**This review is based on an Advance Readers Copy**
**This review may contain spoilers for those who haven't read the previous book**
First of all, let me just say, the cover. Holy macaroni, I love it!! It's perfect for Arise and Hereafter... so stunning and so beautiful.
Arise is the hauntingly beautiful sequel to Hereafter. Filled with an intense romance and suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat till the very end, Arise will leave you breathless and wanting so much more.
Hereafter was honestly like no other ghost story I ever read, and I am just so thrilled that Arise was just as good, picking up from where Hereafter ended. There is so much more Joshua and tons of more sparks between the two star-crossed lovers.
But now there is also a little tension between them, as Amelia has started thinking about the future, and what it holds for the both of them. She doesn't want to hold Joshua back from his old friends... and she is even more worried about how long they will be able to keep this relationship up. While Joshua ages and grows old, Amelia will stay the same, thus creating a very Twilight-ish situation... only this time, the answer isn't as easy as one bite. But Joshua doesn't seem at all worried or nervous... and the fact that he is so oblivious and confident in their future together just makes Amelia feel even worse and more on edge.
To add to that, Amelia gets a warning that the Demons who took Eli to the Netherlands are now after her... determined to take her to the Netherlands and keep her there forever. She meets Joshua's seer relatives, who much to her shock can actually see her, and she starts feeling slightly normal. She also meets Alex, a quiet, mysterious, very powerful Seer who appears to be around every corner and promises Amelia comfort and help. But something about him seems... strange, and his presence always makes Amelia feel a little unsettled. She can't decide whether or not to trust him.
Desperate for answers, Amelia reaches out and finds fellow ghost, Gaby. They become friends against all odds and form an alliance against the Demons. Amelia starts feeling less ghostly and more... alive, as she spends more time with Gaby. But Joshua still presses on her mind, and as hard as she tries to leave him for his own good, she just can't.
Oh, Amelia. I feel for her, I really do. She's dead, there are vicious and determined Demons after her, and her relationship with Joshua isn't working... mostly because of the whole living/dead thing. Arise was such a roller-coaster ride! Packed with suspense and unexpected surprises around each corner, I couldn't put it down! And oh boy, I did not at all expect what happened in the end (well, maybe a little bit, but only because I highly suspect I'm psychic).
Anyway...if you are a fan of ghost stories or just love a great paranormal romance, you really should give Hereafter and Arise a go!
4 Muffins - Simply Delectable!
**A huge thanks to Harper Collins for this ARC of Arise!** (less)
Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi is a fast-paced, action-packed ride, with a passionate and intense romance. Wo...more*Read full review at www.teenbookguru.com*
Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi is a fast-paced, action-packed ride, with a passionate and intense romance. Would I say it's as good as some of the other Dystopian novels of the last few years? Probably not. But it is definitely memorable and a very exciting read. I think that because there have been so many amazing post-apocalyptic novels recently, all the others kind of have to be mind-blowing too, just to measure up to all the great ones. *SPOILER ALERTS*
Peyton Anderson is one of the 'it-girls' in her school. She has the boyfriend, all her popular friends, and of course, the looks. Chris Parker is a big-hearted nerd. A nerd who's in love with Peyton. So, obviously, there is no way they could be together. Ever --- not even if the world ended --- or so that's what they think. Peyton's dad is a scientist - a mad scientist. He's convinced that the end of the world is right around the corner, and that creatures similar to zombies are going to cause it, but no one believes him- not even Peyton. So when people start to realize that the world is coming to an end, Peyton is prepared.
Chase and Peyton are brought together under strange circumstances - they both happen to be the first people to witness the first step of the end of the world- the infection. They start to grow close to each other, and make plans to run away. But (in typical Romeo and Juliet fashion), there is a last-minute change of plans, and Peyton can't leave with Chris. This leads to a whole lot of sadness and confusion and feelings of betrayal on Chris' part, and just a bunch of sadness on Peyton's side. So imagine their surprise when they meet again after four years - and find that they are both one of the few people in the whole world who are still alive. *SPOILERS OVER*
In Tomorrow Land, there were a lot of flashbacks to when everything was normal and also how the end of the world started, which was nice, because it provided a background to the characters, and made them seem more real. It also made it easier to sympathize with both Peyton and Chris. The best part of the book would have to be the romance, for me personally. Chris was just such a sweet heart *note the past tense*, and it broke my heart to see how easily Peyton used to dismiss him. Of course, when they meet after four years he isn't the same nice, easy guy who Peyton remembered (but, come on, you have to be tough and hard to survive the end of the world!). They got together eventually, but I still felt bad for Chris. It made me wonder - are there any guys out there who are as forgiving and committed as Chris? Probably not.
Peyton was a joy to get to know as well. While I don't normally like the 'queen-bee, rules the school' type of characters, I have to say I really liked Peyton. Not only was she a fierce fighter, and not only could she kick some major zombie ass, but she was also nice and caring -- and most importantly, she loved Chris back and stuck with him through the good and bad. And at the end of the day, what else could you ask for?
Something I didn't really like was the ending. It left so many questions unanswered and really left me hanging, it just seemed a little rushed to me. But there were some really good parts in the book, and I found Tomorrow Land to be a captivating read that left my fingernails bitten to the core, and my heart bursting with hope and happiness at the wonderful romance that Mancusi so wonderfully brought to life.
Don't You Wish is every girls dream... until it's not.
Annie Nutter is a nobody. She feels plain, unpopular, and like she doesn't belong. That, alongside a crazy family and a crush who sees right through her, when Annie's mad scientist of a father zaps her into an alternate universe where she's pretty, rich and popular Ayla Monroe, daughter of the bazillionaire Jim Monroe, you would think that this would be everything Annie ever wanted. But, as St. Claire craftily shows us, not everything is what it seems to be...
Don't You Wish was so much more thought-provoking and deep than I thought it would be, but it still managed to be light and fresh, and a short and easy read! There are a lot of moral messages imbedded into this book, which I LOVED, one of my favorite and the most prominent one being that nobody's perfect, and that if you just stay true to who you are, and what you believe in, then nothing, and nobody should matter to you! <3
The book started out rather slow in the beginning, but definitely picked up pace as the novel progressed... particularly when one very cah-yuute boy, Charlie, the 'nobody of Crap Academy' came in!! I LOVED him!! Charlie is very much the misunderstood, bullied, but very sweet and cute and awesome hottie of the school!!
Don't You Wish tackled the issue of bullying very well, without going into too much depth. I honestly have no clue why kids are picked on and bullied. It's horrible, and this book really zoomed in on it. I hate bullies, and bullying, and just am so vehemently against it!! This book tells us that you can STAND UP to bullies, and that they shouldn't affect you in any way! And also that the so called 'popular' people aren't anywhere near perfect, or any better than you!! <3
A great, refreshing read with surprising depth! Biggest moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for, because not everything is what it seems!!
Just Flirt is the perfect way to kick off your Summer holidays. Full of flirting (duh!), cute guys, bikinis, an...moreOriginally posted at The Teen Book Guru
Just Flirt is the perfect way to kick off your Summer holidays. Full of flirting (duh!), cute guys, bikinis, and a whole lot of drama, this will leave you wishing your Summer holidays would be as adventurous as this, but also kind of thankful that they're not... I wish I had even half of the spunk that the girls in this book have!!
Ever since Dee Barton's dad died in a spontaneous and out-of-the-blue heart attack, it has just been Dee and her mom left to run the Campground. And even though it was difficult at first, now the Campground is Dee's home, and she loves hanging out there and helping her mom run it.
A few years back, something happened to Dee that made her lose her A-Class status. Something involving a very desperate, heartbroken Dee, a cute, hot jerk, and a letter. After Dee wrote THAT letter, everything changed for her. No one wanted to be her friend, except for 'Nose Pick Natalie'. Both Dee and Natalie met their downfalls because of Sabrina, the ice queen, and all-around pretty and popular gal of the school... and Sabrina just happens to be dating that cute, hot jerk who Dee was with before.
Sabrina is your typical blond, skinny cheerleader who rules the school... with a twist. Her mom, is not... let's say... your average mom. She dresses like a teenager, and actually kind of thinks she is one. She can never keep a boyfriend (or a job, for that matter), for more than a month. Still, she tries, and her latest endeavor involves Karaoke, and a whole lot of jiggling dancing. And her latest job just happens to be at Dee's campground, which can't possibly end well, what with Dee and Sabrina being worst enemies...
I love and admire Dee so much. Not only is she awesome at flirting, and has way more courage than I do, but she's also really nice and sweet, and loyal to her friends. When that hot jerk of a guy, Blaine dumped her, at first she was really desperate and confused, thus the letter, but after that she realized that he was no good and just moved past him without even looking back. Sabrina, on the other hand, is basically where Dee was a couple of years ago. She's going out with Blaine, but BOY do they have problems. And Sabrina really wants to work things out, but a part of her tells her to just go along with it because then they can be the perfect 'A-List' couple and all that shit (OMG excuse my swearing) ;). Ugh. I felt like shouting at her to grow a spine, woman!!
And her mom was seriously too funny. I'm so glad that my mom doesn't go parading around in mini-skirts and all!! LOL. I felt really bad for Sabrina for having to put up with her. But at the same time, sometimes I felt like she should've just stood up to her mom and said no! There was definitely A LOT of face-palming involved on my part. :P
Just Flirt was such a fun, and touching read that really got me all pumped up for my hols... I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think teen girls all around the world will love this witty, smart, funny and sweet read too!
This book was just the type of book I needed. Something I could fully immerse myself and get lost in. Let's ju...more Originally posted at The Teen Book Guru
This book was just the type of book I needed. Something I could fully immerse myself and get lost in. Let's just say, that my visit next door? Isn't one that I'll be forgetting about anytime soon.
While I love Contemporary novels, at heart I'm a Para girl. Hand me a book with werewolves, vampires, and things that don't exist, and I'm a happy camper! With Contemps, though, I'm super picky. They have to be really good for me to like them!
My Life Next Door was so much better than your average Contemporary read. Romantic, funny, witty and sweeter than PINK Cotton Candy (YES, that good), it tugged on my heart strings and captivated me till the very end. But I'm making it sound like this book was full of (admittedly yummy) FLUFF. But it wasn't just light and happy and all, there was some serious stuff going on! There was major suspense and drama and mystery. I had no idea it would end the way it did! I didn't expect it at all---and that's über rare for a Contemporary read!
You've definitely probably heard me say this, but a good book is only as good as it's characters, right? Well I loved every single one of the characters in this book! From the goofy Garretts, to the stoned yet lovable Tim, I fell head over heels in love with all of them. Especially Jase, the sweetest bad-boy I have EVER met. He has a leather jacket! Nuff said! Seriously, guys, I think I can hear wedding bells chiming in the distance...
And Sam, our sweet and quirky MC was a perfect narrator. I really felt for her! Guys, I think I can say, without any hesitation, that her mom was really messed up. All her mom cared about was winning the darn elections! I mean, she just had no clue what was going on in her daughter's lives, and she was dating a really cheap slop. Thank doodles Sam had the Garretts!
But I can't stand not mentioning the whole Garrett family, made up of eight children and two loving, affectionate parents. Loud, affectionate and messy, the Garretts were a stark contrast to Sam's family. And while Jase was definitely my favorite Garrett, George, Jase's five year old brother (who watched too much Discovery Channel for his own good) was a close runner-up! You have not truly understood pure cuteness until you meet George. So what are you waiting for? Go and read this amazing book! And give George a big huggle for me!!
My Life Next Door, while a fairly light and SUPER fun read, is also full of serious choices, suspense, and surprising edginess. Hands down, my favorite Contemporary read of 2012 so far!(less)
**This review is based on an Advance Readers Copy (thank you S&S!)**
Hilary Weisman Graham's debut is a fun, bubbly and heartwarming coming-of-age story of friendship, love, and ultimately, finding yourself and being true to who you are --- no matter what. It's one of those books that has a little bit of everything, for everyone... one of my favorite YA Contemporary reads of 2012 so far!
Reunited was one of those books that I just loved from the very beginning, mostly because of the characters. There's Alice, the overachiever and nostalgic and sensitive kinda, lives in the past type of person, Summer, the misunderstood cheerleader/queen bee, who actually doesn't want to be popular, and Tiernan, funky, needle in a haystack, doesn't care what anyone thinks, kinda gal. I honestly loved every single one of them! Towards the end of the novel, I started feeling like I knew them personally... they became my three best friends for the four hours I was reading this book! And while they are a little cliche, sometimes, cliche works! It's only when it's too overdone that it starts becoming boring, and ordinary, and what-not.
A long time ago, in Middle School, Alice, Tiernan, and Summer used to be BFFs and Pop band Level3 worshippers. They considered themselves to be the band's biggest fans, and let me tell you, you will not know the whole meaning of 'obsession', and 'devotion', until you read this book. I mean, seriously! I have friends who are crazy IN LOVE and so infatuated with Justin Bieber, and, more lately, One Direction, but oh my gosh Alice, Summer and Tiernan make them look almost normal! It's scary (but in a good way!).
Anways, so it starts out with Alice, and things aren't really going well for her. It's almost graduation time, and she hasn't got everything worked out and as planned as she would have liked. Her summer trip with her friend was cancelled, her acceptance letter for the University she is dying to get in hasn't arrived yet, and she just feels pretty bummed. I don't blame her! I would too. And then, a bombshell. Level3, Alice's (and Summer and Tiernan's) old-time favorite band who broke up over three years ago (when that awful fight between Alice and Summer and Tiernan happened), are getting back together for ONE CONCERT. The only problem, is that it is over 2000 miles away. But still, she has the Pea Pod (basically the Level3 fan worship van), and she is sure that, as big as the fight was, and even though they barely even talk anymore, she is sure Summer and Tiernan would not be able to say no to the awesomeness of Level3.
And, it takes a lot of time, but Summer and Tiernan finally come around-- both for their own personal reasons, though, and Alice feels something she hasn't felt for a long time start to blossom inside her---hope. If Level3 can get back together, even for only one night, can't they? And so, they set out on the long road trip, with one question looming above all of them: will they come out of this friends, or enemies?
Reunited was the perfect break from all the heavy Paranormal books I've been reading (and admittedly, enjoying), and I'm so happy I got the chance to read it. Graham really WOW'd me with this touching debut, and I look forward to reading more of her books! A strong, powerful new voice in YA Contemporary! (less)
**This review is based on an ARC (Advance Readers Copy)**
Even though, like all the other hopelessly obsessed, hardcore The Body Finder fans out there, I was eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, I'll admit I was worried how Kimberly Derting was going to pull off yet another amazing book... would The Last Echo follow in the brilliant footprints of the other two books before? It turned out, however, that I had nothing to worry about. In The Last Echo, Kimberly Derting gives us a book with thrills and surprises at every turn, the scariest psycho of all the three books, and more romance and heart-stopping moments than ever. I loved it.
After finishing The Last Echo, I took some time to marvel at how attached I'd become to Jay and Violet, and just the whole series in general. Jay and Violet are two people who I've come to know so well, and it's all thanks to Derting's fabulous writing. She makes the characters come alive. There wasn't (much to my dismay), plenty of Jay, but there was a lot of Rafe. While anxiously awaiting my ARC of The Last Echo, I kept praying that Derting wouldn't pull a Twilight and put in a love triangle. But, of course, there was.... and I was prepared for it. What I wasn't prepared for, however, was the fact that I actually liked Rafe. Crazy, I know! I was still rooting for Jay, but I kind of pitied Rafe.
Jay and Violet's romance in The Last Echo was much more intense than before, and that showed that they were growing up and that they were heading towards a new, deeper stage in their relationship. As usual, when Jay and Violet were together, I couldn't help but smile. It was like electricity was crackling off the very pages of The Last Echo. Their chemistry was undeniable, and Kimberly Derting really is a genius for creating such a powerful, romantic, and yet natural and very realistic relationship that... over the three books, I have fallen in love with.
As I mentioned before, the bad guy, 'the girlfriend collector' is creepier than ever this time, and is set on Violet. In the past, other people have always come to Violet's rescue, but this time, it's all up to her. Is the person she's meant to save herself? And will she be able to do it? The tension kept rising until the very end, and I couldn't stop reading. I HAD to find out what happened next.
A captivating, thrilling, toe-tingling, heart-stopping read that most definitely does not disappoint!
5 Muffins - Positively Enticing!
**Thanks so much to the lovely Kimberly Derting for sending me an ARC of The Last Echo for review!!** (less)
Fury wasn't one of my favorite reads, and I don't think it was that memorable, but it definitely was un-put-...moreOriginally published at The Teen Book Guru
Fury wasn't one of my favorite reads, and I don't think it was that memorable, but it definitely was un-put-downable... (at least for me). I had to find out what was going to happen, and thus finished it in one sitting. Miles did a great job of putting in twists and surprises... just when I thought I was going to put in my bookmark and go to bed, there was a sudden unexpected change or something dramatic would happen. It kept me up waaay past my bed time... something which annoyed my dear mother to no end, but hey, who am I to complain?
*SPOILER ALERTS* I didn't really like the characters overall, but Em was nice, and she was the only character who I found to be relatable and likable. All the others.... meh. I mean, they were neither here nor there, if you know what I mean. Call me naive, but I like to have at least one character who I absolutely adore and love, and root for throughout the whole novel. Because that's how a reader becomes emotionally attached to the novel, and has that special connection. Fury just didn't have that. Whenever I started liking someone in the book, Miles would put in a twist or a sudden change of events and BAM. They were deemed stupid, or uncaring, or mean, or what-not. I'm just saying.
For me, (and don't take this in the wrong way!), it was kind of like a... nightmare. Like a 'OMG is this really happening?!!! *PINCH* *PINCH* Am I awake?!' kinda thing. Probably because the setting was so normal and familiar, and then all of a sudden there's this supernatural, creepy element that's just so ...freaky... but in a good way. Miles incorporated it into the novel so well that I started to get creeped out myself. The whole scene was just so familiar that I could imagine myself in Em's shoes, or Gaby's, but then the Furies appear, and all of a sudden it's really scary and nightmarish. *SPOILERS OVER*
I really liked the whole idea of what goes around comes back around, which was what the whole book was based upon. That made it even scarier, I think, because everyone (even me... I know it's hard to believe!) has done something that they regret and wish they could take back... and then here comes the touchy and haunting idea that... what if everyone has to pay for what they've done? What if you think you've gotten away with something, but the Furies, or some sort of karma is right around the corner... waiting for you...lurking in the shadows? *shudder* Ok, I might be getting a little carried away, but you've gotta admit... it's creepy.
The whole basis of the book made up for the weak characters and some other not-so-good parts, and I would recommend it to the avid YA Paranormal reader who DOES NOT get freaked out easily (unlike me).
Girl Meets Boy: Because There Are Two Sides To Every Story is one heck of an emotional roller coaster. It is so...moreOriginally posted at The Teen Book Guru
Girl Meets Boy: Because There Are Two Sides To Every Story is one heck of an emotional roller coaster. It is so unique and different, and I have to say I am really surprised that it hasn’t been done before. Featuring short stories from James Howe, Ellen Wittlinger, Chris Crutcher, Kelly Milner Halls (who's also editor), Terry Davis, Rebecca Fjelland Davis, Rita Williams-Garcia, Terry Trueman, Joseph Bruchac, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Sara Ryan, Randy Powell.
Love or Something Like It/Some Things Never Change is about a sweet-natured jock who falls in love with a dangerous girl who lives on the edge. I have to say, I really, really liked the guy in this story because there aren’t really any characters out there that are like him. He’s very much a jock...but he isn’t a jerk *gasp!*, something which I didn’t think possible. On the outside he may be good-looking and popular, but on the inside he is sweet, caring, and has a big heart...the very opposite of a cliche jock. The girl’s view of the story is admittedly more interesting, but I didn’t like her character as she seemed to be a player from the very start.
Falling Down To See The Moon/Mooning Over Broken Stars is about a Basketball and a geeky and artistic boy who both secretly have a thing for each other. Sweet. That’s the first word that came to mind after reading this story. This was so innocent and cute, and I really loved it. It reminded me of young love...like in Middle School, when two people secretly like each other, but are too scared to admit it, or something along those lines....you get my drift. I enjoyed hearing both the boy’s side of the story and the girl’s. I think that I liked the girl in this story a teensy bit more because she was so....womanly, and the thing I really liked about her was that she was a powerful woman, and there aren’t that many of those in the world today. Two words to describe her: plus-sized and proud!
Want to Meet/Meeting For Real is a story about a girl, Alex, who is trying to find a match for her older brother, who’s gay. Alex finds someone on an online chat site. Enter Max, the guy who has been chatting with Alex online, not knowing that she’s a girl. I found the girl’s side of the story more interesting and definitely more emotional, as it had a stronger foundation and a better story line. Want to Meet/Meeting For Real touches on some very controversial and delicate topics, such as homosexuality and domestic violence, without going into too much depth and detail.
In No Clue, aka Sean/ Sean+Raffina, a relationship consisting of a shy white boy and a beautiful black girl is explored. It was very interesting to see how two completely different backgrounds could come together and work so well, and both of the characters were lovable in their own ways. Sean, the shy white boy, is trying to pluck up the courage to ask out Raffina. But he is having some trouble getting past their racial differences. Raffina, the gorgeous, tough black girl known Sean has a thing for her and is waiting for him to just ask her out. In both stories there is a lot of inner dialogue and inner-conflict which I thought worked really well in this story.
Mouths of the Ganges/Mars at Night is another story about overcoming racial differences. It’s about a Bangladeshi boy who has lived in Iowa his whole life, and his relationship with a white farm girl who loves him back very much. I found Rafi’s version (the guy’s version) of the story a little confusing and hard to understand in some places. It also strayed a little from the story line (girl meets boy), but I liked the basis of the story, and the idea where it came from.
Launchpad to Neptune was probably the most surprising story in this anthology. It follows a girl and a boy who were childhood friends and their reunion. It was a little confusing at first but became easy to follow as the story went on. I enjoyed the building of the tension as the novel went on, both of them nervous and anxious to meet the other one. Both of the characters were extremely likable, in my opinion. I also enjoyed the change in perspectives when a change occurred. Launchpad to Neptune was a very original and captivating story, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Girl Meets Boy is really an anthology for everybody, no matter who you are, because everyone can relate to at least one story in the novel. Whether your heart has been broken, or you’re in love, or you thinking of a change, Girl Meets Boy has covered every aspect of love. It has shown the beautiful, the ugly, and the miraculous. The concept used for this anthology; the he-said-she-said idea is used magnificently to zoom in on both sides of the story. Girl Meets Boy is a very unique anthology, and I am surprised it hasn’t been done before, because, especially when it comes to love, there are always two sides to every story.
It all started in Delirium, the bestselling Dystopian debut of Lauren Oliver's. Amor Deliria Nervosa, the ticking time bom...morePosted at The Teen Book Guru
It all started in Delirium, the bestselling Dystopian debut of Lauren Oliver's. Amor Deliria Nervosa, the ticking time bomb... deemed as the deadliest of all diseases in Lena's futuristic society. Some of the most common symptoms (according to the book of Shh...) are anxiety, overwhelming feelings of desire and happiness--- but, be warned that they never last long, mood swings, and the willingness to put the other person (who infected you) before yourself and ultimately, risk your life for them. Otherwise known as LOVE.
Let me just start off by saying how much I LOVED (no pun intended) Delirium. What a great idea, and it was just such a beautifully brilliant story which captivated me until the very end. Lauren Oliver's writing was poetic and so emotive... there were times when I actually found tears in my eyes! The characters were so likeable (especially Alex!), and it was a pleasure to read.
And... (I am so happy to say!), that I can speak no less of Pandemonium!! In Pandemonium, Lena is back, with a bite! The Wilds have made her hard, and where she used to be soft, she is now tough and ferocious. She has become a survivor. At first I found it difficult to believe that the Lena in Delirium was the same person as Lena in Pandemonium. And, as much as I longed for the old Lena, I have to say that the new her was just such a kick-ass, cool warrior chick!!
Throughout the whole novel, however, I kept feeling like something was missing... like there was something not quite right, that I couldn't put my finger on, until now. Alex. ALEX! There was FAR TOO LITTLE Alex for my liking, in Pandemonium. That was the only thing that made me not like Pandemonium as much as Delirium. Alex. *sigh*
Although there was a new love interest, and you won't believe it, but it's Justin!! I'm not sure if you remember him... there were only a few snippets of him back in Delirium. For those of you who don't know, Justin is the son of the President. Yup. That's right. The tough warrior/rebel chick, and the (seemingly) spoiled, cowardly, and (at first) one dimensional President's son. It sounds like it would never work in a million, trillion years, but it was surprising... (and Alex fans are going to hate on me for saying this), but I kind of liked him. Let me tell you why. In the beginning, he is portrayed as the timid, scared, overruled son of the almighty, evil President. But as the story progresses, he begins to open up, and by the end of the novel, he is a completely different person. How Alex saved Lena and opened her eyes to a whole new world, Lena helped Justin in the same way.
And now, onto the part that has caused so many mixed feelings to rage inside me ... the ending! I literally groaned out loud in frustration. Argh. Damn that brilliant, perfect, wonderfully frightening and heart stopping ending. Must you fill me up with so many bizarre emotions? And, how is it possible for me to be filled with so much adoration for you, but hate you at the same time? Y'all, if the wait for Pandemonium was hard, the wait for Requiem, the last book in the trilogy, is going to be pure torture.
I hope that everyone reads this trilogy, and please... PLEASE don't let your fear of the ending, or anything else stop you from reading Pandemonium. Even if you didn't like Delirium, give it a go, because you might really enjoy Pandemonium. And if you did like Delirium, and you haven't read this yet.... what on earth are you waiting for?!!(less)
**This review is based on an Advance Readers Copy (thank you so, so much, Jen!!)**
This book totally blew my mind!! Jennifer Echols ROCKS! Not only does Such a Rush live up to all of her other amazing books, but it kind of surpasses them. It captivated me from the very beginning to end. Her characters were beautifully written and all came to life in the darkest, most twisted way possible. It was such a thriller!!! Filled with gallons of hot romance, a killer plot, and bad-ass characters, fans of Jen's previous books will most definitely not be disappointed, and readers who are new to her books will gobble this one up too!
Honestly, I have no clue how Jen does it. Every single one of her books are so well-written with thoroughly engaging story lines and amazing characters. I am a HUGE fan of both her Romantic Dramas and Comedies, but I have to say that I enjoy her Dramas are a little bit more than the comedies. Such a Rush, in my opinion, was the perfect mix! Throughout the novel, Jen incorporated a whole lot of wit, snark and humor... I friggin LOVED it!
“The lieutenant leading the group was a tall blond. I couldn’t tell for sure since he was wearing mirrored shades, but I thought he was boyishly handsome, like Alec. He came straight for me because, dressed in a bikini top, I was obviously in charge of this airport.”
BAHAHA. See what I mean? Jen is made of nothing but pure awesomeness.
So, I can't go into too much detail as it isn't out yet, and I'm going to try my best, but if you think you might be heading into a spoiler, just stop reading. Sometimes, when I love a book as much as I loved this one, I get a little... (ok, A LOT) carried away. :')
So... I'm telling you, BEWARE. And don't say I didn't warn you! :P
We are introduced to Leah and her love of flying and airplanes at the very beginning of the book. She lives in a trailer, with her mom, and she works hard to pay the rent. Her dream is to become a pilot, but how is that possible if she can barely support herself? Then, one day, a miracle (or something like it) happens, and she gets a spot in Mr. Hall's flying academy. Everything is going great, and Leah Jones finally starts working towards her dream.
Then, tragedy strikes. Mr. Hall dies in a spontaneous heart attack, and Leah, and his two sons, are left heartbroken. Fast forward to three years later. Leah has basically given up hope, and is still living with her mom and unstable boyfriend. Things aren't going that well. To add to her horrible living conditions, Grayson, adrenalin junkie and Mr. Hall's son, not to mention, her long-time crush, offers Leah a flying job. After she refuses, he blackmails her by digging up her most damning secret, and holds it above her head, forcing her to fly. Before she knows it, Leah is caught between two brothers in a deadly game. What does Grayson want from her? And how is it possible that even though he's so dangerous, she can't help but feel sparks whenever he's around?
A thrilling and fast-paced roller-coaster ride till the last page, Such a Rush is one heck of a Romantic Drama. The characters are so realistic and wonderful, and (I know this will sound cheesy, but it's true!), special in their own way... I loved it! And (sorry in advance about the fan-girl squealing, and exclamation marks, but), OMFG Grayson is SO HOT!!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE him!! Eeep!! He is definitely going down as one of my favorite book boyfriends EVER! (less)
❝We wanted the freedom to love. We wanted the freedom to choose. Now we have to fight for it.❞
Just like all the last books of any of my favorite, most...more❝We wanted the freedom to love. We wanted the freedom to choose. Now we have to fight for it.❞
Just like all the last books of any of my favorite, most beloved series, by the end I'm a jumble of mixed emotions, and Requiem (pronounced Reck-wee-em; thank you google!), was no exception. On one hand, I am actually quite satisfied with the ending, and I really enjoyed the roller-coaster of emotions that Requiem was. But it's definitely bittersweet, as a fantastic set of characters, and yes, close friends, whom I adore and have grown so fond of will no longer be with me.
It's safe to say that Pandemonium left me in a dizzy for days- I had no idea how Requiem was going to turn out! The third book in this trilogy picks up right after Pandemonium's nefarious ending; Alex is back, but he's not the same. After being tortured by the government, almost to the point of no return, he's turned bitter, and despite how hard Lena tries to break through his shell, it seems like he's just not coming back. But then again, maybe she deserves it. The whole reason Alex sacrificed himself was for Lena, and her having seemingly moved on already does not bode well. Apart from the non-stop action, there's also a mild love triangle. I say mild because, from the beginning, it was pretty obvious who Lena was going to end up with, for me. Although I relatively liked Julian's vulnerable, caring personality in Pandemonium, I didn't warm to his character in this book- I actually found most of his actions to be rash and annoying. Maybe it's because of Alex's incandescent presence? ;)
While at first I thought the dual points of view between Hanna and Lena's story would be confusing, it was actually quite cool. The difference between the two sides was breathtaking, and to think that Lena would have probably been in a similar situation as Hanna's had she not met Alex was quite scary to think about. Once again, Alex saves the day! Oh Gods, he's amazing... Anyway... back to the point. Reading Hanna's chapters, I was overcome with nostalgia and sadness- she'd lost the vibrance and exuberance to her, her excitement for life itself was gone. I'm so delighted her story ended the way it did; she really deserved it.
Requiem took a lot longer to pick up pace than the previous two books, and it was a slight challenge to push through the first few chapters. But once it got going, and as the resistance started planning its final act, the tension was high and I could not put it down. It was so refreshing to have the plotting and action as the main focus, instead of the romance. Lena wasn't constantly, obsessively thinking about Alex or Julian, she was focused and independent, which I really liked. I don't remember feeling so affectionate towards her character in Delirium or Pandemonium, but in Requiem I was able to see just how much she's grown, and I admit, there were a few times I got a little choked up (totally allergies, you guys!)
The stakes are so much higher in this book. The government is closing in on the resistance, and now even the Wilds aren't safe. Every day for Lena, Raven, Tack, and the whole gang is an epic fight for survival. There's no one they can trust- not even, it seems, each other. The ending was a tad anti-climatic, in my opinion. After building up the intensity and increasing the anticipation, Oliver had a lot to accomplish in order to satisfy the suspense she'd been establishing throughout the whole novel. Although I am happy and satisfied with how it all ended, I still feel like she could have elaborated on it a bit more; there are still a few questions I'm yearning for to be answered.
Overall, Requiem is a worthy conclusion for one of my absolute favorite series. Exciting, taut, and laden with romance and action, it's an unforgettable, highly entertaining work of art. I'm truly honored to say that I was able to experience Lena's fight for love alongside her and a wonderful cast of characters. Their story will always live on.
"Love goes by haps; Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps..." -Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing
This book is cute with a capital C! There wer...more"Love goes by haps; Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps..." -Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing
This book is cute with a capital C! There were many times I couldn't help but laugh out loud. Light-hearted, funny, and sweet, 7 Clues is the relaxing vacation you need from a tedious week at work or school.
Serious books are great and all, but every now and then it's really nice to have a book chock full of humor, not to mention extremely lovable characters. And let me tell you, this book is ha-ha-hilarious! From the two arguing old ladies with crude senses of humor, to Cy and Jenna, the couple who make out excessively, 7 Clues's characters each had so much character, which is actually really rare.
Blythe was a super interesting, multi-dimensional protagonist. It was really fascinating (and giggle-worthy) to see her go from the prim, poised, kind of pretentious over-achiever she was, to the kind-hearted rebel she became at the end of the book. I can't imagine what it would be like to be the daughter of the principal, so I felt bad for Blythe right away. But a scandalous picture of the principal's daughter picking her nose, published in the school newspaper? That's a whole new level of embarrassment. Being a high-school student myself, I could understand and relate to most of what was going on with Blythe. A little factitious and idealized 7 Clues may be, but the themes were very much relative. The social hierarchy, the taunting, the tacky romance... it all rang true to my ears.
Speaking of the romance, Luke! Could there be a more perfect guy? He worked for the school newspaper, went through garbage cans for charity, and even quoted Shakespeare! He was perfectly drool-worthy! I completely understood why Blythe, normally so calm and collected, had her knickers in a twist over him. Now I'm off to check out A Match Made in High School, because, if it's anything like this, I'm bound to love it!(less)
Brigid, I know I've asked you this before on twitter, but please can you write me a boyfriend? Seriously. Guys, I'm DYING to know where Brigid gets th...moreBrigid, I know I've asked you this before on twitter, but please can you write me a boyfriend? Seriously. Guys, I'm DYING to know where Brigid gets the inspiration for these amazing book hotties… Oh, to be able to see into her wonderfully creative, brilliant mind! This book was nothing short of spectacular. Although before I didn't quite know what to make of Hunter, I got to learn a lot about his strong, disturbed, utterly irresistible character in Spirit, and I have to say, the more I read and get to know him, the more Riya likes! Err… if my 'review' so far is any indication of my star-struck thoughts right now, the rest is going to be just as mushy… if not even more so.
Being a die-hard fan of the Merrick brothers, I really wasn't sure whether I would enjoy Spirit, as Spark kind of left me all kinds of angry at Hunter. However, big props to Kemmerer for making me fall in love with one of her bewitching characters yet again! I like to think I'm fairly reasonable and have some sort of control over my affections, but Brigid just tears down my barriers, man. *holds back sniffles*
The action in Spirit is intense. I was constantly on-edge and yearning to flip the page, to find out what would happen next. But not only are there formidable fight scenes and a torrid, on-the-rocks romance, but there's also a lot of that touchy feely thing going on- you know what I'm talking about: feelings, and emotion, brought to you by our own troubled bad-boy, Hunter Garrity. He's one of those guys who no matter what they do, or how hard they try, they just can't seem to catch a break. Hunter is constantly being challenged, and pushed to his boundaries. His personal demons take shape in his distraught, absent mother, his grandfather who's convinced he's a godforsaken criminal (not to mention a class-A jerk), and a looming choice on his hands that will determine not only his, but the future of the Elementals. Not only does he have all of that going on, but this guy is seriously confused! He has no idea who to trust, and what to do with his life. His father's last words to him said to use other people before they used him, and Hunter's following that fatalistic advice like they're the words sent from above. There were times I got a tiny bit exasperated, and although I understand why he did what he did, I wished he would've had a little more faith in the Merrick brothers, especially after they'd done so much for him.
It's no secret that I've grown quite fond of Hunter. He turned out to be nothing like what I expected! Kate, however, seemed to fall a little flat for me, but I had a bad feeling about her from the get-go. To be fair, I guess I never really gave her a chance. Sassy, smart and seductive, Kate had Hunter wrapped around her little impudent pinky. Even though she wasn't completely conniving and manipulative, and she did have some sort of feelings for Hunter, I didn't like how she was constantly using him for her and Silver's plan. And especially after the Merricks were so kind to her, I don't understand how she could have been so quick to tick them off. That being said, I honestly can't think of someone better suited for Hunter! They're both a little sneaky, and guarded, and have issues trusting other people, which kind of sucks because it took some serious effort for them to grow to trust each other (which I'm not sure in the end they even did). I never totally grew to like her character, but towards the end I guess she did gain some respect from me (begrudgingly). Personally, I prefer Gabriel and Layne's romance!
Charged with electricity and sparks, with a heart-breaking backstory that will make you see Hunter with new, inspired eyes, Spirit has made me even more excited and antsy for Nick's story in Secret! Gosh dang it, I wish it wasn't so far away, though. (less)