I bought this ebook when it was on sale for $3...I think that was a year ago. Yesterday, I finally sat down and started it. 10 hours later, I was loo...more I bought this ebook when it was on sale for $3...I think that was a year ago. Yesterday, I finally sat down and started it. 10 hours later, I was looking for the sequel!
Plot: I think your opinion of this book depends on how you approach it. By no means is this a riveting critique on the social cliques of prestigious universities or student substance abuse. It's a fun, easy read about a new girl and her climb to popularity. Callie Andrews is from California, she has blond hair and is starting her freshman year at Harvard University (just like the author, but we'll ignore that). Her roommates are a crazy cast of characters, and her boyfriend just broke up with her -through email. The book takes place over the first three months of school and a lot happens before Thanksgiving Break. The book ends with a pretty scandalous cliffhanger which had me wanting to know more.
Characters: Callie is our main character, and even though the novel is in the third person, we are basically seeing everything through her eyes. She's not a role model whatsoever; she's just a girl trying to survive her first year away from home and figure boys out. There are a lot of secondary characters that all either add to the drama or are comedic reliefs. I'm a very PC person when it comes to diversity in novels, and while Kunze does include some diversity, I thought she also called unnecessary attention to the characters of color. OK (our Nigerian prince who has an English accent?) is repeatedly characterized by his ebony skin and called a "big black man." We get it, he's black. Let's move on. There is also Fahad, who is from Saudi Arabia and described as wearing a white tuxedo with an ironic purple turban. Why is his turban ironic? ALSO, I don't think Saudi Arabian men even wear turbans. I know I don't know every single Saudi in the world, but I've never seen a turban grace their heads (unless they are religious leaders) so.....
Moving on from the POC characters, Callie has a list of men who are heads over heels in love with her. I personally love Gregory. He can be pretty rude, and always sarcastic, but it's clear that he's hiding behind an image. One last thing (I notice I've been rambling). This novel is in the third person and is mostly told from Callie's angle, like 90% of the time. Then there are times where Kunze switches perspectives and it is super confusing as to whose eyes we are seeing a situation through. I think this book would have been better if it were just written in the first person POV.
Setting: The Ivy takes place at the illustrious Harvard University, and as I have never been to Harvard, I liked hearing them described from an actual Harvard Alumnus.
Short N Sweet: If you want a cerebral read, keep looking. However, if you are looking for a fun college story along the lines of Gossip Girl, you might want to check this one out!(less)
A light-hearted coming of age story that every nerdgirl can relate to!
Plot: Fangirl begins with 18 year old Cather moving into her dorm room, and fo...more A light-hearted coming of age story that every nerdgirl can relate to!
Plot: Fangirl begins with 18 year old Cather moving into her dorm room, and for the first time in forever, her bunkmate isn't her twin sister Wren (Cather-Wren, Catherine. Get it?). The book is divided into two halves, the Fall semester and the Spring semester and follows Cath along as she has the college experience that everyone who moved on campus can reminisce about. I liked Cath's journey from alienating everyone who spoke to her, to learning about herself, her fanfiction, and repairing familial ties. It's a beautiful story with emotion and plenty of humor to complement it. My only complaint is the amount of fan fiction in the story. There are snippets of Cath's fan fiction (along with text from the original series) in between chapter which I enjoyed, but there are also times where Cather reads CHAPTERS of her fanfiction aloud to an audience, and I didn't think that this helped move the story whatsoever.
Characters: Cather is my spirit animal, I swear to God. I didn't write Fan Fiction in college (that ended in high school I'm pretty sure), but as a long time fangirl, I felt like she was someone I could relate to. She's awkward, doesn't know how to talk to boys, and lives online in a fandom community - please tell me that most of you can't relate to that. Her roommate Reagan is someone I want to be friends with, and Levi gave me warm fuzzies every time he spoke. He's definitely a charmer! I also loved Cather's relationship with her manic father; however, I felt like there were a lot of loose ends that should have been wrapped up regarding her family.
Setting: The book takes place in Nebraska, a state I have never visited and could not properly visualize. Luckily, most of the action takes place on campus and I found it easy to imagine my own university campus as the setting.
Audio Book Performance: The book is told by two narrators, Rebecca Lowman, and Maxwell Caulfield. I love when a book has two or more narrators because then it really is an experience. Rebecca Lowman is the primary narrator, while Caulfield narrates the fanfiction snippets in between each chapter. Each narrator has a lovely voice and I enjoyed their performances.
Short n Sweet: An great YA contemporary novels that most young adults can related to, this is sure to be a hit with fans of Stephanie Perkins!(less)
When you're a princess and life hands you lemons, you GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE. Princess Lia decides to take her life in her own hands and flees from...moreWhen you're a princess and life hands you lemons, you GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE. Princess Lia decides to take her life in her own hands and flees from an arranged marriage to the prince of a neighboring kingdom. What she doesn't know is that the jilted prince and an assassin have followed her.
Plot: The Kiss of Deception is, naturally, about deception which is all in good fun. I spent the majority of the book guessing which male character was the assassin and which was the prince (and I'll admit-I guessed wrong). As the first in a series, Pearson's concern is to establish the world, characters and to introduce the series' overall conflict. The first half of the novel was slow and seemed to drag on quite a bit; thankfully, the novel picked up speed once identities were revealed (and people started dying).
Characters: The main character, Princess Lia, is a very strong female lead. I liked her, I liked her a lot. She was caring and she was strong. Actually, I liked all of the characters except the two male leads. The Assassin and The Prince were such cookie cutter characters that I couldn't even picture what they looked like. Within pages of meeting Princess Lia, both characters fall madly in love with her, and she in turn fell madly in love with one of the mystery men after a handful of conversations. YAWN. I found one of the male character's a lot more interesting than the other because he was more prevalent in the novel and so the reader was able to learn more about him as a character and not just a love-struck man.
Setting: In High Fantasy novels, the one thing that you absolutely cannot mess up is the world building. At first I wasn't really impressed by Pearson's world because the story took place mostly in one setting. It was only when the characters ventured out that I was able to learn more about the world and its history. There are random bits of text from the culture's holy scripture but I couldn't connect any of those readings with what I knew about the characters and world so they seemed a bit pointless to me.
Short n Sweet With all the hype of this novel, I knew I had to get my hands on this book. I found the world to be interesting and the female characters to be strong and really likable. The book fell short in my expectations with it's let's-fall-in-love-within-the-first-fifty-pages, but redeemed itself in the last half of the novel when the focus wasn't love, but shed more light on politics and secrets. I would read the sequel, but mostly out of curiosity. (less)
Plot: Dreams of Gods and Monsters was one of my most anticipated novels, I couldn't wait to see how Laini Taylor wrapped up her masterpiece...more3.5 stars
Plot: Dreams of Gods and Monsters was one of my most anticipated novels, I couldn't wait to see how Laini Taylor wrapped up her masterpiece. I started the book in April, and I finished it in August. It took me a while to get into this one because of the numerous storylines that seemed to be completely independent of Karou and Akiva, but tied into the story towards the end. Taylor's writing is still beautiful but I felt like a lot (too many) things were happening in this novel, and at the end of novel I found myself wondering if anything actually happened.
Characters: Karou and the gang are still lovable and know when to deliver a good laugh.I feel like Taylor's strength (besides writing of course) is knowing when to break the tension. I still adore Mik and Zuzana and was happy to see how their story progressed. I don't know if Akiva and Karou's love story left me feeling satisfied, and I'll leave it at that.
Setting: The final installment takes place on Earth, Lormandi, and Eretz. The world was still very well developed but I think I was suffering from too much information to keep my characters and places straight.
Short N Sweet: Dreams of Gods and Monsters is a lovely book with the characters you know and love from the previous novels. Not the strongest ending to a great series, but still a good read. (less)
What started off as a jumble of characters attempting to survive in Dorothy's horror story that is Oz, ends up being an action packed adventure that...more What started off as a jumble of characters attempting to survive in Dorothy's horror story that is Oz, ends up being an action packed adventure that I couldn't put down!
Plot: Amy Gumm is what the other girls call "trailer park trash;" one day while her mom is out getting her fix, Amy and her pet rat, Star, are swept away to the fictional Oz. The beginning of the novel seemed a bit...off. We start off with Amy commenting on her social life and the Queen B of the school, her mom's additions, and then we are in Oz. I kind of felt like I was in a roller coaster with the pacing of this story: one moment we are getting character development, then we are rushing through Oz, and then we have a love story (kind of), then we're at the end of the first installment. Throughout this novel, I was set on a firm 3.5 because of the pacing, but the ending made me reconsider and give it a 4. That being said, Dorothy Must Die is a creative story that isn't afraid to hold back. I love dark and creepy writing, but some of the descriptions of killings and amputations made me grimace.
Characters: Dorothy Must Die is told from Amy's perspective, this allows us, the reader, to experience Oz firsthand through her eyes, and it is gruesome. Amy is joined by a large cast of characters, like a lot of characters. In the beginning, I thought that too many were being introduced, but they all tied in together in the end. There was a hint regarding romance between Dorothy and a fellow resistance leader, but I wasn't too interested in it. This time, the story trumped the love story which was a good thing because I was more interested in Dorothy's dark and twisted ways. My favorite characters would have to be Dorothy friends: The Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion, and The Tin Man.. Their personalities and appearances were nothing like you remember from the movie. From mauling to sword hands, they are the things my nightmares are made of.
Setting: The World of Oz gets a five out of five from me. Ms. Paige does an excellent job articulating that this is not your normal Oz; the land is barren and the citizens live in terror. Everything in Oz is described with such vivid imagery that is all thanks to the author's beautiful writing style.
Short N Sweet: This imaginative "sequel" to The Wizard of Oz will have you hold your breath, grimace, and cringe until the wicked witch is dead. The only thing keeping this novel from being a five-star rating is its pacing in the beginning. (less)
Feed was my first zombie book and I'm so happy that I chose this one to introduce me to the zombie genre....more2014. Zombie apocalypse. Prepare yourselves.
Feed was my first zombie book and I'm so happy that I chose this one to introduce me to the zombie genre. I adore zombie films (Diary of the Dead is probably my favorite Romero film) but I never considered reading about zombies.
The story follows three bloggers, one blogger, Buffy, focuses on the creative outlet of the zombie apocalypse (writing poetry and sonnets), Shaun, our main character's brother, focuses on the thrill of the zombie apocalypse (like poking zombies with sticks) and George, our main character, focuses on bringing the news to the people. They are elected to travel with a presidential candidate and learn a lot more than they expected about the zombie epidemic The story is told at a steady pace, there isn't too much action, instead Grant teases the reader with a seemingly normal scene, then BOOM, zombies. You honestly never know when the expect an attack which keeps the reader on the edge of his seat while reading.
The characters are all so unique and real. There are snippets the each blogger's entry so the reader gets a personal look into the character's thinking and how living in a zombie infested world has affected them. The main character, George is extremely intelligent. I've highlighted some of her blog entries on my nook because they were so thought provoking and spoke for mankind. One thing I want to comment on is the relationship between Shaun and George is a bit...odd. Given their childhood, I understand that they are all that they know and trust, sleeping in the same bed at the of 18 is a bit peculiar. I
The writing was top notch. Like I said, Grant's creativity knows no bounds which is perfect for a zombie apocalypse story. She creates a connection with each of her characters and knows how to write some heart breaking moments.
I adored this book and I can't wait to see where Grants takes us in the second book! (less)
With all the hype surrounding this book, I expected to be blown away; after finishing Jennifer Armentrout's Half-Blood I only felt one emotion: underw...moreWith all the hype surrounding this book, I expected to be blown away; after finishing Jennifer Armentrout's Half-Blood I only felt one emotion: underwhelmed.
Alex is a half-blood whose sole reason for living is to protect and serve. After the unexpected death of her mother, Alexandria returns to the Convenant to continue her training to become a Sentinel. As if fighting demons night and day wasn't stressful enough, she's falling in love with a Pure blood, the most taboo of all taboos.
Half-Blood grabbed my attention instantly. The first chapter opens to Alex realizing that daimons are breaking into her home. It was exciting and and Alex was a badass heroine. I'll say one thing about the pacing, this book moves at turbo speed. Just as soon as Alex is getting bad guy ass, Sentitel Aiden comes to drag her back to the Convenant. After Alex arrives to the Convenant, I was just bored. Alex picks up where she left off at school with close friends, old enemies and danger hiding around every corner. It's all pretty forumalic if you have read any novel about schools honed to sharpen paranormal skills. There was a slight twist during the "Final Battle" which actually made it book a bit more enjoyable and interesting.
Like I mentioned, Alex's day-to-day life at the Convenant was putting me to sleep, but the scenes between Aiden and Alex had me on the edge of my seat. I didn't like Aiden as a character, he was the sterotypical, older and wiser boy who seems to be out of the main character's league. Alex also annoyed me, she was too stubborn and too sarcastic. But when Aiden and Alex were together....it was hot. The chemistry between the two was obvious and the sexual tension kept me coming back for more. I've always been a fan of forbidden love and I loved the idea of a Half and a Pure Blood testing the waters and saying "damn what the others say." The chemistry between Aiden and Alex actually has me contemplating picking up the sequel novel, I just want to see them together!
The novel is written from Alex's point of view, and if you aren't a fan of overly sarcastic and stubborn girls...you may be annoyed fairly quickly. I felt Alex was too informal and too sarcastic, I did not enjoy hearing her side comments, hell I didn't even enjoy being in her head.
Half-Blood is the first installment of a Alex's adventures and struggles to keep her love. While I could not get into the overall story, I finished the novel just for the Alex and Aiden scenes.(less)
After touring all twelve districts with co-victor Peeta, the two realize that the districts are not as controlled as the Capitol makes them think they...moreAfter touring all twelve districts with co-victor Peeta, the two realize that the districts are not as controlled as the Capitol makes them think they are. There are riots, escapees and somehow Katniss has become the face of the Revolution. In an attempt to squash the Revolution for once and for good, he sends Katniss back into the arena, in hopes that she won't come back.
This book picks up right where The Hunger Games left off. Katniss and Peeta are preparing to tour the districts as victors of the 74th Hunger Games while dealing with their personal demons. The story flows well with Katniss are narrator and more of the Districts being revealed. When I first read the book, I was kind of annoyed to find out that Suzanne Collins was throwing Katniss, Peeta and ten other tributes back into the Arena; it felt kind of cheap. Upon reflection, I LOVE how it was handled (one line that comes to mind is, "there is no room for a Girl on Fire) and I loved the set-up of this Arena. I think I liked this arena more than the one of the 74th Hunger Games. I also liked that Katniss gave the audience a history of The Hunger Games which helped her understand her new enemies, as well as our beloved Haymitch. What made Catching Fire so memorable are the introduction to new characters.
Finnick. Joanna. They are awesome and I am so happy that Collins created them. With the start of a new Hunger Games, comes new tributes and Game Masters. I felt more connected to these tributes (well...besides Rue and Thresh obviously) than I did for the previous book's tributes (there is a scene with a District 6 tribute that had me BAWLING). Katniss is still a strong heroine fighting a battle she didn't sign up for, Peeta is....there, we find out more about Gale, and we are given clues regarding President Snow's past. I also adored Madge, the old lady with a mean hook...literally.
I still love Katniss's point of view. She is so strong, so committed to helping others, and she is so REAL. Everythign Katniss feels, the reader feels, there is never a moment where Katniss knows more than the reader which I love. Suzanne Collins writing is still fabulous and un-put-down-able.
Overall, Catching Fire is a strong follow up to The Hunger Games and anyone who was a fan of the initial book will definitely love this one!(less)
Cassandra Clare had a lot of fun writing this, a lot more fun than she had with The Mortal Instruments. Clockwork Angel is extremel...moreRating: 4.5/5 stars
Cassandra Clare had a lot of fun writing this, a lot more fun than she had with The Mortal Instruments. Clockwork Angel is extremely well written with amazing characters and an intriguing plot to boot!
Clockwork Angel follows Tessa as she searches for her brother Nathan in London. She runs into the Dark Sisters who unlock a mystery power that she never knew she had. Just when she thinks that her life will be nothing more than to play puppet to the Dark Sisters and their unknown Magistar, Will Herondale rescues her from her prison and introduces her to a world that she never knew existed. While coming to terms regarding her true nature, Tessa teams up with the Shadowhunters to find find her missing brother.
The length of this book is intimidating for the first installment in a series, 476 pages, but I feel that if it were any shorter that it would take away from this amazing detailed world. Everything was perfectly placed with well-timed plot developments and twists and turns. The book starts off with Tessa receiving word from her brother to join him in London after their aunt dies. Nathan is not there to pick her up nor has his employer seen him in weeks. I was instantly hooked with the introductions to all of the Downworlders and Tessa's determination to find herself and her brother.
For me, the characters make the novel, especially the secondary characters. I fell in love with Mortal Instruments because all of the characters were so interesting and colorful. I'm pretty sure Clare outdid herself with this fabulous cast. The most interesting secondary character by far is Jessie. The reluctant Shadowhunter who is desperate to escape her fate. Although she was bratty and conceited, I loved her. She, along with all of the other characters, has so many layers that I wanted more scenes with her, more development, more everything! As the protaganist, Tessa was everything that I loved in a female heroine. She was strong willed, extremely loyal, and she was vulnerable in just the write places. Will and Jem, the future legs of the love triangle (we all know how I feel about those...) were just as interesting and were a contrast of each other; Jem being light while Will is the darkness.
The writing was damn-near flawless, it's like this was the series that Clare always dreamed of writing. The quips always brought a grin to my face, the characters all had distinctive voices and the descriptions were detailed and painted a beautiful picture of Clare's London.
Cassandra Clare's impressive prequel installment paves the way for a fantastic new series. The Clcokwork Angel has everything that a great novel has, a detailed world, a moving plot and characters that keep you coming back for more! I personally cannot wait to find The Clockwork Prince and sink my teeth into this gripping series!
Recommended for fans of the Mortal Instrument series and urban fantasy lovers. (less)
I am officially the odd man out regarding this book. While everyone rants and raves about this series I just sit here mumbling "I don't get it." This...moreI am officially the odd man out regarding this book. While everyone rants and raves about this series I just sit here mumbling "I don't get it." This is obviously a personal favorite for many readers but it was just not for me.
Clara's family is forced to uproot from sunny California to Jackson Hole, Wyoming when she has a vision of her Purpose. As someone with angel-blood running through her veins, she has to complete her Purpose or face the risk of becoming a fallen angel; it just so happens that her Purpose is a really cute boy with a dazzling smile.
The plot was okay at most. It played out like a typical teen novel where the main character is the new girl in school, meets and swoons over the most popular guy at school while making an enemy out her best friend's brother who will become a leg in the inevitable love triangle. Nothing really grabbed my attention, not Clara, not her family, not her angel abilities, and definitely not her Purpose. Even though I was not a fan I honestly say that the novel never dragged and everything (for the most part) seemed well-timed. There were plot developments that seemed a little odd like the random encounters with fallen angels (or Black Wings) in an otherwise high school love story setting.
The characters were...there? I think the most likeable character was Tucker, the intriguing cowboy who tips his hat and calls ladies "ma'am." Clara did have her moments of weakness which I did not approve of (say ditching her best friend at lunch to go to Pizza Hut to creepily watch Christian from the corner) and continued being very indecisive when it was obvious what choice she should make (or heck, ALREADY made).
I'm almost positive that the love triangle made me indifferent to this book. I LOATHE them because they have become to typical that the formula plays out itself with no mystery or originality left. Girl meets Perfect Boy and throws self at boy who is A) already in a relationship or B) wants nothing to do with her. Another boy (usually Perfect Boy's best friend) makes the moves on Girl and they eventually fall head over heels in love. Perfect Boy gets jealous and Girl gets all indecisive for no reason at all, all while struggling to pass Algebra I. I hate it. And I'm taking a stand against it!
Mini rant regarding love triangles aside, the writing was solid and used the first person effectively. Clara's determination to complete her task was very appealing and the small bits of information that was dropped regarding the history was angels was very interesting and had me hoping that Hand would reveal more about this mysterious world.
While this book was not for me, Hand was a strong writing style with a world that is sure to grow and entice readers.
I recommend this book for fans of paranormal romances (angels) in high school. (less)
I picked this book up after being on a Faery high and I can't say that it met all expectations, but it was definitely something different.
Aislinn can...moreI picked this book up after being on a Faery high and I can't say that it met all expectations, but it was definitely something different.
Aislinn can see faeries and she knows that if they knew she could see them, then they would make her life a living hell. She can't pretend any longer when Keenan sets his sights on her and suddenly all things fae have become her life. While the over all promise, I felt the pacing to be too slow. I could put this book down many times for days at a time without the urge to know what will happen next. I think my biggest problem was the amount of dailogue compared with the one or two scenes of action. There was a whole lot of talking and not enough doing for me.
The characters were strong and I felt a lot of sympathy of all of them, especially for the summer king. I felt that the love stories were the weakest link to this story though. While I'm sure that this series will lead to a love triangle of sorts, I remain unimpressed with the original pairings.
Like I mentioned earlier, I did not care for the detailed conversations that seemed to happen almost every page. If Aislinn wasn't talking to Seth, she was talking to Keenan, a few Winter girls, her grandmother, the post man, etc. Besides my minor annoyance, the writing was almost flawless . I would love to read some more my Melissa Marr but I'm not sure if I would continue this series. (less)
That's right, my first 5-star rating of 2012. AND IT FRICKIN DESERVED IT.
I apologize. Okay I apologize. Initially coming into the book blogging world...moreThat's right, my first 5-star rating of 2012. AND IT FRICKIN DESERVED IT.
I apologize. Okay I apologize. Initially coming into the book blogging world I had taken a firm stance against reviewing self-published novels and I stood by that until I read this book. Everyone who has a "I don't accept self-published novels" attitude needs to to stop thinking, go to either amazon or BN and buy this mother fucking book.
Penryn Young and her family stumbles across a battle of five angels against one. She watches as one of the angels viciously slash the one angel's wings off and leave him for dead. When the angels turn their sights on Penryn and kidnap Paige, Penryn's wheelchair bound sister, Penryn forms a temporary alliance with the wingless angel left for dead. He will help her find her little sister while they try to find someway to reattach his broken wings to his body. They encounter many interesting characters and Penryn finds herself slowly falling for her enemy.
This plot is so complex and beautiful it is impossible to put into words. Susan Ee's FAQ section explains her attraction to this novel; of angels who were meant to seek and destroy instead of save humanity. What makes this book so beautiful is humanity's desperation to survive and how two people from opposite sides of the battle field can start to feel more than disdain for the other. Everything is perfectly paced with perfectly placed drama and danger that all comes nicely together in the last chapters. I must say that I did not expect the sci-fi bit of it and made me raise an eyebrow as I tried to imagine the creatures that are introduced halfway through the novel.
The characters were remarkable. Penryn is a strong willed girl with a lot of bite to her. She has only one mission in the World After, protect her innocent sister and keep her schizophrenic mother out of trouble. I loved the idea of her insane mother who heard voices, thought demons were after her and had a love for rotten eggs. While her mental state is nothing to laugh at, her mother was a usually the source of comic relief with her well timed appearances. The angel Raffe is just to die for. He has definitely been added to my (really short) list of book boyfriends. He's got the whole tragic hero look with a good helping of sass and kick-assery. The interactions between Raffe and Penryn tugged at my heart and I kept hoping with every page that there would be some breakthrough in their slowly progressing love story.
When I first approached this book, I was afraid that the writing style would not be up to par, it was. Penryn's voice is strong with an incredible will to survive in a desolate America. The banters were cute with well timed quips. One thing that I adored about the Penryn's voice was her descriptions. When she witnesses Raffe having a group of angels attack him, she picks one feature about each of the angels to refer to them as (ie: Raffe being referred to as "Snow" to reflect his snow-like wings). She does that a few times throughout the novel which I thought made scenes more interesting and avoided a lot confusion.
I could really go on and on about this book but that would take forever and I simply do not have to time. If you aren't convinced yet that you need to read this book, it's only 99 cents.
Susan Ee storms the YA genre with her complex and well researched plot, charming characters and witty dialogue. This is a novel for any dystopia fan who does not mind a bit of sci-fi. (less)