I don't believe I ever reviewed Born Wicked. I think it just read it from the library in the midst of a bunch of review books, so I don't think I got...moreI don't believe I ever reviewed Born Wicked. I think it just read it from the library in the midst of a bunch of review books, so I don't think I got around to it. But I loved the story. I loved the atmosphere and setting of the story. It's so Puritan *not actual Puritans though* but to a even bigger extreme. There's just something about that type of reading backdrop that really gets me.
Ok so Cate is a fabulously strong main character. She's so loyal and stubborn when it really matters. There is a lot riding on her magic, but when circumstances begin to bring Tess into it, the stress only doubles. It would be a relief for her to just carry it on her shoulders if Tess was spared. Ms. Spotswood decided not to allow that for Cate, *or me, the reader, that was weeping on her bed* but the plot was just SO GOOD!
I got all the feels throughout the story. I yelled a lot at the Brotherhood for being so misogynous. The level they took their drive to stamp out women's voices took ignorance to a whole new level. There was a scene in the story involving books that I really cried over. It was a serious boo-hoo session.
Cate's sister Maura. Oh. My. Goodness. Can someone give me permission to just shoot her in the head so Cate doesn't have to?? I mean how obnoxiously prideful and ignorant can you be?? Cate goes to great lengths to repair the damage to their relationship, but Maura is way too caught up in herself to be much help for that.
Throughout the story, Cate really grows as a character. There is so much development, and I was really excited to see the risks she begins to make to change the Sisterhood's position for the better in a way that helps, not harms. Her relationship with Finn? Swoon. Yep, he's a wonderful fella to have in a life. Which brings me back to Maura. OOOOOOOOoooooo! I can't believe her. Ms. Spotswood broke my heart into pieces with that ending. *My lips are sealed though.* (less)
I'm going to do everything in my power to keep myself reigned in and keep this review short. That is hard for me to do with Ms. Hawkins's books. For...more I'm going to do everything in my power to keep myself reigned in and keep this review short. That is hard for me to do with Ms. Hawkins's books. For me, I thought this was a great conclusion for the Hex Hall books. I have to limit what I say so I don't give things away.
The book picks up around where Demonglass left off. Sophie had left to go find her mother. Cal had told her that her mother was with the Brannick's *a group of monster hunters* so that's where the story picks up. She finds that she doesn't know where her father, Cal, Archer, or Jenna are. It was a bit of a pickle. Plus, she is a demon looking for her mother with a group that tends to hunt demons. It had all the makings for a horrible situation. Waiting for Sophie though is a very interesting discovery. It definitely threw me for a loop.
The characters, as always, are incredible. Sophie's sarcasm and snark are irresistible for me as a reader. I just want more and more. I thought this was one of the funniest of the books. It also was action-packed, full of twists and turns, and kept me on my toes. The love triangle between Cal and Archer was really hard for me because I really loved both of them. Sophie does make her choice though.
There was something really sad that happens in the end though. Really sad. The last few pages did help me get closure on the series. All in all, the book is an awesome conclusion to an awesome series. Low Points: While the book was action-packed, at times it just felt too rushed. There was a particular scene at the end of the book that was this huge action scene and a huge part of the plot. It took up only about five pages. That's just crazy. I also did not like how the love triangle was solved in the ending. I felt incredibly bad for the one not picked.
High Points: The humor, of course. Sophie is such a kick-butt character, and she is loyal and willing to get herself into all kinds of problems. Jenna and her friendship with Sophie is one of the best bff-relationships ever.
Who Should Read It: Readers who still haven't finished the Hex Hall series should jump on that. (less)
Why I Loved It: Well my gosh, that was quite the sequel. Days later, I am still feeling the emotional aftershocks of that book. I spent Wednesday groa...moreWhy I Loved It: Well my gosh, that was quite the sequel. Days later, I am still feeling the emotional aftershocks of that book. I spent Wednesday groaning and yelling and "ahhing" and smiling and laughing. SO many feels!! I feel like Ms. Cass has a death grip on my heart. I can't believe I have to wait a whole other year for the next one.
Ok so the book picks up sometime after the last books ended. American Singer is an Elite, one of the six remaining girls, and she is still torn between Aspen, her first love, and Prince Maxon, the man fighting for her heart and affection. I have spent days weighing my team. The Elite made it so much harder to say decisively, but I still believe I am Team Maxon. He adores America, enough to sacrifice his dignity and endure horrific things for her. Plus I pretty much adore him, though there were some touch and go moments in the book. I will warn you, by the end of the book America will have to seriously fight for Maxon's affections too.
With less characters, Ms. Cass was able to do a lot more extensive character development. Girls like Elise, Natalie, and Kriss are shown a lot more in depth. Marlee and Celeste seemed to have been so well developed in the first book. She didn't really have to do as much work there. The book also gives more insight into the royal family. The queen is amazing. The king? Not so much. Ugh. I can't stand him.
Low Points: America's indecision. There is a lot of flopping between one boy to another. She also is spending the book deciding if she could be a princess. Both are important and hard decisions, but the going back and forth gave me reader's whiplash.
High Points: The book is full of twists and turns that makes the world of the story come alive. There were tears and smiles and laughs and screams waiting for me in the pages. Getting closer to the queen was marvelous. As always, moments with Prince Maxon were amazingly sweet, and there is a particularly spice moment in there too. (less)
Oh my gosh, after spending every spare moment since yesterday reading this book, I am a little emotionally overwhelmed. I don't know how I'll ever sle...moreOh my gosh, after spending every spare moment since yesterday reading this book, I am a little emotionally overwhelmed. I don't know how I'll ever sleep.(less)
Why I Loved It: I am not a dancer. Oh am I ever not a dancer. Keeping that in mind, I really do respect people who are dedicated dancers, especially i...moreWhy I Loved It: I am not a dancer. Oh am I ever not a dancer. Keeping that in mind, I really do respect people who are dedicated dancers, especially in the area of ballet. It's HARD work. If there is one thing you will take from reading Bunheads, it's that ballet is hard. Really hard. One of the biggest strengths of the book was the author's unique perspective after a career of professional dance. She really gives you an inside look into what the world of ballet looks like. And people, I am not cut out for it. At all. Just let me read about it please!
Enter the world of Hannah Ward: ballet class in the morning, rehearsal all day for various ballets, two or three ballets a night, and time off is spent in the gym or pilates or yoga. It's a very scary reality, but it is the reality of all the dancers that surround her as they push and push to be promoted into the "dream job" of a soloist. The mantra of the Manhattan Ballet Company where she works would have to be this: "Your job is not to have a life. Your job is to dance."
The question is, when Hannah meets Jacob - a care-free college kid from NYU who happens to be a pretty good musician - does she want a life? Ballet has been Hannah's world at least since she was 14, and her dreams revolved around it from an even younger age. It's all she's ever wanted to do. But that was before Jacob. Jacob is a boy with many passions that he is constantly pursuing. Hannah envies the time he has to discover the world he lives in while ballet keeps her world within the theater.
Ms. Flack writes with a quiet realism of the world in which she spent quite some time living. One of my favorite scenes in the book shows how Hannah breaks her shoes in. IT WAS CRAZY COMPLICATED! The book is like a window into the Manhattan Ballet Company, into the world of a dancer. When Hannah is dancing, I felt like I was right on stage with her feeling the rush. The book shows that dreams may not be forever. Most dreams have a cost, and if that cost is above what you are willing to pay, find a new one. As people, we can have so many passions, do so many different things. The book has such an awesome message about living the life you are given. *No this is NOT where I go all idiotic and say YOLO* Live a life of purpose, but don't pay the price of your life over a dream that doesn't make you happy anymore.
It was a wonderful book. I have so much time on my hands right now that I have been reading like a book a day. This has been one of my favorites lately.
Who Should Read It: It's an incredible YA Contemporary novel. People who have a background in dance would probably appreciate it. (less)
For me, I knew I had to read this book. This was actually the first book I ever requested a physical ARC for. I was thrilled to get the final copy in...moreFor me, I knew I had to read this book. This was actually the first book I ever requested a physical ARC for. I was thrilled to get the final copy in the mail. It was definitely a thrill. Since I received it the day I finally got in town for good after about six weeks of being a "gypsy" all over Texas, I actually read it that day. It was just what I needed. Laying in bed and reading was just what was called for after so much busy. The book? I loved it. I adored it. I'd marry the book if it was possible. Of course, I expected nothing less after how much I loved the previous two books in the series.
For me, I wasn't super sure about Dune at first. I mean, for me he wasn't a huge player in the previous books. Ok, maybe a tad, but I had to refresh my memory. But then, suddenly something happened. Dune, with his super attractive intellect, became a hunk. I mean I probably should never meet a "Dune" in real life because I would probably get to some unfortunate drool on his shirt. Dune is one of the most perfect guy characters. That's totally my opinion, but I'm super attracted to the hot nerd type.
Then you have Hallie who is also a super awesome character. She is full of sass and spunk and "I'll kick your butt if you even get close". I really admired her as a character because as the novel progresses, you get a lot of background on her life. It's been a little rough. Which is kind of like saying Channing Tatum is just nice-looking. Super understatement. Either way, I think readers will really appreciate her and the humor she brings to the book.
The setting takes place in the history-soaked New Orleans which is a great atmosphere for this type of book where they see "rips" in time. It was nice to see the history come alive in the story. And of course it was nice to reunite with the rest of the Hourglass crew. Blake is going to kill me for making this so long! Anyways, you must read the series and this book!!(less)
Why I Loved It: *Warning* There may be spoilers from the first two books in this review. If you have not read Delirium or Pandemonium, back away slowl...moreWhy I Loved It: *Warning* There may be spoilers from the first two books in this review. If you have not read Delirium or Pandemonium, back away slowly and get busy reading.
I have decided that this is a very hard review to write. When I finished the book, I was snooping through Goodreads because I had a feeling that there would be a lot of mixed reviews on the book. I mean Ms. Oliver took some risks, and I figured people would either love it or be like "bleh." I had decided when I got about halfway through the book that I would be including a definition of the word requiem in my review. When I found out what the title of the book was going to be, I was kinda surprised. It's an interesting choice. So I looked it up. And keeping the definition in mind when I read was actually kind of helpful. Surprise, surprise when I was looking through reviews, I came across Jenna @ Making the Grade's review. A) I love her blog. It's pretty fabulous. and B) I was pleasantly surprised to see just how much her review reflected my thoughts. I almost thought I could just post a link to her review and say "ditto", but that would be selling this great book short. It needs great reviews *not that I normally think mine are particularry great* so here we go.
According to Webster, Requiem means... 1: a mass for the dead 2 a: a solemn chant (as a dirge) for the repose of the dead b: something that resembles such a solemn chant 3 a: a musical setting of the mass for the dead b: a musical composition in honor of the dead
For me, that definition makes perfect sense with the direction Ms. Oliver takes this novel as the final book in the triology. The book was masterfully written, unconvential in the current trend of dystopian novels, and a joy to read. I should say that Delirium was not my favorite of books. I liked it enough, but the idea behind the book was what ensured that I read Pandemonium. And I loved Pandemonium. LOVED IT. What Delirium did have though was an awesome romance. That being said, the week before Requiem came out, I reread Delirium, read "Hana", then reread Pandemonium, and then read "Raven". I wanted to be prepared for this book because I had wished I had reread Delirium before Pandemonium when I got to the huge cliff at the end of Pandemonium with Alex's abrupt return. Drama, drama, drama *Runaway Bride voice*.
Here's the dealio. For me, Requiem was not about Lena's choice between Alex and Julian. It wasn't. That was a part of the book, but Ms. Oliver opened up this world even more to show that the problem was much bigger than any one person. I think if she wanted the focus to be on Lena's love life, Hana wouldn't have had any part of this book. Lena would have alternated with Alex or Julian or both or something like that. But no. Ms. Oliver chose the cured Hana to alternate POV's with the uncured Lena. Both girls have somewhat narrow views of their world seen through the lens cap of their circumstances. Through both of those views though, the reader gets an in-depth look into this futureistic United States, the restistance, and the ultimate problem. Love was never the issue. Control and power and the ability to use those key points to increase the individual is what the issue was. Love was just the key to get there. Requiem is real and powerful and incredibly action-packed and intense. Ms. Oliver is such a gifted writer, and I will read anything she writes.
The reader does not leave the triology with all their questions answered. You will have lots of questions most likely. However, I find that such is ok. We don't always get resolution in the real world. We might not like it as readers, but I came away from the ending with a mix of emotions. Heartbroken? Perhaps. Satified? Sure. Floored with my respect for the incredible writing I had just experienced over the day? You betcha.
More reasons to read this book NOW Lena's mother has more attention Alex's return with his awesome self Julian gains more cool points Hana's POV actually is pretty awesome The Restistance kicks some serious butt Alex's story is at the end of Requiem in the first print books *SO GOOD* If you would like to see Jenna's review over at Making the Grade, just go on here. (less)
Why I Loved It: First off, please admire the cover. Because the cover is incredible. INCREDIBLE people! This book was quaint and whimsical. I use thos...moreWhy I Loved It: First off, please admire the cover. Because the cover is incredible. INCREDIBLE people! This book was quaint and whimsical. I use those words knowing that Dash would be proud. The book made me want to bring back old words and use them in normal conversation. Why is that? Well I'll tell you. Dash and Lily are two total opposites. Dash is anti-touristy New York, a serious word nerd, and is cynical enough to be consistently described as snarly. Lily loves Christmas and the touristy things about New York, and is a bit wise yet naive for her age. Quite a conundrum, right? Well somehow, in the midst of New York, these two are destined to meet. Through a red moleskin notebook that is. Lily leaves it among the stacks of The Strand *a dream of a bookstore*, Dash finds it, and the dares and relationship begin as they dash *wink, wink* around New York City.
It has a bit of that fate is real type feeling that brings in the whimsical quality that I adored. The book will just keep you smiling as you turn through the pages. And Boomer, Dash's friend, will especially leave you smiling. He is one of the best parts of the book. Rachel and David are incredible when they put their brains and creative sides together to create a book. This book is especially perfect for the holidays. If by Christmas you have not read this book, I am going to strongly suggest you get on it. The book was strangely appealing for a book where the two main characters spend most of the time away from each other.
Who Should Read It: This is one of those great, quick read contemporaries. Like I said, especially fabulous for the holidays. I just happen to be reviewing it now. But it is still winter....(less)
My Favorite Lines: "Luke used to give me butterflies. Noah spawned mutant pterodactyls."
"The worst type of crying wasn't the kind everyone could see--t...moreMy Favorite Lines: "Luke used to give me butterflies. Noah spawned mutant pterodactyls."
"The worst type of crying wasn't the kind everyone could see--the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.”
Why I Loved It: This books was incredible. Seriously. Ok apparently I wrote this review in my head. I remember writing it. But apparently I never posted it. So this review is a little late. But that doesn't make the book any less incredible. It was exactly the kind of book I needed at the time. I've always love contemporary fiction, but my favorites are the darker ones like Ellen Hopkins's books. This book had just enough grit for me. Pushing the Limits pulled me in from the very beginning when I got the first glimpse of the existence of Echo's dark past. Neither Noah or Echo should have mixed. But there are just some combinations that create a perfection that neither can attain by themselves. Noah and Echo's horrible pasts made for an incredible and emotional reading experience for me.
Anyone who has read any of my past reviews knows I always go for the bad boy. Ok most of the time. But Noah was definitely no exception to my usual tastes. That boy was smoking!!! My favorite part about Noah's character though was how complex he was. He wasn't just a "bad boy." He had a past too, and his past seriously surprised me. When I first met him, I thought ok "typical life sucks, who cares, let's smoke some pot" kinda guy. But as the story moved on, Noah showed so much depth. His love for his two little brothers and his need to provide and protect them drove him more than anything, and it was so obvious that he was way more than the first impression. I haven't read a character that I could truly imagine living around me in a long time. Noah made me love him for more than just being the hot bad boy. I loved his heart, and his need to protect the people he cares most for.
For once, it wasn't the boy that I couldn't get enough of. Echo's character was just so raw and real and powerful for me. I wasn't an observer in her tragedy. I lived it with her. We stood together in ignorance as she struggled to figure herself out, to discover what part of her was lost. There is a night of Echo's life that she can't remember. It was the night she almost died, and all she knows is that her mom was involved. She woke up with horrible scars up and down her arms and she can't remember how she got them. I can't even imagine living with the scars that run down her arms. Long sleeve shirts in the summer. No formal dresses. Rumors surrounding everything I do and everything I am. Waking to nightmares all the time, and being so afraid to sleep that I live in exhaustion.
I still can't believe that this book was written by a debut author. The book was so well-written to me. There were so many tears and laughs and "awwws" that came from me. I stayed up outrageously late the last night just so I could reach that last page.
There is no sweet storyline here. The story will pull so much from you as you struggle with Noah and Echo and their colliding worlds that don't belong together but are beyond perfect when they finally mix. Contemporary fiction has never tasted so good!
Who Should Read It: Everyone. You owe yourself to partake in the bittersweet pleasures in life. Don't miss out on this one. And just to make sure people have such opportunities, I'm going to give away a copy. It's a hardback final copy of the book. And it's beautiful. Just fill out the Rafflecopter survey below.(less)
Why I Loved It: I love London. And books set in London. Ooo and love in London. All of the above are found in the book called Meant to Be.. see above...moreWhy I Loved It: I love London. And books set in London. Ooo and love in London. All of the above are found in the book called Meant to Be.. see above * ;) *
Scarily, Julia reminded me of myself. Her nickname was Book Licker. I never had anything that bad for a nickname, but I had my share in school. Julia also has some ideas of love, normally found in books. It happens I suppose. I had the same problem. The fact that we are so similar is probably why she drove me nuts. Its one of those books where the reader knows a lot more about what's going than Julia does. It drives you nuts, but it makes the end much sweeter. And there was one particular twist near the end that I was not expecting at all.
I loved the Beatles influence in the book and put up with the Shakespeare * I am not a big fan of ol' Bill*. The cover is beautiful... BEAUTIFUL. I didn't want to change what I was reading because just the cover made my blog look better. I want a blown up poster size for my room.
All in all, I devoured the book in about a day. Any cliche was forgotten in the midst of the sweet and at times sour story filled with laughs and grunts of frustration with plenty of splashes of "awww" moments. The book leaves you feeling happy and wanting desperately to go to London * so beware of that. *
Who Should Read It: It's a great contemporary read. The main character is a bit judgmental at times, so if that has a tendency to drive you crazy you might want to stay away. I think people who love the idea of a contemporary set in London should pick it up. (less)
Why I Loved It: More than anything, this book made me laugh. I mean constantly. I was in a quiet library and kept disrupting everyone because this boo...moreWhy I Loved It: More than anything, this book made me laugh. I mean constantly. I was in a quiet library and kept disrupting everyone because this book wouldn't stop making me laugh. I was like this:
Sheldon Cooper FTW! Anyways, the book has very little plot or storyline. Really the whole story is carried on the voice of the modern Holden Caulfield that is the MC, Greg, of the book. I am pretty sure that this book will not appeal to everyone. My humor verges on sarcastic and dry and *perhaps sadly* I have an appreciation for lowbrow humor if used right. *Which totally goes against using Sheldon Cooper in my post*
Anyways, let me give the rundown on the book. Greg has spent his life trying to blend into every group. Really he has made invisibility into an art form. His one friend, Earl, *which he never sees in school* and himself spend their time playing video games unless they are creating their latest movie. They are generally awful, but neither care because they just make them for the fun of it and to watch themselves. Then Greg's mom pretty much forces Greg to start spending time with a girl he used to know that is now dying from cancer. He does not go willingly, and the whole journey with Greg, Earl, and the dying girl can not really be called inspirational. However, it can be called hysterical.
Jesse Andrews did something with a "cancer book" that I have never seen before. Greg is so a teenager, lacking confidence and understanding of the world around him. What is different about him though is that he calls things out as he sees them. If he is being a moron, he points it out. That also applies to the other idiotic things he sees around him. Teenagers are the point of this book. They are not glamorized or made amazing. In fact, Greg and Earl stink at making movies, none of them look good, and Rachel *the girl with cancer* is not in anyway beautiful. Mr. Andrews captured the world of teens so incredibly well. The writing was fantastic for it's purpose.
Cancer is not the main focus of the book in anyway. It's just a small role. Greg is what made the book, with the surprisingly level head of Earl's keeping Greg in check. There are moments when I had tears rolling down my cheeks just from laughing. Not quite the same thing as the normal cancer book. In it's own strange way, the book is beautiful and I can not wait to see what else Jesse Andrews writes.
Who Should Read It: If you have an appreciation for sarcasm, lowbrow humor, or can appreciate humor of all kinds, please read this. I can not emphasize enough how funny the book is. (less)