This story is a well written, powerful example that not everything can be as it seems and that every one of us is capable of accomplishing something gThis story is a well written, powerful example that not everything can be as it seems and that every one of us is capable of accomplishing something great if we only put our minds to it. It, in my opinions, teaches children about perseverance and to try one’s best at all times. The characters are easy for a young child to relate to, as well as for an adult to grasp onto and see the merits of the characteristics of that individual. And yet, people still find fault in it. A lot of times, the reason a book makes it onto that list is because it challenges the basic tenets of one religion or another. Do the fanatics remember the constitution? That whole freedom of speech, freedom from religious persecution thing? Yeah, bet they forgot that one.
I refuse to censor what my child wants to read, as a parent.
My thoughts on Harry Potter from a parent perspective:
My oldest child asked for the Harry Potter books for his 6th birthday. Let’s set aside the sheer delight at a child wanting books instead of toys as a gift, especially at 6. That is a whole other blog post that I shall entertain eventually. But let’s look at what my thoughts about the book he asked for were:
Hmmm, Harry Potter, huh? Well, having either seen all movies to date at that time (2009) or read all books, I evaluated my thoughts on whether it was appropriate for my then 6 year old son to read. The answer was yes. As mentioned in the above-referenced post, I do not believe in censoring what my child reads. Yes, I understand there is a bit of violence and a few things some others may not think appropriate for a child his age. I get that. But the difference between me and some other people is this: I view it as an opportunity to learn and teach him. We discussed the parts that others might have thought inappropriate. We also discussed that some of the words in the book are not words we hear regularly, because it was written in England, and there are a few differences in our version of English and theirs. Which then led to a discussion about England and it’s history and culture. See how that worked out there? Great stuff.
This opened a door. Now, at nine, he has read the books, seen all of the movies, and amazingly, he never had nightmares because of it. Now, watching The Punisher with his stepfather, totally different story, that kind of creeped him out a little. But I digress.
Harry Potter is an excellent series that I feel all middle-grade children should read because it can teach them things about life. It opens the door for communication with parents about all sorts of things, not least of all the difference between fantasy and reality....more
This book/series poses a very interesting concept: Is love a disease? Is love the cause of all of the worlds problems, something to be eradicated, feaThis book/series poses a very interesting concept: Is love a disease? Is love the cause of all of the worlds problems, something to be eradicated, feared? Or can love truly exist as a beautiful thing, in a world where people coexist harmoniously? Does love have to mean pain and heartache, or can love be happiness and joy?
In the beginning, I almost felt like maybe Lena was a bit shallow and self-centered. She just wanted the cure. The same cure that did all of those horrible things to her mother and took everything away from her. But she didn't see it that way. She saw it as salvation. If only she really knew what she was signing up for, huh?
Hana was the ultimate party girl and probably one of my favorite characters in the book.
The evolution of this characters and the world-building that took place was amazing. I felt instantly connected to the story. It takes place in the current time, but in an alternate world. I could so easily picture that being the true case as we watch the news debate gay marriage and things like that that define what is right and just and moral in the world. Because, of course, we fear the unknown. We are taught that that which is different or not the same as everything else, the unknown, is frightening and scary and something to be avoided at all costs, right?
But there is a beauty underneath the story, in the subtext, that you almost have to dig deep to see. It is so worth it though. I urge every teenager, every adult, every HUMAN to read this book. It will make you look at things in a whole new light, and re-evaluate everything you have ever known about love and relationships. It was utterly mind-blowing....more
As Always the author has left us hanging on the edge of our seats and devouring the words found within the pages. There are quite a few surprises in sAs Always the author has left us hanging on the edge of our seats and devouring the words found within the pages. There are quite a few surprises in store, and some that some of us have been expecting or hoping for for a while. The author has a particular talent for creating a story that you both can see as a viable end and yet pray there is more to come all at the same time. I sincerely hope that this is not the end of the story and that we get to see what comes next for these characters. The end will leave you panting and asking if that is all there is. You will feel both a sense of fulfillment and a sense of loss as you realize that, if there is to be another book, you will have to wait to find out what will happen next with your favorite characters.
I loved some of the twists that were thrown in here, and then with others I can see why they were needed but they still put my teeth on edge.
We get to see more of Zander in this volume, and get a greater sense of the man he is and is going to become, and we see a lot of growing up with all of the main characters. I hope that this is not the end. ...more
I absolutely LOVED this book. I had mixed feelings going into it because I read some negative reviews on retail sites, but figured I would find out foI absolutely LOVED this book. I had mixed feelings going into it because I read some negative reviews on retail sites, but figured I would find out for myself anyway, and the Nook edition was only 2.99, plus I had gotten a gift card for my birthday, so what did I have to lose, right? I read the book in one day!
I felt so drawn to Ever, right from the beginning. She felt the need to hide who she really was from everyone around her, trying to forget the girl she used to be. The tragedy in this book is absolutely heartbreaking. There is romance, mystery, intrigue, all rolled into one neat little package.
While Miles and Haven, her best friends, seem like secondary characters who were little more than an afterthought, they add a dynamic to the story that is incredible. It makes the whole story seem real and believable, as you experience the teenage angst that is commonplace with trying to find out who you really are.
Damen is described as smoking hot, and you can actually get an image in your mind of what he looks like. My image of Damen is something like the actor that plays Stefan on The Vampire Diaries, and if I am wrong, I would so rather the author not fill me in on that one!
And of course, then you have Drina, who you will have to develop your own opinion of because if I tell you what I think, there will be spoilers here and I always try to write spoiler-free (mostly because I have not figured out how to hide them like other bloggers do!)
I absolutely loved this story and had total fangirl moments reading it. I am a 30 year old woman obsessed with a fantasy novel. Don't tell my husband, he would be embarrassed to go in public with me after this admission!
I feel that everyone who loves fantasy should read this novel. It was nice to get something out of the ordinary and unexpected. Most fantasy novels of late are filled with vampires in some variation or another, and what you get here is so much better!
Seriously, go buy this book. You will not regret it. ...more
I cannot believe I read this entire series in less than a week, and not only did I read it, but I fell in love with it. I am sad to no longer be ableI cannot believe I read this entire series in less than a week, and not only did I read it, but I fell in love with it. I am sad to no longer be able to get to see the characters, who felt like old friends by the time I fnished reading.
Meg Cabot has done an amazing job of retelling this bit of mythology and bringing to life the story of Hades and Persephone in a way that I don't think anyone else could have done. Often, recreations of historical or mythological situations are done poorly or just do not hold my interest, but this story just sucked me in in a way I don't think anyone else could have.
I love the way you could see the bits of of the story coming together, like I could almost see the wheels turning in the heads of each of the characters. And the conversation at the very end between Pierce and John left me absolutely breathless and speechless.
I was pleased to see that the way the sex scene was laid out and described in book 2 was not repeated here. To me it was just a bit over the top and .. Well, cheesy really.
I find that the more I love a book, the harder it is for me to find a lot to say about it without giving away spoilers. So I will leave with the following:
This series is an absolute must read for anyone who has entertained an interest in mythology in any way.
Thank you to the publisher for a copy for review. ...more
Let me start by saying, this book is nearly 800 pages, so be warned, it is not a quick read, but believe me, it is worth it. The characters are engagiLet me start by saying, this book is nearly 800 pages, so be warned, it is not a quick read, but believe me, it is worth it. The characters are engaging and human. They are not depicted as perfect, which makes it easier to connect with them and find them believable. One of my biggest pet peeves with reading any novel is when an author creates a character that is so far out of the realm of reality that there is no way a normal, average person like me can connect with them, as they have no flaws, nothing that makes them seem real and human.
I have come to realize that writing a really great fantasy novel is an art form, and it really is not as easy as creating characters that exist in another world, like fairies, witches, vampires and goblins. You cannot just throw magic into a bland story and expect it to be a fantastic epic fantasy novel. It is an art form that I can honestly and truthfully say that D.W. Hawkins has mastered in spades.
That is not the case in this novel, though. I was instantly able to connect with Dormael in this story. I could feel his feelings and hear what he heard, as the author makes great use of description to make the reader able to become a part of the story. While the book is long, the degree of detail given makes that necessary.
D.W. Hawkins makes great use of back story, without cramming it down your throat right at the beginning. It is spread out throughout the story, and you learn about the characters and get to really feel like you know them by the end of this novel.
I was able to feel the fury of the cousins when they found the little girl in the tower room, and the emotions were almost palpable as I read along in rapt horror at what you perceive has happened to the poor little Bethany.
Then, I felt as though I was travelling with the unlikely group of friends as they traveled throughout the world created in the story.
Okay, that's it. I am not telling you any more about the storyline itself, and you will have to read for yourself. From here forward, I will give you my thoughts about the writing in general, and hopefully I can convey to you how great this story was, enough so that you will want to read it and find out what is in store!
Overall, this was a novel that I could not put down. Every time I tried to walk away from it, I could feel the story and the characters calling to me, telling me that I had no idea what was coming next and I would just HAVE to keep reading to find out.
There were a few points where I was not sure where it was going or what exactly was happening, but somehow it always pulled together and made sense, even if it took a little while to get there. In my opinion, this is a must read, and I will reread this book many times and share it with my son, who is 8 years old and becoming a huge fan of fantasy.
For my rating scale, I am giving this a 5 star rating, well worth the money! I hope you will all enjoy the story as much as I did and do, and will continue too for many years to come! I cannot wait to see what is going to happen next, and anxiously await the next installment in this series, which I am told to expect some time in November of this year.
**DISCLAIMER** I was provided a copy of this story in E-Book format from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have not been compensated in any way for this posting, and the opinions expressed here are my own....more
Okay, so first things first, for those of you who have not yet heard of this author, quickly go find the links to find out more about her below, becauOkay, so first things first, for those of you who have not yet heard of this author, quickly go find the links to find out more about her below, because you are definitely missing out!
I was introduced to this author by a friend and fellow reviewer. I instantly fell in love with the characters of the Jolie series, as well as the author's other series as well.
The story takes you into a universe that we all have wondered if exists or not under the surface of the one we live within. You quickly learn that things are not as they appear and that just below the surface is a bubbling and exciting unknown that our heroine falls into and has to learn to maneuver.
Okay, so there is a little bit of back story. For "The Witch is Back," we find the story picks up precisely where it left off in "Witchful Thinking." Of course, the vampire is up to his old tricks and will not be left without having won the prize he so desperately feels he deserves. But all hope is not lost, folks.
"The Witch is Back" takes readers on a veritable roller coaster ride through twists and turns and ins and outs of a universe that will make you question EVERYTHING. Yes, Vampires, werewolves and witches really do exist and in this exciting tale, there is no lack of action and adventure, as well as a few steamy romance scenes as well.
Fair warning, this is not a "YA" title. There are scenes held within these pages that are a bit risque and not for the faint at heart.
In my opinion, this series is a must have for all fans of the paranormal, fantasy, paranormal romance and the like. If you want a glimpse at vampires that will starkly contrast what we learned in "Twilight," then this is the novel for you!
On another note, I have had occasion to personally "sit down" with this author, and she is all about her fans and has some great communities on facebook dedicated to her fans. Maybe we can get her to chime in here and tell us all where to find them?
Thanks to Edelweiss and the Publishers for a review copy....more
Just when you thought things could not possibly get worse, they do. Thomas and the gang find themselves in even more unexpected predicaments and someJust when you thought things could not possibly get worse, they do. Thomas and the gang find themselves in even more unexpected predicaments and some of the twists and turns in this final volume of the series will leave you gasping for breath and hanging on the edge of your seat wondering how in the world the author came up with these things. I spent several moments wondering what kind of sick and twisted mind could come up with these ideas and concepts.
Once again, Mr. Dashner's writing style and character development are top notch, leaving you wondering what could possibly go wrong next. There were many, many head shaker moments in this novel. My main regret at the end was that I had no way of finding out what was going to come next. There is the prequel, which I am already immersed in, but it just will not be the same not knowing what will come next.
I find myself invested in the characters and as if I had endured the Maze with them, along with the many other trials and tribulations they had to face. The scariest part of this book is that I can completely and totally imagine the world ending up like that and all of the nightmares it would bring. I can picture people being under the influence of the Flare and what all that would entail. It was scary and enlightening all at the same time.
So, will civilization survive? Will this be the end as we know it or will they be able to move on? You will have to read on to find out. ...more
You ever finish a book and realize that, on one hand, you really need to get your thoughts down on paper right away before you explode, but at the samYou ever finish a book and realize that, on one hand, you really need to get your thoughts down on paper right away before you explode, but at the same time you feel like you need to collect your thoughts because you are so emotional? That is kind of how I feel right now.
I have read every book in this series thanks to Netgalley and the publisher. I have loved every book in this series. But this one was, by far, the biggest roller coaster right yet.
I really do not know how she does it. The author of this series continuously seems to capture the hardest realities that could exist for a teenager and finds ways to make them beautiful. I am absolutely in awe.
West and Haley meet under the worst possible circumstances and their story is one of strife and turmoil and struggle, and yet they endure and they survive.
Throughout this series, I have seen circumstances and situations that are so unbelievably real. The realization that there are teens that really live through things like that is heartbreaking and emotional and it shredded me to my core. And I loved every minute of it.
In this and the other books, the characters are real and human. They are the types of characters that people can connect to. For some, reading through this book will make them face their own demons. For others, it will remind them that no matter how bad you think it is, there is always someone else who has a worse situation. For still others, it will seem unreal, unimaginable, and nothing more than the work of a gifted story teller. For me, it is all of the above. I feel like for having read this book, I am more in touch with the harsh realities of the world in which we live. I am a better person for it.
Thank you, Katie McGarry, for writing books that make me think, make me face reality, and make me strive to create a better world for my children. I will be forever changed. ...more
I had started and stopped reading this one a few times, but when Bout of Books rolled around and the Book BFFs set goals that included a book from a mI had started and stopped reading this one a few times, but when Bout of Books rolled around and the Book BFFs set goals that included a book from a male POV, this just seemed like the perfect book to fill that role.
Although, technically, only half of the book was from the male POV and half of it was from Blue's POV, I still say it totally counts because there were more male than female characters that had leading roles. Yep, that is my story, and I am totally sticking to it.
Blue was a character that struck me as, intriguing. Something about her being out of the ordinary. But I think I felt the strongest connection with Adam, and I am really not sure why. Out of all of the characters, he just seemed the most, well, real.
The story was one of magic and amazing adventures. I think it would appeal to pretty much any demographic, any gender. It ends on the kind of cliffhanger that leaves you gasping for air and wanting more. I essentially read this one in under 24 hours, and while I want to dive directly into Dream Thieves, alas, I must wait and see what else comes along first that will be more pressing.
The Raven Boys was one of those books that I felt compelled to finish. From the moment I picked it up, I was drawn into the story and felt like I was there. The first 60 pages or so were a little slow starting, but by the time I got through that, I was immediately dragged along into a story that I just could not walk away from. Noah's story was sad and bittersweet, but I was really glad to see the way some of the situations were resolved. ...more
Okay, so first off, my sincerest apologies to my readers who may have hollered that the review of this book was missing, as I had previously reviewedOkay, so first off, my sincerest apologies to my readers who may have hollered that the review of this book was missing, as I had previously reviewed the other 4 books in the series, 2 before and 2 after, but the review for this was woefully missing. This was a sincere oversight on my part. I had read it and really thought I had reviewed it, but as I had actually bought this one the minute it was available for purchase, I must have forgotten to post a review.
Fair warning in that it is completely impossible to review a third book in a series without spoilers for earlier books, just can't do it.
When the book opens and Quinn's mother is sitting there waiting for her, my heart stopped. I couldn't believe that there was such a huge plot twist that early in the game. I didn't know what to think, and what came later on was something there was no way I could have expected.
It turns out that things are not what they seem, and there are so many secrets that have been kept from our favorite characters that the end result will leave you reeling, staring at the pages on your ereader and wanting to know what in the world they were thinking. Part of me wanted to throw my Nook across the room.
I commented the other day to a friend that it is a sign of a good writer who can draw me so much into a novel and elicit so much emotion on a book that I have read at least twice before, and yet I am still hit with a sense of shock and ... Just raw emotion.
The characters are well thought out and the world-building is so detailed that you will feel like you are there. If I had to list a negative, there was one spot where there was a character name inconsistency, and some very, very minor editing. The character was a minor character that has no real bearing on the flow of the story, so it wasn't a major distraction, and the editing stuff are things that the casual reader (one who doesn't edit for a living) would never even notice). It was minor enough to have little to no bearing on my rating of this one.
If you are not familiar with this series, you really have to pick up the books and read them. The first in the series is available for free, both on Nook and Kindle, and the other books in the series are more than worth the purchase price. ...more
Fair warning to those who have not read any of the rest of the series. There will be spoilers and there is not much that I can do about that.
I am sittFair warning to those who have not read any of the rest of the series. There will be spoilers and there is not much that I can do about that.
I am sitting here an emotional mess after reading this book, which I read in a whopping less than 12 hours from the time it hit my ereader.
I have followed this series from the very beginning. I was among the vocal group saying that there was no way it could end after book 4. I was not shy or quiet about this. I cried when I thought it was over and I was not ready to say goodbye yet. And again, today, I cry, even knowing that we will probably hear from the characters again.
For those that have followed the series, Canes is an emotional roller coaster that most of us will not have felt prepared for. But is that a bad thing, or a good thing? I haven't decided yet.
In Canes, we see an evolution in relationships, both the ones we are familiar with and the ones that we thought we would never see again.
The sign of a good storyteller is when the story sticks with you and nags at you to revisit it long after you have read it. I suspect Canes, like the rest of the series, is going to be one that will cling to me and I will have to revisit it many times over. The series as a whole has become what I go back to when I hit a reading slump and find myself needing a story to go back to for comfort and familiarity. I hope many of you will feel the same way.
Thank you to the author for a copy to read and review....more
Okay, so I am going to try to do this without spoilers but it is going to be hard!
I read the first book in this series a while back, though I did notOkay, so I am going to try to do this without spoilers but it is going to be hard!
I read the first book in this series a while back, though I did not review it at the time as I was not posting reviews at that point. I will try to reread it in the near future and post a review for you folks.
I posted my review of the second book in the series earlier today and was extremely grateful that I got Barnes and Noble gift cards for my birthday on the 18th so that I could get the next one immediately. I had to sit down and start reading, and have now finished it in under 12 hours. Yes, it is that good. The editing issues I mentioned in my review of Torn are not a problem here, as it would appear that this work was just edited better. I was unable to put it down, and that is high praise from me as I am not afraid to walk away from a book if it sucks.
The character development throughout the series as a whole was just absolutely amazing. You feel yourself drawn to the characters and sucked into the story. This series really does have it all. There is drama, action, adventure and romance all rolled into one. The forbidden love from the first book has morphed and changed, but you will not find yourself disappointed at all. The ending is absolutely perfect, and I especially loved the little short story that was included at the end of this one. A lot of books leave you hanging, wishing you could know what happened down the line, but this author did a good job of tying up loose ends in a short story she includes for her readers to enjoy.
Overall, this was an excellent book and I feel everyone needs to read this one!...more