At first glance, I must admit that this book didn’t jump out at me. A pretty cover and a unique premise just weren’t enough. Add in the lengthy list o...moreAt first glance, I must admit that this book didn’t jump out at me. A pretty cover and a unique premise just weren’t enough. Add in the lengthy list of awards that were racked up – 2013 William C. Morris YA Debut Award, Cybil Award for Teen Fantasy and Science Fiction, Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year – just to name a few. You’d think I would be ready to tear into this one – but it still wasn’t enough to pique my interest.
Until I was in the mood for DRAGONS. I wanted a good dragon story and, boy, did I get what I wanted.
Seraphina starts out rather slow and I did feel a little like I’d been thrown into the deep-end without any proper explanation of what was what or who was who, but this is just one of those books that immerses you into its world within 50 pages and then you forget how or where it even began. The writing is absolutely stunning – rich descriptions of music and dragons – with politics, philosophy, and religion thrown into the mix to make the reader think.
Questions that I thought to myself while reading this book: What does it feel like to feel? What do I feel like when I’m sad? What about when I’m happy? Could I choose between my family and the one I love? How do people bring peace to times of war? Could (or rather, would) I be willing to put peace and my country in a place of higher priority than my own heart?
This series has the potential to be multiple books – and I would gladly read them all! And there is a sequel, Shadow Scale, but the release date is set for MARCH 2015 (insert sobbing here).
Overall, a magnificent debut that I can’t believe I didn’t read sooner. Exquisite.(less)
So, what I think was the best part about this book for me was that I didn’t realize that all four stories were interwoven; I thought that there were k...moreSo, what I think was the best part about this book for me was that I didn’t realize that all four stories were interwoven; I thought that there were kind of like companion novels where each story is wrapped up nice and neatly at the end of its respective book, and then we’ll just see older characters here and there. Basically, different stories set in the same universe with guest pop-ins from old friends. BUT NO. This series is ONE big story with each main character having a major role.
So to know where Cinder left off (I immediately started Scarlet after finishing Cinder), it was almost painful for me to NOT be able to read about Cinder all of the time, but to have this new character introduced and start reading this new storyline. And though I came to really like and appreciate Scarlet’s story, I found myself always perkier when it came to reading about Cinder.
Side note: I would seriously LOVE to see this series become a TV series.(less)
I’ll admit that when I first heard about Cinder, I was a bit skeptical. Fine, A LOT skeptical. Not only are fairytale retellings a hard thing to pull off in terms of creativity, but even with the right idea, the execution has got to be there as well. There’s a storyline that everyone knows so well, so how will this plot and story play out in a similar but different kind of way. It’s just not possible – but OH, it is!
I love love love the cyborg/futuristic world that Cinder takes place in; it’s both familiar and alien. Marissa Meyer reworked this classic story into something totally new and fresh and I was so caught up in it that I almost forgot that it was a retelling!
My only question is why didn’t someone force this book down my throat aka MAKE me read it? This series has that special something that makes me read past the first two books (Yes, I’ve already both Scarlet and Cress).["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
There are people in the world who have so much potential but just let everything go right down the drain. People who can’t help but make bad choices....moreThere are people in the world who have so much potential but just let everything go right down the drain. People who can’t help but make bad choices. And though they’re witty, kind, and charming – they have issues – they have problems. But they just can’t seem to help themselves. Have you ever known anyone like this? I haven’t and I think that may be why I felt both disconnected and connected with this book and with Sutter Keely. Disconnected in that I genuinely did not understand why he was doing what he was doing. And connected in that my heart ached for him – I wanted him to make the right choices for himself. I can’t recall how many times I wanted to jump into this book and scream at Sutter – tell him how he was going down the wrong path, suggest to him how to get help – that he needed help.
Addiction and substance abuse are scary – but these things real – and there are people out there battling them every day. To watch someone self-destruct is a painful and sad thing I think mostly because there is nothing you can do about it – the person is doing it to themselves. Even when loved ones and friends try to intervene, it doesn’t always work – the person doesn’t always listen. I enjoyed this book because it shows the pain and that sadness that accompany these types of situation. The Spectacular Now reminded me that these people are real and these things are happening to them. I think the saddest thing in the book is that Sutter doesn’t even realize what he’s doing to himself.
Though this book isn’t one I’d recommend to everyone, if you like books with a more serious tone to them, pick this one up.(less)
Kids who have superpowers isn’t exactly a new concept in Young Adult (or in books in general for that matter) – but wow – was I pretty impressed with...moreKids who have superpowers isn’t exactly a new concept in Young Adult (or in books in general for that matter) – but wow – was I pretty impressed with the execution of this book. I feel as thought Alexandra Bracken took the whole “superpowers are bad and the government is locking us away” and worked it into something that felt fresh. I was completely consumed in almost every single moment of this book – and that my friends, is a great thing – to be able to lose yourself in a book. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was about The Darkest Minds that made me love it so much but I think that the snarky dialogue had something to do with it. I love me some electric dialouge.
One thing that irked me though was the way that Ruby would describe some things. I can’t remember exact examples but sometimes when she would describe something, she would liken it to something that had me thinking “Hey wait a minute, if she’s been locked up since she was 10 years old with no interaction in the outside world plus she’s not really allowed to talk to anyone, how would she know about that?” Those kinds of thoughts pulled me out of the book and reminded me that I was actually reading a book – but thankfully it only happened 2-3 times.
For me, the most interesting thing about this book is how it shows both good and bad sides of human nature. We see people who are so selfless even in such a dire situation and we see people who are willing to sellout others in a heartbeat if it means surviving another day. It makes you think – what would you do? How far would you be willing to go to survive? And even, would you lead a revolution if it meant being killed? Thought provoking questions that make you take a look at yourself and wonder if your mind would be one of the darkest.
Overall, I really enjoyed this thrilling book and can’t wait to read its sequel, Never Fade.
Middle Book Syndrome? You know – the lull in between the first and third book of a trilogy – yeah, Siege and Storm is the anti-thesis of Middle Book S...moreMiddle Book Syndrome? You know – the lull in between the first and third book of a trilogy – yeah, Siege and Storm is the anti-thesis of Middle Book Syndrome. The Darkling is as creepy as ever (and I kind of loved it), Mal is soo annoying (seriously – GROW UP), and OOOH – could there be a THIRD love interest? Alina, girl, get your hormones under control. Of course, there *is* always polygamy. Have them all!
In my review of the first book, I talked about how I was pulled in by the Darkling and I felt that exact same pull in this book. He’s the most well-written character in the series – he has dimension. I still find myself questioning if he’s good or bad or what his intentions even are – I love that he keeps me guessing.
I could barely put Siege and Storm down and when I was nearing the end of the book, the only reason why I slowed down was because when it was over, well, it’d be over and the third book isn’t available until next year! (Also, HAHA, I say “slow down” but it took me 1.5 days to read this book and during the workweek no less.)
This series is definitely plot driven with mini-quests in each book that are on the path of the mega-quest. I kind of like how the reader is in the know of what the next goal is, without knowing how Alina will achieve the goal – it makes the reader’s curiosity come to a point that they simply MUST know and will definitely be waiting on release day for the next installment. And yes, I’ll be one of those people. Well, played, Ms. Bardugo. Well played.(less)
I should have read this one sooner because oh my gosh, it is so good. I really enjoy fantasy and haven’t had a chance to read any Young Adult fantasy...moreI should have read this one sooner because oh my gosh, it is so good. I really enjoy fantasy and haven’t had a chance to read any Young Adult fantasy in a while so when I kept hearing great things about Shadow and Bone, I had high hopes. And thankfully they were met, albeit some issues.
So, we’ve got Alina, just your regular orphan girl who is secretly in love with her best friend who doesn’t seem to be interested and is off running around with other girls. But then, she’s got a secret power! The thing about Alina is that I do like her but she doesn’t seem overly special or unique to me in any way other than her power. I wanted more personality from her – more spark. But I’m willing to wait for character development to occur in the next two books.
Then there’s the Darkling – alluring, provocative, sexy, tempting. He’s creepy, but I like it. He’s powerful and dark and I can’t help but kind of sucked in by his magnetic pull. Why hello there, Mr. Darkling.
And while this story is about Alina finding her power, it’s definitely a plot-driven book. Though I won’t go into what that specific plot is, since I don’t want to ruin anything for those who haven’t read the book. But it’s fast paced and I could not put it down – I would say I was flipping through the pages but I listened to the audiobook so there weren’t actually pages. And by the way, the voice actor was great. Her voice for the Darkling was sultry and I loved it!
Fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore should pick this one up – it’s got good, evil, romance, love, and action.(less)
After seeing Allen Zadoff at the Teen Author Carnival earlier this year, I decided I'd like to read something that Mr. Zadoff wrote. When I found our...moreAfter seeing Allen Zadoff at the Teen Author Carnival earlier this year, I decided I'd like to read something that Mr. Zadoff wrote. When I found our My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies was available in audiobook format, 5.5 hours long, and narrated by one of my favorite voice actors Macleod Andrews - paired with the fact that I had a 5.5 hour drive - I knew this was the one to read. Did I like it? Yes, I did.
It's a bit different from what I normally read - don't get me wrong, I definitely read my fair share of contemporary but this one is set in a place that I'm not familiar with - the theater world. I *did* take Theater Arts I in 9th grade but I absolutely hated it, mainly because I don't like to be on stage - that's probably what made me like Adam and the other techies so much. Adam was a likable guy, though a little socially awkward. And I loved seeing him take the reigns and shine when it was his time. He was humble and willing to do what it took to make the high school production a success, and I admired him for that.
I also love seeing Young Adult books with boys as the main characters, especially coming from a male author. It's interesting to see what teenage boys are thinking about and getting in their brains, if only for 300 or so pages.
Overall, I really enjoyed this quick read and will definitely be reading Allen's latest book, Boy Nobody.
PS - note to the publishers out there, seriously, if Macleod Andrews is the voice actor I will 100% listen to the audiobook. This is the 4th audiobook I've listened to with him as the voice actor. He's amazing.(less)
Meh - tons of moments that I saw coming. I read it pretty quickly but it's written in a way that is just OVERLY dramatic. Plus my boy doesn't seem to...moreMeh - tons of moments that I saw coming. I read it pretty quickly but it's written in a way that is just OVERLY dramatic. Plus my boy doesn't seem to winning this one. Tons of other people like it though - maybe I'm missing something.
First let’s talk about this “New Adult” thing – basically it’s marketed toward an in between Young Adult and Adult age group. College age and sometime...moreFirst let’s talk about this “New Adult” thing – basically it’s marketed toward an in between Young Adult and Adult age group. College age and sometimes post-college age. So, the reader are suppose to get main characters that are a little bit more mature in their decisions and life choices. Except, from reading this book I didn’t get the impression that Bliss Edwards was anything other than a 16 year old encased in a 21 year old’s body. It’s not her naivety so much as her immaturity and total sheltered life that have me asking how anyone thought this was a realistic 21 year old? I mean, seriously.
I had a lot of issues with this book – mainly that the reader was suppose to be okay with this whole professor/student thing. If he were a grad student acting as a Teaching Assistant to her class, well that I can go with. In my mind Garrick was probably 27-28? Like, what a perv. Plus he’s her teacher – favoritism, anyone? Totally un-ethical.
I guess I picked up this book with something totally different in mind and that’s why I just wasn’t happy with it. That being said, I listened to this one rather quickly and only now looking back on it do I realize that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I though I was while I was listening to it. (Do you ever have books like that? – you think “Wow! I really like this!” while reading it and then you finish and think it over and it’s like BAM – I did *not* like this book as much as I thought I did.)
Anyway, another audiobook, another good voice actor, but unfortunately this book just wasn’t my cup of tea. The most likable character gets a book of their own in the next installment of the series but I just don’t like the world enough to pick it up.(less)