if you get the audiobook!)(less)
Sooo it was cute. But it wasn't "Austenland". Maybe that's because it was based off "Northanger Abbey", which I didn't like. But the fact of the matte...moreSooo it was cute. But it wasn't "Austenland". Maybe that's because it was based off "Northanger Abbey", which I didn't like. But the fact of the matter is - I liked everything about it a smidge less than I do "Austenland". I wasn't as swept away. I wasn't as intrigued. It's a mystery - and mysteries don't really ever grab me. I find them dull a lot of the time. And while this wasn't dull, exactly, it still didn't live up to its predecessor.
It was, however, still enjoyable and I did enjoy myself reading it! I hope Hale writes another one because I'd love to see all the Austen stories "retold"! :)(less)
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel (The Dark Endeavor Chronicles #1) Pages: 304 Release Date: August 23rd, 2011 Date Read: 2011, Oct. 25th-20th Received:...moreThis Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel (The Dark Endeavor Chronicles #1) Pages: 304 Release Date: August 23rd, 2011 Date Read: 2011, Oct. 25th-20th Received: Library Rating: 4/5 stars Recommended to: 14+
SUMMARY - Victor and Konrad Frankenstein are twins - together from birth, inseparable at any cost. They are both the same in looks - and yet so completely different in personality, wisdom, and vision. When Konrad grows ill, and none of the doctors seem to be able to heal him, Victor decides to take the matter into his own hands. He wishes to create the Elixir of Life, to bring his brother to complete health again. With the help of his friends Elizabeth and Henry, Victor will risk everything to save his brother's life, before it's too late.
MY THOUGHTS - I love Kenneth Oppel. I love the way he writes, the way his characters spring to life, imperfections and all. This Dark Endeavor shot up my reading list when I saw it. It was first in line, even with tons of stuff going on. I had to have it. And it was totally awesome! Maybe not as memorable as the Matt Cruise books; maybe not as totally incredibly amazing - but wonderful all the same. Totally different, too. For a while, I wasn't sure what to rate it, but 4 stars feel right. While it didn't blow my mind, it was still so solid and right and good and just soooo well-written because you really can't expect otherwise from Kenneth Oppel.
CHARACTER NOTES - Victor and Konrad were so perfect for each other and this book. Because not only are they twins ad best friends, but they are also, in a way, opposing forces.
Victor had a great leading role voice. The reason? He was a fool, lacking in wisdom and grace. And yet, I absolutely loved him. That Oppel was able to show Victor's immense stupidity without making the reader hate him is an incredible feat. Seeing Victor change throughout the book, whether for good or bad, was also something I could hold onto about Victor. I still think of him. HE was memorable, that's for sure.
Elizabeth and Henry were extraordinary; Elizabeth with her two sides, Henry with his fears and doubts. They were 3D and easy to relate to and totally different.
And Konrad. He's not a favorite, but he was indeed strong and valiant, at heart if not in body. If I had not cared for him, the drive to the story would have been lost. He was important, and I definitely value presence in the book.
STORY NOTES - At first, I was incredibly intrigued. What would Oppel do with a retelling/prologue of Frankenstein's life? The first chapters were both startling and beautiful, as well as sad and foreboding. Then I got busy with life and couldn't read for two days and lost track of the story at a slower part...and it took a bit of shoving my way back in before I felt at home again. But as soon as I was, the story flew ahead and - wow.
It was crazy. The quests and feats they accomplished to get the three ingredients to the Elixir were intense and really revealed character strengths and weaknesses.
There were some very crazy twists in the end, and I was happy to find that Oppel delivered his usual - where just when you think things can't get any worse, they do. This happens for a few chapters and then - BAM! You're shocked by the final, climactic scene. I love Oppel for that, among other things.
Also -the love triangle. Woah! I've never read anything quite like that. Yikes! What will happen?!
SUMMING IT UP - Bitter. Usually I don't use negative words to describe books I like, but it's so true. This book was full of bitterness - mixed with love, braver, passion, and madness. What a crazy combination - one that I heartily enjoyed - and even shed a tear over. Wow! Such Wicked Intent comes out late this summer and I'm SO EXCITED to read it!! :D
For the Parents - Maybe one minor cuss word. Some passionate kisses; Victor sees Elizabeth's wild, passionate, side and feels something powerful towards her - love, surely, but also an animal-like lust which he tries to overcome. Non-explicit talk of a wedding night. Some very intense scenes (emotionally and physically). Recommended 14+(less)
Kelsey thinks her job at the circus will be a temporary job - but how wrong she is! When she joins she discovers that she has a special connection wit...moreKelsey thinks her job at the circus will be a temporary job - but how wrong she is! When she joins she discovers that she has a special connection with the beautiful white tiger that performs every night. She becomes a kind of caretaker, taking care of his food and water and making sure he's safe inside his cage. She sits by the cage every night and reads to him, or writes in her journal and tells him stories.
But when a man comes to the circus and buys Ren, the tiger, Kelsey feels that she is about to lose a great friend. She finds she is wrong, however, when the assistant of the man who purchased the tiger comes to her and states that he has noticed her special bond with Ren. He offers her the life of luxury during a trip to India, all to accompany Ren on the journey and make sure he is settled nicely into his new home. And when Kelsey says yes to this incredible opportunity, she finds that her dear Tiger is actually a prince under a 300 year old spell, and she will do anything to break the curse. Even if it means falling in love with a man she can never be with. _______________________________________
I absolutely adored this book from the first. Kelsey is such a believable character - she's funny, innocent, and loves greatly. Within the first ten pages, I could totally relate to her and wanted to be her friend. And I just loved her way of speaking. She has character in her dialogue and - get ready for this - I just picture her talking fast and a bit too much. Not in a bad way - she just loves explaining things and she most definitely has an opinion. It was adorable! And Ren...he was pretty much the perfect guy. He's been a tiger for 350 years, so what can you expect? He's learned patience, obedience, and gentleness. He's also very very innocent (unfortunately, his innocence is sometimes masked by the fact that he's freaking gorgeous.) This could bother some people, but never fear! Ren has bouts of anger and doesn't always make right decisions - especially when he's angry. This makes him believable amd human.
Kelsey's bond with Ren is just super amazing... With the tiger, she's comfortable - and then all of a sudden she has to get to know Ren as a man. She doesn't know how to respond to Ren when he's in human form. And I can see why...as soon as I read the description of Ren as a man I couldn't help but giggle. I wouldn't be able to speak, either, if I saw him the way that he is described. And it's not just that he's beautiful - he's serene, kind, and he loves greatly. That's one thing that really hit me about this book - the love. The love in this book is strong - and it runs much deeper than a kiss and a caress. I love that even though Kelsey notices Ren's beauty, she knows that if he was just your average guy, she could sit and talk with him for hours on end...just be with him. And still love him like she does. And Ren, even though he could get any girl, loves Kelsey. She loves him, too - so much it hurts. But then...comes the doubt. (Real life doubts, normal doubts that every girl would have if she was in love with a drop-dead gorgeous man trapped by a tiger's curse. Haha!) (Oh, and if you start to doubt the love story - DON'T. Scream and be angry with them all you want - but DON'T put the book down!) I loved Ren's response to the doubt in their relationship...but you'll just have to read it if you want to know what I'm talking about. :)
The love story was built slowly, like it should be (most of the time). They don't kiss at first, but rather let their relationship build slowly, and they don't sleep together at all. I was so thankful for this. Ren has an old-fashioned "I'm going to ask your permission" kind of attitude about love. He admits he's never felt this way about any woman and he tries so hard to please Kelsey and make her happy - not to satisfy his own desires. He respects her more than words can say and this aspect of him did NOTHING to keep ME from falling for him as well... ;)
As far as the writing goes: I liked it. Not my favorite, but it was easy to read and Colleen Houck's descriptions of people, the landscapes, and even little details were very well done and I could easily and quickly picture exactly what was being described. Things I didn't like: a few of her phrases seemed a bit out of place. Sometimes I felt that the paragraphs were too short. And there were a couple of point of view shifts, but not enough to really be noticeable. I also didn't really like that Kelsey's thoughts were in past tense. Even in the story is in past tense, I think it should always be a rule to make character's thoughts in present tense. You think, "I want to eat that dessert." NOT, "I wanted to eat that dessert." Make sense?
Favorite character: Ren. Who else? :)
Favorite aspect: A lot of things: Ren and Kelsey, Ren and Kishan (who was also a great character, by the way), Mr. Kadam's grandfatherly relationship with Kelsey, all the Indian mythology... You could definitely tell that Colleen Houck cares about her character's relationships and how they affect each other. She also was very skilled in telling about the Indian culture and mythology. It was scary, intimidating, and shocking at times. But interesting. I definitely don't believe in any of what they talked about, and have no desire to, but it was interesting all the same. I also really like that girls AND boys will love this book. It was really a good balance of romance, action, and mystery.
One word to sum up this book: I definitely think parts of the this book were sweet, but then others were action packed and sometimes frightening (the good kind of frightening, though). So I think my word would be tempestuous. It was like an ocean storm, one that carries your emotions and imagination on a wild ride that is not easy to forget. I'm impatiently awaiting book #2 and I can't wait to see what's in store for all these lovely characters!
For parents: Honestly, I think a good starting age for this book is 15-16 years old. The characters don't sleep together, but there are definitely some (steamy) kisses with some description, and lots sexual tension. The characters snuggle a bit, mostly because Ren wants to comfort Kelsey in times of struggle. Ren likes to give tender caresses, too. This is as far as it goes. I really appreciate that. No language AT ALL. Overall, a very clean book, because even though the characters kiss and hold each other, they really really love each other and respect each other enough to be rational.(less)