How many ways can I express my love for The Lost Prince? Because I will do them all! Julie Kagawa has done it again—she has crafted a beautiful tale. I am on a book hangover because of The Lost Prince. Ever have that feeling that when you finish a book, you just want to keep reading and never have it end? That's exactly what I felt during The Lost Prince. The emotions that Julie brought me through, the thrill, the loss, were all worth it, and as a whole, The Lost Prince was without a doubt perfect. I felt like after I finished The Lost Prince, I was a girl who hadn't drank water in days and had just been thrown into a fresh-water spring. And you don't want to know my reaction when I found this was on NetGalley and I had been accepted for it.
The Lost Prince follows Ethan Chase's story, after he's grown up and is aware of just what he's been through. He hates the fey, he has a grudge against his sister Meghan who abandoned him to rule as the Iron Queen, and he really loathes Ash for taking Meghan from him and his family. Ethan is not the same helpless little boy we saw in the Iron Fey, and now, we get to see his story. What I loved the most about Ethan was how much he reflected Meghan's tendencies. Ethan was tenacious, stubborn, and loyal, which was one of my favorite parts about his character. He wasn't a picture-perfect character; he had insecurities but learned to deal with them through The Lost Prince. Ethan's voice was so compelling and powerful, and it just made me love this novel so much more. Of course, the fact that it's a Julie Kagawa book is enough, but the high expectations I had were just blown out of the water.
And to add, Ethan was awesome and totally kick-butt! I just loved his aloof, "don't talk to me" attitude that he gave Kenzie at first.
Once again, Julie Kagawa has amazed me with her ability to build such a complex world and physically share what she's envisioning as she's writing with us, the readers. The entire world of the Nevernever is so vivid and the imagery is so clear in our minds that you could love the books just for the world that Julie has created. Everything about The Lost Prince oozes detailed descriptions that dance off the page and into your brains. Julie's writing has matured so much throughout her writing career and it will only get better from here.
Besides, I may be a little biased since she's the person that got me started blogging. So, if you remotely like what I'm doing, GO BUY HER BOOKS AND THEN TACKLE HUG HER FOR HER EPICNESS.
I shall wait for you to finish. *taps foot*
As expected, The Lost Prince's plot was full of unexpected twists and turns, speeding ahead, backing up, and jerking around. The pacing was excellent and the plot swept you up into the story from the very first page. It was enrapturing and gripped you from page one. I couldn't stop reading no matter how much I had to practice my flute or singing. I couldn't get parts of the story out of my mind and certain portions stuck with me for so long. Once I finished The Lost Prince, I was a giddy mess and on a total book hangover. And, I shall use my favorite gif to express how I reacted.
Additionally, I loved the cameos that Ash, Meghan, Puck, and Grimalkin made. It completed the story, and it brought back some of that old snark that Puck brought, the fights between Ash and Puck, and the cherished characters of the first series. In case you haven't noticed, I am IN LOVE with Ash. I mean, seriously, I'd be fine with 10 whole books just on HIM. I don't care what he's doing, as long as I get to read about Ash and swoon. He is by far my favorite character in The Iron Fey and I lived to read these parts of the story. And I'm a little obsessed with Ash. Just a tiny bit.
Gripping, intriguing, and everything you expect from Julie Kagawa, The Lost Prince is a beautifully crafted story to kick off the spin-off Iron Fey series. Words cannot describe how much I loved The Lost Prince, and I can assure you if you are a fan of any previous Julie Kagawa novel, or Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series, you will fawn over The Lost Prince.
Disclaimer: None of the above gifs are mine. Please tell me if they are yours and want the source cited/the gif removed.(less)
Tempest Unleashed, the sequel to Tempest Rising, starts off with a bang. Tempest is beginning to miss her old home, up "on land," so she decides to vi...moreTempest Unleashed, the sequel to Tempest Rising, starts off with a bang. Tempest is beginning to miss her old home, up "on land," so she decides to visit and see how her family is handling things. Of course, Tempest also ends up running into Mark, and seeing him sparks these feelings that Tempest thought weren't there before, or, were extinguished when she fell in love with Kona. Anyway, going to visit her old home wasn't exactly a very good idea, and Tempest ends up doing things that probably weren't the best idea and they come back to bite her later in the story.
In Tempest Unleashed, it's a continuation of Tempest's efforts to defeat Tiamat, the evil sea witch, and when Tempest has to decide between water and land. You can feel the conflict that's raging inside of her, and while she loves Kona, she also loves Mark. While she loves her new life in the water and she has a duty to the water, she also loves being on land with her family. And throughout this book, you're basically living with Tempest as she makes a decision, and everything contributes to Tempest's decision at the end of the book.
Tempest is even more strong and determined in this book than she was in Tempest Rising. In Tempest Unleashed, Tempest learns more about herself, her mother, and the ocean. The plot of this book was extremely well-done, because although there weren't many scenes were Tempest herself were fighting, you could tell there was a war brewing and there were many dramatic parts that finally led to the big "showdown" between Tempest and Tiamat. The pacing was great, and as you read on, you could kind of tell what decision Tempest was going to make. And the book was unpredictable. You would assume one thing, and then it would turn out to be wrong and you'd have to start guessing again. I was definitely doing my fair share of gasping throughout this novel, and I assure you, you will be, too.
One problem I had with this book was the way that Tempest's mermaid qualities were explained. I didn't know when Tempest or Kona had a tail, when they were in human form, and I didn't really get a lot of that and ended up just forgetting about it. It seemed like it needed to be explained better, the fact of whether Tempest had a tail, fins, or just feet. But that was the only problem, and I felt that the rest of the mermaid qualities were explained exceptionally well and I had no problem keeping up with the action and writing.
Kona is sooo dreamy! :D I know, very fangirly, but I am a sucker for the handsome badboys. Something about them just, I don't know, calls me. I fell for Kona even more in this book, probably because he was up against Mark, but I thought that Kona was extremely loyal, strong, and head-over-heels for Tempest. When it comes to the love triangle aspect of this, I was cheering for Kona the entire time.
I could also go on for ages about how beautiful this cover is, because in the first book, it ties in perfectly to this book and I like books where you get slapped in the face with how obvious the resemblance is between the covers in a series. What I like even more about Tempest Unleashed's cover, other than the sheer beauty of it, was how the model was decorated appropriately. I would say dressed, but the model's not really dressed in anything. What I hate more than anything in a cover is when the cover doesn't really tie into the story. If it's a pretty cover with a close-up of models that were the main characters, that would still be okay. As long as it somehow symbolized the story being told.
But this model is represented exactly as Tempest would if the story were to come to reality. Because you don't want a cover to be a circle or something when the author doesn't even mention "circle" in the story at all. Crazy covers that have a cryptic meaning aren't going to get you anywhere, so I really love that in this cover, the model looked exactly as I imagined Tempest and her tattoos were even in the right place.
In the end, this was a fantastic book because the pacing was excellent, the romance was great, and the plot was unpredictable. Although I was extremely infuriated with the ending and confused at times, I still really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to see how Tracy caps off this trilogy (at least, I think this is a trilogy) in the third book.(less)
Inbetween is the first novel I've read where reapers are dominant, but after reading Inbetween, I was thinking "Sign me up for more reaper books!" Inbetween is gripping, romantic, and full of great writing and characters. Tara Fuller has outdone herself in Inbetween and it is definitely worth the read. I will be eagerly awaiting the next novel in the Kissed by Death series after the foreshadowing note of the end of Inbetween and the hint of what's to come.
When I first met Finn, I knew I would fall in love with him. The premise of Inbetween alone was enough to draw me in and keep me firmly planted in the storyline. The way that Inbetween is written leaves almost nothing to be desired (I mean that in a good way) and the reader wholly satisfied. The writing flows smoothly and consistently, which reminds me of a steady stream in a serene forest. It wraps you up once you enter the stream and just lets you drift away with the story.
Emma was one of my favorite characters. She was that character that could make or break a book and she most definitely made it. I loved her energy and her strength. All her life she's been in near-death accidents and when she discovers the real reason behind them, she doesn't rock back and forth in a corner. She doesn't live in constant fear. Emma doesn't let it affect her and she fights. Inbetween was told in alternating point of views, with a very convincing male voice. The alternating perspective, Finn, was a little annoying at times, coming off as selfish to me occasionally, but I admire his love for Emma.
Bringing in the concept of reincarnation, it strengthens the idea of love transcending time. Inbetween was riddled with many different intricate ideas that you were drawn in from the very first page. The concept of a reaper book is so untouched and out there that when you first open the page to Inbetween, you think that you'll most certainly like it. I wasn't confused as to what a reaper does because it was explained to me very well throughout the novel. Throughout Inbetween, the story not only drew you in because of how substantial it was, it also provided you with satisfaction over the story and also a small need for more.
The foreshadowing note that Inbetween ended on definitely piqued my interest. I am now eagerly awaiting the sequel to see what happens between Emma and Finn. Overall, Inbetween was a gripping, intriguing novel with sound characters, an original premise, and it gave you enough to leave you eagerly anticipating the coming novels in the series.
Goddess Interrupted was a perfect sequel to The Goddess Test. In the Goddess Test, Kate earned her immortality and became a goddess. Kate fell in love...moreGoddess Interrupted was a perfect sequel to The Goddess Test. In the Goddess Test, Kate earned her immortality and became a goddess. Kate fell in love with Henry, who can also be known as Hades. She thought everything was going to go really well when she returned after her six allotted six months away from Henry to do whatever. She thought that going on a trip to Rome with her best friend James was totally innocent. But she was wrong. When I first read the first few pages, when Kate returned to the Underworld as Henry's wife, I thought I was in for romance.
However, when Henry returned, he was cold and distant towards Kate, and never so much as gave her a kiss. Then you dived into a mind-jolting event that will cause a speed bump for the beginning, before it flattens out again. Henry and Kate are separated, and it's up to Kate, James, and Ava to save Henry and the other gods and goddesses that were taken to Tartarus. That's where Calliope (she turned evil, remember?) was hiding them. She was also planning on using them to unleash the King of the Titans, the gods' original creators which is the only thing that can destroy the gods.
Goddess Interrupted's first part was incredibly slow to me for this reason, because there wasn't anything to whet my appetite, no romance to make me swoon, no action to get my blood pumping. It was just a story, but as soon as Kate, James, and Ava set off to find Henry and the other gods and goddesses, that was when the plot really picked up and I was hooked. I devoured the rest of the book like a animal after two weeks food deprivation. Quite literally. I think I was screamed at five times before I finally went to eat dinner.
Unlike The Goddess Test, Goddess Interrupted was chock-full of action and adventure for all those faced-paced plot-seekers. The Goddess Test was all about Kate attempting to earn her mortality, and Goddess Interrupted was Kate fighting to keep everything she had known to grow and love over the year. Even though there wasn't much romance until later, it was made up with action, drama, and fantastic writing that kept you flipping the pages until you were surprised there weren't any more left to flip.
Kate has certainly grown a great deal throughout the novel. In The Goddess Test, she was struggling with her mother's cancer, and dealing with the whole idea that she would be tested, and could most likely die. In Goddess Interrupted, she's starting to assume her position as the queen of the Underworld, and the fact that she's a goddess. You can feel the wisdom coursing through Kate as she goes on this great adventure, and you will love her, just like all the other characters. Henry was also a really great character because he was dealing with his own troubles and turmoil, as well. During the summer, Kate and James went to Rome, which I mentioned, but as you read Goddess Interrupted, you learn that plays a big role in Henry's distance and coldness towards Kate.
The ending of Goddess Interrupted was sweet and bone-chilling. You got the romance between Henry and Kate that you were looking for that made me swoon and go back to the story a few days after reading it just so I could read the sections again, and right after, the story ends with a massive cliffhanger that will leave you hanging by two fingers. And, if you're me, you'll start making your rounds around the house. Yes, I have officially established rounds when I shake every one of my family members for situations like this.
Words cannot describe the emotions I'm feeling right now. I finished this yesterday, but the shock and the amazement of the sheer greatness of this b...more
Words cannot describe the emotions I'm feeling right now. I finished this yesterday, but the shock and the amazement of the sheer greatness of this book still hasn't worn off of me yet. I went into this book without many expectations, because this wasn't on my TBR list in the first place, and I have this pact not to read any reviews until after I've finished a book so my opinion won't be swayed. I had no idea what to expect with this book, and let me tell you, as I was literally tearing through this book, I loved it. Like, to the extent where I spent most of my social studies class just reading this. (It's the teacher's fault that she reads at half a foot per hour, and she insisted on reading a ten-page packet to us instead of just giving it to us and telling us to read it silently. She didn't even explain afterwards! It was just boring blah blah.)
This starts very quickly and really cleverly. Emma meets Galen right off the bat, by bumping into him in her typical Emma-fashion, since she's really clumsy. What I like about Emma is how strong-willed she is, even though she's a horrible klutz. Emma also has her insecurities and her doubts, and she blushes, like any normal teenager, but she has a ton of spirit and will over all of that that virtually masks it. Throughout this book, you learn a lot about Emma, especially after all she's been through, and she is one tough chick. (
Go on and try to tear me down. I will be rising from the ground. Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper.
Skyscraper by Demi Lovato) It's hard not to love her and want to have that inimitable (vocab word!) personality she does.
After Chloe, Emma's best friend, the unshakable ball of confidence, the person Emma used to shadow, is kille when a shark attacks her, you're really unnerved but also drawn in and eager for more. When it all unfolds, you're in Galen's point of view, which actually has its advantages. Since Galen knows more about the Syrena, he can sense Emma's Syrena presence and sees that she's definitely not like the other humans. And Galen's immediately drawn to Emma, which immediately engaged me, because after having the first chapter in Emma's POV, it seems obvious that they both really liked each other.
Emma tried to save Chloe from the shark, but in the end it wasn't enough. After this whole fiasco, Galen follows Emma up from Florida, where Chloe and Emma were visiting when Chloe died, to Emma's hometown, New Jersey. So, from there, Galen and Emma's bonds strengthen, and you see them falling in love. The ironic thing is, because you can see what both of them are thinking, that they think the other person has no interest whatsoever for each other when they're both basically smitten. And Galen is one very fine person to be smitten over. He was this gentle, caring guy who showed a mask of indifference, only because he had to, but Galen was really a very strong character and perfect for Emma. He wasn't that typical broody-yet-deep badboy. He's a Syrena prince. Those are the only words I can find that can do Galen justice.
The plot was just fantastic. The pacing was great, and everything played some important role. Anna was completely in control of what was going on, and I loved every minute of reading this book. There wasn't any action, per se, but it was just how everything was written that was great. There was drama, and I honestly loved learning about what happened. I loved the concept of this, because it was like a normal mermaid book, but with a new name and a great plot that backed it up. Simple, yet so completely perfect. One minute, I'm laughing, and the next I'm biting my nails, and then I'm screaming "WHYY?"
At the end, that cliffhanger that basically ensures me reading the next book. I didn't see it coming at all, but there were definitely clues. I tried to click the Next button on my Kindle because his is what went down:
*Reads end. Calmly puts Kindle aside, walks to parents and grandparents.* (To Dad, shaking his shoulders): WHYYYY?? WHY??? *fake-sobbing* WHYY??
Dad: *Grunts* (Walks over to Mom, laying head on her shoulders): *Still fake-sobbing.* WHY?? WHY?? Mom: What? Eileen, stop being so dramatic.
(Walks over to Grandma, and shakes her shoulders): (In Chinese) WHY?? WHY?? (Chinese word: 为设么?)
Yeah. So, why are you still reading this? Go and pre-order this book! You know you want to. :)
Talk about a gorgeous cover. Isn't this such an eye-catching cover? If I ever get the chance to see this book in real life, I'll just ogle this cover...moreTalk about a gorgeous cover. Isn't this such an eye-catching cover? If I ever get the chance to see this book in real life, I'll just ogle this cover for a good day and a half. That purple motorcycle (which I think is Luca's Vespa) really pops against the cobblestone streets, and the position the models are in is really awesome, too. I love Violet, the main character's, boots so much! They're like your average cowgirl boots, but not really. There are also these green and white knee-socks underneath that make it so much more stylish. Violet in this book is all about style and confidence, so I'm glad that the cover captures that perfectly, to me.
Flirting in Italian starts afters Violet goes to a museum and sees a portrait of this girl that looks exactly like her. And Violet's determined to find out who painted the portrait, what's the history behind it, all that. And it turns out that the painting originated in Italy, and so Violet persuades her slightly overprotective mother into letting her make a huge two-month summer trip to Italy to find out more about this supposed painting and to solve the mystery as to what her past really is.
When you first meet all the characters, Violet, Kelly, Paige, and Kendra, the four girls who are taking this course in Italy, you see that there's this tension between them, but then they all come together when the inevitable obnoxious Italian girl, Elisa, comes into the story and starts trashing them. It was great how they all helped each other along the way, even if they weren't consciously doing it, and although the four girls seemed like they were going to be the worst of friends, you get to see them band together, which was really nice. And they were all such admirable characters because of how each other them were unique and when put together made a great team.
Onto the "gorgeous Italian boys" part. You know I had to go there. ;) Well, the boy who captures Violet's attention is Luca, the friend of the son (Leo) of the lady (Catia) running the summer program. Confusing, I know, but it explains itself later. Luca's actually this prince, apparently, and he lives in this house. Wait, I'm not there yet. The house where the portrait of the lady who looks just like Violet derived from. So there's definitely some need for Violet to get Luca better. But how can Violet get to know Luca better when he's infuriating, charming, and volatile all at the same time? o.O
One thing I really hated about Flirting in Italian was the fact that Violet was always wary around Luca, but then whenever Luca kissed Violet, Violet screamed mentally at herself to get away, but she never did and always stayed there. Those parts made Violet seem like a weak character and I really wish one time Violet maybe pushed Luca away and did a little bit of confronting and screaming or something like that. Maybe it's just because I always love to read a good argument in a book, and it may or may not be a good thing, but those kissing scenes definitely needed to be adjusted, even if it wouldn't be an argument, at least let Violet follow her better judgement. At least once.
There were quite a few grammar mistaks in my eARC, like one time, Catia was spelled Gatia, which really irked me when names are spelt wrong because then I get confused and I'm pretty sure once she was also referred to as Catla, but that one may be my imagination. I can't think of any more off the top of my head, but those are definitely some important things that I found in my copy. But it didn't take much from the plot, which was really craftily thought out, even though there wasn't a lot of the real reason Violet came to Italy and more or less the romance between her and Luca.
That was really another problem I had. Violet was most of the time just being with Luca that I didn't think she really took the mystery of her portrait into consideration. Since Luca lived at that special house, then why not ask him about the portrait instead of avoiding the subject unless it was brought up by Luca's mom, which it was. Luca's mom thought that Violet looked just like her sister, Monica, and that was when weird stuff started happening to Violet. She was nearly poisoned twice and she notices things about it all that don't add up.
In the end, everything was basically resolved, EXCEPT the portrait business, and Luca never really revealed his true feelings to Violet, and that's said it's going to be in the next book, which I believe is going to be named Falling in Love in Italian. So I really want all those issues to be squared away in the second book, hopefully, because I really wish it was a standalone book, but if it can't be a standalone and the Lauren wanted to write a series, I'm totally fine with it, as long as I'm happy with the outcome.
Flirting in Italian was a fun, light-hearted read, with that touch of mystery and darkness that made it even more enjoyable. The characters were very well-developed, and the plot was really engaging. I crammed this book down my throat, but it also left a slight sour taste there afterwards because of how Violet seemed so weak-willed around Luca and how the ending didn't really satisfy me, and I really hope that's resolved in the next book. (less)
***Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book***
When I first heard the premise of Unbreak My Heart, I was immediately intrigued and...more***Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book***
When I first heard the premise of Unbreak My Heart, I was immediately intrigued and wanted to get a copy of my own. So I requested from NetGalley (they're finally listening to me know!) and words cannot describe how excited I finally was when I got this request accepted. This cover is just absolutely gorgeous and don't you just love it? I really think it's something special and that's not the only part about this book that's special. Just about everything in this book from the cover to the description of bananas—yes, you heard me right, bananas—was amazing.
Unbreak My Heart started off with an introduction of Clem, a depressed sixteen-year-old who did the unspeakable: fell in love with her best friend's boyfriend. The whole story of how Clem fell in love unfolded through the course of the book, which was kind of confusing at first because there wasn't really much of a clue at first (or maybe I missed it) that Clem had fallen in love with her best friend, Amanda's, boyfriend, Ethan, and I have this habit of forgetting the synopses—is that the plural of synopsis?—and so I was going "What?" through some of the book until I plucked up the nerve—err, energy—to read the summary again, and then I slapped myself and was like "Ohh! I get it know!"
What I really liked about this book was how you saw how Clem fell in love with Ethan and Ethan seemed to really like Clem. When James was introduced to the plot, I liked Ethan better at that point so I was a little reluctant to James because Clem and Ethan just seemed like they clicked. But then later in the book, toward the ending, it was revealed how much of a jerk Ethan was and I started to sympathize with James and I liked him better. James was such a sweet character who was always bubbly and radiant, which you don't really see in a guy, so I thought it was so nice to get to meet a boy book character that
In Unbreak My Heart, Clem's suffering from depression, after Amanda stops talking to her, and Ethan has been forgiven, instead of Clem, who's been Amanda's friend since forever. I can definitely see the unfairness in that, but I also placed a lot of the blame onto Ethan because of the way he always played off his little "advances" on Clem. The character development was surprisingly really well-done, for a 240 page book. I felt like I really got into the characters and got into what they were thinking and got to know them as if they'd been in my class my entire life.
So much of this book was centered around the characters and to see them develop and mature and turn into somebody new, so I'm really glad that Melissa actually got to do that in Unbreak My Heart. Then, to add to the character development, the plot and pacing was really good. It wasn't one of those instances where you meet the two characters who are going to fall in love, and then they fall in like, and then love shortly after.
In the end, there was that moment when Clem realized everything and it started to lead to that happy ending, when she and James finally got together, when she got out of her depression. But, the main problem never got solved. There wasn't any closure for the readers, and it left you with a "What now?" in the book, which is never good if the book is a standalone and a contemporary. To me, at least, that's my personal opinion at the ending of a contemporary novel.
I like full closure on the mail problem in contemporaries, but I also like a little peek into the future of the character, like maybe his/her relationship. I just don't want there to be a gaping black-hole that taunts me: "So, this could go a hundred different ways. Maybe there will be a happy ending. Maybe there will be a sad ending. Maybe the main character won't even DO anything. Who knows?" That definitely got on my nerves there.
Unbreak My Heart was a heartfelt novel on a depressed teenager finding her way back into life again with the help of an unsuspected romance. Any contemporary fan would enjoy this book, and it's a page-turner. Despite the little blip at the ending, you'll be enraptured in the characters that Melissa so deftly created and the romance is so sweet and perfect for the atmosphere of the book.
Coming into Pushing the Limits, I expected another romance I probably wouldn't be too drawn to. I expected even a cheesybook that I would end up close...moreComing into Pushing the Limits, I expected another romance I probably wouldn't be too drawn to. I expected even a cheesy book that I would end up close to hating in the end. What I did not expect was a heartfelt novel in which the main characters both found themselves in each other and fell in love. I did not expect an intricately weaved tale that would leave me breathless and wanting more. I totally did not expect to end up giving Pushing the Limits five stars and for it to end up being one of my favorite contemporary reads so far. But it did achieve all those things.
In the beginning of Pushing the Limits, you meet Echo Emerson, who has been broken for quite some time and doesn't know how she's going to pick the pieces back up again. Until she meets Noah. He's the only person that understands, the only person who remotely cares what Echo is going through and how he can fix her. When Echo and Noah are assigned the guidance counselor at school to go through both their problems and try to heal the wounds those problems have formed, they meet, and then everything just goes downhill from there.
What first drew me in was the whole idea of Echo's scars, and I really wanted to know what happened when she got them. Throughout Pushing the Limits, the pieces were put together and you slowly saw Echo figure out what had happened that fateful day. But it didn't just focus on Echo's problems. Pushing the Limits was told in both Echo and Noah's point of views, because while Echo was battling for her memories, Noah was battling for custody for the brothers that were taken from him years ago.
The premise was intriguing and unlike any other contemporary romance I'd ever read before. It wasn't a fake romance where after the second date the couple was then starting to rip each other's clothes off, which trust me, never appeals to me. At all. I actually felt them fall in love, and even after they did, there were still tender moments between them that made my heart pound and my palms sweat. Katie weaved an intricate tale of love, loss, and forgiveness that when put together, created Pushing the Limits.
At the conclusion of Pushing the Limits, the problems were solved, and there was a happy ending. It wasn't cheesily happy, but the book ended on a really positive note and I thought all the main problems were addressed and solved smartly and like they would've been in reality. I would definitely recommend Pushing the Limits to anybody who would be looking for a heartfelt romance that was intricately weaved to create an amazing love story that told more than what you'd usually be expecting.
Crewel was mesmerizing and enchanting all in one. It had the adventure, it had the thrill, it was so ingenious you'd be absolutely crazy to not admire...moreCrewel was mesmerizing and enchanting all in one. It had the adventure, it had the thrill, it was so ingenious you'd be absolutely crazy to not admire the premise of Crewel even a small hair. You all know you do.
Speaking of which, Crewel's premise was equal parts intriguing and equal parts really creative and unique. To think that girls are taken away from their home and into this facility because they can weave time using the fabric of the universe (taken quite literally in this sense) is absolutely perfect. It takes a lot to understand this novel, and you really have to pay attention. If you don't, you could easily get lost in this complicated world. Trust me on this, I spent a little extra time reading and concentrating on this so I could understand the society Adelice lived in, and it made reading Crewel a ton of fun and I enjoyed the story immensely.
In the beginning, it was evident that Gennifer was setting you up for the roller coaster of emotional thrills and pains. I loved the fact that Adelice and all the other characters were extremely rough around the edges, which gave them a really realistic feel. I liked how Adelice started off as a really scared heroine who had no idea what was really going on, other than obeying her parents, and by the end of Crewel, she became an extremely sacrificial person who wasn't afraid of being a rebellion and standing out from the crowd.
Something that immediately stood out to me was the society that Adelice lived in. We're introduced to a structure very similar to a classic dystopian society, but there's a twist. It's a society that we don't really understand; it's a society where the people who have to live with the rules of this society are okay with it. The girls who are gifted with the ability to weave time go willingly. The townspeople bless the girls when they leave. Not only is the premise so intriguing, the building of this dystopian world was so articulate and specific.
Adventurous, dangerous, and romantic, Crewel is a gripping read and a unique twist on dystopian books. Fans of the dystopian genre and Divergent will love this novel.
At first, I wasn't too excited for the Goddess Legacy, but I saw that many people were getting it from NetGalley so I thought "Why not?" and requested...moreAt first, I wasn't too excited for the Goddess Legacy, but I saw that many people were getting it from NetGalley so I thought "Why not?" and requested it. After reading it, I can say with confidence that I did not regret one second of reading the Goddess Legacy. It's only a collection of novellas, so I judged them all separately and all together, they made a fantastic collection of love stories that were all twined together into a wonderful romance novella that I really enjoyed reading.
It begins with Hera's (Calliope's) story, during that time when she fell in love with Zeus (Walter) even though every fiber in her body screamed against it. Hera was worried that Zeus was just playing her, but then later, she realized he wasn't, that when they ruled together, they would both be equals. However, Hera's suspicions at first were correct, and after a while, Hera was extremely unhappy with her life with Zeus and wanted to be with Hades (Henry) who she'd been in love with for a long amount of time.
I felt that Hera's story was really long and a little monotonous at times, but she had a lot to say. I really liked getting to know all these gods' and goddesses' love stories, and almost all of them ended in tragedy, except for Henry's, which, if you have read the Goddess Test and the Goddess Interrupted, the two major books in the trilogy, then you would know what happens with Henry (aka Hades in the Goddess Legacy novella). Every one of these novellas explained something in the main books, and I definitely felt "enlightened," you could call it, after reading the Goddess Legacy.
I would recommend this to anybody who wants to go into the Goddess Test trilogy more and experience the lives of the other gods and goddesses and how they fell in love, the turmoil they went through, everything. If you enjoyed the Goddess Test and the Goddess Interrupted, then you will enjoy the Goddess Legacy. No doubt about it, that is basically my argument to get you to read this book. Isn't that the point of reading a novella of a series? Because you liked the story and want to know more in between books? That is basically what the Goddess Legacy delivers.
It wouldn't be so far a stretch to claim that my favorite author ever is Julie Kagawa, and that, in large part, is because she writes awesome books like The Eternity Cure!
The Eternity Cure picks up a few weeks or so after the conclusion to The Immortal Rules. And, boy, does it bring on the action and characters. Julie Kagawa always manages to bring a high-action plot into the picture, no matter what our characters are doing. She always keeps tensions high and your heart pounding out of your skull. The Eternity Cure is no exception. You get your fair share of fight scenes, love scenes, and classic dramatic scenes. What more could you ask for from a book? Given what happened in The Immortal Rules, you can't help but assume that the next installment will be just as heart-pounding and riveting as its predecessor.
Easily enough, the character development is one of my favorite parts. All of the characters start out as fantastic characters, but a lot of the supporting characters we didn't know before that well were brought into the light; a lot of them actually really surprised me. Who we originally thought were heartless actually turned around for the better, and we learned a lot about other supporting characters, like Kanin and Zeke and Sarren and Jackal. And although this sounds so bad, my favorite character has to be Jackal or Kanin. They were so witty and I just loved them so much, even though sometimes I wanted to smack them, too. (My love won out, though. I'd totally rather hug them.) Kanin is just so utterly awesome.
The Eternity Cure also isn't just about what happens to the characters; it manages to form an emotional bond with you. Julie isn't afraid to completely screw her characters over, taking you with them. I was crying by the end of The Eternity Cure, and it's not just the way she ended it. It was everything, from how fantastic and good the characters were, and how much they really cared for each other, even if they didn't always get along with each other. It was kind of like one big family cast of people, and you were one of them. The way you can connect with the characters is absolutely stunning.
Upon further reflection, I realized that there was one significant flaw while I was reading The Eternity Cure, and that was the first half. It was fairly slow, and although I can gladly say the last half made up for it, it still couldn't take away from the fact that I was beginning to doubt in the beginning.
Action-packed, shocking, and heart-breaking, The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa will have screaming and crying and laughing all within a few pages.(less)
Managing to pull in both a mystery novel and a paranormal novel into one neat little package, The Nightmare Affair gets you all hyped up for more of Mindee Arnett's books!
Destiny "Dusty" Everheart, a type of magickind creature called a Nightmare that has to "dreamfeed" (simply put, to live people's dreams with them) on other people to get their power, is your normal girl, who's insecure, sarcastic, and a social outcast. What I immediately latched onto while reading was Dusty because Mindee gave her such relatable character traits. Any real life person's going to be insecure, alone, or sarcastic during periods of their lives, which is something Dusty managed to be throughout The Nightmare Affair, which not only gave her room to grow as a character, but also gave us somewhere to relate to her as a person.
Dusty and Eli Booker, when put together, created sweet and intimate scenes between them. I was practically salivating for more moments between these two characters, and was disappointed to discover that what I originally anticipated between these two characters was an inaccurate estimation. The Nightmare Affair didn't focus on the dreamfeeding aspect as much as the mystery aspect, and while I enjoyed getting a front-row seat on the action, I wished more of the mystery-solving could have been done in this new world that Mindee created for us. When Dusty dreamfed, she was basically going into the dream with Eli, and that created a lot of potential as to where the story could go, although I felt that the aforementioned potential wasn't used to its full extent.
However, The Nightmare Affair's shining spot was its plot. (Hey, that rhymed!) I found it to be engaging, exciting, and extremely entertaining, because one thing led so smoothly into another, and soon the plot was rolling fast down the hill all by itself without any other support. Albeit slightly predictable, our plot focused mainly on these string of murders, and how Dusty and Eli pieced together all the clues they'd unearthed earlier in the story. Given the circumstances, focusing all your attention on the mystery was a very good idea, and not on the romance, which while it could appease some people, it would bore even more.
The Nightmare Affair is a thrilling, sweet, and intense ride, and not only does it capture you, it also will make you fall in love with the characters, the plot, and the writing.(less)
Send is an emotional roller coaster. As soon as I read the synopsis I knew that I was in for one heck of a ride. For one, Send deals with darker, grittier subjects than a fluffy romance. It's not the instance where a boy meets a girl and they fall in love and ride off into the sunset. It's a lot realer than that. This stuff happens, and honestly, I think Patty captured the topics discussed in Send extremely well. She didn't gloss over the subjects mentioned, and she really did write a beautiful coming-of-age-type novel.
Dan, who used to be your classic bully, was such a dynamic character. I really felt for him and all he went through. Throughout Send, Dan has a metaphorical "shadow." His 13-year-old self is in his head and talks to him. Kind of creepy right? Some people could find this really bothersome but it made Dan all the more real. You don't walk away from nine months of juvie without a few scars. I loved how five years later he was still dealing with the aftermath of having gone through that traumatic experience. What I loved most about Dan was that he was a really kind soul. He was loyal and compassionate and a genuinely nice guy. I loved how Dan appeared to have a rough exterior, but on the inside all he wanted to do was protect his family and try to make amends for what he did five years ago to a poor twelve-year-old.
The romance between Dan and Julie was electrifying. It wasn't insta-love, it wasn't forced, it wasn't cheesy at all. It was real, just like the rest of Send. Send took its sweet time getting into the romance which in the end drove me mad because I really wanted to see the chemistry between Dan and Julie spark something really real, but it didn't happen because Patty developed the romance to the stage where the wasn't a thin strand of thread holding them together, but it was a thick cord of nylon rope that was bonding them together, which made the romance when it came so much more cherish-able.
Furthermore, the romance didn't dominate the novel. A lot of Send was about Dan's healing process, which I really enjoyed, and the romance was on the side as sort of like a light salad that was a nice break in between a heavy platter of pasta with a fatty sauce. That's what made the plot appealing. The romance made my heart pound and Dan's journey made my heart ache for him. I felt like Dan was a whole new person than when we first met him at the conclusion of Send, and although I felt like the ending was a little too rushed for me to fully be able to savor it, I still thought it was a great way to end the novel.
Emotional, dark, and real, this contemporary will not disappoint, especially if you like stories told in male perspectives, and a gritty story.
And I am DONE at 7%. I honestly can't keep going. First I got TWO emails for the book and to be honest, I ACCIDENTALLY got it off NetGalley, and then...moreAnd I am DONE at 7%. I honestly can't keep going. First I got TWO emails for the book and to be honest, I ACCIDENTALLY got it off NetGalley, and then I'm asked where my review is? Yes I know it has been two months, but have you ever heard of...hmm...I don't know, a TBR list? I have literally over 100 books that I own or need to review for a tour or per author's request and I would really like it if I wasn't asked all the time where my review is.
So I really did NOT want to read this book, but I decided to give it a try. Really long complicated words that are synonyms to simple words that are annoying? Check. A conceited bratty protagonist that thinks she's all that? Check. Writing that makes my teeth chatter? Check. An irrelevant first chapter that I skipped because of how it was just describing a room I didn't even know what it was? Check. I'll be emailing the people who contacted me earlier about this book and I'll be telling them how I could not finish this book. (less)
To be perfectly honest, I was really reluctant to read Confessions of an Angry Girl. Really reluctant. I had heard a few mixed things about Confessions of an Angry Girl, and I didn't know what I would end up thinking. However, I did not expect everything I was expecting to be blown out of the roof. I loved Confessions of an Angry Girl. It was everything I wasn't expecting and more. Confessions of an Angry Girl is angst-y and so relatable—half the time I was wondering if somebody had stolen my diary and given it to Louise.
Rose was a real character and I loved how she was flawed. She was awkward in her own shoes and a girl after my own heart. Honestly, Rose is pretty much the spitting image of me, besides the anger, of course. She's shy and uncomfortable in her own skin, until she's pissed off about something. Then you see the claws come out. Rose was angry about her life, and she completely had a right to be. She was still extremely loyal to her friends, and the reason I was first drawn into Confessions of an Angry Girl was mainly because I could see myself in Rose, which made the story all the more alluring.
From the very first moment I really loved the plot. There was a budding romance that did not seem cheesy at all (contrary to what I've all preached to you before about contemporaries) and I absolutely loved Jamie. Like, loved him. He really cared for Rose but he was still a really "bad" character. As in, Jamie had a fierce attitude, but you could see he had a soft spot and you could tell he really liked Rose and was concerned about her and her wellbeing.
Confessions of an Angry Girl wasn't just about having a relationship with a great guy, it was much more. Rose was battling her way through school and also with her family. Her brother had abandoned her, and her mom was robot-like, just going through the motions of life without much thought. Rose was trying to deal with her insecurities, insecurities I can assure you many teens have. Louise crafted a delicate tale of a girl's insecurities and struggles in life and formed them into a beautiful story. I am definitely going to be looking out for the sequel of Confessions of an Angry Girl, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend.
Overall, Confessions of an Angry Girl is a relatable story to teens everywhere about a girl dealing drama, romance, and insecurity.
Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett is just as beautiful as the first book, if not more, and it did not fail to catch my breath. It's become one of my favorite young adult books, even.
The thing that managed to get me every single time is how well I could relate to Rose. I didn't understand how Louise could create such a compelling teenage character, but I got her like no other. Rose was confused and lost, like many teenagers are. I can say without a minute's hesitation that sometimes I hate looking at myself in the mirror, that sometimes I wish I could look like someone else, that sometimes I wish I was prettier and better for the sake of the person I'm talking to. Rose underwent those same exact feelings, which was what made her such a real character. She had insecurities, and she doubted herself, and she was utterly furious at her parents. What teen has never thought that before?
Furthermore, Rose discovered a passion for singing that ultimately helped her cope and grieve for the death of her father eighteen months ago. Not only do I love any character by default who shares a passion for singing, but it added so much to the story. It created a channel by which to drive her emotion through, and how much my thoughts pertaining to singing parallelled hers amazed me. Through her singing, she grew and evolved, from a freshman who was unsure of her life to a beautiful girl who grew to learn what she needed to heal and how to get it. I loved seeing this new side of Rose, where she wasn't as lost and confused anymore.
Rose was more different than me in ways that made me look up to her as a role model. She had this amazing heart that wanted to help everybody around her, even if she was afraid. I couldn't help but admire how she stood up for herself and those around her whom she cared for—while she was afraid of what everyone else thought at first, she broke through and was a hero by the end. She was inspiring just by the way that she looked at life. Even though she was insecure, she got over it, and she found something beautiful in herself along the way. I knew that I'd formed more than just a character-reader bond with Rose upon completion of Confessions of an Angry-Girl; I felt as if she was my close friend.
Jamie. Jamie. Jamie. Jamie. Jamie Forta. Can I discuss Jamie for another, like, three paragraphs? Holy balls I loved him so hard! If I didn't love Rose and Jamie as a couple more, I would throw myself into the book and take him. Actually, I would still jump into the book, and then promptly grab him, clone a perfect copy of him, and take the perfect copy back with me. (He would learn to love me, but totally not in that really creepy kidnapper way.) Jamie was protective of Rose, Regina, and Regina's brother in a manner that can be related to a mama bear (only infinitely times hotter). He was loyal, caring, and utterly romantic. If I wasn't repeatedly swooning over him, I was wishing he would come into the picture because I NEEDED TO SWOON OVER HIM OKAY.
However, Confessions of an Angry-Girlfriend wasn't just about the romance and Rose's magnificent character development. The romance was a subplot, the character development was a giant portion, but it was the plot that delivered and triggered my undying love. It was full of angst and drama, which I ate up. The plot was the medium to which the character arcs and the romance traveled on just like any mechanical wave. The plot gripped me, and I couldn't stop thinking constantly about how amazing the plot was laid out for us to enjoy.
I even had a book hangover right after finishing.
The poignant and realistic voice of Rose Zarelli will appeal to teens across the board, and they'll look up to her as an inspiration, thanks to her drive and kind heart. With an addictive plot, electrifying romance, and beautiful writing, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett is perfect for any teen who's trying to find his or her way in life.(less)
Turning that first page of Speechless, I had no idea what to expect. Turning that last page of Speechless, several thoughts ran through my head at onc...moreTurning that first page of Speechless, I had no idea what to expect. Turning that last page of Speechless, several thoughts ran through my head at once. First, "That was so moving." Second, "I really wish I had a physical copy of this so I could drool over the pretty cover." That second thought probably wasn't the most relavant thought, but I was first intrigued by this novel because of how simple yet eye-catching this cover was. Yeah, totally biased of me, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who judges a book by its cover at first. Right? Also, the cover completely reflects the content of Speechless: straightforward but alluring and gripping. And as a whole, Speechless just blew me away.
Chelsea Knot's a gossiper. She can't keep anything under wraps and it takes the almost-death of somebody to finally push her over the edge. Now she's vowed to be silent, on a self-discovery mission. At first, I didn't care for Chelsea. I felt that she was obnoxious and conceited, but I felt that she did redeem herself after her vow of silence because she found who she really was, behind the make-up and deception. Chelsea, underneath the years of lying and aiming to impress the queen bee of high school, was a strong girl who really just wanted to be accepted, and befriending the most popular girl in her grade was the answer. The fantastic thing about Speechless is you get to see Chelsea realize that she doesn't need those things; she just needed a few friends who liked her for her.
Hannah Harrington has a flair for writing really gritty and relatable contemporary novels for teens. What teenager in high school doesn't want to fit in and be accepted? What teen doesn't have to deal with that long, arduous journey that is finding themselves? Hannah crafts a raw tale of a real teen's problems and insecurities through school. Speechless is a wonderful coming-of-age novel, and teens everywhere will be able to relate to the topics Hannah discusses. I'd recommend this novel to any young adult out there, and as a teenager myself, Speechless really hit close to home.
Speechless also brings into light the fact that you don't need to be popular to have friends and be happy. Chelsea finds unlikely companions, unexpected romance, and learns so much about herself during her period of silence throughout her journey in Speechless. It's inspirational and so moving. For example, this one quote was so beautiful and I loved it:
"Hate is...too easy," he says. His face is calm, calmer than it has any right to be, his eyes not wavering from mine, like he's so completely sure of what he's saying. "Love. Love takes courage."
Isn't that quote so powerful? I absolutely love that quote and it was so meaningful and inspirational. That quote just made the deal for me, and I fell into even more love with Speechless.
Raw, compelling, and powerful, Hannah Harrington has done it again with Speechless, weaving a beautifully relatable novel for teenagers.
Being a mythology “newbie,” I had no idea what to expect when I started Silver. In fact, I totally jumped in blind, since I have this really unfortunate habit of forgetting synopses as soon as I read them. It just comes in one side of my head and goes out the other. Very true story. However, I was fairly pleased with the results of Silver. It wasn’t my favorite mythology novel, but it was nonetheless a good read.
Brianna has always been invisible. Until one day, a gorgeous boy notices her and a romance kindles between them. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. Obviously, this romance has to bring many complications. And with those complications comes insta-love. Of course, you can’t fit a whole plot of romantic tension between two characters in…384 pages of book without something having to give. Obviously the mythology can’t give, although by that point the mythology aspect was very, very low. So the development of the relationship had to go.
Between the romance, the problem was that when Blake sees Brianna when she’s not being hidden away from him, he immediately feels this connection towards her and she he. (I don’t know if I just used that right…) And then on their “second date” they form this unbreakable bond with each other and suddenly BAM their souls are wound together. What? What? I don’t know about you, but I thought you had to get to know a person more than just “I think you’re pretty” before you intertwine your souls for all eternity. But that’s just me.
Also, since the romance dominated the novel, I felt there was no mythological aspect. I was intrigued by this idea of being these all-mighty goddesses that I was drawn in from the beginning. Brianna was a Seventh Daughter, or, from my understanding, a bandia. (Please tell me I’m right. It’ll be awkward if I’m wrong. I shall assume I’m right for this review though.) However, I was never satisfied. All I understood about being a bandia was “You get to be pretty and seduce boys!” Yeah, that’s not the most appealing way to introduce me to this. I did get a back-story but there was no development from there, which I really would have liked to see. I am hoping the next few books will elaborate on the mythology.
A good thing about Silver was the plot. When there wasn’t romantic tension, which left very little of the story left, there was action. Brianna was a strong character when she needed to be and I liked how she held her own. She jumped off the pages and was a dynamic character that, sure, made mistakes, but learned from them and she was flawed. Since it was her voice narrating the story, it’s crucial to have her voice be compelling and likable, and she certainly fit the bill.
Overall, if you don’t mind a romance that doesn’t have much substance, and a mythological plot line that may not have sung to you in the first book but will hopefully improve for the second, I would recommend Silver. It would be a good read for any romance junkie out there. (less)
Mystic City by Theo Lawrence doesn't seem like a novel pertaining government oppression and segregation does it? When you first see the cover, you thi...moreMystic City by Theo Lawrence doesn't seem like a novel pertaining government oppression and segregation does it? When you first see the cover, you think of something more...mystical. Yeah, I completely was NOT expecting that one... However, I was really surprised and pleased by the results I got after reading Mystic City. It was romantic and touching and really engaging. Mystic City by far did exceed my expectations and I would recommend this book to any dystopian fan.
When we first are introduced to Aria, she's a little weak. She's just trying to keep herself and the people she loves safe, but at the same time, she wants to know what her life was like before she got amnesia. Aria isn't a strong character, but she isn't annoying. It's actually pretty endearing how clueless she is. When Aria meets Hunter, a mystic rebel whom she has feelings for, she begins to remember the life she led before she lost her memory. Also, Hunter was a silent guard throughout Mystic City, guiding Aria towards recollection and showing Aria the beauty of being a mystic.
It's so funny to see Aria introduced to these foreign concepts I would find I was actually smiling during portions of the book. However, one turn-off about Aria was her hypocrisy. When Thomas does something bad to her, Aria continually calls Thomas wretched and horrid, even though a day ago she did the exact same thing, only she wasn't caught. I can't tell you what it is, because of how much it would spoil the book, but it's like calling someone a horrid criminal for robbing a bank when you did the same thing yesterday.
I think the connection between them (Aria and Hunter) is so sweet and extremely real. Hunter and Aria meet at first, but Aria quickly develops this undeniable attraction for him. This would feel like insta-love if there wasn't this one part of the plot that strengthens their love and makes it feel genuine from square one. Plus, it was kind of predictable what the outcome of the book would be, especially with the heavy hints that Aria was dropping left and right. The forbidden love concept is pretty overdone, but I loved Hunter enough to overlook it. He was so loyal and so patient with Aria, and he really grew on me, because he was vulnerable at times but at the same time so strong.
Something I noticed about Mystic City was its writing. It was lyrical and smooth and I put off buying school supplies to finish this. And come on, who doesn't want to go to Staples and pick out binder colors and colorful highlighters and pens and pencils? Okay, well it's not for everybody but if you know me I am head over heels for this kind of stuff. But my mom offered over five times to take me shopping while I was reading this and every time my reaction was "*hugs iPad* NEVER! I have to finish this book!"
A stunning beginning to the first book in a new series, Mystic City will sweep you off your feet with endearing characters, a strong concept, and a budding war between two very different groups of people.(less)
Rachel Hawkins has done it again! In School Spirits, we're introduced to the Brannicks' story, and their fight for survival, where we don't have any cute Prodigium, but we certainly have a beautiful adventure nonetheless.
Izzy Brannick, who's sent to Ideal, Mississippi to investigate a ghost haunting at a local school, isn't the best defender of evil, all things considered, but she's hungering to prove to her mom Aislinn that she can handle her own missions. What first endeared me to Izzy was her fiery nature. Subsequently, I fell more and more in love with her, which was a major reason School Spirits flew by so quickly for me. One second, I was ten percent of the way through, and the next I was fifty percent, and the next I was done. It certainly didn't surprise me, since Rachel has done this to me before, where the pages flew by at a blinding speed, so I was glad and sad I finished it so quickly. Glad because it meant I truly enjoyed it, but sad because there was no more left to enjoy.
As expected with Rachel Hawkins, we expect a lot of that normal snark that all of her characters have. Only this time, it wasn't there. I kept expecting Izzy or Dex or Anderson or Romy to bust out a snarky comment to make me laugh crazily, but it never came, which disappointed me so much. Aside from a few puns here and there, I was quite forlorn over the lack of that classic Rachel-snark that I knew could be put it into School Spirits. It's not the fact that Izzy is a plain Jane, but it's rather the fact that I expected her to be so gut-wrenchingly funny from her character traits and what I picked up from her.
Our love interest Dex definitely needs some discussing. He had his own little backstory, and it was made extremely clear very early on. I liked that mystery aspect of it, since the ghost-haunting case was 90% solved by the first half. To avoid boredom, I made a lot of theories about Dex, and I enjoyed seeing whether I was correct or wrong. I even ventured outrageous guesses, like, "Dex is a unicorn. No! He's a ghost hunter! Wait, he's her COUSIN!" Obviously, this was me having a little too much fun, but fun regardless. Additionally, it was an entertaining way for me to test my own detective skills, so I could be just like Izzy and her friends.
Fast-paced, and shocking, I loved every minute of School Spirits. Fans of the Hex Hall trilogy will fall in love all over again with School Spirits. (less)
I will not hesitate to tell you that I was more than scared to read The Iron Traitor. I didn't know what opinions my book slump would provide for me, and I didn't want to be let down by one of my favorite authors. Luckily, that wasn't the case and I ended up loving it, the first book I've truly loved since May.
Apprehension was the first emotion I felt upon beginning. But those hesitant feelings slowly faded away to nothing as I found myself re-immersed in the Nevernever, Ethan and Kenzie, the fey, and all of the characters I fell in love with in the original series and The Lost Prince. I find myself becoming even more repetitive as I write my reviews for the Iron Fey books, but Julie Kagawa is nothing if not consistent in her storytelling. She grips her readers and drags them into the world, embodying us in some of her characters. You care about these characters more than anything in the world, and gushing over them is almost like breathing: easy and routine. Ethan was so fiery, passionate, and realistic. His grief and anger towards his older sister Meghan leaving him when he was four was palpable, tearing at my heartstrings. His love and protectiveness towards Kenzie had me swooning, and his strong bond to his family left me delirious with compassion and appreciation.
The Iron Traitor not only delivered with a fantastic narrator and main character, but it also touched upon our side characters, such as Kenzie, Keirran, and Annwyl. The way their emotions read across the page captured my heart and soul completely. I fell in love with them originally in The Lost Prince, but by the end of this beautiful, gorgeous book, I could have given up my life for their happiness. But don't mention Ash and Meghan to me. They made my heart melt to a pile of goop on the floor. They loved Ethan and Keirran so much, and their emotions flew off the page as well. Meghan and Ash should have gotten an award with a name similar to the Best Parenting Award. I recognized traits they had as parents in traits that my parents have. I love my parents, and I think they're fantastic and the best ones I could've asked for, therefore seeing Meghan and Ash perform so well in that field made me squeal.
Other notable features were the romance, the romance that almost induced cardiac arrest. (I think I've made about fifty new synonyms for the phrase "made my heart pound" in this review alone.) Kenzie and Ethan were so tender towards each other, loving so ardently. The plot flowed from place to place like silk, making it hard for me to put my Kindle down so I could go to school, do homework, or sing. I found myself drawn to The Iron Traitor like moths to a lamp, drawn to its promising plot. Finally, the care incorporated into every scene stood out above the rest. Julie described each setting with extreme care, just as she always has, especially in a place as versatile as the Nevernever. I just couldn't get enough of it!
As for the ending, I can make no comment for fear of bursting into tears at this very moment.
From the lovable characters to the lovable plot to the lovable romance, it is impossible to use up all of your love while reading The Iron Traitor. The characters leap off of the page for an elaborate tango with your body and soul, the plot makes the end come to soon, and the writing ties everything together into a perfect package. Julie Kagawa will not disappoint; she has delivered another spellbinding book that not only touched me but also resurrected my love for reading.
IT HASETH A COVER!
I MUST GO DIE IN A HOLE RIGHT NOW.
*dusts off pants* Ahem. Back to your fangirling.(less)
While extremely satisfying yet wholly infuriating, Aimee Carter wraps up The Goddess Inheritance, the finale to The Goddess Test trilogy, in one big dramatic lump of words, which isn't a bad or a good thing, despite the context of the words.
For those that read the ending of Goddess Interrupted can easily feel my pain. Personally, I was so completely devastated to turn that last page, and the beginning of The Goddess Inheritance is nine months into the future. For spoiler purposes, I can't exactly reveal to you what precisely happened, but let's just say the evil-doing that is Cronus and Calliope have struck again. From plotting to take down the world to blackmailing gods, this duo pretty much covers all of the "Evil" bases. As much as I wanted to punch Calliope, major props to Aimee for creating such a hate-worthy character!
Speaking of other hate-worthy characters, I had a really big problem with Kate, our protagonist. She was a huge hypocrite. Everybody made her out to be this innocent girl who was plunged into the scene at the wrong time, and deserved to be in the midst of none of the real grit. Every last character made her out to be good, kind, and compassionate. No, she wasn't. Kate was so hypocritical at times that I wanted to kick someone, ideally her. She said she was nice, right after snarling to somebody and calling them a "bitch." That's not so nice.
One example more prominently than any other is right after Kate finishes snarling to Cronus when he protests to something that she wants to do for him, because she thinks that it's good for him. The following excerpt:
"I love you," he murmured. [...] "Even if you are frustratingly good sometimes."
[...] "Someone on the council needs to be," I said, and Henry chuckled.
Whoa, rewind for a second. She just finished snapping at Cronus, and Henry calls her "good". That part really annoyed me to bits.
The last issue I had with The Goddess Inheritance was the pacing. It dragged to the point I felt that the book came with several ton weights, and then sometimes it was so thrilling and action-packed that all my doubts were forgotten regarding the plot. Soon after, the plot dipped again to its usual laggy pace, and I got tired of it after a while.
Overall, The Goddess Inheritance was a satisfying endding to the Goddess Test trilogy, with just a peek of something more waiting to happen because of the somewhat opened ending. Personally, I love the series where it is now and it can stay that way, but a spin-off is very probable with the future.(less)
Splintered was possibly the best classic retelling I have ever encountered in my life. It wasn't just about Alice in Wonderland and it was retold differently, but the protagonists were aware of the story, but it was like Alice: Reincarnated.
It was as if the story of Alice in Wonderland slowly unfolded, starting from Alyssa's unawareness of how her life was dependent on the fantasy story, and then progressing to the point where she could make the connections between the story and how her life was going. Alyssa was basically charged with the task of reversing the spell that made all her family members go insane with memories of Wonderland and nightmares of the dark creatures roaming around in the forest, and none of it was pretty.
Having not read the original Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland, I had no idea what to expect from Splintered. Was it going to be a lot like Alice in Wonderland, the cartoon movie? Or was it going to be like the modern rendition of Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp? I had no idea, but from what I remember from both movies, it incorporated the ideas of both the movies into one magnificent novel with twists and turns, and it left me with a strong urge to actually read the original book to make the connections myself between Alyssa's Wonderland and the original Alice's Wonderland.
In Splintered, we come across the very classic love triangle, with the boy-next-door and the bad, mysterious boy. Of course, I fell for the aloof love interest almost immediately, and later changed my mind and went head-over-heels for Jeb, our boy-next-door. His devotion for Alyssa was phenomenal, and even though their relationship seemed to be like a brother-sister dynamic, it soon progressed into something much more sentimental and intimate. Something I thought was really sweet about their relationship was the way they would sacrifice everything for each other. From their own lives to their possessions, these two characters knew how to keep us on our toes, wondering if they would really go that far to keep each other safe. (They did.)
The world of Wonderland will blow you away and you will be breathless by how the innocent tale of Alice in Wonderland could morph into something so dark, so sinister, and so enticing. Fans of an original, fresh fantasy and any time of classic retelling will completely adore this one.(less)
I expected to love Red way more than I did. Unfortunately, although it was a somewhat addicting read, I couldn't get past the shallow stereotyping of this town and how ignorant everybody was.
Our main character Felicity had been harboring a secret for seventeen years of her life: she dyed her hair to the perfect shade of red. In Scarletville, that was a pretty big scandal, and there was even a demeaning term for these types of people—arties. A majority of Red was spent with Felicity in a mad panic over how she had to protect this shocking secret, and I honestly didn't understand it. The entire population of Scarletville discriminated against brunettes and strawberry blondes—artfully named strawbies—which I found to be so shallow and stereotypical. How on Earth could this town have survived seventy-five years without one redhead taking a stand? They seemed to be in their own little world, separated from everybody else, not-so-silently judging everybody. It wouldn't have bothered me if all of the redheads were favored above everybody else.
The blondes and brunettes were picked on constantly, and if a redhead cut in line, it was okay. A redhead was shown favor over a blonde when it came to picking spots on a team or in the Miss Scarlet Pageant. To put it bluntly: the redheads were put on a pedestal and had no concept of treating other people who weren't redheads equally. What kind of parent would willingly put their son or daughter in that position? I would never want my future child raised in a place where there was so much prejudice against people simply for their hair color. It's okay to have a town centralized with redheads, but the complete audacity of those redheads to expect special treatment definitely rubbed me the wrong way. And when Felicity and her friends Haylie and Ivy went shopping outside of Scarletville, Haylie automatically expected to be allowed to the front of the line for the dressing rooms, cutting past a blonde who said something along the lines of, "Those Scarletville redheads think they're better than everybody else" after telling Haylie to wait, which was so true I wanted to high five her.
Speaking of outside society, Red explored a topic where the town was so isolated that Felicity was literally in shock over the fact that a town outside of hers willingly dyed their hair and that there were hair salons that dyed hair outside of Scarletville. That was just another clue that the entire town was skewed and that all of the redheads inhabiting Scarletville were so sheltered and used to being treated like they were gold. Felicity, no matter how much she irked me as a character for being so obsessive about her hair, did earn my sympathy by the end because she did start to realize things like how people were proud of their dyed hair in neighboring towns. Most of the characters were really shallow, as was expected, and that was where most of my annoyance stemmed. There is a fine line between portraying accurate characters based off of their environment and creating characters that just added to the town's bad reputation as a whole. Unfortunately, most of the characters did end up on the wrong side of the spectrum. The two characters I even remotely liked was Ivy, for doing what she wanted, and Jonathan, for being so accepting.
Overall, I couldn't find it in me to enjoy Red by Alison Cherry. The town's overall demeanor was way too much for me and I couldn't look past the extremities of their prejudices and biases.(less)
Dualed by Elise Chapman was, as much as I wanted to love it, a disappointment. While the writing was so pretty, the mechanics of Dualed fell short of my expectations.
Pitched as The Hunger Games meets Matched, you expect something really thrilling from Dualed, because The Hunger Games was mentioned. If you adored Matched as well, then it seems like you're going to love it. As a fan of The Hunger Games and a semi-fan of Matched, I was so confident of my decision to read Dualed. Along with the flowing, smooth writing, another positive feature of Dualed was the premise. The idea that you had to kill your Alt (or twin) in exactly a month or you would both die was ingenious and intriguing. I was hooked as soon as I read the summary, and I was captivated by the idea of West, and the promise of her story. Then I got past the first few chapters.
The first thing that went wrong was West's character. At first, she came off as a stubborn, strong-headed girl. By the time the last page rolled around, the only thought rolling through my head was, "What a hypocrite." For example, West would insist that she joined one of her friends when the time came to kill their Alt. Then, when the time came for her to kill her Alt, she would refuse help, even though she practically forced herself onto her friend earlier. She was sometimes a strong person, sometimes weak, and she ran away from all of her problems, which strongly annoyed me because I just wanted her to get it over with instead of freezing and ditching her issues, which caused other people pain. Ironically, West constantly laments that pain is the last thing she wants to cause people.
Another problem I had with Dualed was, very specifically, the last third of the book. During that period, West became very...philosophical. Directly quoting the material:
Time plays with you, toys with your mind. Sometimes it flows slow and languid, sometimes so quickly that if you dare to blink you'll miss it all.
And it can hurt...if I let it. I can decide to think about the sharp crick of my neck that's starting to jab, the pounding ache in my skull that threatens to drum out everything else. I can wallow in the spasms in my hand from clenching the gun too hard, the raw, still-healing heat in my shoulder. Replay the memories of that first stakeout, too, crouched beneath the bushes of that house in Jethro, waiting and waiting even as my body wanted to do anything but.
But I've learned now. I've made myself eat so hunger would become meaningless. I tell myself the aches of muscle, bone, and limb are phantom pains of a body not really mine.
*Direct quote taken from an electronic advanced copy. Quotes may differ in final copy*
Obviously, the writing here is beautiful, but when you find paragraphs of that all throughout the book, you start to skip things. When you start to skip things, you may miss a sentence of important information, and then miss more information later on because you're confused. It's an endless cycle that never stops.
A fantastic premise that fell flat, Dualed will appeal to dystopian fans who enjoy inspiration in their stories. It has beautiful writing and a beautiful concept.(less)
Beautiful Disaster was the best book in the world at the same time the worst book in the world. During the first third of the book, Beautiful Disaster was earning a solid four or five stars. I kid you not. It was that amazing in the first third. And then, it went so downhill that there was no way it could claw its way back up again.
Let's discuss the first third of Beautiful Disaster. It's promising; it's compelling; it's addicting. I couldn't get enough of Travis and Abby when they were falling in love with each other. At that time, I was sure that I would love Beautiful Disaster and give it five stars and join the majority of the book-reading population. Travis and Abby were matches made in heaven. Travis was our classic badboy figure who fell for the sweet, innocent girl. In this case, that girl is Abby. She has an undeniably dark past, that was foreshadowed throughout the book, but I wish I saw more of that dark past. She acted as if nothing had ever happened to her that was so scary that she had to hide it, until a few chapters before her secret was exposed. I felt like I should've gotten more of the "I'm scared someone will discover my horrible secret" vibes.
But besides that, Beautiful Disaster had such a sweet, tender romance that you had to commend McGuire for writing such a real romance. However, then Travis went a little...he wasn't very mentally sound. Let's start with his nickname for Abby. "Pigeon," or, more commonly used, "Pidge." I went more than a little insane hearing this over and over again. I would've preferred that Travis called Abby by her given name at least twice during the book. I can only recall one time when Travis referred to her as Abby, one time in a hole 400-page book. It got on my nerves to the point I highlighted "Pigeon" or "Pidge" starting from page 300 or something just cataloguing how many times Abby was referred to as such. The number has since slipped out of my mind, but it was a lot.
Another thing that lacked in Beautiful Disaster was Travis's sense of mind. He was a complete psychopath! He was abusive to Abby, constantly throwing himself at her even though she obviously didn't want him. Additionally, he was so violent. I know what you're going to say. He's a fighter, so he's going to do that. Yes, but his personality ran so hot and cold. He was fiercely aggressive and even though he and Abby weren't together at the time, he still was ready to jump anybody with a Y chromosome that got within a food of Abby. And, after being a total tool and a man-whore for most of his college life, he just seemed to be okay with dropping everything he's ever done and started obsessing over Abby, throwing tantrums when she didn't go to class, pounding down doors, chasing after her when he clearly wasn't wanted. I was ready to completely throw him off a bridge.
Although there was a very strong beginning, after a significant portion of that was over, it fell downhill. Their relationship relied a lot of Travis's obsession and abuse and it got really tiring really fast. I would definitely recommend this to people who are interested in a much milder (and chaster) version of Fifty Shades of Grey.(less)
After reading Pushing the Limits, Katie McGarry's debut novel, I had high expectations for Dare You To. It's an understatement to say that they were completely demolished and left on the floor in a pile of rubble.
Is it fair to say that I love Ryan? I even made a graphic. Although it's horrible.
This is basically what I went through the entire novel. I was battling with my strong urge to steal Ryan, and my even stronger urge to just keep reading and shut up so Beth and Ryan could have the adorable moment. This time, Ryan was the person that helped Beth heal from her broken, ruined home. The even realer thing was the fact that Ryan wasn't just a spoiled rich kid that got whatever he wanted; he also had all of his own demons and had to learn to get rid of them, as well. He seriously was so swoon-worthy! Additionally, just look at that cover! And then zoom in on Ryan. Zoom in even further...and...FANGIRL! There we go! He was so insanely compassionate, tough, and realistic. The way that Katie McGarry can portray such compelling and strong male voices with what seems like no effort at all is so baffling to me. That is talent right here, people.
Another character that I loved with all of my heart was Beth. She was originally part of the trio with Noah and Isaiah, and in Dare You To, she was forced to move out of her home and into her uncle's, where she started a new school, with new people, and Ryan Stone. It broke my heart to see how broken and guarded Beth was because of her family. But the best part about her broken home was watching her heal, moving on, and coming to the terms with the fact that her house needed to be fixed, and soon. Beth's character development was just so amazing, and she had so many emotions, which we experienced in full spectrum.
Now that we've discussed both characters separately, we have to discuss them as a couple.
I have a slight obsession with gradients these days, so don't mind little old me and my pictures. However, it's totally true! Their romance was so hot, but at the same time it was so unbelievably sweet. It started off as an innocent dare from Ryan's friends, but it soon spiraled into a whirlwind of emotions and, most importantly, love. I couldn't get enough of them, and Katie made their romance seem so believable. I even thought that I was Beth or Ryan for a few minutes before snapping back into a crazed reading frenzy.
Everything about Dare You To by Katie McGarry was just so beautiful. The romance was electrifying, and the character development of our two main characters was as memorable as could be. Easily enough, Dare You To has taken its spot on my favorites list, and it may just end up on your list, too.(less)
Vanessa was a teensie bit annoying and naive and weak, but otherwise I loved the mystery and the whole idea of ballerinas tangled up with the devil an...moreVanessa was a teensie bit annoying and naive and weak, but otherwise I loved the mystery and the whole idea of ballerinas tangled up with the devil and all that! :D(less)
Check out more of my reviews at ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***! Hooked, while certainly very appealing when you first stumble upon it, has anoth...moreCheck out more of my reviews at ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***! Hooked, while certainly very appealing when you first stumble upon it, has another side to the story. After having seen many very positive reviews, I decided to read it for myself and see what I thought. Unfortunately, I wasn't as satisfied with the book as I expected.
The first issue I had with Hooked were the characters. From the synopsis, you can pretty easily discern that Fred and Ryan have some type of relationship, whether fleeting or long-term. However, their characters weren't very remarkable or appealing. Other than Fred's uncanny ability to play golf perfectly, she was a generally lackluster character who annoyed me a lot, too. She wasn't a compelling character; she was just average. I could, for the most part, tolerate her, but I could also live without her. Ryan had the same issue, as well. In short, I pretty much felt totally and utterly indifferent toward them.
My unconcern for these characters later and inevitably resulted in the feeling of insta love between our two characters. When they developed an attraction for each other, it seemed extremely artificial, shallow, and instant. They initially developed an attraction for each other, but that attraction didn't go anywhere. My definition of insta-love is: when two parties develop a mutual attraction for each other, but there isn't a reason for them to be attracted to each other. Insta-love varies from person to person, but that is what I classify as insta-love, and the romance in Hooked fell under that category. Since I felt that the characters were extremely two-dimensional, their romance felt forced and untrue.
Another problem I had with Hooked was how little Indian heritage was exhibited. Fred is an Indian living in an Indian reservation. She lives in a trailer, none of her family members have gone to college, and she has an Indian who considers himself the "chief" of the entire reservation. That being said, I expected a little more of her heritage to shine through. Other than a few cruel students referring to her as "Pocahontas" and the two times that "chief" Indian went through a prayer chant before a golf tournament. Otherwise, I would have never noticed that Fred was Indian. Even the girl on the cover doesn't look Indian. She looks Hispanic, and there's nothing wrong with any of that, but I felt that Fred's background wasn't well-developed.
Hooked's one positive point was the plot. I was completely and utterly fascinated with the golfing aspect of Hooked, how that affected the relationship between Ryan and Fred, and even though I had to groan at some parts, as a whole, it was strangely addicting. The way that there were twists and turns weaved through the entire plot always kept me guessing. However, at the end, the plot went spiraling downward. The ending was completely and utterly predictable and a definite "Happily Ever After." Everything just fixed itself, and nothing was risked, there wasn't some kind of sacrifice, there wasn't any sort of promise of something else to come.
As a whole, Hooked left me really disappointed and let down. While I would definitely recommend this to anybody who likes fluffy romances mixed in with sports, if you like really intense romances with a ton of deeper meanings and innuendos, this one isn't for you.(less)
I had my doubts. I did. And it turns out that my book slump still hasn't broken, not with a book that I expected to fall heads over heels for, given how much I loved Pushing the Limits and Dare You To. Unfortunately, Crash Into You by Katie McGarry wasn't as fantastic as I'd hoped, but still a really good read that I would recommend.
Something about the beginning that I noticed: there was a severe case of insta-love, where they had only been around each other for three hours, two of those hours spent running from police cars. Then they were making out and as soon as they parted ways, their thoughts were run over with each other. Halfway through the book, they were declaring their love to each other, which seemed a little too sudden for my taste. There's nothing wrong with falling in love as quickly as they did, but there has to be a way that would make me seriously believe it, which wasn't the case. With the base feeling forced and insincere, there was no way I was buying the love lines they were feeding to each other, even by the end of the book.
Katie's books center mostly on broken characters, characters that I thought would deliver despite the romance. But I hated Rachel's inner dialogue and how weakly she was portrayed in the first half. Her brothers treated her as a fragile porcelain doll, but also, Rachel was so concerned with everybody thinking of her as a strong, independent female. In truth, she acted exactly like that fragile doll because she was so dense and idiotic, nearly crying when she displeased a family member. And when Isaiah was trying to protect her by lying to someone threatening about his feelings towards her, Rachel was all, "Oh no! Isaiah doesn't like me I knew I wasn't worth anybody's attention." Her mopey, insecure attitude really irked me at times, but thankfully she redeemed herself by the second half. I began to gain sympathy for her and understand her. She morphed from that insecure, pathetic girl into a confident one who stood up for her beliefs.
Something special about Katie's books is that they always include the same basic structure: good, rich character with messed up family and baggage meets bad, lonely character with even more messed up family issues and sparks fly between them. However, the materials used to build this structure are never the same. Rachel and Isaiah shared their love of cars, which was what fueled the character development and plot. The good thing is that both of these aspects were demonstrated well enough to keep me interested until the very end. I would have liked the main conflict to have been more prevalent, but beggars can't be choosers. Some plot points were also left out during the storyline, ones that would have brought us to the climax of Crash Into You, which I wished were developed fully. But the plot overall was good and delivered, keeping me attached to the book for the full 474 pages.
Crash Into You by Katie McGarry proved to be another book that fell victim to my book slump. There were more minor flaws that I found within in the book, but the first half was inexcusably hard for me to read. The second half brought about a promising turn in one of our protagonists and the plot.(less)