*Keep in mind that this was the first review I did, so it's not that great*
From the moment I found this book to days after I finished it, the characters and plot filled my mind. I haven't found a single negative review on this novel, and now I know why. This is one dystopian novel that deserves the high-praises it received. I was going through a dystopian phase when I picked up this book, and at first wasn't planning on reading it--I had read enough dystopians for my taste during the time. As I was cruising around the internet, however, I found review after review emphasizing how wonderful Divergent was. Finally, I found myself hooked by the synopsis and started reading the book. I couldn't stop reading it. It was one of those books that I couldn't finish fast enough, yet hypocritically wished wouldn't end. The plot contained surprising twists, realistic action, and relatable characters. The characters. Tris, the protagonist, is witty, wryly humorous, adventurous, strong, and ultimately very realistic. I found myself to be cheering for her when she accomplished something, and sympathizing with her pains. I want to congratulate Veronica Roth, because she took a big risk and performed it perfectly. Tris was found to be thinking thoughts and performing actions that can be considered cruel, yet she often finds herself to be risking her life for someone else. Veronica Roth managed to bring out both sides of Tris, in the end making her not only more realistic and relatable, but also not confined to being just good or bad. Tris isn't the noblest of all, but she isn't evil. Her personality can only be described as one word: Divergent. Then there's Four. Four, who took my breath away from first sight (or should I say read?). Four, who, with Tris, is making the wait for book 2, Insurgent, crazily, unbearably long. Four, the mysterious boy who's not your typical hero--he's better. Watch out, Peeta Mellark, Four just might reach that pedestal of yours and reclaim the spot of #1 fictional boy! Seriously, do I need to say more? So, if you haven't read this book, go grab it now! Divergent is one novel you cannot miss! Its setting, plot, action scenes, romance, characters, will sweep you off your feet and make you regret you haven't read it sooner!(less)
Quick reaction: So my internet's been our for four days (ha, Four! :P) and I'm on my mom's computer typing this up in the rare moment that she's not u...moreQuick reaction: So my internet's been our for four days (ha, Four! :P) and I'm on my mom's computer typing this up in the rare moment that she's not using the only computer with internet connection in this house.
And anyway, this book was freakin' genius.
So I thought, in the beginning/first half that it was going kinda slow, but the struggle Tris went through mirrored my own, so I figured that it'll be good. I kept on at it and, holy yes, THAT was so brilliant and foreshadowed and amazing that I'm still at a loss of words for it. (view spoiler)[You know the scene near the end when Tris is in the simulation against herself when she's trying to get to Jeanine's lab? THAT's the moment when I went: "Yes. HECK YES. THIS IS FREAKIN' GENIUS!!!! (hide spoiler)]
Anyway, yeah, this was just... holy crab, GOOD. GREAT. I remember having this giant stupid smile on my face after finishing it, like, it has been so long since I read a book that good.
**Actual, full review to come (when internet is restored)**["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
As the sequel to Shade, Shift is surprising, stunning, and absolutely scintillating. I would like to mention here, first-off, that I am not a fan of ghost stories. No. See, other than Gilda Joyce, ghosts stories have never quite captured me. Brought me into their story. Made me hide under the blanket at night until the 'ghosts' are gone. Then came the Shade trilogy. You see, I attended the RT BookLovers Convention back in April this year. That was where I had met Jeri Smith-Ready, and received a signed version of Shade. I started the book reluctantly, and finished it in one sitting, in which I immediately followed up with Shift. Since this review is on Shift, the second book, I will continue to keep it spoiler-free and add in some thoughts on Shade as well.
I am going to quote P.C. Cast here and say, Shift is "Hauntingly good." My thoughts exactly. This book had all the elements you look for in a YA book: Action, Romance, Authentic Characters. First, the action. In some ways, Shift was even better than Shade. The plot is twisted, surprising. The action is depicted with just the right amount of words--not so short that it feels rushed, but not too long that it feels stretched out and on the verge of snapping to bits. In Shift, the characters are being tracked down and targeted by the DMP(Department of Metaphysical Purity), even more so than in Shade. This sents them on covert missions, leaves them bemused with cryptic hints, and leaves you, the reader, breathless and shocked, re-reading the scene over and over again to make sure you really read what you think you read. The plot and action are in a well-paced synchronization, and will not disappoint. Then there's the romance. The love triangle between a ghost, an anti-ghost, and a pro-ghost. Different, I know. I loved it. The romantic scenes weren't sappy and sloppy, and all members of the triangle go through their own romantic predicaments. The scenes were so heated and breathtaking, it was like a vine constricting my heart and wrenching it until I know they're safe, that they're still good. Tell me if these teasers don't melt your heart away:
'I looked at his face as his gaze flicked back to meet mine. He held it, held it, held it, while my entire body turned to flame.'
'His warm whisper brushed my cheek, "I can't forget you, any more than I can forget my own name." He kissed me then, and the world, which no longer mattered, completely fell away.'
See what I mean?
And lastly, the characters. Let's start with Aura. Aura is strong, smart, witty, and despite her faults, I found myself to be able to relate to her character and by the end of the book, Aura's growth and the way she's handled the predicaments she was forced to go through made me love her character and spirit. Then there's Logan. Logan may be a ghost, but he's one that's a dream come true. A rock band singer, Logan may be likely to get jealous, but his flaws further deepen his character and when his character grows up, ghost or not, in the end I swayed slightly toward Team Logan. But I'm still Team Zachary. Why? Oh, where to begin? He's got that Scottish accent that will make you shiver down to your spine. He's patient and intelligent. And no matter how many times Aura messed up, no matter how many times something stopped their relationship, he never gave up. I think that's why I've always been on his team. Because of his fierce loyalty, unwavering throughout the rough road of love. In conclusion, the Shade trilogy is a must-read! It'll Shade your coherent thoughts until Shift is in your hands, then you'll keep Shifting and not rest in peace until Shine is available for you to snatch off the bookshelf the day it comes out.
The only reason why this book has a 5 and not a 5+ rating really boils down to my own personal preferences--Shine is just too long away! But otherwise, Shift is definitely a 5+.
Quick note: This book contain sexual references, but nothing graphic. If this is a concern for you or your children, I recommend this book to be read by children 14+, or anyone in middle school mature enough to handle the contents.(less)
*DISCLAIMER: While I did receive this ARC on behalf of the author, it does not, in anyway, influence my opinion or review of the book.*
Liesl & Po was an absolutely enchanting story! It captivated me from the very first sentence to the surprising and fulfilling last pages. Brilliant! This story is absolutely magical and more than satisfying.
There weren't a lot of characters in this book, maybe a dozen or so. And every single one of them was strong. They were all integral to the story, all were interesting, and none were flat. A lot of the times in third-person omniscient books, I find myself to prefer one character's POV (Point Of View) and finding another irritable, but this book definitely did not belong to that category. I looked forward to every single character, and experiencing the story through the multiple POVs really enhanced its quality, instead of deducting it with unnecessary information.
The plot was magical. Compete it with Disney, and this book will win. Seriously. It's mesmerizing and the world building was great, and the story really emphasized the "sacrifice" part of a fairy tale--great endings don't come for free, a lesson we should all learn.
And finally, Lauren Oliver--the author--herself. In my opinion, she is the most talented, versatile writer out there today. Before I fall (Contemporary) was stunning, Delirium (Dystopian) was astonishing, and Liesl & Po (Middle Grade) was just plain unbelievable.
All in all, Liesl & Po is a must-read for all ages. It will definitely bring out the inner child in you. And if you're a kid? Read it! It'll blow you away!(less)
Quick reaction is not available due to an unfathomable amount of anger and awe and love, but mostly anger, that Juli is feeling.
Actual, full review:...moreQuick reaction is not available due to an unfathomable amount of anger and awe and love, but mostly anger, that Juli is feeling.
Actual, full review: Original is here. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
**Starred Review** (This must be a good month, 'cause that's FOUR starred reviews already. O.O)
Hallowed is like volcanic ash. It's not at all what it appears to be at first glance. It's this giant, restless, horribly beautiful substance raining down and destroying everything in its path, and it doesn't stop. It just keeps rolling and rolling until finally, you are slammed to the ground in a sudden of impact and, BOOM! you're crushed, you're just this endless ache.
There is something melancholy in the very voice of Cynthia Hand's writing that makes you want to whimper. This book deals with the emotional impacts Unearthly left everyone in, and if Unearthly was brilliant, Hallowed was suffocating in its overwhelming beauty and stupid, stupid destiny.
Destiny. This directs me to the unimaginably obvious split of TeamOreos. But Christian, even though I warmed towards him so much in this book, will never, ever replace Tucker. Tucker, oh god, Tucker Tucker Tucker Tucker. Cynthia, if you hear from me nothing else, I just want to know, why? WHY?
I'm this fury personified into someone who only feels sorrow. I feel like this giant wind whipping past everything, trying to hurt myself by isolation so I can at least claim some part of me back without having to claw and fight and plead for it. Because goodness only knows I stayed up until almost 5AM on a school night to finish this book, and then, when I am the most numb in my emotions, I started to cry, and cry and cry and cry and I was just so angry.
But I digress, and a rant does us no good. Still, I do hope you already have met the wonderful Clara and striking Tucker and he-who-makes-me-feel-ambivalent Christian. This trio has ripped me out of my reading slump and breathed life into me one whisper at a time, until suddenly, then, they tore it all out again. Everything about this book was amazing and terrible and fascinating and unbearable. I don't even know anymore. The angel lore was realistic (irony!) and subtle. The dialogue was truthful and still, snarky.
It's not the lovable characters, the heartwarming setting, and the passionate angelology, though, that sets this book apart. It's the emotional impact it had on me that truly makes it hallowed (bad pun?).
If you had a single feather, what would it feel like? Would it be soft and delightful, like a plush duck's? Or would it be heartbreakingly brittle and scarred, like someone who is lost, or has lost everything's?
Perhaps, for Hallowed, it is both. Or maybe, it's neither.(less)
*thank you to HarperCollins for sending me an ARC! This does not, in any way, influence my review/opinion.*
If Twilight ignited a trend of vampires, and The Hunger Games initiated the follow-up of popular Dystopian novels, then Shatter Me is bound to inspire a trend of novels that, if written to their fullest potential, will rival Twilight and The Hunger Games to the end.
Shatter Me is nothing short of a gripping ride held together by steamy romances, crippling governments, sexy villains, and a cast of characters with an unbelievable plot that will give Katniss a run for her money.
The truth is this: Shatter Me has received one of the most highest amounts of hypes I've ever seen. To say I was terrified to start this novel is like dropping an egg onto cement and wondering if you cracked it. I am truly lucky to receive an advanced copy of this novel, though, and when I saw it in my mailbox after school I immediately abandoned all things (including the very important something called HOMEWORK) and practically inhaled the pages.
Now I know why this book received the hype it did. Tahereh has this absolutely stunning and gorgeous way of writing that completely blew me away. I loved the incorporation of strike-out lines, too. In my opinion, it really made the novel stronger.
Juliette has an astonishing voice. She clutched me in her raw emotions and I couldn't escape. To read about a girl with heart in a crumbling dystopian world was an absolutely beautiful experience and all of the supporting cast was executed wonderfully as well. Kenji, James, I loved all of them! And the ending... I'm not going to give anything away, but I just need to let you know that I didn't see it coming, and I LOVED IT!
Shatter Me is definitely one of the best books released this year. I'm probably buying like twenty copies when it comes out (IN THREE DAYS! GET IT! GET IT!), just to cuddle admire them.
Quick Reaction: THIS BOOK WAS SO. FREXIN'. GOOD. I can't even- Goodness, this book, I- I mean, I- Well, I- The thing is, this- I CAN'T DO THIS. THIS IS TOO...moreQuick Reaction: THIS BOOK WAS SO. FREXIN'. GOOD. I can't even- Goodness, this book, I- I mean, I- Well, I- The thing is, this- I CAN'T DO THIS. THIS IS TOO HARD. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH I WANT TO HUG THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE RIGHT NOW. I CANNOT TALK COHERENTLY.
Actual, full review: Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, most formatting and links have been lost.)
Reading A Million Suns was like hugging the entire universe in its aggregated starry glory. Like soaring into the sky, the wind whipping past your entire body, the land billowing beneath you in ripples of satiny cloth. Like the sound of tinkling glass ricocheting forever in your ears, of sunlight feeding your eyes, of elixirs revitalizing your body.
How do you write the review for a book like that?
I am lost, but perhaps a game of would-you-rather would fit our purposes.
*** Would you rather read an 1) amazing second-book-in-a-trilogy or 2) a terribly hideous one?
If you chose 1... This book is exactly it. Beth Revis rips apart the genre boundaries and blows it up with her own masterpiece. The phrases and plot twists and characters and themes in this book work in complete synchronization, advancing not too quickly nor too slowly. The pace forces you to turn page after page. It is unstoppable, unbelievable, unprecedented. It is the sequel you dream of.
If you chose 2... I would hate to make comparisons nor name names, so you may want to check out my Goodreads account for the 1 or 2 star reviews.
Would you rather 1) fall in love with a completely realistic and stunning boy or 2) a user/jerk/creeper?
If you chose 1... I liked Elder in Across the Universe. I loved Elder in A Million Suns. He is intelligent, frustrated... he's real. Elder cares for Amy--he yearns for her. There is so much wanting and needing in this book, so much please and just let it go, it tore my heart apart. Elder has so much expected of him, but he's so young, and without Phydus, the responsibilities he must take on, the things he must do and rise above to accomplish struck my heart like a knife. I was going through something similar--dissent among leadership, chaos among expectation--at the time I was reading this book, and it was Elder who kept me hopeful and strong. It was Elder who saved me. It was he who made me love again.
If you chose 2... You probably thought I'd name Twilight, and you are right. Not because I dislike Stephenie Meyer. Simply because I refuse to name any names, but that book is probably what 99% of the population would think of when reading the word "creeper", so I felt that it was not something particularly bashing.
Would you rather 1) die a little bit and love with all of your heart or 2) love a little bit and die with all of your brain and being?
If you chose 1... Read this book. I cannot reiterate this enough. Correction: If you haven't yet, read this entire series. A Million Suns was even better than Across the Universe. This book makes you laugh. It makes you smile, want to cry, it makes you this little kid surrounded by field after field of endless enigma, and watching all the lies rain down around you, you, too, will race to find the truth.
You, too, will race for silence and the stars. And that is it, really. Silence and stars.
If you chose 2... I hope for both your sake and mine that you did not choose this option, but a little curiosity goes a long way, does it not? So if you did, my Goodreads account is as accesible as they come. I hope you find something satisfactory. ***
I thought time wore away love. Wore away patience, skill, understanding, hope, humbleness. But I was wrong.
Time is a tool, and Beth Revis is its master. For her, it did not wear away any of the above.
*edited to add: AND I FORGOT TO MENTION! This is a starred review*
It is the fourth day of November and so, today, I have finally found a book that (in my humble opinion) surpasses The Hunger Games.
Here's the thing: The Hunger Games was my ultimate favorite book.
And then a little something called The Scorpio Races came along and I drowned in it. I drowned in it and I loved it. Loved it more than my favorite book.
That's right. The Scorpio Races is now my favorite book of all time.
I can't tell you exactly what it is that made me fall in love with this story, because it's not just one thing, but so many things that together they started to blend and blend until the only coherent thought I had was that I am in love. This book is unlike anything you'll ever read--it was certainly the most original thing I have ever read. There is not just character development, but plot, twists, surprises, heartbreaks, hope. They are each a mountain and you journey with the characters to the top, where the skies swarm below you and the world lies beneath your feet and all you feel is this feeling of greatness that nothing else can fulfill.
In fact, it seems to me that the more I think about this book, the more this feeling of... this feeling I've only felt with my most favorite books of all time (The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc.) bubbles up. And the thing is that I finished this book four days ago, on November 1st (also happens to be a very significant day in the book!), I sat on it for four days and I still love it beyond words. In fact, to ask me why I love this story is like asking wings why they fly. Because they do. Because I do. Because there is just no other way around it.
I'm trying to keep this review short and succinct, so you can go ahead and get this book already. But I feel like it's important that you know I have not previously read any of Maggie's books. I've heard of the Shiver trilogy and they've been on my TBR list for a long time, but I'm so overwhelmed with paranormal (vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc.) nowadays that I just never really felt compelled to pick it up.
I will now. Right now. I need more Maggie.
If there is one book you can get, get this one. There's just nothing else I can say except this: the sunset is an explosion of colors, and this book is an explosion of beauty. Pure magical.
Phenomenal. And I never say this, truly, I never do, because I didn't believe in it. But I will say it now, because it is finally true:
*STARRED REVIEW (I don't rate books unless it's on Goodreads, so starred books are very, very amazing)*
You know those authors that you realize, upon a single glance at their writing, that you will love them forever? That no matter what they write, you know you're going to enjoy it?
That's Stephanie Perkins.
I devoured this book. It arrived in my mail yesterday and I started reading it at 10PM (because I just couldn't wait) and oh, I just couldn't stop reading. I stayed up till 2:30AM (that's when I finished the book--I'm a fast reader) and you may or may not be grossed out by this, but I didn't even shower last night because I just had to read this book. Of course, I showered this morning, but that's beside the point.
So what made me love this book so much? Well, let's see: A protagonist so amazing and real I loved her from the second I met her. A boy so achingly beautiful, I couldn't stop wishing he was real. A story so phenomenal it grabbed my heart and I collapsed, one second after another, until everything in me was bubbling up to a giddiness that exploded to the stars.
This was even better than Anna and the French Kiss (you can see my review of Anna here). At least to me--though that may be because I invent things myself, and Cricket is exactly (and I mean exactly) the type of boy I fall for. Lola is plain wonderful, her boldness making me want to wear a billion different colors and become the rainbow myself. But most of all, Stephanie Perkins writes so gorgeously, not a single effort was wasted. She is the universe herself (if you read this book, which you MUST, you'll know what I mean).
I just can't praise this book enough. But here's what I will say: this is a book that I will be carrying around with me for a long, long time. This is a book I want to buy a billion copies of just to admire their aesthetics. This is a book I want to read again and again and I know will fall in love with again and again.
And this book is, easily, my favorite book of the year. I'm not even adding a so far. Because, it's that good. (less)
Quick Reaction: HOLYCRAB. SO FREAKIN' GOOD. I was on the airplane ride to Chicago and was mesmerized by this incredible world. Woot! Gotta admit that...moreQuick Reaction: HOLYCRAB. SO FREAKIN' GOOD. I was on the airplane ride to Chicago and was mesmerized by this incredible world. Woot! Gotta admit that Eon did aggravate me slightly with the whole (view spoiler)[sun drug (hide spoiler)] thing, but any book that can make me buy its e-book partner when I accidentally forget its hardcopy at home is a WIN. In other words: I left the paperbook I bought at home, and I was so obsessed with it that I could not wait and bought the e-book copy so I could read it on my Nook on the plane. (Also, I'm totally Team Kygo!)
**Actual, full review**
Three things. 1) This is a review of both Eon AND Eona. 2) Original is here on my blog. 3) Due to copy-and-paste, SOME formatting and links MAY have been lost.
Too much is lost in our greed and ambition to be recovered.
Eon and Eona are different beasts coalescing in the same form, the same thoughts, the same ideals all slammed together until there’s just this giant wall of steel. These books are unbreakably vulnerable and cracked with dirt. They are not perfect; far from it. But they are entertaining and they make you think, and that’s all that really matters.
Eona is a frustrating character who I found incredibly aggravating in both books. But while she was just plainly—forgive me, but—stupid in Eon, in Eona she had every reason and pressure to make such choices. So, I hereby declare Alison Goodman the Queen of Conflict. Not because I have some sort of immense, evangelical power that creates an instant verdict of black and white, but because her characters suffer so much I cannot even fathom how she could possibly have the heart to write the stories. But then maybe that’s why I’m too soft for these things; the harder the journey, the sweeter the ending, as the saying goes.
I can’t help but think that while that’s true on the surface level, the sweetness is but a crumbling disguise beneath Eona’s words.
This series shudders with cruelty: there are harassments and there are threats; new lives lost and old lives gained; bursts of shallowness and too much selfishness; and disguise and lies and punches and wars and executions and death and it’s not even just a surface thing, not something that is happening but I cannot sense—the characters are so frustrating that they have etched their way into my skin, so that every time another bone snaps, I can only cringe.
Eon was entertaining; Eona was crushing. I’m not sure how I forced my way through Eon: it was certainly wonderful, but I hated the characters’ decisions so much I wanted to snap the book in half. But still I bought the Nook copy when I realized I left my paperback at home, and I was on a plane to Chicago. That must say something; I hate spending extra money I have no need to expend.
These books are obsessive and gripping, but as your grip slips they clench you again, harder each time until you are stuck in their prison but you do not realize it until the last word of Eona has breathed.
Eon and Eona are so convoluted and developed, I am in awe of Alison Goodman (despite my anger at previously mentioned predicaments). There are plots—numerous of them—and then subplots, then sub-subplots, then sub-sub-subplots, and so on and so on until the only one who can see light in this blinded rabbit hole is Alison herself. And what an epic she has written; I was completely emerged within the Empire of Celestial Dragons. The world swarmed with authenticity and was so real I sometimes was lost in the real world, wondering where I was. It is the details: every word, thought, action; they all pertain to the world, not a thread of modern Anglicized influence through it all, except a few curse words.
One last thing: High Fantasy is my favorite genre. Not because of its beauty and ability to transport the reader to worlds previously unfathomable, but because it is like a dream: too desirable to escape and much too burned to stay.
Actual, full review: Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and li...moreQuick reaction: Simply amazing. Breathtaking.
Actual, full review: Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
If I lived a thousand lifetimes, I would've read this book every time and loved it still.
Incarnate is just beautiful. It's... goodness, I don't want to ramble and gush at all, but it seems like that might actually happen. I love this book too much.
Let's start with Ana. Ana is cynical and unhappy and a nosoul. She believes all the terrible things her mother, Li, called her and told her all eighteen years of her life. As a result, she can't bare to believe that there might be more to life than living in servitude, that maybe she could fall in love and have that love requited, too. She questions things--so refreshing to have a girl's first instinct to be running away when waking up in the tent of a stranger boy--as she should, but even more so than the average person. While that might aggravate some readers, I thought it was wonderful. It was exactly what I'd expect Ana to be like after all that she's been through, and I loved her. She was real.
Sam. My gosh, I have a serious fetish for literary guy musicians named Sam. They make me smile like an idiot and bawl like the world's worst romantic. Sam is amazing. He's so patient--which I was so, so happy about, because that's exactly the type of boy Ana needs. He loves music and Ana. The masquerade scene, though, that was my favorite. It made me feel like I had wings and could fly around in my giddiness, and as long as Sam and Ana were together in their beautifully awkward, wonderfully simple way, I would never fall.
There's also the music and the premise. I think the spectacularly brilliant musical incorporation in this book is what completely sold me. I love music with all of my heart. I can live forever with only books and music, and to have both in one is like finding snow-capped mountains, shimmering rivers like satin, and blinding rays of sunshine encapsulate you forever and ever. And the premise was great--thought-provoking and incredibly awesome and definitely creates some intense and funnily awkward situations. To be the only new incarnation in a world of reincarnated people who get to keep all of their past lives' memories? Fantastic. I'm beyond excited and interested in seeing where Jodi will take us next.
I don't know how to end this review and do this book justice. But perhaps, perhaps this will work, if only halfway. While I was reading Incarnate, I was listening to Lindsey Stirling's Lord of the Rings medley, and that just flared the pages and completely enchanted me.
Rick Riordan has done it again. In this earth-shattering, mind-blowing novel spilling over with suspenseful action, tantalizing romance, and revelations of incredible truths, Riordan's fantastic sequel will leave you desperate for the next installment of the series, The Mark of Athena.
This book centers around our old friend Percy Jackson and two new and very powerful demigods, Hazel and Frank. I appreciated Mr.Riordan crafting shocking powers for these two companions--Percy can't possibly be the only powerful demigod, even if I like him best! There are twists, newly crafted battle tactics, and the humor will make you cry because it's just so, so funny. This book is the perfect blend of interesting mythology, witty humor, and dark moments full of conflict. This whole book has so many amazing quotes, I'd be plagiarizing if I mentioned them all. But here are a few to satisfy some rapacious readers:
"It wasn't exactly talking, but it went something like this. Could you give us a ride north, Percy asked, like as close to Portland as possible? Eat seals, the whale responded. Are you seals? No, Percy admitted. I've got a man satchel full of macrobiotic beef jerky, though. The whale shuddered. Promise not to feed me this, and I will take you north. Deal." -page 263
"'I'm fine!' Percy yelled as he ran by, followed by a giant screaming bloody murder." -page 488
I have to say, though, that there was something I didn't quite like: the "infodumps." Now, they weren't really infodumps, because the information--Hazel and Frank's history--was scattered throughout the beginning of the book and turned out to be relevant. But I would have liked it better if we only found out what we needed to know, which would not only have sped up the story, but also give the characters' secrets a bigger impact when revealed.
*Spoiler hided on Goodreads, but can be found on the original blog post*
Lastly, the ending. It was just... CRAZY. The main conflict of the book was resolved, but the book ended on a point that had me wanting to go up to Rick Riordan, shake his shoulders, demand to read the third book already, and then, just for the heck of it, go through a time machine and read it myself. But this isn't one of those cliffhanger endings that completely twists the plot around with the last few pages and is responsible for reader riots. This one wraps up the book, yet introduces us to a new conflict that does it job phenomenally--makes you want to read the next book without getting you angry.
Quick reaction: I don't care who you are, what you like, why you read, what you do, where you live, when you feel like reading, READ. THIS. BOOK. :)
Cl...moreQuick reaction: I don't care who you are, what you like, why you read, what you do, where you live, when you feel like reading, READ. THIS. BOOK. :)
Clearly, I love this book.
Actual review: (Original is here, and due to copy-and-paste, links and formatting have been lost.)
A nonstop, action-packed, quick-paced thriller, Legend charges as a single-book army that will claim victory over your heart in a matter of minutes.
Inevitably, Legend, being another Dystopian, has been compared to The Hunger Games. And truly, it deserves that comparison. For Legend is full of action, tantalizing romance, and beautifully simple prose. If nothing else, what sets this book apart from other Dystopians is its simpleness. It's not unpredictable, but it grips your attention. It doesn't overwhelm you with info-dumps and paragraphs of description--somehow Marie incorporates a world that shimmers to life in the most subtle ways. Its characters are flawed, raw, emotional, true, and though what they have experienced should have destroyed their ferocity, such traumatic happenings only make them stronger.
Legend blew my mind. I read an excerpt online and was hooked, but I didn't expect the wonderful emotional plot line running throughout the novel. Because when you have action, often the emotional parts and flawed attributes are ignored. But what truly creates tension isn't just action: it's thoughts within action. And even though this book is quite predictable, it makes you think, and I really, really appreciated that.
This is a must-read that can't be missed. When you have a book with depth, action, and romance... you can't go wrong.(less)
Janice Hardy crafts a tale both genuinely humorous and uncannily dark. I was hooked by both her premise and her first sentence, and the novel only gets better as it goes on.
Nya is a strong, witty protagonist. She can think on her feet, and has a way of looking at things that will make you burst out laughing despite your surroundings. The secondary characters were built very thoroughly as well, even the ones that make only one or two appearances throughout the story. And the characters develop nicely over the arc of the novel, the tension crackling on the pages and will make you shiver for one second, laugh out loud the next, and gaping at a revelation the second after that.
I also enjoyed the fact that the summary doesn't shed light on the entire plot. It was interesting and wonderful to go on the ride with new surprises at every turn, and innovative, bigger conflicts than just Nya's missing sister popping up when you least expect it.
Overall, The Shifter is a brilliantly written novel that will captivate your attention until the very end. It's a tale of morality, survival, and the ultimate combination of magic and realism.
Also, I strongly suggest that you guys check out Janice's writing blog at blog.janicehardy.com. It's a wealth of information that cannot be missed!
P.S. If you're wondering why I titled this review "Them great 'Vegs", read the book and find out! :)(less)
Actual, full reaction: Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
There's a very distinct reason why the Sha...moreActual, full reaction: Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
There's a very distinct reason why the Shade trilogy is one that I fall in love with again and again: its intensity is unmatched, of both romance and need.
I think... I thought about this book a lot after finishing it, because I didn't know how I felt. Was I content? Of course. Was I angry? Perhaps. Was I depressed? Yes. But now I realize that my mixture of emotions were really my way of denying that this old friend of mine is done. Finished. (There's still Zach's novella Shattered coming this summer, of course, but you know what I mean.)
"If you ask me how I'm doing, I would say I'm doing just fine. I would lie and say that you're not on my mind." -Not Over You, a song by Gavin Degraw.
If you mentally replace "you" (except the first "you") with "this book," then that's the perfect description. I'm a bit crushed, honestly. It's been so long since I've actually finished a series, since now so many books are series and we're still waiting for the next installments. I've forgotten how it feels like to lose such a dear friend, one who you could count on for years. They don't disappear, but now it's more like something that you try so hard to grip and understand, but can't anymore; they're like liquid water: unholdable yet familiar.
Of course, this won't be a sufficient review for #TeamKilt until my GIFs start stealing the page, no? Ah, here goes! (Note: Click on the GIFs to view them in a larger size.)
***(this is not part of the actual review: THE FOLLOWING INCLUDE GIFs. To see them, please click on the "original" link I provided above. Thanks!) I received Shine in the mail. The beginning: Are you freakin' KIDDING me? WHAT IZ THIZ MADNEZ. *finds out certain stuff* HUMPH! I REFUSE TO BELIEVE IT! OH OH OH. That guy reminds me of Dylan... AWZ. <3 No caption needed. It's the climax!!! O.O WAT JUST HAPPENDZ. YOU GO, AURA!!!
That is me, in response to your intake of sharp breath at my last GIF. AHAHAHAHA I SCARED YA!!! :D I was KIDDING! (maybe...) So yeah, that's me at the end of the book. And Jeri Smith-Ready has therefore succeeded.***(less)
Quick Reaction: This book is far from perfect. Some of the dialogue felt misplaced. Some things were portrayed more stereotypically...more**STARRED REVIEW**
Quick Reaction: This book is far from perfect. Some of the dialogue felt misplaced. Some things were portrayed more stereotypically than realistically. And oftentimes the voice was excessively passive.
And I. Don't. Freaking. Care.
You know, the funny thing is that I read Shannon's YA book LET THE SKY FALL last year as an ARC, around the time Keeper came out. It feels right that I've finished Keeper in the month LtSF released. But man do I understand the crazy praises people sang for this.
Sophie- Oh Sophie. Poor darling. T.T She reminded me so much of my favorite Disney character: Dumbo, of course. Not because Sophie's dumb, but because she's always stuck out (and in a different way than the cliché--though not unrealistic--portrayal). There's this one scene in Dumbo--and I don't know if you remember this, and it's been such a long time since I saw the movie on an airplane flight to China that I might even be remembering the movie name wrong--but anyways, Dumbo finally finds his mother and she's in this jail-like containment, so she can only push her trunk out between the window bars and there Dumbo cuddled while she swayed him gently back and forth, and it was night and Dumbo finally found his mother and you sob because it's heartbreaking and because Dumbo's bliss in finding that home is so freaking terrible because it makes you feel all the feels.
That scene, I think, is a metaphorical theme for this book. Sophie is lost and has to find her home, but there is so many things--the window bars, per se--that rob her of that child life and it's beautiful to see her undergo this transformation, to see her become so strong and fierce and brave but at the same time everything she's had to go through is horrific and yeah, I cried.
So I wish that a little more time was spent on detailing Sophie's feelings a bit more during certain... I'm not going to say spoilers, but certain very very very traumatic events. Not because I enjoy pain, mind you. My head was ringing from all the mental screaming I was doing to just somehow help this beautiful and so impossibly trapped girl. But I feel like that part was skimmed over a bit too quickly. Though obviously Sophie wasn't conscious enough to remember a lot of it, and I would've been too heartbroken to write anymore on the subject if I were Shannon Messenger. Thus this is really not a complaint, but my own illogical opinion.
Alrighty, so this is not really a quick reaction anymore. I think I'll just use this as my actual review. After I tidy it up a bit, of course. But that's for later.
Right now I want to talk about Keefe and Dex and Fitz and Biana and Marella and all those other characters. Shannon Messenger is- stunning. The characters can often be attributed as stereotypical, but their actions eventually deepen them into someone else, someone whose lives I can imagine, whose personality is alive and well. And the worldbuilding is fantastic, too. Though things may often seem a bit idealistic, it is but a facade, and it makes sense. It honestly is too much to ask for an author to convince the reader of every minute detail regarding their world, but Shannon was well on her way there. She suspended my disbelief, and I could clearly sense and understand the motivation behind each setting or character.
Overall, I loved this book. It certainly has its flaws, but the sometimes stereotypically-attributed characters are more than made up for by the unique and fantastic premise and the absolutely illuminating (heh... puns... you'll see) feelings I suffered/triumphed because of this wonderful, wonderful novel. I truly cannot wait for EXILE.
(P.S. If you like my reviews, please check out my blog!, if you don't mind. Thanks!)(less)
Now, if you read my blog, you know that I like to play around with the name of the review. I almost never use the actual name of the book as the title of the review. When I do, there is only one explanation:
The title is unbelievably awesome.
The cover of this book is unbelievably awesome.
This entire book is unbelievably awesome.
Anna Dressed in Blood is unlike anything I've ever read before. It's a haunting story, but the book itself is almost like a spell because you just can't stop reading it, you're almost trapped by it, and every emotion you can possibly feel boil just beneath the surface and reaches out to you like tentacles.
This book is, in its essence, very, very clever. When I first started reading it, the descriptions felt jumbled, disorientating. The plot felt dragged on.
And here's where I was wrong.
Anna Dressed in Blood is not at all what it seems. Not the characters, not the plot, not the prose. This is a book that you won't really realize the wonderfulness of until after you finish reading it. Kendare Blake writes some of the best descriptions I've ever read, yet I never noticed until I finished the book and went back, looked at it, and oh, it is just beautiful.
Here, read this:
The city smells like smoke and things that rot in the summer. It's more haunted than I thought it would be, an entire layer of activity just under the dirt: whispers behind peoples' laughter or movement you shouldn't see in the corner of your eye. Most of them are harmless--sad little cold spots or groans in the dark. Blurry patches of white that only show up in a Polaroid. I have no business with them.
But somewhere out there is one that matters. Somewhere out there is the one that I came for, one who is strong enough to squeeze the breath out of living throats.
Actually, that was on the back cover, but I don't want to spoil anything for you.
Overall, Anna Dressed in Blood is a book that you have to read. The ending broke my heart, the characters won my heart, and my heart devoured this book. (less)
Yes! Finally! I've been waiting to read this book because I wanted to use it for an English project, and tomorrow I can finally start it! WOOT! I LOVE...moreYes! Finally! I've been waiting to read this book because I wanted to use it for an English project, and tomorrow I can finally start it! WOOT! I LOVE John Green. DFTBA!
Quick reaction: I have a confession to make: this book will probably ring truer to my ears (err eyes?) than anyone else's, because while I don't consider myself a prodigy or whatnot, I happen to be known as quite intelligent (I'm not saying I am or trying to brag. Just giving you insight). And the dorkily beautiful nerdiness of this book just made me grin so much. I LOVED this book. John Green is freakin' phenomenal. <3 Nerdfighter 4eva!!
Long reaction (AKA actual review): Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
I have a confession to make: this book slayed me. I am Colin, you guys. It killed my heart to read about a character who I can relate to so, so much.
No, I'm not a prodigy.
I'm just... well, known as really, really smart. I don't think I am--just that other people say so.
Why am I telling you this? Because this book will mean so much more to me than it will mean to someone else. It was tongue-in-cheek funny, dorkily beautiful, thrillingly emphatic.
It was me.
I'm not going to go on and on about how I am Colin or that I think I'm a friction* prodigy (which I'm not) and whatnot. I just want you all to know that I may be a bit biased. But a good kind of biased. In fact, I plunged into this book terrified, because I didn't know if it could possibly live up to the achingly heart-breaking Looking for Alaska. But I loved it even more than Alaska, if you can believe it. The nerdiness of this book made me so, so happy. The characters were fantastically developed; so real, I think I talk to them in my head now. And the plot, while not unpredictable, was intricately complex and heartwarming.
This is a book about math for those who hate math. A book about prodigies for those who envy prodigies. A book about life for those who despise life.
A book for you, my dear reader, to read, especially if you resent reading. (less)
I love Maggie Stiefvater so much, it's kind of scary. I've always been pretty intrigued by SHIVER, but because I'm extremely selective (and that's an...moreI love Maggie Stiefvater so much, it's kind of scary. I've always been pretty intrigued by SHIVER, but because I'm extremely selective (and that's an understatement) with paranormal reads, I just didn't feel compelled enough to pick it up.
But I read THE SCORPIO RACES, and it became my FAVORITE. BOOK. OF. ALL. TIME. (See my review of it here.) GAHHHHHHHH I love that book so much. Ah. Anyway, now I really don't care that this is about werewolves and what not. That's my policy: If you, as an author, can make me fall in love with your writing, not just a single book, I will read each and every book you write no matter what it is about.
Now I shall go read SHIVER.
QUICK reaction: GODGODGODGODGODGOD I... I can't even... I... So please, help me now, because this book was so amazing I feel like I'm floating, but really, I'm just crying. I... Oh, Maggie, how do you keep doing this to me?! My heart broke... (view spoiler)[but the last three pages... I bawled even more then, because I was so, so impossibly happy it was heartbreaking (hide spoiler)]. This review is going to be so hard to write. But I just have to say this: I read somewhere that the best romances are when you can't imagine the boy with anyone other than the girl.
It doesn't matter how sick of paranormal or books you are. Just... read this book. Now, excuse me while I go cry, marvel, cry, scream, cry, laugh, cry, and cry all over again.
Full, actual review: Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, most formatting and links have been lost.)
“'How long?' His smile was amazingly sweet. 'The longest.' 'Forever?' Sam's lips smiled, but above his grin, his yellow eyes turned sad, as if he knew it was a lie. 'Longer.'"
Once upon a time, there was a little girl, not as innocent as most other girls, but innocent still. Then the girl grew up, and one day, she fell in love with a book called The Scorpio Races. She vowed to read Shiver, because that was by the same author, and the girl knew it will whisk her away on journeys an universe away. She read Shiver, and it ripped her heart right out of her chest.
I read somewhere that the best romances are when you can't imagine the boy with anyone other than the girl. This is it. Sam and Grace... God, they made me bawl. Maggie's brilliant, beautiful prose poured heart and emotion straight out of the characters into me, deep into my heart, and all I felt while reading this book was just... this amazing sense of absoluteness, rightness, because I dare say that Sam and Grace are the best couple ever created in the literature world--I can't remember another couple that made me feel like this (except for Forbidden, but that's another story for another time). And it's this bittersweet fairytale that tore me in half.
I bawled, I laughed, I smiled, I shivered. I bawled again. I think this book is my favorite book ever now, though The Scorpio Races is still a close second.
My point is this: Read this book. It doesn't matter if you hate paranormal and whatnot, because GODDAMNDARNIT I am in love with everything about this book.
You know your heart? You know how fragile it is, a single drop of glass frozen, about to splash and shatter? Shiver is blood, pumping through you, into you, clogging your thoughts, just leaving your heart vulnerable. It's blood rushing into you and killing you and making you love at the same time. It's blood that keeps you alive and raw, desperate and flawed.
It will change you. Because this blood? It will fortify your being, your heart, your soul, and you'll know that no matter what, you have a definite goal, and that is to search for love like Sam and Grace's. Maybe just by reading about them, or finding a couple like them, or maybe being part of a relationship similar yourself. But the most important truth this book will teach you? It's that true love never dies. Love fades, love grows, love transforms into lust, love breaks, but true love never dies.
Quick reaction: Freaking awesome, was this. Anyone who knows me knows I practically never get into Historicals. But as The Fray (and...more**STARRED REVIEW**
Quick reaction: Freaking awesome, was this. Anyone who knows me knows I practically never get into Historicals. But as The Fray (and some Bieber kid) says, Never say Never! SSaD was absolutely amazing. Eleanor is who I'd be if I were white and lived in 1876 Philadelphia. She's freaking kick-butt and so brave and strong. She's smart and she realizes that society's darn freaking expectations can go to the underworld. And that made me realize something, too:
I actually like Historicals. I just don't like the oh-dear-society-will-think-so-badly-of-this type of Historicals. Which is almost every Historical I've read. (Think The Luxe. Yeah... I'm still cringing over that societal puppet show.) I mean, those stories aren't bad. They're usually realistic. But I like my heroines with some grit and--god-forbid--emotions other than lust/love/fake concern/wealth. (So what if wealth isn't an emotion? It might as well be, seeing as people are quite obsessed with it, and oftentimes justifiably so.)
Yeah, this is just me rambling a bunch of nonsense again, isn't it? I apologize--it's midnight over here and I just wrote a pretty scary chapter in my WIP so I'm not exactly in the best state of mind.
But anyway, my point is this: whether or not you like historicals, whether or not you like zombies, as long as you can handle a little bit of gore, THIS AWESOMENESS IS FOR YOU.
**Actual, full review to come** (Meanwhile, why not check out my blog?)(less)
Quick Reaction: So fantastic, so unexpected, and soooo many questions. To those who think this sounds way too much like Beautiful Creat...more starred review!
Quick Reaction: So fantastic, so unexpected, and soooo many questions. To those who think this sounds way too much like Beautiful Creatures: Perhaps so, but the humor in this book is unmatched and way too hilarious. Also, I have many, many questions for Sarah when I see her this Saturday.
Actual, full review: Original is here on my blog. I've met Sarah Rees Brennan a total two times, both times at the RT Teen Day event. The first time I met her was back in 2011 at the Los Angeles RT Convention. At the time, I didn't read a lot--I loved reading, I just wasn't obsessed with it--but I fell in love with Ally Carter's books and saw on her website that she was going to be at RT, so I went, with the sole intent of wowing Ally with my Supreme Coolness and Complete Un-awkwardness (hahahahaha I must've been way more ignorant than I thought I was), but of course, I ended up being both Supremely Uncool and Completely Awkward.
Which would have been really sad. EXCEPT SARAH REES BRENNAN WAS THERE.
And she made my day.
You know those people in your life who are just so full of this untamable energy that they seem to explode whenever they're by you? The type of people who make jokes that are so funny that you can't even breathe, and they're just smiling all crookedly at you 'cause they're just glad to have entertained but isn't really sure just how they so completely blew you away?
Well, Sarah is one of those people. In fact, if that type of person had a name, the name would be Sarah.
So you can imagine that I was absolutely freaking out when I got accepted for an e-galley (e-ARC, basically) of Unspoken. And there is one thing I will tell you:
SARAH REES BRENNAN IS LIKE TECHNOLOGY. She gets better and better and addictive-r and addictive-r.
Going into this book, I had the suspicion that most people did: this sounds awfully like Beautiful Creatures. I mean, even the main character's name is Kami! But oh, I couldn't have been more wrong.
Yes, Unspoken is gothic, it's got a mystery, it's got a Kami, it's got creepiness. But it's got the key component: originality. While its synopsis resounds crazily with Beautiful Creatures, it is its own novel, its own Sarah-esque humor, its own amazing characters, and its own story that is in no way a retelling of anything but the awesomeness of Sarah Rees Brennan.
The characters are just completely flail-worthy. Kami is so funny, I kind of exploded from laughter. (It's so nice that heaven has computers, isn't it?) I was reading this on the plane to Chicago for RT and I'm pretty sure my entire back got melted by the glares of trying-to-sleep businesspeople. But wow--if you've ever seen Sarah in person, you know she's extremely funny. Unspoken is like a sitcom where everything is humor magnified until you're bursting in this bubble of Ultimate Happiness.
But it's not just the characters. The romance, the creepiness, the mystery--they were all so thoroughly juxtaposed with the humor that, even though they are a sudden shift away from the wittiness that thrives in this book, they also lure the reader in even more with their full ambiance and complete chillingness.
Unspoken is the type of book that you crave for no matter how many bad/good/genre-specific books you've read. It's always a relief, it's always a suspense, and it's always, always, the type of awesome that is so completely awesome, if it was not unspoken, the universe may have had another Big Bang.
**ACTUAL, FULL REVIEW** Original is here on my blog (or it will be, come January 24th of dear ole new 2013). Note: due to copy-and-p...more**STARRED REVIEW**
**ACTUAL, FULL REVIEW** Original is here on my blog (or it will be, come January 24th of dear ole new 2013). Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links will be lost. Oh well.
"Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy,
but here's my number, so call me maybe?"
I thought so. Now, before you go all Avatar State on me, let me just say that I brought that Call Me Maybe back for a legitimately good reason. It's this book's freaking theme song.
So I read Will Grayson X 2 (as will I later refer to is as, due to my absurd laziness. Actually, I'm going to call it WGx2. Ooo it looks so pretty as a mathematical equation). Anyways: the point is, I didn't just meet this book, but this is still crazy, because I really want to give the Wills my number, so they can call me maybe-
OKAY FINE I'll stop now with the song.
But you guys, this book. I'm sorry, I was joking all this time because I just don't know what to say. It's so... unflinchingly loud. Not loud like a scream, but loud like war pipes. Bagpipes that are warm and familiar that screech something thunderous inside your heart and burst into little staccatos of halted heartbeats. That's what this book is. Completely unaware of personal bubbles and slashing them apart with knives made of jokes.
This book is... a lot like me. Man, how dare I, compare myself to this masterpiece. But you know, it's very hilariously stoic in its exterior and so colorfully confused on the inside. I like that. And I'd like to think that it resonates with me, and with everyone else, too, because no one with a thread of a fine mind can pass up the recognition that despite the fact that one of the Wills was gay, despite the fact that this situation seems unlikely (I didn't think so. I had the exact same name as someone in my school. And our personalities are so similar it's eerie), there is something in it so real and fierce it's like a blizzard whipping against your face. You want to ignore it, but you can't, and the more you try to back away, the quicker it streams. WGx2 made me want to tumble into an abyss and just curl up into myself for a while, because it was so brilliant and so bright and the world was so shabby and savage and inside the book there was something more than words, there was an entire universe dappling the sky like invisible threads of personalities waiting to plummet upon us in pillars of stars.
The book is majestic in its own grotesquely grandiose way, and I think that's what I loved the most about it.(less)
Quick reaction: I loved this book. It made me cry at my numbest time--in the early morning hours, when I should be asleep, but stayed awake to read th...moreQuick reaction: I loved this book. It made me cry at my numbest time--in the early morning hours, when I should be asleep, but stayed awake to read this. But I had one question. (this is a REALLY big spoiler, so don't click on the tag unless you want everything spoiled it for you! (And dont' worry, this part will be deleted when my final review goes up.) (view spoiler)[Did Jack overhear Meredith tell Nikki that anyone can forfeit themselves to the Tunnels, that it doesn't have to be the Forfeit? Because I don't think he did, as Nikki told him it was nothing later when he asked her, so then how did he know to sacrifice himself in the end? (hide spoiler)]
Actual, full review: Original is here. (Note: due to copy-and paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
What do you call a book that made you cry at your numbest times? Everneath is a beautiful story about hope--and the absence of it; death--and the absence of it; love--and the absence of that as well.
This is a book about what was there and isn't anymore. About a past we can't help but regret and can't help but try to yank back, even though we know that won't happen, ever. There is something deeply emotional running rampant underneath the words of Everneath: not something you can see, nor hear, nor feel, but something you sense. It's so subtle--but the emotion is there: desperation, and what happens because of it.
The Everneath is a strikingly heartbreaking place. Brodi has a fantastic way of describing darkness as it sucks at everything around it, choking life and strangling emotions and crushing dreams. It is desperate, too. That's a theme threading through this book: desperation, desperation, endless desperation. But it is not a mindless, aggravating sort of desperation: it is a calm, accepted, forced sort of desperation that I dare you to ignore and wave away.
I could go on and on about how Nikki broke my heart. She has been so dry and cracked and burned that she could barely go on, but she's willing to try and fight, if only to set things right for once. I could talk about how Jack was achingly sweet and trying to find the old Nikki, only to search again and again to find someone new to fall in love with again. I could also talk about Cole and his irresistible compassion, about Brodi's expert weaving of mythology throughout the book. But I must clarify something deeply concerning--this book is not a love triangle. Nikki knows who she loves--she has made that choice so long again, it is a concrete thing that is an irrefutable truth, a stable constant as everything else in the world shakes and shudders and twists. Though she certainly must make a choice, the choice is not of love--it is of endings.
Either way, a part of her will end, and it's up to her to decide which part, or if she will just extinguish all at once.
Everneath is like a waterfall. It is pounding and deadly, and it is beautiful. It is destructive and ruthless, and endlessly breathtaking. It is brilliant.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I love high-fantasy, I love strong heroines, and I love a story that makes me swoon.
But what I really love is a story that makes me think.
Graceling is original and thought-provoking, and truly, can anyone deny that Kristin Cashore has the grace for writing?
Thank you to my friend Soph for forcing telling me to read Graceling. Katsa is this incredibly tough heroine with a heart, and her character grows so much throughout the story, I ached for her. She lived her whole life believing herself to be a killing machine. She thrived despite everyone's fearful, judgmental opinions about her. But in her heart she's just a girl who wants to be appreciated and recognized, and that vulnerability in her broke my heart a little.
I loved Po. I can't help, though, but compare Po to Peeta. Peeta complements Katniss like Po complements Katsa, but this book hypocritically can't really be compared to The Hunger Games, because even though they both involve cruel, inhumane tyrants, heart-breaking decisions, and aching romance, the message these books approach are met from different angles. Graceling is a tale of love and fighting and making the right choices, and Katsa can break. That's what I loved so much about this book. The protagonist can break, but even as she does she stands strong and fights because she cares so much about everyone else that slowly warmed their way into her heart (even if it isn't many people). And in her resilience we find hope, and in hope we find triumph.
This is an action-packed book laced with romance and tortuous dilemmas. This is a book that will stay with you long after you've finished it. This is the book about a girl who turns from the puppet to the puppeteer. (less)
**Thank you, THANK YOU, HarperTeen, for giving me this ARC. <3**
Actual, full review: Original is here on my blog.(Note: due to copy-and-paste, form...more**Thank you, THANK YOU, HarperTeen, for giving me this ARC. <3**
Actual, full review: Original is here on my blog.(Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost. Except for one of them that I manually linked.)
I devoured this book the way a starved man engulfs food.
Tiger Lily has this addictive quality to it, kind of like a drug. It's beautiful and sad and terrible and heartbreaking; it's merciless and benign and desperate and raw. It's feral: words that spill out in this incredibly gripping formation, hidden surprises waiting to spring and shock. I highly doubt I have the right words to describe just how amazing this book was, but I will try. That's all I can guarantee.
I'm a restless person. I always have to be doing something, and I often don't do the same thing twice. I'm kind of like Peter Pan. It's why I never read a book again right after I finish it, but immediately upon completing Tiger Lily, I had this irresistible urge to drown myself in Jodi's words again and again: I can't get enough of it. I was crippled by this book; I read in class, in the car, everywhere, and it is so predatory it almost made me cry in class. I don't even know how. Quite honestly, I have a strong suspicion that this is now my favorite book--of ever and ever and ever and ever.
The characters--mostly Peter--sliced through me with a canyon's depth.
This is the Peter Pan I swoon over so badly it's not even funny. This Peter is broken, but he's trying to mend himself and he doesn't want to be broken, so of course he'll lie--to himself, to others, but... mostly himself. That's what made me just stop: at one point, I just had to set the book down and bury my head somewhere. Probably in a heap of tissues. I fell in love with Peter the way Tiger Lily did, and the moment you get to see him past everything--his exterior, his defenseless self--it's like having someone very, very carefully cut your heart out. It hurts, obviously, but it's also defeating. I think that's what made me love this book so much; I guess I'm just a masochist for being such a sucker of bittersweet love stories. Peter Pan is a bewitching boy; I think this song describes my feelings about Peter much better than I can. Of course, now that I've spent so much time on Peter Pan, I've totally neglected Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell, our unexpected narrator who actually turned out to be vital to the plot. I'm sure you're all asleep now, so I'll sum up these two and everyone else in the book in a sentence: the characters in this book are all independent--they are wild, but so in very many different ways--yet at one point or another, the decision was dependence, or nothing at all. It's astounding the choices we all make, to see them reflected in these characters so real they were like people burning through the pages.
Keep living through Happily Ever Afters; we can just watch them eventually fade. But Tiger Lily does something else: we don't live through the Happily Ever After. We live through the true stories crackling against its wishful disguise.(less)
Actual, full review: Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
Here's a confession: I hav...more**STARRED REVIEW**
Actual, full review: Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
Here's a confession: I have nightmares.
Not nightmares like "ghosts are following me down the stairs" nightmares. Not nightmares like "my crush humiliates me in front of everyone and then becomes the Biggest Jerk EVER."
Nightmares like, murder. Like, tearing flesh murder. Sights that make you want to gag and just shrivel up and hide forever. When people say there are no worse things than seeing your own death, they're wrong. Here's something worse: Seeing someone you love dying, torn apart, and you are just sitting there, helpless.
And here's why I'm bringing that particularly pleasant imagery to mind: This book is like my worst nightmare and best daydream combined. I have lost people, sure, but certainly not as horribly as many others have. I have tried to neglect the truth, too. But I'm not strong enough to fight against it completely and wholly. This book was like a weapon handed to me by Achilles, just for the power to finally spring back and eradicate every last doubt--every last sliver of crippling thought. But no one ever does anything for no reason at all.
This book's a weapon, alright. And it claims no loyalties.
I feel kind of dramatic. Upon finishing this book, I just lied there on my bed, staring at the ceiling. The book fell with a heavy thud onto my lap, and I just let it sit there. It was almost amusing, how much this book affected me. But actually, not really. It's like keeping something for so long, buried so deep inside of you that it takes millenniums to finally dig everything out again, and suddenly someone just charged into your brain and shook you upside-down until they finally dislodged that piece of memory. As they shake you, trying to free you, your thoughts start dissipating, turning vapid. You start thinking, hmm, and then it's just like yourself staring at yourself, but you know that you aren't quite who you were anymore. It's weird. It's strange.
It's spectacularly wrecking.
Here's a note about the illustrations: Whatever you do, get the print copy of this book. I have included links below the synopsis, so you can't use the excuse that you don't know where to find one. The illustrations are just hauntingly lovely. Its synergy with the breathtaking writing is like killing two birds with one stone. You know, I think it's just so interesting how I can be sniggering at myself the same time I'm trying to remain honest. If you're sniggering at my "melodrama," that's okay, I get it. But if you know me, you know I don't write reviews. I write my emotional response to a book, no matter how deeply cutting it is. So here it is:
I hope you read this while keeping in mind that even the greatest warriors fall. (less)
**ACTUAL, FULL REVIEW** Original is here on my blog. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
You know what I think?
I think...more**ACTUAL, FULL REVIEW** Original is here on my blog. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)
You know what I think?
I think Audrey was right. She shouldn't have waited.
I can't even start this review right if I don't talk about the amazingness that is James. Holy rock stars, did you know that food > music? Okay, fine, food = music. But still. Man. That boy is something. Now I realize that I just sounded like your grandma with her "back in the dayz" talk, but hey, I'm just being honest here, k? Now where can we find a James in real life is the question...
Anyways! Audrey. Gosh, I love Audrey. She's quirky and so hilarious that you'll find yourself crying "THAT'S A KNEE-SLAPPER!" more than once. She's going to rock your socks off (so many puns...) if you haven't read this yet. I want her to be my best friend. (JK. I love my best friend. But come on, Audrey is just too awesome to not have as an IRL friend.) She reacts like an actual female teenage human being to situations that does not bestow upon the average actual female teenage human being. Quite a phenomenon, this one.
Now, moving on. The plot of this book was amazing. Contemporaries and I usually clash because they are too loose all over the edges, but this one was focused, straightforward, and had a beginning, middle, and end that I could see the arc of, but could not have predicted everything about. Not saying, of course, that contemporaries aren't cool--if you haven't noticed, my last star review was for a contemporary. I just wanted to point out that contemp skeptics can rest their hearts easy with this one, because Robin Benway knows what she's doing.
Also, the music: my gosh the music. It's everywhere, and it's frexing beautiful. I want to hug this book and drink it and somehow just, oh, I don't know, I just love this book so much. I'm sorry, that sounded really creepy, but I can't help it. These reviews are me spilling my feelings, so tada, there's a pot of TMI for you to waddle your way through.
Overall, there is nothing overall to say because Audrey, Wait! is utterly too mind-blowing to actually allow the mind the manifestation of an accurate description. The only advice I can give you is: go read it, then report back to me after you've indulged in this pure gleeful, Anna and the French Kiss-fun novel that ultimately answers sophisticated answers with simple eccentricities.(less)
Actual, full review: Original is here. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and SOME links have been lost.)
There are NO WORDS that can describe how I feel about this book. It's freaking badass and mind-boggling and brilliant and fast-paced and beautiful and devastating and so infinitely intelligent I can't even-
Forget it. I cannot write this review in a calm and neutralized way. I'm fan-girling way too hard. Is it possible that I have a girl crush on Janelle and absolutely love Ben Michaels? Oh yes. Is it possible that this might be the best sci-fi book I've ever read? Possibly. I'm teetering towards a yes, even though A Million Suns is glaring and threatening to cryogenically freeze me.
If the world rained brilliance, then Unraveling is a hurricane. It's unstoppable in its formidable exterior and gorgeously raging interior. It brings pleads and tears and SO MUCH BADASSERY I was freaking out with ohmigod this can't be happening it can't be THIS good, can it?! AHHH!!! the entire time.
I can't do this anymore. I can't. I don't even know how to express my thoughts without collapsing into the chasm of full-on exploding happiness. So here:
Oh, this is good so far. Nothing like, MIND-blowing or something, but I freakin' love Janelle's personality. And the writing's so smooth it's like gliding on silk.
FAEIORJIIOJARAKKKFAK I CAN'T EVEN I CAN'T EVEN I CAN'T EVEN- I cannot believe it. I knew this was coming, but the very idea is SO mind-blowing I am shocked to a thousand universes away. Elizabeth Norris, Queen of Doing Her Homework and Absolute Aweseomeness, I kneel to you. Please bestow upon me the honor of being your knight. I will ride out past the edges of the world to proclaim my loyalty to you. I have just one small favor to ask... convince Ben to marry me, please? Pleeeease?
That's it. This book was so good, reading it was like tumbling down a hill of rainbows: you'll crash and burn, and it's all so beautiful, who freakin' cares about the scars? I'm so spoiled by Janelle and Ben that I don't even want to touch another book in fear that suddenly Unraveling is going to pop and disappear. I feel like I should hang this book in a frame or something, so that I don't do something stupid, like drink hot chocolate and just stare at the words until the chocolate spills and I ruin a page and then I'm so outraged at myself I quit eating chocolate all together. Oh, man, would you look at that. This book has me so twisted in ecstacy, I cannot seem to fathom any sort of quasi-coherent thought.
It doesn't matter if you hate sci-fi or chocolate or books; Unraveling flares against boundaries of fears and smashes them apart. And if the world should truly crash soon, then there is one thing I must insist that you do: READ. THIS. BOOK.
P.S. Is my rambling not convincing enough? Then listen to this song: it conveys the book's ambiance perfectly. (Also, I totally want to see the movie. Not for Kristen Stewart, but for the special effects and Chris Hemsworth. ;) )