Do you ever read a book that leaves you thinking, "Ok, how on Earth am I supposed to go about re...more(Originally posted at my blog, That Artsy Reader Girl)
Do you ever read a book that leaves you thinking, "Ok, how on Earth am I supposed to go about reviewing that?" Don't get me wrong. I loved this book. Sometimes, though, I come across a book I love so much, that it leaves me wordless. Haha. This was one of them. I'm not sure exactly what it was that made me love it so much. Perhaps it was the sweeping, yet believable non-insta-love romance, the unique take on a utopian world, or the writing that I totally got. You know how sometimes your brain and an author's writing style just mesh, and you're writing in your mind the exact same story you're reading? Jodi just did everything right. She and I were on the same wavelength, and I totally got her. I'm not saying the book was predictable, because it totally wasn't. I'm saying that everything she wrote was exactly what I wanted. I got my romance, my mystery, my alternate world, my suspense, my excitement. Let's see if I can break this down for you in a way that makes sense. Haha. I'm really into putting my thoughts into numbered lists right now, so that's what I'm going to do. It works for me.
1. I really loved reading about Ana's journey to Heart. The very beginning of the book just sucked me in, and I was sold. It was suspenseful, and adventurous. It was also a great way to be introduced into this world. We're introduced to the sylph, which are vicious invisible fire breathers that burn anything in their path. Whoa.
2. And then we meet Sam. I LOVE SAM. He might just be one of my favorite YA male characters. Because he's been reincarnated so many times, he's extremely smart, talented, and mature. He's unbelievably caring and considerate. People in this world hate Ana because in order for her to be born, a person had to die and never be reincarnated again. Her birth was a complete mistake, and people resent her not only because she "stole" a life, but because they are worried that more people like her will be born in the future. Sam's totally not on board with their train of thought, though. He adores her and helps her figure out that she's worth so much more than her birth mother has been telling her her whole life. And he's musical. He made me melt a little.
3. I really enjoyed learning about Heart. The walls have a heartbeat. There's a mysterious temple with no doors that is so tall, you can't see the top of it. It's so huge that almost the entire human race lives there. Plus, it's been there since the beginning of time. The inhabitants of this place said they just stumbled upon it after being born the first time. They think it was given to them by their God, Janan (which is so close to my name. woot!), to protect them from the dangerous beasts of the world.
4. The Masquerade Ball is flat-out one of the most beautiful scenes in the book. The ball is held for two souls who have pledged their undying love for one another across all their incarnations, even if sometimes one of them happens to be 80 and the other one 5. Or... if they both happen to come back as members of the same gender. It's their souls that matter, not their bodies or age. So they celebrate this ceremony with a masquerade ball, where nobody knows who anyone is dressed as. The goal is for this couple to find each other anyway. What a beautiful underlying message of eternal love knowing no bounds. It's a breathtaking thought. And wow, this ball was sexy. I'll leave it at that!
5. The action and suspense! Dragons, Sylph, people out to kill Ana and Sam... SO exciting! I was flipping pages faster than I could read, and had to press the back button on my Kindle to go back. (Anyone else ever do that? Haha.)
6. Music was a HUGE part of this book. Sam's an amazing musician, and Ana connects with music on the same level I do. Music has always been one of the main elements of my life. It brings out such strong emotions and feelings in me. I connect with it on so many levels, just like she mentions throughout this story. I identified with her so much for this reason.
7. The lyrical writing was gorgeous, but not over the top or flowery. Like I said, I just got it. I don't want to give away too many details, because it's something you've got to experience on your own.
8. There were no hidden agendas in this book. There were points where the people seem to be very religious and devoted to their God, but this was not preachy at all. I didn't feel like anything was being shoved down my throat. There were also a few moments that could almost be identified as anti-religious, but again I didn't feel like the author was trying to sway me one way or another. Remember in my review of Halo when I said that a good author can write a religion without preaching it? This book, unlike Halo, was a good example of an author who handles it without trying to force someone to have an opinion. I really appreciated that.
9. The idea of reincarnation was handled in a very interesting way. These people live, they die. Then they are reincarnated into a new body (male or female) and come back as a grown human in a baby's body. They come out smart, and with all the memories of their previous lives. It's a very cool idea, and opens the door for many interesting and well-rounded characters. I loved it.
10. And... I just have to mention the cover. It's gorgeous. And unlike some book covers, this cover tells so much about the story itself. I'm not going to elaborate on this because I don't want to spoil anything, but I might just have to buy a hard copy of this book so I can own the cover. I'm a graphic designer, and I really appreciate art that is done for a better reason that to "just look pretty". This is one of the best examples I've seen of a cover that very subtly opens a window to the story. You'll understand what I mean once you read it.
All in all, read this book! It's new, it's fresh, it's romantic, and it's pretty much awesome. I can't wait for the next one!
(Wonder why I classified this as a utopia instead of a dystopia? A utopia is when the community or society is perfect or ideal, and there are no thoughts of running away or escaping. A dystopia is when the condition of that place is extremely bad or unpleasant.)
If you loved Under the Never Sky, it’s likely that you’ll love Through the Ever Night more. Veronica does not disappoint, and we surely don’t fall vic...moreIf you loved Under the Never Sky, it’s likely that you’ll love Through the Ever Night more. Veronica does not disappoint, and we surely don’t fall victim to the second book syndrome. It’s beautiful, romantic, heart wrenching, and SO amazing! I am loving Perry and Aria, and can’t wait for more!
I love this trilogy. LOVE it. The writing is gorgeous, the world building is amazing, and the characters make you fall...more(Originally posted on my blog.)
I love this trilogy. LOVE it. The writing is gorgeous, the world building is amazing, and the characters make you fall in love with them so much, that closing the book is like losing a friend. It's like the end of the school year, when you promise to stay in touch with your best friends, but end up not. You feel a little empty and hollow, eager for that reunion when you can see them again, and see how they are doing. Asunder has left me wanting to call up Ana and Sam and see how they are doing. Jodi, once again, failed to disappoint. I'll try to remain brief, so as not to spoil this for newbies to the trilogy, or for people who are still eagerly awaiting Asunder's release. I loved Incarnate more than Asunder, but that goes for most trilogies I read. The first book is always my favorite.
1. We get to learn so much more about Ana, Sam, sylph, Heart, Janan, and reincarnation. We get to learn about Ana's purpose, and why she is there. We get to learn more about what happened that caused Ana to be there. There's still mystery left for book 3, but I know so much more of what's going on here.
2. Love. I love the emphasis on love and feelings in this book. Love, sacrifice, friendship, emotion. It's all there, and the connection based on those points are all so tender and meaningful.
3. I enjoyed reading about the changes in Ana. She's really starting to value her life, and the chance she has to change the mindset of all the old souls she comes in contact with. She's out to make a difference and save herself in this story, rather than just sit around and wonder what her purpose is.
4. We get to see Sam as more of a normal human, rather than Mr. Perfect. And I liked that. He's flawed, he struggles. His past gets to catch up with him a bit, and he realizes that he might not know all there is to know about the world he lives in. It was nice to see this other side to him, which I love just as much as the one we saw in Incarnate.
5. I really love that all the information we are given makes sense. I mean, I don't believe in reincarnation... but if I did, I would believe this. And I love that we get to learn so much about sylph. They become much deeper in character. I was not expecting that at all, and loved it.
6. Finally, the imagination behind this entire storyline is a force to be reckoned with. Jodi's mind is amazing!
I know this was a super short review, but once again Jodi has left me speechless. Oh, and I didn't want to give too much away. This book needs to be experienced and savored. Don't let a reviewer out there spoil it for you!(less)
I loved the idea of the main character being a librarian, and there being such a focus on extremely old literature. And Giovanni is totally an Italian...moreI loved the idea of the main character being a librarian, and there being such a focus on extremely old literature. And Giovanni is totally an Italian name, and combining that with the mention of Renaissance Florence, I was sold! Books and Italy. What more could I ask for? A Hidden Fire had its moments, but overall I was a little disappointed. It fell short of its potential, and I feel like it could have been so much better than it was.
Black City is a very dark romance that takes place under harsh conditions and during very harsh times. It's gory and...more(Originally reviewed on my blog.)
Black City is a very dark romance that takes place under harsh conditions and during very harsh times. It's gory and bloody and actually rather upsetting, which is why I'm having such a hard time reviewing it! I wanted to love it, and while I loved aspects of it, parts of it upset me so much that I'm afraid my thoughts about the book are a bit tainted.
1. The idea is awesome. I've always been a fan of forbidden love, but a love that makes a dormant heart beat after so many years? That's powerful. And I've always enjoyed post-apocalyptic stories. I love watching an author's creativity run wild with all the possibilities of a new beginning.
2. I really liked Ash and Natalie. Ash is this bad boy, who softens and becomes a force for good once he has a reason to fight. Natalie is his reason, and I loved the devotion he felt for her, even when he was confused and trying to figure his life out. Natalie developed throughout the story into a really strong, exciting character. She went from a ball of nerves to a spitfire, crusading for what's right. She took so many risks and cleared so many hurdles, and I really enjoyed reading of her strength.
3. I also really liked the supporting characters: Day and Beetle. I loved the friendships and love that circled around these four people.
4. This story is gory, and I had a really hard time with that. There's SO much blood, death by crucifixion, torture, a rape attempt, drug overdose, numerous attacks, sacrifices, and murder. And it was all described in depth.
5. The worst part of this book, though was a very upsetting scene with the murder of a cat. Many of you know, I can not handle cat killings. I just can't, especially when they are overly gruesome and detailed. They are unnecessary, and I slaughter books with scenes like these. I refuse to read anything else by an author who does this, because I think it's terrible and I think it promotes animal violence among young people. I boycotted Origin when I found out about a similar scene in that book, and I vowed to never read another book by Elizabeth Chandler after reading her Kissed by an Angel trilogy and coming across another scene like this as well. I honestly had to talk myself out of quitting this book. I set it aside for hours, and finally went back because by accepting this ARC, I promised a review. I had to try and give the book a fair chance. I'm glad I finished it, because I was very curious about how things would go down. I was either intrigued enough or horrified enough, that I had to see if these people could pull out of the evil world they were living in and make a better life for themselves. Honestly, though, I did not recover from the heartbreak of that one scene. Luckily Black City did not end in enough of a cliffhanger that I'm dying for the next book. I can just quit here and be satisfied enough with the ending I've been given.
All in all, this book was dark. I can handle dark, but not this dark. I was super intrigued, and really enjoyed aspects of the story. The characters were great, and I loved the romance and the creativity of the idea. But the violence was just too much for me to handle, and the animal violence has me so sad that I don't even want to continue with the series. I can definitely see why people are raving about the story, but I also wish I had known about this one scene before I chose to read it. I know there are many readers who feel the way I do, so this is the warning I wish I had received. I'm extremely disappointed that I did not love this book as much as many of my fellow readers did. (less)
So... I have ranted numerous times about how the middle book of a trilogy is usually pointless, boring, and frustrating. OH MAN. This is not so with T...moreSo... I have ranted numerous times about how the middle book of a trilogy is usually pointless, boring, and frustrating. OH MAN. This is not so with Tempest Unleashed. The book lives up to its name, as Tracy unleashes the insanity. I mean, I was on the edge of my proverbial seat, flipping through this book as quickly as I possibly could. To be honest, it's better than the first one. SO much better.
I loved Shadow and Bone. I have nothing bad to say about it, and can’t stop thinking about it at ALL. I read this one really fast, and when I was not...moreI loved Shadow and Bone. I have nothing bad to say about it, and can’t stop thinking about it at ALL. I read this one really fast, and when I was not reading I was thinking about it. If you love fantastic world-building, strong characters, mystery, intrigue, romance of extreme proportions, and beautiful writing, you will love Shadow and Bone.
I loved it, and I was surprised that I loved it, just because I'd never heard of it book before I was given the opportunity to be a part of the tour....moreI loved it, and I was surprised that I loved it, just because I'd never heard of it book before I was given the opportunity to be a part of the tour. I am SO glad I got to read it!
1. When I say this book is refreshing, I'm being extremely literal. This is such a great read for a hot summer day, because this book takes place in probably the coldest place ever: The Frost. It's cold and snowy and windy, with blizzards and fires in the fireplace and short days, with long nights. I loved it!
"It was cold, the kind of cold that made bones feel brittle and hands ache. My breath streamed from my lips like smoke, and my feet made wet, crunching sounds in the snow as I slipped through the forest." "The snow swirled around me, like fat white moths in the darkness."
2. The writing is gorgeous, and it grabbed me within the first paragraph. Kate Avery Ellison has this amazing knack for presenting ideas like love, and the intense coldness of the Frost, in a beautiful way.
"Just thinking abut it took my breath away. I gazed at the world of snowy white around us, at the feathery pines and moonlit hollows. What forgotten secrets lay beneath this icy visage?" "The wind blew, stinging my cheeks and carrying with it the taste of ice. I slogged down the hill to the porch. My legs were weak with relief." "He kissed me at first like he was afraid I'd break, and then he kissed me like it was the last thing he'd ever do." "He looked at me like I was made of unbearable light and I was blinding him." "Love is a perilous dance too, you see. And if we stop dancing, we'll die. Don't ever stop dancing."
See? Beautiful! Don't some of those quotes make you went to melt into a puddle?
3. I love the storytelling. We are given just enough information to not feel completely unaware, but not enough to make things predictable. I loved the mystery and the unknowns. Like the monsters (Watchers)... Why are they here? What do they want? When will the show up? We are given information as we need it, not as we want it. I was flipping through the pages SO fast. The creativity behind this work is amazing!
4. The characters are all so likeable. Lia is strong and sensible. Her parents are dead, and she has to take care of her crippled twin brother and younger sister. She brings to the story that maturity a person gains when they are all of a sudden a teenage parent to children their own age. He siblings are so sweet and protective of her, but never try and hold her back from doing what she knows she has to do. The villain jumps out at you from nowhere, and the guy you thought you hated ends up being nothing you thought he was.
5. Gabe is swoonworthy, which is why he needs his own bolded number. I mean, he's got this brooding hardened exterior, and is a man of few words... but the words he actually does say are perfect. He says the most amazing things to Lia. I melted. And he's from this forbidden people, so we've got the tension that goes with "I have a major thing for him, but I've been brought up to fear and loathe him." situation. Also, there's this slow build up with him. The romance is actually barely mentioned, since it's in the beginning stages. I bet the next book will include more. There's no instalove, though, so I am SO willing to wait longer. :)
6. The forest is a character all its own, and I loved it. It sounds so mystical and gorgeous, yet it freaked me out! Every time any person ventured into the trees, I got so scared for them. And as the sky grew darker and darker, and the monsters began to appear... OH MAN. Good stuff, I tell you!
7. The ending is amazing! It's suspenseful, charged with romance, and ah-ha! moments. Again, you are given the info you need to understand, but there are so many things screaming from inside of me, begging for the sequel. I can't wait!
This book is a hidden gem. Again, I love being a book blogger, because I get to find all these amazing lesser-known books and then tell you to buy them! I'd recommend this to dystopia lovers, people who believe that monsters lurk in the dark, and swoonworthy male leads! (less)
A beautiful story that readers of all genres will be able to relate to and pull from. Regardless of your religious beliefs, you will connect with thes...moreA beautiful story that readers of all genres will be able to relate to and pull from. Regardless of your religious beliefs, you will connect with these characters. You will think about your own life, and you will most likely end up making some goals for yourself as you move forward. I was touched by so many of the passages, and related to the emotions that were discussed. I loved experiencing this book, and can't wait for more books from Kimberly.